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Comment Tough on the denier (Score 2) 458

This kind of study is hard on the deniers because it begins moving them toward Flat Earth Society status. In a democracy, the minority just doesn't matter very much once the majority has made up its mind. They stop being a part of the conversation. The only way they will be able to get back into the conversation is to start drawing lines in the sand saying what they will and will not give up. And that will be a good thing. We need to start talking about the tradeoffs that we will have to make.

Submission + - Most Americans Support Government Action on Climate Change->

mdsolar writes: An overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future.

In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans say they are more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They are less likely to vote for candidates who question or deny the science of human-caused global warming.

Among Republicans, 48 percent said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports fighting climate change, a result that Jon A. Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University and an author of the survey, called "the most powerful finding" in the poll. Many Republican candidates either question the science of climate change or do not publicly address the issue.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - How Gaseous, Neptune-Like Planets Can Become Habitable->

An anonymous reader writes: Life as we know it requires small, rocky planets. The gas giants of our solar system aren't habitable (to our knowledge), but a research team has discovered that smaller, Neptune-like planets can be transformed into gas-free, potentially habitable worlds with a little help from red dwarf stars. Such planets are usually formed far out in a planetary system, but tidal forces can cause them to migrate inward. When they reach the habitable zone of their host star, they absorb far larger amounts of x-ray and ultraviolet radiation. This can eventually boil off most of the the gas atmosphere, leaving behind the core: a small, rocky world capable of supporting life.
Link to Original Source

Comment We are already unbundled (Score 1) 448

I already pay a cable box fee for each TV and a fee for a cable modem. (By the way, it's only by the grace of regulation that I am allowed to rent a cable card for my Tivo.) I guess they could start metering TV by the minute or charging us for the bandwidth we "consume" watching Jon Stewart.
I like the idea of not paying for ESPN; not just because I don't watch it, but also because it would reduce the power of the sports industrial complex.

Comment You need "office" lenses (Score 1) 464

First of all, you need to make sure that the lenses you have are properly fitted. Buying progressive lenses is a bit of a minefield because they are much more sensitive to the incorrect placement of the optical center. I went through two years of hell until I stopped going to optometrists (who made their progressives in the back room on a lens molding machine) and went to an ophthalmologist who knew how to fit them properly. If you feel like the focus point is too small, you probably have a fit issue.

Once I got properly fitted, I then discovered there are differences between brands of progressives. I ended up buying Varilux Physio 360. They had a much wider field of view than the more standard lens my doctor liked. (He is a smart guy, but old. He recommends the same lens that he is used to, which he first started wearing back in the 70's).

But even they were inadequate or computer/office use. The head has to tilt back too much. For office work, you want to buy a progressive specifically made for the office. They are often called "office lenses" Shamir makes a good one they call an "occupational lens". (

They cost a lot of money, but anyone who has spent the money will tell you it is worth it.

Feed Google News Sci Tech: Arctic ice cap in a 'death spiral' - The Australian->


Arctic ice cap in a 'death spiral'
The Australian
THE Arctic ice cap has melted so much that open water is now just 560km from the North Pole, the shortest distance recorded, according to scientists. Satellite observations last week from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre coincide with a prediction...
While Antarctica's Seas Cool Down, The Arctic Ice DwindlesLatinos Health
NASA keeping close eye on Arctic climateFox News

all 85 news articles

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Middle-School Dropout Codes Clever Chat Program That Foils NSA Spying->

wabrandsma writes: from Wired:

The National Security Agency has some of the brightest minds working on its sophisticated surveillance programs, including its metadata collection efforts. But a new chat program designed by a middle-school dropout in his spare time may turn out to be one of the best solutions to thwart those efforts.

John Brooks, who is just 22 and a self-taught coder who dropped out of school at 13, was always concerned about privacy and civil liberties. Four years ago he began work on a program for encrypted instant messaging that uses Tor hidden services for the protected transmission of communications. The program, which he dubbed Ricochet, began as a hobby. But by the time he finished, he had a full-fledged desktop client that was easy to use, offered anonymity and encryption, and even resolved the issue of metadata—the “to” and “from” headers and IP addresses spy agencies use to identify and track communications—long before the public was aware that the NSA was routinely collecting metadata in bulk for its spy programs. The only problem Brooks had with the program was that few people were interested in using it. Although he’d made Ricochet’s code open source, Brooks never had it formally audited for security and did nothing to promote it, so few people even knew about it.

Then the Snowden leaks happened and metadata made headlines. Brooks realized he already had a solution that resolved a problem everyone else was suddenly scrambling to fix. Though ordinary encrypted email and instant messaging protect the contents of communications, metadata allows authorities to map relationships between communicants and subpoena service providers for subscriber information that can help unmask whistleblowers, journalists’s sources and others.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:One switch to rule them all? (Score 2) 681

Can they also put a switch in this to make Office usable? I can't stand that fucking ribbon interface that makes everything I used to do the most often 5 times more difficult.

Yep. The ribbon still sucks. It's funny how Microsoft wants me to buy new products, but wants to berate me for my preferences.

Comment Re:Are you actually telling me? (Score 1) 179

I was answering wisnoskij who couldn't believe that the Air Force didn't have a redundant launch capability. They do. It's called Delta IV. And yes, it may cost more. Partially because the Russian engine was artificially inexpensive. And partially because Delta IV's LOX/H2 is less dense than LOX/RP-1, and requires more machined metal tankage to put a payload in orbit.

Comment Re:Deny the deniers (Score 1) 869

I am saying that global warming has been established as a fact and should no longer be argued. If you want to argue that the rational policy is to do nothing, then argue it. But you have to do three things. You have to make some effort to quantify the costs associated with doing nothing. Then you have to look at possible solutions and quantify their costs. Then you have to compare those costs. Deniers are people who won't do the first thing; admit there are any costs associated with doing nothing.

Comment Deny the deniers (Score 1) 869

Why do we let the deniers control the conversation? We need to ignore them and figure out what we need to do about global warming. Should we turn off half the streetlights? All the streetlights? Or would we rather go without air conditioning? How will a "free" society that has optimized itself for blind consumerism re-optimize itself for intelligent consumption? Can it even hope to do such a thing? Or do we all agree that there is nothing that can be done collectively?

Statistics means never having to say you're certain.