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Comment Re:Blue color was a plot device.... (Score 4, Funny) 118

You can turn anything you like blue by reversing the polarities and fine tuning the sub-space frequencies. I think it's fantastic that popular shows such as BB/Simpsons/Futurama/BBT are not only doing a good job of getting the science right but are also making it a feature of the show. Fiction writers have poetic license and have always researched their work to some degree, particularly the historical and geographic bits. What the author is trying to do in a drama is make the characters real and for that to happen his audience must be willing to suspend disbelief.

The ability/willingness of the audience to suspend disbelief depends on their own experience and worldview. For example the infinitely zoom-able pictures on a detectives computer, most people groan when they see it today but 20yrs ago it was an acceptable plot device because the punters simply did not know what a "pixel" was..

Comment Re:Big data found her? (Score 2, Informative) 248

Yeah, I saw nothing that said big data found her at all.

Seconded. There should have been SOMETHING like "after which I was inundated with baby-related advertisements".

And trying to hide it while buying baby stuff on AMAZON?!?
one more time

I lied. One more time.

Amazon knows what you bought.
Amazon knows who you are.
Amazon knows where you had it shipped.

Comment Re:Communist revolution is needed (Score 2) 548

here on Slashdot we frequently have people (the "2nd amendments folks") allude to using their guns to overthrow the US government by force (which is obviously a totalitarian strategy) and also threatening to arbitrarily kill people for various perceived offences without a proper trial

Hi! As a card-carrying NRA member, I'm one of those "Second Amendment folks" you're talking about here. A couple of points:

  1. It's "the Second Amendment," not "the Second Amendments." There's only one Second Amendment.

  2. Overthrowing the government by force is the right of the people, yes. It's also unbelievably stupid in the overwhelming majority of cases. Civil war is horrific and something best avoided. The Framers did intend the armed populace to be a bulwark against governmental infringements on liberty, yes, but mostly by means of making the government afraid to violently oppress the people for fear of the armed resistance they would face.

    In this, the Framers have been overwhelmingly successful: where in past eras a government would've just bludgeoned people into believing the law was what they said it was, nowadays our politicians have learned to couch things in terms of "counterterrorism" and "protecting the children" and we'll quite amicably assent to whatever they say the law is.

    The Framers had the right idea, they just weren't quite clever enough: they thought the risk would be a government that used force against the people, whereas the real risk is from public relations and focus groups.

    Anyway -- short version: although I am one of those "Second Amendment folks," I, and all of the other "Second Amendment folks" I know, am absolutely against civil war. Horrible, terrible idea. I've seen enough gunshot wounds already in my life, thank you very much: I feel no need to be the cause of them.

  3. This would amount to "terroristic threats", and would be considered grossly illegal in all 50 states. I, and all of the other "Second Amendment folks" I know, think this behavior is reprehensible.

Comment Re:Estimates 1000x off on fracking methane (Score 1) 324

Instead it is based on a physics-challenged notion of "trapping radiation"

So now Fourier who, aside from being one of the greatest polymaths of all time, accurately predicted the GHG properties of CO2 while inventing the branch of physics we now call spectroscopy in 1824, is "physics-challenged"? Jane you crack me up, that's the best bullshit you have come up with in a long time, and it's nice to see you creating your own bullshit rather than simply parroting Anthony Watts.

which is not how thermal insulation works

I'm sure the Slashdot audience would be highly entertained by your thoughts on how it works, care to elucidate?

But seriously AGW was not invented by Al Gore, so do us all a favour and spend an afternoon on WP.

Comment Re:That Venus thang . . . (Score 1) 324

Apparently Earth awaits the same fate a Venus in about 500My. Runaway greenhouse such as occurred on Venus is irreversible and inevitable for an Earth like planet, the oceans will boil and the water vapour will be split by sunlight, eventually all the hydrogen will bleed off into space and the Oxygen with bind with any Carbon it finds. Hydrogen and other gasses can escape Venus more easily than Earth because of it's much weaker magnetic field. Given enough time Earth and Venus will lose their atmosphere and look much more like Mars. Pressure has interesting effects here on Earth, In the troposphere CO2 has a waring effect, above that it cooling effect, "stratospheric cooling" was predicted by climate models before it was observed in nature. When stratospheric cooling was detected by satellite measurements the disingenuous tried to convince the public it proved the Earth was getting cooler.

As for nukes, now the cold war is over and they have stopped blowing up small islands, disarmament is progressing (even if it is at a snails pace). The issue has dropped off the public's radar but I assure you it was a huge issue from the late 60's to the80's. The reason of course is because the threat of nuclear war is directly related to what's happening in geo-politics, you can't uninvent nukes so nobody (other than diplomats and politicians) really cares about the number of bombs you have stockpiled if your not threatening to use them.

War is the failure of politics. It's a sure bet that disarmament will go under the bus as soon as we hear the sound of war drums again.

Comment Re:Real Solution (Score 2) 192

The monopolies and oligopolies exist precisely because of this - the municipal powers will gladly sign over near-perpetual rights to the highest bidder, not the ones offering best service.

So don't let them do that.

The city (or whatever) should run fiber (or whatever) to each house. That fiber should terminate in a CITY OWNED site.

The city then rents/leases space at that site for whichever companies want to provide Internet access to the city people. The rent/lease being high enough to pay for the maintenance and equipment that the city needs for that.

So you end up with:
a. ZERO cost for any ISP to connect to your house.
b. Every company pays the same rate per cubic meter at the city site.
c. Switching ISP's should be as easy as moving a patch cord (at worst).

Since the rent/lease is for space instead of rights to a market there is a chance of real competition.

Comment here's why it is a reasonable idea (Score 1) 404

Bit coin provides a a digital exchange mechanism, a digital wallet you (not Merrill Lynch) controls and is portable. Finally it has some degree of anonymity. But Bitcoin fluctuates wildly in value, the exchanges not regulated by any agency are run by anonymous people who are not trustworthy. (even Phil Zimmerman is puzzled why, just because he invented PGP, people assume he is trustworthy.)

If you have a stock exchange it's regulated by the SEC. the exchange is not anonymous. And the SEC can force it to have good accounting principles, audits, and proper capitalization to assure continued solvency.

Pegging it to stock at fixed exchange rate means that bitcoin's volatily will match the volatility of a stock bundle which can be quite small.

But it retains 100% of it's virtues: Bit coin provides a a digital exchange mechanism, a digital wallet you (not Merrill Lynch) controls and is portable. Finally it has some degree of anonymity.

US currency used to be on a gold standard. Since it is useful for nations to be able to devalue their currency, it went off that standard. But Bitcoin itself is not the currency of any one nation and thus there is no mechanism to devalue it.

thus this is a good idea. But the question is how to get it started.

An alternative way to peg the value of Bitcoin and have a trustworty exchange is if a country with good assets were to adopt this as the national currency or peg it's own currency to Bitcoin.

The stock bundle needs to chosen such that the companies are growing in total capitalization such that on average it approximately matches growth rate of total Bitcoin-- which is precisely known. Any difference in the growth rates needs to be small enough that arbitrager will stabilize the difference.

In short it's a great idea in principle.

Comment Missing option.. (Score 1) 142

e) listen to the collective advice of the people who have just delivered the "ultimate weapon" to you.

This interview with Feynman talks about his elation at ending the war followed by a deep nihilistic anger at society. Oppenheimer came to deeply regret his stiff opposition to the petition after he saw the destruction in Japan, he confessed that urging the president to use the bomb on civilians without warning was a "mistake".

Comment Re:Time for a new Sony Walkman Cassette Recorder (Score 2) 208

My most treasured home movies are on super 8 in the top of the closet, I've got a few hours of 3min films spliced together with stick tape and a razor about 30yrs ago and wound onto 8 inch reels. I get them down every now and then for a "home movie night", my three pre-school grand-daughters get a kick out seeing their mum at their age and love the "antique" (early 80's) reel to reel projector.

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