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Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

zooblethorpe H-S shift between Greek and Latin (443 comments)

Much as Budgenator said, the haline in thermohaline refers to salt.

There is a common pattern in some words with Greek and Latin roots, where the Greek will start with H while the Latin starts with S. So it is here with haline (Greek root) and saline (Latin root).

Other examples include Greek hyper and Latin super ("over, above" -- remember that the Y in Greek roots was often pronounced more like an ü, and not like the /ai/ sound of English eye or hyper), Greek hypo and Latin sub ("under, beneath"), Greek hept- and Latin sept- ("seven").


about a week ago

A Thousand Kilobots Self-Assemble Into Complex Shapes

zooblethorpe Re:640k? (56 comments)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster...

Oh. Never mind. :-P

On a more serious note, this looks like the beginning of multicellular robotic life. Whee! How long until the grey goo?


about two weeks ago

KDE Releases Plasma 5

zooblethorpe "unpaid QA/alpha tester for buggy crap" (108 comments)

I tried [software] because so many people told me it was ready, not to be some unpaid QA/alpha tester for buggy crap. That's the kind of work you'd have to pay me to do, free is not worth it. Expect people to get angry when you pull a bait and switch on them, even if you didn't do the baiting. And even though all it costs me was time I actually value my time and despite those who waste it.

Huh. You've just brilliantly described my experience as a user of high-end seven-figure Enterprise Ready! software. I can imagine the vendor's management team in conference: "QA? Testing? That's what the user base is for."


about a month and a half ago

Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

zooblethorpe Wrong units (504 comments)

Size? Potential size?

you mean in square feet?

No, no -- he's clearly talking in terms of coconuts to sparrows.


about 4 months ago

Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

zooblethorpe Inhaling (397 comments)

I am in favor of sensible regulation. This one isn't sensible, so I oppose it.

It's amazing though. Express any support for any sort of law or regulation, even the law against murder and suddenly some think you want to decide how many times they can inhale in an hour. I have no idea why.

Sometimes I think it has everything to do with how many times they inhale in an hour, and quite what they are inhaling. Some of their viewpoints just don't make sense otherwise.


about 4 months ago

Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

zooblethorpe Does spent grain lead to *any* food poisoning? (397 comments)

Cry freedom all you want, but when something goes bad in the industrialized food chain, millions of innocent people are affected. And if there is no trace, fixing the problem may take months or years.

The last big food poisoning scare I recall hearing about was E. coli in tomatoes and lettuce that had been grown using untreated sewage. Spent brewery grains have nothing to do with that.

The last big meat-related food poisoning scare I recall hearing about was E. coli in processed chicken that had come from offal winding up in the machinery, and then in the meat. Spent brewery grains have nothing to do with that.

The last big meat-related scare I recall hearing about that wasn't E. coli was from BSE caused by cattle eating feed mixed with dead cattle. Spent brewery grains have nothing to do with that, at least directly.

So what would this proposed change in regulation possibly have to do with preventing food poisoning? I'm honestly at a loss for what problem this would fix.

about 4 months ago

GM Names Names, Suspends Two Engineers Over Ignition-Switch Safety

zooblethorpe Comparison to code bugs a bit flawed (236 comments)

The fine article submission asks:

Is it a good thing that people who engineer for a living can now get their names on national news for parts designed 10 years ago? The next time your mail goes down, should we know the name of the guy whose code flaw may have caused that?

One key difference here is that the engineer(s) responsible for redesigning the switch and not changing the part number were not just implementing an everyday change that happened to be buggy. By not changing the part number, their actions are more akin to trying to fix a known bug that has exposed the company to huge potential liabilities, and then hacking the version control system to make it look like the bug was never there, in full intentional pursuit of obfuscation and ass-covering.


about 5 months ago

Enlightenment E19 To Have Full Wayland Support

zooblethorpe Emerging (140 comments)

No, it seems that half of the people reading this article crawled out from under a rock in the last couple weeks.

Well, it *is* spring in the northern hemisphere, that might have something to do with it.


about 5 months ago

First Mathematical Model of 13th Century 'Big Bang' Cosmology

zooblethorpe Language geek details on French nouns and gender (60 comments)

Wouldn't that be "grosstete"?

The first "e" in the French word tête has that funny hat on it, technically called a circumflex. This tells us that this vowel used to be followed by an "s" in earlier stages of the French language. So tête derives from older form teste.

The word tête is also feminine, so any adjectives must also use the feminine form. French gros (from Latin grossus) in the feminine form becomes grosse.

So, just as expected, gros + tête == grosse tête as spelled in modern French, and grosse teste in Old French, whence the Norman French language and names of 1200s England, courtesy William the Conqueror.


about 6 months ago

70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

zooblethorpe Oo, more confusion? (676 comments)

Six of one...

I prefer seven of nine, myself.


about 6 months ago

Visual Effects Artists Use MPAA's Own Words Against It

zooblethorpe Oo, you missed it -- (131 comments)

And Bush before him, and Clinton before him and Bush before him, etc etc. Lets get real, corporate ownership of government is a wholly buy-partisan endeavor.

Given the money in politics these days, that's not just a fun turn of phrase, it's the truth.


about 6 months ago

FBI Has Tor Mail's Entire Email Database

zooblethorpe Re:Codetalkers (195 comments)

What the Navajo codetalkers would not know is what the fuck a "wind talker" is.

Sounds flatulent. Perhaps it's the code word for politician? :-P


about 7 months ago

FBI Has Tor Mail's Entire Email Database

zooblethorpe Codetalkers (195 comments)

Phone lines, but only if you speak in Navajo.

Historical trivia -- the Navajo codetalkers didn't just speak in the Navajo language, they spoke in a strange code that used Navajo vocabulary. So instead of simply translating the word abreast for so many people walking shoulder-to-shoulder, they would encode that first as ant breast, and then translate that into the corresponding Navajo, probably wóláchíí be’. More here. Other Navajo speakers who hadn't been trained in the code wouldn't understand what was being said. The Japanese even captured a native Navajo speaker in the Philippines, Joe Keiyoomia, but since he hadn't ever been trained as a codetalker, he wasn't able to make any sense of the codetalker code.


about 7 months ago

How Farming Reshaped Our Genomes

zooblethorpe Handful of genome samples does not a species make. (144 comments)

What is this silliness, that "humans" in the broad, blanket sense could not digest starch? Feh.

We already know from analysis of Neanderthal remains that they could digest starch, and did in fact eat things like starchy tubers and grains. By 8000 years ago, it's generally accepted that the Neanderthals were no more, at least as a distinct population, and that any remaining Neanderthal-specific genes had been absorbed by the wider Cro Magnon population. (Interestingly, it sounds like the Neanderthal genes might give their descendants, i.e. non-sub-Saharan-Africa humans, extra resistance to viral infection.)

This study, where evidence from one individual is extrapolated to the entire human population, sounds silly in the extreme. "One Size Fits All!" never really does.


about 7 months ago

20,000 Customers Have Pre-Ordered Over $2,000,000 of Soylent

zooblethorpe Aversion to offal rises with industrialization? (543 comments)

For some reason in the past century or so, Americans and other Western cultures have started to develop an aversion to offal, but that's a recent and somewhat stupid development.

I wonder if that timing is indicative -- I wonder if the Western aversion to organ meets is at all related to the ways in which 1) organ meats typically contain higher concentrations of environmental poisons, and 2) the number and dangerousness of environmental poisons has increased substantially since we started learning how to make more of them.


about 7 months ago

AMC Theaters Allegedly Calls FBI to Interrogate a Google Glass Wearer

zooblethorpe Re: Lesson from this story...don't be a glass hol (1034 comments)

argh.. typo... "right" should be "rich".

Though, politically, there seems to be an awful lot of overlap... Somehow I'm reminded of this scene. Ah, science!


about 7 months ago

Creationism In Texas Public Schools

zooblethorpe Why not convert to Sithrak! (770 comments)

You may be on to something there. The creator as incompetent and sadistic cretin sounds pretty consistent with observable facts.

Have you noticed that life is cruel and insensible?

That's because the creator is angry and insane -- Sithrak the Blind Gibberer!

So why not convert to Sithrak -- the god who hates you unconditionally., sourced from: (use caution: other pages on this site are definitely NSFW)


about 7 months ago

Ted Nelson's Passionate Eulogy for Douglas Engelbart

zooblethorpe Amplified, sure enough. (110 comments)

In other words, the world we're living in, except for that bit about "amplified intelligence".

No, no, things are certainly amplified, so that part is correct. It's the "intelligence" part that's a bit off the mark here. Networking can help leverage the abilities of each of the networked nodes (people, in this case). When many of those nodes excel at being dumb animals, well, you get a heavy preponderance of lolcats and porn. Many (perhaps most?) of us humans are just living day to day and trying to get by. Not a lot of room there for higher-order thinking.

Lest we lose sight of all hope, it's important to recognize that it's not all gloom and doom, though -- despite all the porn and lolcats, there's also a good bit of smart thinking that is also amplified. That's easy to miss amidst all the noise, but it's definitely there.


about 8 months ago

German Court: Open Source Project Liable For 3rd Party DRM-Busting Coding

zooblethorpe Hamburg == East Texas (178 comments)

Hamburg regional court
is known for its cowtowing to the intellectual property holders. That is why they try to go to that particular court if they sue for copyright infridgement.

And Hamburg is known as the birthplace of the hamburger, which is made from beef, which is raised in large quantities in Texas, and the most prosecution-friendly venue for patent lawsuits in the US is East Texas...

Aha! We've found the causal link!


But now I wonder what the basic legal trends are for the Frankfurt regional court. :-P


about 9 months ago

How To Hijack a Drone For $400 In Less Than an Hour

zooblethorpe "High-power"? (161 comments)

The target range of the Skyjack drones is limited by the range of the WiFi card, but Kamkar said he uses a very powerful WiFi adapter called the Alfa AWUS036H, which produces 1000mW of power.

So this "very powerful" Wi Fi outputs 1000 milliwatts ... which equals one watt.

Am I missing something, or is this just bad reporting?

about 9 months ago



This just in -- GMail full, Google broken

zooblethorpe zooblethorpe writes  |  more than 5 years ago

zooblethorpe (686757) writes "On attempting (twice) to reply to an email thread, I received the following error message bounceback from GMail's servers, notifying me that the servers were full. Note the last five words in particular. Then, while trying to look up details about the error, I found that Google's main search page would not come up, though other sites are loading just fine. It's official, folks — teh Google intar-tubes are clogged! Whee! Anyone got any Liquid Plumr?

Final-Recipient: rfc822;
Action: failed
Status: 5.0.0
Diagnostic-Code: X-Postfix; Command died with status 1:
"/usr/local/mailman/". Command output: Traceback (most
recent call last): File "/usr/local/mailman/scripts/post", line 69, in ?
main() File "/usr/local/mailman/scripts/post", line 64, in main
tolist=1, _plaintext=1) File
"/usr/local/mailman/Mailman/Queue/", line 128, in enqueue
fp.write(msgsave) IOError: [Errno 28] No space left on device

Would-be Hash hares now face felonies - WTF?

zooblethorpe zooblethorpe writes  |  about 7 years ago

zooblethorpe (686757) writes "According to an article over at Yahoo! News, a brother and sister in their 30s have been charged with first-degree breach of peace felony charges for laying down the traditional flour marks for a Hash run in New Haven, CT. Apparently folks at an Ikea freaked out when they saw someone laying down a white powder in the parking lot, and then the city authorities had a cow, despite the fellow biking back and telling the cops what the deal was. Choice quote:

"You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know," she said. "It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We're thankful it wasn't, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out."
Excuse me, but WTF? I didn't think the Hash ("the drinking club with a running problem") was really all that obscure — I've seen it everywhere from podunk rural Indiana to suburban Tokyo. And now the New Haven city government says they're going to try to get restitution from the pair. Wasn't there something similar when the whole Aqua Teen Hunger Force brouhaha exploded, about trying to limit public officials from going after other people when what's really at issue is their own stupidity?"


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