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Comments

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Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

riverat1 Re:Or it could be (136 comments)

They pay a lot of money to organization who specifically fund global warming deniers.

They tried that with Richard Muller and BEST but it kind of backfired.

1 hour ago
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

riverat1 Re:We don''t do tax returns in the UK,you insensit (377 comments)

I still can't figure out why everyone complains so much about taxes.

It's mostly because politicians tell them they're taxed too much and should complain. It has nothing to do with actual tax rates, just a way to make political hay that sounds good to a lot of low information voters.

yesterday
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Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

riverat1 Re:Tax Act vs Turbo Tax (377 comments)

If you can get through. I heard a news story yesterday that said the IRS is so starved of operating funds by Congress that about 40% of the calls to them went unanswered last year. Keep trying I guess.

yesterday
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Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket

riverat1 Re:huh? (317 comments)

Well, I haven't been streaming Netflix on Comcast but lately both my (Comcast supplied) television reception and internet connection have been showing a lot more short drop-outs and picture defects. Wonder if there's a connection?

What pisses me off the most is sometimes I'll pause a radio stream that I'm listening to and I'll come back in a half hour or so and it got disconnected so I lost the show that was paused.

The one thing that would improve internet access the most in the US would be to declare the wires/fibers that deliver the content as common carriers totally separate from the providers of content.

yesterday
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:Gotta board this train soon (423 comments)

As defined by the World Meteorological Organization the classical climate period is 30 years, long enough for the short term variations to average out but short enough for longer term variations to be discerned. So a reasonable judgement would be how well the model output matches the 30 year running mean of global temperature. You'll have to wait 15 years to see how well they match 2014.

Better yet you can learn a bit more about how climate models work by reading these FAQs written by Gavin Schmidt, one of the principles for the NASA/GISS Model E, one of the worlds major climate models:

FAQ on climate models
FAQ on climate models: Part II

He also wrote a post On mismatches between models and observations that is very interesting. It shows that he understands very well the issues involved in models and data collection.

And finally here is an Ars Technica article on Why trust climate models? It's a matter of simple science.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:Solar and wind compliment, not compete (423 comments)

Before the natural gas boom it was still cheaper, faster and more profitable to build coal power plants than nuclear power plants. There are some costs in the government paperwork but coal plants have plenty of paperwork of their own to go through. The paperwork for a nuclear plant may be excessive but given that the American taxpayer is on the hook for any major nuclear accident (see the Price-Anderson Act) I'm not complaining about it. Better too much rather than too little. It's a little hard to pin down the costs of the Fukushima incident cleanup but it looks like it's sure to be over $50 billion and counting.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:The cost of mitigation is cheap. (423 comments)

I was wrong. To put it precisely the "percentage point reduction in annualized growth rate from 2010 - 2100" is 0.06% for strong mitigation.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:Renewables (423 comments)

Actually I was wrong. To put it precisely the "percentage point reduction in annualized growth rate from 2010 - 2100" is 0.06% for strong mitigation.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 The cost of mitigation is cheap. (423 comments)

According to the report the cost of mitigating global warming is about 0.6% of gross world product. All of the alarmists who say it's going to cost too much are wrong.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:The premis is flawed (423 comments)

So where is the temperature rise that caused CO2 levels to rise to a concentration not seen for millions of years?

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:The Emperor Has No Data (423 comments)

There has been some scientific research done that indicates it's impossible the Earth to drop into another ice age as long as CO2 levels remain above 280 ppm.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:Ah, the joys of getting old (423 comments)

It's easy to blame environmentalists for the lack of nuclear power in the US but it really has more to do with nuclear being one of the more expensive ways to produce power. It's cheaper and quicker to build a coal or natural gas plant and you don't have to get government loan guarantees or government provided liability insurance to do it. If nuclear really were cheaper than coal there would have been more nuclear power plants built despite the cries of anti-nuke environmentalists.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:Renewables (423 comments)

According to the report the expected cost of mitigating global warming would be about 0.6% of gross world product. I'd hardly call that and economic disaster.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:Gotta board this train soon (423 comments)

Climate models are not expected to predict such short term variability. To try and judge them on that just shows you don't understand what they do.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:Active countermeasures required. (423 comments)

A satellite shade, something that can block a small percentage of total radiation on a day to day basis could really mitigate the warming without being impossible.

There are two problems with that "solution". First you are blocking solar radiation which will necessarily reduce the amount of photosynthesis going on which will reduce crop yields. How much difference that makes I don't know but the effect is not zero. Second, it does nothing to stop ocean acidification which may turn out to be a bigger problem than global warming in the long run.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

riverat1 Re:a "people who can't do arithmetic" thing. Green (423 comments)

The question going forward is is nuclear power going to be able to compete with other methods of producing power? Contrary to many peoples opinions the primary reason more nuclear power has not been built in the US is because it couldn't compete with other methods of producing power on a cost basis. Even now it's not clear it can compete with solar and wind power going forward especially if the solve the problem of a reasonable cost means of storing power to even out the ebbs and flows of renewable power.

2 days ago
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UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming

riverat1 Re:Projections (987 comments)

1. What makes you think that information isn't available? All you have to do is read the published literature.
2. What makes you think they're not continuing to gather tree ring proxies?
3. What makes you think differing hypotheses are not considered if they have scientific value?
4. If they've got evidence to back it up and no substantial dissent then why not?
5. Ok.
6. If they have no scientific basis then why shouldn't I be dismissive?
7. Always.

3 days ago

Submissions

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Extreme Hot Temperature Days Increase Despite Warming "Hiatus"

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about a month and a half ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "A new study published in Nature Climate Change (pay walled) finds that despite the "hiatus" in global temperature rise the the area and time span of extreme heat days continues to rise. As explained in an article at Phys.org temperatures for every day were compared to the same calendar day from 1979 to 2012 and the hottest 10% of days were classified as hot temperature extremes. They found on average extremely hot events are affecting more than twice the area they did 30 years ago and the upward trend in the number of days and area affected persisted right through the warming "hiatus".

"Our analysis shows there has been no pause in the increase of warmest daily extremes over land and the most extreme of the extreme conditions are showing the largest change," said Dr Markus Donat.

"Another interesting aspect of our research was that those regions that normally saw 50 or more excessive hot days in a year saw the greatest increases in land area impact and the frequency of hot days. In short, the hottest extremes got hotter and the events happened more often."

"
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Comet ISON Nears Date With Sun

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 5 months ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "Now visible in the morning sky comet ISON will swing around the Sun on November 28. ISON will pass 730,000 km above the surface of the Sun at closest approach (Mercury's perihelion distance is 46 million km). If it survives its near brush with the Sun it could provide a spectacular sky show from December into January. This NASA timeline shows that ISON will be the most observed comet ever as instruments ranging from a balloon carried telescope to the Hubble Space Telescope to the STEREO satellites will be brought into play. Lowell Observatory astronomer Matthew Knight lays out three possibilities for ISON, spontaneous disintegration before it gets to the Sun (less than 1% chance), disintegration as it rounds the Sun or survival. If it survives its closest approach to Earth will be on December 26 at about 1/3 of an AU."
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NWS Announces Big Computer Upgrade

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about a year ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "After being embarrassed when the Europeans did a better job forecasting Sandy than the National Weather Service Congress allocated $25 million ($23.7 after sequestration) in the Sandy relief bill for upgrades to forecasting and supercomputer resources. The NWS announced that their main forecasting computer will be upgraded from the current 213 TeraFlops to 2,600 TFlops by fiscal year 2015, over a twelve-fold increase. The upgrade is expected to increase the horizontal grid scale by a factor of 3 allowing more precise forecasting of local features of weather. The some of the allocated funds will also be used to hire some contract scientists to improve the forecast model physics and enhance the collection and assimilation of data."
Link to Original Source
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BEST finds surface temperature changes track GHG emissions and volcanoes

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about a year ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature studies latest release finds that land surface temperature changes since 1750 are nearly completely explained by increases in greenhouse gases and large volcanic eruptions. They also said that including solar forcing did not significantly improve the fit. Unlike the other major temperature records BEST used nearly all available temperature records instead of just a representative sample. Yet to come is an analysis that includes ocean temperatures."
Link to Original Source
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Chinese Build Sperm Extractor

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "In a bid to help men with infertility problems a Chinese hospital has built a sperm extractor.

Designed as an entirely automated and hands-free solution, the massaging device comes with a wide range of customizable features that allow patients to adjust the temperature, amplitude, frequency and speed to his liking. The machine also features a display screen and a surround sound system users can connect to using headphones.

According to the article the machine cost $2,800. Will this be the new must have accessory for /.'ers living in their mom's basement?"
Link to Original Source

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Sea Level Rise Can't be Stopped

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  about 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "Sea level rise won't stop for several hundred years even if we reverse global warming according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. As warmer water is mixed down into the oceans it causes thermal expansion of the water. Under the best emissions scenario the expected rise is 14.2 cm, under the worst 32.2 cm in 2100 (6 & 13 inches) from thermal expansion alone. Any glacial/ice sheet melt and water pumped from aquifers is on top of that. An easier to read summary is available at Reuters."
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Predator Drone Helps Nab Cattle Rustlers

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "KTLA reports police in North Dakota arrested 3 men accused of cattle rustling with the help of a Predator B drone from nearby Grand Forks AFB. The sheriff of Nelson Country was chased off by 3 armed men when he went to serve a warrant so he came back the next morning with reinforcements including the drone which, while circling 2 miles overhead, was able to determine the whereabouts of the men on their 3,000 acre spread and the fact that they were unarmed. A SWAT team quickly moved in and apprehended the men. Local police say they have used the Predator drones for at least 2 dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and DEA have used the drones for domestic investigations as well.

Big Brother is watching."

Link to Original Source
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IBM scientist to launch TV series on computing

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "A story over at InfoQ reports Grady Booch, IBM's Chief Scientist for Software Engineering, is going to create an 11 episode TV series on Computing — The Human Experience. The projects web site says:

Computing will explain the essential science of computing, present the stories of the people, events and inventions of computing, examine the connections among computing, science, and society, contemplate the future. In the spirit of Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Computing will inform, inspire, entertain. Computing is neither a lecture, nor a textbook, nor a dramatic recreation. It's an exploration and a conversation between the viewer and one of the industry's luminaries, delivered with wit, depth, and provocation.

The projects advisory board includes Vint Cerf, Alan Kay, Tim O'Reilly, and Mary Shaw."
Link to Original Source

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Dropping CO2 levels caused Antarctic ice sheet to

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "In a news release from Purdue University a new study finds that CO2 level dropping below ~600 ppmv lead to the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet about 33.7 million years ago. The team studied geochemical remnants of ancient algae from cores drilled in geologically stable areas of the ocean floor. The focus was on two sites in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Mark Pagani, the Yale geochemist who led the study cautioned it doesn't necessarily mean the ice sheet will melt at 600 ppmv of CO2 and said even if we reach the tipping point it will take thousands of years to completely melt it. The study is published in Science Magazine (paywalled)."
Link to Original Source
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The Strange Birth and Long Life of Unix

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes " The classic operating system turns 40, and its progeny abound.

After AT&T dropped the Multics project in March of 1969 Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie of Bell Labs through a combination of discarded equipment and subterfuge continued to work on the project eventually writing the first programming manual for System I in November 1971. A paper published in 1974 in the Communications of the ACM on Unix brought a flurry of requests for copies. Since AT&T was restricted from selling products not directly related to telephones or telecommunications they released it to anyone who asked for a nominal license fee. At conferences they displayed the policy on a slide saying "No advertising, no support, no bug fixes, payment in advance." From that grew an ecosystem of users supporting users much like the Linux community. The rest is history."

Link to Original Source
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"Game Changing" Furnace Improves Solar PV Producti

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "

A game-changing Optical Cavity Furnace developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory uses optics to heat and purify solar cells at unmatched precision while sharply boosting the cells' efficiency.

So states a release by the NREL. The furnace uses about half the energy of a conventional thermal furnace, costs one quarter to one half as much and processes wafers in a significantly shorter time. Researchers ultimately expect to be able to improve solar cell efficiency by about 4% using the furnace."
Link to Original Source

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NASA explains sea level drop

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 writes "In 2010 sea level dropped 6 mm (nearly 1/4 inch). An August 23, 2011 update from NASA's Sea Level Sentinels explains the shift from El Nino to La Nina in early 2010 led to changes in rainfall worldwide that produced massive flooding in places such as Australia and the northern Amazon basin. Data from the GRACE satellites shows that the missing water has piled up on the continents. But the drop won't last, water flows downhill and will eventually find its way back to the sea."
Link to Original Source
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Gaddafi's monitoring of the internet

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "The Next Web has a story on Muammar Gaddafi's monitoring of the internet and other telecommunications. As you might expect the monitoring was intense. The story names companies that supplied the monitoring software, most notably Amesys, a unit of the French company Bull SA. There is apparently a more detailed story behind the paywall at the Wall Street Journal here."
Link to Original Source
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Satisfaction Higher With More Government

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "Dr. Patrick Flavin of Baylor, said the effect of state intervention into the economy equaled or exceeded marriage when it came to satisfaction in a study is published in the spring issue of the journal Politics & Policy. The article at physorg.com reports that the data comes from the World Values Survey 2005 that included 10,405 people from 15 advanced countries who were asked the question "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?". On a scale of 1-10 the overall average was 7.39. In the US it was 7.26. Flavin says the results hold regardless of the wealth, political leanings, marital status, health, education and other factors."
Link to Original Source
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Kentucky Announces Creationism Theme Park

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "On December 1 Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that a creationism theme part is expected to open in 2014. The Louisville Courier-Journal has the story.

The park called Ark Encounter will have a 500 foot replica of the Ark with live animals on it and a Tower of Babel explaining how races and languages developed. The park will be turned over to Answers in Genesis after it is built. They are a non-profit organization which may allow them to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion."

Link to Original Source
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Building Roads With Sand And Bacteria

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "Sand mixed with a solution containing Bacillus Pasteurii could be used to create engineered sandstone roads replacing asphalt with a cheaper, lighter colored surface that reflects more solar radiation and requires less nighttime lighting than asphalt. Bacillus Pasteurii cements sand grains together with calcium carbonate. It currently takes 320 barrels of oil to make the asphalt for a kilometer of roadway. Thomas Kosbau and Andrew Wetzler won the iida 2010 prize for their idea. Requested attribution: The iida awards are organized by designboom in collaboration with Incheon Metropolitan City."
Link to Original Source
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Real party animal helps study alcohol abuse

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

riverat1 (1048260) writes "From TFA: "Prairie voles, by their nature, stick with one mate for life and devotedly care for babies together. But given alcohol to drink, many become staggering drunkards prone to stepping out on their partners."

A study of the voles at Oregon Health & Science University found that unlike the traditional lab rats or mice they prefer alcohol (6%) to plain water. A single vole will drink equal amounts of water and alcohol but two of them living together will party down taking 4/5ths of their drinks from the alcohol spiked bottle suggesting social bonds play as big a role on drinking behavior as they do in any college fraternity. The study may lead to insights in human drinking."

Link to Original Source
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Air-fueled Battery Could Last Up to 10 Times Long

riverat1 riverat1 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

riverat1 writes "British researchers at the University of St. Andrews are investigating technology that could lead to longer lasting, lighter and cheaper lithium batteries. The battery uses oxygen from the air as a re-agent and replaces the lithium cobalt oxide cathode with porous carbon. So far they have more than tripled the capacity and are targeting a 5-10 fold increase in storage capacity. The battery could have applications all the way from personal electronics to vehicles up to storage of power for later use when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing."
Link to Original Source

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