Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Reputational damage (Score 1) 114

by Required Snark (#49116937) Attached to: Lenovo Hit With Lawsuit Over Superfish Adware
Another aspect of a class action suit is reputational damage. The very fact of bringing a suit is negative publicity. Lenovo has a strong incentive to settle because the longer it is before the case is settled the more negative publicity there will be.

This is why these kinds of thing never go to trial, and why the company always makes sure they never admit guilt. When they settle to "put it behind" themselves, it's like a cat burying it's shit. They can pretend that it never happened in the first place.

As for making things better in the long run, forget it. Lenovo will do what all other large companies do, which is settle and offer discounts to people who bought the offending systems. This costs them nothing. In fact, they may make more money on the deal because they move more product, and very few consumers take advantage of these offers. As other people have already said, the only ones who make out are the lawyers.

What's actually needed is consumer protection that means something and has teeth. However, in the current political climate, hell will freeze over before that happens. Big business can commit any crime and get away with it, and even make money as a result. Just search for "HSBC tax evasion" if you want to see a breaking scandal like this.

Comment: Now we know who is the bigger crook (Score 5, Interesting) 240

The cops just showed that they are by far more dangerous criminals then the guy that they tried to put away.

He's a petty thief The police are violating the constitution, and completely ignoring the rule of law. For all intents and purposes the cops are the judge, jury and executioner, with a badge and gun.

The police were able to avoid a trial, which is one of the major ways that the legal system has been subverted. The penalties are so draconian that even innocent people plead guilty, because if they don't they will be held forever.

Here's a current example from Montana.

If you want to show your fake nipple in Montana, do it before HB 365 gets passed, or you could face a $500 fine and 6 months in the county jail. It could have been worse. The original bill called for "life imprisonment" for a third offense.

That's right. Life in jail for showing fake nipples three times. Of course they backed off on it, but the fact that this was even considered shows how corrupt the law has become.

Comment: Re: Corporate interests (Score 1, Insightful) 437

Your refutation is incorrect. Yes, there are other greenhouse gasses, but they add to the effect of CO2. By the way, I never specifically pointed out C02, although one of the Wikipedia quotes I included used it as an example. I wanted to limit the size of the quotes. Here is another reference showing various greenhouse gasses and their impact on the greenhouse effect:

By their percentage contribution to the greenhouse effect on Earth the four major gases are:

- water vapor, 36–70%

- carbon dioxide, 9–26%

- methane, 4–9%

- ozone, 3–7%

The major non-gas contributor to the Earth's greenhouse effect, clouds, also absorb and emit infrared radiation and thus have an effect on radiative properties of the atmosphere.

Frankly, I'm not completely sure what you are saying because you are incoherent: "the effect of CO2 is problematic, because it is mixing with other gasses and that makes a difference". Mixing how? Chemically? Via radiation? Interacting with clouds?

"... if we only were going to get warming from the CO2, then there would be little to worry about." Could you quote a source on that? Did you make it up? How about "There was a study in 2006 that further refined the effect that CO2 had on the atmosphere (narrowed the error bars)."? Any references for that one either? Did you mean to imply that reduced error bars mean that the effects of global climate change are not important? What are you talking about?

Now let's examine "We are still improving the computer models. If the science were settled, they would be much, much better at predicting." This is just flat out wrong. The quality of a simulation is not solely determined by knowledge of the basic science. For huge chaotic systems like global climate, the vast computational resources required limit predictive results. Furthermore, there is still a lot we don't understand, for example the effect of clouds, or the interaction between ocean circulation and climate. Note that these have nothing to do with the physics of greenhouse gasses, which is the nominal point under consideration.

Both climate modeling and computational resources are getting better on a yearly basis, as you pointed out. That doesn't mean the current state of the art is useless.

To conclude, you called me "kind of ignorant". I take personal offense to that. I just went to some effort to demonstrate that your are a thoughtless fool who seems incapable of logical argument and plays fast and loose with facts. Before you insult your betters you should examine your own mental resources. At this point all you have shown is that you are an intellectual failure.

Comment: Re: Corporate interests (Score 3, Insightful) 437

I quoted Wikipedia. You referred to no source at all. Put up or shut up. Show some sources for your position. If you are right, then edit the Wikipedia page.

By the way, even if your are right, this is nit picking. It has no significant baring on when the phenomenon was proposed. Bell is just a well known figure, and he was not the first or last to bring up this possibility.

Comment: Re: Corporate interests (Score 5, Informative) 437

by Required Snark (#49103489) Attached to: How One Climate-Change Skeptic Has Profited From Corporate Interests
Gore is right: the science is settled. In fact, it's been understood for nearly 200 years.

The existence of the greenhouse effect was argued for by Joseph Fourier in 1824. The argument and the evidence was further strengthened by Claude Pouillet in 1827 and 1838, and reasoned from experimental observations by John Tyndall in 1859, and more fully quantified by Svante Arrhenius in 1896.

In 1917 Alexander Graham Bell wrote “[The unchecked burning of fossil fuels] would have a sort of greenhouse effect”, and “The net result is the greenhouse becomes a sort of hot-house.” Bell went on to also advocate for the use of alternate energy sources, such as solar energy.

The basic mechanism is straightforward, even thought the physical system has many interacting processes.

The Earth receives energy from the Sun in the form UV, visible, and near IR radiation, most of which passes through the atmosphere without being absorbed. Of the total amount of energy available at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), about 50% is absorbed at the Earth's surface. Because it is warm, the surface radiates far IR thermal radiation that consists of wavelengths that are predominantly much longer than the wavelengths that were absorbed (the overlap between the incident solar spectrum and the terrestrial thermal spectrum is small enough to be neglected for most purposes). Most of this thermal radiation is absorbed by the atmosphere and re-radiated both upwards and downwards; that radiated downwards is absorbed by the Earth's surface. This trapping of long-wavelength thermal radiation leads to a higher equilibrium temperature than if the atmosphere were absent.

The key observation is that human activity has changed the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and this has changed the equilibrium temperature of the system.

Strengthening of the greenhouse effect through human activities is known as the enhanced (or anthropogenic) greenhouse effect. This increase in radiative forcing from human activity is attributable mainly to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. According to the latest Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations".

CO2 is produced by fossil fuel burning and other activities such as cement production and tropical deforestation. Measurements of CO2 from the Mauna Loa observatory show that concentrations have increased from about 313 ppm in 1960 to about 389 ppm in 2010. It reached the 400ppm milestone on May 9, 2013. The current observed amount of CO2 exceeds the geological record maxima (~300 ppm) from ice core data. The effect of combustion-produced carbon dioxide on the global climate, a special case of the greenhouse effect first described in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius, has also been called the Callendar effect.

Al Gore, although not a scientist by training, is smart enough to understand this. You, on the other hand, are too biased and stupid to accept facts that have been well known for a long time.

Just to make sure that your are up to speed on basic facts, the world is not flat, the earth revolves around the sun, and the universe is more then 5000 years old. Glad that I could clear these things up for you.

Comment: Software truth in packaging (Score 1) 266

by Required Snark (#49099673) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs
When you buy something to eat at a store, you can read the label and find out what is in it.. When you go to a restaurant, you can get the caloric count. If you have allergies, you can avoid eating something that could be toxic for you.

Why not software? When you buy a computer, smart phone, cable or fiber box, or other internet connected gadget, you have no idea what you are getting. The vendor can put in anything they want, as Samsung demonstrated by shipping a smart TV sets that can send out audio and video without any indication to the user.

If consumers were informed what kind of crap was being shipped with their gear, it would go a long way towards cubing this kind of intrusive behavior. Nobody wants a device filled up with junk when they get it, but it's hard, even for Slashdot types, to find out what's in the box before it shows up. A list of add on software that you could see before you buy would make all the difference.

Comment: Ever see a tattoo after 30+ years? (Score 4, Interesting) 164

by Required Snark (#49065511) Attached to: Researcher Developing Tattoo Removal Cream
If you live long enough, you tattoo will turn into a shapeless blob of ill defined colors.

I had a friend who was in the Marines when he was in this late teen years in the early 1950's. In the mid 80's he showed it to me. I was just a round blotch of blue/gray.

Tattoo ink migrates over time. Muscle and skin age and change their shape. It's guaranteed that a tattoo will not stay the same as time passes. It will only look worse.

By the way, the reason that sailors and marines get tattoos is in case they are blown to pieces. A distinctive tattoo on a limb makes it more likely that that body part will be recognized by the survivors. That's why there are often tats on different limbs.

Whens someone gets a tat, and then says that it's to mark a point in their life, I often wonder if that means they are planning for future senility, or being blown apart. Just wondering...

Comment: Re:America's Dark Nuclear History (Score 2) 68

You can walk to the Port Chicago site; I've been there. It's a nice walk by the Suisin Bay on the Carquinez Straight between Martinez and Pittsburg. There is a national historical monument to the disaster, but it's not at the explosion location.

The speculation that it was an atomic explosion is a paranoid fantasy. Given the technology of the time, a ground level explosion would have produced so much radioactive fallout that it would still be detectable today.

Then there is the issue of the situation at the loading docks. This was the era of the racially segregated US military, and the majority of the sailors at the installation were African American sailors, with white officers. Most of the people killed were the black sailors. Afterwards, some of the men refused to resume work under such dangerous conditions, and were courts-martial for mutiny and jailed.

Given the reality of a segregated Navy, it is inconceivable that something as important as an atomic weapon would be assigned to the Port Chicago facility. In the real world, the nuclear components of the bombs dropped on Japan were accompanied by scientists and technicians from Los Alamos for assembly on Tinian before the flight missions.

While this training was taking place, the components of the first two atomic bombs were shipped to Tinian by various means. For the uranium bomb code-named "Little Boy", fissile components consisted of a cylindrical target and nine washer-like rings that made up the hollow cylinder projectile. When the bomb detonated, these would be brought together to create a cylindrical core. The uranium-235 projectile and bomb pre-assemblies (partly assembled bombs without the fissile components) left Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, California, on 16 July aboard the cruiser USS Indianapolis, arriving 26 July. The Little Boy pre-assemblies were designated L-1, L-2, L-3, L-4, L-5, L-6, L-7 and L-11. L-1, L-2, L-5 and L-6 were expended in test drops. L-6 was used in the Iwo Jima dress rehearsal on 29 July. This was repeated on 31 July, but this time L-6 was test dropped near Tinian by Enola Gay. L-11 was the assembly used for the Hiroshima bomb. On 26 July three C-54s of the 320th Troop Carrier Squadron left Kirtland Army Air Field, each with three of the uranium-235 target rings, and landed at North Field on 28 July.

The components for the bomb code-named the Fat Man arrived by air the same day. The bomb's plutonium core (encased in its insertion capsule) and the beryllium-polonium initiator were transported from Kirtland to Tinian by C-54 in the custody of Project Alberta couriers. Three Fat Man high explosive pre-assemblies designated F31, F32, and F33 were picked up at Kirtland on 28 July by three B-29s, two from the 509th and one from the 216th AAF Base Unit, and transported to North Field, arriving 2 August. The B-29s were Luke the Spook and Laggin' Dragon of the 509th, and 42-65386, a phase 3 Silverplate of the 216th AAF Base Unit. F33 was expended during the final rehearsal on 8 August, and F31 was the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. F32 presumably would have been used for a third attack or its rehearsal.

Assembled nuclear bombs were never shipped in a configuration where a nuclear explosion could occur. Claiming otherwise is ridiculous. It's the fantastic logic of a day dreaming 9 year old boy.

So I suggest that you perform an experiment. Get a radiation detector and go to the site. Spend a day looking around. If the weather is nice you will have a wonderful time. And you will find no trace of radiation, or any sign of an explosion at all. Then you can take the radiation detector home and look for the radioactive mind control scorpions that the CIA has planted in your basement.

Optimization hinders evolution.