Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:They'll never be persuaded by facts. (Score 1) 303

If the melting of the ice-caps would flood large swaths of valuable land, then just build dikes, it has worked for hundreds of years, no reason for it to stop working now.

Water levels haven't changed much in the last 1000 years. Dikes will work if the rise of the water level remains limited. If the more extreme predictions are right and the water climbs meters then you do have a catastrophic situation where only the most valuable coastland can be kept. The range of estimates from the IPCC is relatively conservative. But 18000 years ago water was 130m lower than it is today, and there is over 70 additional meters of water stored in ice. I don't feel all that comfortable about the water level - although I trust it won't happen in my lifetime.

Comment Re:They'll never be persuaded by facts. (Score 1) 303

You have a very simplistic view of anyone critical of mainstream climate change attitudes. If there's a common attribute to the critics I think it would be anti-alarmism. For the rest I see all kinds of opinions, and indeed a lot of kneejerk skepticism of people who lose sight of the core issues and feel vindicated by every small error in the mainstream research. Still, critics who believe that the climate isn't warming up at all are probably a minority if you visit sites like http://wattsupwiththat.com/ .
I read the blog of Judith Curry now and then and she is one of those who think the recent warming just is not as big as predicted. That means the models are not good enough at predicting what happens. It doesn't mean there's no human made warming or even that it's not the main component.
And I've just read a book by Bjorn Lomborg. I thought it was sensible, it's also anti-alarmist but it doesn't deny manmade warming. It just disagrees about what should be done about it. So he agrees with what the research workgroups of the IPCC come up with but not with what the leading workgroup says who draw the conclusions. Or should I say disagreed because it's almost 10 years old and the IPCC has evolved as well and they put a lot more emphasis now on mitigation and adaptation.

Comment Re:Abuse? (Score 1) 212

I take a different angle. It's normal that at some point you think you can offer unlimited storage because you have an estimate of what it means in practice. Then if people really start to store huge amounts of data, your estimates were wrong and you change your mind. No big deal.
I take issue though with how this is connected with the current reduction of 15GB to 5GB. 15GB is 4000 times lower than the single problematic instance. It has no relation. Also with a factor 3 you're not going to change your business model in any way. It's a simple optimization. There one would start to think that if you commit to offering 15GB, don't change it shortly after it or whenever you feel like it because then I start to think you're just doing whatever you can get away with.

Comment Re:Autodrive car's may have to be at FAA software (Score 1) 297

I think most car safety devices are smartphone assists: they allow you to spend more time phoning, browsing and texting. For those who want to remain in control it does what it advertises , but many people will use it for its convenience value. That's how it's going to be with self driving cars too. Some people will be all too eager to let the car drive itself, whatever the risk.

Comment Re:old wisdom (Score 1) 387

I think you need to distinguish their speculative thinking about where the solutions could be from criticism of how science is done. The latter is obviously valid.
Healthy science works with a good cycle of theory and verification. When you have to wait too long for experiments, when they become too expensive and rare, while the theoretical part takes longer and longer, then science becomes less and less healthy. And that's what fundamental physics has become.

I'm sidestepping claims here that it's no longer science because I think that's the wrong question to make. Too much discussion about whether something can be tested in principe or not, as the great decider of whether something is scientific or unscientific. I'm talking about whether it can and will be tested soon.

I'm also sidestepping claims about whether current fundamental physics is valuable or not. As a scientific process it may not be healthy, but as math with possible long term value it's perfectly fine. Still it makes you reconsider how large a part of your brainpower you want to allocate to it.

Comment Re:technicality (Score 1) 101

I doubt he would have been studying for his midterms. He would have just looked for another source of a way to attach infidels.

This is completely wrong. I mentioned Marc Sageman in another post, he's an expert on these things. Statistically many people are somewhat sympathetic to terror attacks in some form, but only the tiniest minute fraction will actually go ahead by themselves and do it. Even the fact that some people are very radical in their statements is no indication. The FBI approach of coaxing someone into a terrorist attack is completely useless. Just look up one of his speeches on youtube.

Hell, even my late dad often had vengeful fantasies about taking out a few people. It comes with frustration. Maybe you can claim that's not terrorism, but the difference between revenge and terrorism is a bit thin.

Comment Re:technicality (Score 2) 101

Well the guy did attempt to murder people, so it's hard not to convict him for it. On the other hand for every terrorist there are 1000 times more people who play around with the idea but are never going to act on it unless someone else really takes him by the hand and guides him through it. So the attempt would not have happened unless it was for the FBI. That is why a terrorism expert like Marc Sageman in his studies doesn't even use the people the FBI turns up with. The FBI is only helping themselves with these cases, not reducing terrorism.

Slashdot Top Deals

Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders. -- Gauss

Working...