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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

mpe Re:It's a little early (327 comments)

Oh, I assumed it was DNA as in GMO... but it's just DNA... that makes a lot of food!

Possibly more interesting to know which foods are free of DNA. Which would indicate they either had nothing to do with any living organism, are highly processed or both!

yesterday
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European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

mpe Re:Dammit, Europe! (219 comments)

I was hoping your be the ones to bail us out when the U.S. went full fascist. Alright, New Zealand, all eyes are on you. No pressure!

Recently New Zealand introduced tougher speeding and drink drive penalties. With the result that road deaths over the Christmas period went up. So probably best not to expect too much of The Beehive. There's also the Megaupload mess to consider.

about a week ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:Do you really buy your own BS? (359 comments)

Just one question for the deniers....When the mean temperature is up ten degrees globally and humanity is tanking it because of massive environmental change and crop failure,

The actual "deniers" are the AGW faithful. Who are in complete denial that their senarios are little more than dystopian fantasy. As well as in denial that temperature and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have never been constant in the first place. With the AGW crowd even being in denial about their extensive use of logical fallacies to support their "argument".

you won't be upset when we lynch you for being the liars and shills who prevented proactive fixes from being implemented, will you?

How about instead lynching the psudoscientists, along with their cheerleaders, so we can start doing some actual science instead?

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:A Less Hysterical Take (359 comments)

The key issue remains the growing discrepancy between the climate model projections and the observations: 2014 just made the discrepancy larger."

Any discrepancy indicates either that the models do not reflect the theory or if they do the theory has been falsified. Either situation means that whatever is going on simply cannot be called "science".

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:Facts (359 comments)

What I fail to understand (and please help understand out without trolling) is IF the "global warming alarmists" are wrong, the most you had to give up was driving your hummer for a more fuel effecient vehicle while living by a set of rules that might curb a few activities. Mind you I am not even saying that such acitivites will be eliminated, but curbed a little bit.
If the "global warming alarmists" are right, well, can you really afford to take that chance? Seeing that there is only one planet and if the ice age, and hell or whatever rains down on earth should be cause for alarm in my opinion. I don't even care to argue WHEN it will happen.


The kind of things being advocated include the likes of "carbon credits", which are basically financial con games. Very unlikely to make a difference once way or the other. So called "green" electricity tends to be simply expensive. When everthing is taken into account wind and solar can end up with higher "carbon footprints" than just burning fossil fuels.
The proposed "solutions" are simply a poor match with the alleged "problem". On the other hand you don't tend to see things like demands that AGW conferances be performed online or a big switch to nuclear for electricity generation.

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:Someone teach me something here... (359 comments)

You're missing the point that water freezes at 32 degrees*, so if the ice fields warm by 1.4 degrees, the result is a lot of messing with the world's oceans, which in turn means significant changes in the atmosphere.

Just because that is the phase change point that does not mean that all, even most ice, on the planet is anywhere near that temperature. In the summer Antartica might manage -4 Farenheit.
Sea ice melting or freezing makes no difference to sea level at all, BTW.

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:Someone teach me something here... (359 comments)

Keep in mind that in that roughly 150 year period we are talking about because of increased carbon dioxide concentrations, the world oceans are now 30% more acidic than they were then. The next 100 years will see a another 30% decrease in Hydronium ion concentrations even if humans don't add a single extra molecule of carbon dioxide themselves as the amount already in the atmosphere will take some time to reach equilibrium with that already there.

What's actually happened here is that there is a difference of 0.1pH between some proxy reconstructions related to 150 years ago and some actual measurements taken recently. Since modern pH meters, from different suppliers, can differ by up to 0.3 the difference is meaningless. Do climate scientists understand that pH is a log scale, thus ONE unit would equate to a 1000% change.

However, the reality is that although the baseline of annual carbon dioxide production by all the volcanoes in the world is about 250,000,000 metric tons, the amount humans now produce annually is 33,000,000,000 tons, so it is highly unlikely that humans will turn this around soon.

The figure for vulcanism is very difficult to verify. Since most of the Earth's surface, including some highly vocanically active areas, is covered with water. The likes of geothermal vents are likely to be difficult to spot under the ocean. These will be putting strong acids. Yet the oceans manage to buffer an unknown quantity of these. Carbon dioxide in water forms a weak acid. Even with all of the possible carbon dioxide on Earth in them the oceans would still be alkaline.

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:wee little issue (359 comments)

Let us know when we can download the raw unprocessed data to feed into their pet algorithm. Yeah... you are about to link to some place where you THINK the raw data is... but you are wrong... thats processed data ("adjusted")

Unless you know exactly how it has been altered such data is useless for showing anything at all. A basic case of GIGO.

and they keep altering the old, already processed, data.... funny that.
(I am a witness to it - quite simple really, download their data... wait 4 weeks and download it again... do a difference.. note how old data keeps changing)


Thus the only useful thing you can do is analyse how said data is being changed. Especially given that there is no good reason to be altering supposedly archived data.

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:call me skeptical (359 comments)

I'm curious, how do they average for the whole year? Is it monthly averages that they average for the year? Is it daily data that is averaged for the whole year?
Whilst in theory they'd be the same in practice the former could be more affected by rounding errors than the latter.
There might also be the oddity that the daily "average" is that of the highest and lowest recorded on a specific "day" whereas the the other "averages" are arithmetic means. The possible complication with "day" is that differences between conventional "local time" and local time according the longitude can vary greatly.
Another reason why raw data (and metadata) can be so important...

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:call me skeptical (359 comments)

wow. and you wonder why people like me (skeptics, not deniers) find it hard to take you seriously when you resort to lambasting people for asking questions.

The scientific method relies on theories being "falsifiable". The specific aim is to try as hard as possible to prove a theory wrong. Being a skeptic tends to be a very good thing when it comes to this process.

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:call me skeptical (359 comments)

And what exactly does that mean? I can give you a list of biologists who claim Intelligent Design is true. It's a small list, dwarfed by the number of biologists who outright repudiate ID.

The scientific method does not use logical fallacies.
Instead it uses theories which are intended explain all of the relevent facts (be they from observation or experiment). N.B. It is perfectly ok to have more than one theory assuming all of them fit with the available facts. (Principles such as Occamâ(TM)s Razor can be applied to favour theories with the least number of assumptions, especially untestable assumptions.) Scientific theories can make testable predictions. Most importantly they are falsifiable, with one wrong answer being more important than a million right ones.
ID involves no falsifiable theories. Therefore it is not science.
AGW has made many specfic predictions, mostly through "climate models". However they are at odds with what has actually happened with the Earth's climate. Clinging to a falsified "theory" is not science either.

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:call me skeptical (359 comments)

Right now, what's happening is that these feedback loops are handling a good chunk of the extra energy retained by CO2 so that actual atmosphereic warming is not terribly pronounced. But there's a tipping point. Once the amount of energy exceeds the capacity for these feedback loops to handle, it's going to shut down, and the moderating factor suddenly ceases to exist. The precise points are uncertain, but we know it'll happen based on what we see happening in smaller systems. For example, as prey increases, predators will also increase. This results in prey decline and then predator decline. But if due to external circumstances, the predator population grows out of control, or the prey population is completely decimated, both predator and prey (whichever wasn't affected by the initial event) will die off.

What you are in effect saying is knowing how a small, simple, well understood system behaves will tell you how a large, complex, poorly understood system would behave. Even though every attempt to model the Earth's climate system has completly failed. The truth is that we really don't have a clue what is happening, let alone why.

The real open questions today involve when things will happen, and how bad they'll get when these things do happen. For example, if one system fails, it can cause a domino effect on all the other feedback loops and cause them to fail too. That's a possibility. But it's also a possibility that the feedback loop most susceptable to failure won't affect the others much. It's possible that this will happen in a century. Or it's possible there are yet more feedback loops that we currently don't know about that'll push significant atomspheric temperature increase farther into the future.

If you don't know if a feedback loop even exists you can't possibly speculate as to its nature. There could just as easily be negative feedbacks which have yet to be triggered. A very obvious negative feedback for carbon dioxide being photosythesis. N.B. looking at the biology of both plants and animals could lead to the conclusion that current carbon dioxide levels are LOW.

about two weeks ago
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NASA, NOAA: 2014 Was the Warmest Year In the Modern Record

mpe Re:Someone teach me something here... (359 comments)

Probably not (temperature reconstructions are problematic, which is why I say 'probably'). If you look at temperature reconstructions for the last 1,500 years, they vary but you can see there are clearly measured periods of time with a rapid rise in temperature, before the industrial age. Look at the time period at the year 750, for example.

These reconstructions are just that. They simply cannot be meaningfully compared with instrument readings. Short term changes (especially if they are cyclic) may be obvious on the latter, but completly missed by the former.

about two weeks ago
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How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

mpe Re:Application installers suck. (324 comments)

But MS never came up with a "bundle" concept like OS X (I think it was in 9 as well) that presents a folder as through it were a single application

This idea was present in RISCOS long before Apple came up with it.

about two weeks ago
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Proposed Penalty For UK Hackers Who "Damage National Security": Life

mpe Re:could be? (165 comments)

Could be? Come on - targeting whistleblowers is the point. It's not about damaging national security, the economy or the environment - it's about damaging somebody's political career.

If it was about any of these you'd expect it to be used against politicians, bankers, government contractors, etc.

about 3 months ago
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Snapchat Will Introduce Ads, Attempt To Keep Them Other Than Creepy

mpe Re: The first one is always free (131 comments)

The disadvantage is that designing such systems is much harder than designing a centralized system, that performance will be more unpredictable, it's hard to achive very low latencies, and that the creator will have less control.

Part of the latter is that it can make it far more difficult to datamine or snoop on the content.

about 3 months ago
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Why the FCC Will Probably Ignore the Public On Network Neutrality

mpe Re:Changes require systematic, reliable evidence.. (336 comments)

If the government wants to control the hundreds of billions of dollars of network infrastructure that private companies have invested it, it has an obligation to show that such control is the least burdensome method of achieving a compelling state interest.

How many of these actually are regular private companies? Public utilities, including telcos, often have all sorts of special rights plus direct and indirect subsidies granted to them even if nominally "private".

about 4 months ago
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It's Not Just How Smart You Are: Curiosity Is Key To Learning

mpe Re:.. and this is new ? (83 comments)

Actually, I believe it isn't curiosity that was tested. I believe it was interest. Interest != curiosity. Curiosity would involve something the subject didn't know. Interest is something totally different since it relies on a topic the subject already has some familiarity with.

Actually "curiosity" might still be the best term. Since it can be independent of how much knowlage of a subject someone currently has.
It's also important that this is subject specific and follows that person's own definition of the "subject". Which can be an issue in an educational environment.

about 4 months ago
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Possible Reason Behind Version Hop to Windows 10: Compatibility

mpe Re:I call hogwash (349 comments)

What is Microsoft going to do next? Windows 12, Windows 13, etc., up through Windows 29, and then skip to Windows 40 because Windows 3.x apps checked for version 3?

Though there's also "NT4" and "Windows 2000" to consider here.

Any software old enough to care about Win9x is software that Microsoft does not care about supporting on Windows 9.

Even if it does exist it would probably misidentity as "Windows 1".

about 4 months ago
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Solar Could Lead In Power Production By 2050

mpe Re:Only (167 comments)

Only if they orbit solar power satellites. Part time power is silly."

That eliminates the random element. But the power output will still be "part time" due to the Earth being in the way for about half the time. Only a geostationary orbit will not require any kind of tracking. A geosynchronous orbit creates a North-South ground track. (The article dosn't even mention Indonesia, BTW). Any other orbit is going to create a complex ground track requiring "handover" and possibly multiple satellites in the same orbit. There's also the issue of how do you create such a satellite which isn't capable to being used as a weapons grade maser.

Build 100 1000 megawatt fission plants and be done with it.

Which is something we already know how to do. Including designs which can be throttled and produce little long term radioactive waste.As well as designs which could be developed if money wasn't being squandered on wind and solar.

about 4 months ago

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