* Posts by Lomax

262 posts • joined 31 Mar 2009


MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech


"As the first new Nokia smartphone to operate without the chains of legacy software, the N9 finally demonstrates some of that dormant software innovation from the labs in Espoo. I first saw it at Nokia’s introductory event in June of this year and, though my expectations were low, was blown away by how intuitive, responsive, and fluid the whole interface was. I wasn’t alone, either. Just about everyone who got a chance to play with the N9 remarked upon its superlative design and wondered aloud why Nokia was abandoning such a promising platform. Because, oh yes, Nokia had decided a few months earlier to transition its entire smartphone strategy to Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS and consign MeeGo to the status of a one-hit (i.e. the N9) wonder."

"The thing that ties everything together on the N9 is Nokia’s new concept of a Swipe UI. There are no physical or capacitive menu buttons on the N9 because of this one devastatingly simple and equally effective innovation. Swiping in from any edge of the screen drags the app you’re in out of the way and brings up your most recent homescreen. It’s so easy and natural that I honestly started doing edge-swipes on other phones, an experience that filled me with equal measures of disappointment and embarrassment."

"The N9′s onscreen keyboard is sublime. Every key is just about the perfect size, the comma and full stop sit either side of the space bar (where they belong), and there are three levels of haptic feedback. For the first time in my life, I didn’t switch off the haptic option, it actually contributes to the experience of typing exactly the way it was always meant to but never managed before this exceptional phone."

"It’s hard to overstate how much of a departure the N9 is from Nokia’s old comfort zone. Whereas the company’s previous effort at building a new touchscreen OS, once known as Symbian^3, was all too timid and reluctant to move too far away from its roots, this new MeeGo stuff has no qualms about dispensing with the old."

"The only other company that has shown this kind of immaculate care with keeping design themes consistent is Apple. Ultimately, what Nokia has put together in the N9′s UI is nothing short of a triumph. It feels cohesive and, remarkably, lives up to the fantastic elegance of the phone’s physical design and construction."

"From the moment you unlock the N9, screen animations flow around your finger like gentle waves of awesomeness. Transitions between homescreens, scrolling, and pinch-to-zoom are all delectably smooth and fluid. That applies to the full range of preloaded native apps, like the browser, maps, gallery, and mail and messaging clients. Both recording and playback of 720p video work flawlessly, and though there’s no Flash support in the default browser, the YouTube app does a perfectly fine job of playing back web content."

"The Harmattan UI is fresh, slick, and as natural as anything the smartphone world has yet introduced, while the physical design is unmatched. Not even the shiny new iPhone 4S feels as luxurious in the hand as the N9."

"Stephen Elop has personally shut the door on future consumer products running MeeGo Harmattan, which renders the N9 and its developer-focused sibling the N950 the only exhibitors of this essentially abandoned OS."



"like Nokia"!? What's that supposed to mean? If it hadn't been for Stephen Elop they would still be the leading handset innovators. I can only assume you never used the N9/N950.

While Microsoft griped about NSA exploit stockpiles, it stockpiled patches: Friday's WinXP fix was built in February


Re: Munich city now planning to move ALL their Linux desktops back to Windows

"Munich city now planning to move ALL their Linux desktops back to Windows"

"the primary issues have been of compatibility; users in the rest of Germany that use other (Microsoft) software have had trouble with the files generated by Munich's open-source applications"

"Microsoft's German headquarters has been committed to move to Munich as part of this issue"

"The SPD and CSU proposal is based on recommendations in a report released by Accenture"

Might have *something* to do with it.

Thumb Up

Replace Windows with an open source operating system - and replace the IT support staff with people trained on how to use it. Set all machines to automatically install security updates. Do this ten years ago. Profit.


"By switching from Windows to LiMux, its own Linux distribution, the German city of Munich has saved over ¬11 million (US$14.3 million) to date compared to the costs of a similar migration to a more modern Microsoft-based IT infrastructure."

DeX Station: Samsung's Windows-killer is ready for prime time


Mine is "Libre", as in free, as in free speech - and free beer of course.


"Office"... wassat?


What exactly is the imagined use case here? I fail to see how lugging around an unwieldy docking station plus charger, plus keyboard, plus screen, plus mouse, plus laptop (you *will* still need yours, and its charger), is any more convenient than just the laptop. If you're going to borrow someone's screen and keyboard to do a bit of typing on your S8, why not borrow their computer? It won't be much use without those bits attached anyway. As far as I can see the only thing you get for your £129 is an inconvenience lumbered with an inferior crippleware OS. An X series Thinkpad replaces all those extra bits, with your OS of choice, weighs less, runs faster, and needs no unplugging/plugging/unplugging/replugging...

Spammy Google Home spouts audio ads without warning – now throw yours in the trash


Easily fixed


If fast radio bursts really are revving up interstellar sailcraft, here's the maths


Re: Astrophysicists think

Q: How long is a piece of string?

A: About 500 parsecs.

Stallman's Free Software Foundation says we need a free phone OS


Re: Symbian Please

And Dalvik is an *optional* component - not installed on my Jolla.


Re: Sadly yes

Blender +1; It's actually better than most closed source 3D packages, and makes for a surprisingly capable video editor as well. Cheers Blender!


It already *did* happen; it's called Sailfish OS. And no, you don't need a Jolla handset to install it: https://www.androidpit.com/if-i-left-android-id-go-to-sailfish-os


Sail away

Sailfish OS is very much alive and well - and even provides an Android compatibility layer, for those who still need their spyware. This comment was posted from my Jolla.

The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court




Re: IPA needed to remain competitive

Who said I was being sarcastic? Do you not see the connection between a ruthless judiciary and an obedient, productive, workforce? In this world you either grow or die, and if the British workforce needs a few slaps and a gag to better concentrate on delivering the required growth - so be it! There can be no room for lazy dissent in post Brexit Britain; the onus is now on every citizen to work hard, keep their mouths shut, and prove that we can compete on our own.


There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with tazers will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now prime minister, Theresa May. She promised you order, she promised you peace, and all she demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.


IPA needed to remain competitive

No one seems to appreciate that this is precisely the kind of legislation this country needs in order to remain competitive in the globalised economy. For far too long the UK government has pandered to liberal nonsense like the right to a fair trial, freedom of expression and equality before the law. How do you libtards expect us to be able to compete successfully with China unless our authorities are able to act freely in the best interest of the nation? China, which knows a thing or two about how to handle disruptive dissent, has a 99.9% conviction rate - only if our own legal system can match their efficiency will we stand a chance!

Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China


Re: Sniff sniff

Or as I often say; we will know that world war III has begun when our fighter pilots press the "Start(tm)" button in their cockpit and nothing happens.


Re: So...

I think this is correct. In fact my guess is that any given Android device is likely to have multiple backdoors and leakers, some government sponsored, some built in by Google from the start, some from chip manufacturers, some from ad/spamware app makers, some from criminal networks - possibly something put there by your spouse and/or your boss as well. Then you have the various wire taps on the mobile network, and on the Internet itself. Remember that Huawei make most of the infrastructure hardware used in UK mobile networks (and most of our home network routers as well), and that Huawei ≈ Chinese govt. Remember that our own government runs (not so secret any more) massive bulk data collection and analysis programmes. I think it's safe to assume that every call you make, every text you send, every HTTP request you make, is seen, logged and analysed by multiple parties, some more benign than others. If you think this sounds overly paranoid then you haven't been paying attention.

And as any Cavendish grower will tell you: a big part of the problem is monoculture.

That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done


Splitting the hair

"Already corrected"

True, the Z Machine and NIF are both inertial confinement reactors, but still different designs - one uses laser light pulses (NIF) and the other pulses of electricity (Z Machine) to achieve fusion conditions. They are also both pulsed designs, in that these conditions can only be maintained for very brief periods of time (on the order of a few hundred nanoseconds), whereas Tokamak and Stellarator designs can sustain fusion (at least in theory) for days, weeks or even months at a time. Ultimately though, they are all four the same kind of thing - at least to a topologist looking at it from some distance ;) I mean they all use some aspect(s) of the electromagnetic force to heat up and compress lighter elements in order to fuse them into heavier elements, releasing large amounts of energy in the process. My reason for posting my initial remark, and attempting to make a distinction between the different types of reactors being developed was purely to to point out that the German experiment (W7-X), being a very different beast to EAST, is at least as interesting as the Chinese one, and that the "That's cute, Germany" twist was dishonest and unfair. I freely admit that the exact wording I used was less than clear, and that it is possible to slice the cake in other ways - but the point remains the same; there are basically four different types of fusion reactors being developed, and the Chinese and German machines are not of the same type. The physics may be similar (well, duh), but the engineering challenges, physical nature and operational characteristics of each machine are _enormously_ different. In my quest to find four simple words to describe these differences I settled on electrical, magnetic, laser and inertial. I apologise if this was too simplistic, or even misleading - but they are still different designs and that was the point I was trying to make.

How Wikipedia describes the Z Machine:

"Since its refurbishment in October 1996 it has been used primarily as an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research facility."

And NIF:

"The National Ignition Facility, or NIF, is a large laser-based inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research device"


Re: "super-heated plasma that turns the Earth into another star" - @Lomax

"You're carefully ignoring"

No I'm not, that's the "well, almost". You are correct that the shielding material does become irradiated, and it also needs to be replaced with some frequency - a fact that goes to the heart of how ITER has been designed: a lot of effort has gone into developing a system for replacing the shielding elements with minimal downtime (and risk). I don't know where you read that the shields are made from uranium - AFAIK the ITER design uses stainless steel, lead and lithium as shielding materials (the lithium actually breeds more tritium when exposed to neutron radiation). But while used shielding elements will need to be disposed of safely, the level of radioactivity and amount of material is far lower than in a fusion reactor of comparable size.


Re: "super-heated plasma that turns the Earth into another star"

A "broken" fusion reactor is cold, and has very low levels of radioactivity - certainly compared to a fission reactor at least. The problem with fusion is not that it's a runaway process (like fission) but that it's so damn hard to initiate and maintain. The tiniest fluctuation is enough to cool and/or disperse the plasma beyond the fusible region - any accident, even in the worst possible case, is highly unlikely to cause any significant damage beyond the immediate vicinity. This is one of the main reasons why we're investing all this time and money in trying to perfect them:

1) No radioactive waste (well, nearly)

2) No need to mine/transport/process/store fissible material

3) No risk of runaway processes


Re: I Wonder....

I've played this game I think!

Fusion reactors -> Terraforming -> Extrasolar colonisation -> Dyson Sphere


Re: Tokamak is magnetic confinement too.

You'll always struggle to separate electricity from magnetism, being the two sides of the same coin that they are - but the point about a Tokamak using "electric" confinement has to do with it requiring an electrical current to pass through the plasma itself, in order to generate a sufficiently strong magnetic field. As you can imagine maintaining this current is rather tricky and this is the main short-coming of the Tokamak design and one of the reasons they tend to go out like wet matches in a storm. The Stellarator, while more complicated to build, achieves its confinement solely by means of an external magnetic field and promises a much more stable plasma.


Fair enough - just me being a little grumpy. Perhaps after reading this http://epc.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/151214-FINAL-EPC_CaSE_Research-and-EU-Report_Dec-2015.pdf and realising that we're about to give all that up - because of I forget.


Only, the German reactor is of a different type. There are basically four reactor designs being developed:

1) Electrical confinement "Tokamak" (EAST, ITER)

2) Magnetic confinement "Stellarator" (Germany's W7-X)

3) Laser confinement (Lawrence Livermore's NIF)

4) Inertial confinement (the Z-Machine)

The W7-X is a more complex machine than EAST, and has taken longer to develop, but also promises a steadier plasma than any of the other technologies (the latter two of which are pulsed designs).

Btw - where's the British effort in this area? Thought so.

Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins


Re: Chapeau!


Well but you missed the two operative words here, which are "probably" and "I think" - let's just wait until the ink has dried on his paper to see how that pans out. You are also failing to comprehend the implications of their findings (if demonstrated): that AGW is potentially a much more serious problem than we thought. The real news in the paper is not the lower LW radiation, but the higher SW absorbtion. That CO2 is warming our planet by "trapping" LW radiation is a well established fact, proven multiple times by multiple independent measurements. It is not being contested by anyone, and certainly not by Donohoe et al. What they do show is that thermal equilibrium will only be reached at a higher temperature, as the contribution to warming from SW radiation may be much greater than previously thought.

For the benefit of other readers, who may have a genuine interest in the science, here is a good summary of the Donohoe paper:


And since I know you won't read it RumRunner, seeing as you're terrified of the truth, here are an excerpt from the summary, which pertains specificially to your question:

"When CO2 is first added, it does act as a blanket, trapping long-wave infrared energy coming off the Earth. The atmosphere then emits less of this long-wave radiation to space because the upper atmosphere is cooler than the Earth's surface, just as the top of your blanket is cooler than your body. But the Earth gradually heats up under this blanket, and hotter objects emit more long-wave radiation, so within about a decade the effect of adding the thicker blanket has been canceled by the warmer body emitting more energy.

So what keeps the planet warming after the first decade? In the longer term, the study shows that the Earth begins to absorb more shortwave radiation - the high-energy rays coming directly from the sun. "


Re: Science, bitches?


I cannot help but note that you offer no evidence, and make no claims, which in any way contradicts or disproves the widely accepted AGW theory. This is becase, as you freely admit, none exists - yet you remain convinced it is false. Just who is behaving like a religous nutcase here? Come back when you have some evidence, and we can talk.

You all seem to think that there is some kind of controversy about AGW theory in scientific circles, but that is just plain wrong. There was plenty of resistance 30-40 years ago, yes, but as more and more scientists took part of the growing list of evidence in support of it - and as each subsequent attempt at disproving it failed - they ALL ended up being convinced of its validity. You denialists love bringing up examples of people like Theon, who've seemingly switched sides in the debate, and I cannot deny that there are a few others, but you're totally missing the glaringly obvious counterpoint: at one point 0% of climate scientists accepted the validity of AGW theory - but something about it has managed to, over time, convince 95% of them that it's correct. What do you propose that something could be? If side-switching is some kind of measurement of the veracity of a theory (and I suppose it is), then AGW theory is the clear, runaway, winner. No contest.



"1) Donohoe et al (and the GCMs as it turns out) throw Arrhenius under a bus. He shows temperature changes are due to changes in absorbed solar, rather than changes in LW."

So it would seem, and in a paper so fresh the ink hasn't even dried yet (November 10th, 2014). Thank you for alerting me to it - it is without a doubt an interesting finding, and defnitely something to watch going forward. But as pointed out by Isaac Held, one of the co-authors:

"While this study does not change our understanding of the fundamentals of global warming, it is always useful to have simpler models that help us understand why our more comprehensive climate models sometimes behave in superficially counterintuitive ways"

Effectively, what they are saying is that the earth's potential ability to trap shortwave radiation is far greater than we thought, and that this is an effect which increases with a warmer climate (due to warmer air's increased ability to retain water vapour). If anything, their finding (if demonstrated), should give us more cause for concern, not less. In Donhoe's words:

“I think the default assumption would be to see the outgoing longwave radiation decrease as greenhouse gases rise, but that’s probably not going to happen. We would actually see the absorption of shortwave radiation increase. Will we actually ever see the longwave trapping effects of CO2 in future observations? I think the answer is probably no.”

Or in other words, if you are trying to use the Donohoe paper to somehow disprove AGW theory, then you are misrepresenting the findings in it - wilfully or not.

"2) We should see less LW escaping to space. But we see more 5 Wm^-2 more."

LW radiation will continue to increase until the earth's ability to trap the radiation reaches equilibrium with the incoming radiation. The earth will be warmer, and thus radiate more heat, but it will have stopped warming up. There is nothing surprising about this. If anything, the very precise measurements of the net imbalance performed by NASA's CERES satellites (http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/) clearly shows the second law working exactly as predicted. The god of thermodynamics will no doubt be pleased with this compliance.

"3) How can an increase in radiative gasses - which are the main way our planet can lose heat - NOT result in our planet losing more heat? If We are outputting more energy (as shown by the graph in 2), and receiving more or less constant energy in, the amount if energy in the system must fall."

Because their ability to "trap" the radiation also matters.


Re: Science, bitches?

@Denarius: I found your comparison with Einstein's theory of relativity entertaining. Einstein didn't just have a radical theory, he had a radical theory which was coherent, which fit with observations and which made testable predictions - testable predictions which when tested demonstrated the validity of his theory. That it provided interesting answers to burning questions in particle physics (and indeed in many other fields) was just an added bonus - great science indeed, but it's those other bits that really matter. A scientific theory can be boring as hell (most are!), can lead to all sorts of inconveniences (smoking causes cancer - ouch!) or scare the living daylights out of us (MAD) - none of this would have any bearing on the validity of the theory; emotional arguments have no weight here, you need EVIDENCE. Don't like it? TOUGH! And even then, even when you do have some evidence, you will still face the skepticism of your fellow scientists, who have all sorts of reasons to try and poke holes in your shiny new theory - particularly those scientists who are proponents of other, contradictory, theories. They are not easily convinced of ANYTHING, as demonstrated by the initial opposition to GR. But hey, we all know how it turned out in the end on that one ;)

The bad news for you is that just like GR, AGW theory is also coherent, fits with observations - and makes testable predictions. And unlike GR, AGW theory has faced decades of concerted efforts by all sorts of shady players to kill it dead (Heartland Institute, anyone?) - and yet it moves. Of course, I cannot say it will never be disproven, but I wouldn't recommend holding your breath. In fact, partly because of the fierce, nay positively toxic, opposition to it, it is one of the most well supported theories in modern science, and one of the most heavily researched. Well waddaya know, at least you've contributed SOMETHING! But what else have you got? Ah yes, Theon. Argument from authority, nice.

I have to admit I had never heard of the guy, but I shall refrain from the temptation to dismiss his credentials and try do deal with his claims instead, such as they are. It seems Theon has made essentially two claims that are relevant to this discussion. Firstly, he has complained that Hansen "embarrassed" NASA. In 2008 he suddenly appeared on the denialist bandwagon saying:

“Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress”

I can understand that. I mean Hansen is a pretty outspoken guy, and probably not terribly easy to work with, especially if you prefer your colleagues to only speak when there is complete consensus. Note however that he makes no claims as to the veracity of his science. He's not saying "Hansen embarrassed NASA by publishing incorrect information" but that he did so merely by publishing at all. Well boo-hoo. The second claim Theon makes is that data has been "manipulated":

"...some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy...”

This is a much tougher claim; I mean it seems that Theon is accusing some unnamed scientists of performing some unspecified "manipulation" of some unspecified data, in order for it to match with some unspecified "model results". It is highly unfortunate, seeing as Theon appears to be sitting on evidence of serious scientific malpractice, that he offered NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER to back up this claim. He could have named one of these scientists, he could have pointed out WHICH data it was that was being manipulated - and how - but instead he chooses the much safer route of insinuation and conjecture. Are we supposed to merely accept this based on his say so? Why is he unable to explain himself further? This would all be pretty mystifying if it weren't for the fact that at the time he was on the payroll of, you guessed it, The Heartland Institute - an organisation that is famously generous towards ANY "scientist" who's willing to publicly smear the field of climate science, no matter how thin their evidence might be.

It is also worth noting, that despite John Inhofe's smug claim that Theon was Hansen's "supervisor", this has been denied by Theon himself. May or may not be important. I mean if it ever was significant, in any way whatsoever, that Theon was supposedly Hansen's "boss", then surely the fact that he was NOT is also of some importance, no? He had budgetary influence, yes, but none of the other powers normally associated with bosshood. In fact he retired from NASA in 1994, seven or so years BEFORE this whole debate truly kicked off. It is also worth noting that for whatever reason Theon disappeared from the climate change debate only a year after his sudden appearance, seemingly without a trace. I'm not sure what to make of that, other than that he's clearly not sitting on any evidence that disproves AGW theory. So there. Who else you got? Monckton?

Because, you know, you only need one! :D

No but seriously, no more "authorities", show me the evidence that disproves AGW theory instead. You got some, right?


This is the problem we face with these people - they do not understand the difference between an animated GIF (or a YouTube video, or a Lewis Page article), and a large body of thoroughly researched scientific evidence, built up over decades of painstaking work by thousands of scientists, while remaining 100% in accord with all known natural laws. They do not even begin to understand the basic principles of scientific inquiry (and would likely be bored by it if they tried), yet they are only all too eager to explain the TRUTH to anyone who'll listen. Suddenly everyone seems to have an opinion, the loonier the better, and everyone feels mysteriously entitled to being taken seriously. Is it just me or do these idiots seem to multiply at an alarming rate? Maybe the Russkies put some kind of stupid drops in our water supply? Or is it an invasion of an inferior alien race? Hmm... Maybe it's that "secret satellite" they sent up, beaming stupid beams at our brains?

Nah, it's just the Internet. Fount of wisdom it is not. Good for quotes though:

"The main thing that I learned about conspiracy theory is that conspiracy theorists actually believe in a conspiracy because that is more comforting. The truth of the world is that it is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy or the grey aliens or the 12 foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control. The truth is more frightening, nobody is in control. The world is rudderless."

- Alan Moore


Re: Serious question here

"In all my years reading these comments, the link to which RumRunner pointed us may have been the most blindingly moronic bit of..."

You know having seen the title I never bothered to check the actual image; that CO2 (and some other gases, notably Methane) causes a greenhouse effect has been known since the 19th century - it is a very well established theory. If he could disprove it he'd get to shake hands with the Swedish king, I'm sure. I'm also wary of following random links posted by moronic lunatics on fringe forums, but I did a wget after reading your post: Yay! More comedy! That's just hilarious - I wonder if he made that all by himself :D

This post has been deleted by a moderator


Re: Serious question here

First of all, let me make this perfectly clear: I do not have ANY "causes" beyond my modest professional ambitions and a general desire to live a happy life. I'm not the one with a cause here, any more than a kid poking an ant's nest has a cause. I have no respect whatsoever for your delusional beliefs and "theories", but I am fascinated by the phenomenon. I am, however, firmly convinced that you are entitled to believe whatever you like, and to express those beliefs - just as I am entitled to ridicule you for your stupidity. We call it freedom of speech for short.

As regards climate models, I have to ask, just how do you think these are created anyway? It sounds from what you say as if the only valid models would be ones which could accurately account for every quanta of energy from the birth of the universe onwards. Well let me tell you, since I happen to know a little bit about computing, that's not a very realistic proposition; not only would it be terribly difficult even for a very skilled computerologist with a very big computing machine to make one of those - it would also take an awfully long time to run. You know how the last hour in the workday seems to creep by so slowly? Well that hour is like a drop in the ocean compared to how long it would take to model the entire univerb. So what can we do? Well, we could give up entirely on using computer models for scientific study. Indeed many of you seem to think this is an absolute requirement, in which case please hand back any CAD/CAM produced articles in your possession - they are obviously badly flawed and possibly dangerous. Or, we could limit the scope and precision of our models to more manageable levels, thereby giving us a valuable tool for scientific study without tying up the entire world's supply of computer persons for generations.

But how do you do that? Well, obviously, you have to start with a known state; a set of data about the world in its current state, ideally including historical data. As much data as you can get your filthy scheming scientist hands on! And it goes without saying that to have any hope of making an accurate model you will need accurate data. Now one area where our data hasn't been very accurate is to do with the thickness of the Antarctic ice-sheet (the Arctic ice-sheet is a whole different matter). Those of you who are uncomfortable with the idea of studying anything would of course STOP here, preferring to kick back with a couple of beers instead, pending more accurate data. So how accurate data do we need? When will your required precision be reached? Well, duh, we'll never reach that - why it might mean we would have to admit we were wrong, and we could forget about those beers too! Someone suggested "come back in 1500 years" - and you all like the sound of that!

Meanwhile, those who do take the field seriously, and who do try to make progress, realised that in order to improve their (already very accurate) computer models they need to improve the quality of the data - and guess what; they decided that a more accurate measurement of the thickness of the Antarctic sea-ice would be helpful. That's why the AUV carried the logo of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and not The Heartland Institute. I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but the data from that AUV is going straight into the lying bastard climate scientists' models as soon as they can get their filthy paws on it - where it will be used to doctor up more climate change lies to feed the misled sheeple so that the NEW WORLD ORDER can be established. WAKE UP PEOPLE, you are sleepwalking into slavery under a greenist dictatorship! Help, I'm being repressed by people with degrees! LOL. You people are pathetic. And dishonest. Dishonest, because you all know that a more accurate measurement of Antarctic sea-ice thickness will do absolutely nothing to change the dire predictions of AGW, and that the change to any model's behaviour from this improved precision is as likely to show increased warming as the opposite. If you don't understand this, then you should refrain from claiming to understand the science of climate change.


Re: Serious question here

"Heat rises. Radiation away from earth rises. Balance restored. Problem over."

Yeah, I went to school too, thanks. The obvious problem is that equlibrium will be reached at a higher temperature. You might want to pause and think for a moment here. Why not wrap up in a blanket. Get yourself warm and cosy. Now, how long before you will spontaneously combust?


Re: Serious question here

You are making the entirely false assumption that I am trying to convince others of the validity of the science. I'm flattered that you would think me so altruistic, but in truth I'm just here to laugh at you. If you're unable to digest the readily available science then that's your problem, not mine. But you sure do offer some quality entertainment! :D


Re: Science, bitches?

Oooh, it can speak! Shame you forgot to include anything of value - or even anything accurate. The historical warm periods, just like the current one, all have their explanations - it's the extreme excursions in the opposite direction which are more difficult to explain (i.e. ice ages). And guess what, most of these historical warm periods have been linked to increased levels of atmospheric CO2 - clear evidence of the greenhouse effect in action. The main differences with the current warm period are:

1) the rapidity of the increase in CO2

2) the level of the increase in CO2

3) the source of the increase in CO2

We have not seen CO2 concentrations of today's levels for at least 100,000 years. I notice that you conveniently throw out any climate data that hasn't been actively studied over a period of at least 1500 years - how fortunate you do not hold any position of influence in the field, or scientific progress would grind to a complete halt while we wait for your data to accumulate. And what do Russian meteorologists have to do with any of this? You do realise that there is a significant difference between the fields of climatology and meteorology, right? Or did you assume that just about any -ologist would do? Why not ask your urologist then - after all it's pissing down here!

Panic? What makes you think I am panicking? Jesus, I hardly ever even think about global warming, I really don't care what happens one way or the other. For one thing I'm likely to be dead long before things get truly nasty, and more importantly I don't believe there is a chance in hell that any of the science is going to change our direction one iota. We're just too damn stupid, greedy and scared to even want to consider anything but business as usual. I'd even go as far as saying that a bit of a climate disaster will probably be good for us, nothing like a good old fashioned biblical flood to teach us all a lesson, eh?

The point here is that there is no link between AGW and our willingness to mitigate it (or not). Our inability to deal with the facts doesn't change the facts, and it does precisely nothing to disprove them. Only children have yet to realise this.

So no, I'm not particularly fussed - what really gets to me are uneducated jerks like yourself spreading half-truths and lies with the expressed objective of derailing our attempts at figuring out how our world works. I'm not here to try and convince you - I know there's no chance of that - I'm just buzzing by to see what the tinfoilhats are up to on El Reg. Same old tricks I see, and some light comic relief for me. You remind me of the Catholic Church trying to suppress the heliocentric model of the solar system. Good luck to you.


Re: The missing link...

No one has denied that the earth's climate has gone through dramatic changes in the past - in fact many of the same scientists who proved this to be the case have also been involved in research which proves the link between atmospheric CO2 and temperature. This link being proven, with human activity proven to be the major contributor to the recent rise in CO2 levels, and global average temperatures proven to be rising, you really ought to be asking yourself how bright YOU are. Insufficient data for you perhaps, not so for the vast majority of scientists working in the field.


Re: Serious question here

How "serious" you are is abundantly clear from your use of the term "warmists" to describe those who accept peer-reviewed evidence based science as the best method for figuring out how something works. As for your question, it is a well known pseudo argument amongst "denialists", similar in many ways to the discredited "heat island" explanation for the rise in temperature. The reality is that the atmosphere is a very well mixed medium and locally produced CO2 quickly spreads to produce a very even level of concentration globally. This is easily illustrated by comparing the data from one measuring station to the global average; they are the same to within a few ppm or so. Oh but wait, lookey-here, I'll be darned if someone's not already gone and done it:


It's those pesky scientists over at NOAA again, pissing all over your "theory" with their nasty facts.

MeeGo and the Great Betrayal Myths of tech history


I don't mind...

...if MeeGo remains an enthusiasts platform

...if Nokia (or other handset mfgs) only release new MeeGo devices very slowly

...if the population in general remiains wholly unimpressed by MeeGo

...if my phone doesn't have the latest 2GHz quad core CPU and 64Gb RAM

...if MeeGo attracts precious few deveopers and doesn't have an "app store"

...if Orlowski thinks that might makes right

I do mind...

...if the only choices availble to us come from one of the big three

...if we end up with a similar death of mobile OS options that we've seen on the desktop

...if I can no longer use a handset the ways I use my N900 - i.e. like my other computers

...if there is no viable OSS player in the mobile ecosystem

...if I'm actively being prevented from "getting under the hood" of a device I own

...if the default settings mean my phone is constantly leaking personal data to the Borg


1) Because I think a diverse ecosystem is stronger and offers more potential for evolution to come into play.

2) Because MeeGo is actually a really nice OS; fast, flexible and unintrusive.

3) Because you don't really need all that many devs when you have access to the entire Linux universe of software.

4) Because the N900 has become an invaluable productivity tool for me.

5) Because we have the right to expect privacy by default.

Finally, congrats to Nokia for launching what looks like an awesome device, very well placed design and feature wise. I'm sure it will get a much more favourable reception once in the hands of reviewers. I had hoped the N950 would also be made available to purchase but at least we now get a chance to see the baby that was flushed out with the bathwater.

Radioactive Tokyo tapwater HARMS BABIES ... if drunk for a year


Splitting the hair

And for your information, it would appear that the five year survival rate for thyroid cancer today is 96.6% - though what it was in Russia at the time I do not know. You also say nothing about the total number of deaths attributed to the Chernobyl accident - which most sources (including the UN) seem to agree is somewhere around 4000 - though a 2006 Greenpeace study puts this number as high as 93,000.


No no no

I am pro nuclear (yes, really) but it is clear that TEPCO and the Japanese regulators have not done what they are supposed to. The Japanese nuclear industry has a long a shocking history of errors, negligence and down-right criminal activities - and I fear this may be the case in many other places. When nuclear energy goes wrong it goes so very very wrong, unlike other types of energy production. You may say we're silly for thinking that this is a problem, that is your prerogative (you'd probably say something macho about omelettes and eggs), but I believe nuclear power, like any other potentially dangerous industry, can be made safe if the people involved act responsibly and don't just stare at the bottom line. The clean up cost of Fukushima is going to cost a small fortune - and this to a country which has already suffered so much. And who's paying for this? Why the Japanese tax payer of course!


And the casualty number?

Pray do tell, how many people got ill and how many died as a consequence of Chernobyl? Have you read these studies? For example, 4000 cases of thyroid cancer in children under 16 - with a 95% five year survival rate. To you this might be trivial, a mere speck on the shiny surface of our technological triumphs - to the rest of us even a single case of cancer is a tragedy, doubly so when caused by nothing more than greed and negligence.


Meanwhile, in the real world

NewScientist are reporting that caesium and iodine leaks from Fukushima are approaching the scale of Chernobyl.

"Austrian researchers have used a worldwide network of radiation detectors – designed to spot clandestine nuclear bomb tests – to show that iodine-131 is being released at daily levels 73 per cent of those seen after the 1986 disaster. The daily amount of caesium-137 released from Fukushima Daiichi is around 60 per cent of the amount released from Chernobyl."

"The Chernobyl accident emitted much more radioactivity and a wider diversity of radioactive elements than Fukushima Daiichi has so far, but it was iodine and caesium that caused most of the health risk – especially outside the immediate area of the Chernobyl plant, says Malcolm Crick, secretary of a United Nations body that has just reviewed the health effects of Chernobyl."

Yes, the situation is still less severe than Chernobyl, mainly thanks to the lack of combustible material in the cores, but this remains a very serious nuclear incident with wide ranging consequences. Many questions remain about TEPCO's handling of the crisis and we still have no resolution in sight. Lewis' cynical obstinance in the face of reality is embarrassing to The Register and I hope his fingers will be duly slapped.

Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good



Get your facts straight before you attempt to patronise me with your limited knowledge. The problem here is not so much the cores themselves as the spent fuel pools. There are currently about 1500 fuel rod assemblies in the cores of reactors 1,2 and 3 together - but there are more than 11,000 fuel rod assemblies in the storage pools. In addition to the six pools inside the reactor buildings, there is a large storage pool elsewhere on the site. The fuel has been re-stacked by TEPCO in order to fit more fuel in the pools. This implies the use of boron separators and/or boronic acid in the cooling water, particularly in the densely packed pool of reactor building #4 - which in addition to large quantities of older fuel contains 500 assemblies which were only recently removed from the core (and which are more active than the older spent fuel).

Now, Japan has run out of supplies of boronic acid and are awaiting shipments from abroad. And if, as seems to be the case, some pools have been completely drained, the boron sheeting will have been destroyed. Because of this dumping sea water is not likely to be effective in shutting down activity, in fact, since water acts as a neutron moderator, it could well have the opposite effect. At the very least, if the fuel has been damaged by heat, dropping water will release steam containing radioactive material from the fuel rods. It is a desperate last ditch attempt and little else. The fuel would need to be moved but the location of the pools (they are on the top level of the buildings) and the damage to the manipulating equipment (i.e. it is completely gone) makes this next to impossible.

According to Tokyo Electric, 32 of the 514 fuel rod assemblies in the storage pond at reactor No. 3 contain MOX fuel. MOX fuel, especially after being used, also contains large quantities of Pu-240 as well as Pu-239.



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