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Comment Re:Agrument in favor of modularity (Score 5, Interesting) 80

How much thickness do you think the extra outer layer of plastic adds to the phone? If it has to be more than a millimeter I would be surprised.

Personally, I think it has more to do with the fact the lithium ion batteries have a finite shelf-life than it does with thickness. That means in two years you need a new phone even if you never added any software to it and managed the battery recharging perfectly. Even if the phone had been sitting in a box all that time it'd have significantly less battery life.

Comment From TFA: (Score 1) 158

The patterns were a mishmash of unrelated structures that were as misleading as they were illuminating.

This pretty much describes the state of every branch of science after a major influx of new data. Just look at the maps of the world produced after Europe became aware of North America. Early maps sometimes show California as an island; and it's not because the cartographer is stupid; he just put the data at his disposal together into what was at the time a plausible conjecture. And in fact the problem might not even have been that he was ignorant. He may have misinterpreted some of the (at that stage) imprecise data he had to work with.

New information confounds. The detection and resolution of conflicts in data is arguably what science is.

Comment Re:New flash - Bugattis owned by rich not poor (Score 2) 304

Except some poor and middle class kids get into Harvard -- in fact they get their expenses paid. That's not the case for Bugattis.

And it's for a good (or at least shrewd) reason: Letting the intellectual elite into your exclusive school lends the prestige of their academic accomplishments to the financial elite who attend.

Look at our president-elect, who likes to point to his attendance at Penn as proof that he has a very good brain. Well, I'm not one of those people who think he's actually stupid but he got into Penn because he was rich and had family connections in the admissions office. He's not in the same league as the kids who get into Penn on a scholarship.

Comment Re:If only that were true (Score 3, Insightful) 62

My brain decides to store things I don't care about and refuses to store things I specifically study.

From your perspective that's a bug. From your brain's perspective it's a feature. Your agenda is getting a good mark in your course. Your brain's agenda is to survive, reproduce, and generally have a good time while doing so.

The thing that you think of as "you" is just a tiny film of consciousness on top of an ocean of unconscious activity. You think "you" live in the present, but actually it takes over 300 milliseconds for your consciousness to become aware of anything, and by then, most of the time, your brain has decided what to do about it. "You" mainly come up with rationalizations for decisions your brain has already made. Which is not to say that consciousness isn't important; it isn't quite as sovereign as it believe itself to be.

Comment Re:What an idiot (Score 1) 270

Not according to the summary, but let's go with your interpretation of events. He wanted $200,000 in consulting fees for what? Spending literally one minute filling in a web form changing the admin's email address on an account. Still stupid: he should have demanded $2 million, because that's a never-get-hired-again dick move.

Comment Re:What an idiot (Score 2) 270

Actually it's worse... or rather stupider. He offered to fix it (which really is just involves filling out and submitting a web form) if school settled a lawsuit for $200,000.

Now let's assume this guy is totally in the right as far as the claims in his lawsuit are concerned. That doesn't give him the right to hold his employers' systems hostage until he gets what he wants. Those systems still belong to them.

What was he thinking? Of course the courts are going to order him to hand over the metaphorical keys to the system. And the judge isn't likely to be sympathetic after this. On top fo that any future prospective employer is going to find out about this the instant they google "Triano Williams".

Based on the levels of stupidity and assholery displayed here, I'd be amazed if he weren't in the wrong.

Comment Re:Politically driven pseudo-science garbage (Score 1) 261

Solar output in fact has decreased since the early 60s.

Also according to the Milankovitch cycles we should be in the middle of a cooling period, although the actual effect is quite complex (e.g. it makes a difference whether perihelion occurs in the austral or boreal summer). So it is also possible that we might be in for slight warming over the next twenty thousand years. But even if we were in for dramatic warming due to orbital resonance, that would be on the order of 0.1C/century, much lower than the changes we've observed.

You left out volcanoes, which are a natural source of CO2 (as well as cooling particulates).

If you add up all the known sources of natural climate variation you end up with no warming trend since 1900 (source).

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