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Comment Re:Staff have to be smart again (Score 1) 61

Oh lord the puppies don't remember their history!

DirectX became a "thing" because of "The Lion King" on PC. A lot of the OEMs sold a shitload of units with the Lion King game preloaded, IIRC it was Xmas season 94. All these kids came down on Xmas morning to play...only to find out the game didn't work on like 90% of the hardware out there. Of course nobody blamed the shitty programmers for only supporting a couple of chips, nope they blamed Windows 3.1 and MSFT and had a royal stinking shitfit, even ended up on the nightly news, kinda a "MSFT is the Grinch that crapped on Xmas" angle.

Well if there was one thing that MSFT under Billy didn't like? It was bad press, so next thing you know they announce "Direct3D" and "DirectDraw" to solve this very problem of every game needing drivers for every bit of kit. Later on they combined the different APIs into what is now called DirectX.

Comment Re:Role Reversal (Score 1) 35

Public officials are under more scrutiny than ever.

By a foreign government and not our own 4th-estate or oversight, and current US leaders are willing to rattle the thermonuclear sabres over it...but not Crimea, Ukraine, Syria, etc etc...oh, no! Those little Russian military faux-pas are not sufficient reason to threaten reprisals. But, just release some emails that were supposed to be "polished...with a cloth" and suddenly it's 1962 Cuba.

Kinda tells one where their priorities and loyalties lie, doesn't it?


Comment Re:Was Obvious from the Start (Score 1) 205

I would say not only that but people that are into watches? These things are about as appealing as ass cancer. You talk to people that actually spend real money on a watch? They will talk your ears off about Swiss movements and dial faces and all the beautiful craftsmanship and details....you are NEVER gonna get that level of detail and care in what is essentially a little computer strapped to your wrist, you just aren't. Great watches are really these things out of time, with their little gears and springs, you can almost picture some watchmaker with an eyepiece working on this delicate little instrument, you just aren't gonna get that kinda vibe from a circuit board and an LCD panel, you just aren't.

Hell even the geeks I talked to that like watches didn't want these things, they want a Nixie watch like the woz has or one of those cool LED watches from the 70s, so I have no clue who they expected to buy these.

Comment Re:Is this the same "One Decade" we were promised. (Score 1) 270

From 1997 to 1998 there is no warming..

Year to year warming is dominated by statistical noise, which is what I suspect you are trying to say when you say that there was no warming between 1997 and 1998; however for what it is worth 1998 was significantly warmer than 1997, so by your definition there is "warming".

The 'warming' in 2016 is insignificant. It is as straight of a horizontal line between the two points as you can make on a graph

If you choose two points you will always get a straight line. If the end point is 2016 and the start point is any prior year in the instrumental record, the slope will be upward.

If the temperature doesn't reach 1998 or 2016 levels until the next El Nino, then there will still have been no warming.

This is what logicians call "equivocation", which is making up your own definition of a term to make your argument true. What most people understand "global warming" to be is an underlying upward trend in temperature created by increases in greenhouse gases. This is overlaid on both year-to-year variability and of course ENSO. Comparing an El Niño year to a La Niña or non-ENSO year is an apples-to-oranges comparison. If you want to compare individual years to determine whether there's an underlying warming trend, then you need to compare El Niño years to prior El Niño years, etc. Or you an take a moving average with a window that's large enough to average out any ENSO events.

If you take a ten year moving average, in the last 40 years that ten year average has dropped three times: in 1975, 1993, and 2008; remained the same as the prior year once: in 2000; and has increased 36 times. If there were no underlying warming trend then the ten year moving average would be equally likely to go up or down in successive years; in fact it's ten times more likely to go up than down. 2008 by the way was an anomaly in not only was it an unusually strong La Niña, it was a rare ten year period with *four* La Niña years in it. If you take a twenty year moving average the last time that average went down was 1965.

Comment Re:Is this the same "One Decade" we were promised. (Score 1) 270

Who cares about a single year ...

The people who argued that there was a global warming "hiatus" after 1998, evidently. That is assuming they aren't liars.

the climate models overestimated warming by nearly 2x for the average for the last two decades and 4x for the last 15 years

Which models are you speaking of? NASA's global instrumental record data is actually quite close to the IPCC 1990 FAR model runs that correspond to the actual greenhouse emissions. You have to allow for for La Niña (2000, 2001, 2008, 2010-2012) and El Niño (1997-1998, 2014-2016), of course which deviate below and above the model predictions.

Comment Re:The Police State expands (Score 2) 35

And "privacy experts are concerned!" And the useful idiots think that Mrs. Clinton is their friend.

For decades it's been: "But if we vote 3rd-party/write-in the wrong lizard might get in! We'll just keep voting for the same 2 parties...one of them will eventually listen to us!"

"Doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results is one definition of insanity."


Comment Re:DGW - Dinosaurogenic Global Warming (Score 2) 270

I'm sure if climate scientists were in charge of things they would "put up". But they're not; politicians are, and politicians naturally worry more about being b lamed for action more than being blamed for inacdtion. They'd rather be forced to spend a trillion dollars than choose to spend a hundred billion.

But even if you are willing to take the hit as a politician, you can't do it alone. You need to bring other politicians around, and the public around as well. If you can't take effective steps right away, you take what you can. This gets people working on CO2 reduction technologies and businesses, and builds a constituency for more steps. It's like stopping a cattle stampede. You can't make the entire herd stop and change direction at once, you get the lead cows heading in a slightly different direction.

Comment Re:Follow the money... (Score 1) 461

Obamacare reformed the healthcare system.

Obamacare was designed to fail so that the ultimate goal...full government-run, single-provider healthcare...could be rolled out in the US. It was a "Trojan horse" but without any real subterfuge other than propaganda ops shouting down anyone who tried to point this out.


My monthly bill went from $500 per month to $150 per month.

You seem to be the exception rather than the rule. If we actually met IRL you'd be the first person I've ever met whose medical insurance rates went down for a comparable level of coverage due to the ACA.




Comment Re:Population control (Score -1, Offtopic) 270

So, that's it: how to save the world: bring people out of poverty, give them education, and give them access to birth control.

You don't need the totalitarian bullshit.

But that's hard to do, and besides, it doesn't give TPTB ever more control over people's lives and yet another excuse to pick their pockets at gunpoint while not doing anything that actually addresses the 'problem' but merely transfers wealth to those they favor.

You expect any politician worthy of the name to work to empower and lift people out of poverty? Maybe if we had some statesmen instead of politicians, but Trump!/Clinton!

We're SO hosed!


Comment Re:DGW - Dinosaurogenic Global Warming (Score 4, Informative) 270

Of course, the problem with focusing exclusively on the costs of trying to stop or (more realistically) slow climate change implicitly assumes that inaction won't cost us anything. In fact we're looking at costs either way. We're in a minimax kind of situation: how do we minimize the maximum costs?

There's also another wrinkle to this, which is that costs (and indeed profits -- every misfortune profits someone) aren't distributed evenly. The key determinant of how much you have to pay for or profit from climate change is how mobile your capital is. If you're a Bengladeshi subsistence farmer you're going to take +2C right on the chin. If you're a Wall Street bank you take your investments out of farms which are going to lose productivity in the next ten years or so shift to underwriting the opening of new farms in newly favorable places. In other words you make money going and coming. Likewise if you own multiple homes your risk from local changes is spread out. If the lion's share of your nest egg is in a house that is in the new 20 year floodplain or in the range of a newly endemic zoonosis, you're screwed.

So even if you can't avoid +2C without climate engineering (which might not be such a bad thing), getting there in ten years instead of twenty or thirty makes a huge difference. And beyond 2C, there are other benchmarks beyond that we don't want to hit in a hurry.

This is not a black-and-white situation: that we had our chance to do something and now there is nothing we can do. We had our chance to avoid this situation and now we're talking about how much time we'll have to adapt.

Comment Re:What are we forgetting... (Score 1) 204

Big asteroids are a valid concern, and very long-term I do believe humans should work at establishing a human presence on other worlds (starting with the Moon), however asteroid bombardment should *not* be a factor in driving humans to inhabit other worlds.

It would be far, far easier for us to improve our capabilities for detecting large asteroids, and then deflecting them, than to figure out how to live on Mars. Dealing with asteroids is not that hard: first we have to actually invest some resources into looking for the damn things. We do a little of that right now, but not nearly enough, as the strike in Russia a couple years ago proved. This isn't hard; we just need more probes in orbit, or perhaps in Solar orbit closer to the Sun (to spot ones that we can't see from here because the Sun's light drowns them out). Second, we need to develop the capability of deflecting them. With good enough detection, this isn't hard: you just send a big craft up there with some engines (probably ion engines) and a lot of fuel and run them for a long time to push it into a slightly different and safer orbit. If you have enough forewarning, it's not that hard, because a little movement will make a big change in trajectory over a long time. The key here is having enough forewarning; if your detection efforts are so lame that you have very little warning, then you're not going to be able to avert disaster.

Simply put, it'd be a lot easier and cheaper for us to invest in some space-based telescopes optimized for detecting Earth-crossing asteroids than to develop all the technology and infrastructure needed for establishing a colony on Mars. And the end result is better too: instead of some small colony on Mars surviving while the bulk of humanity perishes, along with the most livable planet for humans, we can keep our planet and the entire human race intact.

But if we're too stupid and short-sighted to invest in some telescopes, then maybe we deserve to be wiped out like the dinosaurs.

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