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Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48897151) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

There is no reason that we have to pick one and abandon work on the others. I don't see that the same resources go into solving more than one, except that the meteor and volcano problem have one solution in common - be on another planet when it happens.

The clathrate problem and nuclear war have the potential to end the human race while it is still on one planet, so we need to solve both of them ASAP.

Comment: Re:There's more to it than that (Score 1) 300

by Mr Z (#48895695) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Of course, I didn't follow his reasoning one bit:

Using 10-bit color may end up limiting chroma sub-sampling to 4:2:0.

The two details are completely orthogonal to each other!

In any case, 4:2:0 at UHD gives you as much color information as 4:4:4 at HD. You'd have a very hard time noticing the chroma subsampling....

Comment: Make your own (Score 1) 397

by Okian Warrior (#48895061) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Get a used mouseman from ebay ($10 and free shipping), throw away the top cover, and 3-d print your own.

Don't own a 3-d printer? Probably one of your friends does, or the local university, or the local hackerspace, or as a last resort you can use shapeways.

Grab some modeling clay in your hand, make a 3-d scan of the resulting "handle", add fasteners for the buttons and ball (or IR chip), then 3-d print a custom-grip top cover. You can get IR mouse elements and ball elements from old mice, usually for free on Craigslist. Or the local Salvation Army store.

Purchase a sheet of friendly plastic (polycaprolactone), soften it in a pan of boiling water, then lay it over your relaxed open hand like a handkerchief. Wait for it to cool and harden, take a dremel to it, and use that as a custom-molded mouse top.

Get an Arduino, or any of the zillions of hobbyist microcontroller systems (pic, propeller, &c) which have a USB interface, and add buttons and an IR chip from an existing older mouse and program the buttons specifically for your needs.

Get a used mouse with lots of buttons, remount the buttons into a custom top as mentioned, then reprogram the button codes in the driver.

Or write your own USB driver at the OS level - it's not that hard. (For windows, it involves downloading the DDK and modifying an example found on the net.)

Comment: Re:Not surprised (Score 1) 65

by Mr Z (#48894653) Attached to: Smartphones, Tablets and EBay Send SkyMall To Chapter 11

My favorite things to laugh at were:

Well, among everything else in there. It seems that SkyMall has moved on from these favorites. But, they were reliable point-and-laugh items when I was flying regularly a few years ago.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48887305) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Sure, there are going to be mediating forces in the environment. Melting is an obvious one. The positive feedbacks have been getting the most attention because they are really scary. It appears that there are gas clathrates in the ground and under water that can come out at a certain temperature. The worst case is that we get an event similar to Lake Nyos, but with a somewhat different mechanism and potentially many more dead. The best case is a significant atmospheric input of CO2 and methane that we can't control.

I don't think I have to discount Trenberth. He's trying to correct his model, he isn't saying there is no warming.

Comment: Thorny issue (Score 1) 176

by Okian Warrior (#48886255) Attached to: New Nicotine Vaccine May Succeed Where Others Have Failed

I find this offensive?

We're spending science mind power, money and time researching a way to make a drug that replaces a persons weakness of character and lack of willpower.

That is an excellent statement of the moral issues involved. Here are some more issues to consider:

Measles: We are spending science effort, money, and time producing a vaccine that replaces a person's physical weakness.

(Is character and lack of willpower a learned trait, or conditioned by physical attributes? Should we force people into weight-watchers and exercise programs?)

Guns: Guns have a protection effect similar to vaccines. Even though the probability of being self-injured by a gun goes up if you own one(*), the aggregate total chance of death from all causes goes down for the neighborhood. It's a sort of "herd immunity" for crime.

(Is restricting guns better or worse for society in general, as measured by the mortality rate?)

Flu: We are spending science effort, money, and time producing a vaccine who's purpose is largely to increase manufacturing productivity; ie - to keep you at work for an extra 5 days during the winter (**).

(Is it worth millions of people each spending $35 for a vaccine that's only partially effective?)

And note that everything mentioned is a probability, and that there is a probability of having a bad reaction to any individual shot. The probability is very low, but it's not zero.

(If the probability that the child will get the disease is lower than the probability that they will get a bad reaction, should we still force them to get vaccinated?)

What we have is a spectrum of efficacy weighed against the morality of forcing someone to do (or not do) something. The measles (and smallpox and polio) vaccine is on one end, while the Lyme vaccination is probably on the other.

Where do we draw the line with forcing people to do things? Is "living in society" a strong enough reason to go against someone's religious beliefs? Do the beliefs have to be religious to qualify for an exception?

Are we ready to ditch the doctrine of individual dissent, or must everyone bow to the wishes of society?

Where do we draw that line?

(*) Mostly due to suicide, and as has been pointed out, suicides will happen whether guns are available or not.

(**) Yes, the flu can kill and it's miserable to have, but the marketing is all about not losing work due to sick days. Go online and try to determine whether getting the flu shot is *effective* - you won't find studies, all you'll find is people saying "of course it is!". Science by authority, and all that.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48884865) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax


McKitrick is an economist out of his field. Trenberth and Fasullo cite many of their other papers and the publications to which they were submitted, but it seems mostly not accepted. But their conclusion seems to be that there were other times in recent years that the rate of warming decreased for a time only for it to return to its previous rate. I only see the abstract for Kosaka and Xie, but they state "the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase."

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48882193) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

I imagine that the major financial companies make this part of their economic modeling. Most of them do publish weather-related and climate-related advisories regarding commodity and company price trends, etc. How detailed do they get? The wouldn't tell and I am the wrong kind of scientist to ask. Can we make a government or public one? Yes, the level of detail is the big question.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48882135) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Oh, do I have to qualify that for you, like the hottest outside of a period of Milankovitch Forcing? Gee, maybe the Earth's orbit changed, like back then, and we just didn't notice.

Let's take a look at one of the references you cited:

A section of a draft IPCC report, looking at short-term trends, says temperatures are likely to be 0.4 to 1.0 degree Celsius (0.7-1.8F) warmer from 2016-35 than in the two decades to 2005. Rain and snow may increase in areas that already have high precipitation and decline in areas with scarcity, it says.

It sounds like we have reason to be alarmed.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48882097) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Well, I am trying to get through to you. You wrote that the hiatus was widely acknowledged by scientists! It's like talking with someone who believes in god - they have no facts, and no facts will convince them, and they create their own "science" which is nothing of the sort to bolster their viewpoint. So, I tried another another argument. But let's go back to the first. Nobody credible believes in a hiatus.

Comment: Re:They already have (Score 1) 661

by Bruce Perens (#48882067) Attached to: US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

Calling names isn't going to advance your argument.

Orbital models only have two variables when there are two bodies. In reality we are always dealing with an n-body problem. Regarding atmospheric models, we have weather, which is too chaotic to forecast, and climate, which should not be.

We could sit back 100 years and see what is happening then, so that we have lots of good data points, but potentially at the cost of widespread famine, death, etc.

We have excellent reasons to stop releasing sequestered carbon even if we ignore global warming.

Comment: Let's forgive Dish and move on (Score -1) 230

by Okian Warrior (#48881929) Attached to: Dish Network Violated Do-Not-Call 57 Million Times

Most of the calls are from telemarketing companies that sell Dish, not Dish themselves. I work for an authorized, small local company that sells and installs Dish (and DTV). As we see it, the biggest problem in the industry is telemarketers that sell the systems and then don't care at all about the customer. These unethical companies are the ones breaking the laws, but Dish looks the other way as long as they are sending them lots of business.

Lessee here. 57 million calls at 10 seconds per call is about 433 man years wasted

This is the complete livelihood for the 5 of us that own and work at our company. We handle some large accts like our state capital, entire state prison system, state University medical center (to name just a few). My boss has built a great little company, it will be very sad to see it taken away as a result of this. This is actually quite scary, we all have over 15 years of our lives invested in this company.

I'm sorry, I don't get it.

You seem to be implying that I should care that you, an admitted telemarketer, might be put out of a job along with four others.

I just don't understand your position.

Could you explain it with a car analogy?

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...