Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Warmer Climate == More Snow (Score 1) 319

Per TFA's conclusion: If dynamic thinning continues to increase at the same rate of 4 [gigatons/year] with no offset from further increases in snowfall, the positive balance of the [Antarctic ice sheet] will decrease from the recent 82 [gigatons] to zero in ~20 years. However, compensating increases in snowfall with climate warming may also be expected.

Apparently, warming has added mass via more snow, and the paper doesn't appear to address possible bedrock rebound from thinning ice. At some point, temperature will likely increase to the point where added snowfall can't keep up with the ice outflow. At the moment, the changing dynamic of the climate seems to be causing counterintuitive local changes, like added snowfall in the eastern US and eastern Antarctica, due to added water vapor in the air.

Comment Libertarian Claptrap (Score 1) 248

Our experience thus far is that Mr Ridley is wrong. Industry *can* fund basic R&D by itself, but we wouldn’t be at the level of development we are now with only private investment. In any case, innovation is limited without some data into the basics that it will stand upon. He’s assuming innovation by accident. It happens, but you can’t count on it.

Comment Aka, The "China, Please Snarf My Data" Bill (Score 3, Insightful) 114

So, the Indian Govt thinks that intentionally weak crypto and forced plain text long term storage is a good idea? Never mind what the US might do with this. India's strategic and economic competitor is China, which will thus get so much more info product with so much less effort.

On the flip side, this may be so unacceptable to the business sector that it'll become another source of graft for officials to look the other way. Aka, The "Bureaucrat Bonus" Bill. Something for everyone.

Comment Laser Turntables Aren't That New (Score 1) 62

I read about the Finial laser turntable in '88, and by the time the new owner of the technology finally got them to market in the late '90's, I had gone CD and didn't care. But, I still have the LPs stored vertically, still have a turntable, and maybe one of these days I'll eBay an ELP laser turntable.

Comment Coding? How About 12 Years Schooling? (Score 1) 306

About 30% of Australian high school age kids are in work training or just straight on work, rather than full time students, and are exiting with not much more than middle school level language and maths skills in a US context. So that PM Abbott isn't keen on coding classes isn't a huge surprise.

Comment Branding: Same As It Ever Was (Score 1) 529

This isn't new. In the 20's and 30's, Jewish Americans were the up and coming academic top achievers, and based on merit would have become the largest ethnic fraction of the school. So, the administration found ways to get the kind of WASP-heavy demographic they wanted. Harvard (and the other Ivys) aren't just universities, they are positional goods and attendance is a form of signaling: our next class of business/political elites. To have a demographic that doesn't look like the parents of the current 1% (never mind 0.1%) would signal to them that the school was no longer providing the economic good they send their kids there for.

Comment And Keep Down ROK Missile Tech (Score 1) 360

As part of a '70's memorandum of understanding between the US and ROK, giving the ROK access to some US missile technologies, they agreed to limit the range of their missiles, about 180km. Recently, the MoU has been modified, allowing the ROK to design and deploy a ballistic missile that can hit any part of the DPRK.

And, to reply to dj245's comment as to exactly who's to blame for tensions on the DMZ, tension is the very thing that gives the DPRK government legitimacy. They deploy tension whenever they feel the political and/or economic need. It is possible that if the US unilaterally withdrew its forces, the result would be nothing. But, that's a guess. What's known is that with US forces in harm's way, the DPRK's military commission has to take the possibility of massive US intervention into account.

Comment Welcome To The Informal Economy, Prole (Score 1) 628

Abstracted, what Davidow, Malone, et al are describing is an economy where the endeavors of the greater mass of people is almost completely divorced from that of the owners of capital. We can already see examples of this in a number of countries where the formal, taxed, audited economy is dominated by extraction industries, where the elite skim a major fraction of the income from mining/petro, import most of their consumption goods from abroad, and leave most citizens to make their own luck.

The "make their own luck" segment is the informal economy that most people in the third world depend on for their daily bread. Public services are slim to none, and what infrastructure there is oftentimes depends on the bribes/unofficial payments, since the state intents most formally budgeted public enterprises to be self-financing. Luanda, Angola and Kinshasa, Zaire are excellent living laboratories. But, we expect this in Africa, parts of the Mideast, and swaths of Asia. What the HBR study is really anticipating is the transition of the greater fraction of First World economies to this mode.

The idea that we can survive this transition via the sharing economy, the maker economy, the decentralized manufacturing economy is theoretically possible. But, exactly what level of "survival" are we talking? Given the current politics in the US, we are draining capital and resources from the bottom 99% faster than they (we) can reorganize to optimize an economic readjustment.

Comment Difference Between GOP & Democratic Party (Score 1) 346

dgatwood's observations on US political tendencies starts off well, but I think goes off the rails at the bullet points.

Abstracted: “There’s not a dime’s difference between the Democrats and Republicans.” (coined by George Wallace; reused by Ralph Nader)

It's this sort of thinking that led a significant number of useful idiots to play at left-wing politics by voting Nader in 2000. I think the differences in outcomes between what we'd have likely seen from a Gore Administration and what we actually got from GWB are self-evident. It was certainly obvious to voters between '00 and '04, when Nader's national total dropped from 2.8 million to

Underestimating what brownish people are capable of, wasting hundreds of thousands of lives, pissing away trillions in treasure, and scamming via a mirror image of LBJ's guns and butter budget with a Republican guns and diamonds if that's a dime, my da kine is a redwood.

Comment Case In Point: Maui Electric (Score 2) 516

A few years back, Maui Electric upgraded their power distribution system by replacing wooden poles with steel towers. The claim was that the towers are much more typhoon-resistant, and I'm sure they are. However, given the aerodynamics of round cable, it's a given that the lines will still part in a gale. Why not bury the line? Because for most parts of the island, you hit blue rock (solid lava) within a few feet, and it's expensive to trench through. On the flip side, you only need to trench once, but Maui Electric decided to play the odds and go cheap.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright