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Earth

Debunking a Climate-Change Skeptic 807

Posted by kdawson
from the so-many-notes-mister-mozart dept.
DJRumpy writes "The Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists — that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic — are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It (in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we're grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg's work is 'a mirage,' writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. '[I]t is a house of cards. Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature' of Lomborg's work."
Data Storage

"Limited Edition" SSD Has Fastest Storage Speed 122

Posted by timothy
from the genuine-leather-bits dept.
Vigile writes "The idea of having a 'Limited Edition' solid state drive might seem counter-intuitive, but regardless of the naming, the new OCZ Vertex LE is based on the new Sandforce SSD controller that promises significant increases in performance, along with improved ability to detect and correct errors in the data stored in flash. While the initial Sandforce drive was called the 'Vertex 2 Pro' and included a super-capacitor for data integrity, the Vertex LE drops that feature to improve cost efficiency. In PC Perspectives's performance tests, the drive was able to best the Intel X25-M line in file creation and copying duties, had minimal fragmentation or slow-down effects, and was very competitive in IOs per second as well. It seems that current SSD manufacturers are all targeting Intel and the new Sandforce controller is likely the first to be up to the challenge."
Image

NASA Tests Flying Airbag 118

Posted by samzenpus
from the drop-the-cloud-anchor dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA is looking to reduce the deadly impact of helicopter crashes on their pilots and passengers with what the agency calls a high-tech honeycomb airbag known as a deployable energy absorber. So in order to test out its technology NASA dropped a small helicopter from a height of 35 feet to see whether its deployable energy absorber, made up of an expandable honeycomb cushion, could handle the stress. The test crash hit the ground at about 54MPH at a 33 degree angle, what NASA called a relatively severe helicopter crash."

Comment: Re:Not so fast (Score 1) 380

by ibi (#30259354) Attached to: What the iPod Tells Us About the World Economy

A bigger problem is that companies that outsource manufacturing tend to lose touch with the underlying technologies that make their products possible. If you're not very careful (and Apple is more the exception here than the rule - and I speak as an ex-Apple engineer :-) you'll eventually find that your "designers" have no idea of what's going to be possible in the next generation of technology.

Apple is the exception because the elements of consumer technology are familiar to most American trained engineers from their experience as budding consumers. The same does not apply to aerospace, heavy manufacturing, and most other high tech areas. If you're not building the stuff in those areas you'll soon run out of people who have any idea of what they're doing...

Comment: Re:Just like when a programmer is sure his code wo (Score 1) 430

by ibi (#29780575) Attached to: On the Efficacy of Flu Vaccine

Note that the story only suggests that the vaccine doesn't help the elderly and weak. They even admit this themselves in a q&a:

"One of the most compelling arguments for flu vaccination is to provide herd immunity. In other words, by keeping young healthy people from getting sick it is believed that we can slow the spread of the disease to others. That could help to protect those who can’t benefit from a vaccine due to a weak immune system. Studies in nursing homes suggest that there is benefit to the elderly when caretakers are immunized along with residents."

from http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200910u/h1h1-qa

I think they're being dishonest when they conflate two claims:

* the vaccine may not help the elderly and weak

with

* the vaccine has no value (a much stronger claim and one that they don't make a good case for).

Herd immunity is pretty much the whole point of mass immunization. Ignoring that make them guilty of exactly what they accuse the other side of. Not pretty....

Comment: Re:Please let there be no X! (Score 1) 1089

by ibi (#28630889) Attached to: Google Announces Chrome OS, For Release Mid-2010

Those "cryptic" commands are one of the few advantages that Linux desktops have at the moment. Right now I'm using a Ubuntu machine which displaying applications from a nearby Suse Enterprise laptop and often displays distant (via NX if its over a VPN or straight remote X otherwise) apps from various servers running other Linux variants.

The inability of OSX or Windows to this sort of thing actually matters in an enterprise setting. Whatever issues X has supporting games matters somewhat less. And seeing as Linux is hardly going to beat XBox et al in the games area, maybe the enterprise would be a good place to focus?

Data Storage

Reliability of Computer Memory? 724

Posted by kdawson
from the check-some dept.
olddoc writes "In the days of 512MB systems, I remember reading about cosmic rays causing memory errors and how errors become more frequent with more RAM. Now, home PCs are stuffed with 6GB or 8GB and no one uses ECC memory in them. Recently I had consistent BSODs with Vista64 on a PC with 4GB; I tried memtest86 and it always failed within hours. Yet when I ran 64-bit Ubuntu at 100% load and using all memory, it ran fine for days. I have two questions: 1) Do people trust a memtest86 error to mean a bad memory module or motherboard or CPU? 2) When I check my email on my desktop 16GB PC next year, should I be running ECC memory?"

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.

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