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* Posts by Big John

203 posts • joined 28 Oct 2009

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Getting to the BOTTOM of the great office seating debate

Big John
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Re: MMMmmhhh

I see that the word "cubicle" has fallen from favor, but the images do show things bearing an alarming resemblance to.. uh.. ..them.

I gather that rounding off the corners changes them from mere cubicles into "micro-architectural office systems." Works for me, altho I would also be okay with "roundacles..."

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Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians

Big John
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Re: In God's Name

"Agreed, but the idiocy only really begins when you consider that it is the same God."

It was a lot simpler before monotheism came along. Then, you would have what amounted to two 'teams' with two supporting gods, one per side. The side that won the battle was the side with the stronger god, obviously. The losers didn't have much incentive to stay with the losing god, and often switched to the winner. Why not?

Now, besides the actual battle, there's a bitter struggle over possession of the one and only god, and nobody's happy. The losers can't switch and have to rationalize their loss as a 'test', leading to further battles, and the winners have to demonize the losers as liars who don't really worship the one god correctly, or at all. And the winners know the losers won't be giving up easily, so to be safe the winners have to utterly crush the losers, rather than assimilate them.

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The week in tech news with cracking coverage from Regina Eggbert

Big John
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Linux

Re: Please Continue This.

These fowl jokes are poultry to my ears.

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Super Cali goes ballistic, Uber Pool is bogus: Ride sharing biz is illegal in the state, says regulator

Big John
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Re: It wasn't supposed to be this way

"You have to remember also that at one time, LA had some of the best bus lines/service in the country."

And before that, they had great streetcar lines, which were killed off by the busses. At least that's the story I heard. That meme even got into a movie, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". Fact is, those LA rail lines had a nickname, "Old Death and Destruction," due to the many people killed in car/train collisions. As for the busses, they are in no position to properly compete, due mainly to the "Buy American" provisions attached to most govt subsidies which prop up nearly all U.S. bus lines.

www.buses.org/files/Report08.pdf

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Big John
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Re: It wasn't supposed to be this way

"Car sharing for profit without a licence is illegal."

And pray tell why is that? Is there a legit reason, or is it just protectionism via corruption? If I want to start a business that lets people reliably share rides and save money while reducing congestion, what purpose is served by being licensed other than to enrich the government? Remember, this isn't like those freelance taxi guys; I would be serving the same people over and over. If my service is lacking, they will stop utilizing my service.

In other words: "I don't need no steenking license!!!"

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Big John
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Facepalm

It wasn't supposed to be this way

So the Enviros (who pretty much run the CA government) have for years been decrying the fact that too many cars in CA have but one passenger. Fair enough. Along comes something that could drastically reduce the problem, but wait! Turns out that same CA government has been earning their pay by outlawing just such a scheme. D'oh!

The obvious fix would be to rescind that law, but it's just so much easier to make new laws, like making it illegal to drive alone (unless you have the right connections of course).

;-/

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DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster

Big John
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"Wonder if this would work with roller blades!"

I bet it would, and put paid to that dirty mutt chasing you in the bargain.

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Big John
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Ve haff vays uff making you run fast...

Looks less like battle kit and more like what you would strap onto an enemy. Anyone who has run down a steep hill and lost control will understand what I mean.

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Stonehenge's HUMAN ABATTOIR was just a prehistoric Burning Man hippyfest site

Big John
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Re: Now now...

"Yes, I've been drinking with the odd archaeologist..."

Which one is the odd one?

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Big John
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Headmaster

Now now...

"Archaeologists need to stop making stuff up;"

Let's not be too harsh with archaeologists. Their job consists of digging mouldy crap out of the ground (if they're lucky) and then analyzing that crap to figure out exactly what people were doing thousands of years ago. This task is almost hopeless and all they can really show is a bunch of crap, so they should be forgiven for becoming a bit fanciful with their theories.

Besides, it's entertaining and not very harmful, and there are plenty of rivals who will gladly jump all over them the minute they get out of line.

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LOHAN invites ENTIRE REG READERSHIP to New Mexico shindig

Big John
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Flame

Re: Where, in the middle of nowhere, can one get a cold* one?

"Lager needs to be chilled. As do fizzy drinks. Not beer(s and ales)."

Not in Europe, true. I spent two years in Germany and had my share of warm ones. However, when the desert sun is beating down like a hammer to an anvil and you are between, it's vitally important to reduce your core temp in any way possible. Should you ever be in that situation, you will be eternally grateful that your beer has sweat on it, just like you do.

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Big John
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Re: Where, in the middle of nowhere, can one get a cold* one?

"But, then, if it is daytime, just walk outside into the desert, and the beer will warm up in a hurry."

Ah, but it's a dry heat. My experience has been that an open beer exposed to the AZ/NM desert will typically have a half-life of about 12 seconds, with only a small fraction of the loss attributable to evaporation. Thus heating will have little time to occur.

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Big John
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Mushroom

This is a balloon launch, yes? But no spectators are practical, due to "safety reasons?" Just how dangerous IS this balloon? Is it liable to go off-course and have to be remotely detonated?

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Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor

Big John
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Re: and best of all ...

"We need a Register Standard Ant."

That would imply a Register Standard Uncle too!

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PayPal goes crypto-currency with Bitcoin

Big John
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Big Brother

Re: Investing in bitcoin

"You can fondle the cube, but it will not respond."

I fail to see why it needs to respond.

Auric Goldfinger: "This is gold, Mr. Bond. All my life I've been in love with its color... its brilliance, its divine heaviness."

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Big John
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Pirate

Re: "Accepting" Bitcoin

"Paypal isn't accepting bitcoin."

So that being the case, isn't all this really just the Bitcoin boosters offering companies revenue that can be portrayed as "accepted Bitcoins" for the purpose of generating Bitcoin momentum? That would be very helpful if another big cash-out/rip-off is in the works down the road...

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Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers

Big John
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I'm going to catch hell for this...

..but assuming that it isn't a sting, what kind of people would so strongly object to dogs in their car? My evil mind comes up with one group in particular, and that same group is often stereotyped as your typical taxi driver...

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Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites

Big John
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Re: Get it right

"So which American ISP do you work for then? Just out of interest?"

I take it you disagree with the previous post. Do you have some kind of argument that you're holding back? If not, please cease with the pathetic attempts to belittle your intellectual betters, okay?

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Blighty's mighty tech skills shortage drives best job growth in years

Big John
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Re: >Career Path anyone?

Well, yes TP, doesn't everyone always say exactly what they believe? I assume you believe that most of a US state (and by extension at least half the US) is "batshit bananas." You DO believe that, right?

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Big John
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Re: >Career Path anyone?

"..Austin is also where the people who are not batshit bananas ultra-conservative tend to cluster..."

No, it's where the batshit bananas ultra-leftists tend to cluster, and boy do they ever cluster...

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Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it

Big John
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Paris Hilton

Re: i don't understand

Forbidden, and famous. I would say the second point is more important. It's why so many people pay for celeb rags that have grainy telephoto shots of actresses kissing their boyfriends on yachts a mile out to sea while wearing a swimsuit. I suspect viewing such photos is a way for the small-minded to diminish and degrade those who have what they want, but don't have: looks, money and fame.

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Is there life on Mars? Cloud-gazing Curiosity accused of lacking scientific focus

Big John
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Re: Political mistake

"Plus as you'd expect, the rover drivers want to DRIVE."

Ya-boy. "Screw science, let's GO FOR THE RECORD!!"

Luckily the drivers don't get to set policy (or do they?). Personally I'd be okay with changing the goal to a race for the pole.

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Limits to Growth is a pile of steaming doggy-doo based on total cobblers

Big John
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Re: Doing More With Less

"Could we eat pasta instead of meat, and walk or ride horses instead of driving cars, and still have our iPhones and our satellite TV?"

Pasta yes, horses no. The primary result of fast transport on society is that people are now able to live far from where they work. Take away the fast transport in favor of horses, and people will be forced to crowd together in big cities, as was the case previously. But now the population is many times larger, and such hive-cities would not be much fun to live in. Also, horses have to eat and poop, and there would have to be a LOT of horses. We really don't want to go there.

Besides, even if you force people out of their cars, that's just peanuts compared to bulk industrial transport, which cannot convert to muscle power without a huge decline in output, along with a similar huge decline in population, one way or another.

Currently humanity is on a high-tech high wire. If we don't keep all the machines fed and humming, most of us will die very unpleasantly.

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You are here => Earth is in 'the suburbs' of an IMMENSE HEAVEN

Big John
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Re: Its

"It's not dark, our eyes just cant see the photons coming from every point in the sky"

The cosmic background radiation you mean, but that's just 3K. A rather dark light. Still, technically it's true, the sky is not dark, exactly.

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Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group

Big John
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Re: ...that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

"Unlike you, I don't hate the other side. I just feel sorry for their confusion."

Actually it appears you do hate the "other side." Witness the laundry list of evil intentions you ascribe to to them. How come you left out kicking little puppy dogs? It would have helped me get your drift better.

John O'G, it's strange how you first impute intelligence to the Reg readers, and then go and insult it. Tsk.

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Big John
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Re: ...that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

"Last time I looked at the output of a "non-partisan" group, they'd run three different $700K ad series each attacking different Democratic senators..."

So ALEC is actually partisan, I get it. Just like you are, espousing some case where poor honest Democrats get attacked under color of 'non-partisanship.' Like you could not find endless examples of such behavior from every side, including your beloved Democrats? Sure.

Still, it fits with the article author's own partisanship, using derogatory terms like "climate denier" with apparently no concern or shame whatsoever.

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Just when you thought you were alone in the bath: Hi-res mapping satellite ready for launch

Big John
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Re: What's the point

"I'm struggling to think of uses for this resolution, apart from military ones. "

I use Google Earth very often to track down places where good x-country hiking can be found. Really sharp images will better reveal the condition of road and trail surfaces (or lack of same), vegetation types, and many other little features that could make a difference. I'm looking forward to it!

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Big John
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Re: 30cm?

"On a flip side I wonder about the infamous zoom/enhance technology and if that would allow those sub-30cm full glory members to be visible."

Sure, if seeing humongous pixels is what yer wantin'...

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Uber and Lyft sitting in a tree, 'c-a-n-c-e-l-l-i-n-g each other's rides'

Big John
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All the strategy the market will allow

"The best result for investors would be if one firm either outpaces or purchases the other to create a dominant force that can set prices. That may not be best for fares, but allowing market competition is not an attractive strategy in this IPO-driven business landscape."

For "dominant force" read "monopoly." Much better than unattractive strategies like market competition, for sure.

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Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Big John
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We're gonna need a bigger hard drive...

4.4x1012 x 0.2mb = roughly 1 billion gigabytes per second.

Forget the camera, how is that kind of bandwidth possibly handled? They must be taking extremely short movies.

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NetScout sues Gartner over magic quadrant placement

Big John
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Gartner says...

The problem here is that Gartner produces 'opinions,' not something more official. This has been challenged in court and it was upheld:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_Quadrant#Criticism

So the real source of anger about Gartner is that industry players pay attention to what Gartner says. Thus the real purpose of this lawsuit is not to win, but to educate those industry players about how biased (presumably) Gartner really is, a noble endeavor.

My question is, how does Gartner command such high ground in the first place?

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Why hackers won't be able to hijack your next flight - the facts

Big John
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Pirate

Attacker vs Attacker

"It might be feasible to send false messages to an aircraft's collision avoidance systems Polly said, but it would be very difficult to do effectively. An attacker would need to be travelling at nearly the same speed as an attacker to fool the aircraft for any appreciable time, the directional antennas used by commercial aircraft would make getting a bogus signal to the pilots difficult, and again they could always ignore it."

Say what?

Are we now vectoring our hack attacks THRU the the radar system?! Let's see, fly ahead of an airliner and squirt your dodgy data payload directly down the pipe. Yeah, that's the stuff!

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IBM boffins stuff 16 million-neuron chips into binary 'frog' brain

Big John
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Reinventing the flat tyre

If they manage to simulate biological brain activity (like we use), won't the resulting computer become, er, unreliable, just like us? Do we WANT that?

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Intel forced to shoot down viral 'Israeli boycott' whopper

Big John
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If my computer had a label saying "Satan Inside," that would indeed be veritas.

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Cracker takes control of 200 rooms in Chinese hotel

Big John
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Wait, what?

Are we to believe this highly motivated supergeek cracked open a hotel's furniture control system, thru a found iPad no less, and DIDN'T use this new power to have a little fun, before informing hotel staff? Yeah right.

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Your fitness tracker is a SNITCH says Symantec

Big John
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Happy

How does this work?

I mean the part about tracking sexual activity? Is a button pushed? (on the phone I mean...)

Or is the phone strapped to the arm and then detects frequent acceleration while in a prone position?

Or.. is there a way for the app to accurately detect pleasurable moans and groans?

Inquiring minds want to know!

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Quicker, easier to fly to MOON than change web standards ... OR IS IT?

Big John
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Nobody knows de trouble I seen...

"Even if you were going to only support browsers that update every six weeks, like Chrome and Firefox, you’re still waiting a minimum of 24 weeks for new features to progress from experimental builds to actually shipping."

Oh boo friggin' hoo. IE6 hung around so long it had barnacles! Cry me a river...

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What's that? A PHP SPECIFICATION? Surely you're joking, Facebook

Big John
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Specless master of the web

I see this development as the end of a golden age. Before, the horror of PHP was the stuff of legend. Now it will be down in black and white, and so, subject to being "improved." In time, PHP will become just another adequate programming language, and in the process we'll have lost a big piece of the crap that illuminates our lives and cuts thru the bland pudding of existence. Alas...

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Fear a terrifying killer robot revolution? GET A GRIP: Boffins invent cyborg hand for humans

Big John
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Some implications...

Rude hand gestures will get very creative...

The need to compose keyboard music for 2.8 hands...

Going to the bathroom could get interesting...

Ditto for hand jobs...

Nose-picking etiquette will have to be debated...

No more excuses for weak guitar chords...

Which of her fingers do I put the ring on again?

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Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS

Big John
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Paris Hilton

Not enough data

If MS is going to go 'white-rat' on these poor coders, why not include a plethysmograph too? Then they can tell when unauthorized pr0n is being viewed...

Paris, because.. just because.

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LOHAN seeks stirring motto for spaceplane mission patch

Big John
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In reference to mascot...

"Lutum In Caelo"

Scavenger of the Skies

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Lyft hits the brakes: Ban threat stalls taxi app's New York City launch

Big John
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Excess cabs, really?

"BTW, the city limits the number of medallions for mainly practical reasons: the streets of New York, especially Manhattan where the cabs are mainly used, are crowded enough as is; no need to pack them further with an excess of cabs."

That is not quite true.

These medallions started in the thirties, and altho the cities have grown a lot, the cab companies fight to keep the number of medallions from increasing proportionally so their profits per car stay at the max. It has nothing to do with crowding, in fact crowding would be lessened by having more taxis, keeping more people from having to drive their own car.

http://blog.priceonomics.com/post/47636506327/the-tyranny-of-the-taxi-medallions

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Big John
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Windows

Re: ".....its driver has not been subject to the TLC’s required drug and background checks,"

"I'm more concerned my driver may not be a psychotic crackhead, and I'll miss out on an essential part of the New York experience.."

That can happen with Lyft too!

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Read the proposed US ASTEROIDS Act to green-light mining IN SPAAAACE

Big John
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""you'd have to intercept, board, probably overcome-if-not-kill the crew, make off with the booty."

Very unlikely. Most space mining that returned metals to Earth would be bulk metals like iron. Gold and other rare metals would be very minor, because for asteroids the processes that concentrate rare metals (gravity, weathering, bio) are absent.

Rather, picture a stream of metal chunks or something similar, routinely aero-braking and dropping onto a bare patch of desert. Not much booty to be had there, but plenty of room for government to step in and do what they do best, namely screw things up.

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Plucky Rockall adventurer prepares to leave islet

Big John
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Re: Brit adventurer?

"You can tie things down as much as you like but if the elements want to rip it away there's very little to stop it."

Okay, but in this case the straps were fine. However he allowed a weak link in the connection between the barrels and their handles, which was the failure point. Easy to point out after the fact, I know. Still, had he strapped up the barrels themselves, rather than just the handles, he might have retained that food.

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World Meteorological Organization says climate data is uncool

Big John
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Re: Pedantry misses the point

that article you linked to suggests that 99% of ocean plastic may be being eaten by fish. did you read it?.. or are you saying thats a good thing?..

I did read it, and all they know is that the plastic they were assuming was there is not there. Every other claim they 'suggest' turns out to be totally unsupported by facts, which they finally admit. You were saying?

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Big John
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Re: Pedantry misses the point

"So, what about all the... heavy metals in the ocean? depletion of nutrients in the soil? drilling? fracking? destruction of rain forests and habitats? species? cancerous levels of smog in asia? poisonous rivers in india? huge plastic rubbish island floating in the ocean? etc, etc..."

One at a time.

"heavy metals in the ocean" - Um, yeah. whatever you say.

"depletion of nutrients in the soil" - Granted, in places, but that's just farmland, a tiny fraction of the biosphere, and rather temporary in the big picture.

"drilling" - So?

"fracking" - You say that like it's a bad thing.

"destruction of rain forests and habitats" - Okay, but stuff has always happened to habitats. Life adapts. Besides, all that new CO2 is engendering lots of green growth worldwide! Aren't you happy?

"species" - Ah, lots of niche species going extinct, the horror. Like there's a dearth of competition for those niches? Get real.

"cancerous levels of smog in asia" - Oh noes!! Whatever will we do! Those poor helpless Asians need OUR help! Um, no. They will solve the smog issue the same way we did, or die trying.

"poisonous rivers in india" - Well no wonder, with all those dead bodies and *ugh* floating down to the sea. Again, they will deal.

"huge plastic rubbish island floating in the ocean" - Turns out that's way overblown:

http://news.sciencemag.org/environment/2014/06/ninety-nine-percent-oceans-plastic-missing

Aaah. The two minute panic is at an end. Nice, but wouldn't want it to go on all day...

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Big John
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The proposal won't junk 1961-1990 data, which the WMO advocates retaining “as the base period for monitoring and assessing long-term climate variability and change … over the course of this century and beyond.”

So they intend to enshrine a random 30 year period of Earth's 4,500 million year existence as the "base period" for all ongoing climate studies? I guess this means the climate finally got off the couch only in 1961? Who knew?

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Cosmic dust riddle BREAKTHROUGH: Study tackles stuff of the universe

Big John
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Re: What is the 'shockwave' made of?

"During the actual core collapse massive numbers of neutrinos are generated; these are not adsorbed..."

According to the main theory they sometimes are, and are responsible for the bulk of the visible explosion:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova#Core_collapse

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What the world needs now is... a Bluetooth-enabled baby's dummy

Big John
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Re: Throw down

Kirsten, it was sarcasm. I actually think the whole monitor idea panders to the sick "helicopter mom" pathology. Should have used the /s I guess.

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