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Comment: There is no "safe" solution, only "safer" (Score 1) 247

by argStyopa (#47911111) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

Any medium will ultimately fail, over long enough spans of time.
Further, just the transcribing process itself has chances of introducing errors.

- back them up to the cloud. That's about the closest thing you're going to get to "permanent" storage, as you're outsourcing your (individual) chance of hardware failure to some online entity that (at least allegedly) backs up things redundantly across multiple methods, and/or
- just stop being OCD about it. At a certain point, trying to 'preserve' things forever just becomes silly. If you have the only unique recording of some substantial historical event, that's one thing. If it's your child's first steps, understand that while that might be important to you and maybe even to them, nobody else cares about it. Really. While losing it would be sad, it wouldn't be tragic. After all, there are billions of person-years of lives that have vanished, unrecorded, and life goes on.

+ - Antarctic Ice at Record Extent->

Submitted by argStyopa
argStyopa (232550) writes ""Scientists say the extent of Antarctic sea ice cover is at its highest level since records began. Satellite imagery reveals an area of about 20 million square kilometres covered by sea ice around the Antarctic continent. ... "This is an area covered by sea ice which we've never seen from space before," he said. "Thirty-five years ago the first satellites went up which were reliably telling us what area, two dimensional area, of sea ice was covered and we've never seen that before, that much area. "That is roughly double the size of the Antarctic continent and about three times the size of Australia."""
Link to Original Source

Comment: So essentially (Score 1) 287

by argStyopa (#47889413) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Google can comply with the ruling by simply un-checking the 'automated response'.

So your emails vanish into a black hole, *never to be responded to*, rather than you getting something confirming (what you suspect) that nobody will ever read it.

Is that really better?
Having dealt with "customer service" (seriously, I can barely say that with a straight face) with German companies for years, suddenly things make a lot more sense, however.

Comment: Re:Eat real foods, mostly veg, not too much (Score 1) 290

by argStyopa (#47882289) Attached to: Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

This would be sort of a que sera sera thing except for the pervasive role of government today coupled with the speed of information. The impact of a fad-belief on a single population will normally be along a distribution curve, probably directly relateable to how much it contradicts 'current' or 'conventional' wisdom:
  - some will believe it wholeheartedly and take it as gospel
- some will guardedly believe it
- some will reject it ...with the end result being a distribution of results. If over time it seems to be beneficial, it becomes universalized.

Vaccines "might" be dangerous? An uninformed (but pretty) celebrity makes a public statement and the next day thousands follow it like unthinking sheep.
Eggs are (believed to be in the fad of the moment) bad? Some bureaucrat swipes a pen and eggs are expunged from every school meal program and officially 'frowned on' across the public, leading to a decrease in consumption of what may be a perfectly healthy food, replaced by high-sugar, high-fat breakfast 'snacks'.

PERSONALLY (I am not a dietician) being alive since 1967, my observation of the (somewhat sudden) increase in obesity across American society seems to dovetail with the whole 'cholesterol' thing - the early-80s crusade drove out what seems to be to have been a relatively unprocessed staple of civilized human consumption. But I'm aware too that the latter-20thC saw the unprecedented industrialization of food production so there could be a host of chemicals at fault that happened at the same time.

Comment: Am I the only one hoping for another space race? (Score 1) 100

by argStyopa (#47880139) Attached to: China Targets 2022 For Space Station Completion

Seriously, I hope that this would be enough to make the US government take seriously its long-term strategic responsibilities in regards to securing the "high ground" at critical points in our gravity well.*,**

* like the Lagrange points & the north and south lunar poles. These will be as critical for the 21st century as coaling stations were in the L19/E20th centuries.
** Don't get me wrong, I don't expect this to happen. Politicians see a far better immediate funding return to favoring their giant-megacorp friends, or (in a longer view) vote-to-government-largesse RoI to dumping government money on the overbreeding underclass or swarming illegals. In short, space stations don't vote, and neither (today) do the US citizens in a century or two who'll have to live with the missed strategic missteps of today. (shrug)

Comment: Re:Ocean acidification is scary (Score 1) 427

by argStyopa (#47865295) Attached to: UN Study Shows Record-High Increases For Atmospheric CO2 In 2013

Which marine ecosystem are you talking about?

The one in which there are, indeed hundreds of hyper specialized species which have developed to take advantage and exploit a benign, optimal climate? Of course, their rise meant that they easily out-competed more generalized species, driving them to the otherwise marginal ecosystems.

Or the other one, the one with horseshoe crabs and jellyfish that are flourishing (again) because the fluctuating conditions favor the generalist over the specialist?

I'm not sure what to think on coral; on the one hand we are told how desperately fragile corals are to everything. It's clear that certain coral are stressed and dying. On the other hand, warmer seas would imply that their range would be much broader. Not to mention the fact that coral are some of the oldest life forms on the planet, having durably survived far more nasty conditions, both in extremes, and rate of change including multiple extinction events.

Comment: Re:forensic 'science' (Score 1) 134

by argStyopa (#47847849) Attached to: New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

Certainly it's easier to DISprove something with DNA than it is to prove something, but at a certain point reasonability MUST take a seat in the courtroom as well.

Are you actually asserting that
- his blood was proved to be on her shawl
- he happens to be insane, with homicidal tendencies ...yet that's just coincidental?

Is there a non-zero chance that these things could be true and him not be Jack the Ripper? Yes.
Is that chance infinitesimal and not really worth seriously considering? Also, yes.

Comment: Re:Here is a map that shows the ash coverage. (Score 4, Informative) 121

by argStyopa (#47805581) Attached to: New Computer Model Predicts Impact of Yellowstone Volcano Eruption

First, I'm not sure if you made that yourself, or what, but that's just a circle of X radius around Yellowstone - that might be useful if the Earth had no atmosphere, I guess?

Prevailing winds and jet stream guarantee a more distributed pattern downwind, significantly different than a simple circle.

BTW, the original article is missing pretty much anything of substance, and is written atrociously: "...In the Midwest, a few centimeters of ash is projected to be plummeted while coastal cities will have a few millimeter of ash buildup..."
" be plummeted..."?


And an actual article that explains that whole "sciencey" stuff:
Their slightly more substantive version of the above paragraph:
"...In the simulated modern-day eruption scenario, cities within 500 kilometers (311 miles) of Yellowstone like Billings, Montana, and Casper, Wyoming, would be covered by centimeters (inches) to more than a meter (more than three feet) of ash. Upper Midwestern cities, like Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Des Moines, Iowa, would receive centimeters (inches), and those on the East and Gulf coasts, like New York and Washington, D.C. would receive millimeters or less (fractions of an inch). California cities would receive millimeters to centimeters (less than an inch to less than two inches) of ash while Pacific Northwest cities like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, would receive up to a few centimeters (more than an inch)...."

Comment: Re:What will it take? (Score 1) 302

by argStyopa (#47801673) Attached to: Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

I don't see it as a "climate problem" any more than I see aging as a "chronology problem".

It's climate.
It changes.
Adapt or die.

Building a city on a coastline might be incredibly convenient, but it is exactly like building it on the edge of a volcano. The only difference is a matter of scale.

Vax Vobiscum