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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Not a problem... (313 comments)

Somehow this sounds a little bit more expensive than just using existing arable land or existing potable water

Of course. My post was meant for people, who'd claim, that "Earth can not sustain" such a big population — by listing the vast areas, where the new billions could live in comfort even if those existing parcels of arable land and sources of potable water were exhausted.

I refer you to Project Orion

The method could allow us to reach other star systems, but not practically — not within reasonable time. For that, we'd need faster-than-light travel and that is, what I had in mind.

Because that [ping times -mi] is the main downside of the Malthusian catastrophe.

It was a joke, relax...

yesterday
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Canadian Regulator Threatens To Impose New Netflix Regulation

mi Stronger government -- weaker citizens (313 comments)

The CRTC implicitly threatened to regulate the company by taking away its ability to rely on the new media exception if it did not cooperate with its orders.

Statists rejoice...

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have."

— Thomas Jefferson

yesterday
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

mi Re: I never thought I'd say this... (323 comments)

22 trillion dollars over fifty years is 440 billion dollars a year, which is quite affordable for the US.

That we were able to afford it (sort of — the figure exceeds our current national debt), means, it is indeed affordable, no big news. The points you chose to ignore were: a) the cost of it exceeded the costs of all real wars of the Republic combined; b) the "war on poverty" is a flop — despite spending so much money, we have not achieved the goals Lyndon Johnson spelled-out, when he launched the program.

BTW, the answer to James Madison is Article

Oh, sure, david_thornley from the 21 century knows the meaning of the Constitution better, than the man, who wrote it...

provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States

The interpretation you are proposing here is so wide, you can drive an air-carrier through it — sideways — and affords government limitless power. For example, NSA can claim, that their eavesdropping is for "general Welfare" (and great justice!), abortions can be banned — anything.

Or are you, perhaps, confusing the generic term "welfare" with the Welfare Program — and claiming, the Constitution's authors envisioned the program for the poor 200 years before it was (finally!) implemented?

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Not a problem... (313 comments)

meanwhile, existing towns are running out of water.

For the umpteenth time: desalination is a solved problem. There is no reason — other than incompetence of irrational fears of nuclear power — for any coastal city to lack water in the 21st century.

2 days ago
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Once Vehicles Are Connected To the Internet of Things, Who Guards Your Privacy?

mi Cavalry my tired tail (130 comments)

Except They are the Cavalry — according to their own page — are focusing on Cyber Safety, not privacy.

And our privacy — as far as cars are concerned anyway — has been shot for over a century already, when New York (always the Illiberal) mandated license plates in 1901.

They could not think, of course, that some day automatic license-plate readers will be archiving our driving histories. But the move — targeting "the rich", of course — was just as invasive even back then, as mandating that people carry identification at all times would be. And not just carry, but keep it visible from distance too...

Cars' new electronics may make it easier for the State to track us, but it has not been that hard before...

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Not a problem... (313 comments)

Why would you even want to do that?

Because I want more fellow human beings to exist. More artists, more scientists, more outright geniuses. Sure, more thieves too, but criminals affect the same share of population, whereas a single brilliant scientist may invent FTL travel or cure cancer for all...

But my wants are a moot point — the population will rise whether or not I (or you) want it, according to TFA.

What do you think filters out all of the crap we're putting into it?

Why do you hate humanity?

This individual and a Mr. Fusion, perhaps.

Mr. Fission — Mr. Fusion's older brother — would do just fine, thank you very much.

Not such a bright idea to plan on rearranging the world

I'm not planning on anything. I'm not even talking about rearranging the world — only the regions, Man may decide to populate when his technology allows.

The "rearranging" will not be any worse — nor seem any more "Star-Trekian" — than damming rivers or dredging waterways.

And you forgot all about 'ol Murphy.

He's always been with us, but we've grown in numbers anyway and are hardly starving today.

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Not a problem... (313 comments)

Yes but that food is already being grown

What the fook are you talking about? Israelis grow food in their own desert. The same methods can be used in Sahara and all other "hot" deserts — including the giant Sinai peninsula, which remains bare and barren since its return to Egypt.

It is possible and we know how to do it. We aren't doing it, but we can. And, should a compelling need arise, we will.

(and the water being overexploited)

There is no such thing.

I'm not sure that can be done cost effectively just yet.

It does not need to be done today. By 2100 we will be able to.

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Oh Canada! (313 comments)

Though given that much of the non-populated near arctic is tundra on top of granite I am not sure how feasible that really is.

Is it really worse than Svalbard? People live there too. Longyearbyen may not be much today, but it is likely to expand, if more habitable areas elsewhere become too crowded.

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Not a problem... (313 comments)

Canada, Midwest, Siberia, and Antarctica do have plenty of water already. For the hot deserts there is desalination — all you need is electricity. In fact, looking at Israel's agriculture, one learns, that the hot deserts are great for crops-growing — if you manage to water them enough.

And we can — with nuclear or fusion reactors...

Quantity of people is not a problem — not now, not in 2100. Quality, on the other hand, has always been a problem...

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Not a problem... (313 comments)

Arable land, potable water, things like that.

Land is plentiful, water is, indeed, needed to make it arable, but desalination is a solved problem — you just need electricity. And we can provide that even today in abundance with fission (nuclear plants) and will certainly be able to have it even better in the future with fusion.

It starts to sound a lot like living off-Earth at that point, no?

All of the problems you listed are several orders of (decimal) magnitude worse on other bodies of the Solar System. And the problem of inter-star travel has not been solved yet even in theory — nor even is it obvious, the solution will ever be found.

We will, probably, colonize Mars some day, but the South Pole is much more comfortable for humans than any spot of the Red Planet. And the ping-times are much shorter...

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Not a problem... (313 comments)

Midwestern states had higher combined populations than the Northwestern states.

You truly are a blithering nincompoop, aren't you? Can't tell the difference between population and population density ...

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Re:Not a problem... (313 comments)

Preferably for people who want to turn America's farmland into some sprawling metropolis...

You blithering idiot! A blubbering fool! A nincompoop! Nobody is talking about your precious farmland (which produces far too much stuff anyway, but that's a separate story).

I said Midwest. The Midwest, that is so bloody empty of anything (crops included), towns are offering free land to anybody willing to build a home. And still they can't attract enough people...

2 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

mi Not a problem... (313 comments)

Vast areas of Earth remain unpopulated. In no particular order:

  • American Midwest
  • Most of Canada
  • Australia's Outback
  • Siberia
  • Sahara and other hot deserts
  • Antarctica — a whopping continent

Sure, some of the above would require some work to make comfortable, but it can be done even with today's technology — by 2100 even an individual (or a family) would convert surroundings to their tastes. And it would certainly be easier, than moving an appreciable quantity of people off-Earth...

2 days ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

mi Re:Sanity... (501 comments)

dignity has nothing to do with this.

Dignity is the only thing, that suffers, when a cop violates an innocent man's privacy. If dignity has nothing to do with it, than "innocent man going to prison" does not either — yet you brought up the latter yourself earlier...

this contract cannot be violated

The contract was in no more danger before the change in Apple's attitude, really, than it is now — a court order was still required for Apple to act.

The legal theories have not changed — only the practical hurdles the law enforcement has to deal with (having to compel the individual phone-owner, rather than Apple).

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

mi Read Heinlein (228 comments)

Many of Robert Heinlein works were truly Science Fiction. His characters' travels around the Solar System, for example, are described enumerating the challenges and details such travel are likely to have in real life. He also has several descriptions of human life outside of Earth — on Ganymede, on Mars, and on the Moon. None of the descriptions were patently unscientific, when they were written (knowing what we do now, he would not have described life on Venus as he did, of course).

He wrote many of such books for children (and published in children publications) or about children — so you can read them with/to your kids. The bonus is, such reading would not even seem like work — you are likely to truly enjoy it...

2 days ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

mi Re:Sanity... (501 comments)

it's better for ten guilty men to go free than one innocent man to go to prison

I said nothing about "going to prison" — an overzealous pig would find nothing incriminating on my phone. It is not that "I have nothing to hide" — I do. But I have no evidence of crimes on my phone either. My dignity will suffer, sure, but I will not be imprisoned.

When the proverbial relation you quoted changes to "10 guilty men to go free than 1000 innocent men's dignity to be violated", the answer becomes less obvious...

2 days ago
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

mi Re:Sanity... (501 comments)

the police have more than enough tools for catching criminals without needing to violate the constitution.

With this turn by Apple, the police have one less tool.

It sure is comforting to know, a pig would not be able to access the data on my phone until a judge agrees with him and orders me to divulge the PIN. Is such reassurance of dignity for millions of honest folks worth the increased chances for hundreds of criminals of getting away? Probably...

2 days ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

mi Re: I never thought I'd say this... (323 comments)

I work longer and harder than I want to

Could it be because you (or someone you love) want more and more things? A new iPhone, a better car, a nicer TV? But a single person does not statistics make...

allowing for extreme stratification of wealth

Allowing, huh? Is there something you'd like to disallow? Spell it out... And then explain, why it would be ethical for you to compel — with threat of arms — the more successful to share their wealth with you to let you work less.

For a long time, the Robin Hood of folklore was considered a hero for violating the private property of the wealthy for the benefit of those less fortunate

Sure. The beneficiaries of any action are always likely to consider the action "ethical". If you arguments are as tainted by an obvious conflict of interest as this one, you may want to reconsider your overall debating strategy.

I suppose, based on your ethical system, that you'd consider him a villain?

Like most other Illiberals, you got your Robin Hood analogy all wrong. He was not robbing "the rich" to give gifts to the poor. He was robbing the tax-collectors to return to the taxed. Sheriff of Nottingham was — Robin's main enemy — was not his target for his wealth, but rather because he was an agent of the oppressive government (of King John). He was no Che Guevara — if a Robin Hood-like figure were to appear today, you'd dismiss him with the derision you and yours have shown to the Tea Party.

2 days ago

Submissions

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Facebook's Ukrainian office is in Russia. Blocks Ukrainians...

mi mi writes  |  about three weeks ago

mi (197448) writes "Ukrainian media are reporting (link in Ukrainian), that Facebook is getting increasingly heavy-handed blocking Ukrainian bloggers. The likely explanation for the observed phenomenon is that Facebook's Ukrainian office is located in Russia and is headed by a Russian citizen (Catherine Skorobogatov). For example, a post calling on Russian mothers to not let their sons go to war was blocked "Due to multiple complaints". Fed up, Ukrainian users are writing directly to Zukerberg to ask him to replace Catherine with someone, who would not be quite as swayed by the "complaints" generated by Russian bots. The last link (in both Ukrainian and English) is also on Facebook. Will it survive for long?"
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Certified "green" buildings consume more energy than regular structures

mi mi writes  |  about 7 months ago

mi (197448) writes "The "greenness" of a building is measured as EUIs — the higher the number, the more energy the structure is consuming relative to its size. Environmentally-aware construction is supposed to have the LEED-certification by U.S. Green Building Council (a private environment-protection group).

Washington, DC was the first city to mandate LEED-certifications for all new construction in 2010. Today the city-wide average EUI for LEED-certified buildings is 205, whereas the non-certified buildings average 199..."

Link to Original Source
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Lenders look at social media to check on loan-applicants

mi mi writes  |  about 8 months ago

mi (197448) writes "We know about Human Resources departments checking job-applicants online. Well, the lenders are catching up too. Writes Wall Street Journal:

Lending companies are looking at potential problems such as whether applicants put the same job information on their loan application as they posted on LinkedIn, or if they shared on Facebook that they had been let go by an employer. A small business that draws negative reviews on eBay also could undermine its chances of getting more credit, lending companies say.

Myself having neither Facebook, nor Twitter, nor LinkedIn accounts, I am wondering, if I am at a disadvantage — these are the people, who already consider imperfect credit history to be better, than no credit history at all..."
Link to Original Source

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Britney Spears' music used to deter pirates

mi mi writes  |  about a year ago

mi (197448) writes "Blasting Western music seems quite effective against the people, who hate Western culture in general, according to the article in Mirror Online, and Britney Spears' tunes proved to be a great deterrent indeed. Second Officer Rachel from Aberfoyle in Scotland said: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most."

The music is currently used as a second line of defence and is broadcast when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates. The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. “They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns," — says Rachel.

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said the US police and military were the first to use music to quell rioters.

Security industry is well aware of the power of music — and is cautious not to exceed humane limits. Justin Bieber, for example, is not used, because officials are wary of violating Geneva Conventions."

Link to Original Source
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NASDAQ shut down earlier today and is struggling to get up

mi mi writes  |  1 year,29 days

mi (197448) writes "The NASDAQ exchange has abruptly halted all trading in early afternoon today, August 22, 2013. At the time of this writing (15:32) they remain down despite the earlier promises to reopen at 14:45, 15:10, 15:25...

The nature of the problem remains a mystery and may turn out to be anything — from a varmint chewing through some critical wire to the decision to switch to Microsoft back in 2005."
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Companies in China learn to bypass government's firewall

mi mi writes  |  1 year,29 days

mi (197448) writes "According to the article in South China Morning Post, it is common for corporations in the country to reach out to the "real" Internet by using their own lines out to Hong-Kong. Recently, some luxury hotels started offering the access to guests. Of course, some sort of "communications with the local government" have taken place before this apparent violation of the country's federal law was attempted.

I, for one, can't wait for these folks to start getting a bigger say on how the Internet operates."

Link to Original Source
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Computer keeps sending cops to the same house

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "

Embarrassed cops on Thursday cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys. Apparently, the address of Walter and Rose Martin's Brooklyn home was used to test a department-wide computer system in 2002

Police have tried to remove the address from their databases for years, but it keeps popping up... This is the scariest part of the government collecting personal data — they can't expunge it, even if they sincerely try to... And if they are even a bit insincere, they can always explain keeping it by a "computer glitch"."
Link to Original Source

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Leak of Congress' ethics-investigators documents

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "A document describing investigations of the House Ethics committee was accidentally leaked through peer-to-peer software running on a PC of a "junior employee" working from home. Although the employee was quickly fired, the embarrassing details are now well known.
At the time of this typing, no mention of the documents on WikiLeaks. Not yet..."

Link to Original Source
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Nigeria shuts down scam websites

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Nigeria's anti-corruption police said Friday they had shut down some 800 scam websites and busted 18 syndicates of email fraudsters in a drive to curb cyber-crime the country is notorious for. 18 arrests were made. Maybe, the amount of "From the Desk of Dr. Foo Bar" e-mails will drop for a while."
Link to Original Source
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Plagiarism-detection software find Shakespeare

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Software intended to help essay-graders to detect plagiarism was used to attribute — with high probability — a hitherto unattributed play (The Reign of Edward III) to Shakespeare. It seems, the work was co-authored by Shakespeare and another playwright of the time, Thomas Kyd."
Link to Original Source
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White House admits harvesting e-mail addresses

mi mi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mi writes "After people appeared on Fox News complaining, White House admitted to not be using the Confirmed Opt-In (a.k.a. Double Opt-In) for adding new addresses to their list of subscribers.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered the classic spammer-defenses: "we hope they were not too inconvenienced," — and: "we suggest that they unsubscribe from the list by clicking the link at the bottom of the e-mail."

I still remember — in the 1990ies — spammers covering themselves up with something like: "Under Bill S.1618 Title III passed by the 105th U.S. Congress, this letter can not be considered spam..." Now, the most technologically-advanced Administration is sanctioning the spammer's other excuse: "What's the big deal? Just press 'Delete'!""
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Palin's e-mail account broken into

mi mi writes  |  about 6 years ago

mi writes "A private e-mail account of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin was broken into and detailed screen-shots published. The publishing site defends the stunningly unethical action with: "It's newsworthy and we will not be taking it down!""
Link to Original Source
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Craigslist forced to reveal a seller's identity

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts has won a judgment compelling CraigsList to reveal the identity of "Daniel", who tried to sell two tickets to the Oscar-ceremony recently. The plaintiff's argument against such sales is scary and can be taken very far very quickly: "If you don't know who's inside the theater, it's very difficult to provide security".

The CraigList's handling of the case may be even scarier, however — instead of fighting tooth-and-nail for the user's privacy, as we expect Google, Yahoo, and AOL, and even credit-card issuers to do, CraigsList simply did not show up in court and lost by default."

Link to Original Source
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Fugitive sues C.C.-issuer for aiding his capture

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "A short article describes attempts by a disbarred lawyer, who pleaded guilty of statutory rape, to sue American Express for violating its pledge "to withhold customer information from third parties". It seems, the man was captured when police obtained information about where his credit card was used.

His crime is repulsive to most, so there will be little sympathy, but the legal implications are interesting. Was AmEx compelled to disclose the information by the authorities, or did it volunteer the information? In the latter case, what will the company do, if the next suspect-on-the-run is accused of, say, copyright violations, or threats against President, or terrorism — will it consider the magnitude of the accusations and the available evidence, or always cooperate with the police?"

Link to Original Source
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France to outlaw "inciting thinness"

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! and others report, that "encouraging severe weight loss" may soon become a crime in France. The National Assembly has already approved the bill. The law would punish "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree with prison time and/or fines, even though the doctors still say, the link between anorexia and media images "remains hazy"."
Link to Original Source
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French gendarmes switching to Linux

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "French paramilitary police will be switching their 70000 desktop computers to Ubuntu "every time they have to replace a desktop". The move is expected to affect 5000-8000 machines in the first year alone. The cost of the OS is cited as only the third of factors:

The first is to diversify suppliers and reduce the force's reliance on one company, the second is to give the gendarmerie mastery of the operating system and the third is cost.
They started migrating away from Microsoft by switching to alternative office and web-browsing software first."

Link to Original Source
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Chinese dissident taken from house- to real arrest

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! is carrying an AP article on the recent arrest of Hu Jia on the charge of "inciting subversion of state power".

Gross violations of Human Rights by Chinese government are nothing new. What's special about this case, is that the victim has spent 223 days under house arrest by the time he was taken away from his home (and newborn daughter). Despite the house arrest, he was able to continue his work, including participating remotely in a European Parliament hearing..."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon fights off a federal customer-list subpoena

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "While prosecuting a tax-evasion case against a used-book seller, federal prosecutors contacted Amazon requesting identities of his customers, so that some of them can become witnesses. The company refused to divulge the customers' identities and the judge agreed:

"The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission. It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else."


The Feds eventually withdrew the subpoena."

Link to Original Source
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Hurricane-research UAV to be tested on Noel

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "USA Today is reporting on an unmanned aircraft developed to research hurricanes being sent into Noel. It should reach the eye of the storm at around 10pm tonight, November 2nd. The whole flight is expected to take about 20 hours:

"Unmanned flights at very low altitude are important since they give us unique insights and continuous observations in a region of the storm where the ocean's energy is directly transferred to the atmosphere just above. Attempting this type of research flight with our hurricane hunter aircraft would risk the lives of our crew and scientists," said Joe Cione, hurricane researcher at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, and project manager for the Aerosonde field study.
"

Link to Original Source

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