Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment know thy enemy (Score 1) 341

They are more interested in the connections between people than what they are saying to each other over open communications channels. Whether it is "right" or "wrong" to map and disrupt/dismantle these groups depends on what groups they are looking for (and what groups you belong to). Hoover did it in the 40's, McCarthy did it in the 50's, Nixon's "plumbers" did it in the 70's. No matter where and when you may live, the strategic imperative to "know thy enemy" has always been with us and always will be because "the whole constitution, legal framework, and morality" are imperfect representations of human nature.

Comment Re:first (Score 1) 334

Exactly, the resources equation only makes sense if you consider your time as a resource. For example I use python to automate nightly builds, I don't care that it takes 4hrs to run instead of 2, I don't care where things are physically located I just assume it will page to disk if it needs to. However I do care how much time I spend polishing it vs how much time it saves doing manual builds.

Comment Re:Oh no... (Score 5, Interesting) 158

This sort of confusion is what psuedo-skeptics are are taking advantage of when they claim an ice age was predicted in the 70's. Coal gives off (among other things), SO2, CO2 and soot. Sulfur causes cooling, acid rain, and deadly "pea soup fog", Soot causes warming, lowers albedo, and accelerates ice melt. CO2 causes warming and ocean acidification. Some of the soot and sulfur was cleaned up by various clean air acts in the 60's & 70's after the death toll from "pea soupers" in London and other European cities started getting difficult to ignore. Sulfur emissions (and acid rain) were dramatically 20 odd years ago when Regan instituted a cap and trade treaty on sulfur emissions, similar to those being proposed for CO2 (ironic, huh?).

Having said all that, climate scientists don't really talk about cooling or warming, they talk about +ve and -ve forcing and feedback, two forcings with different signs can indeed cancel each other out. To confuse matters further CO2 can be both a forcing (humans, volcanoes) and a feedback (melting permafrost, increased bushfires). Feedbacks have far more uncertainty associated with them than forcings. When everything is taken into account you can work out a figure called "climate sensitivity" (CS). The CS in models compares very well with the CS derived from geology and really hasn't changed that much since the 70's.

All this is just a sample of the complexity that adds up to ripe pickings for people who have no problem deliberately misinforming the public for personal gain.

Comment Re:GW (Score 1) 434

Hasn't the pro side already "denied" global warming enough to rename it "climate change"?

Actually the only evidence that anyone did any renaming comes from a memo from Frank Luntz to GW Bush (Page 142, point 1), the two terms have different meanings and scientists had been using them for decades before Luntz deliberately conflated them.

What does "deniers" mean?

The memo also serves as a great example of what it means to be a denier, ie: denying reality for fun and profit.

Comment Magnets and other miracles. (Score 1) 434

Furthermore, you don't need to know all the details about how things came into being to practice science

Good point. Feynman called the fundamental forces the "lowest layer of the onion", a point where our explanatory power stops and you are forced to accept that something exists without an explanation. I like to call these things "miracles". Perhaps we will explain these miracles one day and replace them with an even more fundamental set of miracles. Thing is, believing in the miracle of gravity does not require blind faith, nor does it require you to know how it came into being. I think consciousness is in the same category and the best "explanation" comes from Sagan (paraphrase): "Life is how the universe observes itself".

Comment Extraordinary claims and all that... (Score 3, Insightful) 193

12X the industry standard is an extraordinary claim but as usual there's absolutely zero detail of how the "maintenance" figure was calculated, eg: did they just divide the entire IT budget by the number of desktops?

It seems to me that the point of the article is to convince people that, and I quote, "it looks like the government is getting completely swindled by their PC supplier". The whole story smells of "negotiation by press release" to me, are the big IT contracts coming up for renewal by any chance?

Comment Re:Worthless propoganda (Score 2) 317

Since when did Slashdot become horribly biased in supporting Israel?

The slashdot summary is factual, it doesn't give an opinion on the accuracy or merits of the reenactment. In other words the summary is written as NEWS should be written, the fact it is reporting on IDF propaganda in no way makes it a tool of the IDF.

Can we have a counter channel with a play-by-play according to the other sides?

Sure, but why would you want to match bad taste with more bad taste?

Slashdot Top Deals

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.