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* Posts by Dodgy Geezer

1042 posts • joined 27 Jul 2007

The universe speaks: 'It's time to get off your rock!'

Dodgy Geezer
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WTF?

I happened to mention this issue...

...to a group of my friends in a pub a year or so ago, and suggested that , out of all the threats I knew about, this one really needed to be addressed.

The general consensus was that I was either drunk or insane.

This seemed to be based on the belief that WE are down here, and SPACE is up there, and so the two things are nothing to do with each other. Furthermore, anyone who starts talking about space as if it was somewhere to go is obviously living in the far future - 'thousands of years hence' was mentioned. Indeed, one wag suggester, to general approval, that humans would have evolved into another species before we needed to worry about what was on the Moon.

Anyone who wants to address defences against meteorites will have to address this attitude first...

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Permafrost melt to boost atmospheric CO2 faster than thought

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

A quick correction

"You cant presume anything by such a short term view. And actually that's not true - the temperature has still been rising year by year on average."

"...the temperature has still been being adjusted upwards year by year on average."

There, fixed that for you.

Actually, it's worth looking at the Japanese Met Agency. They don't fiddle their figures. According to them, the temperature has been at a standstill for 22 years. Still think that's a short-term view?

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Tennessee bloke quits job over satanic wage slip

Dodgy Geezer
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Happy

My phone number had 007 in it....

... so I asked management for a martini, a Beretta and three half-naked gorgeous women....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Next Door

No - you live across the road from him...

(Hellfire for obvious reasons...)

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Space station 'naut supplies Reg with overhead snap of Vulture Central

Dodgy Geezer
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Go

Re: As an Englishman...

... living at 3.5,7.5 on that photo (if you make each axis 10), I am jealous of your incredible weather and outstanding sporting achievements. I hope you fully appreciate them....

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Google Doodle honors British bone-finder Mary Leakey

Dodgy Geezer
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Coat

Interpreting the GOOGLE word is difficult...

I can see the initial G, and the last LE is quite easy.

The dogs obviously have something to do with the middle G, although I can't see it yet.

But the middle OO! I can't tell you how relieved I was when I decided that it must be the glasses, even though that is rather higher on the line of the word than I expected. Following the actual line more closely would put the required OO slightly lower, and on quite a different part of Mary Leakey's anatomy....

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Tracy brothers are back: Thunderbirds Are Go! again in 5... 4... 3...

Dodgy Geezer
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Holmes

Re: Intriguing,..

"...I'm intrigued by the "live-action model sets", hope they don't just been scene sets. I'd love to see some Anderson style non-cgi vehicular models - the detail of the original models inspired a billion imaginations...."

If you want to see where they got the basis for most of the models - look here:VIP/Thunderbird Models

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UK minister: 'There must be a limit to what the gov knows about its people'

Dodgy Geezer
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Unhappy

Re: "but the King of England cannot enter."

...He can send in a SWAT team wearing ski masks and carrying assault weapons....

Nowadays, yes. But, interestingly, not in the 1800s.

Funny, that. They were MUCH more interested in ethics, honour and the proper way to behave then. Doesn't mean that everybody behaved properly all the time, of course. But it meant that you could stand up in Parliament and say 'This is not an honourable course of action!", and people would listen to you, as opposed to laughing, which is what they would do today.

Possibly it's because religion played a bigger part in everyday life then? I have a theory that, when communications and transport capability was much worse, you tended to live your life in proximity to the same people all the time. And in that situation, your reputation becomes very important - people won't work with you if you don't keep your word.

Nowadays you can stab everybody in the back and just bugger off to another company half-way around the world when it's getting too hot for you. Or, for a politician, do a Blair and take a tasty job in the EU or somewhere...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Headmaster

...Great times indeed, unless you were a woman, or Irish, or poor, or a subject of Her Majesty's colonial administration....

Well, we are, of course, only talking about 'freedom' rather than total quality of life. And this was only ever claimed to be true of an 'Englishman' - so we only need to address your 'poor' statement. The date of 1900 is a bit general, and I suspect things were better still in 1800, as this quote from a Prime Minister of the time indicates:

"The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail - its roof may shake - the wind may blow through it - the storm may enter - the rain may enter - but the King of England cannot enter."

William Pitt, the first Earl of Chatham, also known as Pitt the Elder - 1763

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Dodgy Geezer
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Thumb Down

...[I]n a free society there should be a limit to what the government knows about its people....

Several people have pointed out what they see as the reversed ownership implied by this statement.

Alas, they are wrong. We are, indeed, now 'owned' by the government. At the beginning of the last century you could still stand up to a government - sayings like 'An Englishman's home is his castle' were still supported by the courts.

Not so by 2000....

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'Gaia' Lovelock: Wind turbines 'may become like Easter Island statues'

Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

Re: Nuclear energy's the perfect power source

..Then, it's not so green. For tens of thousands of years....

Um? A couple of hundred years at most. Where are you getting your figures? La-La land?

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Dodgy Geezer
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Nuclear always costs more than it's supposed to

One thumbs-down from a person who thinks a Ferrari is cheaper than a kit car!

Please get in touch - I have a bridge I wish to sell to you...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Stop

Re: The cost of storing nuclear waste - 2.8 p/kWh

...The figures come from something I saw a good few months ago. I had been surprised that the cost is quite low, because the greenshirts had been moaning about the cost of disposal.storage, then estimated at £76 bn...

Actually, their usual trick is to obtain a cost for disposal/storage of high-level waste (a matter of a few cubic meters per year, stored at high cost), and then multiply that by the total volume of ALL 'nuclear waste' (lab coats, papers, general rubbish from a facility).

I'm surprised that people don't call them out on that more often, but then they usually only shout these meaningless figures at other believers...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Facepalm

Re: Nuclear always costs more than it's supposed to

...The fact is that when you build renewables you know what the total project cost is, from build to tear-down and cleanup, and you know what the energy price is. So which is going to keep energy cheaper over time? Systems that rely on technologies that have been proven to be unreliable (nukes), experimental (fracking), or on external imports that are subject to supply constraints and speculative shocks (other fossils) - or systems that use a perpetual natural resource and have a known fixed cost?..

Um. I think you are letting your politics run away with your sanity.

What you have just claimed is that items with a fixed cost are always going to be cheaper than items with unpredictable costs. This is simply not true.

For example, I might want a new car. I could design and make one myself - perhaps from a kit - but I can't predict the cost of that precisely, and there may be unanticipated problems - like having difficulty sourcing an appropriate engine. On the other hand, I could buy a top-end Ferrari, and I bet the salesman can give me a precise price on that.

You seem to think that the Ferrari is gong to be cheaper...?

PS I notice that a wind turbine just fell over in Devon. I gather that it's a new design, imported from Norway. So that makes wind power 'unreliable, experimental and dependent on external imports' . Oh dear!

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Boeing 787 fleet grounded indefinitely as investigators stumped

Dodgy Geezer
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Mushroom

I use LiPos in my model planes...

..and God, do they go!

But when it comes to charging them, we put them in reinforced fireproof bags before connecting up the charger.

Because we know how unreliable and dangerous they can be...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Re: Difficult fire suppression / fire extinguishing

.. Maybe defective batteries should be ejected from the plane, backup batteries could ensure critical flight functions. But the FAA might not like such a solution...

The people on the ground below won't be too happy, either...

Particularly if a British plane drops one over Dresden....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Holmes

If it's anything like the Comet problem...

... then the investigation will find nothing, the planes will be cleared to fly again, and then crashes will start occurring, probably over water.

After a heroic recovery of the remains of a Dreamliner from 7 miles down in the Pacific, they will recreate the accident and discover something completely new about battery technology. But by then Airbus will have taken over their markets....

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You thought watching cat videos was harmless fun? Think AGAIN

Dodgy Geezer
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Headmaster

Is this the same Marra...

...who published an appallingly bad bit of scaremongering stats on bird deaths by cats a couple of years ago? Using every trick in the stats book on a base observation of 70 fledglings?

I would like to see someone from el-reg analyse the stats in the paper critically. This lad has got form.

Oh, and, by the way, how many birds NEED to be killed each year? That's the way nature works. If it didn't, the earth would be a mass of pigeons expanding at a large fraction of the speed of light. Once we know what the appropriate predation rate is we can then decide if cats, or squirrels (which I thought killed twice as many fledglings) , or glazed windows (which kill a significant number) are doing it to excess or not...

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Huddled immigrant masses face 'British values' quiz

Dodgy Geezer
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Alternative answer...

...What is a sensible population for a small island with sever houseing (sic) shortages? Answer: A lot less than it is now....

or, perhaps, new houses need to be built?

Anyone who thinks that this generation is the first to have exceeded the carrying population of the Earth needs to re-read history, and then read Julian Simon ...

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Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

Re: @Voland's right hand

...If I believe the UK is a parliamentary democracy, that is not a value but a factual belief....

If I believe that London is the capital of the UK, that is a factual belief. If I believe the UK is a parliamentary democracy, that is not a value or a factual belief, but a delusion.

There, fixed that for you...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Headmaster

Re: Entrance examinations

I got 100%!

Winchester for me, I think. Or Rugby. Which really has a 'beautiful game'.

Not Eton, or Harrow. I can't see the point of rowing. I'd need several more plums in my mouth to fit in well at Marlborough, and I'm frankly too intelligent for Stowe....

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LOHAN premieres intimate REHAB vid

Dodgy Geezer
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Holmes

So you've lost one playmonaut...

...out of how many launches? And how well does this compare with NASA?

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Climate watch: 2012 figures confirm global warming still stalled

Dodgy Geezer
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WTF?

I've got a modest proposal...

Instead of arguing about whether a specific point on a graph is going up or down, why doesn't each side of the argument specify what data would cause their own theory to be DISPROVEN (a la Popper)? And then examine the data in the light of that assertion?

It seems to me that, if you believe in a strong and accelerating climate change due to increased CO2 concentrations, and if CO2 concentrations increase while the temperature doesn't, you have only two conclusions:

1 - the theory is completely wrong

2 - the theory partly right, but the effect is so weak that it is easily swamped by natural variation.

Of course, you could also argue that the data is incorrectly collected or processed in some way. But it would be a more interesting discussion than this continual argument about differing slopes on a variable graph...

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Swartz suicide won't change computer crime policy, says prosecutor

Dodgy Geezer
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..The aggressive prosecution of computer crimes won't be changed in light of the suicide of internet activist Aaron Swartz, a spokeswoman for Boston US Attorney Carmen Ortiz has said...

After all, why should it? It's having exactly the effect it is intended to have...

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BEST reiterates ‘no solar forcing’ claim

Dodgy Geezer
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Unhappy

The interesting bits...

... are the earlier temperature readings. GISS has been 'correcting' them down by about 0.2 deg over the last century, making any long-term temperature set pretty unreliable - even before the siting issues and arguments about 'apples and oranges' proxy interpretation.

It's a shame, but long-term temperature records are now political statistics. Satellite data is the only dataset you can reasonably rely on...

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Empire says ‘primitive’ Earth not ready for Death Star

Dodgy Geezer
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Mushroom

The REAL reason to be worried about this...

For a long time now I have noted the close symbiotic relationship between Hollywood and the US politicians, military and State Departments.

Americans seem to actually BELIEVE films. So the military actually try to create, for instance, beam weapons BECAUSE these are the kind of weapons featured in Space Opera. As Hollywood creates new genres of Bad Guy movies, public opinion swings against the countries thus depicted, and the politicians oblige by labeling them as an 'Axis of Evil'. Film stars even become presidents!

It is completely in character for the public to clamour for an orbiting 'Death Star'. And you can be sure that the military will be looking to their budget proposals to see if this can be included. There will be no consideration given to whether there is a use for such a weapon - once it has been made I am sure a suitable target can be picked......

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Inside the new climate row as Mystic Met Office goes cool on warming

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

Re: What a surprise...

Who would give them vast amounts of money for collapsing a multi-billion pound industry?

Honestly, I can't think of anyone who might. They wouldn't get any awards either - all the awards committees have already signed up to AL Gore and the like. All they would get is no grant.

Perhaps that explains why there is a shortage of such people...

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Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

..A twenty year period without statistically significant warming doesn't falsify the theory that manmade industrial emissions are the key driver in climate change...

Odd that it doesn't. I believe it was Keith Trenberth who originally said that 10 years without a rise would raise serious questions, back in 2002?

By 2008, when we had about 10 years, I think the Met Office announced that 10 years was possible, but 15 years would be outside the statistical range of possibilities.

Now we have around 15 years. I wonder who is saying that even 20 years won't necessarily disprove it? And, if there is no way that it can be disproved, is it really science any more?

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Dodgy Geezer
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WTF?

Re: Another ignorant MP

...They have changed their forecast in the light of further research. Seems reasonable...

Not exactly.

They have pushed out a new lower forecast BUT STILL KEPT THE OLD ONE.

This way, whatever the temperature does, they can claim to have predicted it. That doesn't sound reasonable - it sounds like heads I win, tails you lose...

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Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

Re: But, but, but...

...The blog provides a point by point rebuttal of the Mail story, headlined "The crazy climate change obsession that's made the Met Office a menace".,,,

Unfortunately, if you read the rebuttal, you will find that it doesn't rebut anything. The main response the Met Office rebuttal puts out is that: "Our 5-day forecasts are better". Which is, of course, nothing to do with the underlying issue - that the Met Office is predicting LONG-TERM weather changes based on a flawed activist-driven theory, has got them all wrong and is now lying in an attempt to cover this up.

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Dodgy Geezer
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Alert

Re: Completely lost

...So how does looking at the monthly or annual totals help confirm or refute this?...

You are not meant to question this, you're meant to BELIEVE it.

If you don't, you are a heretic, a denier. So we don't have to listen to you...

[/sarc]

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White House rejects Death Star petition: '$850qn too pricey'

Dodgy Geezer
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Mushroom

Expect to see this petition..

.. coming back in a few years as a Pentagon proposal....

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British armed forces get first new pistol since World War II

Dodgy Geezer
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WTF?

I was expecting....

... a re-issue of the C96 Mauser Broomhandle.

At least that would have style. And it looks good on the wall. And it's sighted up to 1000 yd, with an effective range of about 200. I've always wondered about that one...

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'Doomsday' asteroid Apophis more massive than first thought

Dodgy Geezer
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Devil

What about Global Warming?

...I'm sure human produced CO2 must have caused this somehow...

...or are we looking at the next big scare, complete with world-wide taxation and anti-asteroid legislation...?

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Bob Dylan's new album is 'Copyright Extension Collection'

Dodgy Geezer
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Coat

Re: I have a current problem with copyrights....

So long as a company was bought up by another bigger one, the problem is not so bad. Amerang own the Keil Kraft name in the UK and were happy to provide permission for me to publish, and the vast Hobbico Inc of the US have also been most helpful.

It's the small one-man operations (which were probably never even considered in commercial copyright terms) which have really been hit by this. As usual, it was a 'big business and government' move with no consideration of the little guys.

Incidentally, Amerang are going to bring out a selection of the old Keil Kraft aeroplane kits this year, if anyone wants to return to their childhood...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Meh

Re: I have a current problem with copyrights....

...Did Walt himself return from the dead to downvote you?...

I suspect that it's someone who was frightened by a model boat when they were a little child...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Unhappy

Re: I have a current problem with copyrights....

"...If no-one knows (or can prove) who owns them then that presumably makes them "orphans"..."

I have tried that - I am following the EU Memorandum of Agreement on Orphan works. The problem with that is that the 'orphans' concept might work for an object of completely unknown provenance, but if there is a known creator then by definition all assets must be passed on as inheritance. So, if a 'Bill Smith' designs a plan and then dies, you MUST assume that the copyright is passed on to his heirs and assignees. That's what the MOA says. The fact that the heirs and assignees never knew this and have no obvious way of proving it is irrelevant.

The only way you can actually come to any conclusion on this is to undertake major research work (which I do, as an unpaid hobby) and then pass the results through a court for a decision. Which would be prohibitively expensive.

The fundamental problem is that copyright has now been extended from its original term of a small number of years to two lifetimes. One lifetime is probably not that damaging to historians, because we are still close enough to, say, Patrick Moore, for people to be able to assess his contribution to TV astronomy quite well. The minute you go to two lifetimes you are effectively preventing the free distribution of documentation by anyone who was alive during the time you are interested in.

From one lifetime ago there is still a rich set of documentation. Many readers here will have mementos of their grandparents - medals, stories, paperwork of some kind. Putting that under copyright means that it cannot be easily aggregated into databases which would preserve the information. It has to wait until a second generation dies. And by then it is much more likely that old papers will be thrown out in the rubbish rather than preserved - if, indeed, the paper has lasted that long...

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Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

I have a current problem with copyrights....

Everyone needs a hobby! One of mine is making wooden model boats. A little while ago, I became interested in documenting models of old kits from the 1960s, a period of great technical change in the hobby, and hence historically interesting.

These kits were made by small companies - often one-man set-ups. When they went closed down the company assets (which included the plans copyrights) would usually not have been sold - they obviously had no commercial value! So they will have devolved to the company owner's heirs. Because of the huge increase in copyright length, I have been having to obtain the rights to get these forgotten parts of our history published on a web site.

What actually happens is that the people I contact do not realise that they may have inherited these rights. When I explain to them that I believe that they may have them, the first thing they think about is whether they have value, and whether they can sell them. Then, the next thing that they realise is that they can do nothing without consulting a lawyer, because they need to prove ownership. And inheritance and IP lawyers do not come cheap. So they refuse to go any further.

They are not going to spend any money on determining the status of some long-lost great-grandfather's document, which I believe to be of only historical value. They are not going to give me permission to publish, because I might be a scam artist come to trick them out of a fortune. So the data cannot be published or distributed, and will soon be forgotten completely.

Thank you, Mr Disney....

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Dodgy Geezer
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Happy

Re: Copyright should cease when you die

Especially then...

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2012 was warmest year ever recorded in USA

Dodgy Geezer
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Unhappy

If the Reg had been doing their homework...

...they would have:

1 - mentioned that the released data was only from the first stations to report (which they did)

2 - noted that these first stations are the automatic ones (which usually means airports, etc) (which they didn't)

3 - noted that these are usually the warmest stations (which they didn't)

so, 4 - noted that the claimed average temperature will almost certainly drop to a lower non-record level when all the data is in...

It's a shame that science is now reduced to political point-scoring...

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Biomass bummer: carbon mitigation could increase ozone

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

As far as I can tell...

DDT never caused the eggshell damage they said it did, and we have killed several millions of humans by stopping using it, while spending large amounts of money on alternative less effective pesticides who's major advantage is that they are still under patent...

Chlorofluorocarbons don't seem to have caused a hole in the ozone layer - that hole seems to be natural. That ban has cost us many billions in making alternative, less effective chemicals, and enabled DuPont to maintain a patent on refrigerant compound which they were about to lose. It has also deprived us of a major fire suppressant...

Acid rain turned out to be a non-problem. Interestingly, the biologists were brought on board by telling the 'leaf specialists' that acid rain damaged roots, while the root specialists were told that acid rain damaged leaves.... In all a few billion was passed to environmental activists, which could have been used in much better ways

Global Warming has been the grand-daddy of activist scams - with prospective costs in the trillions and major disruption to world energy infrastructure in order to stop a predicted minor warming of the planet which turns out to only exist in the fudged mathematics of incorrect computer models.

Can someone spot a trend here...?

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Boffins create quantum gas with temperature BELOW absolute zero

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

Re: Sci Am had a good article on this 35 years ago

Actually, this was first done in 1951...

So, not actually news then....

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30 years ago, at flip of a switch, the internet as we know it WAS BORN

Dodgy Geezer
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Happy

And there was me...

... thinking it was Al Gore...

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Yes, hundreds upon hundreds of websites CAN all be wrong

Dodgy Geezer
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FAIL

The most famous balls-up...

.. involves the writer Philip Roth. He wrote a story (as writers do...) which some reviewers misinterpreted. The Wiki picked these misinterpretations up and published them.

Philip Roth sent them an e-mail pointing out that what the wiki was saying was not true. The wiki refused to change it - because it had cites for the error, but only an email (from the original writer!) for the correct version. Eventually Roth had to write a magazine article pointing out the error - and the wiki took that as an adequate cite.

The story is here: http://www.ojr.org/ojr/people/alih/201209/2090/

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Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet creator Gerry Anderson dies at 83

Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

If you want to know where the models came from...

...then this web site will give you a hint...

http://www.madmalc.screaming.net/1960.htm

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High-powered luvvies given new radio home: 'But DON'T disturb the neighbours'

Dodgy Geezer
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Meh

The alternative view..

Radio Astronomy? How much advertising does THAT bring in?

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Wind, solar could provide 99.9% of ALL POWER by 2030

Dodgy Geezer
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Headmaster

Re: Anyone actually done computer models?

...The entire Green ideology is doing more damage to science from a public education point of view than the creationists and UFO-ologists could ever hope to do.,,

On the contrary. They are contributing massively towards the Public Understanding of Science - as evidenced by your piece...

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Dodgy Geezer
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Boffin

Re: Let's Do the Math!

I defy anyone to enumerate that many different energy sources or storage techniques.

I think it also includes wind scenarios. So we have:

15 wind farms and a dam when the wind is blowing at 5 mph from 120deg.

15 wind farms and a dam when the wind is blowing at 5 mph from 125deg.

15 wind farms and a dam when the wind is blowing at 5 mph from 130deg.

15 wind farms and a dam when the wind is blowing at 5 mph from 135deg.

15 wind farms and a dam when the wind is blowing at 5 mph from 140deg.

You get the picture...

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North Korea's satellite a dud, say US astroboffins

Dodgy Geezer
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Flame

...Had the satellite been deployed successfully, however, any nighttime photos it took would have revealed what more advanced countries have long known: that North Korea remains a backward, poverty-stricken nation, where such basic technologies as electric lighting are reserved for an elite few...

Or, alternatively, that North Korea is a guiding beacon in the environmental community, and does not waste any energy or emit any light pollution...

Which is where we'll be in 20 years if the greens have their way...

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Senator threatens FAA with legislation over in-flight fondleslabbing

Dodgy Geezer
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Go

Re: "The current rules are inconvenient to travelers..."

(My first thought was drawing and quartering, but on reflection that may be perceived to be a bit over the top.)

No, to my mind that sounds perfectly acceptable. Breaking on the Wheel, and the Rack are also good methods, as is impalement. And of course those who set them up should suffer the same penalty..

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