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Comment Re:No complaints here (Score 1) 261

Indeed. My son-in-law's best friend fights wildfires, and he's expecting a bumper summer, because despite lots of snow in Coastal British Columbia, interior regions have had far less snow, which means there's a high expectation that this is going to be a very bad year for forest fires. The costs of those fires are monumental, and many of those costs are spread fire and wide by insurance companies who will need to jack up premiums across the entire pool to make up for the costs. Insurance rates are literally the canary in the coal mine here, and actuaries have been factoring the numerous effects of climate change for some time now.

Comment Re: No complaints here (Score 2) 261

No, deserts heat up and expand, and you have hundreds of millions of people trying to move into your back yard, meaning you have to pay a fuck ton more in taxes to support border patrols, armies, all the while you're facing food and water supply problems because your bread basket regions suddenly are less productive, and you become more reliant on foreign sources of agriculture. Meanwhile many other costs, like insurance, start skyrocketing, or many climate-related problems simply aren't covered. Oh yes, and as mentioned elsewhere collapse of many major fisheries, which will lead to huge pressures on coastal populations in many parts of the world where those fisheries are a significant, if not primary source of protein.

Will it happen in your lifetime? If you're under thirty, very likely yes. I'm in my mid-40s, so hopefully I'll miss some of the nastier effects. My kids and grandchldren won't, sadly. But the West is pretty wealthy, so doubtless will pull through relatively alright, though tens of millions of refugees fleeing regions far more vulnerable and far less economically capable of weathering the worst of it, will start showing up, as I mention above, and the costs of keeping them out or integrating them will be huge. Some areas will simply become unlivable by even the hardier animals, and people have this habit of not just sitting down and dying when survival where they are becomes impossible.

Comment Re: No complaints here (Score 1) 261

What we do know is that Saudi Arabia is spinning off the largest sovereign wealth fund in history. The Saudis know full well that petroleum's reckoning is coming soon, so they're making what they can of it while they can. Like I say elsewhere, in a hundred years I bet large swathes of the Arabian desert will be salt reactors and solar collector arrays. I'll wager they have every intention of being energy titans, whether that be in the form of fossil fuels or solar.

And really, who the hell would want to invest in oil right now? It's clear that OPEC has lost any power to manipulate the price. Every time it looks like supply is going to be restricted, boom the price gets knocked again. Up here in Canada we're watching investment in the oil sands fall simply because production costs are so high, and oil prices so low, that there's little point to even bothering. Shell has sold off 1.3 billion dollars in assets in Canada, so when the big guys begin to act like the end game is coming, you know it isn't far off.

Of course, for the petroeconomies this is a disaster. Whether it's the extreme case like Venezuela, or the more moderate economic contractions of Alberta or North Dakota, a lot of jurisdictions who have basically lived off the oil teat are facing long-term woes.

Submission + - Zuckerberg, Google Double-Down on Pet K-12 Personalized Learning Projects

theodp writes: Tech billionaires love the idea of K-12 personalized learning. Last week, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Facebook-Summit Public Schools personal learning partnership would henceforth be the Zuckerberg/Chan-Summit Public Schools partnership, as Zuck and wife Priscilla let it be known that their nonprofit is "building a world-class engineering team" to build out the Summit Learning Platform and make it "available for free to any educator who wants to use it." Not to be outdone, Google this week added another $5 million to its Khan Academy investment. Both Summit and Khan Academy are supported and advised by a Who's Who of tech's richest individuals and their companies (and both organizations eat their benefactors' dog food). Later this year, Brian Dear's The Friendly Orange Glow will explain that Google's and Zuckerberg's New New Personalized Learning Thing actually has roots in the '60s and '70s.

Comment Timing went from bad to worse (Score 1) 104

This strike, had it been called while President Barack "Lawnchair" Obama was in office, would have likely ended in no progress for either side, with the workers going back to the same shitty situation they walked out from (ultimately a loss for the workers as they would see no raise while their cost of living increases). That would have been bad timing.

Now we have a GOP that is still drunk on power calling the shots in DC. These workers might as well go take a long walk off a short pier at this point. I would be surprised if they are able to return to any jobs at all. There is no protection left for them, and if they thought otherwise they will soon find how wrong they are.

Comment Re:Efficiency is useless. (Score 4, Insightful) 43

Cost is not everything, that is pretty dumb economic thinking. Cost efficiency is everything, the return on capital investment. With branded solar energy systems, retained capital investment is as important as energy generated. Want it the price of a home with a top quality solar energy system versus a home without one. What premium can you start to charge on a home where the supply charge for electricity is higher than the cost of actual supply of electricity, a house that is basically black out proof. Where energy running cost for a car heads to zero.

So in mid level housing density, how close to an effective solar energy system for a two story town house, where a premium is paid, due to limited are for panels. It makes no sense with solar panels to have them anywhere else but as close as practicable to the point of demand, screw the insensate greed of the energy companies. Doing away with the electrical grid all together in suburban low density housing would be a major victory for the majority, screw the energy companies, they can pretty much choke on their own gas (tee hee).

Submission + - Quicken Bill Pay is No Longer Safe to Use (

Bruce Perens writes: I don't usually make security calls, but when a company makes egregious and really clueless security mistakes, it's often the case that the only way to attract their attention and get the issue fixed is to publicize it. This one is with Quicken Bill Pay, a product of Metavante (not Intuit). It's from personal observation rather than an expert witness case, and the company has been unresponsive through their customer support channel.

Comment Re:In Other Words (Score 1) 363

How about some lateral thinking. Literally there is a huge difference between saying the universe, microverse, macroverse and megaverse are a simulation (once you go there, you go there) to saying we are 'living' in a computer simulation. One statement is not the same as the other. The reality is, yes, we do 'live' in a computer simulation, the one crafted in our own minds by our genes.

Once you understand a belief it ceases to exist, a genetic thought structure. That light bulb affect is a real cerebral event, as thoughts are deconstructed across the brain to create a new thought construct, a major change in our internal simulation of the outside world. That computer simulation we leave in, where our brain is the computer, not just individually but the likely quantum one we share based upon out genetic ability to do so.

Comment Re: No complaints here (Score 1) 261

Did you know you are a little behind the times. CO2 is no longer the big threat (yes, man made global warming is real), methane has become an extreme threat due to global warming. No longer just melting permafrost from Russia to Greenland but the Arctic sea itself

Peaks in weather reflect changes over time as the ocean absorb heat and warmer seas impact weather.

Now the interesting period starts, where peak weather events, can now become extremely dangerous. A extreme high temperature weather event can trigger a mass release of methane, which will feed into that event hugely exacerbating it. Will it occur and when will it occur, have fun with dice because it is a far more complex event than simple climate modelling, in comparison.

How bad could it be, how about a decades worth of melting in a season due to the location and the impact of methane on heat retention. That weather event could trigger a climate event that could last quite a few years, and a century of sea level rise could occur in those years. Cheer up, after the even is over the methane would start breaking down and the planet would start cooling due to ocean absorption of heat and mass cloud formation, reflecting sunlight. Of course reasons to celebrate might be a bit muted with coastal areas under more than a metre of sea water (that metre could well be a huge low ball guess). Time to panic, well I would genuinely recommend not investing in likely underwater properties. So places in the world in far more danger than others. For the US retiring in Florida right now would be a pretty stupid idea.

Comment Re:Plans for Planes (Score 1) 70

How about a more cogent argument. Sure electric planes will be possible, the real problem will be speed. That is of course the speed of the plane itself, this is a real double negative outcome, not only will passengers dislike the slow speed of the plane but it will naturally make it much more expensive. The longer the plane takes to make a flight, the less flights in can make and the greater the impact of that slow flight upon the capital return for that investment. Compare it what will be it's major competitor, high speed rail. The advantages of rail, it will be faster, it can provide high quality services much cheaper than a plane (a private cabin). About the only place for electric planes is the private market as legislation is likely to be introduced the excesses of the fuckwit class who desire to consume and pollute as much as possible, so private jets will likely end up being banned, straight up no excuse for that disgusting excess.

Comment Re:and the Aliens Go Whaaaaaaaa? (Score 1) 104

Likely the aliens would be looking upon the US with, well, that was a stupid idea, with regard to lead in fuels, lead water pipes and firing lead bullets in concentrated doses on gun ranges. Look how stupid in made them, keep in mind the current rank of politicians all are that generation of lead addled fuckwits as are their core of older voters. So yes, bad memories, limited thought, reduced morality and a range of really destructive outcomes (insane greed, high level child molestation, destroying the planet, wars for fun, torture and mass attacks on the rights of citizens and workers).

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