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US Adults Score Poorly On Worldwide Test

sien Odd for the country of Intel, Apple and Google (745 comments)

The curious thing about this is that the US leads the world in high technology companies in many areas.

Perhaps average adult scores don't matter that much. The distributions might be more important. Perhaps in the US there are enough really smart people to create Unix, C, SQL and many other things.

Also, for the record, I'm a non-American who has lived in the US and Europe. It's fascinating that to an outsider the US doesn't appear to have a surplus of intelligence and yet dominates in IT and many other scientific fields.

about a year ago

Krugman: Is the Computer Revolution Coming To a Close?

sien Gordon's Paper Question (540 comments)

Gordon's Paper has been thoroughly investigated by Roger Pielke Jnr at the Breakthrough Institute.

Gordon's smoothing of growth fails to show the variability and creates a picture of trends that are not really there. A quote from the article linked above:

In short, there is no evidence of a stair step reduction in the growth rate of US per capita GDP in either dataset. The US BEA and Census data shows essentially no change (a linear trend, blue line, shows a statistically insignificant downward tick) whereas the Maddison data shows a bit of an increase (red line). The data is sensitive to the time period chosen – for instance, from 1970 the BEA/Census data shows an increase in the annual rate of per capita GDP growth. I can find no evidence of a post-1950 secular decline in per capita economic growth in the United States, and in fact, there is evidence that growth rates have accelerated a bit from 1970.

about a year and a half ago

Renewable Energy Production Surpasses Nuclear In the US

sien Re:Cost? - Actuall the growing bit is corn ethanol (452 comments)

Ironically the troll at the top of the comment tree is correct.

The growth in renewable is actually primarily in biofuels, the majority of which is corn ethanol, which is produced, as Paul Gigot pointed out, by combining corn and taxpayer dollars.

more than 3 years ago

South Korea Launches First Electric Bus Fleet

sien Not the first - it was tried over 100 years ago (168 comments)

This is far from the first electric bus setup.

Around 100 years ago something similar was tried in London. The service collapsed in 1909.

With a bus fleet BTW you can do as they did 100 years ago and just swap out battery packs alleviating the need for long recharging times.

more than 3 years ago

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic

sien Re:Yet Again (807 comments)

Here is what climate scientist Edward Cook wrote regarding the accuracy of dendroclimatology:

Without trying to prejudice this work, but also because of what I
almost think I know to be the case, the results of this study will
show that we can probably say a fair bit about 100 year variability was like with any certainty (i.e. we know
with certainty that we know fuck-all).

From the climategate emails

Here is what Phil Jones said in his BBC interview regarding the Medieval Warm Period:

There is a debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was global or not. If it were to be conclusively shown that it was a global phenomenon, would you accept that this would undermine the premise that mean surface atmospheric temperatures during the latter part of the 20th Century were unprecedented?

There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere.

So Phil Jones is unsure if the MWP was global in extent and Edward Cook thinks we have very little idea at all. Perhaps the certainty in wikipedia is overstated.

more than 4 years ago

Huge Phishing Attack On Emissions Trade In Europe

sien Re:Is it only me (114 comments)

The US cap and trade on sulphur dioxide emissions was passed in 1990.

Overall, the Program's cap and trade program has been successful in achieving its goals. Since the 1990s, SO2 emissions have dropped 40%, and according to the Pacific Research Institute, acid rain levels have dropped 65% since 1976.[15][16] However, this was significantly less successful than conventional regulation in the European Union, which saw a decrease of over 70% in SO2 emissions during the same time period.[17]

S02 emissions were also falling from a peak in the late 1970s toward the 1990s, in other words the US S02 trading scheme was on an already declining path and was less successful than more direct European approaches.

S02 emissions trading was also local and not between countries which is another area where the proposed Green House Gas emissions trading schemes fall down. A corrupt county can just 'create' permits and then sell them. This has already happened with European and other schemes.

A tax would be a much more honest, much more transparent scheme than an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). ETS type solutions are attractive largely because politicians don't have to say they are a new tax, they can be easily gamed by giving out free permits and Enron style firms (including Enron itself before it went bankrupt) see a potential bonanza.

more than 4 years ago

Duke Nukem 3D Ported To Nokia N900

sien Re:Are there any smartphones... (95 comments)

You're right about controls. The current smart phones have poor controls. Buttons are heaps better. The on screen joysticks for smartphones don't cut it.

With blue tooth you can have dedicated controls as an add on. The n900 can use the wiimote.

more than 4 years ago

Nokia Offers Glimpse of Symbian Facelift

sien Re:I love the iPhone (114 comments)

The iphone is a fine device. But your statement wildly overstates impact and improvements of the iphone over other phones.

In 1997 a reasonable phone looked like the 1997 Nokia 3110. By 2007 Nokia had the N95

In the 10 years till 2007 mobile phones, before the iphone had the following improvements:

  • The 1999 and further Blackberries that changed mobile devices massively, possibly more than the iphone by giving people good mobile communications. Barack Obama was not addicted to updating facebook on his iphone, it was Blackberry.
  • mp3 players
  • net browsers, albeit not as good as the iphone's
  • gigabyte flash storage
  • mulit-megapixel cameras.

But yeah, other than that, there hadn't been that much improvement....

more than 4 years ago

Where the Global Warming Data Is

sien Re:Why are people getting so worked up (1011 comments)

Kilimanjaro has been retreating since the 1800s.

C02 in the atmosphere has only been shooting up since the 1950s. Pre-industrial C02 levels were about 2.8 parts per 10 000. As opposed to 4 or so now.

If these things pre-date C02's big increase this indicates a large role for natural climate variations.

This is what many skeptic say.

more than 4 years ago

UK Royal Society Claims Geo-engineering Feasible

sien Re:Global warming is a scam. (316 comments)

Below is an exact answer to part of the question of 3 reputable climate scientists who disagree with the consensus. The original was moderated to -1. If you are moderating and moderate views that you disagree with down even when they explicitly answer the question posed you are a lousy moderator.

So here again. 4 reputable climate scientists who disagree with what is above:

Richard Lindzen
Pat Michaels
Roy Spencer
Roger Pielke Snr

Look at the list of those who disagree on wikipedia and check the Senate Minority list for hundreds more.

about 5 years ago

UK Royal Society Claims Geo-engineering Feasible

sien Re:Global warming is a scam. (316 comments)

here are 4 reputable scientists who disagree with the consensus:

Richard Lindzen
Pat Michaels
Roy Spencer
Roger Pielke Snr

There is a whole page of them on that most hidden of sites, wikipedia. The page of scientists who oppose the consensus is worth looking at for getting some names. Then go and see what they say, wikipedia falls over on this because there is an edit war that is dominated by alarmists, so it can be difficult to see what they actually say themselves.

There is also a list of 650 or so scientists who disagree with global warming alarmism, the Senate Minority list has them.

They may be wrong, but there are way more than 3 scientists who are prepared to go on the record and speak out against global warming alarmism.

about 5 years ago

New Hitchhiker's Guide Book "Not Very Funny"

sien Re:meh Not a troll, a valid point of view (410 comments)

True, part of it probably is the way I read. However it seems to be the way quite a few people are.

That's true about some jokes working better in print. Douglas Adam's books have great jokes about ideas and words that work better in print than in other media.

But, in general, the devices available live appeal more. The big point is that the parent post was unfairly marked as a troll when the guy was probably was expressing his point of view and a point of view that is probably held by quite a few people here.

more than 5 years ago

New Hitchhiker's Guide Book "Not Very Funny"

sien Re:meh Not a troll, a valid point of view (410 comments)

Yeah, thanks, I have tried Pratchett and didn't like it. I keep meaning to read some more again and give it another chance.

Spaced is great. As are Black Books, The IT Crowd and The Inbetweeners.

more than 5 years ago

New Hitchhiker's Guide Book "Not Very Funny"

sien Re:meh Not a troll, a valid point of view (410 comments)

This is no troll. Humour in books doesn't work as well as it does on film, TV or live.

There are few books I've found to be really funny, and I read 30+ books a year. Douglas Adams' books along with say Catch-22 and maybe Running with Scissors are about the only ones that come to mind.

Humour works better when you can have the jokes delivered with timing. I've found audio books make some books much funnier when it's done well.

Even film has it's weaknesses for humour. Film tends to want a narrative to drive things and there often isn't enough time for character development. TV is better. I'd prefer The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Yes Prime Minister, Drop the Dead Donkey, Faulty Towers and Monty Python to most comedy films any day.

more than 5 years ago

Comparing the MMO Industry With the Silver Screen

sien Re:Classic Slashdot (95 comments)

Spot on.

And what's really great about slashdot is that it is also classic slashdot for people like you and others to come in with figures and good information and very correctly point out that the claim is BS.

That's why people stick around.

more than 5 years ago

Why Isn't the US Government Funding Research?

sien Figures to back up the claim (599 comments)

Exactly. The US is spending 2.6% of GDP on R & D. It is number two in the G7. Obama has said he wants to bring the spending up to 3.0%.

more than 5 years ago

French Fusion Experiment Delayed Until 2025 or Beyond

sien Crazy- this should be funded more to go faster (272 comments)

So the Europeans and the US governments say they are firmly convinced of dangerous anthropogenic global warming but they won't spend 15 Bn over 10 years to speed this up?

If fusion could be made to work for 2-3 times the cost of coal electricity massively reducing C02 emissions without massively cutting energy usage would be possible. It's worth spending money to find this out. Bjorn Lomborg, who is loathed by most environmentalists recommends spending more on alternative energy research. Anthorny Watts would probably approve spending more on this kind of fusion research.

Surely if the US and the Europe, that would collectively spend about 700 Bn a YEAR on defence are serious about alternative energy this should be funded more.

Steven Chu where are you?

more than 5 years ago

Predator C Avenger Makes First Flights

sien Re:F-22 (304 comments)

We as Chinese will feel unsafe until our technology is superior to yours. We cannot yet sleep safely at night.

As your economy, due to shocking mis-management and two unwise wars is already effectively depends on our savings we don't think that overtaking your military technology will be too tough in the next 50 years.

We believe that we must be ready for any contingency. With 4 times as many people and sustained 7 percent plus growth rates we will approach, catch and overtake you.

You may not be able to sleep safely in future.

Or we could work out ways to get along.

more than 5 years ago

$25M for Rackable to buy SGI is mostly ...

sien Re:SGI commited suicide before that. (165 comments)

SGI didn't commit suicide. The market just ate them.

Around 1999 the Octane were about 50K, at the time NT machines (think Ingergraph) appeared that were, for many, many purposes, just as capable. They were 10K.

In addition the MIPS chip was considerably worse than a dual proc x86 machine of the same vintage. I was working at a company where there was a C++ API. Compilation time on the SGI was 3 hours. It was 10 minutes on the Intergraph.

When cards like the Nvidia Quadro and FireGL cards came they were better than SGI machines and cost a few thousand dollars.

SGI's model of a proprietary in house system just stopped working as x86 and graphics cards just got better and better.

Even the high end Onyx graphics setups became obsolete a few years later when clusters of PCs started to kick in.

SGI's engineers have gone to places like ATI & Nvidia. While it's sad to see that the company is pretty much worth nothing, it's not the end of the world. SGI did great stuff but their time has passed.

more than 5 years ago

How Moore's Law Saved Us From the Gopher Web

sien Licensing (239 comments)

It's surprising that no one here on slashdot has pointed out that a major difference between the html and gopher was that gopher services had to get a licence from the University of Minnesota while http servers could be constructed without a licence.

Free open software with free open standards is what got the web going.

more than 5 years ago



New Nintendo Wii Accessory and game - Wii Fit

sien sien writes  |  more than 7 years ago

sien (35268) writes "Nintendo have announced a new accessory for the Wii, a balance board. The balance board will come with a new game, Wii Fit. More from Ars Technica. Will this be a new Nintendo Power Glove or will it increase the sales of the Wii and turning into the most successful of the new generation of consoles?"

sien sien writes  |  more than 7 years ago

sien (35268) writes "The manufacturer of the OLPC, Quanta, intends to sell $200 versions of the laptop in developed countries according to this arstechnica post. These laptops will be sold at cost, without making a contribution to the OLPC project."

sien sien writes  |  more than 7 years ago

sien (35268) writes "In a similar vein to the One Laptop Per Child computer Intel have announced that they intend to produce a similar cheap laptop using flash storage. The story is on The Age and also at the Herald Tribune. The entry of Intel and the declaration that Microsoft intend to get Windows running on the One Laptop Per Child machine suggests that there may be a general market for a cheap, robust laptop without hard drive or optical storage."


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