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Comment: Re:Heh. (Score 1) 246

Mostly it exposes that people love to believe stories they like. And of course journalists love to publish stories that their readers like.

And it extends past publishing stories, to a business model built around telling people what they want to hear, like Amory Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute or Al Gore.

Comment: Re:That poor man (Score 1) 269

No, the poorest do not rent. The poorest sleep on park benches and in alleys. Naturally, those people don't count, for some reason.

I actually thought of that and was going to include them, but the article says poorest 'residents'.

Maybe some have boxes that the panels could be placed on.

Comment: Re:That poor man (Score 3, Insightful) 269

Actually, the poorest residents are not getting these panels. The poorest residents rent, not own. Now its nice that a few poor homeowners will get some of their power bill paid for them. But its really insignificant when it comes to actual renewable generation.

The amount they will save is overstated. Cal residential rates average about 15cents/kwh, a 2.5KWH panel would need about 17.8 cents per kwh to save them $818 in the first year. They also assume power rates increase for stating the total 30 year savings of $22K, but don't talk about who covers insurance/damage/maintenance, etc. How will the lucky few be selected? Who pays for panel removal/replacement when the roof needs repairs?

If you take the 14.7 million and divide by 1600, you get >$9K per system. What solar company is benefiting from selling these at such a high cost?

+ - Can Bad Scientific Practice Be Fixed? 3

Submitted by writes: Richard Horton writes in that a recent symposium on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research discussed one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with science (PDF), one of our greatest human creations. The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. According to Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, a United Kingdom-based medical journal, the apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world or retrofit hypotheses to fit their data.

Can bad scientific practices be fixed? Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivized to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivized to be productive and innovative. Tony Weidberg says that the particle physics community now invests great effort into intensive checking and rechecking of data prior to publication following several high-profile errors,. By filtering results through independent working groups, physicists are encouraged to criticize. Good criticism is rewarded. The goal is a reliable result, and the incentives for scientists are aligned around this goal. "The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously," says Horton. "The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system."

Comment: Re:Poisoning fish? (Score 1) 247

by Mr D from 63 (#49755699) Attached to: California Votes To Ban Microbeads
Since they just list the 'bad things' that these mbeads can do, but don't list the extent to which they are actually impacting things, we don't know how bad the problem is. If just .001% of a species of fish is having indigestion, then it might not be worth getting alarmed over. If is it a lot more species and much higher percentages of them caught in the wild show significant ill effects, then its a problem that needs to be dealt with.

From my experience, when those details are left out its often due to the fact that the real world numbers are small. It would be nice if the author of the article gave us that critical information so we weren't left to assumptions.

(smarts ass reply pre-emption: Yeah, I can go googling around and try to find out....but maybe I got other things to google tonight.)

Comment: Re:risk is extremely low, consequences extremely h (Score 1) 236

by Mr D from 63 (#49752561) Attached to: Asteroid Risk Greatly Overestimated By Almost Everyone

I skimmed TFA, and it seems a lot of it talks about why I shouldn't be afraid of dying to an asteroid strike.

I'm NOT. Never have been.

The article generalizes that we are all as stupid and the general population, which has a tremendously skewed risk perception, in part due to media that also doesn't understand risk and/or intentionally ignores it. Unfortunately that ignorance drives our policy makers as well.

Tomorrow's computers some time next month. -- DEC