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Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 361

What'r the chances of getting stuck in ice in Antarctica during the summer months of 2013-2014, when global warming is at it's peak (tongue in cheek) - not once, but TWICE?

Pretty good apparently.

The Captain (?? or someone) from the Aurora Australis (the Australian Ice breaker that the passengers actually transferred to), mentioned the other night on the news that the issue is caused by the B9B iceberg (~ 100 km / 60 miles long) that totally blocked Commonwealth bay a couple of years ago. Apparently it's still causing havoc with the normal flows down there and as a consequence it has currently blocked a bunch of ice inside the bay.

Another issue was there is a whole bunch of "sticky" snow that is binding the ice in the bay together into a large "lump", so the ice breakers couldn't easily bash through it. It wasn't that the ice itself was particularly thick or anything.

Imagine having to be carried by a helicopter over all that ice, just to set down on another ship that's stuck in the same ice.

As mentioned above, the passenger actually went to a different ship and weren't stuck twice.

Comment Cats, domesticated ?? (Score 5, Funny) 144


I've got one on my desk right now proving it certainly isn't domesticated. She's trying to eat everything in sight. Our other one has previously chewed right through my phone charging cable.

The difference between cats and dogs:

A dog thinks: You feed me, you house me, you look after me. You must be a god.

A cat thinks: You feed me, you house me, you look after me. I must be a god.

Comment Re:Yet Another Stupid Tool (Score 2) 113

For those of you who've ever dealt with SuSE of any flavor, the "YaST" tool is the biggist millstone chained to the neck of hte users. It does a dozen vital tasks, and gets *very single one of them wrong* by conflicting with, and ignoring, features of the underlying tools it tries to weld into a giant crutch. DNS,SMTP, disk partitioning, package management, display configuration, and network configuration, it does *every single one* of those taks in fundamentally wrong ways. It can't read settings from the configuration files, and it overrides settings that can only be set by direct configuration file editing.

Don't get me *started* on the firewall and web server configuration component. B-r-r-r-r-r-r.

WTF are you on about ...

Have you actually ever used YaST? You can't have, well not within say the last 5 years or so, probably longer. Well, I've been using it since early 9.x days. If it ever was like you describe, it *must* have been before then.

YaST is very well behaved. It definitely knows how to read and write the appropriate conf file entries without borking anything. It doesn't mind if you use it this time, edit by hand next time, or another conf tool another time. It plays nicely with everyone.

In all the years I've been using it, I've only ever seen it miss reading an existing setting once, and that was over 5 years ago. I've never had to go and fix a conf file up afterwards because it had done bad things to it.

Comment Re:Not a replacement yet (Score 1) 340

And petrol doesn't evaporate??

I remember waaaaay back when I used to monitor petrol tanker discharges (ships), the evaporation losses could be in the single digit percentages in a day or two. That was our catch all excuse for why the ships figures didn't match the receiving depots figures. We "dipped" the tanks at both ends, before and after, but the receiving end always had less than the ship discharged (NB. We dipped the receiving tank a day or so before the ship started discharging for logistical reasons).

At that time I was working in a laboratory. We used Hydrogen for various things within the lab. It certainly had "evaporation losses", which I also monitored, but I don't remember it being an order of magnitude higher than what I saw with fuel.

Comment Why do they lock phones *on contract* in the US? (Score 1) 193

Sorry, not getting the logic here, why do they lock on contract phones over there?

In Australia, in general, if you're on contract, they don't bother locking the device. They don't need to, you're on a contract. Who cares if you use another provider, they are still getting there money every month.

Pre-paid devices are nearly always locked though, as they don't have any hold over you.

Comment Re:Not what happened (I'm sure) (Score 1) 286

The pictures of "Evidence" shown on the ticket are likely not showing evidence of the speed infraction, but of the car that committed the speed infraction. A radar or lidar gun was pointed down the street, observed a car speeding, then took pictures of the offending vehicle as it moved up to the stop light (pictures from the rear of vehicle more likely to show plates, some people don't like to put plates on front of their car).

Analogy: a shooting is committed, when the officers arrive they take picture of the suspect. The suspect presents these pictures in court and says, "Look, your honor, this "Evidence" doesn't show me with the guns in my hand, therefore they prove I didn't do it."

Ummmm, no.

That's not how these things work. They are supposed to take a photo of you *while* you are committing the offense, not some indeterminate time later. That's the whole point of these things.

So in this case, during the timeframe of the 3 photos, the person should have been doing the alleged speed. They obviously weren't in this case.

By your analogy, the photo needs to be of you firing the actual shot (that way you can't claim that someone else shot the person and handed the gun to you later)

Comment Re:Scary (Score 4, Insightful) 398

The owners of the land, silly. That would mainly be Big Agriculture. Giant conglomerates that often also own the associated food processing industry.

Just because they are corporations doesn't mean it isn't real money. They've shelled out $$ for land that is now worthless, or at least worth a lot less than they paid for it. It doesn't matter at all who's money it is / was, it's still real money. Those costs are going to get passed on in some way, shape or form to the end users (us).

You mean like irrigation? Pave a road or two? We are constantly developing that sort of infrastructure already. No new expenses next year? Great.

I mean a LOT of infrastructure, not just a road or two and a bit of irrigation piping.
I mean things like:

Proper irrigation infrastructure, probably where none existed before. Dams, pipes / canals / pumps etc

Proper access and distribution infrastructure.

Other infrastructure:

Setting up the farms in the first place. Buildings, fields, fencing, etc etc etc

Maybe you have to drain the land. Isn't half of Canada going to turn into one giant bog once all the permafrost melts?

And it mean *lots* of it.

That's a lot of $$$$. That's also lots of time required. It's highly likely we don't have that much time to work up the new infrastructure.

Also, who said the "new land" will be any where near as productive as the old land, or that there will be enough of it.

Like New York? Miami? The earth could burn up and dry out and still people would live in those places, because cities already are an artificial environment. Even rising oceans wont make cities go away. There might be some rough patches with some flooding, but even New Orleans is still on the coast, below sea level, and heavily populated. Cities just arent going anywhere.

Those cities maybe, but others will have problems. Many cities already face serious infrastructure issues (like enough suitable potable water supplies)

There's a hell of a lot of value / sunk costs in a city of any size. Hell in my city they are talking about building a new convention / entertainment centre. It will hold maybe 7,000 people. They're talking $100,000,000. That's just one dodgy building.

I don't know what homes go for where you live, but around here you are talking $400,000 - $500,000 each.

Don't forget the basic infrastructure to go with all that (water, roads, sanitation, electricity, gas, etc)

Now multiply that out by an entire city, then a number of cities. And remember, you aren't going to be able to sell your old real estate for anything much. So this is all cash you have to find from somewhere.

Most of the world already can't feed itself, and yet you are here telling us that one of the dire consequences of climate change is that most of the world wont be able to feed itself? You are describing the present, not the future.

This is an already solved problem, and proof of that solution are all the metropolises that we have erected. We wont have to follow the herds because we don't have to follow the herds. If Americans can pay China to produce gadgets for them, then the "distance problem" obviously has become a trivial afterthought. Stop pretending that its a problem, OK? Its intellectually dishonest at best.. blatantly willful ignorance at worst.

You're missing the point. The problem is about changing the current "haves" into the new "have nots". That's not going to go down too well.

As I said before the real issues will be around the costs of moving / changing. They are going to be massive. Of course we can engineer solutions to individual issues. It's just going to cost us. The other even bigger thing is the resulting conflicts that will arise from the changes. That is going to be one of the "engineering solutions". Take if from whoever has it now.

Comment Re:Scary (Score 5, Insightful) 398

In all seriousness, I think the climate is much more resilient than most alarmists are saying. We have had both much hatter times and much cooler times, and nothing tipped over then.

Of course the planet has. But that's got nothing to do with it. No one in their right mind is trying to say that the planet will end. The big thing is that it is going to create instability and conflict and cost a looooooooooooot of money.

The farm belt may move a lot closer to the pools... And with Canada as the new farm belt, the US corn subsidies may be less of an economic drain. (The out of work framers near me are another story) In other words, the change will suck for a lot of people and be a boon for a lot of other people. Just like most major change.

Just think about that for a bit. Those farms near you are now worthless. Who's going to pay for that? More banks go bust?? Who is going to employ the workers. How are you going to pay for the food you now have to import.

What about creating the new infrastructure required to farm these new areas?

What happens when various cities become uninhabitable / less inhabitable because of local climatic changes. How much does it cost to build a city including all of the associated infrastructure?

What happens when your country can no longer feed itself, but the neighbours have new farmland? Conflict is the normal resolution to these issues.

In general humanity gave up being nomads several millennia ago. We can't just follow the herds any more.

Why would the price of food go up? We will have that new Greenland orange crop...

All of the infrastructure changes that are required for that to happen will ensure that prices go up (massively). You may no longer even have access to the food source (eg: a blockade due to conflict)

Our civilisation absolutely requires stability and trust for it to work. The changes you agree are likely to happen mean that we won't have either. This is our greatest risk.

Just think about the grief and cost that the GFC has caused around the world in recent years. That was all because a handful of companies had some liquidity issues. Imagine what will happen if you multiply that by a million or more times.

The end result of climate change is the planet will still be here. There will be a significant number of plant and animal extinctions. The majority of people will probably survive, but that will depend on the level of conflict that ensues. One thing for certain is that virtually everyone's standard of living will go down (massively).

Comment But they do commercialise it (Score 1) 175

But they do commercialise it. They aren't a "build it"organisation, they're an "invent it" organisation. They commercialise their inventions by licensing them to others who have the ability / desire to build it. That's a valid option.

Just because you've invented something it may only be one piece of the puzzle. The wifi thing they did was a bit like that. It makes the current state of the art much better / useful, but it isn't a stand alone thing.

From a societal point of view, having groups do research like this is a 'Good Thing' (TM). Solve a niggling problem and license it at a reasonable rate.

A troll on the other hand would buy some patents from the real inventor and hunt around for something that looks vaguely similar that had been going on for years and shake them down.

If you're genuine about your patent you'd try to license it ASAP, not wait till they are painted into a corner and can't change technology.

Comment Re:Dear USA (Score 1) 242

Aren't alot of the chips in the computers we use fabbed in the USA, atleast? Big ticket items, for sure. How about cars? The united states manufactures crap tons of cars. Harley's are probably made in the USA, too. By necessity, you're house was made in the USA. All Boeing jets are made in the USA, but it's not practical to own them. While probably not 'manufactured' i'm willing to say that a good deal of the food you eat was probably processed in the USA just due to logistical reasons, and packaged here.

I've heard that very little of total spending of the american consumer actually goes to chinese goods manufacturing costs.

Your entire premise is wrong.

You are assuming I'm from the USA ...

My car isn't from there. Some of the components in my previous one may have been, but it was locally designed / built.
My house certainly isn't from there (logistics would be a nightmare on that one ...)
The food I eat certainly doesn't come from there (I do very occasionally drink Californian wine though)
Some of the electrical components in the things I own may well have come from there. But the item itself invariably comes from somewhere else.
I'm pretty sure the fuel here isn't sourced from the US (well very little anyway)

Like I say. *I* don't personally own many if any items produced in the USA.


Comment Re:Dear USA (Score 5, Interesting) 242

The US produces very little? It's incredibly obvious to tell you're trolling with statements like that.

Actually from my point of view, I'd have to agree with the GP.

I can't think of a single item I own that was actually made in USA. I own plenty of stuff made by US companies, but as far as I'm aware not on US soil.

At one stage I thought my mountain bike was actually made in the US, but then I found a sticker that disproved that (can't remember where it said now)

A brief survey of most stuff I own indicates that most of it came from China, followed by Taiwan and various other Asian countries.

That's one of the big issues I see with the "first world". We don't actually make the stuff any more that got us to that position in the first place. How long before the rest of the world doesn't need us any more?

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