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Comment Re:This is new? (Score 1) 191

I guess I'm confused, but we've developed Android applications for years, one of which involves an interactive water surface. We made use of pressure sensitivity and it worked fine.

It is true that the Android API provides a 'pressure' parameter with touch events, but as far as I know in practice this is just an estimate based on the area of the detected touch. That is, the more pixels are covered by a finger, the stronger of the touch is assumed to be. There are truly pressure-sensitive pens available for Android (and for iOS), but they are far from common. Apple's pressure-sensitive screen is something new, at least for a consumer-electroncs device.

Comment Re: Coral dies all the time (Score -1, Redundant) 167

A lot of the basic principles behind climate science are well-established physics and chemistry that have been known for over a century:

  1. Burning carbon compounds gives CO2
  2. CO2 captures heat
  3. More heat causes higher temperatures

The first step is basic chemistry, and has been abundantly supported by direct CO2 measurements in the atmosphere. The second step is directly reproducible in a laboratory environment, and its effect is used on an industrial scale in greenhouses. The third step is an immediate consequence of a thermodynamic law.

There is plenty of room for debate as to where the heat is absorbed, because the behaviour of the oceans in particular is fairly tricky, but apart from that these steps are beyond reasonable dispute. People disputing these three steps deserve the same warm welcome as inventors of Perpetual Motion devices.

Again, beyond these three basic points there is room for reasonable debate, but on a grand scale that doesn't really matter. More heat means higher temperatures somewhere and this will have consequences for ice and snow, for ocean circulations, for biotopes, and for the weather patterns. The `only' thing left is to establish exactly what these consequences will be on a smaller scale. And yes, that is tricky and requires more and more refined climate models. But that the climate is changing in some way is beyond reasonable dispute.

Comment Re:Yes that is the job of the NSA (Score 1) 213

Exactly where in the NSA mission statement is this covered?

Twenty seconds on wikipedia would have answered that question for you. This is exactly the job of the NSA, particularly for SIGNINT. You might find their mission to be troubling and I might even agree but it IS their job.

Yeah, the job of the NSA is SIGINT. That's probably a surprise to exactly nobody here on /.

But where does it say it is allowed to monitor anybody it feels like? Note the word allowed in my sentence. What the NSA has been doing and is doing right now is not relevant, this is about legal and moral restraints.

So let me rephrase my question a little bit: Is it legal for NSA spy on French presidents? Exactly where in the NSA mission statement is this covered?

Comment Re:European Data Protection Law (Score 1) 130

As this is a European company it is subject to European data protection and privacy legislation.

This is almost certainly not true. If the bank has a significant presence in a country, it is usually an independent bank with only a loose link with the mother company. For example, Santander in Brazil is very much a Brazilian bank, and has little to do with Santander Spain.

Comment Re:There is no such thing as non-empirical science (Score 2) 364

Let me rephrase that: Global warming as enunciated by media popularizers is untestable.

Possibly. Is there only a single such theory? Who cares what the popularisers say?

The best evidence that it exists is melting of long-term ice in different parts of the world.

... and the rising global temperatures, and the rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, and there are probably a few other indicators as well.

But as a theory, in which you can predict specific weather changes when you feed it new observational data and then turn the crank, it's a complete failure.

They are climate models, not weather models, so that they don't work so well for weather prediction is no surprise. Good thing nobody is claiming that then, eh?

Comment Re:and dog eats tail (Score 1) 393

I really don't understand this urge to prosecute him. Why isn't this treated like an airplane accident, where only in extreme cases the pilots are prosecuted? Yes, the man may have made a mistake. Missed a sign, fumbled the controls, miscalculated something, whatever. For me the obvious response is then to find out why that happened. Was he blinded by the sun, were the controls illogical, was he not trained enough, etcetera?

Isn't that much more productive than immediately assuming that he should be thrown is jail, for whatever good that would do?

Comment Re:Was accuracy really the problem? (Score 1) 71

I was never an Apple Maps user, but I was always of the persuasion that the map data and the routing logic was the problem, not whether the GPS had a six-foot margin of error instead of a six inch margin of error. Without good routing logic and accurate street maps, all the accuracy in the world won't help with navigation.

Although more accuracy always helps, I think the point is not the increased accuracy, but the increased coverage. The first vendor to have reliable indoor positioning will get bags and bags of money. Just think of the navigation in large shopping malls and airports. The Iridium localisation may help in that. If not, a team that is able to mix Iridium into the positioning is also able to mix Apple beacons into the positioning.

8 Catfish = 1 Octo-puss