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Comment: Going to be a lot of dead kids and pets (Score 1) 59

by WillAffleckUW (#48907591) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Test tracks rarely allow for what happens in the real world when snow, rain, and fog combine with small kids and pets playing.

How many billions in lawsuits for their lifetime (a kid lives 100 years, and becomes a CEO that means $40 billion each kid) will these Steel Death Automatons rack up before they are outlawed except in retirement communities without kids or pets?

+ - Is a Climate Disaster Inevitable?

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Astrophysicist Adam Frank has an interesting article in the NYT postulating one answer to the Fermi paradox — that the human evolution into a globe-spanning industrial culture is forcing us through the narrow bottleneck of a sustainability crisis and that civilization inevitably leads to catastrophic planetary changes. According to Frank, our current sustainability crisis may be neither politically contingent nor unique, but a natural consequence of laws governing how planets and life of any kind, anywhere, must interact. Some excerpts:

The defining feature of a technological civilization is the capacity to intensively “harvest” energy. But the basic physics of energy, heat and work known as thermodynamics tell us that waste, or what we physicists call entropy, must be generated and dumped back into the environment in the process. Human civilization currently harvests around 100 billion megawatt hours of energy each year and dumps 36 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the planetary system, which is why the atmosphere is holding more heat and the oceans are acidifying.

All forms of intensive energy-harvesting will have feedbacks, even if some are more powerful than others. A study by scientists at the Max Planck Institute in Jena, Germany, found that extracting energy from wind power on a huge scale can cause its own global climate consequences. When it comes to building world-girdling civilizations, there are no planetary free lunches.

By studying these nearby planets, we’ve discovered general rules for both climate and climate change (PDF). These rules, based in physics and chemistry, must apply to any species, anywhere, taking up energy-harvesting and civilization-building in a big way. For example, any species climbing up the technological ladder by harvesting energy through combustion must alter the chemical makeup of its atmosphere to some degree. Combustion always produces chemical byproducts, and those byproducts can’t just disappear

"

Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 3, Funny) 135

explosives?

chemicals my friend

wouldn't take much of the right kind. nice aerosolizer already provided by the craft

biologic if you're exotic

nuclear just plain stupider

but for maximum shits and giggles and no loss of life, i'd load a degaussing coil on a drone and fly it through a target office. do a little tap over all the workstations to get the hard drives

oh shit, am i on some list now?

Comment: Re: life in the U.S. (Score 1) 222

by RingDev (#48903891) Attached to: Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Spec-Bump For Broadband Definition

Pfft, I'm getting 1.1mbps over DSL on a good day where I am. And my 4g phone, when I can get a signal, pulls maybe 600kbps. A 1/4 mile down the road our neighbor has cable at 30mbps, but he pays roughly 4 times as much as we do. Even with that price tag though, they end their line at the corner he's on, there is no service for us.

-Rick

Comment: Re:I Don't Buy It (Score 1) 368

the topic is

Anonymous Asks Activists To Fight Pedophiles In 'Operation Deatheaters'

do you have anything useful to say on the topic?

that's what i tried to do, and i got many even tempered, thoughtful replies, on topic (except for yours)

http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

but for me to speak on topic, eliciting on topic responses... that's "trolling" according to you

meanwhile, all you seem to do is talk about *me*. why? how is that useful? how is that helpful to the topic? i'm not the topic douchebag

if you desire some sort of interpersonal friction, you might want to try a dating site. otherwise, shut the fuck up, and stay on topic, or you're a useless troll

Comment: Texas economy not reliant on oil industry (Score 1) 70

by SuperKendall (#48902535) Attached to: Ed Felten: California Must Lead On Cybersecurity

In the past the oil industry was a much bigger part of the Texas economy than it is now. It's still a large part, but there is a ton of high-tech stuff all around Texas - Apple is building all of its Mac Pro units in Texas, for example...

They also have a lot of international trade, including a major airport and shipping port too. All of that adds to economic diversity.

The herd instinct among economists makes sheep look like independent thinkers.

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