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@KenG , just one question - of the "thousands of scientists" who now believe in AGW, how many of them have a working model that can predict actual climate change results even 10 years out? What were their track records in the past? How many of them circa ~2000 AD were predicting the data we have now showing that temperature increases have flatlined since 1997? How many of them were part of the "consensus" in the 1970s that we were heading for another Ice Age?
The reason I ask this is that the AGW Agenda supporters are asking the world's economies to bear very substantial cost burdens to reduce CO2. Huge, huge money. If we don't have a model that predicts how this investment will pay off, how can we know the ROI? Blind faith?
AGW predictions have a very bad track record, and much of that bad track record is actually the result of fraud - see the IPCC report on the Himalayan glaciers, or the report on the polar bears. Since most of the population of the Earth (99.9999% or so) doesn't have the climate science expertise to really judge AGW for themselves (including me and probably you), you have to rely on trust. Right now there isn't any. That trust must be restored with sound predictions and impeccable ethics, and it won't happen overnight.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on What Silicon Valley Can Do To Save Us All
@In_themiddle That's a very good point.
Another way of discussing the issue is, "Okay, if AGW is happening - what are policy response choices and how much do each of them cost?"
For instance, we know there are benefits to GW too. If Canada and Russia could grow an extra season's worth of wheat, that might more than offset any losses in India or Brazil. Maybe we do the math and say "Let it happen". Or maybe we look at the cost of reducing CO2 and realize it's cheaper to just adjust to a slightly higher sea level. Who knows?
These sorts of reasonable discussions are what need to happen. Not lectures and demands like "The science is settled!! Not shut up and do as I say!!". Sorry Al, it doesn't work like that.
@Todd Dunning Here, here!
The Global Warming Agenda has four parts-
1. Warming is happening.
2. Warming is bad.
3. Humans are causing it.
4. The best solution is to cripple our economies with energy shortages and giving billions of dollars to global carbon tax collectors, or whatever the latest scheme is.
Of the above four parts, only #1 is certain. #2 and #3 are speculative. #4 is clearly madness.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on What Silicon Valley Can Do To Save Us All
This sort of sensationalist, math-illiterate alarmism is why so few people take environmentalists seriously. Get your brain in order before writing anything further.
First of all, the most recent research suggests that warming is occurring at a rate of 0.15 C per decade. If 2 C is really the trigger level (which I'm not sure it is - we've had warm spells in the past, like the Medieval Warm Period, that we actually beneficial to human civilization), then we have over a century before we reach it.
Secondly, anyone who thinks opposing the Keystone Pipeline accomplishes anything positive is full-blown retarded. That Canadian oil is getting dug up and burned regardless; Keystone simply allowed the USA to burn the oil. Without Keystone, they'll build a different pipeline and sell it to China.
Here's what Silicon Valley (and Greens generally) can do to help with the environment:
1. Support fracking. Build new technology to make it cheaper and safer. Natural gas puts 4x less CO2 in the atmosphere per unit of energy compared to coal, and the USA has seen a steep reduction in CO2 production since fracking became economical. It is the only technology being widely deployed today that achieves this. Thanks to fracking, the USA is the only industrial nation on track to meet its Kyoto targets (even though it didn't sign Kyoto).
2. Support nuclear. Build new technology to make it cheaper and safer. Thorium power is a good choice. Nuclear power is the only source of power which is zero-carbon and has the technical ability to replace hydrocarbons.
3. Give up on solar and wind in the near term. They're nice ideas, but they're still in the R&D stage as far as "replacing coal" goes. Solar and wind are extremely expensive to produce the power, and there's no ability to match generation with demand, so you need grid-scale, cheap energy storage too. We have neither. We need to keep plugging away at basic research for a while before this is realistic.
4. Buy the Tesla Model S. The faster the auto market moves to all-EV, the easier our transition will be. Send a strong market signal to Ford, GM, Toyota, et. al. to move to all-EV as quickly as possible.
5. Lobby for better building codes. 1/3 of all power in the USA goes to heating and AC of real estate (homes, offices, retail). Better insulation could eliminate a large chunk of this.
The information asymmetry that Google/Facebook/Twitter has over us though is driven by its business model - advertising. We have to agree to give up all this information about ourselves as long as we want a free product. We don't have to go down that path. A cash-on-the-barrel relationship with our service providers (like an IP utility, or Google Apps or a VPN, or .. the electric company) would mean that gathering information beyond basic billing necessities would be unnecessary.
The Skynet analogy is a poor one though. Skynet was an AI. Data is just data until someone looks at it.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Internet 3: Rise of The Machines
The main platform I'm waiting for the rebellion against is iOS. How is it that MSFT merely bundling IE with their OS (but still allowing others to be installed) is an antitrust violation, but Apple forbidding any App Store, Browser or Dialer other than their own is Okay? How is it okay that Apple can choose your default programs?
I want to be able to install my own choice of Broswer, Dialer and App Store, and make them the default if I choose. Why can't I do that? Is this my phone, or Apple's?
And yes, I can jailbreak it, but why do I have to fight Apple (and potentially brick my hardware) just to get some choices? And it's not like any real corporation (like Google) would ever develop an App for Cydia.
This is very easily solved. Apple just has to be required to allow "App Store" as an App category, and Google Play and Amazon App Store (or even Cydia) can be installed under warranty. And a Settings tab for default programs. Done.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Is the Great Platform Backlash Coming?
Everything is going according to plan. The entire point of zoning laws and new development restrictions is to drive up home prices and rents - transferring wealth from the young and hopeful to the established home-owners and landlords; and the plan is working beautifully. How liberal. How progressive. Screw the little guys and the new college grads trying to find a job and a place to stay. Let's drive up rent 17%!
//this is what happens when demand goes up inelastically and supply cannot follow because of legal roadblocks. simple economics//
10 months, 4 weeks ago on Record Venture Capital and IPOs Push SF Rents Up a Whopping 23%
@Futur1st Are users actually getting more tech savvy? I have my doubts. I think tech is just getting easier to use. I still hear people say things like "Do you have the Internet installed on this PC?"
11 months, 1 week ago on RIP In-Home Tech Support, Long Live Apple
I think the best part about this software will be when it offers consulting services like "We have identified the following factors that you can fix for $500,000 that should reduce crime by 23.78% in this neighborhood. You need a fence 'here', two cameras 'here', a beat cop there, and a community outreach program." Eventually this will allow politicians to make better choices about how public money is spent on crime prevention.
That which is measured is improved.
I'm looking forward to the political debates in State capitols too. "Why spend $50 million on a new prison when we can reduce the number of criminals by 10% for only $1 million? And here are the numbers that back up that statement". etc.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on PredPol Brings Big Data to Law Enforcement with $1.3 Million Round
@RichardDonaldJones - what a perfect example of seeing the present and having no ability to predict the future.
Why in God's name is anyone going to take out $150k in loans when they can get the same education for $50? For most people those loans are one-way ticket to living on Ramen in their parents basement into their late 20s or even 30s.
Obviously you're referring to the value of the credential, but there are several examples of new credentials having value. MSCE means something in tech, and in finance so does the CFA. A Udacity or Khan Academy credential is probably less than 10 years away from being "good enough" to get many decent jobs (and it's the job people really want, not the degree from a particular school).
But I wasn't referring to Harvard, Oxford and Yale anyway. Those schools will probably always be around. But the majority of schools aren't Harvard. Once Udacity can get you a job you'd have to be a complete retard to pay full price for Local Lib Arts College, or even State U in the age of budget cuts.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Macmillan Knows Publishing Is Doomed, So It’s Funding the Future
This is fascinating, but I don't expect it to work. Macmillan still thinks in an institutional way, and the educational institutions themselves are under threat. Firms like Udacity and Khan Academy are going to turn education on its ear, and it's not not even clear to me that the majority of today's colleges and Universities will still exist in 10 years. If a firm like Udacity can offer Stanford-level college and graduate credits for $5/course (it costs Udacity only $1/student/course), what's the point of going to Mom's alma mater for $50,000/year?
Primary schools are going to continue to exist if for no other reason than someone has to be watching little Billy while his parents are at work. Young kids need coaching. No one over the age of 18 should need that kind of supervision though. College? The only business model I see for colleges is providing lab space and practice theaters so that any education that requires physical practice (from surgery to chemistry to plumbing) has a place to do that (and more and more of that will go virtual over time too, with combined VR tools like the Leap Motion Controller and Google Glass).
Hence Google Glass. I don't know if Glass will be a market disruption like the iPhone and iPad were, but Google's Android tablets aren't going to do it - they're just a holding pattern to make sure iPad has something less than 100% market share until "the next big thing" comes out.
12 months ago on You Don’t Kill Incumbents, You Leapfrog Them or You Lose
@maxwellelliot Er, I believe you mean that Microsoft saw the Android/ChromeOS and iOS/OS X integration that has already existed for several years, and saw the writing on the wall.
@PatrickR No argument there.
12 months ago on Invest in Bankrupt Europe? Sure! Clean Tech? Oh, Hell No.
This is hardly surprising.
Even in "bankrupt Europe"; heck, even in "zero growth Europe", a new entrant could displace existing firms. But in "bankrupt Europe" there is no money for subsidies required to product positive returns.
The whole idea of "green" investing is so much dog poo. You either invest for positive returns or you go out of business. To the extent that a company is able to deliver positive returns by increasing efficiency, that's just regular investing.
1 year ago on Invest in Bankrupt Europe? Sure! Clean Tech? Oh, Hell No.
@trevoragilbert I don't disagree with that. I guess my only thought was that your conclusion, instead of being 'No', could (in theory) be 'Not yet'. There's room for speculation and watching the trends. Generally speaking, the most widely adopted platform wins, so if everyone can run HTML5 Apps just like local Apps, why would developers build local Apps?
(Which, by the way, is why I expect Apple will never implement a "full" HTML5 spec until the DOJ "Microsofts" their butt and forces them to allow competing browsers (or even App Stores))
Anyway, I agree that as of today there's not many use cases for Chrome OS over its competitors.
1 year ago on If You’re Going Google, Don’t Go All the Way
The #1 problem with Chrome OS may simply be that it's 2012 and not 2016. One day HTML5 apps may actually do everything you need, but that day simply hasn't arrived. Once that day arrives, the security, simplicity and "one login" nature of Chrome OS may win out against the bloated and insecure feature sets of OS X and Windows 9.
Chrome OS has several problems, but personally I think the #1 problem it has is that every single piece of software that runs on it other than the browser itself is a service, and not a product. Running software in the cloud is cool, but what happens when the service decides to shut down, or stop offering a feature that's mission critical to your life or business?
If Intuit went of business tomorrow, my copy of QuickBooks would keep working as long as I needed it to. Years, maybe. I should probably upgrade eventually to software that's still being supported, but I could do that on my schedule - and not simply show up to work one day and get a 404 where all my finances should be.
Or, holy crap, Dropbox gets its servers impounded like MegaUpload and all my business documents (legal contracts, memos, instructions on how to run a process, - all of it) are gone.
I think there's a future in private clouds that run web-scale software that's been purchased to run separately from the software developer's servers. Local Gmail. Then you can control version upgrades, and if the developer gets acqu-hired by Facebook, your version of it keeps running for as long as you need it to. But that ecosystem isn't mature enough to make Chrome OS a rational choice today.
1 year ago on Going Google: Is Chrome OS a Viable Product?
Preach it. I hated the Android phones I've used for several reasons, and love by iPhone 4S, but it kills me that all of my key online services are Google's, but Google and Apple just can't play nice together. Why is my dialer, browser and email client locked into the Apple versions? Why are Google's iOS apps so useless?
And Google's support for Mobile Safari is simply inexcusable. Most of their sites are just broken. Try using Google Voice, or Contacts. Or even Gmail - I can't access Filters or Options??
1 year ago on Going Google: Can’t We All Just Get Along?
If Passbook simply allows me to cut the SIZE of my wallet in half, that would be awesome. Really I only need (day to day), my driver's license, one credit card, and some cash. And my health insurance card too, I guess, for emergencies. All the rest is just much baggage I use 1/month, at most.
Payments would cut that down to just a driver's license and health insurance. Say ... I should check to see if Aetna has an App ...
1 year ago on Apple’s Passbook Already Has Your Credit Card, and the Rest of the Wallet Will Follow