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Submission + - Climate Change Is Altering Global Air Currents (independent.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: One of the scientists who demonstrated conclusively that global warming was an unnatural event with the famous “hockey stick” graph is now warning that giant jetstreams which circle the planet are being altered by climate change. Jetstreams are influenced by the difference in temperatures between the Arctic and the equator. But the Arctic has been warming much faster than tropical climates – the island of Svalbard, for example was 6.5 degrees celsius warmer last year compared to the average between 1961 and 1990. The land has also been warming faster than the sea. Both of those factors were changing the flow of these major air currents to create “extreme meanders” which were helping to cause “extreme weather events”, Professor Michael Mann said. In a paper in the journal Scientific Reports, Professor Mann and other researchers wrote that evidence of the effect of climate change on the jetstreams had “only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability." They said that projections of the effect on the jetstreams in “state-of-the-art” climate models were “mirrored” in “multiple” actual temperature measurements. The jetstream normally flows reasonably consistently around the planet, but can develop loops extending north and south. The researchers, who studied temperature records going back to 1870 as well as satellite data, said these loops could grow “very large” or even “grind to a halt” rather than moving from west to east. The effect has been most pronounced during the past 40 years, they found.

Comment Re:Blockbuster (Score 1) 270

I actively laughed when Blockbuster tried to launch the DIVX discs - "DVD-like" discs that you'd rent but would never have to return because they'd time out. This was, at least in part, a response from an upcoming service called Netflix which let you rent/return discs by mail and thus didn't have to drive to the store. Of course, you needed special DIVX players to play Blockbuster's DIVX discs and nobody owned those (but you could buy them from partner Circuit City). It flopped hard since people didn't want to pay more just to make more waste on a format even more proprietary than DVD.

Then Blockbuster had a chance to buy out Netflix in 2000 for $50 million. Blockbuster declined the offer. Two years later, Netflix IPOed, selling 5.5 million shares for $15 a share.

The only tears I shed for Blockbuster came from laughing so hard at them.

Comment Re:BULLSHIT! (Score 1) 270

You're joking, but I've often said that Netflix is Hollywood's best tool against piracy. Say you were thinking of pirating BIG BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE. If it was on Netflix, what would be the likelihood that you'd pirate versus just streaming? Now, I'm sure some would pirate anyway, but many people would watch it 100% legally via Netflix versus pirating. If Hollywood would realize this and cooperate WITH Netflix, they could both profit. Instead, they brand Netflix as the enemy in one breath and in the other rail about how bad piracy is.

Comment Re: Old business models don't die, they are killed (Score 1) 270

I've run into this before as well with Walmart. We don't buy from there often, but this one time something we needed showed on their website. When we got into the store, though, it was more. We could select "pick up at store" and get it an hour later at the online price or they would match another store's price, but they wouldn't match their own online price. The customer service lady at the store empathized with us. She had hit into this often herself. Unfortunately, corporate runs the web site and the physical stores as if they are separate companies and refuses to allow honoring or matching online prices in the store. My guess is B&N does the same thing. Idiotic from a customer perspective, but I guess some MBA thinks that this is genius.

Comment Re:Innovation (Score 2) 270

do you know how many TV appliances like AppleTV existed? Just AppleTV. That was it; there was no Roku, there was not Amazon Stick. There was no Chromecast.

In fact, Roku began life as a Netflix streaming box idea that a group within Netflix had. Netflix eventually decided not to pursue the project and it was spun off as a separate company, albeit one with Netflix as the primary application draw. IIRC, early on Roku was boasting that they'd have 10 channels by the end of the year. They hit that number and then rocketed up in popularity soon after.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 270

Daredevil's first season (haven't seen the second season yet) was a perfect example of this. Each episode moved the story line forward without any real "filler episodes." When the previous episode left off at a point, there was a really good chance that the next episode would pick up right there, No, they might not have as many episodes as a "regular TV" show would, but they also don't need to rely on the Bad Guy Of The Week formula to distract viewers from the fact that the main story line hasn't progressed in three episodes.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 270

On the other hand, this is where having all of the episodes of a season can be handy. When Agents of SHIELD first came on the air, I watched the first episode and liked it, but missed the next three episodes for some reason. At the time, I didn't have any (legal) streaming options for this show, so I just didn't watch it. Luckily, the entire season came on Netflix so I could binge it, but not before Season 2 started. Back then, I set my DVR to record the Season 2 episodes so I could catch up. Nowadays, since I cut cable, I'd just watch the previous episodes on Hulu (assuming I caught them before Hulu removed them).

Comment Re:Raise your hand if... (Score 1) 335

No one is obligated to accept cash. Most apartments refuse cash payments because they don't want to deal with having thousands of dollars in cash on-hand at predictable times. Major airlines don't accept cash for purchases during flights. Several restaurants in New York are cashless, and the trend has been expanding slowly to other locations. Some stay cashless, some allow cash later.

A place not accepting cash doesn't mean that you can just walk out with the merchandise, though. Your perception that you've created a debt by attempting to purchase something is off. There's no debt because the transaction hasn't been completed, and there's no contract, verbal or written, setting up payment at a later time. What you're talking about is theft, and the police can arrest you for that. The judge will find you guilty of theft. The only thing you can do is leave your coffee behind and walk out to find a place that does accept cash.

Comment Re:A point here? (Score 1) 335

Cash does not have an inherent value. If it did, money markets wouldn't exist because all cash would have an inherent value, and that would not change. Even gold and silver don't have an inherent value. If I'm starving and I have something to trade for food and you're the only person around, I'm not going to trade for your silver or gold if I need food. At that time, food has a value to me, while precious metals do not.

Valuing something in a given currency a learned skill. When aboriginal tribes were forcibly assimilated into Australian society, one of the most difficult things for many of them to learn was how money worked. I read a while back about one person who walked into a grocery store soon after being brought into the city, picked up a couple of things from a shelf, and walked out, not understanding why people were shouting at and chasing him.

Similarly, what if I plopped down a coin made of palladium. Could you spot its inherent value if the language on the coin wasn't familiar to you? Would you place its value higher or lower than silver if you didn't know it was made of palladium?

Your coworkers were probably just amazed to see some silver coins only because they're not used to seeing them. If you took them into most stores, you wouldn't be able to spend them, even if they were US silver coins because people wouldn't be familiar with them. Hopefully, they wouldn't call the cops on you like some do for $2 bills, but they might refuse the transaction to avoid the risk of falling for a scam.

Comment Re: Exchange in precious metals (Score 1) 335

All it took was one signature on an old-fashioned piece of paper and private possession of gold currency became illegal, too. Sure, you could probably deal in shavings carefully measured on a scale, but that takes a much longer time to do, is subject to manipulation, and raises the risks of collecting the metals such that most places wouldn't do it.

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