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Comment Re:What does Jail achieve? (Score 1) 228

Deterrence is very much part of any justice system, and always has been. When a court is confronted with antisocial behavior that is clearly becoming more common, he will often use his sentence to send a message to other potential offenders. The judicial system is not a binary yes/no machine.

Comment Re:Another new headphone connector! (Score 1) 128

Trust Apple not to implement that. Of course it requires an audio amplifier, probably a chip so small it's difficult to see. There's also some extra logic around the USB chip, because that's a relatively high-current low-impedance task. But Apple has already driven its users to a different solution, and has no reason to admit that analog headphones are just fine, and that it can support them.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 107

that would be an interesting twist: lots of new beachfront property.

As opposed to what is going to happen, which is lots of old properties become beachfront :)

Well, maybe you're right, but even if this was something of a 1970s meme, the fact was that it was at best a view held by all a minority of researchers, and even those researchers weren't proposing that Ice Age was going to happen any time soon, save perhaps in geological time.

Comment AT&T though... (Score 1) 51

...am I the only one who will never, ever, give another cent to AT&T? Nevermind their willingness to be the government's bitch, their customer support and billing practices are a joke.

After all the headaches they've caused me and my employer over the years, I took great joy in canceling every line we had with them a couple years back and vowed never to make that mistake again.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 107

It sounds more like anecdotal claims of dubious merit to me. I've suspected for several years now that posters who proclaim that they were told this by college profs were either exaggerating or simply making it up, basing it on something they read elsewhere on the Internet. As it is, even the article I mention suggests that, at the time, there were some legitimate fears that sulfur dioxide aerosols from industrial pollution could lead to cooling, but that that view was only held by a minority of climatologists, and never really seems to have been viewed by the wider scientific community as a significant issue. Fifty years ago, the research was much as it is today, that human CO2 emissions will trap more energy in the lower atmosphere and lead to surface warming. In reality, AGW is about as controversial in the scientific community as biological evolution or Big Bang cosmology.

Comment Re:The benefits of Single Payer (Score 1) 112

I can only speak to the work I've done in a fairly small project that merged multiple sources and creating a set of file formats and protocols to communicate changes. It certainly wasn't trivial even in my case, and working with vendors to create interfaces in their own applications to work with these protocols could be a challenge. I suppose in many instances with aging infrastructure, you may also be dealing with fairly old systems where finding expertise to actual build interfaces could be a problem. But the theory I was operating under is that you create a common environment that discrete systems can push to and pull from was still a lot cheaper and manageable than telling everyone involved "We're moving you over to a new system".

It seems rather odd to me, as a person who comes from a networking background, that there would be this obsession over running the identical application, or running a centralized application, in all agencies or departments, is necessary or even desirable. The world I started out my professional life in was dominated by networking protocols, whether we're talking low-level data exchange protocols like TCP/IP or NETBIOS or higher level protocols like SMTP. One never really expected that all front end applications would function the same, or possibly even do precisely the same things, but you built message-exchanging protocols, databases and file formats that captured the data and activities that could at a minimum be expected by all the front-facing high level applications, and then the only problem you might have to deal with is where one particular application didn't support all the necessary features.

This monolithic system approach just seems so very 1950s-1960s to me, and suffers the same kinds of problems that older approach often had, with too many critical failure points that would simply bring an entire system down, where having a distributed system with multiple independent or semi-independent nodes meant that failures were at least limited, and the wider system could still function. It strikes me that the current drive in many governments towards monolithic centralized CRM-style applications is the product of both heavy sales pressure from big guys like HP and Oracle, and a lack of perspective and experience by organizational IT decision-makers.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 2) 107

From what I can gather, the actual researchers suggesting a new Ice Age were not talking in fact about an imminent return of continent-spanning glaciers. That was hyperbole by science journalists of the time. This is why I find people who make claims of the state of any area of research based upon what some science reporter in a newspaper or magazine writes is a pretty dubious activity. Science journalists, to put it bluntly, spend their days sexing up often rather mundane or esoteric research into something that can produce "wow-pow!" headline, often betraying their own ignorance of the research in question.

Comment Re:sigh (Score 1) 107

And once again, what does the musings of a Law Professor in 1970 have to do with the state of the science in 1970? I don't give a flying f--- about 1970 climate zeitgeist. That's not the claim. The claim is clearly that climatologists in the 1970s believed the world was entering a new glacial period soon.

According to Skeptical Science, there were something like seven research papers in the period mentioning cooling, as opposed to over forty talking about temperature rises due to CO2. https://skepticalscience.com/i...

The Skeptical Science entry goes further to suggest that some of the reasons some researchers were positing cooling was due to SO2 releases at the time. One can debate whether those releases would have slowed temperature increases, but seeing as that SO2 limits were put in place, that's rather a moot point.

So what we have is a few alarmist articles of the period, little of their content apparently based on climatology research even at the time, and the usual anecdotal claims of "I remember my professor/teacher/some guy on TV saying the ice age was coming." In other words, no, few if any climatologists actual thought there was an ice age, and by that point, even 45-47 years ago, global warming due to human CO2 emissions was seen as a real phenomenon.

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