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Comment Re:Old (Score 1) 82

Exactly which is why once you reach 'good enough' people stop caring.

Sure, but that doesn't mean the demand for more power isn't there, it's just coming from other people - the server owners, for example, but also people who play games and all the others I mentioned. The many people who don't care about faster hardware will eventually end up with it anyway, when they next replace their hardware, and now software vendors can target a more powerful platform. Not everyone plays demanding 3D games, but everyone's GPUs got faster anyway.

But why would you? It'll cost more and perform worse.

You may not care to - but the demand is there, whether from privacy-conscious consumers or part vendors supplying to Google. That's why CPUs now include co-processors for maths, graphics, and video encoding, to meet the needs of a wide range of people, and the software for things most people do now can take advantage of all of these. Adding a new neural-network co-processor as well seems inevitable to me, and thus before long a local assistant will be able to perform "good enough" and cost the same, so they'll be commonly available.

Comment Re:Old (Score 1) 82

Games are the obvious thing to point to, and popular applications like photo and video editing, VR is becoming a thing, but there's also an entire field of neural-networks developing right now - speech and picture recognition, behavioral prediction - which is very processor-intensive. And future applications we don't know much about yet - lightfield video promises to suck down any resources we can find.

Sure you can run legacy apps on legacy hardware, but new hardware enables new apps that require that new hardware. And a big reason you can get away with relatively old hardware today is that a lot of the new & intensive work has been offloaded to massive server arrays, where any cheap phone with a network link can use it. Which is fine for some things, but I also see a growing preference for local storage and processing rather than sending your every habit to the cloud. Maybe CPUs will soon be powerful enough to run a genuinely personal assistant entirely locally...

Comment Re:Old (Score 1) 82

Until new and more-demanding uses become possible, then common. The point is, our needs tend to grow to match available processing power, so as faster laptops are created, more powerful software will be made available to use it, and laptop users will come to demand the new capabilities (which were previously available on desktops but not worth trading away mobility). And since some industries will be demanding much more CPU power for a very long time yet, it's likely that overall growth will continue for some time, and even if it's not driven by laptop users, they will benefit and come to use (then require) the increased power that trickles down to them.

Comment Re:Chain of conclusions (Score 1) 250

The World Resources Institute estimates that all aviation (not just tourism) contributes around 1.7% of greenhouse emissions. Compare that to 10.5% for road transport, 13.8% for agriculture, and 29% for electricity - and you can see that jet-setting tourists are a pretty tiny slice of the problem.

Contrary to popular straw men, a sustainable future does not require drastic slashing of lifestyles or economic growth. We could save nearly 50% of our global CO2 emissions simply by transitioning to carbon-neutral energy, instead of burning coal, oil, and gas everywhere, meaning we could further scale up our cars, air conditioners, and heavy industry as much as we cared to without heating the climate at all.

Comment Re:Chain of conclusions (Score 1) 250

Why, are you suggesting that short term carbon spikes could rise and fall so quickly that they wouldn't show up in an ice core? Do you have any evidence to support that speculation? And what mechanisms are you proposing that might cause this - both the sudden CO2 release, and the equally-sudden re-uptake?

Comment Re:Chain of conclusions (Score 1) 250

We're not "all gonna die", and the Earth will keep spinning. But it sure as heck is gonna be expensive - trillions, by the end of the century. But if we can reduce that cost drastically by investing in carbon-neutral industries early on, why on earth would you want to oppose that?

Comment Re:Effects are LOGARITHMIC (Score 1) 250

Except the evidence says exactly the opposite. Last time the Earth had over 400 ppm CO2 was 4.5 million years ago - and temperatures then were 4-5 degrees C higher than today (10 degrees C higher at the poles). Considering that CO2 lingers in the atmosphere for many decades (some of it for centuries), and that we've only seen ~1 degree of warming so far, it's far more likely that 80% of the warming is yet to come (even if we stop excess emissions today).

Comment Re:Chain of conclusions (Score 4, Informative) 250

- Watch sea levels rise
- Watch unprecedented king tides and storm surges destroy billions in coastal property
- Watch millions of coastal & river delta farmers lose their farms due to salt
- Watch global threat levels rise from increased resource conflicts
- Watch temperatures rise
- Watch tropical diseases spread to new areas
- Watch unique and valuable reefs bleach and die
- Watch billions of tourism dollars disappear
- Watch rainfall patterns change drastically
- Watch farmers try to cope with drought & floods like they've never seen before
- Watch rising ocean acidification attack crucial food-web ecosystems
- Watch rising risks of runaway feedback from e.g. Siberian methane traps
- Watch deniers eventually change their tune to "oh well, it's too late to do anything now"

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