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Comment: Re:Skeptic or Denier? (Score 1) 664

by phantomfive (#48652925) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'
Well, if you want to talk about evidence, the only way you could get more than 1 degree of warming (doubling CO2) is with feedbacks. CO2 by itself won't do that.

So you can hypothesize as many feedbacks as you want, up to and including 'clathrate gun', which isn't considered likely by most scientists, including the IPCC.

So really what I'm looking for here is convincing evidence (or even reasonable evidence, something more than a hypothesis, and something more than a crappy computer model) that one of the feedbacks will cause an exponential increase in temperature.

If we see that then I will easily change my mind, and in some cases even support drastic changes to prevent CAGW. Right now not even the IPCC is predicting CAGW, though.

Comment: Re:I saw How We Got To Now too (Score 2) 67

by hey! (#48652689) Attached to: How a Massachusetts Man Invented the Global Ice Market

Old ways of doing things often hang on an unexpectedly long time because a mature technology has the advantages of ubiquity. People are comfortable with it, all the kinks have all been worked out, and its popularity gives it a huge structural cost advantage.

You can't think in terms of how expensive it would be to have a 50 lb block of ice delivered to your doorstep today. The *marginal* cost of having ice delivered is nil when everyone on your street is getting it. Everyone had an actual "icebox", and since it had no moving parts it never needed servicing or replacing. So when electric refrigerators became available it was a choice of keeping your perfectly good icebox with its reliable, regularly scheduled ice delivery, or buy a cranky, complicated, expensive piece of machinery that would pay for itself just in time to need replacing. If the ice industry killed itself by shipping polluted ice, it's probably because they couldn't expand their supply to meet demand.

I'll bet the grandchildren of kids learning to drive today will find the whole concept of a massive, truck-based gasoline distribution network absurdly complicated. But it works because it's massive, and because it's ubiquitous we assume it is simple -- which it is on the consumer end. On the production end it is fantastically complicated and labor intensive.

Speaking of the Boston ice industry, I live a half mile from a 20 acre (8 ha) pond that supported a major ice operation in the 1800s. Pictures show men harvesting blocks of ice eighteen, even twenty-four inches thick for shipment around the world. In the non-winter months the companies operated water-powered mills. Ice was a classic case of exploiting slack resources. Ice meant no head for the water powered mill, and an idle workforce. So electric refrigeration wasn't the only pressure on the ice industry: electric factories would have raised the price of winter labor.

Today that same pond never gets more than a couple of inches of ice, even in last year's "polar vortex" event -- you can't make ice that thick in a couple weeks, you need a cold winter that starts early and doesn't let go for months. When I was a kid this pond iced over in December. Now it ices over in Janurary, or Feburary, or some years not at all except for the lee end. In January I can fish from my canoe on ponds where I would once have been ice-fishing.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 664

by MightyYar (#48652421) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

I don't want to oversimplify, but it is quite reasonable - and to me not overly "complex" - to postulate that the models do not properly account for ocean dynamics. It is entirely possible that every single model has it all completely wrong - we've been here before with "global cooling". But back then the models weren't very robust, and you actually had competing models with wildly different predictions.

Perhaps I'm more comfortable rolling with the science because the science doesn't threaten my ideology. I fully accept that we are probably warming the planet, but I also don't think that humanity will stop burning easy energy resources. As a result, I'd like to see the models applied to planning for the inevitable instead of a Quotidian quest to stop using fossil fuels. We're going to need to do a cost-benefit on things like seawalls for major coastal cities, flood control, and irrigation systems, and I think the models can provide valuable insight.

Comment: Re: Multi touch while driving? (Score 1) 105

by WindBourne (#48650877) Attached to: "Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars

There is so much screen real-estate, Tesla has eliminated most of the painful nested menus you find on other cars with smaller screens.

That says it all. The big screen is NOT a distraction since you avoid multiple dialogs that you have to learn with the small screens. Instead, tesla has most controls on the wheel (pretty normal), and then there is a top bar on the screen in which you can move to a couple of different mappings. Issue solved.
The fact is, that all cars require some amount of learning where buttons are. With Tesla, they are located in 2 easy spots: the wheel and a very large screen.

Comment: Re: Multi touch while driving? (Score 1) 105

by WindBourne (#48650829) Attached to: "Infrared Curtain" Brings Touchscreen Technology To Cheap Cars
Right. You do NOT fiddle with it while driving. However, the same can be said of regular car buttons. The nice thing about the tesla screen is that you very quickly learn the setting so that you do NOT fiddle anymore than you will with a regular car.
Fact is, the tesla controls are LESS bothersome to me than the old buttons.

Comment: Re:Can't find anything on Youtube anymore (Score 4, Interesting) 70

It is hard. Producing a new creative work, be it a film, piece of software, book, or whatever, is hard and often expensive. Copying a creative work is cheap to the point that it's barely worth measuring the cost. Lots of influential companies have business models that revolve around doing the difficult thing for free and then charging for the easy thing to make up for it. They're eventually going to be displaced by companies that realise that it makes more sense to charge for the difficult thing - we're seeing this in software already, with open source companies giving away code that's already written for free and charging for writing new features or customisation (or, in some cases, entirely new programs).

In 100 years, people are going to look back on DRM and restrictive copyright in much the same way that we look back at the laws that required motor cars to have someone walk in front of them with a red flag. Regulations that can't possibly work in the long term, designed to prop up an industry that's suddenly found itself obsoleted by new technology.

Comment: Re: Why bother? (Score 1) 383

by TheRaven64 (#48650773) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?
Uh, yes? Because that's how you write code that handles errors correctly. Exceptions come from three sources:
  • Runtime exceptions. These don't need to be caught or declared by Java code, but you can generally avoid them by making sure you have null reference checks and using iterators for collections.
  • Exceptions that you throw yourself. You know you're throwing these and the odds are that you want the caller to handle them (if you're using exceptions for intraprocedural flow control, then you're an idiot). So advertise them on your method. Done.
  • Exceptions thrown by methods that you call. These are all advertised by those methods and checked by the compiler (or your IDE), so there's no excuse for not knowing that they're expected.

This stuff isn't hard. You know at every call site what the possible exceptions are, and you know this because the compiler won't let you explicitly throw or fail to handle any exceptions in your methods. The exceptions that a method can throw are in the JavaDoc and are checked at compile time, so you'll get a compile error if you don't either handle or advertise the exception.

Good error handling is one of the key things that differentiates good developers from bad. If it's something that you find hard, in a language that goes out of its way to make it easy, then you might want to consider other careers.

Comment: Incidentally... (Score 4, Interesting) 67

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48650641) Attached to: How a Massachusetts Man Invented the Global Ice Market
The harvesting and storage of naturally occurring ice was so successful that, for a somewhat surprising amount of time, it made manufactured ice uneconomic and, for an even longer period, on-site refrigeration hardware a very niche item(even after ice manufactured on large scale ammonia based systems replaced harvested ice, it still fed the same local market of that natural ice deliveries had).

If memory serves, the scale and efficiency of the industry was such that Australia ended up with the first adoption of a refrigeration system on a commercial scale because it was one of the few places that had the necessary technology but lacked a frozen pond without about a zillion miles. The thermodynamics and the necessary hardware were more or less familiar to any region with an enthusiasm for steam power; but the economics just didn't work out.

Comment: Re: Why wouldn't it be? (Score 1) 192

by vux984 (#48650535) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

They can probably get around the criminal part by just creating a fictional person. It's only criminal if they steal a real persons identity. I doubt the cops care anything about civil law.

Maybe. But the computer misuse laws are so broadly written right now, that violating the "terms of service" is tantamount to "unauthorized use of a computer"...

For example...

Comment: Cullberson is what is wrong with NASA (Score 1) 144

by WindBourne (#48650313) Attached to: Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?
The GOP has worked hard to destroy NASA and keep it as a jobs program. They are the ones that screw it up constantly. Even now, they are the bastards that have gutted private space while trying to increase funding for SLS.
And this bastard things that he will SAVE NASA????

"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977