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Comment Re:call me skeptical (Score 1) 360

I'm curious, how do they average for the whole year? Is it monthly averages that they average for the year? Is it daily data that is averaged for the whole year?
Whilst in theory they'd be the same in practice the former could be more affected by rounding errors than the latter.
There might also be the oddity that the daily "average" is that of the highest and lowest recorded on a specific "day" whereas the the other "averages" are arithmetic means. The possible complication with "day" is that differences between conventional "local time" and local time according the longitude can vary greatly.
Another reason why raw data (and metadata) can be so important...

Comment Re:call me skeptical (Score 1) 360

wow. and you wonder why people like me (skeptics, not deniers) find it hard to take you seriously when you resort to lambasting people for asking questions.

The scientific method relies on theories being "falsifiable". The specific aim is to try as hard as possible to prove a theory wrong. Being a skeptic tends to be a very good thing when it comes to this process.

Comment Re:call me skeptical (Score 1) 360

And what exactly does that mean? I can give you a list of biologists who claim Intelligent Design is true. It's a small list, dwarfed by the number of biologists who outright repudiate ID.

The scientific method does not use logical fallacies.
Instead it uses theories which are intended explain all of the relevent facts (be they from observation or experiment). N.B. It is perfectly ok to have more than one theory assuming all of them fit with the available facts. (Principles such as Occamâ(TM)s Razor can be applied to favour theories with the least number of assumptions, especially untestable assumptions.) Scientific theories can make testable predictions. Most importantly they are falsifiable, with one wrong answer being more important than a million right ones.
ID involves no falsifiable theories. Therefore it is not science.
AGW has made many specfic predictions, mostly through "climate models". However they are at odds with what has actually happened with the Earth's climate. Clinging to a falsified "theory" is not science either.

Comment Re:call me skeptical (Score 2) 360

Right now, what's happening is that these feedback loops are handling a good chunk of the extra energy retained by CO2 so that actual atmosphereic warming is not terribly pronounced. But there's a tipping point. Once the amount of energy exceeds the capacity for these feedback loops to handle, it's going to shut down, and the moderating factor suddenly ceases to exist. The precise points are uncertain, but we know it'll happen based on what we see happening in smaller systems. For example, as prey increases, predators will also increase. This results in prey decline and then predator decline. But if due to external circumstances, the predator population grows out of control, or the prey population is completely decimated, both predator and prey (whichever wasn't affected by the initial event) will die off.

What you are in effect saying is knowing how a small, simple, well understood system behaves will tell you how a large, complex, poorly understood system would behave. Even though every attempt to model the Earth's climate system has completly failed. The truth is that we really don't have a clue what is happening, let alone why.

The real open questions today involve when things will happen, and how bad they'll get when these things do happen. For example, if one system fails, it can cause a domino effect on all the other feedback loops and cause them to fail too. That's a possibility. But it's also a possibility that the feedback loop most susceptable to failure won't affect the others much. It's possible that this will happen in a century. Or it's possible there are yet more feedback loops that we currently don't know about that'll push significant atomspheric temperature increase farther into the future.

If you don't know if a feedback loop even exists you can't possibly speculate as to its nature. There could just as easily be negative feedbacks which have yet to be triggered. A very obvious negative feedback for carbon dioxide being photosythesis. N.B. looking at the biology of both plants and animals could lead to the conclusion that current carbon dioxide levels are LOW.

Comment Re:Someone teach me something here... (Score 1) 360

Probably not (temperature reconstructions are problematic, which is why I say 'probably'). If you look at temperature reconstructions for the last 1,500 years, they vary but you can see there are clearly measured periods of time with a rapid rise in temperature, before the industrial age. Look at the time period at the year 750, for example.

These reconstructions are just that. They simply cannot be meaningfully compared with instrument readings. Short term changes (especially if they are cyclic) may be obvious on the latter, but completly missed by the former.

Comment Re: The first one is always free (Score 1) 131

The disadvantage is that designing such systems is much harder than designing a centralized system, that performance will be more unpredictable, it's hard to achive very low latencies, and that the creator will have less control.

Part of the latter is that it can make it far more difficult to datamine or snoop on the content.

Comment Re:Changes require systematic, reliable evidence.. (Score 1) 336

If the government wants to control the hundreds of billions of dollars of network infrastructure that private companies have invested it, it has an obligation to show that such control is the least burdensome method of achieving a compelling state interest.

How many of these actually are regular private companies? Public utilities, including telcos, often have all sorts of special rights plus direct and indirect subsidies granted to them even if nominally "private".

Comment Re:.. and this is new ? (Score 1) 83

Actually, I believe it isn't curiosity that was tested. I believe it was interest. Interest != curiosity. Curiosity would involve something the subject didn't know. Interest is something totally different since it relies on a topic the subject already has some familiarity with.

Actually "curiosity" might still be the best term. Since it can be independent of how much knowlage of a subject someone currently has.
It's also important that this is subject specific and follows that person's own definition of the "subject". Which can be an issue in an educational environment.

Comment Re:I call hogwash (Score 1) 349

What is Microsoft going to do next? Windows 12, Windows 13, etc., up through Windows 29, and then skip to Windows 40 because Windows 3.x apps checked for version 3?

Though there's also "NT4" and "Windows 2000" to consider here.

Any software old enough to care about Win9x is software that Microsoft does not care about supporting on Windows 9.

Even if it does exist it would probably misidentity as "Windows 1".

Comment Re:Only (Score 1) 167

Only if they orbit solar power satellites. Part time power is silly."

That eliminates the random element. But the power output will still be "part time" due to the Earth being in the way for about half the time. Only a geostationary orbit will not require any kind of tracking. A geosynchronous orbit creates a North-South ground track. (The article dosn't even mention Indonesia, BTW). Any other orbit is going to create a complex ground track requiring "handover" and possibly multiple satellites in the same orbit. There's also the issue of how do you create such a satellite which isn't capable to being used as a weapons grade maser.

Build 100 1000 megawatt fission plants and be done with it.

Which is something we already know how to do. Including designs which can be throttled and produce little long term radioactive waste.As well as designs which could be developed if money wasn't being squandered on wind and solar.

Comment Re:So tax us honestly. (Score 1) 167

Generation and power delivery need to be separate, so you pay to have grid tie and pay for power delivery. You can also sell your power back at some rate that the market will bear.

The structure of the grid depends very much on the kind of power plants used though. In terms of are they generating full time or part time. If that latter is it to a schedule or effectivly random.

Comment Re:what a difference a day makes (Score 1) 223

That's actually a really good point. If you want to get access to sensitive locations, get hired onto the work crew. Want a key to the CEO's office? Become a janitor.

Cleaners and janitors are a known known issue with physical security. So this is unlikely to work with the likes of the NSA :)

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