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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 114

2014 called -

Forget Makerbot - did you warn them about the Paris attacks? The Ankara bombings? The Metrojet bombing? Did you tell them to have Robin Williams visit a psychiatrist? Did you tell them to have Carrie Fisher visit a cardiologist? Did you have them warn Ukraine not to underestimate Russia in Donbass? Did you tell Germanwings to up their game on psych evals? Did you tell them to teach Podesta basic email security? Did you tell about Brexit? Did you warn them about Trump? Did you have anyone tell Clinton that she'll be best known for email servers and a conspiracy theory about a pizza parlor's occult child pornography dungeon? Did you warn Bowling Green about the horrific terror attack, and the cruel irony that people will forget about it?

Comment Re: Nope (Score 2) 114

Is it really that expensive? I know some people who had run a small startup automaker that raised 30-something million. They were about 3 months out from first commercial deliveries (having made a couple dozen prototypes to various degrees, ranging from empty shells to full builds), with about $10m still left in the bank - when the board decided to bring on a guy from Detroit (Paul Wilbur, the guy responsible for the Chevy SSR, and a bunch of other train-wrecks-in-car-form), who then proceeded to run the company into the ground.

Are aircraft that much more expensive than cars, that you can't even build a demonstrator for that kind of money? To be fair, the automaker's vehicle was technically classified as a motorcycle, so their regulations weren't as onerous as for most cars (but they still did full crash and crush tests anyway, voluntarily). But, I mean, they just churned out prototypes one after the next.

Comment Re:Amber Rudd is dim (Score 1) 193

For me, the most disappointing thing in the whole debate is how poor the media are at challenging these ideas when our political classes come up with them. I've seen several interviews and panel discussions in recent months where even the presenters or "expert" guests essentially start from the premise that yes, obviously we have to do these things to keep everyone safe, and then spend the next several minutes bike-shedding instead of exploring the big issues. Just once, I would like a high-profile, well-regarded political journalist to have some idea about the real implications of these technologies and how they are used, and to push back at least a little against the idea that you can just magically set up communications systems to allow government monitoring without any downsides.

Comment You're assuming people chose with knowledge (Score 1) 98

but the point is they didn't.

tracking isn't obvious, to a non-technical person.

You can only choose something if you are aware of it.

If you are generally unaware of it or its consequences, then it is choosing (or corralling) you. You aren't choosing it. That was my point.

In such a case, government regulation requiring simple and prominent disclosure of tracking and what its consequences are for you should be in place.

Comment People didn't choose this (Score 1) 98

What people chose was free and easy

Google, fb, ad-supported websites etc just provide the content and transactions people want, easy and free (as in beer).

People en masse just weren't particularly insightful or wary about what they were selling to get all that free and easy stuff. i.e. a comprehensive profile of themself.

If there was a free, equally easy to get and use (also includes fast, and content-organized) decentralized mesh alternative, people would probably migrate to it. But there isn't. The alternatives all currently fall down in one way or another.

Comment Now it's like telco selling me to advertisers (Score 1) 98

by capturing and voice analysing the words that I express in all my phone calls.

Ok so I know the NSA already has all that stuff, but selling it corporations for profit is over the line.

The bright side is this will spur end-to-end encryption universal adoption like nothing else would.

Comment Re:Add THIS to the map (Score 1) 38

There is definitely relativity to noise. Once I lived half a block from the interstate, just outside of downtown Chicago. Despite the constant hum, I almost never noticed it, other than the very occasional semi hitting the engine brakes hard, and even that was just kind of a pronounced note out of the background mishmash.

Now I live outside a town of 20,000, in a tiny subdivision, and ten times a day I'm thinking to myself, "What are those crazy neighbors up to?" when they do anything at all, because it's generally so quiet *any* noise is disruptive.

Then again, I've got young kids and a territorial dog now, whereas I was a blithely oblivious 20-something back then. Life circumstances may have something to do with my sensitivity to the noise as well.

Comment Re:Pittsburgh is losing its identity (Score 1) 126

I get it. That's a part of why I typically try to negotiate non-standard start times when I take a position. Starting work at 09:30 makes for a much more relaxed commute both to and from work.

If/When telecommuting become the norm, most of my problems will be behind me because I'll be able to live and work far enough outside of the city that none of their decisions will have any impact upon me.

LK

Comment Broken cleanup mechanism? (Score 2) 125

For me, the following was one of the more interesting pieces:

Senescent cells carry the type of DNA damage that should spur a protective protein, called p53, to put them down. Instead, the researchers found that a different protein, FOXO4, latches onto p53 and prevents it from doing its duty. To counteract this effect, De Keizer and colleagues designed a molecule, known as a peptide, that carries a shortened version of the segment of FOXO4 that attaches to p53.

Does this mean we have an internal cleanup mechanism, but somehow it's gotten subverted over the years? Our ancestors may have had the benefit of p53, until something changed and we started developing FOXO4 when we hadn't before? Or somewhere along the line the amount of FOXO4 in our bodies increased? That seems fascinating to me.

My first reaction was also to think, "That doesn't seem like a very useful mutation/bit of evolution" but of course most of the age-related stuff won't be important until you're beyond the age of reproduction, so it's probably relatively easier for that kind of problem to sneak in than something that affects the young. I also wonder if it's *just* a mutation, or if the FOXO4 is doing something else more useful for us when we're young, that the tradeoff is worth it?

Comment Re:In before global warming whiners... (Score 4, Insightful) 206

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.

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