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Comment Re:Really not being not shouting from the rooftops (Score 1) 495

That's a misrepresentation. Feed enough different sets of red noise into the algorithm and you can get a hockey stick shaped result. Even the wikipedia article notes this;
"McIntyre and McKitrick's code selected 100 simulations with the highest "hockey stick index" from the 10,000 simulations they had carried out, and their illustrations were taken from this pre-selected 1%"

That's hardly surprising and tells you nothing about the validity of the analysis. Look at enough random data sets and you'll eventually find one that gives you the 'correct' result.

Comment Re:Fucked Up (Score 1) 221

There tend to be three levels you can buy in the UK. The least common is 'Third party only', which only covers your liabilities to other people. Next you get 'Third party fire and theft', which does what you'd expect. Last is fully comprehensive which covers everything including making good your losses even if there's no third party to pay out.

Comment Conditioning (Score 3, Interesting) 59

I have often wondered if some kind of boredom conditioning could help with gambling addiction.

My idle thought is based on experience my brother and I had about a decade ago while undergraduates. Around this time the online casino business was extraordinarily competitive and they were offering rather large incentives to sign up and play. At this time, although not any more, the terms and conditions of these bonuses were such that you could claim them, wager the minimum amount they mandated and withdraw a large proportion of the free money they had given you. Of course, to be profitable, you had to play a very short list of games with a low house edge and stick absolutely rigidly to the optimum playing strategy.

Over one summer this was our 'job'. Between us we gambled a cumulative total of many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even accounting for various sites where we wrote software to do it for us, we played more blackjack than the vast majority of people ever will in their lives. To start with it was very exciting as the variance ensures a rollercoaster of upswings and downswings. By the end it was just another massively boring data entry job as we'd seen regression to the mean work its magic so many times. Neither of us ever wanted to see a casino game ever again.

Comment Re:He tried patenting it... (Score 5, Insightful) 986

I am a physicist. I strongly disagree with your view that the methodology is sound.

The measurement methodology for the 'power out' was not the way I would do it. It effectively comes down to measuring the temperature of the 'reactor', in air, and applying calculations. Temperature is measured via an IR camera. It is filled with many ways that they could mislead themselves. I have personally used such a camera to measure surface temperatures in a high power density accelerator target and it is far from a straightforward enterprise. Why not just load the whole thing into a bomb calorimeter? That's the immediately obvious way to measure what they want to measure.

They do not adequately describe their power input. They start out with 3 phase. There's some kind of power supply box in the chain before the resistors. Who supplied this box? More details on what's actually measured as 'input power' is required. Is a circuit diagram too much to ask for?

The isotope data would be compelling. However, it's clear from the paper that Rossi handled the fuel at loading, removal and possibly at points in between. Substitution would have been trivial.

No radiation was observed. LENR, cold fusion, whatever you want to call it where no radiation is emitted is completely incompatible with all known nuclear physics. The idea that it doesn't violate any known physical laws is nonsense.

Comment They have some interesting tech (Score 4, Interesting) 171

I work in BNCT research and some guys from GT advance have presented at a couple of recent conferences. Of interest to us was their 'hyperion' (yes, like Borderlands) accelerator they'd been developing. Huge amounts of beam current from a fairly compact and easily maintained package. They were planning on using it to peel off very thin layers of sapphire via ion implantation, we could use it as the first stage of a neutron generator and I'm sure there are tons of other industrial applications. The senior guys I met seemed very good - proper engineers with the minimum of marketing bullshit. I think they'll do ok even if this is a pretty major set back.

Comment Re:"Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully." (Score 4, Interesting) 497

Define 'scepticism about AGW catastrophism'. I'm a professional physicist and I would suggest, based on experience talking to my colleagues, that there is very little scepticism amongst physicists that humans are responsible for observed temperature rises and are going to be responsible for a whole lot more. It is certainly not 'rampant'. Consequences of said warming for the human race is a different topic.

Comment Re:Riiiight (Score 1) 498

Expertise and know-how counts for little. Essentially every country in the world either has that or could acquire it in short order. What matters in reality is stocks of highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium. Ukraine (probably) has neither and does not have the infrastructure to produce either on a short timescale.

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What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928