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Comment: Typical bad summary (Score 5, Informative) 355

The summary makes it sound like volcanoes are the explanation for greenhouse gases, which is completely false. It doesn't say that at all. Actually, it's the opposite.

RTFA and you learn (as quoted from the .PDF supplied by the article): "According to a new Berkely Earth study released today, the average temperature of Earth's land has risen by 1.5 C over the past 250 years. The good match between the new temperature record and historical carbon dioxide records suggests that the most straightforward explanation for this warming is human greenhouse gas emissions." (Emphasis mine.)

The .PDF article explains that human CO2 contribution, volcanic activity, and ocean activity (e.g. Gulf Stream and El Nino) are the biggest contributors that are needed to match the graph of temperatures over time. But volcanoes follow the drops in temperature on the graph, not the rises in temperature. Contributions from solar activity exist but were determined to be negligible. They explain that CO2 doesn't prove to be responsible for the warming, but is by far the best contender. As stated by the scientific director, "To be considered seriously, any alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as does carbon dioxide." So denialists can't simply supply "common sense" alternatives: the alternatives must match the data at least as well (or better) than CO2.

Comment: Re:No longer vocalizations (Score 5, Insightful) 173

by PostPhil (#41143607) Attached to: Man With World's Deepest Voice Can Hit Infrasonic Notes
People claiming that they can make "a sound every 2.5 seconds" don't get it. It's is not the same as a single continuous waveform oscillating at 0.189 Hz. There is a big difference between a continuous waveform at that frequency versus some joe blow making a click at 3 kHz for 250 ms duration every 2.5 seconds. No, it is not a set of pulses.

Comment: NO (Score 1) 550

by PostPhil (#41103129) Attached to: Should Developers Be Sued For Security Holes?
No, developers should NOT be sued. I'm quite frankly tired of hearing this drivel. COMPANIES or their UPPER MANAGEMENT should be sued (depending on the type of company) because THEY are the ones truly responsible and accountable. "They get paid the big bucks for a reason." Unless the person is a very crappy developer, most devs I know actually WANT quality control and the time required to write software properly. It's almost always management that tells them no, that "time to market" with something that vaguely resembles a product is most important, no matter how angry at the result the customers will be. Until the people with the actual power to change company decisions are held accountable for their decisions, nothing changes. So why are we wasting time persecuting the people with little power and who actually agrees with us?

Comment: Re:Checkmate. (Score 2) 374

by PostPhil (#41033913) Attached to: Kasparov Arrested By Russian Police
Let's put aside for a moment the issue of whether or not Russia's problems is the fault of the U.S. government. But when it comes to saying the U.S. government or rather U.S. politicians are just as bad, we need to look no further than to RTFA. Kasparov mentions,

A spokesman for the Obama administration called the sentence [for Pussy Riot] "disproportionate," as if the length of the prison term were the only problem with open repression of political speech.

Comment: Re:Not "Going out of Business," Persay... (Score 1) 142

by PostPhil (#41033855) Attached to: Trouble At OnLive
The Latin phrase "per se" means "in itself" or "through itself". It's not "persay". Also, don't use it when you actually mean to say "exactly". "Per se" is used when you want to say that something is intrinsically true about an object. If you mean to say that something "isn't exactly true", then simply say that instead.

Comment: Re:The NYSE shouldn't reverse trades. (Score 1) 223

by PostPhil (#40993141) Attached to: Knight Trading Losses Attributed To Old, Dormant Software

Yes, it's true that if a "too big to fail" company fails, bad things happen and people get mad. But let's look at it another way. In a market driven economy, the economy is strong when the market is strong. The market is driven by the consumer being able to choose the supplier of products and services. So, if the consumer is mad because of a poor performing company, the consumer can choose to leave and support a better, stronger company.

If a market driven economy no longer forces companies to live with the consequences of their decisions, opting to bail them out so no one gets mad, then their is no incentive for any company to be a good company because it isn't required stay in business. The actual good companies then see that their extra effort is a waste of time, an in order to compete, they also must become a company with similarly bad products and services.

Saving "too big to fail" companies only keeps people from being mad for the short term. But once the entire market is in trouble, they'll still lose and will be even madder later. There's a moral to the story for our society that goes beyond the stock market: FOCUSING WORRIES ON FAILURE IS A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY. DO INSTEAD WHAT YOU KNOW IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Comment: Re:really??? (Score 1) 666

by PostPhil (#40933139) Attached to: Man Orders TV On Amazon, Gets Shipped Assault Rifle
Here's some PDFs from the U.S. military on what constitutes an "assault rifle". To be an assault rifle, the firearm MUST support SELECTIVE FIRE. The Sig716 mentioned in the article does not have selective fire and is therefore NOT an assault rifle. Period. It is a semi-auto firearm styled ergonomically like an assault rifle, but it isn't one. Also, does anyone else find the article a little strange? Rifles and TVs aren't even close to the same size or shaped box. D.C. is probably the most anti-firefarm city in the U.S. concerning its policies, and obviously the most public and political, and yet someone got shipped an AR style firearm instead of a TV? It wasn't even just a bolt action hunting rifle, it just so happened to be AR styled? Immediately after being reported the Brady Campaign of course jumped on this. Shipping errors can happen of course, but doesn't the convenience of all this kind of smell like a publicity stunt?

Comment: Re:Ignorance, not indifference. (Score 1) 220

by PostPhil (#32333246) Attached to: Why Online Privacy Is Broken

Isn't the POINT of Facebook to get yourself "out there" and be-your-own-celebrity? [...] What am I failing to understand about this issue?

You're failing to understand that:

1. Social networking isn't about people trying to be a celebrity. It's about some people trying to be a celebrity, while others just want to keep in touch with friends (e.g. for many, social networking sites are just the replacement for Instant Messaging). It's about access to information that is controlled and owned by the user.

2. Even for those that want to be celebrities, even they just want to be visible to other party-goers, students, and friends-of-friends. Nowhere does 3rd-party advertising companies mining their personal data figure into the equation. That is NOT what motivated the person to join the site.

3. The idea that the information is always "voluntarily provided" is bogus. That implies a conscious decision was made by the user. Clicking OK to a Terms Of Service agreement may cover a site legally, but in the real world it has nothing to do with whether or not the user understands the consequences of the legal double-talk a TOS agreement implies. If you misunderstand it's consequences, then it is not informed consent (regarding real-life informed decisions, regardless of any legal definition of "informed consent"). For example, if the TOS says that certain types of content won't be provided to third-parties except in special cases A and B, the user might not expect that this is just Cover-Your-Ass talk and that special cases A and B unwittingly happen most of the time from actions the user didn't expect would cause special cases A and B. Various sites are better or worse at this, of course.

4. All these sites have verbiage saying they "respect your privacy" (of course), but where is the transparency? Laws aren't magic wands. How do I verify whether or not my privacy is truly being respected. When potential profit is involved, it's the corporate norm that it's "better to ask forgiveness than permission". And if they get caught doing something wrong, they get a slap on the wrist because apparently corporations have more rights than citizens do, and then they continue to do what they've always done before.

5. Just because you may be disinterested about something only other people seem to be interested in, doesn't mean this doesn't eventually have implications for everyone.

6. Simply put, the point of the issue is what you're failing to understand.

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson