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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Yes. It is called "land subsidence" (Score 2) 271

by hey! (#49366771) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Which makes sense. Sea level rise in the last 50 years has amounted to about 4 inches, probably not enough to make drains run backwards.

The way sea level rise will make itself known isn't through changes in day to day phenomena, but in exceptional phenomena like storm surge flooding. This is a place where inches may well matter. People plan around concepts like a "ten year flood" or a "hundred year flood", and this creates a sharp line on the map where there is no sharp line in reality. Depending where on the domain of the bell curve their chosen planning horizon is, a few inches could turn a ten year flood into a five year flood, which has immense practical implications.

When people way that there is nothing intrinsically worse about a globe that's four degrees hotter they're right. But *change* that undermines human plans represents a big challenge. Change also represents a big challenge to species populations that can't relocate on the timescale of change.

Comment: Buy three computers for three apps (Score 1) 187

JavaScript lets you run web applications on any platform that supports JavaScript. If developers are forced to make the applications native instead, they are likely to make the applications exclusive to a particular computing platform, which is not necessarily the platform that you happen to run. Does JavaScript use more energy than it costs to manufacture and run three different computers, each for an exclusive app?

Besides, a lot of these "managed" environments provide type safety guarantees. Preventing your data from being lost or disclosed due to a defect in a program can be worth more than the marginal cost of a managed environment.

Comment: Re:as usual faith in humanity is gone... (Score 3, Interesting) 176

by hey! (#49362099) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

Having fun isn't necessarily stupid. Having fun with flamboyantly dangerous things isn't necessarily stupid. It's endangering unwilling bystanders that's stupid.

Some people like to build and shoot powerful crossbows, or even replicas of medieval siege weapons. These are extremely dangerous and useless things. The dangerous power of a trebuchet to throw an upright piano 150 yards is part of the charm.

But a trebuchet is something that takes certain amount of thought and sacrifice to obtain and use. This flamethrower thing is more like a powerful handgun. There's been a recent fad for ridiculously overpowered handguns, which pack superfluously fatal power into a convenient, affordable form factor. The recent brouhaha over "armor piercing" ammunition was a side effect of a manufacturer selling a cut-down semi-automatic carbine as a "handgun", even though if you look at videos of people using them they're obviously terrible as handguns. This raised the question of whether 5.56 NATO ammunition should be regulated as "handgun ammunition", and in the end I think the decision not to was reasonablee. These aren't cop-killing or military handguns. They're extremely dangerous toys designed to get your rocks off.

There are some who'd say that because these guns are dangerous and impractical they should be banned. But I don't agree. "Impractical" isn't the same as "useless" because getting your rocks off is a legitimate use for a thing. I think people should be able to enjoy their ridiculous firearms as long as they do it at some kind of appropriate range. I also think there's a real danger though from stupid people who will go plinking in the woods with the things like they were BB guns.

That's really the only problem I have with this flamethrower, whether it's gold, chrome, or gunmetal gray. Any idiot can buy one, but it'd take someone reasonably intelligent and determined to find a place where it can be used safely. I'm not against people buying them, but I am for coming down hard on people who use them where they're a danger or public nuisance.

Comment: VA VistA (Score 1) 154

by tepples (#49361543) Attached to: UK Licensing Site Requires MSIE Emulation, But Won't Work With MSIE

Thats why the VA cannot figure out how to use a computer

Since when? The US Department of Veterans' Affairs was among the first to adopt an electronic health record system. In the late 1970s, it began to develop the MUMPS-powered VistA system now used by nearly half of all U.S. hospitals with electronic health records. And VistA is free software.

Comment: Re:This Guy's Talents Should be Put to Good Use (Score 5, Interesting) 189

by hey! (#49361119) Attached to: Prison Inmate Emails His Own Release Instructions To the Prison

Well, in the end you have to ask "did he get away with it?". Or, given that he turned himself in later, "did he have some purpose in escaping that he fulfilled?"

Intelligence is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. It includes things like thinking through unintended consequences before acting that quite clever people are sometimes bad at.

Comment: Re:Thank you, Tekla Perry! (Score 2) 36

by tepples (#49359327) Attached to: Behind the Scenes At a Quantum Dot Factory

There is no red envelope or similiar notifications button, to see replies at a glance

Click the word "Slashdot" at the top left of each page to go to the home page, and your replies should be just below your username in a box at the top of the right column.

No way to even find old comments that slip off the relatively short comment list

I get a "Load More Comments" button at the bottom.

Comment: Statutory rape (Score 1) 200

by tepples (#49359269) Attached to: NZ Customs Wants Power To Require Passwords

But in the case of rape or murder, well, that will end family ties for a few decades.

For this purpose, would you consider "rape" to include sexual contact between an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old when the 17-year-old has presented fake ID? Or are you in the "save it for marriage to avoid accidental molestation convictions" camp?

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