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Comment: Re:Wait (Score 2) 208

by mpe (#47727031) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic
Since 2000 there's been an unusual number of La Nina years.

We don't have enough observations to ever begin to know what is "usual" in the first place.

Under normal circumstances, this should have produced a noticeably cool period, similar to the 1940s and 1890s. Instead the decade was still the warmest on record.

Even the longest records we have may well be a few orders of magnitude too short to be of much use here. That's before even considering issues of accuracy, when can even apply to records being currently collected.

Comment: Re:They have invoked Streisand. (Score 1) 184

by mpe (#47726965) Attached to: UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime
I also wonder will they prosecute any of the newspapers that showed images from the video? I don't know of any news channels that broadcast the clip, but there might be one of those somewhere too.

Of course just telling people about the video means that it's possible to go looking for it.
Probably be of far more use to strip anyone who wants to join a foreign military/paramilitary of their citizenship. After they leave, of course.

Comment: Re:god dammit. (Score 1, Insightful) 484

by mpe (#47710793) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead
The Exxon Valdez spill killed (from my quick search) an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 birds, about what this would kill in 10 years or so at mid-20k birds killed per year. So, build 10 of these plants (or larger with even more roasting capacity) and you have the equivalent (in bird deaths) of an Exxon Valdez oil spill each year. A wise sage once said "It's not easy being green."

The Exxon Valdez is something which should not have happened at all. Whereas this is a consequence of "normal operation".

Comment: Re:Open Source Integrated email/calendar/phones/et (Score 1) 570

by mpe (#47701207) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft
Also.... shitty Lync server checks for user agent like websites used to in the '90 and not all SIP clients know how to lie tot the server that they are Lync and not Pidgin, Empathy etc.

There still appears to be plenty of webservers trying to interpret user agent strings. Which, ironically, can cause issues with the latest versions of MSIE.

Comment: Re:LibreOffice/OpenOffice still kind of suck (Score 4, Insightful) 570

by mpe (#47701183) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft
People don't want to learn any more than the bare necessity to do their job. If LibreOffice is quite capable of doing what they want, but the menu/button layout is slightly different or some techniques are different between it and MS Office, they'll be less inclined to learn and stick with what they've always known. Which is fine, except that people aren't honest about this being the reason.

But somehow changes between different versions of MS Office don't get this kind of response.

Comment: Re:And this is the same for copyrights. (Score 1) 239

by mpe (#47653191) Attached to: Patents That Kill
Finally, everyone remember radio? Radio was invented way before it was it actually became reality. Why? Because everyone had patents on different parts of the radio and they didn't want to collaborate. I hear it wasn't until around WWI that the government stepped in to be able to use it for the military.

IIRC something similar happened with aviation.
It goes back rather further than that. Patents had a big influence on the first road vehicles at the beginning of the 19th century.

Comment: Re:The problem is false negative (Score 1) 383

by mpe (#47647705) Attached to: DARPA Wants To Kill the Password
Notice that most of these weren't fingerprint scanners or retinal scanners-- they were stuff like gait monitors, or even more bizarre stuff, like listening to your heartbeat. So, if you twist your ankle--or even buy a new pair of shoes-- you're out of luck.

Other clothing changes could affect gait. As could anything else you are carrying both in pockets or in your hands.

Taking pseudoephedrine for a cold? Ooops, your heartrate is different. You're locked out.

Plenty of other things can affect your heart rate, no drugs required.

Comment: Re:Review != accept (Score 1) 315

by mpe (#47628779) Attached to: Why the "NASA Tested Space Drive" Is Bad Science
Funny thing about (good) science - It doesn't simply dismiss new ideas simply because they disagree with existing theories.

Nor dogmatically cling to "theories" in the face of evidence that they are at least incomplete.

Oh, but for the first time in human history we have it right?

Such an assumption does, unfortunatly, happen fairly frequently. Typically with at least one logical fallacy involved. Hence you end up with poor, junk even actual pseudo-science passed of as being good "science".

Comment: Re:Corp IT that can't seem to follow. (Score 1) 138

by mpe (#47628547) Attached to: Microsoft To Drop Support For Older Versions of Internet Explorer
As a sysadmin, running the current version -1 is the safe bet for most businesses. The problem is that few businesses have an upgrade path, policy or methodology so you end up being current version -2 or -3 because no-one is willing to sign off on an upgrade.
Its not that we dont want to upgrade, its that management dont want any disruption to anything.

Possibly also the managment does not want to spend the money on testing to ensure that any disruption is minimised. Especially when one "upgrade" can require all sorts of consequential changes. Be they upgrading something else or changing obscure settings to maintain the status quo.

So they refuse to allow upgrades until eventually the manufacturer forces the issue (and sometimes not even then). As for running out of date versions of Java (or anything else) it's always due to one legacy application that relies on that version and that version only. Its always a critical application that was written by some rock star developer a few years ago and since that developer left a few years ago no-one know how it works or how to upgrade it to function with a more current version of Java.

They may not even be an inhouse developer. Though if they are an external vendor you might be left to guess that that is the most likely possibility. Or they no longer "support" your version, but their latest version requires you to make a major migration, but is very different from the current version anyway.

Comment: Re:Only 17 months to go... (Score 1) 138

by mpe (#47628525) Attached to: Microsoft To Drop Support For Older Versions of Internet Explorer
From my experience so far, IE11 with default settings renders far more like Firefox/Safari than any prior version of IE. A lot of the brokenness probably comes down to web apps detecting IE, then serving content designed for old, broken IE. When new, standards-compliant IE becomes more widespread, people can just remove the code for supporting bad old IE altogether.

Or they could fix the broken version detection code, so that it only does that with actually "broken" versions of IE.

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman