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Comment Re:Leaked Political hit job masquerading as "scien (Score 1) 452

Let's pretend for the moment that you're right, and global warming IS a natural phenomenon. That doesn't immediately indicate that all of the "green" solutions are wrong - except in one respect - and that is if CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. Except in that scenario, the "green" solutions are good ones, and are actually the least intervention.

I've read of scientists talking of "geoforming", with various proposals, notably aerosols to reflect more light. But universally they're afraid of trying that kind of thing, and want to try the lesser interventions of CO2 reduction first. They consider "active geoforming" to be a last-ditch measure.

Your assertion that "green solutions are wrong" is likely based on the assertion that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. Most of the scientific community asserts that it is. Since you don't trust them, who are you trusting for your geoforming science, and why the heck should I trust them?

Or try something else... Since you say global warming is part of a natural cycle, then PREDICT! So far the global warming side is doing a decent job of predicting - each of at least the past four years has been the warmest year on record, each surpassing the last. On the global warming side, the prediction is that that will continue for some years, even with intervention.

What does you natural cycle "theory" predict?

Make a prediction, let's TEST.

Submission + - Australian Scientists Just Worked Out How Zinc-Air Batteries Can Replace Lithium (

labnet writes: "Up until now, rechargeable zinc-air batteries have been made with expensive precious metal catalysts, such as platinum and iridium oxide. In contrast, our method produces a family of new high-performance and low-cost catalysts."

These new catalysts are produced through the simultaneous control of the composition, size and crystallinity of metal oxides of earth-abundant elements like iron, cobalt and nickel. They can then be applied to build rechargeable zinc-air batteries.

Researcher Dr Li Wei, also from the University's Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, said trials of zinc-air batteries developed with the new catalysts had demonstrated "excellent rechargeability" – including less than a 10 percent battery efficacy drop over 60 discharging/charging cycles of 120 hours.

Comment Re:F'ing YouTube @#!*!!! apk (Score 1) 435

Just found the wiki article, and the closing narration struck a bell, when combined with references to the Kardashians earlier on this thread:

"If knowledge is power and power will human kind ever survive?"

The Kardashians are the salvation of humanity - how we can survive!

Comment Re:Leaked Political hit job masquerading as "scien (Score 1) 452

At some level, one doesn't have to care if global warming is human-induced or natural. If a given area is too hot and too humid, like places in the Persian Gulf are now, people will die without air conditioning fed by electric power. If either the air conditioner or its power source fails, they're equally dead, whether the environmental conditions were caused by nature or man.

It doesn't matter the slightest whether the planet has survived the conditions we're now heading into. The fact is, our civilization hasn't been through this before, and it's not clear that we'll make it through now.

So what if warming is natural. It's going to be hard on us, and if there are things we can do to mitigate its effects, we should be doing so. Here's the issue - if we accept AGW, then we accept that we should be doing something about it. Then saying that because it's natural we don't have to do anything is like saying that you have to dodge a truck heading at you, but don't have to dodge a charging bear - because the charging bear is natural.

If the "natural warming" crowd were to propose mitigating actions, that might be one thing, but so far they haven't. Hot is hot, storms are storms, droughts are droughts, floods, are floods, whether AGW or natural.

Comment Re:Old news. (Score 1) 287

So the rest of the thread goes off on chads, butterflies, and court decisions. What was missed was Florida having tens of thousands of voters thrown off the registry under sketchy circumstances. I don't have the demographics of those voters at my fingertips, nor do I have the eventual disposition of their eligibility, so I won't make anything up. But we can say that the number of disenfranchised voters swamps the number of votes under "mechanical question."

By the way, they eventually did finish the recount. Had it been done Gore's way, Bush would have won. Had it been done Bush's way, Gore would have won.

Comment Re:Bullshit much? (Score 1) 177

I think that if someone offered "tin cans" or trusses at a reasonable price, they would find buyers. Nice thing about either is that presuming you have a way to manufacture them, you're not limited by launcher or fairing size. I agree that there's a lot to be done to get on-orbit 3D printing of metal at that sort of physical scale. But I think if you had a product, if it looked good, if there was even a low-volume need, and if it were cheaper than launched, you could sell it.

Submission + - Microsoft Is Hustling Us With "White Spaces" (

rgh02 writes: Microsoft recently announced their plan to deploy unused television airwaves to solve the digital divide in America. And while the media painted this effort as a noble one, at Backchannel, Susan Crawford reveals the truth: “Microsoft's plans aren't really about consumer internet access, don't actually focus on rural areas, and aren't targeted at the US—except for political purposes.” So what is Microsoft really up to? This deep dive into Microsoft’s plan for "white spaces" tells the story newspapers missed and what the internet giant is really after.

Submission + - What to do now that wireless routers have locked firmware/bootloaders? 1

thejynxed writes: Awhile ago the FCC in the USA implemented a rule that required manufacturers to restrict end-users from tampering with the radio outputs on wifi routers. It was predicted that manufacturers would take the lazy way out by locking down the firmware/bootloaders of the routers entirely instead of partitioning off access to the radio transmit power and channel ranges. This has apparently proven to be the case, as even now routers that were previously marketed as "Open Source Ready" or "DD-WRT Compatible" are coming with locked firmware. In my case, having noticed this trend, I purchased three routers from Belkin, Buffalo, and Netgear in Canada, the UK, and Germany respectively, instead of the USA, and the results: All three routers had locked firmware/bootloaders, with no downgrade rights and no way to install Tomato, DD-WRT, OpenWRT, etc. It seems the FCC rule is an example of the wide-reaching effect of US law on the products sold in other nations, etc. So, does anyone know a good source of unlocked routers or other technical information on how to bypass this ridiculous outcome of FCC over-reach and manufacturer laziness?

Comment Fifth-Generation, anyone (Score 1) 170

Back in the 80's Japan announced its Fifth Generation Computing initiative. They were planning to leapfrog the computing industry and usher in a new age - under Japanese leadership. One might wonder if this Chinese initiative is likely to lead to the same end.

Along that line, it's worth questioning why the Chinese want this, and depending on their reasoning, if their society is capable of creating it. For instance, what if a key underlying reason for wanting AI is to keep better control over their domestic population? In that case, it may require "unsanctioned thought" in order to create the AI. Loyal scientists and engineers may not be capable of the necessary concepts. Non-loyal scientists and engineers who are capable may realize that they're ultimately shooting themselves in the feet and elect to fail, over a long, convincing, (and comfortable) attempt.

Submission + - Dadbot: How a Son Made a Chatbot of His Dying Dad

theodp writes: In A Son’s Race to Give His Dying Father Artificial Immortality, James Vlahos recounts his efforts to turn the story of his father's life — as told by his 80-year-old Dad in his final months after being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer — into what Vlahos calls "a Dadbot — a chatbot that emulates not a children’s toy but the very real man who is my father." Given the limits of tech at the time (2016) and his own inexperience as a programmer, Vlahos recognized that the bot would never be more than a shadow of his real dad, but hoped to get the bot to communicate in his father's distinctive manner and convey at least some sense of his personality.

Of the first time he demoed the bot for his parents, Vlahos writes: Emboldened, I bring up something that has preoccupied me for months. “This is a leading question, but answer it honestly,” I say, fumbling for words. “Does it give you any comfort, or perhaps none—the idea that whenever it is that you shed this mortal coil, that there is something that can help tell your stories and knows your history?” My dad looks off. When he answers, he sounds wearier than he did moments before. “I know all of this shit,” he says, dismissing the compendium of facts stored in the Dadbot with a little wave. But he does take comfort in knowing that the Dadbot will share them with others. “My family, particularly. And the grandkids, who won’t know any of this stuff.” He’s got seven of them, including my sons, Jonah and Zeke, all of whom call him Papou, the Greek term for grandfather. “So this is great,” my dad says. “I very much appreciate it.”

Comment Re:Never happen (Score 2) 201

Consider the amount of knowledge and true AI it would take, simply to implement Asimov's Three Laws.

What is a human being?
How do you tell a human being from a mannequin or a humanoid-form robot?
What constitutes harm to a human being?
What actions might eventually cause harm to a human being?

Really, the First Law is the toughest of the three, given a little thought.

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