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Comment Re:Baddly worded summary (Score 1) 69

I suspect this may enable them to lower their prices or increase their margins.

Linux support on popular high-end hardware is close to flawless -- or becomes so after that hardware has been out for a year or so. But if you start looking at the plethora of low end laptops, especially, you are in for a world of minor headaches. I find it takes me about a week of research to get a cheap, relatively new laptop working flawlessly. Sometimes the fixes Google turns up for your model don't work because you have a different revision number. Most people, if they attempted to install Linux onto a recent, low-end laptop, would find a lot of things not working, like sound, or keyboard special keys. It's not rocket science to fix, but for them it might as well be.

This is not what 99% of the world signs on for when they buy a laptop, so it makes sense for someone to have a business that does this for people. But if you're in the business of doing that, you have to pay yourself for your labor. That means you can compete at rock bottom prices because that's where you're starting from in your costs; and in any case starting with a better quality device minimizes the work you have to do dealing with stuff like broken ACPI firmware.

Which means when you count the cost of your value added, it's really hard to sell a rebranded laptop at a competitive price. Selling high quality rebranded hardware at relatively high prices and small profits may be a way to bootstrap your business, but the only way to get serious volume sales at a profit is going to be to have a computer manufactured to your specifications.

Comment This might offset *warming* but not *change*. (Score 1) 186

Most of the greenhouse effect warming takes place in the summer, for the simple reason that's when the most solar radiation is received and trapped. This doesn't eliminate that effect, it offsets the increase in the *average* by adding an unnaturally cold winters -- which by the way would increase fossil fuel use dramatically.

Now this would -- if it is physically and economically feasible -- blunt *some* impacts of global warming, such as glacier retreat and sea level rise. But it would accelerate *other* effects, such as habitat loss and changes in rainfall. Other carbon driven changes like the emergence of carbon-loving weed populations would continue unabated.

Consequently assuming that it's practical, its effects would be at best mixed, and there would be some big-time winners and losers. People with a lot of money in waterfront property would be big winners; interior farmers who rely on historical rainfall and summer temperature patterns would lose. Trout fisherman would lose as warm-water species outcompete salmonid species in their historical range. Etc.

These kind of problems are inherent in any attempt to treat the *symptoms* of rapid, anthropogenic climate change. I you aren't going to use conservation and efficiency to attack the problem, then the most promising geoengineering solution is carbon sequestration -- if it can be achieved on the scale needed. In the ideal case you would set the CO2 levels back, say, to 1960s levels. Not necessarily pre-industrial, because people have already adapted to changes from pre-industrial levels, but low enough that the rate of climate change is closer to natural than what we have today.

Comment Re: Could climate science be affected, too? (Score 1) 114

> There were around 2.5 million papers are published in 2015. So if you are going to freak out over this, you're probably the same type of guy who thinks it safer to drive a car than fly somewhere.

If this were a controversy over some regional carrier completely dropping the ball on their maintenance and inspections, then such a conclusion would be entirely warranted. The entire FAA inspection regime would be called into question.

The same is actually true for the USDA if you actually have half a brain cell. Certain foods like chicken should be treated like a deadly biohazard always.

Comment Re: Could climate science be affected, too? (Score 1) 114

I can and have replicated the experiments in that area. This is part of any decent public school education. What you are suggesting is that we should take anything on faith that is more complex than that.

I became an atheist not so much of my disbelief in the supernatural but of my mistrust of mere mortals that were the gatekeepers of the relevant knowledge. I knew that they were fallible and corruptible.

Why should I hold science to a lower standard than religion?

Comment Re:Could climate science be affected, too? (Score 2) 114

> Yes, it was good they were retracted. That's science working to expose the people who don't follow the rules.

That only works if you are allowed to be a heretic. If you are expected to always follow blindly (like Tyson and Nye suggest), then such investigation isn't going to occur.

That attitude should be encouraged NEVER. It doesn't even matter if you're a "mere layman" expected to just passively swallow whatever the current scientific establishment comes up with.

If a middle school teacher or a museum curator can't manage not alienating people, try employing a magician.

Comment Re:It would be... (Score 1) 203

America is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to automotive insanity. This idea that places outside of America are some bikers Utopia is just bullshit. Short of Amsterdam, most of Europe is not that bike friendly. Their urban roads and freeways are full of psychos in cars and trucks just like the US is.

Comment Re:who knew (Score 1) 203

...except biking to work is not the ONE AND ONLY OPTION. There are a wide variety of ways to get exercise,

I am also highly skeptical of any study that claims that there aren't diminishing returns or risks of overdoing it. I know people that do sports medicine in pro sports. They would find those ideas shocking and dangerous.

If it smells like propaganda for some other agenda, it probably is. Extreme claims are usually a dead giveaway.

Comment Re:On-site service; cargo (Score 2) 203

Yes, but few strength training exercises require sticking your ass up in the air and waving it back and forth like that.

Straight leg dead lift. bent rows, and back hyperextension off the top of my head. And while we're on the subject of distracting and embarrassing, there's always leg abduction.

Anyhow, people are jerks toward anyone who gets serious about anything, whether it's biking, power lifting, or building electronics. You're supposed to be normal, not exceptional. That makes it easy to be a sanctimonious prig toward people who like things you don't have what it takes to try.

Ever go to a gym where there's rules about making too much noise because you'll scare the casuals? It's stupid. There's a woman in my gym, an ex-marine, who can dead lift over 2 1/2 her body weight, which for a woman puts her in the elite range. When I walk into the gym and she's doing it, I have to walk out because she sounds like a harpy ripping the head off a dragon. But it's my problem, not hers. That's what it takes for her to do her thing, and I'm not going to make her feel bad about it because it's awesome. Literally.

Celebrate people who dare to look, sound, or even be ridiculous. Even if it bothers you, that's not the same thing as harming you. The people who do harm are the self-appointed conformity police. The ones who automatically go after anyone who doesn't appear normal. "Normal" is must another word for "mediocre".

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PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5