310 posts • joined 8 May 2007
Re: New Scientist overview
I checked it out -- as it's dated 2007, it turns out to be seriously out of date on some of the most controversial issues, such as the current so-called "hiatus" in global surface temps and the "Hockey Stick" controversy.
Re: At what point...
I find it useful to compare predictions with what's happened in the recent past in order to gauge possible consequences. For example, we've measured the world's surface temps rising about 0.75C on average over the past 130 years, which includes both the 1900-1940ish warming and the 1975-2000ish warming. AFAIK, storms, flooding and so forth are not significantly worse today than in 1880.
If the *rate* of warming increased dramatically (say, 5x) over that seen in the past 130 years, I'd be much more concerned about taking *dramatic* and *immediate* action. As it is, it seems to me that another 10 years of research might really help clarify the situation (there's always the hope that the climate modelers might have figured out if clouds have net positive or negative feedback by then :) ).
Re: Orlowski supporting climate change is the REAL news
Ronny, if the climate system does indeed have a low sensitivity to added CO2 and other human-affected greenhouse gases, then the islanders will be fine for hundreds or thousands of years yet. Most of the other climate scientists we hear about in the news have been working on subfields with inherent massive unknowns/uncertainties that make them much less useful for current policy.
Re: Forth Byte.
I remember that one - Byte sure had nice cover art back in those days. But programming anything at all complicated in Forth messed up your head even more than HP RPN calculators!
ecosystems and sensitivity
Ecosystems usually tend to be pretty robust; if they weren't, they'd die off the first time day became night or spring became summer.
Re: windpower not practical to reduce hurricane damage
Sadly, it's not to be believed by realists, since the modeled reduction in storm surge is as low as 7% even for a giant array of 86,000 (yes, 86 thousand!) wind turbines located in an offshore wedge to the SW of New Orleans. Of course, the storm also has to approach from the SW. Thus, "full" protection for New Orleans alone would require 500-600,000 (yes, half a million or more!) turbines.
Not sure how many would be needed to protect Paris...
Re: To the first AC:
"Averaged over all land and ocean surfaces, temperatures warmed roughly 0.85ºC from 1880 to 2012."
You've got the wrong units. According to data such as NOAA's (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/images/indicator_downloads/sea-surface-temp-download1-2013.png), it's roughly 0.85 degrees F, not C. Your naive linear extrapolation to 1.5 degrees F of increase by 2100 is about 0.85 degrees C (strangely enough), which seems to fit well with Lewis' work reported in this story, and to be much lower than the 2+ degrees C warming you warned of without any calculations.
Re: Oooh, for a second, I thought this was going to be another Lewis article!
3 Dogecoins for a bag?
Re: What's the point?
Isn't the HP220 a desktop, not a laptop?
Re: I'm not sure if I'm missing something here
Errr, wouldn't Putin be the one to go to "...to not worry about borders?" Surely he could find some extra billions dropped behind the Crimean sofa or rolling around the Sochi sledding track.
Re: Rik, YOU get to choose what to write...
So I'm puzzled why you're touting one-month long averages, then discussing longer-term destructive weather as if it's somehow related. For example, as someone based in California, who is presumably drinking Hetch-Hetchy water, you should know that serious droughts are multi-year events because it takes years of low snowmelt to draw down California's extensive reservoirs. Yet, you write
"Here in the western US, we had the driest January since 2003 and the fifth driest on record for the lower 48 – and California governor Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency"
as if the former had something to do with the latter. You're better than that, Rik.
Alien Genome Mapping Project
Hey, if your bit of the work had included a genuine alien signal, you would have been hailed for creative use of resources!
Me, I'm just hoping the bodies frozen at Area 51 are *not* in a frost-free freezer. Bad stuff can happen when it periodically warms up to melt the frost...
Presumably, they should all be tortoise-themed, as the (Jade) Rabbit currently has the lead in the race...
Ms. Vela's "enthusiastic" vocabulary this week
Wow! I'm so used to bleeps (most of my podcasts are of normo-broadcast shows) that I was cringing every time, subconsciously expecting the language censors.
Aussie "horseless carriages"
Come on, we all know from the Mad Max movies that you've got some pretty badass "horseless carriages" out there!
And I thought you were going to make a tech support "have you checked if it is Pilyugin?" joke...
IT 0, LP 1 (but don't worry, it's not about climate change)
"Mars probe Curiosity dumped solar panels altogether in favor of a nuclear heart. That rover uses a basic nuclear power system to provide energy for getting around, but also to keep the rover warmish during nighttime periods. The reactor should outlast the rest of the rover's parts by years."
LP (in linked article):
"Curiosity will generate both heat and power from its Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator unit, build by the nuclear-space boffins of the Idaho National Lab. A radioisotope generator isn't a reactor - it doesn't use a chain reaction to accelerate fission in its plutonium. "
So technically, no "nuclear power", no "reactor", just natural radioactive decay...
Surprised by RC's statement!
...the effects are lost in the noise, or in the more cautious terminology of a scientist, the impacts of wind farms “remain much weaker than the natural climate interannual variability”.
The global surface temperature record is famous for its squiggliness (that is, for its interannual variability). Just about all reasonable folks also agree that this record's warming over the past century is much weaker than that interannual variability; however, I don't see anyone arguing as RC presumably would that that means the last century's warming is "lost in the noise".
Re: Urban heat island effects sadly not well-studied
Just wanted to note that urban heat island effects have NOT been well-studied for decades, or even one decade. Proper quantification and analysis of various effects on measured land surface temperatures has been signally lacking, with much hand-waving seeming to be its replacement if you actually read the papers that mention it. This may be due to the lack of a proper, organized government bureau doing the measurement and analysis, rather than the small, underfunded research groups that are in fact the maintainers of the temp indices. Imagine if we depended on a few poorly-funded and ill-equipped volunteer scientists to determine monthly employment numbers, factory utilization and similar economic stats! Wall Street/The City would be up in arms! It's a real shame that no one is willing to set up a proper climate statistics bureau that produces accurate, high-quality numbers that everyone can have confidence in.
Why would anyone trust Mt Gox in the first place?
It's not like they have a track record of stability and security...
Re: Flashing new MBs to match old ones
Donn, just save a copy of the current BIOS image, and use that to flash any new replacement MB you need to swap in.
TMob vs Sprint//////Crawl
All I know is that TMob's HSPA+ beats the pants off my old Sprint, even with WiMax. Plus, it's actually widely available here in Seattle,
Not 20%, rather 2% *per individual*
What the Reg hack didn't make clear here is that each modern individual's genome only has around 2% (roughly 0-4% range) of Neanderthal DNA. *Which* 2% varies from person to person; among the whole set of modern people sequenced (perhaps a few thousand?), all their Neanderthal DNA when grouped together comes from about 20% of the Neanderthal genome. Some parts of the Neanderthal genome are found again and again in different modern individuals, suggesting that they conferred some regional survival advantage over the African sequences that would otherwise be found in those locations.
Isn't that a prison?
Re: Don't leave me hanging
+10 and a free email address
So it's YOU ...
that has been swooping in and taking all the firstname.lastname@example.org box names!
This has been implemented for years now
This is the technique Sandforce has been using for more than half a decade now, and why LSI bought them two years ago.
Nope, no new observations here. Move along, now.
Er, from its abstract (article behind silly paywall -- grrr!), the main paper referred to in the article specifically did NOT get actual observations, but just modeled the glacier area to PREDICT the future retreat of the glacier using known geography and three ice-flow models. I suppose we will have to wait 5 or 10 years for observations in order to see if the authors are correct.
Re: Ice Ice Baby
Actually, it was a PR junket to publicize the "signs" of human-caused climate change they expected to find 100 years after a famous Australian-led expedition. The alarmist scientists who organized it ended up with more than they bargained for, but at least all participants will now have great after-dinner stories about the time they were trapped by not-so-melted Antarctic ice.
Re: I don't get it
The actual homes of the companies in the South Bay (Stanford on down) ARE interested in having them; it's the poorly-run cities of SF and Oakland north of there that are having these events.
SF and Oakland are in the north/south center of the Bay Area (which is approximately centered on the Golden Gate); the "north of the Bay Area" would include Marin County (home of rolfing and birthplace of mountain biking), Vallejo, and the southern parts of the wine country.
What about CalTrain?
I always thought CalTrain (commuter heavy rail running on tracks up the middle of the Peninsula from San Jose to SF) was a good commuter solution -- fast, cool double-decker cars, and stations right near where you want to go (El Camino, Alma, Central Expressway). Isn't there a station near Google?
Why would BeiDou support be *needed* for strong penetration in the Chinese market? It's not like GPS and Glonass don't work over China, and BeiDou won't have its full complement of satellites up until years after these phones have hit the landfill. Sure, I can see it scoring some PR points, but if BeiDou support costs more, it doesn't seem worth it for now.
Yah, my underwater recovery plan doesn't seem so hot after further thought. 3 downvotes -- ouch! At least I don't hide behind an AC moniker :)
Re: Note if you wanted to deployed an aircraft in the atmosphere of Mars this is the tech you need
js, the Tomahawk already does underwater capsule expulsion, igniting short booster once above the water, then unfolding wings and engine air inlet and continuing under turbofan power.
Re: SF seems plausible
Launching anything out of the missile tubes (as opposed to the torpedo tubes or perhaps a lockout chamber) is going to be very noisy because of the gas system used to "hurl" the capsule toward the surface. In addition, I believe that system requires the sub to be quite near the surface, less than a hundred feet. Thus, big noise, near surface where enemy can hear it more easily seems implausible for real-life use. Using the torpedo tubes, a lockout chamber, or other specialized exit seems more stealthy.
The SF aspect makes a lot more sense than anti-ship warfare. The sub's acoustic sensors and ESM can already pinpoint any surface threats within dozens of miles and a tiny little slow drone would take hours to putt over to a distant region of the ocean. However, the speed of a tiny drone (and the difficulty of anyone hearing, seeing, or otherwise sensing it) is well-matched to serve as tactical recon and overwatch for a SF team on a mission heading in from the shore, or pre-mission detailed local recon.
As there are only 12 VLS tubes in the sub, and not much spare space to store torpedo-tube-launched drones, one hopes there is some means to recover and refurbish the drone on the sub for re-use. As noted above, carrying drones in the VLS tubes (which can't be reloaded at sea) means leaving ashore Tomahawks that can actually attack land targets. The Tomahawk system as designed originally included versions for both land attack (some nuclear) and anti-ship. Current versions are all land-attack, with various conventional warheads.
Absent loyalty card doesn't mean your shopping proclivities are safe
Unless you also avoid using a credit or debit card to pay for your stash.
Er, Citizens Financial seems to be located only in the Chicago area. Although there IS a university called Northwestern there, it has been at least 200 years since that was considered to be the "North West of the US". The Louisiana purchase in 1803 definitely ended that, as did the later organization of the Oregon Territory (today's Washington, Oregon, Idaho and a few extra bits).
Re: "do mathematical calculations ... to confirm transactions and increase security"
evil KOSer: bitcoin mining works by finding a hash value between 0 and the publicly-known "target" for that round. Each hash attempt processes (among other things) a link to the previous "block" in the bitcoin transaction database and new transactions to be added to the database. Hashes are "mathematical calculations". The target value is set to be positive, but low enough that it is difficult to find a desired hash value, thus increasing the security of the protocol. Once transactions have been included in a new block with hash value below the target value, they are considered to be confirmed.
Re: It's a huge waste of time to attempt BTC mining on a normal PC
The mining will be so slow that you will never win the "race" to the next successful hash. Since it's a first-past-the-post system, you get nothing, as each time just dividing the work among your army of very slow bitzombies will take more time than others use to actually complete their solution with their compact high-power miners and win the round.
This is Spinal Tap?
It seems the Aussies may have replicated the unfortunate dimensional error which saw Spinal Tap sharing the stage with a rather diminutive Stonehenge! One square meter would certainly be a very concentrated grouping for large radio telescope antennae.
Fast, short, and recent!
GPU-based Bitcoin mining is so two-years-old. The difficulty level of mining these days is such that using GPUs won't work anymore for mining, even if you're "pooling" thousands of GPUs.
Some major corrections
Sanger's work impacted modern molecular biology from the 1950s through the end of the 20th century and beyond. Unlike most modern researchers who work on quite specialized topics, Sanger's main contributions came in allowing us to read out the sequences of both proteins and DNA, two of the main groups of molecules in our cells. Essentially, DNA is the "book" of life; its sequence contains the instructions for making the various proteins which form most of the cell's form and function. To be clear, protein and DNA are different substances; neither is a component of the other.
Before the mid-20th century, scientists only knew bulk information about proteins and DNA; it's analogous to cutting a book up into its constituent letters, then measuring the percentage of A's, B's, C's and so on. Clearly, this doesn't provide much insight into a book's meaning.
Similarly, protein and DNA information content (and resulting functionality) depends on the *linear order* of a limited choice of subcomponents. For proteins, there are 20 common amino acids strung together to form mammalian proteins, some as short as 5 or 10 amino acids, some containing hundreds; for DNA, there are 4 nucleotide bases strung together, with about 3 billion making up the complete genome (that is, all the genetic information in a cell).
Sanger's first Nobel Prize was for developing methods to sequence proteins; his second was for developing a method to sequence DNA. It is this latter advance which has transformed molecular biology and been a key enabler for modern genetic engineering, genomics, etc. He gave us the ability to "read" DNA and proteins; combined with the ability to "write" new DNA and proteins developed in the '80s and '90s, we have now moved from a solely descriptive era of biology to one that includes substantial modification and de novo construction as well -- biology is becoming engineering.
Re: phages well-known (@ MondoMan)
Not sure I described any specific "investigation", but here's a link to an American Society for Microbiology review of the history and state of phage therapy as of 2001: http://aac.asm.org/content/45/3/649.full
Er, bacteriophages (viruses that attack bacteria) have been well-studied over the past century, and have become essential tools in modern molecular biology. Phage lambda in particular has been heavily engineered for all kinds of genetic engineering uses, and a number of phages had their genomes sequenced by the very early DNA sequencing techniques in the 1970s, since they had small (short) genomes, were easy to grow in quantity, and their DNA was easy to purify.
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