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Comment: Re:Yes. It is called "land subsidence" (Score 1) 146

by hey! (#49366771) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

Which makes sense. Sea level rise in the last 50 years has amounted to about 4 inches, probably not enough to make drains run backwards.

The way sea level rise will make itself known isn't through changes in day to day phenomena, but in exceptional phenomena like storm surge flooding. This is a place where inches may well matter. People plan around concepts like a "ten year flood" or a "hundred year flood", and this creates a sharp line on the map where there is no sharp line in reality. Depending where on the domain of the bell curve their chosen planning horizon is, a few inches could turn a ten year flood into a five year flood, which has immense practical implications.

When people way that there is nothing intrinsically worse about a globe that's four degrees hotter they're right. But *change* that undermines human plans represents a big challenge. Change also represents a big challenge to species populations that can't relocate on the timescale of change.

Medicine

Material Made From Crustaceans Could Combat Battlefield Blood Loss 69

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-good-news-for-swashbucklers dept.
MTorrice writes: A foam composed of a polymer derived from crustacean shells may prevent more soldiers from falling victim to the most prolific killer on the battlefield: blood loss. Pressure is one of the best tools that medics have to fight bleeding, but they can't use it on severe wounds near organs. Here, compression could do more harm than good. First responders have no way to effectively dam blood flows from these non-compressible injuries, which account for the majority of hemorrhagic deaths. The new foam could help stop bleeding in these types of injuries. It relies on chitosan, a biopolymer that comes from processed crustacean shells. By modifying the chitosan, the developers gave the material the ability to anchor blood cells into gel-like networks, essentially forming blood clots. The researchers dispersed the modified chitosan in water to create a fluid they could spray directly onto noncompressible wounds.

Comment: Buy three computers for three apps (Score 1) 179

JavaScript lets you run web applications on any platform that supports JavaScript. If developers are forced to make the applications native instead, they are likely to make the applications exclusive to a particular computing platform, which is not necessarily the platform that you happen to run. Does JavaScript use more energy than it costs to manufacture and run three different computers, each for an exclusive app?

Besides, a lot of these "managed" environments provide type safety guarantees. Preventing your data from being lost or disclosed due to a defect in a program can be worth more than the marginal cost of a managed environment.

Comment: Re:The lack of debate (Score 1) 17

by smitty_one_each (#49363479) Attached to: Does #OccupyResoluteDesk Read Slashdot?

this is why laissez-faire capitalism is bad

Maybe. Capitalism is an abstract economic system. As such, it's no more evil than, say, Marxism.
Individuals have committed all manner of sin under every possible economic system.
However, Capitalism seems to have done a better job of minimizing misery than pretty much anything else tried.

Comment: Re:The lack of debate (Score 1) 17

by smitty_one_each (#49362409) Attached to: Does #OccupyResoluteDesk Read Slashdot?

The interesting question to me is what the insurance companies are thinking.

It seemed a straightforward regulatory capture play. But keep in mind that decision makers at the top were lining their own (and the board's) wallets.
Apres moi, le deluge seems to have informed their attitude, more than capitalism.

Comment: Re:as usual faith in humanity is gone... (Score 2) 169

by hey! (#49362099) Attached to: Commercial Flamethrower Successfully Crowdfunded

Having fun isn't necessarily stupid. Having fun with flamboyantly dangerous things isn't necessarily stupid. It's endangering unwilling bystanders that's stupid.

Some people like to build and shoot powerful crossbows, or even replicas of medieval siege weapons. These are extremely dangerous and useless things. The dangerous power of a trebuchet to throw an upright piano 150 yards is part of the charm.

But a trebuchet is something that takes certain amount of thought and sacrifice to obtain and use. This flamethrower thing is more like a powerful handgun. There's been a recent fad for ridiculously overpowered handguns, which pack superfluously fatal power into a convenient, affordable form factor. The recent brouhaha over "armor piercing" ammunition was a side effect of a manufacturer selling a cut-down semi-automatic carbine as a "handgun", even though if you look at videos of people using them they're obviously terrible as handguns. This raised the question of whether 5.56 NATO ammunition should be regulated as "handgun ammunition", and in the end I think the decision not to was reasonablee. These aren't cop-killing or military handguns. They're extremely dangerous toys designed to get your rocks off.

There are some who'd say that because these guns are dangerous and impractical they should be banned. But I don't agree. "Impractical" isn't the same as "useless" because getting your rocks off is a legitimate use for a thing. I think people should be able to enjoy their ridiculous firearms as long as they do it at some kind of appropriate range. I also think there's a real danger though from stupid people who will go plinking in the woods with the things like they were BB guns.

That's really the only problem I have with this flamethrower, whether it's gold, chrome, or gunmetal gray. Any idiot can buy one, but it'd take someone reasonably intelligent and determined to find a place where it can be used safely. I'm not against people buying them, but I am for coming down hard on people who use them where they're a danger or public nuisance.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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