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Comment: Re:Not your morals != amoral (Score 2) 253

I am aware of the Open Source / Free Software split. I also know that MIT/X11 is not a copyleft license. Let's not confuse this issue with facts. I don't really care what license they're releasing it under. That Microsoft can do this, not to a chorus of enraged howls, but to people pooh-poohing it as "too little too late," means that software freedom has won. I'm just saying though, it's probably a little premature to take RMS behind the shed. Winning is one thing, but there's no kill like overkill. Personally, I wouldn't cry if proprietary software stopped being a thing; I get paid either way.

Comment: Not your morals != amoral (Score 1) 253

Just because it's a morality that you disagree with does not mean he is amoral. He is an extremist — that's why he's useful. He makes any other Open Source advocate seem like a moderate, when in fact the software industry has changed radically in the last 15-20 years.

RMS may be a crackpot, but he's a very influential crackpot. The largest software vendor in the world just open-sourced their core programming platform. Do you remember how loony Open Source used to be? No one is laughing at the "freetards" any more. RMS may still be risible, but he may yet have the last laugh.

Comment: Overton Window (Score 1) 253

RMS occupies a point of morality that makes far fewer compromises than most people are willing to do. He has a great deal of moral authority, and he's been pretty oracular in the past. No one else is willing to make the same choices, but it's not necessarily important.

What is important is that he keeps on moralizing. Because it makes positions nearer to that (with acceptable compromises) seem more normal. So far it's working great. The crazier he gets, the more sane the rest of us sound. Well, not that I think he's changed his message much in the last 30 years, but you take my point.

Comment: You Don't Need A Minicomputer... (Score 4, Interesting) 252

by Tenebrousedge (#48930413) Attached to: One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

You don't need a minicomputer to call 911. You don't need a minicomputer to text your wife that you're running late. You might be surprised what a smartphone is useful for though.

I've had a smartphone for about six months now, and before that I didn't really think I needed one. Now I know I don't need one, and right now I don't even have cell service, but I have found a number of uses for it anyway. I've used mine as a flashlight, a level, as a compass, and to check my pulse. They make you wish you had a real camera, thus fueling the economy, and they will do in a pinch if you need photographic evidence of something. It makes a great guitar or instrument tuner. It will translate text on a billboard. It saves paper for grocery lists. And there are about a half million things that any networked, powerful computing device would be useful for: games, alarm clock, programming, et cetera.

However, I think I have an even better example. I came home for the holidays to Valdez, Alaska in 2011. As undoubtedly nobody knows, Valdez is by far the snowiest city in America with about 325 inches (8.25 m) of snow in a given year. That year was an extraordinary year for snow. By late January 350 inches lay on the ground, and this in a place where snow showers in May were not unheard of. Boats sank. Buildings collapsed. Everyone who could was shoveling. After the second time I cleared our roof the snow pile reached the second-story windows on every side of the house. This became a slight problem at about the same time when the heating fuel started to get low — the (chest-high) fill pipe for the house was now buried three times its height in snow. You'd think that these sort of permanent-house-features would be easier to find in this sort of situation. I spent about three days digging for the damn thing, but then remembered something a friend had mentioned: the magnetometers in smartphones can be used as metal detectors. I tromped in, borrowed my mom's cell, and found the pipe almost immediately. I'd come within a few inches of it, but then been digging in the wrong direction. It wasn't exactly a life or death situation, but it was pretty dire, and it was pretty much the only tool available that could have helped in that situation.

I get your point that smartphones enable some people to be rather conspicuously vapid, but I'm not sure that they wouldn't be just as irritating with some other toy. I do think it's wrong to disdain the tool because of the users. I'm glad you don't need one. I'm glad I had one when I needed it. I'm pretty okay with having one now, even if I don't use it much. Most especially I'm glad that my mom doesn't live in a place that gets thirty feet of snow in a year. However, if you do happen to visit that terrible place, I highly suggest you bring a smartphone. You never know when it might come in handy.

Comment: Re:Been a pleasure "dusting you" again...apk (Score 1) 319

by Tenebrousedge (#48778825) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

You're a jerk in addition to a complete psycho for posting the same damn thing so many times. If you can refrain from spamming and trolling my every post, I might think about replying. You have a long history of harassing people who disagree with you; it's a bad habit that will get you in trouble some day.

Comment: Re:Models and Fundamentals (Score 1) 319

by Tenebrousedge (#48771231) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

This simplistic zero-feedback model proves nothing. Other things besides the amount of CO2 affect net radiation flux, and many of those other things are affected by CO2.

No, it proves that per basic laws of physics (Stefan-Boltzmann), all other things being equal, increased CO2 produces warming. There are indeed many things that affect net radiation flux, most notably H2O. Basic calculations and laboratory testing, indicate that water has a positive feedback effect on temperature changes due to an increased partial pressure of CO2. Please show evidence or a mechanism that would cancel out the CO2+H2O forcing.

Comment: Reality Check (Score 1) 319

by Tenebrousedge (#48771153) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

The fact that CO2 absorbs IR under controlled conditions in your basement means essentially nothing.

Why? Propose a mechanism. If what you're saying is true, there has to be an effect to counter the CO2+H2O forcing. It has to be a large effect since the positive feedback is strong. That should make it easy to find. Go ahead, find the evidence, show us what we're missing.

... look at the increase over the last decade where warming has flatlined while CO2 substantially increased.

I am not aware that the warming has done any such thing, and most of the warmest years on record fall in the last decade. The multi-decadal trend is upwards, in close agreement with theoretical predictions.

Come back to us after you look up what percentage of the earths atmosphere is CO2...

Now here's a fact in search of an argument. Either you're disputing easily-observed facts about CO2, solar irradiance, and radiative physics, or you have to admit that CO2 causes warming. Specifically, all other things being equal, a doubling of CO2 results in about 4 W/m^2 of warming. Since I know you're not going to dispute basic laws of physics, we're back to the top of this post, where you find the term that makes a bunch of positive feedbacks go negative, but only on this planet, and only when it's convenient, and contrary to observations.

Comment: Re:Models and Fundamentals (Score 1) 319

by Tenebrousedge (#48770743) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

Unfortunately, the real world rarely displays such predictability.

Nonsense. If the world was not predictable, neither science nor engineering would be possible. You're not being empirical, and waffling about unpredictability isn't equivalent to refuting evidence.

Let's flip this around. In order to disprove global warming, you need to invalidate one of the aforementioned observations. First, that CO2 absorbs infrared radiation. Second, that solar output is relatively constant. Thirdly, that the Earth can only lose heat by radiation. Fourth, that the atmospheric CO2 levels are rising. Given all of those, global warming must be occurring.

The final factor in radiative forcing is water vapor. In laboratory environments it is trivial to prove that there is a significant positive feedback cycle combined with CO2-induced forcing. In order for an increase of CO2 to have a net-zero or net-negative effect, there needs to be an equally strong negative feedback cycle. So far there is no evidence of such a thing.

Your degree in physics seems not to have taught you to be empirical. This is not a chain of reasoning which can be discarded by refusing to accept its axioms, this is a chain of observation, repeatable and testable, which requires countering evidence to refute. Every aspect of AGW has been subject to repeated empirical testing, no different from any other field of science. It may surprise you to know that the same principles of heat transfer are used to predict and explain the atmospheric conditions of other planets and even stars. Do you also dispute those results? What aspect of this planet defies empiricism? And more directly to the point, what part of our heat transfer equations is so small to have been heretofore unobserved and yet so large as to cancel out the enormous increase in atmospheric carbon?

I'm afraid that I can't accept sophistry about predictability as an explanation; please provide evidence or an observable mechanism.

Comment: Models and Fundamentals (Score 2) 319

by Tenebrousedge (#48770025) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

You have no idea what you're talking about. You can prove AGW in your basement — that is, depending on what parts of empirical reality you take issue with. Proving that CO2 absorbs IR is trivial. Proving that CO2 levels are rising is less trivial, but possible, and hopefully not in dispute. Proving that Earth is surrounded by vacuum is would be difficult but again hopefully not in dispute. Determining the variation (negligible) of solar irradiance is best done from space, but you might be able to get a good enough measurement from Earth.

The above would be sufficient to prove the fundamentals of global warming. There's only one major heat input, and only one way for heat to escape Earth. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere must correspond to a rise in temperature; it's very simple physics. Attributing the rise in CO2 to humans is pretty simple and two-pronged: one, we know pretty much how much fossil fuels are being consumed, and two, there's a huge difference in oxygen isotope ratios.

That's not all though. Unless everything that is known about radiation is wrong, as previously mentioned, a rise in CO2 means a rise in temperature. This can actually be calculated fairly exactly: 3.7 W/m^2 per doubling, corresponding to about 1 degree C change in global temperature. No one cares about this. However, we have lots of this "water" stuff lying around, and it's a way better greenhouse gas than CO2, and the amount of water that can be in the air increases exponentially with temperature. At first glance, this leads to a runaway positive feedback cycle. At second glance, there are reasons why it does not do that, but despite years of research, there does not seem to be any factors that can lead to a negative feedback cycle. The exact degree of forcing is a matter of research.

Realize that science started investigating this problem at least a hundred years before computer modeling existed. If computers were the only evidence people would be more skeptical. In point of fact, they were more skeptical; it has taken more than a century to muster convincing evidence that humans could affect the climate at all. At this point arguing against AGW is equivalent to arguing against evolution or heliocentrism; literally everything we know about atmospheric and radiative physics would have to be wrong in order for it to be untrue. It's actually a lot easier to prove the fundamentals of the theory than it would be to try to prove evolution.

Talking about computer modeling in the context of proving AGW is like talking about epidemiological models in the context of proving the germ theory of disease. You have the relationship backwards, and you're missing the actual evidence entirely.

Comment: DNS Server, not hosts (Score 1) 181

by Tenebrousedge (#48767567) Attached to: Inside Cryptowall 2.0 Ransomware

Hosts is of dubious efficacy compared to an actual DNS server.


  • Pattern matching (*
  • Works for all devices on the local network
  • You can use real DNSBLs
  • You can use real DNSWLs
  • You can combine whitelists and blacklists: deny *; allow
  • You can return NXDomain instead of a possibly-valid IP address
  • It's generally faster and more resource efficient than hosts

APK is delusional and fundamentally doesn't understand DNS. Don't be APK.

Hosts by default is cached in memory by Windows, which if you have a huge hosts file is going to eat up a ton of memory. Unless it's paged to disk, or if you've disabled the DNS client service, and in that case you will be hitting the disk with every request. This is unlikely to be faster than a local network request. Also if you've disabled the client service (this is almost a requirement for an APK-style hosts file), you have disabled indexing, so you have to read the file line-by-line to figure out if a domain is a match, for each request. Any sites not in your list require reading the entire file.

If you care about security, you should run your own local DNS server. You should also use an ad blocker, which will prevent many requests to ad networks from even being made. The hosts file is for temporary and machine-specific DNS changes, like if you're developing a website and need http://test.local/ to point to your local web server. It's better to have an actual domain registered and and a subdomain, but it's not a big deal. Hosts is a bad solution for almost anything else. Having a program to manage your hosts file is just writing a really shitty, stupid DNS server.

I know I'm going to be trolled for weeks — again — for saying this, but someone has to.

Comment: Dead Man Switches for the Terminally Stupid (Score 1) 421

by Tenebrousedge (#48731801) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?

This app would come with a feature that completely erases itself and any record that you even considered using it.

Why? I don't think this is possible, at least without root.

This kicks in if you don't positively identify that you are still alive and coherent every 6 hours. The lawyers would make sure this feature is present.

Because who needs sleep, right? What situations do you see this being useful for, other than paranoiacs with too little to do? What real-life situation is going to be that time-critical?

Since you might be using this app in the wilderness...

Where there are typically no data services, and emergency situations are frequently lethal within much less than six hours.

...while you are foraging, there are some sister apps you might like; one that estimates if you can jump that ravine, and another that tells you if there are enough handholds on that cliff face for climbing...

I've seen some slot canyons that were jumpable, but nothing I'd call a ravine. Having a loaded pack pretty much screws those sorts of ideas anyway. Your best bet for these apps would be something that just says, "No, you can't do that." to any given situation.

However, there is room for an app that would tell you about climbing routes in the local area. The hard part would be getting a database that had that information, and the other hard part would be making it useful to people beyond the reach of data services.

According to all the latest reports, there was no truth in any of the earlier reports.