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Comment: Re:Experimental science vs narrative science (Score 1) 600

by jcupitt65 (#46821041) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

Actually the smoking / cancer link is very hard to really prove. How can you conclusively link an act (smoking a cigarette) to its consequence (getting cancer) when the two are separated by perhaps 40 years of possibly related health events?

Smoking / cancer is proved by careful statistical analysis of very large studies. Or rather, you repeatedly do large studies, narrowing confidence intervals each time, until you reach a point where things seem to tip over in people's minds from "unproven" to "proven".

It's really very like climate change in many ways.

Comment: Re:Yes, it is inevitable. (Score 1) 987

by jcupitt65 (#46625843) Attached to: UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming
Global cooling was NOT a big thing in the 70s, this is a myth. There was some speculation, and some chatter in the pop science magazines, but it was not scientific consensus.

Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth's surface and atmosphere culminating in a period of extensive glaciation. This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the full scope of the scientific climate literature

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_cooling

Your two questions are good ones and the science seems to say that action could help slow or even prevent some of the worst effects.

Whether change is politically possible (or desirable) is an even tougher question and not one science can really speak to. This is where the debate should be now, I think.

Comment: Re:Good! (Score 2) 508

by jcupitt65 (#44616415) Attached to: UK Government Destroys <em>Guardian</em>'s Snowden Drives

There are safeguards. There are home office guidelines that the police must follow (they must only detain people suspected of involvement in terrorism, for example) and there's an independent reviewer who oversees the application of the law.

At least after a quick glance it seems that the police ignored (or took a very broad interpretation of) the guidelines and that the independent reviewer will be holding a triple-cunting when he meets the Metropolitan Police Service. One can hope.

Schedule 7 has been revised (no more than six hours of detention, "suspect" must have a lawyer) and the new version is going through parliament now, so that's something.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23763625

Comment: Re:support for remote streaming? (Score 1) 203

by jcupitt65 (#44325525) Attached to: VLC For iOS Returns On July 19, Rewritten and Fully Open-Sourced

From the linked article:

Furthermore, in addition to the original feature set, VideoLAN has added more ways to synchronize media (upload over Wi-Fi, native Dropbox integration, support for third-party apps through the Share dialog, and via Web download), support for network streams, video filters, passcode lock, background audio playback, and playback speed manipulation. There is also support for subtitles (including Closed Captions and complex SSA), native support for multiple audio tracks, and playback on external screens or AirPlay.

Comment: Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (Score 1) 497

by jcupitt65 (#43693965) Attached to: CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

I don't think that's correct. If I had a range of other measurements and cherry-picked the ones that agreed with mine, thinking the others were outliers, that would be confirmation bias.

What we have here is a large set of independent measurements that all agree. Where is the bias? There is none.

Comment: Re:CO2 at an active volcano? Who wudda thot? (Score 4, Informative) 497

by jcupitt65 (#43689891) Attached to: CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record

Fortunately for science the Mauna Loa readings are in good agreement with those taken at hundreds of other sites around the globe.

Here's a great animation from NOAA showing global CO2 distribution and putting recent changes in the context of the last million years or so. It takes a few minutes to watch, but it's worth seeing to the end, in my opinion.

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

Comment: Re:The betting pool is now open... (Score 1) 536

by jcupitt65 (#43662875) Attached to: Microsoft Prepares Rethink On Windows 8

I'm not sure you're right on the 30% stake being their interest. App stores do not make large amounts of money and MS know that.

Instead, they think the future is mobile, and that they MUST have a competitive product. A mobile product needs a good app selection, a good app selection needs a lot of developers, and developers need a market to sell to, or they'll work on another platform.

Metro is a way to create a market for phone apps without having (yet) a significant phone product. For it to work it must be thrust in the face of desktop users.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

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