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Comment Re:Nature varies (Score 1) 244

We have some observational constraints on the speed of light.
11 billion years ago (when the universe was 2 billion years old), the speed of light was about the same as it is now.
Otherwise, the light crossing certain objects would be different. This result is essentially independent of cosmology.

I guess that the cosmic microwave background also places limits. If the speed of light had been infinite at that time, I suspect the last scattering would be affected. This is ~300.000 years after the big bang.

But at the time of inflation ... sure, could be infinite, I guess.

Comment Re: Game Changer (Score 1) 283

And those from 10-15 years ago have successfully predicted the increase observed over the last decade. Not only that but they also predicted the warming in individual locations, the increased weather extremes, etc.

That's very heart warming, but not proof of the success in predicting even more extreme outcomes. Before I jump on the panic and tax band wagon I'd like to see some real proof, not expectations.

That these models have correctly predicted the future is the proof that they work. Why is that not "real proof"? Not sure if you are hung up on last-Thursdayism or a nirvana fallacy here. Fine, there may be another model or different parameters which are the true ones. So what? The used parameters gave the correct predictions, so we can't be way off. And climate scientist do study and worry about such systematic errors. Do you honestly expect that another parameter will suddenly give a sine curve in temperatures, saving us in 2020 without any action?

Sure scientists discover new effects and you see them in the news, but they are usually minor modifications. The main message and outcome has not changed in decades, i.e. accelerated warming, increasing sea levels, more extreme weather.

Comment Re:layout == replacement? (Score 0, Troll) 191

You will have to admit though that tablets and smartphones these days feature apps that are easy/intuitive to use and often beat clunky desktop apps with slow development cycles. Bringing such features/approaches to DEs would avoid being stuck with 1990s desktops. Maps, weather, interactive notifications and lessons learned from Mylyn are a good thing for the diversity of Linux desktops.

Comment Re: Game Changer (Score 2) 283

Climate models contain plenty of physics. And those from 10-15 years ago have successfully predicted the increase observed over the last decade. Not only that but they also predicted the warming in individual locations, the increased weather extremes, etc.

Every model is an approximation of the real world with some degree of accuracy. These ones are useful and give insight into the most important physical mechanisms at work.

Submission + - The Internet of Things Is Taking Over Cities (

mirandakatz writes: Last week's DDoS attack drew the world's attention to the Internet of Things, and the fact that if we're not careful, smart devices can be used for harm rather than for good. At Backchannel, Susan Crawford underscores the importance of deploying IoT with the public's benefit in mind, and spells out the questions that local governments should be asking themselves as they weigh the pros and cons of smart cities.

Submission + - Google Identified Major Kernel Vulnerability In Apple's OS And iOS Systems (

An anonymous reader writes: In June Google’s Project Zero team identified a devastatingly effective exploit in Apple’s XNU kernel, and was able to develop perfect privilege escalation attacks by targeting a task port process thread called 'owningTask'. Project Zero member Ian Beer became dubious about the name of the task: 'OwningTask implies an ownership relationship which might lead kernel extension developers to believe that behind the scenes IOKit is actually maintaining an ownership relationship which will ensure that the lifetime of this userclient will always be dominated by the lifetime of the owningTask. This is a dangerous assumption.' Project Zero apprised Apple of the vulnerability at the beginning of June, and initially refused Apple's request for sixty days' grace, but eventually settled on September 21st for disclosure. But when Apple's last-minute September fix turned out to be ineffective, Project Zero agreed to keep quiet, eventually granting Apple nearly five months of silence about the task_t bug — which has now been fixed in the latest updates to Mac OS and iOS.

Comment Re:Panel on top is a feature? (Score 1) 47

Features like "new icons", "new Applications Menu", "panel on top" etc requires hiring a programmer, there's something wrong with your desktop environment. These are all trivial configuration options which any user should be able to make for themselves.

Does the fact that my configuration files differ from the default ones mean that I created a new desktop environment?

You also need to repackage that package, which is not trivial.

Comment Re:(Gecko = "Web platform") = WTF (Score 1) 97

There's your problem right there. How about concentrating on giving us a good *browser* instead, like you used to?

That's exactly what they are doing, they are stopping other projects (Thunderbird, Firefox OS) to concentrate on severe refactorings of their core product, Firefox and the underlying Gecko, to catch up again with Chrome, and deliver a better browser. It is harder to restructure a codebase if you need to maintain several products that depend on it.

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