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The Almighty Buck

Failed MMO APB To Be Resurrected As Free-To-Play Game 90

Two months ago, we discussed news that Realtime Worlds' action MMO APB closed its doors only a few months after launch, when it became clear that player interest and subscriber numbers couldn't begin to recoup the massive development cost. A few days ago, a company called Reloaded Productions, owned by free-to-play publisher GamersFirst, acquired all the rights and assets to APB. The company plans to relaunch the game as APB: Reloaded in the first half of 2011, abandoning its unusual business model in favor of free-to-play accounts supplemented by microtransactions and premium services.

Ontario School Bans Wi-Fi 287

St. Vincent Euphrasia elementary school in Meaford, Ont. is the latest Canadian school to decide to save its students from the harmful effects of Wi-Fi by banning it. Schools from universities on down have a history of banning Wi-Fi in Ontario. As usual, health officials and know-it-all scientists have called the move ridiculous. Health Canada has released a statement saying, "Wi-Fi is the second most prevalent form of wireless technology next to cell phones. It is widely used across Canada in schools, offices, coffee shops, personal dwellings, as well as countless other locations. Health Canada continues to reassure Canadians that the radiofrequency energy emitted from Wi-Fi equipment is extremely low and is not associated with any health problems."

Comment Re:Really now? (Score 1) 145

The only reason the US isn't as strict is that the banks have used their powerful influence to make sure that nothing gets in the way of their ability to offer vast amounts of credit (home loans, car loans, personal loans, credit cards etc) to anyone and everyone.

Right - it is in a bank's best interest to lend their money to as many people as possible, with no verification of whether or not those people will ever be able to pay it back. Because you know, when you steal the bank's money, the bank wins!


The 10 Most Absurd Scientific Papers 127

Lanxon writes "It's true: 'Effects of cocaine on honeybee dance behavior,' 'Fellatio by fruit bats prolongs copulation time,' and 'Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?' are all genuine scientific research papers, and all were genuinely published in journals or similar publications. Wired's presentation of a collection of the most bizarrely-named research papers contains seven other gems, including one about naval fluff and another published in The Journal of Sex Research."

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment Re:wrong (Score 1) 425

YOU made the erroneous connection between the proposal that higher CO2 in modern times is increasing global temperature

Can you show me one tyme I said higher CO2 levels in modern tymes is increasing global temperatures? This is the first tyme I even recall using "modern" in this thread. What I do recall is saying that greenhouse gases are called that because they increase temperatures in greenhouses.

Dear lord, please make it stop. I should have known you were a troll!

Comment Re:wrong (Score 1) 425

In fact, what I'm saying is in 100% agreement with the "more than hundreds of Atmospheric and Climate scientists who say that greenhouse gases are warming the planet". I never said that greenhouse gases aren't warming the planet. It is established scientific fact that they are. Earth would be about 33 degrees colder if not for the ill-named "greenhouse effect". The problem is YOU made the erroneous connection between the proposal that higher CO2 in modern times is increasing global temperature and the fact that horticultural greenhouses are warmer than the outside environment. That statement is patently false. There is not one of those "hundres of atmospheric and climate scientists" who would agree with your statement to that regard.

As for my field of specialty, because you asked, I have a degree in chemical engineering with a focus on environmental science, and I'm a Ph.D. student in materials science and engineering (focus nanotechnology) with about a year to go.

Comment Re:wrong (Score 1) 425

Of course "greenhouse gases" warm the earth's atmosphere, this is not disputed. But the reason greenhouses are warmer inside than outside is NOT because they are filled with extra CO2. Greenhouse gases are warmer because the enclosure reduces convective heat transfer. There is no dispute about this, just like there is no dispute that "greenhouse gases" warm the earth's atmosphere by a completely different mechanism.

At this point I'm just trying to educate you, since I am a scientist and it's a pet peeve of mine that so many people misunderstand basic scientific concepts. Or perhaps you're really a troll and I'm wasting my time.

Did you google "greenhouse gas misnomer"? Do you still not understand your mistake - that greenhouse gases warm the earth's atmosphere, but the term "greenhouse gas" is a misnomer because the mechanism that keeps greenhouses warmer than the outside air is completely different from the mechanism by which greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere?

I'll say it another way. The reason gardeners in Scandinavia can grow tomatoes in greenhouses is NOT because they pump extra CO2 into their greenhouses and this causes them to trap heat. It is because, regardless of the CO2 content inside the greenhouses, the greenhouse enclosure allows radiative heat transfer in, but prevents convective heat transfer out. Do you understand the difference between radiative and convective heat transfer?

I'll go into even further detail. Sunlight shines into greenhouses, warming everything inside - the ground, the plants, the air inside, and so-on. Without the greenhouse enclosure, the heat transfer process called convection would occur, transferring heat from inside the greenhouse to outside, and the temperature in the greenhouse would cool until it is the same as the outside world. The enclosure prevents this convection from taking place, and therefore the heat that enters the greenhouse through radiative heat transfer is trapped inside, and the greenhouse stays warm.

As I said, at this point I'm just trying to help, and in fact this conversation is making me worry about how pervasive this misconception about greenhouses/greenhouse-gases is in the general public.

Comment Re:wrong (Score 1) 425

You seriously think that growers fill their greenhouses with a higher concentration of CO2 to keep their plants warmer - and you think that's why CO2 is called a "greenhouse gas"? Well uh, that's not only wrong, it's just plain silly.

Yes, growers do pump greenhouse gases into greenhouses to warm them. And it's not silly or wrong, you are wrong and ignorant or trolling.

You just unwittingly proved my point while displaying your own ignorance. CO2 is pumped into greenhouses because it is an essential plant nutrient, and higher CO2 levels assist plant growth. It has nothing at all to do with making greenhouses warmer. Greenhouses stay warm because the enclosure reduces convective heat transfer.

It is very, very well-known in the science community that the term "greenhouse gas" is a misnomer. It's also much-lamented that the term has stuck (I don't know who first used it), because many in the public misconstrue it to imply that the mechanism involved in the climate "greenhouse effect" is the same as that which keeps greenhouses warm.

Seriously, just google "greenhouse misnomer" and you'll find many hits that explain it further. I will now accept your apology.

Comment Re:That any government attempt to control... (Score 1) 425

Hey, I would really like some more text around that graph in the second link. It looks awfully suspicious - that average temperature just looks wrong.

It's right - remember the timescale is millions of years. Here's the source, from the well-known geologist Christopher Scotese:

Comment Re:That any government attempt to control... (Score 1) 425

"Global Warming theory is based on computer climate models" Forgive me for my obvious bias but I take the work of Fourier and Farady over the opinion of a random slashdotter.

Don't be silly. You know very well that computer climate models take into account the physics of infrared radiation absorption by gases. I presume that's the "work of Fourier and Farady (sic)" that you're talking about. The question the climate models try to answer is whether the heat-trapping effect of a trace gas is significant compared to the many other drivers of climate change, and if so what the consequences of that effect will be.

Comment Re:That any government attempt to control... (Score 1) 425

there was NO period in which the CO2 has increased without an increase of global temperature. In other words, every time there was an increase of CO2, there was also an increase of global temperatures, but the inverse is not true.

Here's the research proving my point (oh and I was wrong, CO2 change lags temperature change by 1000 years, not 200,000):

As for your assertion that CO2 has never increased without an increase in global temperature, firstly as I mentioned before you have the causal relationship backwards: it's been shown that temperature increases first, then CO2 increases 1000 years later (same for decreases of both).

Also, how about this:

I see CO2 changes without corresponding temperature changes happening many times there.

Comment Re:wrong (Score 1) 425

There is absolutely no evidence that a change in CO2 has ever caused a change in temperature in the history of the planet.

You're wrong. Have you ever thought about why greenhouse gases are called that? It's because it's a known fact that a greenhouse rich in these gases will be warmer than the prevailing temperature around the greenhouse. Growers in cooler climates use that to grow plants that are not tolerant to cooler temperatures.

You seriously think that growers fill their greenhouses with a higher concentration of CO2 to keep their plants warmer - and you think that's why CO2 is called a "greenhouse gas"? Well uh, that's not only wrong, it's just plain silly.

Comment Re:That any government attempt to control... (Score 1) 425

most of the science points to a rapid change in CO2 being the causal agent for climate change.

Wrong. There is absolutely no evidence that a change in CO2 has ever caused a change in temperature in the history of the planet. In fact, the only causal relationship ever found is the inverse: it's been shown that changes in temperature have caused equivalent changes in CO2 concentration, with the change in CO2 lagging the change in temperature by about 200,000 years.

Global Warming theory is based on computer climate models, not on historical evidence.

Comment No innovation needed, just fix what we've got (Score 1) 542

I'll tell you what I'd like. Linux Desktop, just as it is, except suspend/resume actually work, and my laptop battery lasts as long as it does with Windows. Developers should focus on making Linux function properly on the diverse hardware of its users. Trust me on this one: way more people would prefer that to some cool new interface, file system, or eye-candy.

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