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Comment They're not. (Score 2) 94

They're never going to fix this. It isn't just a matter of publishing source code, it affects the hardware too. It needs hardware protection on the flash, for example, so that you can control, at a hardware level (eg by a button on the device) whether the flash is writable.

But by now, all of the manufacturers are so infiltrated by other agencies, the NSA, foreign governments, and business interests (having the user in control of their own security directly contradicts the aims of DRM, not to mention marketing companies); this all conspires against ever having any security over your own firmware.

Build it yourself is probably the best bet. And the nice thing is that this is becoming more practical. The biggest problem is that there is no way to verify the hardware at the chip level, but with careful design it is possible to get reasonably good security without 100% trust in all of the individual components.

But for the overwhelming majority of people, who are not motivated or able to build their own, their tech is doomed to be compromised. I don't think there is anything that can be done about that. It is a political issue, rather than technical. And in all "democracies" that I can think of, the political will is against it.

Comment Re:Um what TF? (Score 1) 324

There is no doubt that *eventually* natural carbon sequestration will remove the excess carbon we are pumping into the atmosphere. The problem though is that the natural rate of fossil fuel formation is roughly 10 barrel of oil per day. The amount of oil we are burning is about 10 million barrels of oil per day. So yes, in a few million years it will all change back into oil, and the amount of CO2 will be back to where it is today. I'm glad that is a comfort to you, I'm sure your children will take comfort in it too.

And yes, the ocean pH has decreased by about 0.1 since pre-industrial times. That is becoming *more acidic*.

Comment Re:High Certainty. (Score 5, Informative) 324

That's a load of nonsense - the problem is that 10-15 years is too short a time-scale to make a reliable judgment. Since 1975, global average surface air temperature has increased at a rate of 0.17 deg.C/decade. But it isn't a steady increase. If you look at the 15-year period up to 2006, the warming trend was almost twice as high as normal (namely 0.3 C per decade) but nobody cared much (except climate scientists and environmentalists). The 15-year period from 1998 to now has been slower than the trend, and that's got hugely more attention. The reason is that interest groups strongly push the latter, and want to ignore anything that doesn't fit their agenda. See here for details

Comment Re:Um what TF? (Score 3, Informative) 324

No, the rate at which it's removed doesn't increase with increasing CO2, at least not enough to make a difference. Some additional carbon is stored in the oceans, possibly some increased biomass (but probably outweighed by deforestation?), but its pretty small in comparison to the amount of carbon stored in fossil fuels. And the amount is limited - the oceans are already turning slightly acidic.

Comment Re:Meanless (Score 2) 1105

All of those were proved wrong by evidence, and once the evidence was there and presented to people, people believed it. That isn't the case with global warming. There is plenty of evidence, and it all points in one direction. There isn't any "smoking gun" that can be used to disprove global warming, and there almost certainly never will be.

Also, it isn't true that "99% of scientist used to say that "the Earth was flat"". Even the ancient Greeks knew that the earth was round.

The comparison to the geocentric / heliocentric models of the solar system isn't fair either. Science as a discipline really only developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, so at the time that the Church taught everyone that the Earth was the center of the universe there wasn't really such a thing as a "scientist". No one had any real reason to disbelieve the geocentric model because there wasn't any convincing evidence to refute it. Not until Galileo observed the moons of Jupiter, and Kepler's equations for orbits, and later Netwon derived Kepler's equations from the inverse-square law of gravitation, that finally the heliocentric model was on a firm footing. it Indeed, the events that led to the heliocentric model in many ways represents the birth of what we regard nowdays as "science". There is nothing "scientific" about climate change denial, it is pure politics and greed.

Comment Re:Yeah... (Score 5, Insightful) 1105

That isn't very accurate. At some point 97% of geologists had never heard of plate techtonics. Once the theory was proposed there was, of course, some opposition because it was so different to what was previously believed. But once geologists properly evaluated the evidence, almost every geologist took it on board.

Similarly, once the idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs became widely known, it didn't take all that long for scientists to take a good objective look at the evidence and rewrite the textbooks.

There is no comparison to climate change because the "for" and "against" theories have been known for 30+ years by now. So far no one has managed to find any convincing evidence against global warming, and at this point the basic theory is so well established it is inconceivable that anyone ever will. You might argue about the magnitude of the problem, and whether some other effect might mask the warming (which is true anyway, eg I don't think anyone really knows why the deep ocean has been warming faster than expected, and somewhat masking surface warming). But there isn't going to be a "smoking gun" that disproves the basic notions, not any more than there will ever be a "smoking gun" that disproves Newton's theory of gravity. That doesn't mean that the theories won't get refined (eg, general relativity can be seen as a refinement of Newtonian gravity).


Festo's Drone Dragonfly Takes To the Air 45

yyzmcleod writes "Building on the work of last year's bionic creation, the Smart Bird, Festo announced that it will literally launch its latest creation, the BionicOpter, at Hannover Messe in April. With a wingspan of 63 cm and weighing in at 175 grams, the robotic dragonfly mimics all forms of flight as its natural counterpart, including hover, glide and maneuvering in all directions. This is made possible, the company says, by the BionicOpter's ability to move each of its four wings independently, as well as control their amplitude, frequency and angle of attack. Including its actuated head and body, the robot exhibits 13 degrees of freedom, which allows it to rapidly accelerate, decelerate, turn and fly backwards."

Comment Re:Cart Before The Horse (Score 1) 115

I don't think so - even after an extinction-level event on the Earth, it would still be an easier place for a habitation than the Moon. For a start, the Earth would still have an atmosphere, and even if it was toxic or otherwise not breathable it still makes the task of maintaining a habitat much easer (ie only need to seal it, rather than build a pressure container). Similar story for water (maybe need to go to great lengths to decontaminate water from a post-apocolyptic Earth, but that is still fairly simple compared with extracting water from the Moon), soil, plant life etc.

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