Smoking cigars and saving the world one tweet at a time. Also a libertarian and skeptical SOB. #reds #whodeynation
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Windows 95 turns 20, and Ars reminisces on a simpler age long gone

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For Christmas of 1994, my family bought a brand new Gateway P5-66 tower. It came equipped with a first generation Pentium processor running at 67MHz (with a now ludicrously large 800 nanometer process size, a startlingly low 16W max TDP, and, yes, the FDIV bug), 8 megabytes of EDO RAM, and a 512MB hard disk drive. It was also the first computer we’d ever had without a 5.25" floppy disk drive—meaning that I had to spend a whole day with our now-obsoleted dual-disked 386DX/25, 385DX/25, copying all my files on 5.25" disk to 3.5".

It also came preloaded with Windows 3.1, but even then there were whisperings about Microsoft’s upcoming "Chicago" operating system, which didn’t yet have a formal release name. I’d read the articles in PC Magazine and other contemporary rags. I wasn’t yet cruising the Internet—in fact, I had only a vague conception of what the term "information superhighway" meant—but if I had, I could have read the Chicago speculation there on USENET and maybe even a few primitive, barely functional World Wide Web sites. But on that Christmas day of 1994 as I stared at the Gateway 2000 desktop wallpaper and watched the music videos included on the Gateway 2000 system CD, I felt like I was living the multimedia dream.

Of course, Windows 3.1 was Windows 3.1, with all its weirdness and foibles, and my multimedia dream wasn’t terribly grand even by the standards of the day. I still spent almost all of my time in DOS, since that’s where most of my games and applications ran (including Telemate, my preferred BBS term program). But even as I stuck with the DOS command line I’d grown up with, those whisperings of "Chicago" grew louder and louder. Soon, it was said, Microsoft will release the operating system to end all operating systems. Soon, we’d leave all this text mode stuff behind, ditching our config.sys and autoexec.bat files for good and living full-time in a modern graphical shell. Trumpet Winsock and manual IRQ assignments for hardware and environment variables and careful low memory management will be a thing of the past. Chicago would save us all—not just the crazy-rich (or plain crazy) who could afford to switch to OS/2, but all of us.

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bakes
3215 days ago
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I feel old....
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UK councillor wants armed drones to kill seagulls

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shutterstock_296098994
Drones are being used for almost everything now — from monitoring property to delivering packages — but according to the BBC one UK councillor wants to use them for a new purpose: killing off seagulls. After a boy in Whitehaven, UK, had his ice-cream stolen by seagulls, town councillor Graham Roberts plans to propose the use of drones to cut back on the bird population. Apparently the birds “could deter tourists going to the town” though seagulls seem like a fact of life that we all put up with when near the coast. The idea is that drones could spray…

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bakes
3225 days ago
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I would watch a TV show based on this
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The New Devil's Dictionary

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From The Verge, The New Devil's Dictionary, a new economy take on Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary.

lifehack (v.): To embarrass your ancestors by bragging about an "ingenious" solution to a trivial problem.

operating system (n.): A set of instructions designed to make a particular machine incompatible with other machines.

See also Greg Knauss' The Devil's Dictionary 2.0 from many years ago.

blogosphere, noun. An poisonous environment of methane, self-satisfaction and other hot gasses.

podcast, verb. The audible form of "blog," in much the same way that a series of unhappy grunts and splashes is the audible form of "stomach flu."

Tags: Ambrose Bierce books Greg KnaussThe Devil's Dictionary books
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bakes
3230 days ago
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These are fantastic
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acdha
3228 days ago
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“censor (v.): To violently suppress creative works by talking about them on the internet.”
Washington, DC

95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong « Roy Spencer, PhD

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Comments: "95% of Climate Models Agree: The Observations Must be Wrong « Roy Spencer, PhD" climate models agree: the observations must be wrong"

URL: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/


I’m seeing a lot of wrangling over the recent (15+ year) pause in global average warming…when did it start, is it a full pause, shouldn’t we be taking the longer view, etc.

These are all interesting exercises, but they miss the most important point: the climate models that governments base policy decisions on have failed miserably.

I’ve updated our comparison of 90 climate models versus observations for global average surface temperatures through 2013, and we still see that >95% of the models have over-forecast the warming trend since 1979, whether we use their own surface temperature dataset (HadCRUT4), or our satellite dataset of lower tropospheric temperatures (UAH):

Whether humans are the cause of 100% of the observed warming or not, the conclusion is that global warming isn’t as bad as was predicted. That should have major policy implications…assuming policy is still informed by facts more than emotions and political aspirations.

And if humans are the cause of only, say, 50% of the warming (e.g. our published paper), then there is even less reason to force expensive and prosperity-destroying energy policies down our throats.

I am growing weary of the variety of emotional, misleading, and policy-useless statements like “most warming since the 1950s is human caused” or “97% of climate scientists agree humans are contributing to warming”, neither of which leads to the conclusion we need to substantially increase energy prices and freeze and starve more poor people to death for the greater good.

Yet, that is the direction we are heading.

And even if the extra energy is being stored in the deep ocean (if you have faith in long-term measured warming trends of thousandths or hundredths of a degree), I say “great!”. Because that extra heat is in the form of a tiny temperature change spread throughout an unimaginably large heat sink, which can never have an appreciable effect on future surface climate.

If the deep ocean ends up averaging 4.1 deg. C, rather than 4.0 deg. C, it won’t really matter.

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bakes
3230 days ago
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How Tweetbot led me to a favorite new font and ruined all the other apps I use

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TweetbotFontTNW
Whether we readily admit it or not, we’re sensitive to fonts. It’s why Apple created its own San Francisco font for the Apple Watch, which is now rolling out to all of its platforms. That’s also why I changed the appearance of a favorite app, and stumbled onto a new favorite font. It happened by accident, honestly. I wasn’t looking to change the font, only to see what the app had to offer beyond force-feeding me my social feed. That app, Tweetbot, found its way to my iPhone as its refreshed desktop companion rolled out. I’d been looking for a…

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bakes
3230 days ago
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Fonts.
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Don't Spy on Me flag

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bakes
3989 days ago
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Must Purchase
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4 public comments
freeAgent
3987 days ago
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Nice.
Los Angeles, CA
irunfrombears
3989 days ago
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Wishlist
DC
gienahghurab
3989 days ago
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Love it.
Romanikque
3989 days ago
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Must have this
Baltimore, MD
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