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Comment Re:What if the market changes? (Score 4, Informative) 84

China has the ability to remove their restrictions on exports, pulling the bottom out of the price for these elements and putting these companies out of business again.

You do realize that this is why the rare earth mining operations in the US were shut down in the first place: Because of subsidized Chinese exports undercutting the industry. They destroyed the rare earth industry in the US, Canada, and Australia once before. One would hope that we wouldn't let them do it again, but I have little faith in our leadership.

Comment Re:get your GMO rice at an automated ATM machine (Score 1) 89

I think the point of the conversation was that the rice (living, not yet harvested) is a GMO, so you're essentially splitting hairs.

I would, however, recommend avoiding the organic section of the grocery store. Organic goods by definition cannot contain GMO products, and most of the ones I've seen state rather clearly that they're not made with "GMO ingredients;" ingredients which, of course, are "harvested and processed" and is labeling that would probably drive you mad.

I see no problem with it, because it conveys information that should be implicitly understood without resorting to arguing over exceedingly minor details.

Comment Re:KDE (Score 1) 798

These comments really annoy me.

Why? It's subjective. At least, I assume you're referring to the parent's comments about KDE 4.7.

Personally, it doesn't bother me. I absolutely can't stand Gnome, but you're free to love it. That's the beauty of it all: Choice.

I agree with bmo, though. I find KDE 4.7 to be spectacular for my particular use case, tastes, and preferences.

Comment Re:KDE? (Score 1) 798

You're not the only. KDE 4.7 is the best power-user desktop going at the moment, in my opinion (and that includes non-Linux desktops like Win7 too).

I stuck with KDE 3 for the longest time after being somewhat disappointed with the early 4.x releases, then eventually wound up spending most of my time in Windows (I don't like Gnome, and I actually don't mind the full featured desktop environments) due to various extraneous circumstances at the time. That was years ago, of course. Fast forward to the present: I recently installed Arch over my old Gentoo install and tried out KDE 4.7. I'm never going back--to Gnome, that is.

I realize that there's a sort of zealotry on Slashdot that's growing progressively worse (take this guy's comment in this same thread for instance), but to hell with 'em: KDE 4.7 really is nice. Maybe I'm a sucker for eye candy, but KDE is actually pleasant to look at now. Dolphin is a bit awkward to use at first, but I honestly think KDE 4 is at or near feature completeness with KDE 3. It even looks much nicer than Windows 7, and I find the KDE taskbars to be even more usable.

Perhaps I may be a bit more open minded than I used to be, but I really appreciate the effort that has gone into KDE 4 and culminated in the latest 4.7 releases.

Comment Re:KDE? (Score 1) 798

KDE 4's eye candy looked cool, but got in the way. I focused on the window wobbling, not the contents or placement of the window.

That "problem" isn't endemic to KDE. Remember the countless Youtube videos of Compiz' wobbly windows years ago?

Regardless, it's fairly easy to turn it off.

Comment Re:Taught? (Score 2) 176

Isn't that just learning? You have not yet directly experienced skunk spray, so it doesn't have the same effect on you as someone who has experienced it. The area I have always lived in has a lot of skunks. Like you, the smell never bothered me all that much. Then one day our cat got sprayed, and before we knew it he was in the house. Now I absolutely can not stand that smell, no matter how far off it is.

People who've never lived in areas with a lot of skunks seldom appreciate just how potent and horrendous fresh spray is. It doesn't smell anything like the odor of a far off skunk. I had a cat that got skunked once and did the exact same thing. I've heard fresh skunk spray described as an acrid mix of burning onion, garlic, and tire rubber left on the stove to char, and that seems pretty accurate.

Comment Re:Different thing (Score 1) 776

However what with the predicted extensive desertification, rising sea levels, more extreme weather conditions and what have you, CC is likely to be somewhat inconvenient for the soon-to-be 7 billion people wandering about.

Desertification is one of the things that gravely worries me, because it has absolutely nothing to do with climate change, everything to do with human activities, and can occur on an extremely small time scale. Worse, because it tends to occur in areas stricken with poverty that practice clear cutting or slash-and-burn farming, by the time any effort is taken to educate locals on renewable behavior it's already too late. Even the effort China has taken to hold back the Gobi by absolutely massive-scale tree planting has been for naught...

Comment Re:Different thing (Score 1) 776

Warming is bad because it will make the earths inhabitable area diminish. This significantly changes the available land mass that humans, and other animals, can effectively colonize and live fruitful childbearing lives. ... Lastly, increasing temperatures melt polar ice and raise sea levels. Further limiting usable land mass. You try to act like its all about temperature, but clearly you don't really understand the full breadth of the idea. How about this fun fact.

I see this argument surface from time to time (usually along with boiling oceans in 400+ years), and it appears to do so without any regard for the science. Of the reports I have read from most real climatologists, including those who support AGW, they indicate that the warming trend is exceedingly subtle--think half a degree per century or less. This isn't much; those scientists involve with the studies are themselves disappointed when the press reports things like "Scientists discover alarming increase in climate change," and it is that reporting which very closely follows in line with this cartoon.

Further, even if significant warming of several degrees per century were to occur, your argument neglects the possibility that areas currently locked in permafrost would then open up for an increasingly temperate clime (Siberia, northern Canada, etc). Never mind that it's also well known to paleontologists that during Earth's warmest periods, biodiversity was at its peak. This isn't to say that warming is good, but it's certainly not as horrific as Al Gore would like you to believe. And remember: Gore just recently purchased oceanfront property. If he were that concerned about rising ocean levels, you would think he might've invested in property farther inland...

Also, warmer temperatures will create more hostile weather patters further limiting usable land area as certain weather patterns hit certain regions harder. (ie. hurricanes on the east coast).

I highly doubt this claim, because the models climate scientists have run--even with the most significant warming trends--barely show an increase of around 5% in hurricane rainfall and incidence by 2080, which is well within error margins. Remember that each year following Katrina was supposed to become worse? Hasn't happened yet. I also suspect it won't, and if the models are correct, this is a misnomer likewise reported by the press and not by climatologists.

Hotter summers make for colder winters. How long before we trigger another ice age. Perhaps you should look up positive feedback loops.

That's not completely true. The last article I read tying global warming to a cooling trend is the cooling of the upper atmosphere that mucks about with CFCs and degenerates ozone. I have seen more studies that link melting polar ice caps with a shut down of the Gulf Stream (cold, fresh water sinking underneath the ocean currents, disrupting or shutting them down completely), and the lack of warm water flowing across the eastern US seaboard and western Europe would interfere with winters, making them colder. It's nothing about a positive feedback loop of colder weather; if you shut down ocean currents feeding warm water around the global, you're very likely going to trigger an ice age. The only "evidence" I have seen about this extremes nonsense of hotter summers = colder winters is espoused almost exclusively in Slashdot comments as gospel and reporters with hearing problems.

Comment Re:Different thing (Score 1) 776

Look, I'm not here to debate AGW. I'm here to point out that the article is full of shit, which is something you don't refute. Instead, you attack me as a denialist when my only point is that I can't believe the article when there is a blatant lie in the title itself. I'm gonna call bullshit wherever I see it. The fact that you DON'T proves that YOU are the one with the closed mind.

Politics on Slashdot have degenerated so far over the course of the last few years that there's almost no point bothering with the discussion, because there are plenty of people here who are so vehement about their beliefs, biases, and agendas that they see anyone who might be against those beliefs, biases, and agendas as the enemy. This is why you have so many people jumping down your throat: Though you haven't made mention of AGW, you've pointed out that the connection Huffington Post made between Mr Muller and global warming skeptics is questionable at best.

The problem in this case is twofold. One, there are some here who believe that he was a strong proponent of the "denialists" (their words, not mine) without reconciling the possibility that a scientist can personally believe one particular thing (AGW, for instance), while being a proponent of skeptics' views. The articles you've linked indicate that Mr Muller personally believes AGW is correct, and the arguments to the contrary are attempting to dispute that without regards to the fact that scientists will very often support work that attempts to falsify their own. That still doesn't change their personal views. Two, there are others who have not read the article but instead elect to debate what is meant by "skeptic," claiming that Mr Muller wasn't skeptical of global warming, but was instead skeptical of some of the data. The article quite clearly attempts to link Mr Muller with the anti-global warming crowd and makes no attempt to clarify.

In other words: This entire debate is almost pointless. Those who dispute what Mr Muller was skeptical of should take issue with the Huffington Post. Instead, they resort to name-calling of individuals who are themselves pointing out this rather dubious connection. I often wonder what would have happened if Fox News had reported this instead. I suspect there'd be a great deal of hatred directed toward that particular news outlet if they attempted to link someone who has publicly stated he believes global warming is very real, and supported by the data, with those who believe it is not. In this particular case, Huffington Post is absolved of blame even though they are almost certainly reporting this news with the intention of linking Mr Muller with anti-global warming sentiments.

Then again, I'm not surprised by the lack of consistency here.

Comment Re:Different thing (Score 1) 776

Perhaps you simply confuse the term 'sceptic' with 'denialist'. Being sceptical of the measurement of global temperatures does not mean he also needs to deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

I think you're misunderstanding the argument and/or changing it. If you read the fine article, Huffington Post implicitly links him to those who are skeptical (your "denalists"). Of course, since you're using the term "denalist," I suspect you have an agenda and that's fine. I think you know very well what the press is implying in this case, but choose not to simply so you can stir up debate. That seems to be the status quo for Slashdot these days.

Here's how I see the present thread:

Article: Global Warming Skeptic no longer Skeptical
ArcherB: Here's an article stating that said skeptic was never a skeptic and was a proponent of AGW.
tmosley: Damn son, I thought this was a real skeptic, but this guy is lying.
MrHanky: He is a skeptic, but a different kind of skeptic.

If the implication from the article wasn't that Mr Muller was a skeptic of AGW but (as it says) global warming, that strongly suggests he's skeptical of any warming conditions occurring.

If you take issue with this, I would strongly recommend leaving feedback with the Huffington Post asking them to clarifying "skeptic" to be in line with your thinking rather than splitting hairs with someone in a Slashdot thread.

Comment Re:what about train engineers? (Score 1) 422

They are not professional engineers in terms of software or industry. The word engineer dates back to the old days.

I see the point you're trying to make, but it's actually a straw man. It's akin to confusing the terms "practice," as in "we're going to soccer practice," versus "practice" as in "I work for Dr. Johnson's practice," and then making an argument accordingly.

AFAIK, the US has something similar. Only IEEE-designated degrees can, technically, call themselves engineers (e.g. electrical engineers), but there's no law that I'm aware of that prohibits anyone else from making up an "engineering" practice (there's that word again), even if it's not valid.

Of course, it's all dependent upon context. Engineer in terms of the profession implies a specific educational background, while engineer in the context of the rail industry implies someone who manages or drives trains.

Comment Re:Ron paul 2012 - The only candidate against this (Score 2) 658

No, I don't.

Because Ron Paul is a nutjob. Yeah, he's good for 5 minutes, but then he keeps on talking, and then you realize just how nuts he is.

Exactly.

Congress controls the purse strings, so the selection for President doesn't ultimately matter with regards to the TSA. I'm sure it would be feasible for a President to sign an executive order dismissing it, but I imagine that would be challenged on numerous fronts and the President called a terrorist-loving anti-American.

I'm feeling pessimistic today. There's nothing that can be done to eliminate the TSA--not now.

Comment Re:Not this time: (Score 1) 261

So what I'm getting at is Americans have seen France as a pushover, military-wise, since WWII and that isn't likely to change as long as the United States has the world's strongest (and most active) military and is running all over the planet killing people in the name of democracy and freedom. Taking offense to a little quip like the parent posted just shows how sensitive the pro-French crowd is. Perhaps you see the truth in the jest and that's why it stings so much...

I think the offense-taking is endemic to the apologist mindset. The OP claims he has French blood, but I suspect he's American. After all, American apologists who take it upon themselves to champion a cause are some of the most obnoxious people you'll ever meet.

I say this only because I've known a few Canadians and French over the years, and both of them have been very polite peoples--with the exception of French Canadians, but I've never met any that I am aware of and outside obligatory jokes, I'm reluctant to make a judgement. Moreover, of those whom I've met (French and Canadian), both have been able to take a joke related to their own countries.

Of course, it should also be noted that the OP mentioned in a reply a little further up the chain that he couldn't resist but to take the opportunity for "really epic trolling," so that suggests he probably has little interest in useful discourse and more interest in creating dispute. Such is the way Slashdot has become as of late. Indeed, it's gotten so bad that half of the really ludicrous cruft I've seen posted is stuff I honestly don't believe the posters actually adhere to, much less believe themselves.

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