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Comment: Re:Science or Religion? (Score 1) 1136

by RML (#31178060) Attached to: A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

This rules out any testable/falsifiable hypothesis and hence scientific-ness of the theory. In a few decades, another "expert" will come along who will spout forth his own untestable hypothesis.

I'm sure the geologists will love to hear that what they're doing isn't science. After all, they deal with stuff that happens over millions or even billions of years.

But just not enough randomness not to spend trillions of dollars in preventing global warming?

It really depends on how much you care what the planet is going to be like in 50 or 100 years or longer.

Comment: Re:The time for debate is over... (Score 1) 1136

by RML (#31166898) Attached to: A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

Imagine I have a coin that I know from past experience is double-headed; it comes up heads 100% of the time. If I only consider my most recent flip, that's not enough data to prove that it was weighted for that flip. That doesn't mean it wasn't weighted for that flip. Of course it was weighted for that flip, it's weighted for every flip. But I didn't consider enough flips to prove it.

In an analogous way, considering the data since 1995 is not enough to prove that the earth has been warming. That doesn't mean the earth hasn't been warming since 1995, it means that you're not considering enough of the data.

Comment: Re:Science or Religion? (Score 1) 1136

by RML (#31166850) Attached to: A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

No, it sounds like he has said there is no warming trend in the past 14 or 15 years. "Almost significant" means "not significant." Nor is p = 0.05 exactly a stellar level of certainty. Physicists like things at the three sigma level, for the most part.

We're talking about predicted warming rates of a fraction of a degree per decade. The atmosphere is not a uniform temperature bath, and there's a lot of reasons why temperature can go up and down independent of global warming - the data is very noisy compared to the predicted warming in a decade and a half. I don't know why the interviewer picked 1995 as the start year but all the answer really means is that 14 or 15 years is not a large enough sample period.

Comment: Re:Science or Religion? (Score 1) 1136

by RML (#31166748) Attached to: A Warming Planet Can Mean More Snow

The actual climatologists have generally been pretty careful about not making predictions they can't support. It's the politicians and activists who have been running around making predictions that then don't come true. Anyone who says that global warming will do anything specific on a time scale of less than decades is probably not a climatologist.

It's true that there's no single observation that would falsify global warming in general. There's too much randomness in the weather to get anything useful from single observations; we're talking about predicted changes of a few hundredths of a degree a year, against much larger background fluctuations. Fortunately we have a hundred years or so of data which appears to trend upwards. If there were a few decades of new data which didn't have a clear warming trend, that might put a dent in the theory - although that would likely mean that there was some other effect buffering it, not that carbon dioxide isn't a greenhouse gas. (If you don't believe in greenhouse gasses, I have some wonderful oceanfront real estate on Venus to sell you.)

Comment: It's not about for or against "Open Source" (Score 1) 467

by RML (#30598278) Attached to: Is a Threat? Microsoft Thinks So

Microsoft's strategy for interacting with Open Source seems to be settling into the pattern of treating it like any other software. Instead of being pro-"Open Source" or anti-"Open Source" their reaction depends on the specific project.

Software that interoperates with, extends, runs on, or otherwise boosts Microsoft products: Good.
Software that replaces or competes with Microsoft products: Bad.

So, it would make perfect sense to Microsoft for them to try to lure open source projects built on top of, like plugins or whatever, to switch to building on Microsoft Office instead.

Comment: Re:So, this is about as damning as you get, isn't (Score 1) 186

by RML (#30059148) Attached to: MS Pulls Windows 7 Tool After GPL Violation Claim

Yes you are obligated to do such a thing, and if you don't comply you can be dragged to court where you could be sentenced to pay for copyright infringement.

Exactly: not complying, getting dragged to court, and paying is an option. You're not obligated to open the source, you can just suffer the consequences of copyright violation instead.

Comment: Re:He has no idea what he's playing (Score 1) 895

by RML (#28617641) Attached to: Researcher Trolls MMO, Surprised When Players Hate Him

I agree that that's not nice. But - this is the key point - he is winning the zone for his team. His actions contribute to fulfilling his objective within the game, and they are legal by the rules of the game.

It sounds to me that the entire purpose of the PVP zones is to have PVP fights, and people who aren't there to fight or interact with enemy players are abusing them for something contrary to the designer's intent. If someone comes along and does something mean to them, that's their fault for being in the PVP zone. If the designers wanted to provide a place where you can get the increased experience without the risk of having someone kill you they would just add it!


Comcast Targets Unlicensed Anime Torrenters 352

Posted by Zonk
from the hard-to-get-your-jpop-fix-without-it dept.
SailorSpork writes "According to a thread on the forums of AnimeSuki, a popular anime bittorent index site, Comcast has begun sending DCMA letters to customers downloading unlicensed fan-subtitled anime shows via bittorrent. By 'unlicensed', they mean that no english language company has the rights to it. The letters are claiming that the copyright holder or an authorized agent are making the infringement claims, though usually these requests are also sent to the site itself rather that individual downloaders. My question is have they really been in contact with Japanese anime companies, or is this another scare tactic by Comcast to try and reduce the bandwidth use of their heavier customers now that their previous tactics have come under legal fire?"

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig