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Comment: Re:suckers (Score 1) 113

by khayman80 (#49793265) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion

Solar farms are already observed to fry birds and blind pilots. Not to mention the huge amount of landscape they consume. And in high latitudes, not only to they take up even more (and more ecologically sensitive) area, they aren't even usable a good part of the year.

Concentrated solar thermal plants can fry birds or blind pilots, but solar PV panels don't. They don't take up ecologically sensitive landscapes when they're mounted on roofs, and that distributed nature can be more resilient than putting all our eggs in a large centralized power plant. We need to build more nuclear power plants, but we also need more renewables like solar, wind/wave, tidal, geothermal, and maybe even osmotic power.

In my area, they don't even come close to competing with other sources for cost.

Does that cost include the damages caused by the CO2 emissions of those other sources? If we're going to include damages caused by solar thermal plants, shouldn't we also include the damages we learned about from studying the effects of rapid CO2 emissions during the end-Permian, PETM, etc.?

Comment: Re:suckers (Score 1) 113

by khayman80 (#49793179) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion

You might be interested to know that the Butterfly Effect has made a profound contribution to weather and climate modeling. Without it, we would not know even the relatively small amount that we do know.

Does the "relatively small amount that we do know" include how adding CO2 warms the Earth's surface? You've been vigorously disputing these fundamental physics for years. Can you finally admit that mainstream scientists know how adding CO2 warms the Earth's surface?

Comment: Re:Bitter chocolate tastes bad? (Score 1) 221

WTF? If you don't like hoppy IPAs just order something else. It's certainly not like the only craft beer that's available.

While that's true, the percentage of hoppy IPAs (and similar styles) available on many beer menus has skyrocketed in the past decade or so.

Meanwhile, just about every craft dark beer (stout, porter, etc.) can't be sold unless it's brewed with some odd concoction of chocolate, coffee, herbs, and who knows what else. (I'm very sensitive to caffeine, so I don't want coffee in my beer, thank you.)

If you don't like hoppy lighter beers or coffee-infused dark beers, in most bars you're stuck drinking some "classic" beer on the menu. If you're lucky, you might see some craft brown ale that isn't completely "off the spectrum" of normal beer.

I actually love trying "interesting" beers. I also appreciate breweries that create variations on standard styles (not every stout needs to taste like Guinness, and there is a great deal of room for decent porters, cask ales, etc.).

But if I'm looking at a place that has 20+ beers on tap, there's often only one or two choices for people who might be interested in trying something different that's NOT overrun by hops or coffee. (A couple months ago, I had a beer that literally tasted like eating burnt pine cones and huge amounts of nutmeg -- terrible. But at least it was different. I only tried it because there was nothing else on the large beer menu which wasn't a standard classic beer, a hoppy IPA or ale, or a coffee-infused dark beer.)

If I wanted something incredibly bitter and/or full of coffee/caffeine in a wildly out-of-balance way, I'd just go drink crappy coffee at Starbucks. Ironically (to my mind), it seems that's where craft beer is taking its cues from these days.

Comment: Re:The Chinese are not the soviets (Score 1) 227

by hey! (#49793149) Attached to: Neil DeGrasse Tyson Urges America To Challenge China To a Space Race

The chinese and americans make too much money off each other to go to war with each other.

Which of course means we are no threat whatsoever to to each other, because on both sides of the relationship the leadership is and is guaranteed continued to be completely rational.

Comment: Re:This was done by a journalist, not a scientist! (Score 4, Insightful) 221

You're absolutely correct that this story is mostly about how we should distrust science journalism, and the author of the "study" makes that clear.


If a scientist had done this they would be losing their job any minute. Any of the following would be enough to disgrace a practicing scientist (I am one):

Yes, all of that is true. But I think you're exaggerating quite a bit about the impact any of this would have had on whether a study like this could have been done by a reputable scientist (it certainly could have been), or whether it would have been published if that scientist had appropriate credentials (as noted in the article, there are plenty of places to publish bad research with little vetting).

2- asking people to undergo a study that he knew before hand that was not beneficial to the subjects, in fact could likely be the opposite (this would mean he'd never get approval of the study)

The details of methodology in this study might have been changed a bit to get it approved by a review board, and there's certainly nothing about the basic idea of this study that suggests it would NECESSARILY (or even likely) have significant detrimental effects for the subjects. And there is certainly at least a possibility of beneficial effects.

I suggest you have a look at some of the research articles linked even in an article of Wikipedia on the subject. There have been dozens, and probably hundreds of studies that have tried to measure health effects of chocolate -- many of them have involved people eating small amounts of chocolate and observing effects, just as the study here did.

So, the idea that an actual scientist, with the appropriate amount of time, could "never get approval of the study" is just ridiculous. As I said, there would probably be some more detailed methodological justification and tweaks, but lots of nutrition studies like this happen all the time.

Unlike what the guy says, journalist can never be "peer" reviewers of any science... their role is different and yet they are not doing it properly.

Yes, journalists have their own jobs to do, and there are certainly flaws in the system.

But there are flaws in the science system too, which makes the job of journalists (and scientists trying to look at research out there and evaluate it) much harder. "P hacking" is not just something made up by this journalist -- it's a real thing, and it's a real problem. Yes, many reputable journals have tried to make review procedures better to avoid various statistical problems, but they often don't really fight them head-on (with a few notable exceptions of brave editors or boards). There are a LOT of problems with common statistical procedures followed by researchers -- even those who have proper credentials and have gotten independent reviews.

Anyhow, most of your criticism boils down to "this guy wasn't credentialed to do what he did." That's great, but it doesn't address the larger flaws here -- not only in journalistic reporting, but in some aspects of scientific methodology. This study was clearly not rigorous, but I've seen worse studies published in reputable journals.

Comment: Re:Someone claim (C) on something oracle depend on (Score 2) 205

The Open Group claims the copyright on the POSIX specifications. If APIs can be copyrighted and this copyright includes all implementations, then it would be problematic for all open source *NIX systems. Of course, they might decide to provide a license that's valid for everyone except Oracle (though writing such a license in a way that's GPL compatible would be very hard, so glibc might be in trouble).

Comment: Re:Important Question: WHICH DC? (Score 1) 480

by TheRaven64 (#49791213) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
The thing that killed DC in the war of the currents was that step up and step down transformers for AC are easy and cheap to build, but doing the same thing for DC caused a lot more loss (one of the simplest ways of doing it was to convert to AC, do the voltage change, and then convert back to DC). For long hauls on the grid, you want a much higher voltage than in houses. Now, however, it's relatively cheap (both in terms of convertors and in terms of loss) to produce DC-DC converters. USB-C supports 5V (up to 2A), 12V (1.5-5A) and 20V (3-5A). It's fairly easy to imagine 48V between rooms and then a converter in the sockets able to provide USB voltages. You wouldn't want to run a heater or a vacuum cleaner from it, but it would be nice for a lot of consumer electronics.

Comment: Re:Impractical (Score 2) 480

by TheRaven64 (#49791099) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage
We're not talking grid back-haul though, we're talking a few tens of metres maximum within a house. I've wondered for a while if it would be more efficient to have moderately high voltage DC room-to-room and then low-voltage DC in rooms. Given the number of things in my house that would prefer a DC supply and so end up with (cheap and inefficient) AC to DC convertors per plug (and especially if you use LED lighting), it seems like it ought to be a win. And now seems like a good time to do it, as USB-C is a consumer connector that can provide up to 100W via something that's designed to be very cheap to produce in the lower power variations.

Comment: Re:next up: ban cars (Score 1) 113

by hey! (#49790609) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion

Well, driving cars in urban centers generally sucks between the traffic and finding parking. The problem is people are too stubborn to get their act together and provide abundant satellite parking and transit links. Sure, driving your car right up to a store is ideal when you're the only one doing it, but there's a reason malls are built with parking on the periphery and pedestrian access at the core. If parking was the most pleasant and convenient way to get a lot of people into a confined area you'd be able to drive right into Disney World and park your car at Space Mountain.

Comment: Re:nonsense (Score 3, Insightful) 113

by hey! (#49790515) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion

Anything that happens inflates someone's bank account. If governments ban CFCs then people with CFC substitutes get a windfall. If governments don't ban CFCs then makers of sunscreen and skin cancer treatments get a windfall.

This is how capitalism works -- how it's supposed to work. Problems attract capital, which generates profits. But it's also how market solutions fall short. It's better for the public if someone makes a killing replacing CFC than if someone else makes a killing treating skin cancer.

Comment: Misses the strategic imperative for Android. (Score 1) 320

by hey! (#49790287) Attached to: The Tricky Road Ahead For Android Gets Even Trickier

Google's core businesses would be seriously damaged if Apple obtained a monopoly on mobile computing. If it breaks even and prevents Apple hegemony it's as much of a success as it needs to be.

As for the supposed switching of Android users to iPhone, notice the tortured stipulations in this sentence: "the 'majority' of those who switched to iPhone had owned a smartphone running Android." It's also no doubt true that the majority of users who switched to new Android phone had owned a smartphone running Android in the past. The vast majority of smartphones out there are Android, and that's been true for years now, so it's not surprising that someone buying a new smartphone of any kind has previously owned *some* android handset.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -- Arthur C. Clarke