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Comment Re:iTunes purchase? (Score 4, Insightful) 105

The guy running the torrent site is buying stuff on iTunes?

Yes, I get the irony of that question. But a better question is why does the guy who is running a company that is seriously illegal in the eyes of interests who have deep pockets not have absolute separation between his personal and corporate activity? He used the same IP address? Really? Isn't he smarter than that? Isn't he (rightfully) paranoid about every single action in his daily life?

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 983

Or they could have ...

a) used a tranquilizing dart, either from afar, or from a gun mounted on the robot and fired remotely
b) used infrasound
c) put a gun with non-lethal projectiles (ie, beanbag rounds) on the robot
d) put a flash-bang on the robot to stun the suspect and then rush him
e) disarmed and disabled the suspect with a water cannon
f) any of the other items on the long list of non-lethal but disabling weapons

But, in this case, since the suspect was targeting police, and the police were geared up for military combat, a different choice was made.

Comment Aerodynamic nightmare (Score 1) 298

Look at the article. No really, look at it. You don't have to read the text, just glance at the pictures for a few seconds. I'll wait ... done? Great.

In an era where 2-3% improvement in efficiency is considered a breakthrough, creating a design that has permanently extended landing struts and non-integrated passenger / cargo compartments, would seem to be a show-stopping problem for low-drag aerodynamic design.

That and, who would want to ride in a cabin where most of the windows are blocked by the landing struts?

As a poster above put it, this design should be relegated to the amusing thought pile that's full of such one-offs that design students without any solid engineering chops put forth periodically.

Comment Re:Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial jud (Score 1) 23

Actually whoever the new guy is, I don't find the site to be "improved" at all; seems a little crummy. The story was butchered and incorrectly interpreted, and the all important software for interaction seems less interactive.

But what do I know?

As to my absence I've been a bit overwhelmed by work stuff, sorry about that, it's no excuse :)

Comment Embedding videos in PDFs, then? (Score 1) 172

One of the really useful features in PDF is the ability via Adobe Reader to embed flash videos in PDFs. It's a very convenient way to deliver videos to a client (or in our case, grant review committee) in a nicely packaged way that is guaranteed to be playable (everyone can get Reader). Moreover, everyone that accepts documents for various applications in my circles, accepts them in PDF.

If we can't use flash (and I recognize that, eventually, another solution will become necessary), what's the alternative for embedding videos in a universally readable document?

Comment Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial judge (Score 4, Informative) 23

The story as published implies that the ruling overruled the lower court on the 3 issues. In fact, it was agreeing with the trial court on the third issue -- that the sporadic instances of Vimeo employees making light of copyright law did not amount to adopting a "policy of willful blindness".

Submission + - Appeals court slams record companies on DMCA in Vimeo case

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the long-simmering appeal in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld Vimeo's positions on many points regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. In its 55 page decision (PDF) the Court ruled that (a) the Copyright Office was dead wrong in concluding that pre-1972 sound recordings aren't covered by the DMCA, (b) the judge was wrong to think that Vimeo employees' merely viewing infringing videos was sufficient evidence of "red flag knowledge", and (c) a few sporadic instances of employees being cavalier about copyright law did not amount to a "policy of willful blindness" on the part of the company. The Court seemed to take particular pleasure in eviscerating the Copyright Office's rationales. Amicus curiae briefs in support of Vimeo had been submitted by a host of companies and organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Public Knowledge, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Comment Re:This is what happens when you have (Score 1) 193

let me help. rate of sea level rise increasing. [Peter Sinclair]

Nerem et al. 2011 [Lonny Eachus, 2016-02-10]

Why did Lonny Eachus link to a graph showing a 3.1 mm/year global sea level trend? Since that's higher than Lonny's claimed "1.1 mm/year", doesn't that simple comparison show the rate of sea level rise is increasing (i.e. accelerating) over the long term? And since Lonny's accused scientists of being "liars" if they acknowledge the global sea level rise of ~3 mm/year, why did Lonny cite a graph containing what he called a lie from a scientist he's previously called a "liar"?

Furthermore, that's not a peer-reviewed paper. It's a slide from a 2011 presentation which hasn't been turned into a peer-reviewed paper. A real skeptic might wonder why it hasn't. Hint: in 2011 Jane/Lonny briefly stopped denying satellite measurements of sea level because they showed a short term drop. Of course, scientists told Jane that this was because the 2011 La Nina caused such massive flooding that global sea level fell temporarily. See Boening et al. 2012 (PDF).

So is it really surprising that calculating sea level acceleration from 1993-2011 gave an unrepresentative answer? Especially because that's a short timespan, and detecting acceleration requires a longer timespan than just detecting a trend. Maybe we could learn why that 2011 presentation hasn't become a peer-reviewed paper by looking at that same data up to 2016.

Let's analyze that raw data (backup) from (backup). Here are accelerations and uncertainties for timespans that all end at 2016.1 but start at 1993, 1994, etc. Notice the similarities between the satellite acceleration graph and the older global tide gauge acceleration graph I've shown Jane/Lonny. All the black best-fit accelerations are positive. More recent accelerations tend to be larger. (The most recent accelerations and even their red lower 95% confidence intervals are off the scale even though the upper vertical limit is twice as high as in the older graph.) This tends to suggest that not only is global sea level accelerating, it's even "jerking" up.

(Technical note: those 95% confidence intervals were calculated using a ARMA(1,1) noise model. I also tested AR(1), MA(1), ARMA(1,2), and ARMA(2,1), but ARMA(1,1) minimized both the AIC and BIC.)

let me help. rate of sea level rise increasing. [Peter Sinclair]

And: translation: [Lonny Eachus, 2016-02-10]

That's not a peer-reviewed paper, Lonny. It's yet another of your crackpot blog links. This time in German, so we're at the mercy of automated translation. Are you joking?

let me help. rate of sea level rise increasing. [Peter Sinclair] and The studies I linked to (some indirectly) show SLR slightly DEcelerated. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-02-10]

Nonsense. Despite WUWT's and Lonny's distortions, Winnick and Caves 2015 doesn't even indirectly "show SLR slightly DEcelerated." Instead, Winnick and Caves 2015 directly shows that ~3 million years ago when atmospheric CO2 was roughly equivalent to today's concentration, global mean sea level was 9 - 13.5 meters higher than it is now.

2015 Updated NOAA Tide Gauge Data Shows No Coastal Sea Level Rise Acceleration [WattsUpWithThat, retweeted by Lonny Eachus 2016-05-28]

Aside from other problems with that WUWT rant, it's hilarious that Lonny pretends that mainstream scientists are somehow only using "ONE beach" to study acceleration. Because that's exactly what Lonny's WUWT rant does! Lonny's WUWT rant doesn't analyze a global sea level timeseries for acceleration, instead it cherry-picks "ONE beach" at a time.

Hughes and Williams 2010 (PDF) confirms that local sealevel trends have lower signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) than global sealevel trends. This means that global trends (and accelerations) can be precisely estimated using less data than required for local trends and accelerations. They explain why: "...the global average is reducing variability by more than just statistical averaging of noise, it is genuinely reflecting the fact that much of the variability is due to redistribution of volume."

So the global ocean is sloshing around, which means that any scientist who's actually interested in sealevel rise wouldn't just cherry-pick ONE beach at a time. They'd take a global average. Why does WUWT refuse to do that?

The sea levels are now reducing in the "hotspots of acceleration" of Washington and New York [WattsUpWithThat, retweeted by Lonny Eachus 2016-05-29]

Again, same story. Why do Lonny's WUWT links keep cherry-picking individual beaches? Is it because WUWTians know that a global average would have such a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) that they'd have to acknowledge accelerating sealevel?

Exactly as I've been saying... "Worldwide tide gauge comparisons show no acceleration in sea level rise" [Lonny Eachus, 2016-03-19]

Again, same story. That WUWT rant refuses to analyze a global sealevel timeseries, instead cherry-picking "ONE beach" at a time. Sadly, that sort of nonsense really IS exactly what Lonny Eachus has been saying. Ironically, even the first comment on that WUWT rant points out this blatant problem.

All alarmists cite Church & White, for example... never any papers with different results. [Lonny Eachus, 2015-11-05]

And yet strangely, Lonny hasn't linked a paper which provides a different global sea level timeseries. Even Houston and Dean 2011 (which Jane/Lonny cited) doesn't provide a global sea level timeseries. Instead, Houston and Dean 2011 mangled and cherry-picked the timeseries from Church and White 2006. If Lonny ever finds another paper which provides a global sea level timeseries, I'd gladly help Lonny analyze that timeseries for acceleration.

The reports of sea level rise accelerating have been refuted by more recent studies. [Lonny Eachus, 2015-12-07]

Really? Cod Satrusayang linked this NOAA article:

"Sea level is rising at an increasing rate ... There is strong evidence that global sea level is now rising at an increased rate and will continue to rise during this century. While studies show that sea levels changed little from AD 0 until 1900, sea levels began to climb in the 20th century. The two major causes of global sea-level rise are thermal expansion caused by the warming of the oceans (since water expands as it warms) and the loss of land-based ice (such as glaciers and polar ice caps) due to increased melting. Records and research show that sea level has been steadily rising at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.1 inches) per year since 1900. This rate may be increasing. Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) per year. This is a significantly larger rate than the sea-level rise averaged over the last several thousand years."

Once again, that's consistent with the 2013 IPCC AR5 SPM:

"Proxy and instrumental sea level data indicate a transition in the late 19th to the early 20th century from relatively low mean rates of rise over the previous two millennia to higher rates of rise (high confidence). It is likely that the rate of global mean sea level rise has continued to increase since the early 20th century."

That's also consistent with the US NAS's statement that "Sea level is rising faster in recent decades". But instead of acknowledging all that, Lonny links to WUWT:

You can check it yourself using their data. It's all right there. PMSL data: [Lonny Eachus, 2016-03-21]

Presumably Lonny means "PSMSL" data, which was already used to create a global sea level time series: "We use monthly sea-level data downloaded from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL; Woodworth and Player 2003) web site ( in August 2010."

Notice that Church and White did what WUWT refuses to do: calculate a global sea level time series from PSMSL data, rather than cherry-picking measurements from one beach at a time.

Sea levels have been rising for a long time. No acceleration according to recent papers. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-01-06]

I'm not denying that it's rising. But the latest studies I've seen say it's steady or DEcelerating. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-01-16]

Recent papers: SLR has not accelerated. Same rate for 100s of years. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-02-10]

Recent peer-reviewed paper says sea level rise NOT accelerating. Same rate for hundreds of years. Maybe even slowing. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-02-23]

Nonsense. Once again, Lonny just keeps insisting these papers exist without links. Ironically, the only paper Lonny's linked which studies acceleration is Kopp et al. 2016: "... A significant GSL [global sea-level] acceleration began in the 19th century and yielded a 20th century rise that is extremely likely (probability P >= 0.95) faster than during any of the previous 27 centuries. A semiempirical model calibrated against the GSL reconstruction indicates that, in the absence of anthropogenic climate change, it is extremely likely (P=0.95) that 20th century GSL would have risen by less than 51% of the observed 13.8 +/- 1.5 cm. ..."

That's right, Lonny. You've never been able to link to papers showing "deceleration" but you did link to a paper showing acceleration!

Several recent papers show DEceleration of sea level rise, compared to past centuries. [Lonny Eachus]

You keep saying that, but you've never been able to link to papers showing "deceleration". [Dumb Scientist]

(A) I have several times. Too bad you missed them.
(B) You're blocked. Stop tweeting at me. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-04-17]

Wrong again, Lonny. Several times, you have linked incoherent WUWT rants, papers which don't show deceleration, an out-of-date presentation, and a paper which actually shows accelerating sealevel! And you just told a mother who blocked you that there's a "special place in Hell" for people like her. Aren't you the person who said this?

I will rebut anybody if I have REASON and EVIDENCE to believe they are wrong. And not apologize. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-03-14]

I make evidence-based comments about climate science. No amount of harassment or attempted coercion from you will stop me. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-03-15]

I will not stop making evidence-based comments about climate science. [Lonny Eachus, 2016-03-15]

Does Jane/Lonny Eachus really not recognize his hypocrisy? Apparently not.

Comment Re:This is what happens when you have (Score 1) 193

Perhaps you would like to rebut the Royal Society paper, that shows a DECREASE in wildfires last decades/centuries [Les Johnson, 2016-06-13]

Wow. One of Lonny Eachus's fellow travellers completely ignores everything I wrote. What a complete surprise!

Again, as I pointed out, land clearing fires decreased (among other factors involving direct human intervention). From that Royal Society paper:

"... During the first half century, the global average area burned decreased somewhat by about 7% [41]. This was largely attributed to human factors, such as increased fire prevention, detection and fire-fighting efficiency, abandonment of slash-and-burn cultivation in some areas and permanent agricultural practice in others. ..."

So that paper explicitly includes "slash-and-burn cultivation" in the decreasing total area burned. Which is exactly what I told you earlier. That paper is examining all fires, both wildfires and intentional burns. Notice that they're examining charcoal records and isotope-ratio records in ice cores? Those records necessarily include intentional burns, like the "staggering amounts" of land clearing fires that occurred just in the USA over the last century. Ice core and charcoal records can't distinguish wildfires from intentional burns, but when Doerr and Santin use statistics that can tell the difference, the results aren't quite what Les Johnson is implying:

"... the widely reported increase in area burned for the USA [42] and particularly the western USA in recent decades [43–46]. ... according to national statistics for the USA, while area burned by prescribed fire has changed little overall since reporting began in 1998 (10 year average: 8853 km2), area burned by wildfires has seen an overall strong trend of increase by over 5%/yr over the period 1991–2015, with 2015 exceeding 40 000 km2 burned for the first time during the past 25 years (figure 3). This increase has been accompanied by an overall decline in the number of fires (figure 3). This suggests a general trend of fewer, but larger wildfires, which is also highlighted for forests in the western USA by Westerling for the period 1983–2012 [46]. ..."

So Doerr and Santin are actually saying that wildfires are burning more area in the western USA in recent decades. That's exactly what I said in 2012. And note that Doerr and Santin say "These statistics need to be viewed with some caution when examining trends as annual reporting methods and biases have undergone changes over time [47]."

Doerr and Santin reference 47 is Short 2015, which says:

"... Intentional ('controlled') burning was used extensively for vegetation management on nonfederal lands, especially in the south-eastern US during the early 20th century. Although now used to a lesser extent (but on both federal and non-federal lands) in the US, intentional burning is not classified in the current reporting systems as 'wildfire' unless the controlled burn escapes and requires a suppression response. However, the early USFS wildfire activity summaries do include millions of hectares of intentional burning on 'unprotected' lands, which, until approximately the mid-20th century was viewed by the USFS as akin to wildfire, as something that should be prevented and ultimately eradicated (Pyne 1982). Controlled burning was accepted as a viable landmanagement practice over time and persists to this day (Melvin 2012); however, statistics regarding its use have not been included in summaries of 'wildfire' activity for several decades. ..."

That's why I objected when Tom Nelson and Lonny Eachus and "Steven Goddard" accused scientists of fraud and dishonesty based on a graph that compares apples and oranges by grafting old data which include intentional burns onto newer data that exclude intentional burns. So when Les Johnson repeatedly linked that graph to claim a "massive decline" in fires, what Les really meant is that the older USFS data included intentional burns, but more recent statistics don't include intentional burns.

Perhaps Les Johnson would like to rebut his own link, Pechony and Shindell 2010, when they project an "impending shift to a temperature-driven global fire regime in the 21st century, creating an unprecedentedly fire-prone environment. These results suggest a possibility that in the future climate will play a considerably stronger role in driving global fire trends, outweighing direct human influence on fire (both ignition and suppression), a reversal from the situation during the last two centuries."

And perhaps Les Johnson would also like to rebut his own Royal Society link, which says:

"... the observation of increasing fire season length in some areas [50], which is an important contributor to the increase in area burned during this century in the northwestern USA [43,46], boreal Canada and Alaska [51,52]. A future lengthening of the fire season is also anticipated for many other regions of the globe, with a potential associated increase of fire activity [19,53–56]. ... All else being equal, fire intensity can indeed be expected to increase with air temperature [67], and it can be deduced that areas that are experiencing higher atmospheric temperatures in the fire season associated with global warming would experience more intense fires. ... The warming climate, which is predicted to result in more severe fire weather in many regions of the globe in this century [53] will probably contribute further to both perceived and actual risks to lives, health and infrastructure. ..."

Or will Les Johnson acknowledge those statements? Since Les didn't acknowledge them the first time, it's highly unlikely. That would involve acknowledging that global warming is creating an "unprecedentedly fire-prone environment" so instead Lonny Eachus and Les Johnson simply deny their own cited sources by inventing a new "fact" that "warmer = wetter".

What's even more bizarre is that the paper Lonny cited as support actually debunks Lonny and Les's "fact"! Once again, look at Greve et al. 2014 Fig. 4c. Notice how the red, yellow and orange areas on the map represent areas that are getting drier? How could that reference possibly support Lonny and Les's "fact" that "warmer = wetter"? Perhaps Lonny and Les would like to rebut Lonny's own link?

It's almost like a warmer world has more water vapor in the atmosphere and has more rapid evapotranspiration, which exacerbates drought. But that can't be true, not if Lonny and Les's "fact" is actually a fact. Maybe Lonny Eachus and Les Johnson should read their own cited papers more carefully instead of just making up "facts".

Comment Accelerator failsafe? (Score 3, Interesting) 596

Probably won't get noticed 150+ comments deep, but...

Perhaps the default configuration for the pedals should be a failsafe mode where the car is always "under control". When you slam the brake, you trend toward 0 MPH. If you slam on the gas, maybe the pedal interprets 100% as 0%, and applies no throttle. If you're accelerating, you should always have control of the accelerator. Flooring it isn't going to give you much more than 95% throttle would, and you could have a tactile bump at the end of the accelerator play that is easy sensed when you feather your foot, but also easily bypassed if you slam the pedal.

Basically, allow people to still gun it, just not outright "drag racing", and prevent unintended acceleration.

Comment Re:This is the problem. (Score 4, Informative) 231

Your model of energy usage is lacking the majority daytime use: commercial and industrial. These uses match insolation (and therefore available solar-based power) pretty well, it turns out.

Here's a very, very simple part of it: cooling office buildings. Mostly, that needs to happen when the sun is shining, because that's when (a) the building is being warmed by the sun, and (b) the building is occupied by people who want it cooler.

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