Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Sensational! (Score 2) 376


Now, repeat after me: "Scandinavia is NOT the United States. The laws in Scandinavia are NOT the same as the laws in the United States. The original draft of the Constitution of the United States has NO relevance to the laws or legal principles of Scandinavia."

And, speaking as somebody who is not an American, I really wish that American posters would quit citing their Constitution as the basis for copyright when the first actual copyright act in the English language was the Statute of Queen Anne, predating the U.S. Constitution by around 70 years. Seriously.

Comment Re:Is there enough data (Score 1) 623

Yeah, I've read RealClimate. Any time they try to tackle history, they end up misrepresenting it and flat out cherry-picking their data.

As I recall, the worst case I saw (before I personally wrote them off) was an article making claims about the British wine industry - which ignored the actual research on the extent of the wine industry prior to the Little Ice Age and the effect the LIA had on the English winemaking (research by, you know, HISTORIANS) so that they could claim the opposite to support their "we're in an unprecedented period of warming" narrative.

They may know how a proxy study works, but speaking as a trained historian, these guys don't have a clue of how the study of history works.

Comment Re:Is there enough data (Score 1) 623

Please do not put words in my mouth - you are exceedingly bad at it.

I already mentioned peer-reviewed proxy studies from around the world supporting a warmer MWP, as well as linked to an aggregator of them. That's evidence, and it supports what has been seen in Europe.

My studies have mainly been in regards to European history. However, I know for a fact that China and India did have a form of statehood or empire at that time, and Russia was not developing that far behind Europe. I also know that they all had writing of some sort, and from my dabbling in Babylonian literature and the ancient world, that much of early writing is tracking trade, crops, and inventories. That suggests that such records exist for places with civilization at the time, such as India, China, etc. Ergo, those who study China and India, etc., will likely have crop and taxation records to work with. That is an inference, based on evidence.

"I imagine" is a turn of phrase.

Comment Re:Is there enough data (Score 1) 623

Well, that is a point, but at the same time, we're already in a situation where we're producing close to what we need to feed double the current population (I think we can feed 12 billion, and we've got 7 billion). And, when you look at where that population is located, what you tend to see are a couple of areas that are very heavily populated (like China, Indonesia, India, etc.), and a large areas that are very sparsely populated (like Canada, large parts of Russia, etc.). So, the wiggle room is there for some areas to become arable again while others become less fertile due to climate change.

So, yes, there is a much larger population now, but we are very far from bursting at the seams.

Comment Re:Is there enough data (Score 1) 623

"I have to say I have a hard time taking anyone who cites WattsUpWithThat seriously."

Well, that's your problem - it gets people at the article content without having to deal with paywalls.

And, if I might make the observation, you may want to consider the content first, and then the source, rather than the other way around. One of the problems with this entire discussion is that is has become so politicized that valid points or data are being dismissed on the grounds of "it comes from X, so therefore it must be invalid," without ever having looked at it.

Comment Re:Is there enough data (Score 2) 623

Well, you're correct that the data is there. However, it doesn't tend to actually say what certain paleoclimatologists or activists would have you believe...

"They use ice core data to determine temperatures and atmospheric composition."

Correct, but they also find that CO2 rises after temperature, not before, with a lag time of at least a couple of centuries. What's interesting is that right now CO2 is rising first, which means that there are very interesting questions about the degree to which this impacts warming.

"They have calibrated those readings based on the few hundred years of written records available."

The problem is that prior to the Little Ice Age, they tend to ignore those records. The current alarmist claim is that we are in an unprecedented period of warming. The historical reality is that while the rise of CO2 prior to temperature is pretty unprecedented, the levels of warming are not. We've been this warm and warmer before, in both the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods.

How do we know this? Because the economies of the time were barter economies, and therefore the tax records were tracking goods rather than money. We actually have detailed records of what was grown where, when, and frequently how well. We have archaeological evidence and records of old vineyards at altitudes that cannot support vineyards today. We have Medieval deep water ports in Scandinavia that are not deep water ports today (the water level hasn't risen back to high enough). And then there are the hundreds of peer-reviewed proxy studies that indicate a Medieval Warm Period at least as warm as the present, if not warmer. Don't take my word for it - the Medieval Warm Period Project has been collecting and listing them: http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

Now, all that said, this says nothing about what the impact of man-made CO2 has on the atmosphere - we are in a warm period, and we are contributing greenhouse gases to it. Some of the latest research out of NASA suggests that the actual sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is under 2 degrees: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/08/new_model_doubled_co2_sub_2_degrees_warming/

And, we also have the empirical evidence of Linzden and Choi, who did some of the first long-term research on actual solar warmth coming in vs. warmth going back out in comparison to CO2. They found that the empirical evidence suggested a warming of around 1 degree: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/16/new-paper-from-lindzen-and-choi-implies-that-the-models-are-exaggerating-climate-sensitivity/

When you actually look at the journals (which is what I try to do - when I delve into this stuff, I prefer the websites that aggregate research papers), you see far less consensus and far more active discussion. The problem is that "Our climate is changing, we're in a warm period, and we are going to need to adjust and ensure that we're not creating problems" does not read nearly as well as "Our climate is changing, it's unprecedented, and we're all going to die!"

If you haven't guessed, I'm a skeptic on this, but this means my opinion on the matter is always changeable - I go where the evidence points me. I take empirical data over computer models always, and I'm trained to look at historical trends. And, it drives me crazy when people misrepresent the history, derive the wrong conclusions from it (the history tends to indicate that we as a species do better during the warm periods, not worse), and drown out the critical research and its findings with declarations of apocalypse.

Comment WHAT?! (Re:A week?) (Score 1) 1004

Excuse me, but what planet are you living on? I live in Canada too, and unless you're living in the Arctic circle, there is no way these figures are right.

Here are the rough costs in Eastern Ontario, to do what you want, assuming you have a television set but don't have the receiver or cable service.

1. Purchase a cable or satellite system package (fees vary) - around $50/month
2. Select a package with HBO - around $10-15/month
3. Rent or buy a receiver with DVR abilities (about $15-20/month for rental, about $350 for purchase)
4. If you want HD, get HD - around $10 per month.

You would NOT have to spend close to a thousand dollars to watch Game of Thrones. In fact, if you rented instead of purchased (which with a lot of the DVR receivers is the better way to go due to a lot of them being on the flakey side), you could do it for as little as $110 per month.

Seriously, dude, I own an HD receiver (non-DVR), and I get cable and HBO, and I'm paying less than $100 per month - and drowning in on-demand while I'm at it (which, by the way, each episode of Game of Thrones is available on about two days after its first airing).

Comment Re:Actually, in this case, the punishment fits (Score 1) 420

I'm not the one resorting to name calling. And I know how much the dollar is worth, thank you very much.

And, to make things clearer, what I am saying is that he brought a life-time penalty upon himself. And, he did it in such a sociopathic manner that there was no way to save him. This is more Darwinism in motion than an injustice.

Let me put it this way - if somebody is standing in front of a minefield, the minefield is clearly marked, an official is waving a sign which reads "DANGER - DO NOT ENTER MINEFIELD" at the person, another official is tapping the person on the shoulder and telling him not to walk into the minefield, and finally, a third official comes out and provides the person with a way around the minefield, and the person still walks into the minefield, then at this point he deserves to be blown up.

Tenenbaum uploaded and shared the songs. He was guilty of the offence. He had the option to settle - he did not. He had the chance to come clean during initial legal proceedings and try to gain a reasonable settlement. Instead, he lied under oath. For eight months. He could have hired a lawyer who would have dealt with his case in a professional manner. Instead, he hired somebody who was so eccentric as to appear incompetent. And then, when he finally did come clean, he could have apologized to the jury, and explain that he was terrified of what might happen due to the way the RIAA was going after file sharers.

Instead, he told them that perjury basically seemed like the right thing to do.

So, forget the sympathetic defendant. Here the jury was faced with what appeared to be a lying sociopath who didn't even seem to be sorry that he got caught. So, they made an example of him, and buried him.

What else would you expect them to do? He basically did the equivalent of flipping every member of the jury the bird.

Even now, look at what he's trying to do. He'd rather attempt to convince the Supreme Court that copyright - in American law, first laid out in the Constitution - is unconstitutional than actually take responsibility for his actions.

Now, modifying the amount of the fine is for the courts to decide, and that story isn't done yet. But whatever Tenenbaum gets at the end, he deserves. Not because of whether the system is just or not, but because he went above and beyond the call of duty to convince the system to make an example of him.

Comment Actually, in this case, the punishment fits (Score 1) 420

A lot of the commenters here have forgotten their history with this case. This is one case where, in fact, the punishment fits quite nicely.

This is a punishment for illegally sharing music pretty much in name only. The actual trial could be described as a textbook case of "how to alienate a jury."

So, first, Tenenbaum hired a lawyer who acted very eccentric: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/07/tenenbaum-trial-opens-following-last-minute-dismissal-of-fair-use-defense/

Then, Tenenbaum - after eight months of legal proceedings - admitted that he had been lying under oath the entire time. When counsel asked him why he had basically played the entire court system (and, for that matter, his own lawyer) for chumps for the last eight months, he replied with the equivalent of a shrug and "it seemed like the best response to give": http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/07/tenenbaum-takes-the-stand-i-used-p2p-and-lied-about-it/

At this point, he had acted enough like a sociopath that the $675,000 judgement against him was self-inflicted. Then, having done all this, his legal team put out an appeal to the Internet to pay his fine for him. I'm not kidding - the appeal was removed after the backlash included Ray Beckerman himself: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2009/08/please-do-not-contribute-any-funds-to.html

And now, he's trying to weasel out of the consequences of his actions. I'm sorry, but I think the punishment fits here. This isn't some poor fool who got caught sharing a few songs and got extorted by the RIAA for it. This is somebody who perjured himself for eight months, alienated what would have otherwise probably have been a sympathetic jury, and tried to get everybody else to pay his fine when the jury - understandably upset when it learned it had been lied to and the entire system played for chumps - handed down its sentence.

The Supreme Court was right to not spare this man any of its time.

Comment Re:Not the most sympathetic victim (Score 1) 420

There's even more than that. This is a case where the "victim" acted like a sociopath for a good chunk of the trial.

It's one case where I have absolutely no sympathy for the man. For eight months of the trial, he lied under oath about whether he had done it. Then, when he was caught out, the reason he gave was that it seemed to be the best response to give.

Link: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/07/tenenbaum-takes-the-stand-i-used-p2p-and-lied-about-it/

Then, he tried to take up a collection to pay the damages, which only got retracted after an uproar in which Ray Beckerman himself took a stand against it.

Link: http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.ca/2009/08/please-do-not-contribute-any-funds-to.html

So, you've got somebody who perjures himself for eight months, plays the entire court system for chumps, and tried to get the internet to pay his damages for him. I'm no fan of the RIAA - frankly, I'll be in line to dance on their graves when they die - but in this case, the punishment fits.

Comment Re:Not flash drives or free software (Score 1) 377

Very well said.

The best gift I ever received was a portrait of my great-grandfather on the eve of World War I in his Russian army uniform. He had died when I was a kid, and it felt like he had just been given back to me.

I'm hoping to do the same for my father this year for his birthday. My plan is to give him a copy of his father's World War II record (my grandfather passed away earlier this year). Neither of these are expensive gifts, but they're the sort of gifts that will always be remembered.

Comment Not flash drives or free software (Score 2, Insightful) 377

Okay, I know some other people have mentioned this - and been voted down for it - but this has to be said: both free software and flash drives are terrible ideas for stocking stuffers on general principles.

Look, there are two reasons for this. The first is that any worthwhile gift has to be about the person you're giving it to. It has to be something THEY will appreciate. And, ideally, it should be something they wouldn't have gotten otherwise. When it comes to holiday shopping, even the friends of mine who are techies I wouldn't give free software or a data stick to. The ones who are into free software likely already have what I'd give them, and the ones who aren't would probably prefer something more non-technical, or more difficult to come by. It doesn't matter if you think it's cool - it's what THEY think.

The second is that, well, the gift should be something out of the ordinary. A flash drive is a basic computer accessory, and free software is, well, FREE. If it was software you created, then it would be worthwhile, as it was something you made. But otherwise, it would be like giving somebody a box of tissues.

If you're looking for gift ideas, be creative and stay away from the free software. If you've got a wine lover, give them a bottle of ice wine; if you've got somebody who loves the cute stuff, an interesting plush toy or the like. And if you absolutely have to give somebody software, make it something you created yourself or something that they would have to go shopping and pay for to get otherwise.

But if you go with flash drives and free software, the only thing you'll end up coming across as is some boring, thoughtless, self-obsessed cheapskate. Believe me, you don't want that.

Slashdot Top Deals

Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.