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Comments

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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

stoatwblr Re:It's getting hotter still! (575 comments)

"Distinction without difference. Both ice caps were supposed to melt — dangerously increasing water-levels planetwide."

Arctic ice floats on water. Melting it makes no difference to sea level.

Greenland ice is a different matter and Greenland's glaciers are moving quite fast now.

4 hours ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

stoatwblr Re:It's getting hotter still! (575 comments)

Not to mention that sea ice is very thin and disappears quickly when sunlight starts hitting it.

Contrast and compare with land-ice which is thousands of metres thick across much of the continent.

The better measurement is _volume_ of ice, not _extent_ of ice.

4 hours ago
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

stoatwblr Re:Ask the US Postal Service (124 comments)

I'm not.

The problem is you have to pay your examiners evenhandedly for _rejecting_ applications as well as accepting them.

Taking money away afterwards isn't going to help nearly as much as decent statistical modelling of what should be average and then taking a much closer look at examiners who appear to be gaming the system (it's possible to pick up "gaming" to appear average too.)

The reason is that the interval between patent approval and court overturn may well be a decade or more. People simply don't think that far ahead when operating in a fraudulent manner.

5 hours ago
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Indian Mars Mission Has Completed 95% of Its Journey Without a Hitch

stoatwblr Re:On a similarly irrelevant note (112 comments)

"Just because we eat fried potatoes does not mean we have a civilisation based on the Incas."

Or the Moors - which is where deepfried foods came into europe from.

yesterday
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School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

stoatwblr Re:We had (228 comments)

IIRC the UK has never used fingerprint scanners in school cafeterias (unhygenic, spoofable and unreliable). Most contactless biometric hand scanners work on infrared images of subdermal vein patterns - which are at least as unique as fingerprints _and_ come with built in pulse detection.

yesterday
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

stoatwblr Re:This is not a new or unique problem (124 comments)

A lot of the time a _good_ union(*) will tell an employee they don't have a leg to stand on when making bogus claims.

It's not in their interest to back unreasonable demands, as it antagonises employers and other union members alike.

(*) ie, not the Teamsters.

yesterday
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

stoatwblr Re:OY (124 comments)

"If you fired the bottom 20% on any given day the only thing you'd noticed at work would be the availability of more parking spots in the morning and possibly the productivity would go up since management could spend more time training and less time on personnel (off duty/discipline) issues."

Management would notice it, because it reduces the number of people under them, so their pay grade might be diminished.

That's why it's so bloody hard to ratchet staffing levels down in govt departments.

yesterday
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US Patent Office Seeking Consultant That Can Stamp Out Fraud By Patent Examiners

stoatwblr Re:Ask the US Postal Service (124 comments)

"They should perhaps pay patent examiners some money annually for each patent that is passed"

They do. That's the problem. There's no incentive to be overly critical on an application because you don't get paid if you reject it.

They also get paid more for examining more patents in a given period, which has the same effect.

The other problem (not enough work) is a direct result of "featherbedding" - managers with more employees under them end up with higher pay grades. This happens in large corporates but far more often in govt departments.

yesterday
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

stoatwblr Re:Not just Reno (438 comments)

1: Cheap gas is still a CO2 source - and the USA's CO2 footprint hasn't reduced by anything meaningful since cheap gas came online.

2: "Cheap gas" is mostly driven by rules requiring drillers to sell their product "or else!" - even when the amount they're receiving is lower than the cost of extraction, instead of allowing them to withhold gas until the price is sufficient to cover costs. The end result has been a rash of bankruptcies and a marked cooling off of new exploration, which leads to...

3: Fracked shale gas wells initially produce a burst of gas then taper off rapidly, with an average lifespan of only 3-5 "productive" years. The USA gas boom can only be maintained with constant drilling and fracking, but economic pressures as described above are already starting to cause a supply pinch.

4: The USA exempted fracking rigs from many environmental laws, compliance with those would have driven up costs substantially and made drilling mostly uneconomic. By contrast, european rigs are not exempt and there are no moves to change this.

The overall result is that there never will be a wave of "cheap" gas in europe and US gas prices can be expected to climb over the next few years.

2 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

stoatwblr Re:Not just Reno (438 comments)

"I keep hearing people say this and never backing it up with facts. I know renewables have their own environmental issues but why should they be a show stopper? "

Because they can't supply baseload.

(Geothermal is NOT a renewable. History shows that the extracted heat tends to be pulled from the ground faster than it's supplied from below - Iceland is one of the very few exceptions worldwide - and they also have significant environmental impacts due to highly polluted groundwater entering the ecosphere.)

With the best will in the world, until every large renewable source is piggybacked by a battery bank, they never will be able to supply baseload either - which is why utilities are refusing to connect them unless forced to, or are paying renewables generators to NOT connect.

If the amount of subsidy poured into solar since the 1970s had been put into LFTRs instead we'd already have a large fleet of nuke plants which are significantly safer _by design_ than the Heath-Robinson (Rube-Goldberg for your USAians) contraptions currently deployed and being built and, would produce at least 98% less high level waste than those current designs and be a LOT harder to extract any form of bomb-making material from too. On top of that, because they don't need to run on enriched uranium, the environmental (and carbin) impact of mining for fuel is vastly reduced, let alone the energy requirements of enriching and the substantial wastage of potential fuel at that point (250 tons of mined uranium becomes 140 tons of enriched uranium and 90 tons of depleted uranium, both of which can actually be used for fuel but it's much easier to mine thorium and feed that to a LFTR instead)

Instead, the only existing LFTR plant was last run in the 1960s and shut down by presidential order in 1972 because it couldn't produce plutonium.

2 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

stoatwblr Re:Not just Reno (438 comments)

"Totally agree, but when people cite Germany as being well on their way to using 100% renewables they are missing the facts that Germany has increased its CO2 emissions in the last several years with its shift away from nuclear and they are increasing use of cheap dirty coal to balance the higher costs of renewables."

Not just that but they're making up for the removal of the nucelar baseload supply by importing electricity from France's nuclear fleet.

In other words Germany didn't really stop using nukes, they just shifted the source.

2 days ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

stoatwblr Re:What about other devices? (418 comments)

In the UK, using Dell's configurator you can remove Windows from the build.

Cost difference == nothing.

Either windows is free or you're paying the tax regardless.

2 days ago
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China Targets 2022 For Space Station Completion

stoatwblr Re:Been there, done that. (100 comments)

They asked.

The USA said no. All the other nations involved said yes.

4 days ago
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Surprise! More Than Twice As Much Mercury In Environment As Thought

stoatwblr Re: Broken light bulbs. (173 comments)

" Scrubbers are not perfect, but they catch a lot of mercury and other pollutants."

Yup, and they dump them into ash ponds, which are toxic cesspits the power companies conveniently ignore until they burst their containment.

One burst last year in the southeastern USA. The environmental damage was significantly worse than Deepwater horizon.

There are 5000 _known_ ashponds of the same or larger size in the USA.

Catching the bad stuff and putting it somewhere is not the same as mitigating the overall problem.

about a week ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

stoatwblr Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

FWIW, the energy expended by a single cold front passing over the Rockies is far higher than the theoretical yields of the world's nuclear weapons combined.

Nukes are nasty, no argument there.

Bear this point in mind:

Military commanders authorised to use nukes in the cold war (either side) only ever did so _once_ in battlefield simulations. After that they would actively avoid using them and would surrender rather than deploy the things.

Putin might have nukes, but he'd have to kill a lot of the military high command before he'd get to use them.

about a week ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

stoatwblr Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

The issue wasn't WMDs used _within_ Iraq.

The specific, explicit claim was that Iraq had WMDs ready and mounted on missiles to go against neighbouring countries on 5 minutes notice

None of the three parts(*) of that claim were ever proven

1: Prepared WMDs
2: WMDs mounted on missiles
3: Missiles poised to fire against neighbours (WMD equipped or not) on 5 minutes notice.

about a week ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

stoatwblr Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

"Like, for example, precise ground-to-ground missiles to let them destroy a Russian "Grad" [wikipedia.org] parked behind an apartment building without hitting the building too."

1: Do you honestly believe the weapons are that accurate? The tv snippets you see are the ones you're supposed to see. The ones you don't see are the ones like helo pilots strafing civilians or bombs hitting entirely the wrong target.

2: The explosion will do for the building in any case,

about a week ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

stoatwblr Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

"France has entered into a material agreement to sell Russia an aircraft carrier."

As of last friday, that agreement has been ripped up.

about a week ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

stoatwblr Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

"Well, it's either the political class or the military that's running things right now. "

The military class(*) don't want wars. They know there's too much to risk involved.

(*) The real military. Those who grew up in it. Not the pre-20th century "noble classes" who knew nothing about tactics or battlefields but were given commanding positions and played with mens lives as if it was a game of Risk.

about a week ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

stoatwblr Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

As I recall, Russia was "invited" into Afghanistan too. That didn't end so well.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Spamhaus subjected to BGP routing attack on 21st March

stoatwblr stoatwblr writes  |  about a year and a half ago

stoatwblr (2650359) writes "At the same time Spamhaus website was being DDoS attacked, AS34109 (C3rob/Cyberbunker) were propagating BGP routes for Spamhaus' namservers, according to the blog at https://greenhost.nl/2013/03/21/spam-not-spam-tracking-hijacked-spamhaus-ip/

It's surprising this hasn't been more widely reported, to say the least.

C3rob have posted a number of ranting followups to the blog."

Link to Original Source

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