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Comment Re:No specs? (Score 4, Insightful) 200

No, the problem wasn't no specs. The problem was that the system was designed on paper first, without actually building it. Then the specs for the individual pieces were created, and those individual modules were built from the specs. The idea was that then the parts were completed, they would be integrated and work perfectly together. Of course, that never happens because when the pieces come together for the first time, unanticipated problems occur. This is why early integration is a good idea and is part of the philosophy of release early, release often.

Comment I don't think so (Score 1) 108

Autonomous unmanned flying vehicles operating outdoors with minimal supervision? I think we'll see secure Internet voting before we see that. I think cars that are able to drive themselves will happen first, too. Just for starters, what happens when the wind speed exceeds the speed the vehicle can achieve? It would have to land safely... and then what? Not to mention avoiding power lines, staying out of restricted airspace, making the system secure, batteries dying at inopportune times, communications issues, liability for damage caused, noise complaints, mechanical issues, ...

Comment Re:There is a fix (Score 2) 63

The latest versions of every other browser run on Windows XP: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and so on. Those latest versions also contain no publicly known security vulnerabilities according to Secunia. So I guess the answer is everyone but Microsoft provides quick fixes for that decade-old OS.

Comment Re:and some areas in Russia... (Score 5, Informative) 247

We would expect to see some record lows even during warming. The important point is that there are many more record highs being hit in recent years than record lows, which is exactly what you'd expect if the climate is warming. You can't tell whether the Earth as a whole is warming or cooling based on cherry-picking data.

Comment Re:...alternatively (Score 2) 247

What specific "natural influence" is causing the Earth to warm, and where is the evidence that supports this idea? To me, the "nature done it" is as much a cop out for global warming as "God done it" is for evolution. What are the details of this "natural influence"? Is overall solar output increasing significantly? I remember an extended solar minimum a few years ago, during which the temperatures on Earth did not go down. Are more or fewer cosmic rays hitting the Earth, causing more or fewer clouds, which is causing a warming effect? I've heard some talk about that idea, but never any measurements of cosmic rays increasing or decreasing over time.

Comment Re:A single weather station? (Score 5, Insightful) 247

You cannot tell with a single coin flip whether the coin is fair (50% probability of heads) or not. You cannot predict any particular flip of the coin. But if you flip a coin 1000 times and it comes up heads 659 times, you can say with a high degree of confidence that the coin is not fair. You still cannot predict any particular flip, but we can predict that we would see about 66 heads if we flipped the coin 100 times. If tomorrow we flip the coin 1000 times and it comes up head 831 times you have a high degree of confidence that the distribution of heads and tails changed since yesterday.

Weather is like a single coin flip. You cannot tell in advance easily whether it will rain or not or exactly what temperature it will be. But we can make statements about the average temperature in January or the average number of rainy days in April. If we see those values change over time, as we have all over the Earth, you can say that the climate is changing. With enough measurements over a long enough period of time, you can see the climate change at only one weather station. If we also see the same thing happen at thousands of other weather stations over decades, and we observe the ice sheets melting and the humidity increasing, then that's clear evidence of the climate changing.

That's the difference between weather and climate. Weather determines what you wear on a particular day. Climate determines what clothes you have in your closet.

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