Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:So climate science is politics? (Score 1) 821

by notmuchtosay (#37391236) Attached to: Of Diamond Planets, Climate Change, and the Scientific Method

I have no problem saying their conclusions are not as "hard/concrete " (whatever descriptor you want) as some of the conclusions determined through much more thoroughly controlled experimentation. In no way does this mean that all "inferences" should be treated the same and I agree merely saying "it seems rational" is not enough. Outside of very specific types of research no field operates in a completely controlled experiment condition, it is just not possible. Here is where the science can help guide "inferences" by basing them on knowledge not just from observations but from controlled experimentation. I think another example of this is evolutionary biology. Fossils, geology, species, DNA, animal behavior, etc. were all observed and combined with controlled experimentation (at a extremely small scale that in no way equates to the all of life) to in my mind make evolution a fact as much as there are facts. Now there are certainly debates as there should be about how this all works together, and exact mechanisms at work./n

I will not agree that climatology, astronomy, etc. are not "science." Reading that statement only makes me think of XKCD and old math/physics/chem jokes. In an ideal world every conclusion (controlled testing or otherwise) would be taken on it own merit and examined for possible bias and shortcomings [Here I'm reminded of Feynman's story on the mass of an electron]. When this is done properly, I have no reservations calling a field science. I would hope we never look at something that we don't understand and say, well I cannot do a controlled repeatable experiment, so I can never do "science" in that area. /n

Out of curiosity what are fields/areas that fit your thoughts on "science?"

Comment: Re:So climate science is politics? (Score 1) 821

by notmuchtosay (#37388586) Attached to: Of Diamond Planets, Climate Change, and the Scientific Method

I complete agree that you cannot perform a controlled experiment on the earth, or in astronomy. The lack of ability to perform a controlled experiment doesn't make it any less of a science or the knowledge gained any less true. At worst, I see it as meaning we need to have a better understanding of how our methods could bias a result(s).

Comment: Re:So climate science is politics? (Score 1) 821

by notmuchtosay (#37388104) Attached to: Of Diamond Planets, Climate Change, and the Scientific Method

I completely agree that science is filled with both normal politics and what i would call personal politics. This can be a very bad thing when it holds back knowledge. I also see it as a not quite as terrible thing as it encourages people to try to find the flaws in other peoples' work or test a "better" idea.

Comment: Re:Can they reuse natural gas distribution system (Score 1) 247

by notmuchtosay (#36099114) Attached to: America's First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Fueling Station

It is not quite that simple. I have not met a single person who would purpose a wholesale change from pumping CH4 to pumping H2 in the existing infrastructure. The issues are much greater than just steel having embrittlement. There are a whole host of materials in contact with natural gas including plastic and rubbers. Hell you might loose more gas then you get at the end of the pipe. Often, the purposed methodology centers around using a hydrogen loading in the current natural gas stream. The EU has spent billions looking into this: http://www.naturalhy.net/ The basic idea is use a clean/cheap methodology of producing hydrogen (maybe off peak hours of plants - and then pump into the natural gas system.

It has been some time since I was reading up on the project. If i recall there are two huge obstacles. First if you don't take it out of the natural gas (let it go to the home users) not all equipment likes that and some would become non functioning. Secondly there are not cost effective means to get the hydrogen back out before the end user. I was surprised to find out the materials issues were not show stopping.

Comment: Re:Never Fear!!!! (Score 1) 441

by notmuchtosay (#30813926) Attached to: US Blocking Costa Rican Sugar Trade To Force IP Laws
I usually got the Mexican Coca Cola too. It tastes better. About three months ago I got one with my usual order from the taqueria, tasted it and something was just off about it. I checked the bottle and it now states "sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup." It is sad to see the only direct benefit I had disappear.
Businesses

Inside Factory China 135

Posted by kdawson
from the making-it dept.
blackbearnh writes "While China is attempting to pull its industry up out of mere manufacturing mode, for now the country is the production workhorse of the consumer electronics industry. Almost anything you pick up at a Best Buy first breathed life across the Pacific Ocean. But what is it like to shepherd a product through the design and production process? Andrew 'bunnie' Huang has done just that with the Chumby, a new Internet appliance. In an interview with O'Reilly Radar, he talks about the logistical and moral issues involved with manufacturing in China, as well as his take on the consumer's right to hack the hardware they purchase."
Displays

+ - SPAM: Nanoscale microscope on a chip

Submitted by
Roland Piquepaille
Roland Piquepaille writes "New Scientist recently reported that a UK company is developing a microscope on a chip four times more powerful than the best scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) available today. The best SEMs have a resolution of 0.05 nanometer. This new one, which will be small enough to fit onto a fingertip, should achieve a resolution of 0.01 nanometer. The prototype should be ready by the end of the year. If successful, it could be used for a variety of applications, such as making holograms of large single molecules. But read more for additional details and a diagram of this prototype microscope."
NASA

+ - NASA to scientists: Reveal sex history or lose job 1

Submitted by
Markmarkmark
Markmarkmark writes "Wired is reporting that all NASA JPL scientists must 'voluntarily' (or be fired) sign a document giving the government the right to investigate their personal lives and history 'without limit'. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists this includes snooping into sexual orientation, mental & physical health as well as credit history and 'personality conflict'. 28 senior NASA scientists and engineers, including Mars Rover team members, refused to sign by the deadline and are now subject to being fired despite a decade or more of exemplary service. None of them even work on anything classified or defense related. They are suing the government and documenting their fight for their jobs and right to personal privacy."

Comment: Re:I had to laugh (Score 1) 44

by notmuchtosay (#21322861) Attached to: Speeding Up STM Imaging
Wow, I'm familiar with the STM (I have never used one) but I am not familiar with many people have access or use for one. I thought they were used most for more basic surface physics type of work. Perhaps you are thinking of an SEM or STEM which are now quite common (especially the SEM) and used in a variety of fields? If not, what general use does the STM provide for biology?
The Almighty Buck

+ - DMCA lawsuit for circumventing coupon print limits

Submitted by whoever57
whoever57 (658626) writes "A Fremont, CA man (John Stottlemire) who claims that he was trying to show his skill in order to get a job at Coupons, inc. created a program and showed people how to delete the files and registry entries that limited the printing of coupons using software from coupons.com. He now faces a lawsuit, from Coupons, inc., alleging DMCA violations. The company alleges that his actions are equivalent to those of DeCSS creator "DVD Jon". Mr. Stottlemire asks how deleting files off one's own computer can be illegal, while some lawyers suggest that the DMCA is very broad and may apply in this case."
Media

+ - Journalist attempts to hack, gets caught->

Submitted by
wawannem
wawannem writes "I know that fark is not likely considered the serious news institution that slashdot is... In fact, I've heard of it referred to as slashdot's immature, mentally handicapped, younger stepbrother. Whatever it is, it appears that it drew some attention from a Fox news affiliate. Enough attention that it seems a reporter may have tried to hack into their servers.
FTA — Curtis believes that Phillips, or someone working with Phillips, sent him and several other Fark employees deceptive emails in an attempt to get them to download a trojan, a form of computer virus. The Trojan was designed to capture their passwords and give the author access to Fark's servers. In one case, it succeeded, giving a hacker passwords to a file server and one Fark employee's email account; he tried, but failed, to break into Fark's Web servers and email.
The article goes into some other speculation about the reporter's intentions, but I would imagine that the title of journalist should not exempt him from punishment in this case."

Link to Original Source
Enlightenment

+ - Researchers create gravity in lab experiment

Submitted by jcgam69
jcgam69 (994690) writes "Scientists funded by the European Space Agency have measured the gravitational equivalent of a magnetic field for the first time in a laboratory. Under certain special conditions the effect is much larger than expected from general relativity and could help physicists to make a significant step towards the long-sought-after quantum theory of gravity."
Media

+ - MythTV Listings To Cost $15 for 3 Months

Submitted by NormalVisual
NormalVisual (565491) writes "Schedules Direct, the folks that have been working towards providing listing data for MythTV users in the shadow of the impending shutdown of existing listing services by Zap2It, has finally announced pricing for their soon-to-be-available service. They will be initially charging $15 for a 3-month subscription, but anticipate substantial price decreases as they get more people on board. I for one am quite happy to hear this news."

"Don't talk to me about disclaimers! I invented disclaimers!" -- The Censored Hacker

Working...