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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!


Using Lasers and Water Guns To Clean Space Debris 267

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the super-soaker-one-million dept.
WSJdpatton writes "The collision between two satellites last month has renewed interest in some ideas for cleaning up the cloud of debris circling the earth. Some of the plans being considered: Using aging rockets loaded with water to dislodge the debris from orbit so it will burn up in the atmosphere; junk-zapping lasers; and garbage-collecting rockets."
Media (Apple)

+ - Apple DMCAs IpodHash project->

Submitted by TRS-80
TRS-80 (15569) writes "Apple has sent a DMCA takedown notice to the IpodHash project, claiming it circumvents their FairPlay DRM scheme. Some background: Apple first added a hash to the iTunesDB file in 6th-gen iPods, but it was quickly reverse-engineered. They changed it with the release of iPhone 2.0 and a project was started to reverse the new hash, but weren't successful yet. My guess is Apple used the same algorithm as FairPlay for the new hash, so Apple could use the DMCA to prevent competing apps like Songbird and Banshee from talking to iPods/iPhones. BTW, don't tell Apple, but the project uses a wiki, so the old page versions from before the takedown are still there."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Demand (Score 1) 588

by RML (#25518461) Attached to: Why are oil prices dropping?

You're confusing speculation on futures contracts with speculation on actual items.

Take the case of tulips. Speculators buy physical tulip bulbs and hoard them, driving the price up, causing more people to buy tulip bulbs, etc.

The same thing happened in the housing market - people were buying houses, not to use or rent them, but just to resell them later.

For that to happen in oil, speculators would have to actually buy oil and sit on it waiting for prices to go up. But for the most part, the speculators never actually touched a drop of oil. They bought futures contracts, and resold them before they came due. They weren't actually taking the oil off the market, so they couldn't cause a bubble.


+ - Scientology Legal Machine starts on Wikileaks!-> 3

Submitted by
Freedom writes "

Wikileaks is reporting that The Religious Technology Center ("RTC"), "the owner of the confidential Advanced Technology of the Scientology religion and the holder of exclusive rights under the copyrights applicable to the Advanced Technology materials." has sent it's first legal threat to Wikileaks, demanding that they remove the material on the grounds of Copyright held in the United States.

This is the response all critics were expecting of the Church of Scientology, who's constant attack and litigation strategy still does not change in the era of the Streisand Effect.

The RTC requests that Wikileaks

preserve any and all documents pertaining to this
matter and this customer, including, but not limited to, logs, data
entry sheets, applications — electronic or otherwise, registrations
forms, billings statements or invoices, computer print-outs, disks,
hard drives, etc.

Join the campaign against the oppressive totalitarian pyramid business posing as religion on enturbulation dot org."

Link to Original Source

"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy." -- Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards