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Comment: Not the only thing to worry about (Score 1) 155

by Alien54 (#46045363) Attached to: Studies Say Earth Won't Die As Soon As Thought
from wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T...

In 600 million years

The Sun's increasing luminosity begins to disrupt the carbonate–silicate cycle; higher luminosity increases weathering of surface rocks, which traps carbon dioxide in the ground as carbonate. As water evaporates from the Earth's surface, rocks harden, causing plate tectonics to slow and eventually stop. Without volcanoes to recycle carbon into the Earth's atmosphere, carbon dioxide levels begin to fall.[30] By this time, they will fall to the point at which C3 photosynthesis is no longer possible. All plants that utilize C3 photosynthesis (~99 percent of present-day species) will die.[31]

in 800 Million years

Carbon dioxide levels fall to the point at which C4 photosynthesis is no longer possible.[31] Multicellular life dies out.[32]

I not that this would be rather inconvenient

+ - How Weather Influences Global Warming Opinions

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Last week's polar vortex weather event wasn't only hard on fingers, toes and heating bills. It also overpowered the ability of most people to make sound judgments about climate change, in the same way that heat waves do, according to a new study published in the Jan. 11 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change. Researchers have known for some time that the acceptance of climate change depends on the day most people are asked. During unusually hot weather, people tend to accept global warming, and they swing against it during cold events."

+ - Seismic firm sues (former) customers over regulators' releasing data->

Submitted by innocent_white_lamb
innocent_white_lamb (151825) writes "Geophysical Service Inc. maps the ocean floor and then licenses that data to oil drilling companies. However, they are required to submit their data to various regulatory agencies in order to get a permit to do the mapping. Its customers can then get the data from those agencies for free. Therefore, Geophysical Services Inc. has sold its ships and hasn't booked any revenue at all since 2009.

Instead of doing any mapping, they now spend 95% of their time suing government departments, regulatory agencies and their former customers. "I do this 10 hours a day," said chief operating officer Paul Einarsson. "This is all I do."

The regulators argue that the data is not protected by copyright, that the data is not an "original work", and that their release of the data is in the public interest.

GSI uses Access to Information requests to find out if their data has been released to other parties, and then file lawsuits against those other parties."

Link to Original Source

+ - Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs 4

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Lauran Neergaard writes at the Christian Science Monitor that doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could be socked with bigger health bills because over time the poor wind up seeking treatment in doctors' offices or hospitals as a result. "If you're interested in saving health care costs, the dumbest thing you can do is cut nutrition," says Dr. Deborah Frank of Boston Medical Center, who founded the Children's HealthWatch pediatric research institute. "People don't make the hunger-health connection." Food stamps feed 1 in 7 Americans and cost almost $80 billion a year, twice what it cost five years ago. The doctors' lobbying effort comes as Congress is working on a compromise farm bill that's certain to include food stamp cuts. Republicans want heftier reductions than do Democrats in yet another partisan battle over the government's role in helping poor Americans. Conservatives say the program spiraled out of control as the economy struggled and the costs are not sustainable. However research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that a cut of $2 billion a year in food stamps could trigger in an increase of $15 billion in medical costs (PDF) for over the next decade. Other research shows children from food-insecure families are 30 percent more likely to have been hospitalized for a range of illnesses. "Food is medicine," says Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern, who has led the Democrats' defense of the food stamp program. "Critics focus almost exclusively on how much we spend, and I wish they understood that if we did this better, we could save a lot more money in health care costs.""

+ - New Powers Coming For 007: Driving Over The Speed Limit->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Telegraph reports, "Britain’s spies are to be given a “licence to speed” for the first time, under changes to motoring laws. While James Bond would no doubt have scorned such niceties, officers in MI5 and MI6 are currently required to obey the rules of the road, even when national security is under threat. Now Robert Goodwill, the transport minister, intends to add the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service to the group of agencies with permission to break the speed limit.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Regex Golf, XKCD And Peter Norvig ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recent xkcd cartoon has started some deep academic thinking. When AI expert Peter Novig gets involved you know the algorithms are going to fly. Code Golf is a reasonably well known sport of trying to code an algorithm in the shortest possible code. Regex Golf is similar, but in general the aim is to create a regular expression that accepts the strings in one list and rejects the strings in a second list. The xkcd cartoon in question http://xkcd.com/1313/ revealed that this is but the first step. Programmers like recursion and a regex is a string after all and a regex can process a string so a regex can process a regex and this means you can have meta-regex golf and meta-meta-regex golf.... Yes my friend, it's regexes all the way down!
The hover over text gives a regular expression that matches the last names of the elected US presidents, but not the losers. This started Peter Norvig, the well-known computer scientist, director of research at Google and wearer of brightly colored shirts, thinking about the problem. Is it possible to write a program that would create a regular expression to solve the xkcd problem? The result is an NP hard problem that needs AI like techniques to get an approximate answer.
To find out more read the complete description, including Python code, at Peter Norvig's blog post http://nbviewer.ipython.org/url/norvig.com/ipython/xkcd1313.ipynb which ends with the challenge:
"I hope you found this interesting, and perhaps you can find ways to improve my algorithm, or more interesting lists to apply it to. I found it was fun to play with, and I hope this page gives you an idea of how to address problems like this.""

Link to Original Source

+ - SpaceShipTwo sets a new altitude record

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo reached an altitude of 71,000 feet, beating out its previous record of 69,000 feet. From the article: 'This time around, Virgin Galactic and Mojave-based Scaled Composites, the plane's builder, tested a new reflective coating on the rocket plane's tail booms. The flight also marked the first tryout for a thruster system that's designed to keep the plane on course when it's above the atmosphere. Virgin Galactic said all of the test objectives were met.'"

+ - Extinct Species Of Early Human Survived on 'Tiger Nuts,' Not Meat-> 1

Submitted by Philip Ross
Philip Ross (3389483) writes "Fresh analysis of an extinct relative of humans suggests our ancient ancestors dined primarily on tiger nuts, which are edible grass bulbs, settling a discrepancy over what made up prehistoric diets. According to a new study published in the journal PLOS One, the strong-jawed ancient hominin known as Paranthropus boisei, nicknamed “Nutcracker Man,” which roamed East Africa between 2.4 million and 1.4 million years ago, survived on a diet scientists previously thought implausible."
Link to Original Source

+ - Why we think there's a multiverse, not just our Universe.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Are you ready to have your mind blown? It's generally accepted that the Universe's history is best described by the Big Bang model, with General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory as the physical laws governing the underlying framework. It's also accepted that the Universe probably started off with an early period of cosmic inflation prior to that. Well, if you accept those things — as in, the standard picture of the Universe — then a multiverse is an inevitable consequence of the physics of the early Universe, and this is probably the best explainer of how-and-why I've ever seen. Mind = blown."

+ - Record wind power levels trigger energy price fall across Europe -> 1

Submitted by Forty Two Tenfold
Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) writes "Electricity prices across Europe dropped last month as mild temperatures, strong winds and stormy weather produced wind power records in Germany, France and the UK, according to data released by Platts.

The price decline was more marked in Germany, where the average day-ahead baseload price in December fell 10% month over month to €35.71/MWh. On a daily basis, December was a month of extremes for Germany, with day-ahead base prices closing on December 10 and 11 at less than €60/MWh – the highest over-the-counter levels seen all year – only to fall to its lowest level December 24 to €0.50/MWh.

Let's talk about climate change weather and how it makes renewables more and more viable."
Link to Original Source

+ - Daily Pot Tied To Age Of First Psychotic Episode->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo! News Canada reports, "In a study of adults who experienced psychosis for the first time, having smoked marijuana daily was linked to an earlier age of onset of the disorder ... "This is not a study about the association between cannabis and psychosis, but about the association between specific patterns of cannabis use . . . and an earlier onset of psychotic disorders," Dr. Marta Di Forti, who led the research at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, said in an email. Among more than 400 people in South London admitted to hospitals with a diagnosed psychotic episode, the study team found the heaviest smokers of high-potency cannabis averaged about six years younger than patients who had not been smoking pot. Psychosis is a general term for a loss of reality, and is associated with several psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. ... "The thorny question is whether they might otherwise have developed the disease or would have not had mental illness. It's a distinction we haven't figured out yet," Compton said. ... It is still unclear whether there are safe levels of use for cannabis, she added. """
Link to Original Source

+ - Slashdot blocked in Switzerland (Possibly other parts of Europe) 1

Submitted by Wattos
Wattos (2268108) writes "On my daily commute to work, it is my habit to check several websites for the latest news. Imagine how surprised I was that when slashdot.org was not accessible anymore. Instead I received a 403 Restricted error page. Initially I thought that this would have been a simple mistake by my mobile ISP, so I connected to my home VPN. Slashdot was blocked including many links to websites with vpn services. After connecting to a VPN provider outside of the country (in Poland) slashdot was accessible again."

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.

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