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Comment: Jane/Lonny Eachus goes Sky Dragon Slayer. (Score 1) 255

@ClimateRealists That's the first I had read about O'Sullivan's rebuttal of the Greenhouse Effect. He makes a compelling argument. [Lonny Eachus, 2012-02-23]

@GreatDismal See John O'Sullivan's "Slaying the Sky Dragon", for instance. If you think there is solid science behind AGW you are mistaken. [Lonny Eachus, 2012-02-23]

The 2010 fantasy novel Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory claims the second law of thermodynamics disproves the greenhouse effect. At first this seemed like a parody of creationists who claim the second law disproves evolution, but the Slayers seem very serious. They claim warm surfaces can't absorb back-radiation (*) from cold atmospheres because they mistakenly think heat can't be transferred from cold to warm objects at all. In fact, this is only true for net heat transfer. Cold objects can slow the rate at which warm objects lose heat without transferring more heat to warm objects than vice versa. That's how the greenhouse effect works.

(*) Also called downwelling longwave irradiance.

"We can easily calculate what the measured CO2 increase by itself does to the global energy balance of a static system."

This is where you are wrong. It has been shown that most of the models (at least) that are based on radiative forcings due to CO2 are based on flawed physics. See No, Virginia, Cooler Objects Cannot Make Warmer Objects Even Warmer. Their whole premise is based on a falsehood. ... [Jane Q. Public, 2012-04-14]

And so I have read explanations of how the greenhouse effect is supposed to work. And almost all of the CO2 warming models ... rely on the concept of "back radiation", in which the gases radiate some of their absorbed energy back to earth. But that is in fact impossible. First Spencer's explanation of how back radiation is supposed to work: ... Spencer is a weird case, because he recently jumped the fence and said his research showed CO2 warming to be true. So anyway, here is physicist Pierre Latour, refuting Spencer's explanation: The important point here being that most, not just a few, CO2 warming models rely on this "back radiation" concept. I'm not trying to pick on Spencer, it's just that he probably wrote up the best explanation of the mythical back radiation. [Lonny Eachus, 2012-05-21]

Again, Dr. Latour's Slayer fan fiction is fractally wrong:

... the absorption rate of real bodies depends on whether the absorber T (radiating or not), is less than the intercepted radiation T, or not. If the receiver T > intercepted T, no absorption occurs; if the receiver T < intercepted T the absorption rate may be as great as proportional to (T intercepted – T absorber), depending on the amounts reflected, transmitted or scattered. What actually happens is the chiller radiates to the hot plate, but the plate cannot absorb any of it because it is too cold. The hot plate reflects, transmits or scatters colder radiation, just like my roof does for cold radio waves. ... Energy from colder cannot heat hotter further because the second law of thermodynamics says so, because nature says so; always and everywhere. ... Conclusion, the hot plate remains at 150. All physics I know supports it; no physics offered refutes it. Spencer mistakenly assumed the 150 plate absorbs incident 100 radiation ... The generalized claim that a cooler object placed near a warmer object cannot result in a rise in temperature of the warmer object stands. ... [Dr. Latour, 2011-11-06]

If Dr. Latour understood the second law refers to net heat, he'd agree that adding a cold plate makes the heated plate lose heat slower. That's okay because net heat still flows from hot to cold, i.e. more heat moves from hot to cold than vice versa. But Dr. Latour disagrees, wrongly claiming that hot objects can't absorb any radiation from colder objects. He's not alone:

Continued here due to Slashdot's filter.

Comment: Re:well (Score 1) 125

by Tom (#47535431) Attached to: The Psychology of Phishing

Ahh, so you work at one of those places with horrible culture.

I don't work there anymore, but I've been in the security industry long enough to know a number of companies, as well as the uncomfortable squirming that follows if you ask security training providers for independent evidence supporting their claims.

It's not a problem of IT security. Fire security trainings are quite similar, except that they have evolved thanks to decades of experience - in a modern company, those responsible know that the fire drill is primarily to drain the assigned helpers and floor supervisors, not the employees.

Instead of saying "this is stupid, I know this stuff" you could volunteer to help mentor people or simply grunt "yup, saw a guy get hacked by this once" instead of holding negativity.

I never said security is stupid. I am saying security awareness trainings are a waste of time, by and large. Tell me, how many people have you had in those trainings you thought before they went in that giving your password to random strangers is a good idea? 90% of the content of these trainings is either boring because everyone knows it already or boring because it's too technical and not interesting that they filter it out.

I've had the responsibility of writing or reworking existing IT security policies, and my advise has always been to make them as short and simple as possible. I've seen a multinational corporation vomit up a 300 page security policy, which was really great from an ISO 270xx POV, but aside from the guys in the security department who wrote it, I'm fairly certain I was the only other human being who actually read all of it, ever.

I love security. But I think our industries approach to users and security is fundamentally flawed and trainings are a band-aid on a broken arm - placebo treatments that don't even touch the real issues.

Comment: Re:We can't live without these things? (Score 1) 198

by bmo (#47534815) Attached to: How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

And here's the teenager with no life experience whatsoever.

Do you have any idea how long it takes to rebuild just a power substation? Do you have any idea how few EEs, techs, riggers, and laborers we have to rebuild them en masse?

You don't. That much is plain.

backup generators

What fucking backup generators? They don't exist.

Call up National Grid. Ask them how many "backup generators" they have for a Carrington Event situation. The laughter should be loud.


Comment: Re:Is there an SWA Twitter police? (Score 1) 789

Do they have a team of people sitting around watching a Twitter feed, so that if anyone mentions Southwest they can pounce?

Actually, yes, they do.

I once tweeted to complain that of the four Southwest flights I took, a single one managed to get me to my destination on time. Every other flight was late in some way. My "favorite" of that group was the flight that landed 20 minutes ahead of schedule, only to be refused a gate at the airport and had to sit around on the taxiway somewhere for 40 minutes before being assigned a gate. (Apparently Southwest doesn't rent enough gates for all their flights at Seatac.) This counts as an "early" flight as far as their metrics are concerned, despite the fact that everyone was stuck on the plane until 20 minutes after it was scheduled to arrive.

Second place goes to the flight which landed at a Southwest hub that was stuck on the taxiway because there was no ground crew available to bring the plane to the gate and connect the jetway. Again: at a Southwest hub airport.

So, in any case, I tweeted this using Southwest (intentionally not using @SWA because I didn't really care at that point since by then I was done traveling) and got a response from a Southwest customer service agent.

The answer is yes: they do, in fact, search Twitter looking for people talking about Southwest and will reply to complaints.

Other businesses do this too. I've actually managed to get tech support issues resolved by whining about them on Twitter without even mentioning the a company handle. (For example, after complaining that I couldn't find drivers for Windows 8.1 for my Samsung laptop, a Samsung customer service agent replied telling me how to use their update tool to download working Windows 8 drivers.)

Comment: Re:Yeah, "disruptive" (Score 3, Funny) 155

by Minwee (#47534303) Attached to: Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

The biography of former U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an "alien lizard who eats Mexican babies."

Why won't Donald Rumsfeld deny these allegations? We're not saying he is an alien lizard who eats Mexican babies -- In fact, we think he isn't! But I can't help but wonder, since he has failed to deny these horrible allegations, why won't he deny that he is an alien lizard who eats Mexican babies?

Hey, I'm just asking questions.

Comment: Re:We can't live without these things? (Score 2) 198

by bmo (#47531743) Attached to: How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Really? This would be devastating? We can't live without electricity, electronics, water pumps?

Can you farm without electricity? Gasoline? Do you have all the pre-electricity farm equipment that would allow you to grow food without a tractor, power tools, etc? Does your well pump even work without electricity? I'll bet it doesn't. I'll bet you can't really live off the grid unless you're Amish or Mennonite. You simply don't have the pre-industrial technology to get along in such a world.

Many in cities and suburbs, after 3 or 4 weeks, would wind up going out into the country to forage if they could find gasoline to pump (and gas pumps work with electricity!), because the supermarkets would be empty and all the food in the refrigerators/freezers would have spoiled after only a few days.

To your "off the grid" house. Probably.

inb4 "I have an arsenal of arms to keep them away"

Your best defense and survival depends on your neighbors. Because one lone person with a stash of food and arms can be out-sieged by the outside world.

I would suggest watching "The Trigger Effect," Episode 1 of James Burke's "Connections" series. Anyone (sensible) who watches that and looks around at the technology that supports all of us will come away with the conclusion that if it seriously went away for a month, we'd be fucked. The shit would so seriously hit the fan that your incredulousness indicates you are either completely out of touch with society at large, deliberately myopic, or some teenager that hasn't lived life enough to have any kind of broad view. Good luck with that.


Comment: Re:There would have been one nice side effect (Score 1) 198

Maybe, maybe not. We know that companies, such as electrical suppliers, have extra equipment lying around for general maintenance and upgrade. Also, the people who manufacture these products have supplies on hand.

While it would be tedious, you would use this spare equipment to repair the most critical connections (from power plant to factories), thus enabling you to begin resupplying everyone else.

I'm not trying to minimize the nightmare scenario of getting things back up and running, only pointing out the path to get us there.

Comment: There would have been one nice side effect (Score 0) 198

ISPs such as Verizon and Comcast would have been forced to upgrade their equipment which means some of the bottlenecks that currently exist wouldn't exist afterwards (though let's be honest, they will find some other excuse to keep speeds slow).

And yes, this is a Broken Window-type fallacy though in this case, it wasn't deliberate.

Also, there would be a temporary boost in productivity and spending as all this equipment, in general, is replaced though whether that would offset the loss of productivity and people having nervous breakdowns because of their Pavlovian need to check their email and texts every ten seconds is debatable.

Comment: I'm confused (Score 2) 176

Aren't these two states, Tennessee and North Carolina, states who routinely harp on federal government interference in states rights?

Now they're asking the federal government to override what their own state governments have said.

Reminds me of Texas where that company blew up because they were storing exorbitant amounts of explosive materials and which had never bothered to be regulated because, you know, regulations are evil. Once the place blew up, Gov. Perry says "Texans take care of their own" then proceeded to whine how their request for federal disaster aid was (initially) rejected.

It would be nice if people had some sort of internal consistency. Either the federal government is too big and needs to stop weedling into state government, or it's not.

I can't wait to hear how those who say there is no need for net neutrality will react to their own states asking for just that.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James