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Comment Re:Serious question? Here's a serious answer (Score 1) 582

One example: raise the temperature, and you get more water vapor. More water vapor yields more clouds, which have a *massive* cooling effect.

Bzzzzt. Completely and utterly wrong. More water vapor does not yield more clouds. Higher relative humidity (not the same thing) yields more clouds. What is going to happen with relative humidity isn't entirely clear -- the processes are not well understood. Even then, whether more cloudiness leads to warming or cooling depends entirely upon the altitudes the clouds form at and a myriad of other complex factors including interactions with aerosols.

You, and many others on slashdot, ought to consider whether or not scientists who have devoted their lives to studying this problem might actually know more about it than you. Trivial inspection of your arguments reveals completely flawed reasoning. The scary thing is that you probably have many of your friends and family convinced that you know better.


Submission + - Oracle Sues Google for Infringing Java Patents (

Bruce Perens writes: "Oracle has brought a lawsuit against Google claiming that Google has infringed patents on the Java Language, presumably in Android. We don't have the text of the lawsuit yet. But there's a patent grant that should allow Google to use Java royalty-free. Has Google failed to meet the terms of the grant?"

Comment Re:Ignorance (Score 1) 490

With a degree in physics, you need something to balance your vast uncoolness.

I wonder how that ever happened? Physics explores the mysteries of nature and the universe. It seeks to give a practical understanding of how the world works. People used to talk about and be interested in these things. The most fascinating scientists have been from Physics -- Einstein, Feynman, Hawking, etc. And yet the subject area has struggled to attract interest in recent years due to this perception of being "uncool".

FWIW, a hell of a lot of physics had to be discovered to make the iPhone a reality.

Comment Re:UAV ? ICBM (Score 1) 157

Sure, we can shoot down 80 missiles if we get lucky..

No, I don't think so. From Wikipedia: "As of February 2007, the U.S. missile defense system consists of 13 ground-based interceptors at Ft Greely in Alaska, plus two interceptors at Vandenberg AFB, California." There are a lot of doubts about the effectiveness of this existing system. See the work of MIT Professor Theodore Postol here.

Comment Re:I do not think it means what you think it means (Score 1) 333

... you're not buying the information itself or the right to make even one filecopy of that information which you sell or give to someone else. (Yes, backups are fair use, no matter what anyone says.) I'm sorry, but you're just not.

Emphasis mine.

The US Copyright Office would seem to disagree with you:

"Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed."

The information itself is not protected. A good counter-example to your statement is the case of academic publishing (e.g., scientific papers), where the information is clearly meant to be re-used and no additional license is provided to say so because it is not needed.

Comment Re:Watch the other hand... (Score 1) 457

There have been many times in the United States where our government will push something like Social Security, saying "This is to help the widows with children", which, yes, is a noble cause that many can't argue with. But look at it now, it is a system used to hook the societal leeches and give paychecks to fat-asses who are too lazy to get up and work.

Hi there! Are you from Freedom Works, or one of those "regular American" grassroots Tea Party folks? Just curious.

Comment Re:Don't worry BP ... (Score 1) 913

Thanks for your reply. My objection is to your rant about liberals, which completely diminishes your arguments and credibility. Your comment history shows that this is not a new thing for you. Perhaps you should consider where that kind of dogma leads. It is better to make sound arguments based on critical thinking rather than emotional appeals following an ideology.

Comment Re:Corporate Weaselspeak (Score 1) 913

I think this will be a long (decades?), dirty fight to hold BP accountable.

I think that all this fuss over BP is pretty laughable. What we see here is the result of an industry-wide problem. There were apparently few preparations made for an underwater gusher by anybody. Otherwise we would have a fix already, wouldn't we? The "months" of time it will take to stop the flow is because it will take that long to manufacture the required tools. Why weren't preparations already in place, given how many oil rigs are active in the area? All this finger pointing at BP excuses the politicians (and ourselves) for the fact that there was no proper regulatory framework to mitigate a disaster of this proportion.

Go find yourself an oil-rigger, and ask them about safety on the Southern rigs. I'm told by friends in the industry that attention to safety in that region is severely lacking -- none of them would work there -- and that it was only a matter of time before this happened.

Comment Re:GIF shenanigans (Score 1) 457

Anyone that comes up with a video codec that is as good as H.264 WILL get sued by MPEG-LA if they start using said codec in places where the use would require a payment to MPEG-LA if H.264 was used instead.

I often hear these claims repeated, but I wonder what evidence there is? Has MPEG-LA sued anyone where their patents don't apply? Is it impossible to create a video codec without infringing on MPEG-LA's patents? What are the problematic patent numbers? I ask these questions because I honestly don't know.

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