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Comment: Re: They're called trees. (Score 1) 122

by Smauler (#49495925) Attached to: Breakthrough In Artificial Photosynthesis Captures CO2 In Acetate

You've got to take it on a species-by-species basis. Take, for example, Sequoia Sempervirens. Right up until the trees fall down because they outgrow their root systems, older trees put on more mass and thus fix more CO2 than the same area filled to capacity with younger trees.

Then they die, and decompose, releasing nearly all that CO2 back into the atmosphere.

Even trees which aren't getting taller are often getting thicker, so the question for a given species is whether younger or older members put on more mass for a given area. Virtually all of the non-water mass of all vegetation is carbon, and nearly all of the carbon of all vegetation (even relatively high soil carbon users like corn) comes from the air.

Yes, trees that are growing do take carbon out of the atmosphere. After they die, it gets released back. Hence mature forests are essentially carbon neutral.

Now, if we did something else with the dead wood, such as burning it instead of coal, or using it as a building material, it would be a net positive (perhaps not ultimately with the latter - nearly all wood rots eventually). Many species and ecosystems, however, are dependent upon rotting trees; removing them could have adverse effects on the ecosystem.

Comment: Re:Why a single place? (Score 1) 162

by Smauler (#49494373) Attached to: Scientists Close To Solving the Mystery of Where Dogs Came From

Whilst technically true, your statement is also misleading (if you meant to imply foxes are more closely related to cats than they are to dogs). Wolves, jackals, dogs and foxes are all Canids. Foxes are also more closely related to seals, otters, skunks, weasels, red pandas, bears and walruses than they are to cats (the Caniformia suborder contains all these, felines are in a different suborder).

You may be thinking of Hyenas, which are more closely related to cats than dogs.

Comment: Re:masdf (Score 1) 297

by Smauler (#49453183) Attached to: Would-Be Bomber Arrested In Kansas; Planned Suicide Attack on Ft. Riley

cold fjord : What is your evidence that he had mental problems? He certainly had different values, but that isn't the same as being mentally ill. If anything your claim of "obvious mental problems" and that they "decided to make of show out of it for their own propaganda machine" indicates you probably don't understand what was happening.

cold fjord : So yes, it appears he may be mentally ill.

Stop trying to dispute facts that people state that disagree with your worldview without having even done very simple research, please. Please, just stop.

Comment: Re:UK (Score 1) 106

In the UK, truth is essentially always a valid defense.

The big difference between UK law and US law, as I can see it, is that in the UK the person who made the defamatory statement has to prove it. The defamed is under no obligation under law to say anything at all, they can just bring it to court, as long as they say it's false. The onus is on the defamer rather than the defamed, they have to show why they said it.

Also, this doesn't stop most of our newspapers reporting absolute bollocks half the time, but most of the celebrities reported upon would prefer to be in the papers than out of them, so false stories aren't challenged.

Comment: Re:Disturbing. (Score 1) 106

Just FYI, in Japan, it doesn't mater if it's true. You cannot post anything that would bring financial harm to a company. True facts or not, if you post negative things just to hurt a company, you're breaking the law in Japan.

If you post negative things with the intent of hurting a company, you're a bit odd anyway. If you post negative things to help other consumers make a decision between products or services, that's absolutely fine in Japanese law. If this was not the case, all Japanese reviews would be top marks every time, or be illegal.

Comment: Re:Disturbing. (Score 1) 106

Truth is not a mutually exclusive binary state of True / False.

Of course not. "How many integers are there between one and five (not including one and five)" is an example of a question that has a precise answer that is true, but not binary.

I don't quite understand the difficulty with the "When did you stop beating your wife?" question. It's got a blatantly false (in most cases) statement right at its heart. All it's actually asking is a timeframe, nothing else. "You used to beat your wife. When did you stop?" is clearer, but less confusing, so less popular.

It's a loaded question, and you've got to hit the assumptions, not the question.

Comment: What they really mean is: (Score 4, Insightful) 38

by Dzimas (#49407145) Attached to: Forking Away: OnePlus Introduces Android-Based OxygenOS

"We released an almost vanilla fork of Android Lollipop because it's the easiest thing to do to step away from Cyanogenmod."

  And that's actually a good thing, because picking up an "Android" phone that's running some perplexing launcher with everything in the wrong place and packed with dozens of horrible branded apps that you can't remove is utterly stupid (Yes, Samsung, I'm looking at you).

Comment: Re:100% DRM. Always Was. (Score 1) 249

by Smauler (#49400055) Attached to: Sony Buys, Shuts Down OnLive

Some people consider IPS monitors unsuitable for games requiring fast reflexes (i.e. FPSes) due to their double-digit response times. Internet latency is often worse and certainly more unpredictable than LCD monitor response time, and with Onlive, etc. it applies to audio and keyboard/controller/etc input too.

I remember playing Quake back in the day, and I had a single digit ping time with some servers (with an ISDN line), a CRT monitor, and a ps/2 mouse. It probably actually was close to proper single digit lag time between me and the monitor, and I was playing on a remote server.

Now just getting single digit lag times between me and the monitor is next to impossible, let alone if I'm playing on a remote server. I'm not sure why more people aren't more concerned about this.

Comment: Re: The future of console games (Score 1) 249

by Smauler (#49399135) Attached to: Sony Buys, Shuts Down OnLive

To be fair, they do (now) have quite a big box telling you if the game requires additional DRM on the product page. They also have a box telling you if the game has an additional EULA. This is why I didn't buy Anno 2070 on steam, because it comes with TAGES (which can DIAF as far as I'm concerned) and 3 installations. I tried to contact Ubisoft to tell them why I didn't buy it, and why they lost a sale, but couldn't find any easy way to do so, so gave up.

Steam works for me because they offer a service. I've lost game media, and have had CDs been unable to be read. In this situation, you're in exactly the same position if the developer/publisher went tits up as if Steam went tits up. If they're still around, you sometimes have the privilege of paying for replacement media for about the same price as buying the game again would be.

Comment: Re:Produce in your garden? (Score 1) 198

It's not surprising -- it just isn't worth it for most people. To do it well, you variously need land; upkeep time; knowledge (pests you don't need, creatures you do, plant nutrition, how to harvest without doing damage, control of wastage, fertilizer issues, varietal information, home-cooking skills, canning skills); seed sources; patience; storage, fencing to control animal forage, sometimes a permit...

Yeah, not really. The knowledge is simple.

What you have to prepared for is losses. If you plant everything expecting perfect vegetables in a few months without doing anything else, you're bound to be disappointed. If you plant everything perfectly, and manicure them them perfectly, and expect perfect vegetables, you're also bound to be disappointed.

Home grown stuff has losses, always. Slugs are my nemesis with growing beans, but I grow enough of them (not much, only 10 plants or so) to make the losses less hard to bear.

Comment: Re:The BBC doesn't have much latitude here. (Score 1) 662

by Dzimas (#49346683) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

The chef had gone home for the evening, so he was unable to order *steak and chips*. Instead, he was told that only cold sandwiches -- presumably containing nutritional vegetables instead of greasy fried potatoes -- would have to do. And, quite honestly, I fully expect that lunch was provided for the cast and crew.

I admit that I'm a tad concerned about the build up of toxins that you mention -- are you trying to suggest that the cast wasn't allowed to go to the toilet for the entire day?

Comment: The BBC doesn't have much latitude here. (Score 5, Insightful) 662

by Dzimas (#49345315) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

The BBC is a public broadcaster, funded and owned by mandatory license fees in the UK.Clarkson was on contract to the BBC. Once the organization confirmed that unprovoked verbal and physical abuse had occurred, they had to take action or leave the corporation open to an indefensible lawsuit from the victim. They can't exactly say, "Yeah, get stuffed. We have extensive policies promoting equality and prohibiting harassment and violence in the workplace, but we're ignoring them because the presenter is popular and profitable."

No doubt Clarkson and pals will make a profitable jump to Netflix or Sky to make a similar motoring comedy show. Meanwhile, the BBC has a chance to reinvent Top Gear with younger presenters and a reinvigorated format (there are only so many new Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Aston Martins that can be driven around a track in a cloud of smoke every week and only so many routes for contrived road trips through war zones in ancient sports cars).

If you steal from one author it's plagiarism; if you steal from many it's research. -- Wilson Mizner