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Comment Re:If self driving cars take off (Score 1) 189

I actually believe if self-driving cars take off, drive times will go down. The programmers of the cars can do a lot to alleviate the bad behaviors people have gotten in to that just makes heavy traffic worse.

If you then ban human-operated vehicles from (some) roads, or maybe just some lanes (which should be separated from lanes usable by human-operated vehicles), it can get even better. Vehicles in constant radio communication with each other and with sub-millisecond reaction times should be able to significantly increase highway speeds and reduce inter-vehicle distance to inches, while simultaneously increasing safety.

If you can remove human-operated vehicles from all roads, you can also get rid of stop lights and stop signs. Vehicles can negotiate appropriate gaps as they approach an intersection.

Comment Re:Expect Russia to take advantage (Score 1) 97

Putin doesn't care in the slightest about public opinion. Being feared and hated by the world is as good as being respected in his book.

Fear is a kind of respect. Not the best kind, but still better than no respect in the realm of international politics. But that fear comes from respect. If Putin comes off as an incompetent schmuck then people will stop fearing him so much. But ruthless and competent is something to fear.

Trump, on the other hand, has the biggest gun in the room in his hands, so even his incompetence is scary.

Comment Re:In before global warming whiners... (Score 3, Insightful) 179

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/how-culture-clash-noaa-led-flap-over-high-profile-warming-pause-study

Rose's story ricocheted around right-wing media outlets, and was publicized by the Republican-led House of Representatives science committee, which has spent months investigating earlier complaints about the Karl study that is says were raised by an NOAA whistleblower. But Science Insider found no evidence of misconduct or violation of agency research policies after extensive interviews with Bates, Karl, and other former NOAA and independent scientists, as well as consideration of documents that Bates also provided to Rose and the Mail.

Instead, the dispute appears to reflect long-standing tensions within NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), based in Asheville, North Carolina, over how new data sets are used for scientific research. The center is one the nation’s major repositories for vetted earth observing data collected by satellites, ships, buoys, aircraft, and land-based instruments.

In the blog post, Bates says that his complaints provide evidence that Karl had his “thumb on the scale” in an effort to discredit claims of a warming pause, and his team rushed to publish the paper so it could influence national and international climate talks. But Bates does not directly challenge the conclusions of Karl's study, and he never formally raised his concerns through internal NOAA mechanisms.

Tuesday, in an interview with E&E News, Bates himself downplayed any suggestion of misconduct. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was,” he told reporter Scott Waldman. And Bates told ScienceInsider that he is wary of his critique becoming a talking point for those skeptical of human-caused climate change. But it was important for this conversation about data integrity to happen, he says. “That’s where I came down after a lot of soul searching. I knew people would misuse this. But you can't control other people,” he says.

At a House science committee hearing yesterday, Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS (publisher of Science and ScienceInsider) stood by the 2015 paper. "This is not the making of a big scandal—this is an internal dispute between two factions within an agency," Holt said in response to a question from Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the panel’s chairman, and a longtime critic of NOAA’s role in the Karl paper. This past weekend, Smith issued a statement hailing Bates for talking about “NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion.”

Some climate scientists are concerned that the hubbub is obscuring the more important message: that the NOAA research has generally proved accurate. “I’m a little confused as to why this is a big deal,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth, a California nonprofit climate research group that has examined surface temperatures. He’s the lead author of a paper published in January in Science Advances that found Karl’s estimates of sea surface temperature—a key part of the work—matched well with estimates drawn from other methods.

Researchers say the Karl paper’s findings are also in line with findings from the Met Office, the U.K. government’s climate agency, which preceded Karl’s work, and findings in a recent paper by scientists at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, an alliance of 34 states based in Reading, U.K. And although other researchers have reported evidence that the rise in global temperature has slowed recently, they have not challenged the ethics of Karl’s team, or the quality of the data they used.

Read on. It's worth it. The short of it: Bates was demoted by Karl several years back. Bates accepts both AGW, and the conclusions of Karl's paper, but decided to post a nitpicking complaint that he had used the ISTI land data in addition to the base NOAA data (the former of which isn't as high quality), without specifically commenting about the data source quality difference:

The Science paper would have been fine had it simply had a disclaimer at the bottom saying that it was citing research, not operational, data for its land-surface temperatures, Bates says.

But Mike Tanner, director of NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at NCEI, says there’s no NOAA policy that requires such a disclosure. “There's nothing. That doesn’t exist,” he says

The article also goes into the split within NOAA over how strongly to focus on new data and approaches that capture effects which old data and approaches might have missed, vs. old ones which are less accurate but more validated. The land data people tend to fall into the former category while the satellite people tend to fall in the later category. Karl was a land guy and Bates was a satellite guy.

It's interesting to read Bates' blog post with "Karl" replaced by "The guy who demoted me":

The most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of the Guy Who Demoted Me et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Guy Who Demoted Me study or K15), purporting to show no ‘hiatus’ in global warming in the 2000s (Federal scientists say there never was any global warming “pause”). ... In the following sections, I provide the details of how the guy who demoted me failed to disclose critical information to NOAA, Science Magazine, and Chairman Smith regarding the datasets used in K15. I have extensive documentation that provides independent verification of the story below. I also provide my suggestions for how we might keep such a flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards from happening in the future. Finally, I provide some links to examples of what well documented CDRs look like that readers might contrast and compare with what the guy who demoted me has provided.

Comment Re:the Snowflake Jihad (Score 2) 232

You seem to think there's some assault on free speech here. There isn't. At all. YouTube isn't taking "offensive" videos down -- not any more than they always have, anyway -- they're just not showing ads on videos the advertisers don't want to be associated with. The free speech of the people uploading the videos is fully intact, and in fact YouTube continues giving them a free soapbox from which to reach the world. The free speech of the advertisers is also being honored, by allowing them to avoid appearing to speak in support of things they don't want to support.

The only perspective from which anything "bad" is happening is the one which presumes that the makers of YouTube content have some "right" to be paid. There is no such right, never has been and I sincerely hope there never, ever will be.

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, but that has absolutely nothing to do with my position on this issue.)

Comment Re:very few new movies worth seeing (Score 1) 220

I blame the low-brow entirely formulaic dross that Hollywood continues to churn out.

I don't think that logic works. That would make sense if we were talking about older audiences who have basically seen all these movies before. But the young people who haven't already been exposed to all the plots and archetypes might still want to go see them.

I am not interested in movies (I watch few of them even at home) because they are all the same old shit I've seen before. Most of them are literally just remakes of the same old films, often with the same old title. A new director with essentially the same script. Why would I want to see that? At least make some different books into movies.

Hollywood is going down the toilet. They are still huge so it will take a long time unless LA falls into the ocean, but I've been keeping my fingers crossed for that one for a long time and it still hasn't happened. They will be able to hang on with superhero movies for a while yet, but their dominance is shaking.

Comment Re:Generation Z leans to the political right. (Score 1) 220

You know there's a solution to that, right, you limp-wristed pansy leftist piece of shit?

There is, but you're not going to like it. It entails you discovering that leftists own guns too.

I predict that if we actually do get carry reciprocity, your kind is going to make this discovery in a most unpleasant fashion.

Comment Re:The industry is stupid (Score 1) 220

Since the eighties, the game is played that if sales go down, raise prices to "keep a steady cash flow".

It's called whatever the market will bear, and it's a basic tenet of capitalism. If you charge too much eventually people find an alternative, or they die or riot or something, so charging the maximum amount you can while maintaining a kind of stasis is the universal goal. It's not setting the highest price people will pay today, it's setting the highest price they will pay today and then come back and give you more money tomorrow.

I don't know if the price points now are optimal, but a lot of the people priced out of going to the movies probably aren't profitable customers anyway. They sneak in snacks instead of buying them, and the snacks are where the big profit comes from while the ticket price generally covers little more than the film itself.

Comment Re:Content that you control. Very satisfying. (Score 1) 220

I think the difference is her ability to control the action. Sitting back and dumbly drinking in whatever spews forth from the screen is one form of entertainment. But if you can control what is going on, even very simple content can be very satisfying.

My lady has an aversion to video games but even she can acknowledge that many movies would make a whole lot more sense as a game. Most action movies fall into this category. Sitting and watching that stuff is still thrilling, but it's nothing compared to actually controlling the experience.

Comment In fact Ram is so shit it needs a double reply (Score 1) 220

The last time anyone should have bought a Dodge truck without a diesel was in the seventies, back when their engines were better than everyone else's. (They just were. Y'all can argue if you want, but you'll be wrong.) Through the eighties and up until a few years ago, the reason to buy a Dodge pickup was to get a Cummins straight six, which is a better-built engine than literally any of its contemporary competition. But today Cummins is building V engines and you can get one in a Nissan. Nissan is at least ten times more competent than Chrysler (Dodge trucks) and at least a hundred times more competent than Fiat (Dodge vans.)

Comment Re:What a letdown... (Score 1) 221

If you think that it wasn't being torn in half well before Trump, think more.

Sure, it was. Only gradually. This is all-at-once. It's not necessary to rip off the bandage. You soak it a little, and then it comes right off.

The bottom line is that there is a lot of bipartisan support for policies that screw us all

Trump is substantively different, and if you can't see that, I have to wonder if you're spending your free time ironing your brown shirt.

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