Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Top four comments (Score 1) 154

Man, you're completely wrong. The Earth doesn't have a population limit. 8 billion is no closer than 1 billion. We can all live comfortable, luxurious lives. The problems we're facing have nothing to do with resource exhaustion (aside from petroleum), but inefficiency and pollution. We can absolutely produce goods without air pollution. We have sources of essentially limitless energy. We can absolutely use nuclear reactors to ship goods - no need for bunker oil. It's a question of economics and political engagement.

Cool. Get back to me when you've convinced the world to put a potential nuclear meltdown in every town and every cargo ship and drive EVs so they can use it for charging. Back in the real world, CO2 levels keep going up, up and away as countries like China go modern. After that comes India, Brazil and the rest of the developing world. Even if the population boom has subsided we'll still hit 10 billion people, that's another 33% growth.

The people who talk about reducing emissions are smoking crack, we're likely to double the world's CO2 emissions in the next 40 years if the technology doesn't evolve. Make that quadruple if everybody decides to pollute as much as Americans, because if they can why can't we? Whatever improvements we make will only make the explosive growth slightly less explosive unless we invent a working fusion reactor or something. Say what you want about nuclear but in the public opinion it's beating a dead horse. We're shutting existing reactors down, not building new ones.

Comment Re:Absolutely wrong: it did differentiate! (Score 1) 107

This will not capture a significant percentage of the former drinkers who are non drinkers. So contrary to your assertion, the current study did not truly separate out the two categories.

It did the best that any survey can do - this is medicine not precision science. It will not capture those who were moderate drinkers and who then stopped since they would have no medical problems (indeed the study shows they would have less chance of a medical problem). However this would bias the non-drinkers to look more like the moderate drinkers i.e. it would make non-drinkers look healthier.

As for former heavy drinkers I see no reason to suspect that these would end up as non-drinkers over moderate drinkers unless given medical advice that they needed to stop - in which case there would be a record and they would be classed as former drinkers. So the only way you can achieve what you claim is if there are a lot of heavy drinkers who did not develop any medical problems related to their drinking and whom all stopped drinking completely without any medical advice to that effect. This seems highly unlikely.

Comment Re:Absolutely wrong: it did differentiate! (Score 1) 107

So how many people use that as an excuse to knock back a couple wines every night, then continue to have a few more, then injure them selves or someone else because drunk? At least you will get slightly less heart disease eh.

The study showed that consuming more than ~2 glass of wine per day (less if you are a woman) is actually harmful for your health so the sort of people doing this cannot use the study to justify their drinking problem.

Comment Re:Research to extend lifespans should be banned (Score 1) 113

Correlation or causation? After all, education and prosperity are in that mix too.

Mostly correlation I think. The whole "have enough kids that some grow up" is driven by need, not love. It's not like parents consider them replaceable as human beings as if they have a spare. The need to have your kids support you in your old age is primarily economic, if you have a public system you get help and if you have private money you can hire help. So prosperity -> money for care of elderly, healthcare -> lower child deaths -> double effect of lower risk and less need. I think that's also why there's such a delay and population bulge in the transition, people have to see that hey these people had two kids and they're doing okay now as elderly, do we really need five more?

Comment Absolutely wrong: it did differentiate! (Score 5, Informative) 107

So is this another study that doesn't differentiate between 'never drink' and people who drank so much that they had to quit for health reasons and thus 'no longer drink'?

I know this is Slashdot so you are not expected to read the article but really you could not be more wrong if you tried. From the article:

The study's findings are particularly interesting because the researchers separated drinkers into categories that are typically lumped together in these kinds of studies. "Non-drinkers" often include people who have never drank, as well as those who quit drinking (who may have been heavy drinkers in the past, and so may have a higher risk of heart problems).

If you actually go further and click on the link to the BMJ article then they have "Non-drinker" and "Former drinker" categories with both of these showing statistically equivalent rates of cardiovascular and heart disease in the categories they looked at and in all cases both categories were statistically significantly higher than the rate for moderate drinkers.

So your assertion is completely wrong: their data show that even if you have never drunk alcohol you will have a reduced risk of heart disease if you start drinking moderately with a sample size of ~136k people. To me this looks like extremely convincing evidence that moderate drinking increases heart health.

Comment Re:Top four comments (Score 1) 154

Well the two main root drivers of emissions is population growth and increased standard of living. Really poor places don't have much emissions because they don't have cars and AC and 50" TVs. It's mostly sociology and not so much science. Against this near impossible to stop tide we try to act like "green" technology will save the day. Yes, not putting CFCs in refrigerators is probably a good idea. But it's doesn't really change that most of the world's 7.5 billion people will want one and even an A+++ rated one has to be manufactured, shipped and powered.

If they were really serious about solving it, we'd have an session in the UN to introduce China's one-child policy globally until the world population is sustainable is down to a billion. Until then we have to deal with people that think recycling, driving a Tesla and eco-tourism will save the world. It's cute but horribly naive as long as most of the remaining population and the world says thanks for taking one for the team, now we don't have to sacrifice anything or make any effort. Again, making a meaningful collective change is more sociology than science.

Comment Re:in other countries (Score 1) 225

That's exactly how it works in other countries (e.g.: Switzerland).

There is a difference between local and national governments. If local governments receive the money they then have a vested interest in making sure that crimes are committed within their boundaries. Hence they can create dodgy local laws which many people will inadvertently break. National governments can't really do this because they set the laws for the entire nation which makes it a lot harder to do dodgy things like this because more people are watching them. In addition with their far larger budgets the income from fines is only a tiny fraction and not something which will make or break the bank.

Fines should go to national governments, not local ones which is not the case in the US, Canada or Switzerland but I think that does/might happen in the UK?

Comment Instant Cremation (Score 2) 225

If your car is that fast, I think you will have more pressing matters to attend to, like staying on the planet.

Actually given the amount of air resistance and therefore friction at that speed the large plasma fireball which will surround you will make you very detectable, although not really identifiable, and your immediate problem will be avoiding instant cremation, not staying on the planet.

Comment Re:Asymmetrical warfare and rules of engagement. (Score 1) 94

Realize the Russians are not trying to win this war. They want to pressure the Ukraine government to stay away from the EU/NATO (...) As soon as the Ukraine gov gives up the war will disappear.

That is to win the war, just not by military means. You make it sound like Kiev could stop, then Russia could stop, then things would be fine. Ukraine is the second poorest country in Europe, only beaten by tiny Moldova. They need good trade relations either with EU to the west or Russia to the east. Traditionally it's been east. They were in talks with the EU to open up to the west. The president was trying to halt those talks and instead make a new deal with Putin, which lead to the revolution and a pro-western government.

The only way they could "stay away from the EU/NATO" would be to basically give up on everything they've stood for and that people have died for and come begging on their knees to Putin for a new trade deal. Quite likely they'd have to formally surrender Crimea and rebel controlled territory in the east to Russia too. That's close to unimaginable and it'd probably start a new war of secession in western Ukraine. So the talks with the EU/NATO must continue while the conflict areas will be used to interrupt and delay the process.

At this point it's only a question of how long they can be kept in limbo. But the EU has shown before with Cyprus that they can accept nations with territory they consider illegally occupied, without taking any action. Whether they'd have the balls to do it with Ukraine is a different story, but it's not an absolute blocker. Already things are opening up with the association agreement, it looks like visa-free tourism is going to happen... they're heading down that track whether Putin wants them to or not.

Comment Re:Poor business (Score 2) 315

Back to the Beach (1980s reunion movie)

Roger Ebert gave that movie a rave review. It was like 3.5/4 stars and he compared it to Little Shop of Horrors.

The James Bond film at that time would have been The Living Daylights, starring Timothy Dalton. It worked out well for you. The Living Daylights isn't bad, but Back to the Beach is a cult classic.

Slashdot Top Deals

Don't compare floating point numbers solely for equality.