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Comment Re:Definition of technology flawed (Score 4, Informative) 294

And there is another problem with software patents, and this is, what Judge Mayer was pointing out: Describing what a program is supposed to do is a far cry from actually implementing it. Only the actual implementation running on a universal purpose computer does affect the physical world. Software patents thus are merely a wishlist of what a conceived program shall do on an universal computer. The task of actually implementing them would still be a necessary, creative act. This is quite different from a patented mechanism, where the patent application actually contains a full description how to built the mechanism, e.g. the complete code.

Comment Re:Stupid (Score 1) 1042

And as you know, only the people on B Ark were able to land safely on a new planet and found a new civilisation there. People destined for A Ark and C Ark weren't, they died from a contamined phone handset. Apparently, without the economic, education, HR and mass media specialists, we as a species are much more vulnerable, because the elite is too elitist to spot everyday problems, and the working slaves are forbidden to spot problems.

Comment Durability vs. Storage density (Score 5, Interesting) 348

It seems that there is an inverse proportionality between the durability of a storage medium and its storage density, and I don't know if we can overcome that easily, as we have the law of entropy working against us. A stone carving or a clay tablet can overcome hundreds and thousands of quantum events, and they will still be stone and clay. A papyrus starts to rot, when its molecules break up, and it gets brittle and is more easily destroyed. Printed paper is thinner and has smaller letters than a hand written papyrus and thus even small damage can erase whole words or paragraphs. And with a hard disk or flash memory, even single quantum events can erase or flip a bit, and a two bit error is already unrecoverable, and any more damage loses large swats of the file.

Comment Re:IoT is an unnecessary security risk. (Score 1) 116

But most of those devices have some "check for updates" functionality built in, and if you can intercept that and feed false data back to the device, it will gladly download bogus firmwares or execute commands injected in the data stream. And now the attack starts behind the NAT/firewall, and this direction is not in any way filtered at most sites, but set to In->Out Allow All.

Comment Re:So we're already committed (Score 1) 221

Not exactly, as I was calculating the amount of carbon and not of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The amount of carbon dioxide is 660,000,000,000 tons, of which 480,000,000,000 is oxygen that we took from the atmosphere to burn the carbon. 180,000,000,000 is the actual carbon that was added to the atmosphere. And the carbon we extracted from fossil resources I estimated to be about 770,000,000,000 tons.

Comment Re:So we're already committed (Score 1) 221

Seeing as how industrialization in it's entirety has failed to have been shown to appreciably affect global temperature changes...

I don't see the failure. CO2 levels are directly connected to temperature changes. So if we find the cause for the changing CO2 levels, we have the cause for the temperature changes. And CO2 levels have changed in the last 100 years. Just go to a library and take a 100 year old book about the atmosphere, and you will find that there are measurements of about 270 ppm CO2. Then take a measurement yourself, and you will get about 400 ppm CO2 today. So we have a 130 ppm increase of CO2 levels within 120 years. Now you could go and calculate how many tons of CO2 130 ppm represent.

Lets do some back-of-the-envelope calculations:

  • The average air pressure is about 100 kPa, and 130 ppm of that is additional CO2, so about 13 Pa is contributed by additional CO2.
  • 1 Pa = 1 Newton/square meter, so the weight of the additional CO2 is 13 Newton per square meter.
  • 1 kg weighs about 9.81 Newtons or slighlly less than 10 Newtons, thus 13 Newtons represent about 1.3 kg CO2.
  • That means that we have about 1.3 kg additional CO2 per square meter on this world. Given the Earth's surface area of 510,000,000 square kilometers, which are 510,000,000,000,000 square meters, this means about 660,000,000,000,000 kg or 660,000,000,000 tons of additional CO2.
  • 1 ton of carbon, if burned, causes 3.7 tons of CO2 to be released. Those 660,000,000,000 tons of CO2 thus represent 180,000,000,000 tons of carbon. Per year, humanity extracts 6,500,000,000 tons of coal and about 95,000,000,000 barrels of crude oil. Crude oil is about 85% carbon, and one barrel of crude oil weighs about 130 kg, thus 1 barrel of crude oil represents about 115 kg carbon. 95,000,000,000 barrels crude oil thus are about 11,000,000,000 tons of carbon. So we have about 17,500,000,000 tons of carbon which we extract from fossil resources per year.
  • If we estimate, that the amount of carbon used doubles every 20 years, the amount of carbon we extracted within the last 100 years would be about 770,000,000,000 tons, and of those, just one fourth seems to be added to the atmosphere, representing 180,000,000,000 tons of carbon, as we calculated before. This makes sense as not all carbon is burned, and additional CO2 levels increase plant growth.

See, how our estimation of carbon usage and increased CO2 fit nicely? And we know that CO2 levels and Earth surface temperatures are closely correlated. So we have a direct correlation between industrialization and temperature increase.

Comment Re:Y'know... Actually... (Score 2) 680

Dying is also a natural process. But that doesn't mean we should stop investigating murder and prosecute killers. Just because there is a natural process that (if you ignore time scales) looks from a certain angle a little bit like what we see right now, it doesn't mean that we are looking at a natural process.

I know that many people don't like xkcd, but he had a nice cartoon where you can see the difference between a natural changing climate and what we have right now: Timeline

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