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Earth

Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation' 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-the-schools dept.
mspohr writes: A special issue of Science magazine devoted to 'Vanishing Fauna' publishes a series of articles about the man-caused extinction of species and the implications for ecosystems and the climate. Quoting: "During the Pleistocene epoch, only tens of thousands of years ago, our planet supported large, spectacular animals. Mammoths, terror birds, giant tortoises, and saber-toothed cats, as well as many less familiar species such as giant ground sloths (some of which reached 7 meters in height) and glyptodonts (which resembled car-sized armadillos), roamed freely. Since then, however, the number and diversity of animal species on Earth have consistently and steadily declined. Today we are left with a relatively depauperate fauna, and we continue to lose animal species to extinction rapidly. Although some debate persists, most of the evidence suggests that humans were responsible for extinction of this Pleistocene fauna, and we continue to drive animal extinctions today through the destruction of wild lands, consumption of animals as a resource or a luxury, and persecution of species we see as threats or competitors." Unfortunately, most of the detail is behind a paywall, but the summary should be enough to get the point across.
United States

Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department 255

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-science-flow dept.
Lasrick writes Physicist Lawrence Krauss blasts Congress for their passage of the 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that cut funding for renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency, and even worse, had amendments that targeted scientists at the Department of Energy: He writes that this action from the US Congress is worse even than the Australian government's move to cancel their carbon tax, because the action of Congress is far more insidious: "Each (amendment) would, in its own way, specifically prohibit scientists at the Energy Department from doing precisely what Congress should mandate them to do—namely perform the best possible scientific research to illuminate, for policymakers, the likelihood and possible consequences of climate change." Although the bill isn't likely to become law, Krauss is fed up with Congress burying its head in the sand: The fact that those amendments "...could pass a house of Congress, should concern everyone interested in the appropriate support of scientific research as a basis for sound public policy."

Comment: overstate things much? (Score 1) 167

by Shakrai (#47516869) Attached to: Privacy Lawsuit Against Google Rests On Battery Drain Claims

MUCH more importantly, though, ads are draining your BANDWIDTH. It's important, because it's also a simple demonstrable harm. If you pay $30 per month for your internet bandwidth, and the ads use up half of it (conservative estimate)

In which universe do you live where ads on a webpage total up to half of the bandwidth to deliver said webpage?

Because Google purposely don't allow you to block the ads in android (*)

They don't make it easy but they don't make it all that difficult either. Buy a Nexus, Developer Edition, or one of the multitude of carrier branded phones that are rootable. Install one of the multitude of ad blocking apps that are available, AdFree being my personal favorite. Problem solved.

Comment: Re:"Compatible" (Score 1) 94

by amiga3D (#47512537) Attached to: Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

I do support the corps occasionally by going to the cinema. I love the new GTX screen at the theater down the road here. Movies on the big screen are still awesome to me. I bought an external Blue Ray burner for my Mini. I love renting BDs from Redbox and ripping them. I store them on hard drive and stream to the TV. Nice, and to think I grew up with a 19" black and white Zenith watching Captain Kirk travel the galaxy. Man the changes in the last 50 years.

Comment: Re:this is great news! (Score 1) 94

by amiga3D (#47512507) Attached to: Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

I bought a blue ray player 4 years ago and one blue ray disk to play on it. I played it once. That's it. Over one hundred dollars pissed away. I did rip the disk to the hard drive so now I have a 1080p mkv file of "The Sound of Music" and it looks great playing from my WDTV live. I do use blue ray for file backup and occasionally burn a blue ray movie disk for friends that just can't leave physical media behind. Trust me though, blue ray support on Linux is dismal and it's only a little better on Mac. Skip it and go digital.

Privacy

Black Hat Presentation On Tor Cancelled, Developers Working on Bug Fix 51

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can't-say-that-on-television dept.
alphadogg writes A presentation on a low-budget method to unmask users of a popular online privacy tool Tor will no longer go ahead at the Black Hat security conference early next month. The talk was nixed by the legal counsel with Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute after a finding that materials from researcher Alexander Volynkin were not approved for public release, according to a notice on the conference's website. Tor project leader Roger Dingledine said, "I think I have a handle on what they did, and how to fix it. ... Based on our current plans, we'll be putting out a fix that relays can apply that should close the particular bug they found. The bug is a nice bug, but it isn't the end of the world." Tor's developers were "informally" shown materials about the bug, but never saw any details about what would be presented in the talk.

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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