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Comment Good point, but understated. (Score 1) 185

The cost for 100 TB of data storage from Newegg is currently $9322. So the cost for 100 backup systems, distributed geographically, would probably be less than a million dollars, after government bulk purchase rates are figured in. When we are giving 7,000 times that amount to the banks, etc., and hoping that they will be able to survive and pay the loans back, I don't think the cost is too much to worry about, when the figure calculated is an obscene amount of redundancy.

I concur with your $1,000,000 estimate. It might be 10 times more to use all of the newest and very most reliable hardware and with armed Blackwater guards, the sky's the limit. The cost might also be 10 times less with used parts from eBay and bargain real estate, which is basically falling from the sky thanks to Cheney/Bush, but my guess is that $1 million is right around the center point where value and cost are at the optimum ratio -- more than adequate performance, but not so much more than adequate that money is wasted. The only thing you missed is that the cost of the failed asset redistribution plan is not a mere 7000 times the estimated cost to store the White House's files, it's 700,000 times more. 7000 times one million is only seven billion. Henry Paulson's taxpayer giveaway to failed "lenders" costs seven hundred billion USD, so you need another factor of 100. 7000 times is already a dramatically large multiplier but the reality is 100 times worse again, and considering risk analysis, it's even worse than that.

Redundancy in information storage is considered desirable because each copy reduces the total risk of losing all copies, or increases the probability of retaining at least one copy of each bit if you're a glass-half-full type. But in bailouts, redundancy normally is the result of criminal recidivism and considered a bad thing itself, in addition to the crime leading to bailout, because each repeat suggests higher risk of subsequent needs for bailout, recidivism.

Obviously, a foreclosed homeowner or bankrupt recent student with outstanding education loans (for education that might or might not have been outstanding) or car owner with no means of paying back our loans has made one or more financial mistake and would benefit from a personal bailout. Equally obvious are two crucial differences between us and AIG, Citi and Bear Stearns. Correctly estimating the risk of loans is not our primary duty, and we have each made just one such mistake, or very few. We're better at their jobs than they are. At a maximum, any one person is highly unlikely to ever be guilty of one or few of those mistakes because credit applications include existing debts and past repayment history. We should of course assume that some borrowers have multiple loans they can't repay, but the point remains, the number is very small compared to seven hundred billion.

The bottom line is that a bankrupt homeowner, or bankrupt recent college graduate, or bankrupt credit-enabled purchaser of such a poor investment as a depreciating motor vehicle, each demonstrate just one poor financial judgment, in a field which is not our specialty and not a measure of our professional ability. AIG, Citi and Bear Stearns, demonstrated incompetence in their own professions, in their roles as our lenders and as investors in more such loans, so unwise they necessitated their own, brand-new euphemism: "troubled" assets. They have made each and every one of the same mistakes as all of their customers, multiplied by the total number of their financially overextended customers. The fact that lenders' behaviors have led to a need for even one bailout demonstrates redundant incompetence by each company needing bailing out, compared to one or few financial mistakes by working borrowers in need of a bailout. A broke teacher or carpenter or other laborer is still good at his job, still good for something. The same cannot be said of a broke banker. Failed financial companies are by definition an unjustifiable credit risk by the very standards at which it is their professional duty to be expert, and the fact that investment is their job. The Cheney/Bush administration financial policy is to systematically award money to failures in the financial professions at the expense of competent people in every other profession.

Comment Re:stop. think. act. (Score 1) 492

Are we even sure that Global Climate Change is something that we need to stop?

Yes.

Why?

Because Earth is where we live, and the known, proven results of CO2 pollution from coal and petroleum combustion are all bad for humans. So far, those results include more and severer storms and floods and other weather disasters, rapidly rising sea levels, melting glaciers and polar ice, and destruction of ocean habitats due to increased dissolved CO2, and the vast majority of us intend to keep our home habitable. May the horrible job markets of the near future be worst of all for former mortgage-backed securities traders, lenders who encouraged "liar loans", Blackwater mercenaries, and Exxon's global warming deniers.

Comment Re:Another liar. (Score 1) 492

Distribution does matter,

s/does/could, under different conditions than we have, and only to a different dispute than scorp1us and I were having ...

.. because the adsorption spectrum of CO2 depends on its temperature,

"Did you mean: absorption spectrum?"

The photon frequencies [or, c/f = lambda, wavelengths] that a substance emits and absorbs are distinct concepts from chemical absorption and adsorption. The concept "adsorption" does not apply to the optical property I was discussing, frequency-dependent photon emission.

... and its temperature depends on location.

Temperature certainly varies with location, and different locations correlate to higher and lower mean temperatures than others, but that still does not imply that distribution does matter.

Radiative transfer codes

Codes? What?

... have to take the atmospheric lapse rate into account in order to correctly calculate the total greenhouse effect.

You better re-route power through the transporter system before the plasma injectors fry, the trilithium crystals crack and you have an enormous anti-matter mess on your hands. Quickly, or Chief Engineer LaForge will be irate.

But the overall point remains true: the greenhouse effect doesn't go away just because the gas is in an open system.

Right, except that the Earth is not "an open system" thermally, except with respect to radiation. We don't exchange heat by conduction because space is a vacuum and we don't exchange heat by convection for the same reason. So, as a first approximation, Earth is a 2/3 closed thermal system, and higher CO2 concentration closes it further to emission, but we continue to absorb sunlight in proportion to the planet's albedo, and does not decrease as CO2 concentration increases.

Distribution is not relevant to the question of whether global warming is happening, or how severe it is, because we're talking about a global phenomenon. For any concentration, variations in distribution only make the global problem even worse some places than others, and the measured variations in distribution don't even do that. Distribution could in no possible way make the difference between "problem" and "no problem" as the GP claimed.

Adding local differences of less than 1% to existing models will help make predictions even more accurate, not call the basic prediction of global warming into any question. That is the claim I refuted. Distribution is irrelevant to the question, "is global warming happening as a result of human CO2 pollution?" which is the question being disputed in the exchange of comments you just joined. Way to be off-topic.

Comment Another liar. (Score 1) 492

You do know that the CO2 forcing that is "proven" only occurs in closed systems with uniform CO2 distribution?

Untrue. In closed systems with uniform CO2 distribution, the phenomenon is simplistic enough to show first-year science students, being taught for the first time the reason for a "control" system or group, and an "experimental" one that differs by just a single variable, to positively identify the cause of observed differences in the two groups. A real scientist, before humiliating yourself by opining publicly about things you don't understand, would have considered that absorption and emission spectra of substances are identical for all particles of any given atomic composition, whether atoms or molecules. Every carbon dioxide molecule, therefore, has the same non-emission behavior in the infrared band regardless of its location and regardless of what other substances are in its vicinity. CO2 concentration matters, not distribution.

Having non-uniform distribution means there are escape routes OUT of the Earth's atmosphere

Liar. "Having non-uniform distribution" only means that some types of particle are more or less prevalent in some regions than others. Gases mix very efficiently, and do not vary by location much anyway, as the NASA AIRS study you cited actually proves. What such a variation does not change is the total number of carbon dioxide molecules, and the behavior of all carbon dioxide molecules with respect to infrared radiation. It does not matter how they are "distributed". The cumulative effect is identical. Even if Some areas are perceptibly worse than others, the least CO2-dense areas today are worse than the most CO2-dense areas just six years ago.

Given that we have multi-decadal weather patterns, and the sun itself (where we get all the damn heat to start with) is on a 11-year pattern, and with the data we have, we cannot yet break our temperature down into what cycle is responsible for what amount of temperature variation.

I can.
http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensofaq.shtml#pred_mon

Identifying long-term statistical trends in data that include short-term statistical variations is not as complicated as liars like you try to make it seem. I refer the interested, honest reader to a detailed discussion of statistical methods in climate science:
http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/sap1-1-final-appA.pdf

The warming trend is clear and honest people know it. Last month:
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20081216_climatestats.html

Read the recent NASA AIRS satellite paper that describes two hemispheres with completely different carbon cycles and distributions.

NASA portrays those data as potentially helpful in further improving the accuracy of climate change predictions, which are already very accurate. 'Our results show carbon dioxide there can vary by nearly one percent and that the free troposphere is like international waters--what's produced in one place is free to travel elsewhere,' he said. Summary: (1) The variation you mentioned is "nearly one percent" (2) the wind mixes it very efficiently (3) as I already explained, as long as the average concentration remains elevated, a little local variation is irrelevant. NASA, its data, and its analysis do not say what you claim they say, liar.

Comment Like giving $700,000,000,000 to banks (Score 1) 492

Suppresses symptoms in a way that encourages exacerbating the root problem.

If we computer-model the effects on agricultural output, public opinion, and public policy, I think we'd see that gimmicks like this would stabilize temperature in the short term, but increase energy consumption, without any built-in preference for clean sources of that energy, which in turn will worsen the root problem it purports to help "solve" in a long term that is less than two decades. That timeframe is only an estimate, but this looks like a stupid idea that will only benefit partners/shareholders/patent holders and the like. Besides, solar energy is now competitive in price with petroleum and its advantage will only grow as oil reserves continue to be depleted, reducing the total amount of easily-available petroleum.

This [original "peak oil" theory, or "Hubbert's peak"] does not mean that the world is running out of oil: it means that we are running out of the cheap pumpable oil that has fueled the economic development of the 20th Century.

The global oil production curve is simply a composite of the contributions of individual nations. However, different countries are in varying stages of production. Some peaked long ago (the USA peaked in 1970 -an event predicted by Dr. Hubbert in 1956), some will peak very soon (the UK in 1999), and some are a long way away from peaking - see graph below. These latter countries will soon find themselves supplying an ever increasing proportion of the world's oil needs as we pass the global Hubbert Peak.

They are of course the major Middle East producers, the largest of them being Saudi Arabia. Their share of the world oil market will probably exceed 30% in 1999. The last time this happened, in 1973, it allowed them to trigger a world oil crisis. In contrast with 1973, the changes in 1999 will be permanent, as they will be based on resource constraints as opposed to politics.

Comment Re:stop. think. act. (Score 0, Troll) 492

Are we even sure that Global Climate Change is something that we need to stop?

Yes.

If this is all part of a cycle (all signs point to yes)

Liar. Reports of "decreasing" temperature, at the tail end of the hottest decade ever, do not imply that the fluctuations in average temperature during the past decade are merely cyclical, natural variations. They are certainly not. Although annual mean temperatures do naturally oscillate just as surely as daily weather fluctuates noticeably in most locations [not so much around the poles and the most barren deserts, but mostly...], if you check the data on noaa.gov and other sites that compare recent years and decades to the average over the past 150 years, instead of cherry-picking comparisons only against 1998 and others among the top-10 hottest years, you'll see quickly and unarguably that more recent oscillations are about a progressively higher median. That is because of the greenhouse effect and it is proven.

CO2 insulates by inhibiting infrared radiation. Infrared wavelength photons correspond to the quantity of energy-per-atom responsible for the atomic oscillation known commonly as "heat." Industrial-scale petroleum and coal combustion have dramatically increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2. Q.E.D.: CO2 pollution is directly responsible for global warming ... unless you can explain where the additional heat goes when it is not radiated, because of CO2.

Are cars and mankind contributing to the change in climate? Yes.

Great detective work. Wanna cookie?

Has the earth been going through a similar climate change every few thousand years for as long as we can tell? Also yes.

Liar-liar-pants on fire! I thought that Exxon-Mobil fired all you shills. Are you working pro bono now or being paid under the table?

Comment You underestimate the importance of sleep (Score 1) 502

If Megan Meier had merely lost sleep, or suffered from panic attacks, or cut herself as a result of the harassment she endured from Lori Drew, would Drew have been convicted? Or even arrested?

Quiz: How long can you go without sleep, before going clinically, permanently insane? Sleep is an absolutely necessary biological function, and one can die from its lack, as sure as one can die without food, hydration or adequate ambient temperature. People also die from cuts, and the fact that some people survive them or perform them so frequently under distress that to you the activity appears "recreational" does not excuse or mitigate the intentional inflicting of suffering on another: torture.

These perverse incentives -- "rewarding" Megan Meier for her suicide by vicariously exacting her revenge on Lori Drew...

What an utterly despicable, fatuous excuse for ethical reasoning! If Megan Meier considered "These perverse incentives" even comparable to the incentive of life as a direct result of Lori Drew's actions, which is indisputable and Lori Drew's self-stated intent, Lori Drew had at that time deprived Megan Meier of the unalienable, Constitutional right to pursuit of her own happiness, and Lori Drew is from that moment forward guilty of a felony. Her accomplices are her ISP and the social networking site, who were unwitting and, until proven guilty, presumed unwilling, thus they are not prosecutable but still an indispensable accessory to the conspiracy, satisfying the condition "two or more persons" in the Civil Rights Statutes, without putting the ISP or social networking site in moral or legal jeopardy.

Perhaps the story should not have been covered at all, or anywhere near as much as it was. (I realize I may be contributing to the problem here, but my penance is that I'm calling for less coverage in the future, and I would never be writing about this if the mainstream media hadn't covered it so extensively.) What about all the other people who committed suicide during the same year, also as a result of vicious harassment, but with the only difference being that their suicides did not involve the Internet?

That is your only remotely interesting point, and it so closely mimics the Slashdot meme about patents, "add 'with a computer' to a pompous description of any obvious and non-novel device, idea, or process, and you have yourself a shiny new patent!" as to render even that interest nearly imperceptible. Yes, Internet-related stories obviously get disproportionate coverage. You noticed, want a cookie? More importantly, which you completely missed or ignored, crimes committed using the Internet are seen as necessitating their own statutes rather than prosecution under existing ones, which are generally written in platform-independent language. Lori Drew misrepresented herself. She forged her identity, and initiated romantic relations with a minor under that false identity, and prosecutors had trouble finding an applicable statute to successfully prosecute her. That's the real "WTF" story here, not your macabre question of whether people so viciously harassed that the prospect of revenge rivals or exceeds their will to live, have a bit more or less legal standing, posthumously.

Drop dead.

Comment Right, that'll work real well. (Score 1) 389

Great, now all sarcasm is funny, no matter how unoriginal or obvious. If you don't find it funny, the "joke"-teller just diagnoses you demented. Wonderful. In the era of Will Farrell and Adam Corolla, even lower standards for sarcastic "humor" are exactly what has been missing from the entertainment industry, and now they're being smuggled into medicine, as well.

Researchers began studying the role of sarcasm in detecting FTD, because it requires a patient to spot discrepancies between a person's words and the tone of their voice, Hodges said.

I wonder how they separated the demented patients from the ones who are merely tone deaf. In the diagnosed-Alzheimer's group, we should assume some have varying degrees of hearing loss as well, but that their diagnosis is less likely to be a spurious result of their hearing loss. Because shouting five times a day for lunch would be as reliable for diagnosing Alzheimer's as asking five times a day for lunch, in a normal voice. An Alzheimer's diagnosis does not seem likely to be confused with hearing problems, even though they are likely to be coincident in many cases, just because of advanced age. In the suspected-dementia group, however, controlling for hearing loss would seem to be absolutely necessary, especially because they are proposing to diagnose dementia on an ability that relies directly on tone detection. Nothing in the article says the researchers didn't do that, it just doesn't say anything about it at all.

1.5 pages is a respectable length for an abstract, not a summary of a funded scientific study, of pretty much any research topic. Slashdot science articles are generally fascinating, but ultimately, unsatisfying without access to the original. Not that I'd always go to the trouble of reading through the entire thing, but often I'd want to Ctrl+F for at least one string to see whether the research included _____.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 344

Again, the phone companies didn't get duped. They knew the government was spying on US citizens, and that they needed a warrant for that. Whatever they were promised, they knew what was going on.

It doesn't matter, the law says that the government presents them with the authorization, they act, they get immunity. It's really quite simple. It is not the phone company's job to validate the legal papers the government gives them in accordance with the law.

So, you accept "just following orders" as a defense. I don't. Don't you recall one of their competitors refusing, and publicizing their refusal, to comply with illegal wiretaps? Do you see how that contradicts your modified "innocent bystander" argument -- really more of an "innocent accomplice" argument, which is just as ridiculous as the words themselves suggest.

Also, although it might be literally true that "it is not the phone company's job to validate the legal papers the government gives them in accordance with the law" many judges still frown on taking actions, knowing that they assist a criminal to commit a crime. Being an "accessory" generally carries less culpability than initiating the crime, and I think most people, including most judges, would be pretty sympathetic to the "dude, it's the fscking NSA" argument. Or, "the first couple dozen seemed legit, but eventually I started noticing that they disproportionately named movie stars and prominent political opponents of the Bush administration, but by then I already felt like an accomplice and just hoped it would blow over when the War On Terror (TM) was won." I just don't want to assume they were acting in good faith because I really don't know, and I don't want to let everybody off the hook at Verizon if the snooping into Obama's records is how they typically treat their customers. You know, I've met cubicle people before and I haven't found them per se to be more ethical than normal people. And the current article suggests they aren't adequately supervised.

Your attempting to impose that which while it might be what you think is a good idea, isn't what the law states. The law says they have to comply unless there is some hardship it will be creating. With immunity from prosecution, that wouldn't exist.

Don't assume too much. Opposing blanket immunity means nothing more than wanting to know the facts before they're pardoned, or found "not guilty." Without immunity, I don't believe you or I know that Verizon or any other telecomm would be found guilty. But I want to know what they've been up to, and a subpoena has a way of making information available that is generally not available otherwise. At least, the probability is low that the certainty of your statements is based on first hand knowledge, but I don't know. I've been assuming your nick is ironic, but for all I know, you're W himself. He's [You've?] been on "limited duty" lately, which is probably a good thing, but what's Cheney doing to stay active in his golden years?

Comment Re:Responsible disclosure? (Score 1) 49

The disadvantages are:
* Any black-hat who hadn't noticed the problem now knows about it and can write an exploit.

I would expect black-hats to have scripts already laying around for such a battleship-sized hole, and not need to be told because their existing network of zombie machines would be so likely to catch that, but I don't know, I am not a black-hat. I do see your point that Friday press releases are bad form though. Unless the vulnerability has been exploited and not identified by the authors, my first reaction is that it probably could have waited until Monday.

Then again, vulnerabilities that are ignored or denied are already matters of record, so maybe it's better to keep all proprietary software houses "on their toes" to the maximum degree possible, just based on the evidence that without oversight, they'll do absolutely nothing to protect customers' property rights from theft during online transactions. After all, SSL is not some obscure package in use on only two abandoned workstations that somebody just didn't remember to unplug from a defunct warehouse in the 1970's. It is used a lot, and expected to at least require a few million clock cycles to defeat. No, a lot of users don't know "how difficult" 64-bit or 128-bit encryption is to defeat, in clock cycles, they just expect they're substantially safer with it than without it. Claiming to support SSL but then not encrypting data sent to an https URL seems pretty damned amateurish. That ought to have been caught in house, and if HK believes Zimbra users are already vulnerable, and the main effect of his announcement is to cure users' ignorance of the danger they're in already, then I can understand why he decided not to wait until Monday as a courtesy to Yahoo! The text of his post obviously contains a lot of intentional sarcasm, to a dev team that I agree is clearly not even trying. Or they're employed by a proprietary software house but counting on free QA workers for every aspect of development, not just usability. Either way, I hope HK gets his T-shirt.

Then again, maybe the Yahoo! Zimbra team made that behavior intentionally, only for 127.0.0.1 and/or localhost.localdomain, just to phish for aggressive testers and first thing tomorrow morning, the joke's on HK. But Ockham and I suspect they just screwed up.

Comment Re:If Litigation is required. (Score 1) 123

It's probably more to say "if you think you will get busted you're not allowed to start removing things", not "you can't remove anything because some day in a time far far away someone may want to look you up."

You assume noble intent at your own risk. I give you credit for paraphrasing in a manner that would be fairly reasonable, but the statute under discussion should be written at least that well. I will not be a lawyer, but I believe that in law school, students are taught that good statutes are written to be minimally subject to interpretation. Besides, the statue imposes a burden of proof of one's innocence, no matter how innocuously one tries to phrase any legal mandate to have any evidence of anything. Any statute requiring having evidence means that absent any proof, just by lacking evidence defendants are guilty of an infraction. Corporations are the worst criminals around, and sloppy statutes, even one's ostensibly intended to persecute businesses, just waste everybody's time and retard the pursuit of actual justice. The same laws that apply among people ought to apply when some of the people violating assault, fraud, theft or other laws, happen to be doing so on the job.

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