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Earth

Study: Earth Is At Its Warmest In 120,000 Years (washingtonpost.com) 54

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Washington Post: As part of her doctoral dissertation at Stanford University, Carolyn Snyder, now a climate policy official at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, created a continuous 2 million year temperature record, much longer than a previous 22,000 year record. Snyder's temperature reconstruction, published Monday in the journal Nature, doesn't estimate temperature for a single year, but averages 5,000-year time periods going back a couple million years. Snyder based her reconstruction on 61 different sea surface temperature proxies from across the globe, such as ratios between magnesium and calcium, species makeup and acidity. But the further the study goes back in time, especially after half a million years, the fewer of those proxies are available, making the estimates less certain, she said. These are rough estimates with large margins of errors, she said. But she also found that the temperature changes correlated well to carbon dioxide levels. Temperatures averaged out over the most recent 5,000 years -- which includes the last 125 years or so of industrial emissions of heat-trapping gases -- are generally warmer than they have been since about 120,000 years ago or so, Snyder found. And two interglacial time periods, the one 120,000 years ago and another just about 2 million years ago, were the warmest Snyder tracked. They were about 3.6 degrees (2 degrees Celsius) warmer than the current 5,000-year average. Snyder said if climate factors are the same as in the past -- and that's a big if -- Earth is already committed to another 7 degrees or so (about 4 degrees Celsius) of warming over the next few thousand years. "This is based on what happened in the past, Snyder noted. "In the past it wasn't humans messing with the atmosphere."

Comment Mediacom Are Full of Shit (Score 1) 132

Once again, we have an entrenched, meritlessly entitled incumbent trying to get you to pay attention to the wrong thing. In this case, it's an insultingly laughable analogy that any moderately aware shopper will see right through.

To illustrate this, here's a tray of regular Oreos(TM), and here's a similarly sized tray of double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM). And if you were to consider the per-cookie cost, as Mediacom is clearly hoping you will, then yes, double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM) cost more than regular Oreos(TM).

But foodstuffs such as cookies are not sold by the cookie. They're sold by unit weight (or unit mass if you want to be pedantic). Considered this way, the per-ounce cost of the regular and double-stuf(TM) Oreos(TM) is virtually identical (in this case, about $0.26/oz from this retailer). So if Nabisco(TM) has no reason to charge a premium simply because you consume the cookies in larger units, Mediacom has no such reason, either.

So Mediacom are full of shit.

Comment Re:Bandiwidth is *free* fallacy.. (Score 2) 132

In addition to bandwidth is free you forgot the one about how since the hardware infrastructure for networks is a sunken cost it should be free to use. I haven't figured that one out yet; apparently the underlying assumption is that the investors who paid up front ought to be robbed of their expected returns.

Comment I Knew There Was Something Fishy... (Score 3) 136

A couple years ago, I set up a FreeNAS box to solve the problem of, "the file I want to work with is not on the machine in front of me." Once set up, I also wanted a media server so I could watch stuff on the TV in the living room. Many of the comments in the FreeNAS discussion fora spoke well of Plex, which is available for FreeNAS as a plugin jail. So I installed it and gave it a spin.

I immediately knew something was fishy when I tried to connect to the local server, and the login page didn't work. I run Firefox with NoScript installed. I had the local server IP whitelisted, but the page ignored all button clicks. I click on the NoScript icon... And discover that it's trying to pull in boatloads of JavaScript from Plex.tv.

"WRONG!" exclaimed I. The whole point of a local media server such as Plex is for all media-serving code and resources to be hosted locally on my server hardware. The moment you start reaching outside the LAN to do anything, you are no longer a local server.

This discovery basically shattered any alleged positive value Plex may have had, since its primary function -- the basis on which it was sold to me -- turned out to be a lie. I promptly uninstalled it.

Now, it seems Plex has dropped the pretense altogether, and are just another disk farm outside my control. Good luck with that, guys; I'm sure you'll be able to beat Apple, Google, and Amazon at that game.

Comment Re:To them, evidence is meaningless (Score 1) 612

Creationists HAVE to have a young earth or else it breaks their religion (original sin and atonement).

More accurately, they don't understand their own holy books, their cultural context, and history. A lot of them think their holy book was written all at once, and was always a single collection, instead of the reality of their being assorted writings and stories collected together hundreds of years after the fact and canonized.

They see "six days" and take it literally, without any interest or understanding in the fact that it is a translation of a translation with centuries old grammar and idioms. Some concepts don't exist from one language to the next, and so on...

Even in English, the word "day" has multiple meanings, and they've chosen one definition and made their narrative to fit a "day" as a 24-hour period... rather than the second common definition.

So I don't blame creationists for having to believe in creationism for their religion to be valid.

The problem is one of the recurring themes of humanity: Somebody (politician, theologian, philosopher, artist) says "this is reality", without any citations/reasons/facts, and masses follow, because it's easier than thinking. It's not really a fault of religion, because we see the same behavior independent of religion.

Submission + - OpenSSL Patches Bug Created by Patch From Last Week

Trailrunner7 writes: Four days after releasing a new version that fixed several security problems, the OpenSSL maintainers have rushed out another version that patches a vulnerability introduced in version 1.1.0a on Sept. 22.

Last week, OpenSSL patched 14 security flaws in various versions of the software, which is the most widely used toolkit for implementing TLS. One of the vulnerabilities fixed in that release was a low-risk bug related to memory allocation in tls_get_message_header.

The problem is, the patch for that vulnerability actually introduced a separate critical bug. The new vulnerability, which is fixed in version 1.1.0b, only affected version 1.1.0a, but it can lead to arbitrary code execution.

Comment Re:No they aren't denying it (Score 5, Interesting) 612

Climate Change is not a religious issue for those who "deny" it. (The other side, arguably yes...) You're confusing it with Evolution.

But interestingly, the "reasoning" and rhetoric of global warming denial is almost identical to that of evolution denial.

E.g., both promote the notion that they are up against a global conspiracy of scientists.

Education

Poor Scientific Research Is Disproportionately Rewarded (economist.com) 80

A new study calculates a low probability that real effects are actually being detected in psychology, neuroscience and medicine research paper -- and then explains why. Slashdot reader ananyo writes: The average statistical power of papers culled from 44 reviews published between 1960 and 2011 was about 24%. The authors built an evolutionary computer model to suggest why and show that poor methods that get "results" will inevitably prosper. They also show that replication efforts cannot stop the degradation of the scientific record as long as science continues to reward the volume of a researcher's publications -- rather than their quality.
The article notes that in a 2015 sample of 100 psychological studies, only 36% of the results could actually be reproduced. Yet the researchers conclude that in the Darwin-esque hunt for funding, "top-performing laboratories will always be those who are able to cut corners." And the article's larger argument is until universities stop rewarding bad science, even subsequent attempts to invalidate those bogus results will be "incapable of correcting the situation no matter how rigorously it is pursued."

Comment Democrats Desperate to Hide Clinton-Putin Ties (Score 3, Informative) 195

One of which is the fact that Tony Podesta, a big Hillary bundler and brother of John Podesta, her campaign manager, is registered lobbyist for Putin's bank:

The revelations of the so-called Panama Papers that are roiling the world’s political and financial elites this week include important facts about Team Clinton. This unprecedented trove of documents purloined from a shady Panama law firm that arranged tax havens, and perhaps money laundering, for the globe’s super-rich includes juicy insights into how Russia’s elite hides its ill-gotten wealth.

        Almost lost among the many revelations is the fact that Russia’s biggest bank uses The Podesta Group as its lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Though hardly a household name, this firm is well known inside the Beltway, not least because its CEO is Tony Podesta, one of the best-connected Democratic machers in the country. He founded the firm in 1998 with his brother John, formerly chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, then counselor to President Barack Obama, Mr. Podesta is the very definition of a Democratic insider. Outsiders engage the Podestas and their well-connected lobbying firm to improve their image and get access to Democratic bigwigs.

        Which is exactly what Sberbank, Russia’s biggest financial institution, did this spring. As reported at the end of March, the Podesta Group registered with the U.S. Government as a lobbyist for Sberbank, as required by law, naming three Podesta Group staffers: Tony Podesta plus Stephen Rademaker and David Adams, the last two former assistant secretaries of state. It should be noted that Tony Podesta is a big-money bundler for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign while his brother John is the chairman of that campaign, the chief architect of her plans to take the White House this November.

        Sberbank (Savings Bank in Russian) engaged the Podesta Group to help its public image—leading Moscow financial institutions not exactly being known for their propriety and wholesomeness—and specifically to help lift some of the pain of sanctions placed on Russia in the aftermath of the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine, which has caused real pain to the country’s hard-hit financial sector.

        It’s hardly surprising that Sberbank sought the help of Democratic insiders like the Podesta Group to aid them in this difficult hour, since they clearly understand how American politics work. The question is why the Podesta Group took Sberbank’s money. That financial institution isn’t exactly hiding in the shadows—it’s the biggest bank in Russia, and its reputation leaves a lot to be desired. Nobody acquainted with Russian finance was surprised that Sberbank wound up in the Panama Papers.

        though Sberbank has its origins in the nineteenth century, it was functionally reborn after the Soviet collapse, and it the 1990s it grew to be the dominant bank in the country, today controlling nearly 30 percent of Russia’s aggregate banking assets and employing a quarter-million people. The majority stockholder in Sberbank is Russia’s Central Bank. In other words, Sberbank is functionally an arm of the Kremlin, although it’s ostensibly a private institution.

Snip.

John and Tony Podesta aren’t fooling anyone with this ruse. They are lobbyists for Vladimir Putin’s personal bank of choice, an arm of his Kremlin and its intelligence services. Since the brothers Podesta are presumably destined for very high-level White House jobs next January if the Democrats triumph in November at the polls, their relationship with Sberbank is something they—and Hillary Clinton—need to explain to the public.

And this is just one of many Clinton ties to Putin...

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 1) 847

That's just a single case. There are plenty of situations that you need papers or you're doing something illegally/black market. Want to rent an apartment? want to buy a house? want a loan? want benefits? want a job?

Again, I've have no concerns or sympathy for someone who who chooses to live as a cash-only squatter. Legal immigrants don't have this problem, working people don't have this problem, retired pensioners don't have this problem.

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 2) 847

"Historically, in this country, the social contract has not amounted to "papers, please!" That was supposed to be the kind of thing reserved for commies and fascists,"

Popular myth and Hollywood. And yes, the social contract HAS generally demanded that you produce papers. You want a job? Papers please. You want a loan? Papers please. You want government benefits? Papers please!

"Also, driver's license does not actually signify either citizenship or legal status. The amount of supporting documentation that is required to issue one varies from state to state, and not all of them ask for an SSN. Of course, even if it did, not everyone has a driver's license - as the name makes evident, it's a document that is issued for a specific reason, and not all people even need it."

You're right that it doesn't signify citizenship or legal status, but it does establish identity. And the supporting documentation required to get one does require establishing said identity - or did until some of these states changed the laws so that illegal immigrants could get a driver's license (and those driver's licenses are different from 'normal' driver's licenses.)

"how exactly you imagine checking for it."

The same way we've already been doing it: you want a job? Papers please. You want a loan? Papers please. You want government benefits? Papers please! The problem is right now we're not enforcing it hard enough - _punish_ companies/people using illegal labor and they'll stop doing it once it's no longer cost-effective.

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