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Comment All life will become a target (Score 5, Interesting) 78

Some time ago I was thinking that the increased use drones could lead to the military killing all birds and larger flying animals from their target areas in case they were used by their enemies. Now it seems that there are reasons for all life to be made a target. An army might find that a literal scorched earth approach - exterminate everything, animal and plant, in the soil and above - is needed to get them victory. As with the use of nuclear bombs on cities, apologists will find ways of justifying this.

Comment Re:love the subtle anti-brexit push (Score 2) 172

What I find odd is the currency based on sterling silver is falling in relation to a soft backed currency based on 'confidence'. Seems like someone is gaming the system. But I am not an economist so what do I know..

You seem to have taken in the two distinct phrases 'sterling silver' and 'pound sterling' and developed a new myth from it. The original currency was once based on silver coins, but that was not necessarily the currency itself. The currency was formally put on the gold standard during the Napoleonic wars, and came off it in the 20th century.

Comment Re:DGW - Dinosauric Global Warming (Score 1) 234

Arctic ice is floating and hence, unlike glacial and continental ice it has a limited range of total thickness - you can look it up. It probably varies less than the carbon footprint range of US families of four. This average family was chosen as a crude comparator, and you should take it as such.

Comment Re:Pollution stops at US border (Score 1) 115

You will also see that many towns or cities are shown on the map that appear to have lower pollution (yellow) than the surrounding region (orange or red). For instance in northern Thailand and Burma, southern India, northern China. I suspect this means that they actually have measuring points in those cities which showed relatively low pollution, but they used their model for the surrounding area, even though the model appears to be faulty from the available measurements.

Comment Don't get complacent (Score 1) 217

The EFF's chief technologist revealed that he doesn't run an anti-virus program, partly because he's using Linux, and partly because he feels anti-virus software creates a false sense of security. ("I don't like to get complacent and rely on it in any way...")

He's quite right. We lull ourselves into a false sense of security all the time. I try to avoid it, complacency is a killer.

I drive at night without any lights on, because then if I'm in an accident it will probably be my fault. This keeps me wide awake and aware of all possible hazards.

During the day this doesn't work of course. Hence I have to drive in bare feet, so if there is an accident I'm not going to get very far trying to run away.

Comment Re:Me too (Score 2) 215

These things are not actually getting easier, the countries doing them are (usually) getting more capable. The first Soviet human flight was in a small craft less than 3 tonnes, the US one not much different, because they wanted to be first and were willing to take risks. The Chinese by contrast almost half century later had no reason to take any similar risks; they would have only looked stupid if something went wrong. Hence they used a much larger and more sophisticated craft that had been tested carefully before, and in these terms it could be considered the most successful of the 'first' space flights.

But I'm sure the North Koreans might take silly risks though.

And the Chinese space programme was started after the first Sputnik launch in the 50's and was solidly in place in the early 60's; it just didn't enter general consciousness in the west until their first satellite. The first stages of the Indian programme were also in place in the early 60s and it was established fully by the end of the 60s as the Chinese successes became clear.

Comment Re:Nuclear weapons aren't the deterrent (Score 0) 321

It matters because it shows that the writer is thinking entirely from his / her perspective. Assuming that the writer is American, it suggests that they see emigrants from other countries only as immigrants into theirs, (and if they're not American, similar attitudes exist in most other countries). It shows no consideration for the viewpoint of the subject which is North Korea and North Koreans. It thus makes the argument poor, weak, and downright irritating to those who try to see both sides.

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