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Comment: Re:this is just too much. (Score 1) 122

by anubi (#46821039) Attached to: AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen
I thought AT&T's whole marketing plan was based on the magic words "up-to [dream] for only $[price]* ".

Those magic words "up-to" make great talking points for the advertising people's sales pitches without committing the company to a thing, while at the same time obligating anyone who drinks their kool-aid to pay at least [price] and *likely more.

It seems every time I see those words "up-to" I think its "AT&T calling"

Comment: Gorilla Glass is pretty strong (Score 2) 163

by SuperKendall (#46820543) Attached to: How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off

It's surprising that Apple didn't do this a long time ago.

It's not if you read the article and know more about the costs Sapphire have traditionally added.

It's embarassing how fragile Apple's mobile products are.

You mean, the ones that use the same Gorilla Glass everyone else is using?

Sapphire does sound nice, but you are selling Gorilla Glass way short. It can take a lot of pounding, and I haven't had keys (or anything else) be able to scratch the display in years. I recall a model of the iPhone a few years ago where a YouTube review showed things like shaking the phone in a bag of keys, and the screen was untouched.

I have no doubt whatever comes next will be better, but I wouldn't say mobile devices suffer from overly delicate screens anymore.

Comment: Re:Experimental science vs narrative science (Score 3, Interesting) 413

by quantaman (#46820265) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

What about the multiverse? :)


This was a joke about him saying there was only one universe.

The atmosphere isn't some single indivisible thing anymore than the universe,


Notwithstanding other planets the atmosphere consists of multiple layers of atmosphere, different regions of the planet, different aspects like storms, rainfall, temperature, etc.

For instance CO2 warming doesn't just explain the earth getting warmer right now, it also explains that different layers of the atmosphere will warm to a different degree, it also explains past warming events.

you aren't going to find a climate scientist who specializes in the atmosphere anymore than you find a physicist who specializes in the universe.


I think you misunderstood what I meant, they don't specialize in 'the universe' because the universe is actually an insanely vast and complex thing, they instead specialize in some arcane aspect of inflation theory.

The reason that matters is because you can repeat observations.

What???? Seriously, I hope this is a troll?

There is no proof of a multiverse, the atmosphere is within confined known space and measurable, science does have specialists, and I can repeatedly watch lightning come out of the sky but that does not mean Zeus throwing thunder because he's angry.

If this was not a troll ... well the world is already in trouble so what's one more.

Your issue with the multiverse and specialist thing was a misunderstanding, similarly with the atmosphere I wasn't saying it was infinite, I was saying it was way too big and complex to treat as a simple thing.

The theory that Zeus threw thunder, if the atmosphere was as simple as a thing that made thunder then the only thing we could repeat was the observation that thunder happens. But we can test the Zeus theory multiple ways, we can fly up to the top of the clouds and see if a giant is hanging out up there, we can look at multiple clouds in different parts of the globe and see if there's more simultaneous lightning strikes than Zeus has limbs, we can check to see if lightning strikes correlate with sacrifices, or if there are other cloud characteristics that predict lightning. There is only one atmosphere but I just named four ways to test the Zeus theory, its not as simple as one atmosphere means one observation and no way to double check your theory, that's why the observational vs narrative model is false.

Comment: Re:Healthy to question authority (Score 2) 413

by quantaman (#46819903) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

We should be glad we are a country which does not take the word of "authority" at face value. Surely the best scientists and innovators come from that tradition. If a person does not understand a proof, they should not blindly accept it.

That sounds like anti-conformism for anti-conformisms sake. There's nothing wrong with questioning authority, the problem is with assuming the authority is wrong just because they're an authority. There are a ton of mathematical proofs I don't understand but I blindly accept because I understand the mathematicians don't have a motive to mislead me. And even when something catches my eye and I do decide to question I'll do so aggressively but that doesn't mean I stop believing it. Whatever happens you've got to believe something, if you don't believe the authority then what do you believe?

Similarly with AGW, I can read a blog or skim a paper as well as anybody, but I can't understand the entirety of climate research. I can however understand the researchers and the scientific institutions and not every force pushes them in the direction of the truth. But given what I understand of the science and the scientists I can't think of a group who would be closer to the truth than them.

Comment: Re:Experimental science vs narrative science (Score 1) 413

by quantaman (#46819761) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

What about the multiverse? :)

I disagree about the 'narrative science' idea because I think that oversimplifies the topic. The atmosphere isn't some single indivisible thing anymore than the universe, you aren't going to find a climate scientist who specializes in the atmosphere anymore than you find a physicist who specializes in the universe.

The reason that matters is because you can repeat observations. If you make a theory explaining observation X about the atmosphere that has implications for the rest of the atmosphere, so you gain repeatability by testing your theory against these other parts of the atmosphere. Same thing for the universe, the big bang theory doesn't just say the universe stated and is expanding outwards, it explains countless other things about the universe. The background radiation we see that's consistent with the big bang is an example of the big bang theory being "repeated".

Comment: Re:Experimental science vs narrative science (Score 3, Insightful) 413

by quantaman (#46819635) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

The article conflates two very different types of science. One is experimental: cigarettes cause cancer. That's a testable, provable (and proven) hypothesis. The scientific method can be used. Alternate explanations can be systematically disproven.

Then there's the science that says, "because X and Y are true, it makes sense that Z is true". Note that it does NOT say "therefore Z MUST be true", which is what the article is implying. Z is something like the story of the universe from Big Bang through inflation up to today, or the story of manmade global warming. "Science" can project itself in those directions and come up with some answers, but there is no scientific method on a narrative. There are no controlled experiments. Every alternate hypothesis cannot be evaluated. They are at best projections, models. They're not "truth" without faith.

That sounds a lot like Ken Ham's distinction of observational vs historical science.

How do you actually test that cigarettes cause cancer? A big observational study? Well maybe people smoke because they're stressed or not health conscious, and they have a natural per-disposition to lung cancer. Build it from theory? Sure the smoke causes these problems in the lungs that we would expect to cause cancer, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're causing the cancer.

Now how do we test the Big Bang theory? A big observational study? We can see things that look a lot like after effects of what a big bang would look like, but maybe we're misidentifying them. Theory? There's a lot of theory about the universe that suggests a big bang, but that could be a mistake.

Clearly the cigarette cancer link is a lot easier to demonstrate than the big bang theory, or AGW, but they're not really alternative types of science. At the end of the day all of science is a mixture of observe X, where X is either a constructed experiment or a data set collected from the universe, and develop a theory Y, where Y has to explain X and all the previous observations we've made.

Putting a bunch of cigarette smoke into a lung and expecting it to develop cancer requires "faith" in the same way that putting a bunch of CO2 into the atmosphere and expecting it to develop warming does. The latter problem is a harder one no doubt, but it follows the same approach of incremental collection of data and development of theories to explain that data.

Comment: It's about peace of mind (Score 1) 330

by quantaman (#46811445) Attached to: Why Portland Should Have Kept Its Water, Urine and All

I know the water is fine, but if I lived in Portland and they hadn't emptied the reservoir I would have been looking at the tap water a little more suspiciously, and if I was someone who sometimes bought bottled water I probably would have been a little more likely to buy some. I have no doubt many of you are the same.

Someone peeing in the tap water is icky, it doesn't matter if it's irrational, we are irrational, and as costs of irrationality goes emptying a single reservoir is pretty damn cheap. There's times to stand on scientific principal, this isn't one of them. There's no point in grossing out an entire city, reducing confidence in the municipal water supply, and impacting human health and the environment by pushing people towards bottled drinks, just because it's irrational. Sometimes the most rational thing you can do is accommodate your irrationality.

Comment: Interesting hat it mirrors the electric car issues (Score 2, Insightful) 428

by SuperKendall (#46809873) Attached to: Oklahoma Moves To Discourage Solar and Wind Power

If you take off your "Electric Companies are TEH EVIL" hat for a second, it's pretty interesting that they have the same issue that states do with paying for roads in relation to electric cars. That is, someone generating electricity or using an electric car is making use of a resource where the cost of access is subsidized by something you are no longer consuming.

I think the electric companies have a pretty good point that they still have to pay to maintain lines to your house even though you are now consuming a fraction of what you would have.

Comment: Re:Dumbass (Score 1) 168

Snowden didn't help anyone. Anybody who was unaware of mass surveillance by 2013 is an idiot. If you weren't taking affirmative steps to protect data you wanted kept private on the internet, that's your problem. Get over this idea that protection your privacy is somebody else's job. Don't expect governments to protect your privacy -- you wouldn't trust a fox to guard a hen house, right?

Comment: Re:Speechless ... (Score 1) 168

Except the people did directly support politicians who changed the law retroactively to make warrantless wiretapping OK in 2006. When faced with "your intelligence agencies did illegal things so we changed the law to retroactively make them legal" the American people basically yawned. Just because you're too ignorant to remember recent history doesn't change a thing. The American people have had many opportunities to scale back domestic intelligence gathering. Pretty much without exception they have chosen to keep the politicians who push surveillance in power.

Here's a hint -- all of these things were problems long before 9/11. The PATRIOT ACT basically codified a number of existing practices and allowed the government to use them at greater scale. Pretending "privacy" is some thing you had and just recently lost is nothing but ignorance. If you want privacy you have to take affirmative steps to protect your privacy. Anything else is just blaming others for your own laziness.

Comment: You already have a scouting drone for driving (Score 3, Informative) 49

by SuperKendall (#46803191) Attached to: Drones On Demand

I wish my car had a drone for instant scouting of traffic-jam alternates.

You do, it's called the Waze user that is ten minutes ahead of you down the road, mixed with many road sensors reporting traffic flow rates.

If you are using navigation many mapping applications automatically route around traffic issues (including Waze). I personally just have it up while driving, not really using navigation but just to keep an eye on traffic rates and issues. I've turned off many a highway before to avoid a Waze reported issue and taken a pretty obvious alternate route you could see at a glance on the map.

For anyone that has not tried leaving modern mapping applications open with traffic status enabled, I highly recommend it - just get a decent car mount so it's easy to see the display. I recommend Waze in particular only because it's one of the best at taking in user reports as to police or road hazards (like chair in right lane! just one example of something I have reported in the past).

The first version always gets thrown away.