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 First languages... (Score 1) 630

Short course on APL with Hap Peele, then formal logic and computational lingistics, LISP, C, and Fortran. I think there's an advantage to programmers learning logic and functional algorithms before diving into specific languages. It gives the student conceptual models, ways to think about parts of languages, that work in multiple languages and make learning much easier (and solving problems faster and more efficiently comes along for the ride).

Unfortunately, we don't seem to value logic much these days, as a preparation for programming or for real life.

Comment And deadly, too... (Score 1) 174

A technician or cleaning person died in the datacenter at SSA in the early 80's when I worked there (I didn't know her personally) on the midnight shift, probably the summer of '82. The printers were often cleaned running with the covers up, and she had a badge on a braided cloth necklace. The printers were cleaned with a handheld vacuum cleaner. She leaned a bit too far over the cover and the band caught her badge and instantly pulled the cloth strap in as well. It was about 20 minutes before the resident IBM guy got on up to the printer room to see what had created the fault...

We were all given new badge hangers the next shift, and I've never worn one that didn't have a breakaway element to it. Word to the wise...

Comment Re: Really.. Really??? (Score 1) 271

So you're saying this has happened in climate science, and continues, in spite of multiple different source sets of data, teams working on them, and lots of coordination with other proxies, and many different teams working on them? Every study on the subject I've seen has shown the warming trend in spite of instrumental inaccuracies.

So are you claiming that all the studies and correction methods and checking and re-checking and use of non-instrumental proxies have given us wrong results in spite of our best efforts? Or just that we literally can't measure temperature trends accurately at all?

What is your actual claim about climate trends, and where are the studies that back it over the studies that disagree with you?

Comment Re:Gets popcorn (Score 1) 271

Temperature changes are causing migration, disease and war, already. That's why it's worth thinking about. Worrying, that's up to you. For example - http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150302-syria-war-climate-change-drought/ This is an article about a study that argues that climate change increased the effects of a drought which provided one cause of the Syrian civil war.

Comment Re:Why are land stations used? (Score 1) 271

Satellites measure temperatures in the stratosphere and troposphere, with slightly less accuracy deeper in the atmosphere, iirc. Surface stations measure surface temperatures.

The advantage of surface stations is that we have many more than we need to get statistically accurate, so it's possible and routine to check groups of stations against each other and remove anomalies. Also, the surface record is obviously much longer than the satellite one.

If you want more on ground station accuracy, check out Berkeley Earth. It's a team put together with climate skeptic scientists and others which set out in 2010 to assess the accuracy of global warming claims and the instrumental record. They found that overall the surface temperature records, even from stations rated "poor", recorded the same degree of warming as other sources. Urban heat islands had no real effects on the data because only about 1% of the sensor sites were subject to that effect. And there's more, but it's all pointing in the same direction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Earth

Hope that helps you understand why surface temps are still used and useful.

Comment Re:RAM latency is not getting much faster (Score 1) 92

Replacing hard drives with SSDs still leaves another bottleneck. The disks have to connect to the cpu somehow. If they are internal (as in a home pc), then you only get a few disks, but they connect at PCIe speeds. If you need more disks, you go to a SAN. But then you're putting your disks at the end of *network* latencies; there's definitely a wall there. You can't cache your way out of the transmission delays on the SAN... Other solutions are used which essentially move the software and/or data closer to the hardware.

Comment Causation, CO2 and Warming (Score 5, Insightful) 132

[quote]How do we know the CO2 spikes caused the warming? Perhaps the CO2 resulted from increased biological activity occuring as a result of the warming. [/quote]

CO2 is a warming gas in the atmosphere; in the absence of any other changes, adding CO2 will warm the atmosphere. However, as the article notes, we don't know what caused the quick ramp-up of CO2, and we *do* know that other factors (both cooling and warming) were in play. We also know that over time the atmosphere warmed enough to end the ice age in question.

What is safe to say is that CO2 has a warming effect, which could be counterbalanced *and* added to by other factors. It's the overall balance of these things that tilts the scales one way or another. CO2 is just one piece.

But it's not mistaking correlation for causation to note that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will result in increased warming. That's just basic physics. The fact that it could be offset by something else is immaterial to your point.

Comment Re:Talking Point (Score 2) 427

That argument that deep austerity is needed is bogus, however. For years, economists and climate scientists and even skeptics have been arguing that whether or not the problem exists (okay, well, now they usually admit it exists), there is an entire new economic sector that can be opened up to private businesses - climate change mitigation. And that is a net *positive* to the global economy, for the economy as well as through the development of new technology. The fact that if bad things are averted we also gain economically from avoiding them is icing on the cake. The downside? All the major fossil fuel industries are looking at a "co-opt or die" scenario. Cui bono?

You can do this without extreme taxation or austerity, IF you start reasonably soon (in the next few years would be good - we passed ideal a few years back). It's the fear and exaggeration of the costs, largely put out by fossil industry interests, that is delaying change.

So if you really do just tune out and think of nutbar extremists when you consider the costs of this, what you're selecting is guaranteed to be the most expensive path through the next few decades. If you're *lucky*, the cost of that will be minimal as thousands of climate scientists are proven to be wrong. But if you're wrong, well.. That's when that choice gets ugly for your kids.

How much are you willing to be that the climate scientists and their peer-review system are so totally corrupt and incompetent that they are completely wrong? Your future, and your kids and grandkids futures? Hey... Go for it. Maybe modern climate science is the equivalent of catastrophe geology up against Alfred Wegener. But... That's a huge bet to make against the professionals.

Comment Re:Global Temps (Score 1) 427

Where's the hiatus in the warming of the oceans? There's a lot more short term variation in atmospheric warming, but given that the oceans have *not* seen a hiatus, it's clear that that is simply a temporary cooling signal added to the mix. This is what should concern you, because when that cooling signal fades out, the warming in the atmosphere will be back, and possibly at a faster rate than before. In effect, we're getting temporary relief - don't think it's a permanent thing, because if we were really cooling, the oceans would show it unequivocally.


Slashdot Top Deals

Consultants are mystical people who ask a company for a number and then give it back to them.