Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Ecosystem. (Score 1) 144

I think we should be exposing middle and high school students to some coding. Every student who graduates high school should have the experience of writing a piece of code to perform some simple task and using it in some useful way.

I also think every student should have the experience of playing a simple song on some sort of instrument. It's not about turning everyone into a pianist, but to give everyone the experience of what it is like to play music.

Comment Re:Halfway between ... (Score 2) 159

I was excited about Katrina hitting New Orleans because having lived in Baton Rouge I knew New Orleans was very susceptible to hurricanes. My thought was "Cool... I'm going to see it happen!" The next day this turned to shock and horror when I learned that thousands of people had not evacuated and were dead or in serious need of rescue. Soon afterwards I couldn't believe my ears when Bush stated that no one could anticipate this disaster. It was common knowledge that New Orleans would flood if a hurricane hit. If I knew it was going to happen, certainly the president should have!

Comment Re:"...need to be prepared..." (Score 0) 382

It would be cheaper just to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. That's why we're trying to do that... it's the less expensive approach. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions also has all sorts of other benefits: ensuring we have plenty of energy while fossil fuel resources dwindle, reducing pollution, reducing ocean acidification, and reducing droughts. I don't understand why so many people are against doing it. I suspect that in their minds in means going back to an agrarian lifestyle. It's the exact opposite -- it's moving to 21st century high technology.

Comment Re:"...need to be prepared..." (Score 1) 382

The way it happens is that sea level rises slowly, so slowly it's barely noticeable. Then, literally overnight, a storm causes specific sections of land to go underwater. It's very expensive, even if we plan for it. But we never do seem to plan for it adequately, do we?

CO2 emissions will go down as fossil fuels become harder to obtain and the cost of alternative energy decreases. It's inevitable to reduce CO2 emissions, because fossil fuels will simply be exhausted. All we can do is speed up that process by imposing a carbon tax. We came together to reduce CFC emissions and sulfur emissions to alleviate the ozone hold and acid rain, so why not CO2 emisisons?

Comment Re:A mini ice age? Really? (Score 1) 185

I checked the video. He said "If this continues over centuries, we could get a runaway greenhouse effect." That's a huge "if", but yes, there is a non-zero chance of us putting so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that we could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect and the Earth could become similar to Venus. No one is seriously proposing that would actually happen. That's not what the concern about climate change is. Stop being alarmist.

Comment Re:A mini ice age? Really? (Score 1) 185

Well, I suppose if you replace "civilization" with "the human species," and "be at risk" with "go extinct," you're correct. But read what he actually said. "Civilization would be at risk" not "The human species would go extinct." They're different statements.

Comment Re:A mini ice age? Really? (Score 5, Informative) 185

Climate change is not a death sentence. There aren't any reputable scientists saying it is. I think you may have been listening to some sensationalist media stories, and possibly embellishing what they state. If you like, you can read some of the published effects of climate change, and "all life dying" is not one of them.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 1) 413

Individual action is not going to reduce carbon dioxide emissions much. We need to replace fossil fuels with alternative sources of energy, which is something individuals can't do on their own. We need to build new power plants. This is something we will need to do anyway, since fossil fuels will not last forever. The only option is how quickly we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, not whether or not we do it. And doing so more quickly has the added benefits of reducing pollution and ocean acidification.

Comment Re:The Less You know, The More Scared You Are (Score 2) 262

Maybe the press reports on the people who are more famous (who tend not to be AI researchers). But Stuart Russell, UC Berkeley AI researcher and co-author of the best selling AI textbook of the last two decades, has concerns about the matter, too.

In any case, when you're close to the project you can tend to lose sight of the big picture. Probably few scientists at Los Alamos thought of the long-term consequences of the weapons they were designing.

Another thing to keep in mind is that hardly anyone believes that we're close to creating human-level artificial intelligence, particularly AI researchers.

Comment Re:wft ever dude! (Score 3, Informative) 215

There aren't four billion public IP addresses in use. The problem is that in the early days they handed out class A subnets like they were candy, wasting millions of IP addresses with every one. Most computers don't have their own public IP address -- they have a private IP address and access the Internet via NAT.

Never trust an operating system.