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Comment Re:bumblebees have range? (Score 1) 225 225

I don't understand. For the sake of argument. How does an average temperature that's half a degree warmer than it was 40 years ago wipe out the bumblebee's habitat?

Think of it in terms of energy. Raising the atmosphere's temperature by half a degree is the energy equivalent of detonating about two million nuclear warheads. The heat capacity of the ocean is a thousand times that of the atmosphere, but I'm not sure if the whole ocean has warmed along with the atmosphere. If it has, that would be two billion nuclear warheads. Earth's atmosphere is a huge, complex, nonlinear system. Adding more energy affects different parts of the world in different ways. (That's the nature of averages.) It can get a lot more than half a degree warmer in some places and a lot more than half a degree colder in others.

On top of that, you also get more chaotic weather. Heat is energy. Energy makes things happen.

Comment Re:Goodness (Score 1) 307 307

I'm just saying that years of teeth-gnashing and arm-flailing has had pretty much the opposite of the desired effect.

Do you have any evidence for that statement? Do you believe that quietly saying "Hey, we need to spend a ton of money and 10-15 years upgrading the internet, but take your time, there's no hurry" would actually prompt businesses to act?

This has been pitched as a dire and urgent danger for ages.

We're changing the internet infrastructure of literally the entire world. Do you really think 10-15 years warning is too much? Think about all the things that have to happen. You have to create and formalize a standard for a new protocol, which takes years. You need to design, debug, and manufacture core routing hardware, which takes years. You have to upgrade all the consumer-level end equipment, which takes many years. None of this is trivial or fast. IPv4 took five years to go from final specification to total adoption, at a time when the total number of internet hosts could be measured in thousands. Today there are almost a billion hosts.

Comment Re:Absence?! (Score 2) 595 595

IPv4 at its maximum would be 4 billion addresses - that's it!!! That is just marginally more than the world's population.

The world's population is currently more than 7 billion. The population hasn't been able to fit into 32 bits since about 1978. (Amusingly, that's about when IPv4 was developed.)

Comment The Usenet Physics FAQ did it better (Score 4, Informative) 226 226

For a more thorough and slightly more technical approach to the same subject, check out the Usenet Physics FAQ's article "Is Faster-Than-Light Travel or Communication Possible?". Here's the conclusion:

To begin with, it is rather difficult to define exactly what is really meant by FTL travel and FTL communication. Many things such as shadows can go FTL, but not in a useful way that can carry information.

There are several serious possibilities for real FTL which have been proposed in the scientific literature, but these always come with technical difficulties.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tends to stop the use of apparent FTL quantum effects for sending information or matter.

In general relativity there are potential means of FTL travel, but they may be impossible to make work. It is thought highly unlikely that engineers will be building space ships with FTL drives in the foreseeable future, if ever, but it is curious that theoretical physics as we presently understand it seems to leave the door open to the possibility.

FTL travel of the sort science fiction writers would like is almost certainly impossible. For physicists the interesting question is "why is it impossible and what can we learn from that?"

Comment Re:This isn't a question (Score 1) 623 623

In the broadest scope I've never understood why there has to be laws concerning marriage. It's a private contract. There shouldn't be a question of can two people of the same sex get married - the question should be why we need to regulate this at all. If some regulation is found to be useful, what should it be? I'm not happy about "The State" getting that far into my business.

It's not the state getting into your "business", it's your business getting into the state. Marriage predates nation-states by millennia. And as a practical matter, I'm glad I didn't have to get a lawyer and sign a 500-page contract in order to get married, and I'm glad that other people don't need their own lawyer to go over such a contract in order to recognize my marriage.

Comment Come on, Slashdot, at least get her name right! (Score 5, Interesting) 176 176

SurveyMonkey's CEO Dies While Vacationing With Wife Susan Sandberg

Dave Goldberg, the chief executive of SurveyMonkey and spouse of Facebook COO Sheryl K. Sandberg, died on Friday night.

Her name is Sheryl. It's fairly well-known. How do you screw this up when the correct name is in the first sentence of the summary?

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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