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Comment Re:Metastability (Score 1) 119

I heard the lead on a Science Friday interview - he invited everybody in academia to come to his lab to learn the technique on how to make it, as he wants everybody working on the material. It sounds like they can fairly easily do it again, so I am surprised this article makes no note of that.

Well, "surprised" in that I pretend journalism doesn't exist just to sell ads.

Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 1) 253

Are you unfamiliar with the phrase "hand waving", or just being deliberately obtuse?

Science is about numerically accurate, falsifiable predictions. We need some of those in the Climate Change debate, but the science isn't there yet. Non-scientists like yourself, however, are happy to substitute hand waving (like a magician, hoping to distract the audience from the lack of substance).

Comment Re:Fake science/sloppy science (Score 1) 253

You have that wrong, I think. Sure, the Scientific Method is not about building a consensus, however, the Advancement of Science (as in expanding our understanding of the universe), has to be about consensus. Without consensus on what is true (or likely to be true), Science would perennially be stuck at what a single scientist could accomplish in one lifetime. At some point, you have to accept that other scientists have already researched and discovered things. At that point, the scientific consensus will help you find areas for your own research that haven't already been exhaustively studied.

Of course, there is nothing stopping someone for challenging the consensus on any scientific topic, but if you do want to challenge the consensus, then you better have a good alternate theory and the evidence to back it up.

Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 3, Informative) 253

Record high temps, record low temps. record rain, record drought.

That's actually what you'd expect with a chaotic system built of multiple random variables. It would be unnatural for weather to always be the same.

Actually it's not. It's a simple fact that in a stable system, as time goes on, there are fewer and fewer "record" events because each new record needs to be more extreme than all previously recorded events. Over time, record-breaking events decline significantly. So, an increase in record events is, by itself, evidence that the system is undergoing change.

Comment Re:Practical? (Score 1) 110

Yeah, um...except for a 3 letter agency with a 10 or 11 figure budget or a Google no one has the money to devote this much CPU time to one attack. SHA-1 is still fine unless your worried about 3 letter agencies in which case you probably have bigger problems than just encryption -- problems like drones with missiles attached.

I can easily throw 1 million cores at a problem. That's 2.5 days to get an answer. My company would be pissed at me for wasting the resources, and would fire me, but I could do it. There are lots of people like me in the world.

Fun fact: a core-year on EC2 Spot generally costs less than $100. No clue how many cores you could get in parallel, but lots of organizations could throw $500k in IT spending at a problem, they just need to achieve something worth more than that by doing so.

I bet doing the same with an ASIC solution would be surprisingly cost effective if you had a lot of digital signatures to forge.

Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 0) 253

Bad analogy. It's very expensive to emit less CO2. Humans will suffer from the reduced standard of living. What's the right trade off to minimize harm to people? That's the whole point of the debate. Dismissing people you disagree with without understanding what they're talking about is popular today, because it's easy, but it's not smart.

Comment Re:Weak/nonexistent punishments for faulty notices (Score 1) 71

All patent applications are signed under penalty of perjury. However, the US Patent and Trademark office disbanded its enforcement department in 1974. So, you can perjure yourself on a patent application with impunity.

Unless it's testimony in a criminal case, or the perjury trap in front of a grand jury, or something they want to prosecute like lying on your tax form, the Federal government is in general lassiez faire about perjury, or even encouraging of it with their reluctance to prosecute, especially perjury committed by a so-called intellectual property holder.

Comment Re:My experiences in other companies and opinions. (Score 1) 169

In a manager I would find this particularly disturbing, because you should really be promoting managers based on leadership qualities, and shouting at your subordinates doesn't display leadership, it displays bullying.

Shouty managers were common for Baby Boomers and earlier. There's still a bit of that culture around, and I've had a few shouty managers over the years (mostly guys born before 1960, one born in the 60s). It's an effective way to deliver the emotional message that someone is underperforming and needs to change, when sometimes trying to connect rationally doesn't work. I'm glad it's now mostly faded from current management, but it's a valid approach for leadership (there's a reason drill sergeants and marine DIs shout a lot - it works).

The better criticism is that it's unprofessional. We should all be fighting to increase the perceived professionalism of software development. I've seen so much dignity stripped from developers over the past 25 years, and it's bullshit and needs to reverse. We're professionals like doctors and lawyers (and in some countries, better paid than doctors or lawyers). Can you imagine a doctor or lawyer, past the early career years, who doesn't have an office? Who doesn't have assistants to do the shit work?

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 182

The short of it, Jupiter moves things around; it's very good at scattering other bodies, even large ones. First it dragged outer populations into the inner solar system, then scattered inner solar system material out, and then on its retreat pulled outer solar system material back in. It's actually a very big deal that it did that, as it brought ice into the inner solar system.

Comment Re:Pretty common (Score 3, Insightful) 169

It's what happens when you let sociopaths into senior management.

Corporate management selects for only 2 things: sociopathy and ability to deliver results. The higher up the ladder you climb, the more that it becomes entirely about sociopathy. This is true of almost any large organization, but especially corporations. It's not clear how to fix this, given humans are what they are, but at least recognize the world you live in.

Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 2, Insightful) 253

he infrared absorption of carbon dioxide is experimentally measured in the laboratory

No one rational doubts this. That has never been what the climate change debate was about. But the atmosphere is not a bottle of air, or even a bottle of air and water (any modern meteorological model treats modeling he ocean at least as importantly as modeling the air). The atmosphere+hydrosphere is a complex, evolving system with many feedback mechanisms, both positive and negative.

I mean, really, do you think a climate model is simply modeling a static stack of air with some CO2 in it? Really?

The question is: quantitatively, what rate of human CO2 emission with create what effects, in detail. This is not the sort of science that lends itself to reproducible experiments, but that's fine, neither does astronomy or cosmology. It is, like any science, required to make falsifiable quantitative predictions.

And, frankly, the best models aren't doing so well, giving about 2 sigmas of accuracy. If you generated hundreds of models at random, you'd expect a couple dozen to have 2 sigmas of accuracy. That doesn't mean the models are flawed in any fundamental way, but there's a big gap between "not fundamentally flawed" and "great, proven science".

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