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Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 2) 271

Perhaps, perhaps not. Venus is still very poorly understood. In its high temperature environment its conditions are largely self-sustaining (preventing the sequestration of CO2 in rock), although it's also unstable, prone to broad temperature and pressure swings. It also appears to have undergone a global resurfacing event about 300-500mya, if that gives a clue as to how unstable the planet as a whole is. ;) We don't know what caused it, or really anything about it. Part of the planet's properties are now a result of it having lost its water rather than being a cause, such as its hard crust. Obviously its lack of a magnetic field is responsible for its loss of water, but we don't know exactly when or why it disappeared (there are of course theories... I had always just assumed it was the slow rotation rate, but the last research I read suggested that not enough to account for it). Other issues as to how Venus ended up as it did may be related to size - although it's only a bit smaller than Earth, that may be the initial factor that set its fate in motion - for example, its lithosphere in general appears to be thicker and higher viscosity on Earth, which could have hindered or prevented plate tectonics, and thus subduction of carbonates.

Either way, it's a mess now at the surface (though rather comfy ~55km up ;) ). And I'm not so sure I buy into some of the proposed ways to fix it (terraforming). For example, some have suggest mass drivers ejecting the atmosphere. Let's just say you can pull it off, and then you start building oxygen in the atmosphere - what happens next? The crust is something like 7-9% FEO; it's going to rust away whatever oxygen you make in short order.

Interestingly, I'd argue that this is possibly the salvation to Sagan's airborne-microbe concept for terraforming Venus. The main criticism is that if you engineered some sort of carbon-sequestering microbe on Venus (or artificial equivalent), you'd end up with a deep surface layer of graphite surrounded by some hugely hot, dense oxygen layer, and the atmosphere would explode. But that would never happen; at Venus surface temperatures and pressures, the surface rocks would rust away the oxygen as fast as it was created, even in tiny quantities, with the wind blowing the dust around to collect at low/eddy areas. So you're laying down bands of carbon and iron oxide as you burn through the planet's iron buffer. Where have we seen this before? Right, Earth, ~2,3 billion years ago, banded iron formations. Just like on Earth, you'd eventually burn through the iron and start to accumulate oxygen. But by then the graphite is already underground, buried in iron dust.

It's not a fast process. But it has precedent. Microbes already rusted at least one planet, and that planet's surface conditions weren't nearly as favorable for rusting as Venus's.

Comment Re:Catastrophic man-made global warming (Score 0, Troll) 271

I don't know how China managed to melt so much arctic ice, leading to the absurd situation that just a couple days before the winter solstice this year I went on a hike through the snowless mountains in Iceland among chirping songbirds digging for worms. All I have to say to China about this is: Best. Conspiracy. Ever. Well played, China. Well played.

Comment Re:End of the glaciation was ten thousand years ag (Score 1) 261

1) The Earth is usually a lot hotter than it is right now. We are climbing out of an ice age.

We "climbed out of an ice age" (that is, came out of the glaciation) ten thousand years ago.

You didn't look at the graphs in the referenced article, did you?

By those graphs we STARTED climbing out of an ice age back then but we still have a long way to go. So they support the poster's claim, not yours.

Comment Re:EVEN TILLERSON says it's real. (Score 2) 261

The issue is settled, mankind's massive emissions affect mankind's environment, Earth.

a: If it's "settled", it's not science.

The only question now is what the fuck are we going to do about it, and who can we trust not to line their pocket on both sides of that line?

"Only" question? There are a HELL of a lot of steps between "mankind's activity affects the planet's temperature" and "It's a disaster that must immediately be fixed by crippling the economy and instituting totalitarian control on human activity by governments".

Comment Re:Wait - we still have an antitrust agency? (Score 1) 60

Wait - we still have an antitrust agency? I haven't heard much from it during the past few decades.

The entire FTC's budget for 2016 was only about $307 million. They only asked for $342 million for 2017.

If they're going to be given more responsibility and actually exercise it effectively (which involves bringing, and winning or settling, suits against multibillion dollar conglomerates) I expect they'll need some more.

Comment Re:Soon, the FTC will only handle spectrum licensi (Score 1) 60

That wasn't what the media reports said. What it said was that he wants to limit the FCC to spectrum control, and move the other functions to the FTC.

I've been advocating that for years - at least for the "Network Neutrality" issue.

The problems that network neutrality is trying to address are mainly anticompetitive behavior and consumer fraud, where ISPs selectively degrade service either to extort additional fees or limit users who make heavy use of their contracted bandwidth (consumer fraud - giving less than what was advertised or what "internet service" commonly means) or give a competitive advantage to their own "value added" or "content provision" services, those of other divisions of a media conglomerate, or of partners, (anticompetitive "tying", vertical integration, and cartel formation).

As the major federal-level consumer protection agency, charged with enforcing consumer fraud and antitrust law, the FTC is well qualified to handle this sort of thing. It also has a track record of doing so. Their antitrust actions, for instance, include the historic breakups of Standard Oil and AT&T, the opening of IBM's eased mainframe computers to peripheral built by other manufacturers, and the Windows Browser tie-in suit decision against Microsoft.

Among the things you might see from a move of such regulation from FCC to FTC might be media conglomerates forced to divest themselves of ISPs, ISPs forbidden to sell preferential fast-lane service, and bans on cuting off or degrading the service of heavy users.

After the way he was treated by the mainstream media - owned by these same conglomerates - I'd expect Trump's administration to be more than happy to penalize them by breaking up these conglomerates.
  - We get more network neutrality - by separating the ISPs from the media conglomerates that incentivize NON-neutrality.
  - The Trump administration gets to spank the media conglomerates that were completely in bed with the Democrats during the election - in the name (and actuality!) of consumer protection.

Win-win B-)

Comment 330 KILOwatt? (Score 2) 59

... 330 kilowatt sub-station ...

That's either a typo or the Ukraine has a VERY wimpy power grid, to have a "substation" that small.

330 kW is 440 HP, in the moderate-low range for a big rig's semitractor engine. In the US a typical household averages over a kilowatt 24/7, with peak hours higher. So a "substation" that small would serve a neighborhood of maybe a hundred houses or a bit more.

In my Silicon Valley townhouse's neighborhood, built back in the '50s or so, we have over a hundred houses served by a single-phase "bank" - a parallel connection of three "pole pigs" spread out around the neighborhood, with their primaries and secondaries tied. It doesn't even rate an independent switch. (When a goose shorted and dropped a primary line they just disconnected the primaries to the segment containing the bank until it was fixed.) Several banks on each phase are tied together before you have enough load to rate actually installing a switch on the feed, several of those before it rates a remote-controlled switch, and several small towns (or a substantial factory) before it rates a "substation" - a fenced-off chunk of land with big box equipment.

Comment Re:News from other countries... (Score 2) 45

Well, when it comes to space budgets....

NASA: $19,3B
ESA: $5,8B
Roscosmos: ~$2B/yr
JAXA: $2,0B
CNSA: $0,5B official / $1,3B est.
ISRO: $1,2B

It's not just US bias that leads to most stories coming from NASA. NASA really does spend the most on space research and exploration, by large margins.

Still, the public perception is that NASA's budget is far more than it actually is.

Comment Re: Note that what's large... (Score 4, Informative) 84

Venus has multiple "tropopauses" and "stratospheres", depending on how you define them. The atmosphere is like a layer cake with multiple convection zones (like Earth's troposphere) separated by areas of dynamic stability (like Earth's stratosphere). And again, ~50-70km is an awfullly long way from the surface, and surface winds are weak. But, there's a lot about Venus that we don't understand.

Comment Re:Well Trump has one thing right (Score 1) 538

What complete and utter shite are you spewing?

Actual experience of my wife with H1-B employees (including the "chagrined when discovering the forged credentials" case).

When getting your H1-B you need to provide documentation from your university as proof of your degree. The university must be on a list recognized by the US government. They validate the information with the university rather than just rubberstamping it.

Any of the following would explain that:
  - The agency faked the references, too.
  - The government didn't do the validation you claim it does in every case.
  - The government doesn't do the validation you claim and you're talking through your hat.

Please put your flamage aside for the moment and give us a reference to documentation showing that the government officials actually check credentials, rather than doing spot-checks or taking the applicant's word for them (or bribes).

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