Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindlers

This is an interesting documentary. What is of particular importance is the content between 19:39 and 21:57. Watch that part before reading on.

Quotes of particular interest:

Ian Clark ("arctic paleoclimatologist"):

"We use isotopes to reconstruct temperature, but the atmosphere that's imprisoned in that ice, we liberate and then we look at the CO2 content."

Martin Durkin (director):

"Professor Clark and others have indeed discovered, as Al Gore says, a link between carbon dioxide and temperature. But what Al gore doesn't say is that the link is the wrong way 'round."

"Temperature is leading CO2 by 800 years."

"There have now been several major ice core surveys. Every one of them shows the same thing. The temperature rises or falls, and then, after a few hundred years, carbon dioxide follows."

Professor Tim Ball (retired):

"The most fundamental assumption of the whole theory of climate change, due to humans, is shown to be wrong."

To make the point crystal clear, here is a chart:

Is this really true? Many so-called scientists are jumping on this bandwagon. In fact, this has become the central issue in what's left of the global warming "debate".

If there's one thing I've learned about paid hacks and quack scientists, it is this: their claims are shrouded in a veil of ostensible validity, but once you look past it, they are easy to disprove. They're like magicians, once you figure out their trick, you see them for what they are: people with utter contempt for science. They scour through data like hungry lawyers, looking for little loopholes they can use to bury the public in a cloud of FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt). FUD is always the name of the game.

So is there a trick here? Have they found a loophole? The answer to both question is... Yes!

I'm going to analyze the data from the Vostok Ice Cores. Take a look at the raw data file.

Here is a snapshot of the beginning of the file:

Do not be afraid of numbers! Only quacks and hacks need to fear the data! It's not that complicated at all, at least not yet. There are 3 columns. The first is the depth of the ice. The second is the age of the ice, calculated by the concentration of various hydrogen isotopes. The 3rd column is the age of the CO2 that is "trapped" inside this ice. Notice that there is NO DATA in the third column! Not until they get about 100 meters down. Eh? Why is that? Apparently the people in that documentary never stopped to think about it.

So why is the age of the CO2 lagging behind the age of the ice that contains the CO2?? Why is the CO2 inside the ice so much "younger" than the ice itself?? It's simple really: Ice is permeable to CO2.

Keep in mind that they say the CO2 data lags behind the temperature data, and this proves that the changes in CO2 concentrations are a result of the changes in temperature. This is very important!

The reason the CO2 data lags behind the temperature data is because the CO2 permeated into the ice, down to a depth of 100 meters or more. This can easily be proven for those that don't believe it is possible. Just make yourself a huge block of ice with a hollow center, fill it up with compressed CO2, seal it off, and see how long the pressure lasts! It wont last a day, let alone a thousand years. Gases bleed right through ice like water through a filter, even under normal atmospheric pressure. Whether it is a tiny ice cube or a 100 meter thick chunk of ice, the same basic rule applies. This is basic science here. No quackery. It is easily proven. But what does it mean for the ice core data?

Back to the ice core data. Lets look at the data from 10000 years ago:

At a depth of 239 meters, you have ice that is measured to be 10027 years old. But the CO2 trapped inside the ice at that depth was measured to be only 6714 years old. It is extremely important to note that none of this data is being disputed. Both sides are taking the same exact data and merely interpreting it differently.

Here is where it gets a bit more complicated.

You have two more sets of data.

1. The CO2 data

2. The temperature data

Ok, so you've got all this data. This is the data that is used to make the charts like the one shown above and also the one in An Inconvenient Truth. Again none of this data is in dispute. The dispute lies in how they line this data up. Here's how they do it.

They take the temperature that was calculated at a given depth, and they take the CO2 concentration that was calculated at that same depth. This has to be done because you cannot plot a multi series graph unless you line both data series up against some common reference point on the X axis. (This is a basic rule in making charts.) It is only logical that depth, and hence age, be the X axis. But that brings us right back to this:

Any chart we plot has to take into account the fact that the air at any given age is going to be buried about 60 meters deeper into the ice. The data clearly shows that at 239 meters, the ice is 10000 years old yet the CO2 at that depth is only 6700 years old. So when you plot a multiseries graph, such as that shown above (temperature and CO2 vs time), you have to be very careful how you align the data. If you take the temperature from ice that is 10027 years old, and align that with the CO2 concentration as measured from air that is 10027 years old, you're naturally going to find that the CO2 levels are lagging behind. Why? Because the 10000 year old CO2 is trapped within ice that is 13000 years old!!! And at 13000 years old, the temperature levels would have been different, leading to misleading data. This is what has happened.

So to compensate for this, you have to slide the CO2 graph approximately 3000 years to the left so that it properly aligns with the temperature graph. Otherwise any conclusions are going to be invalid. And we wouldn't want that! Some quack might end up thinking that CO2 lags behind temperature!

Just remember this:

That is a negative offset. That negative offset has to be added to the CO2 graph, in order for the two graphs to line up properly in the chart. In other words, the guys in that documentary are commiting scientific fraud. They are taking ice that is age X, and comparing it with CO2 that is also age X, but that age X CO2 is trapped within ice that is age X+3000. So really they are taking CO2 data that is 3000+ years older as compared to the temperature data, and then they are using that fraudulent data to claim that CO2 lags behind temperature!

Hoaxes like this only work because they think this stuff goes over people's heads. Don't let that happen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Spirit of the Constitution

The 22nd amendment:

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

What gives? Is this a rant against the possibility of another 4 years of King George? lol no. That aint gonna happen. Or is it? See, technically, we're in the 11th year of George Bush. Sure, there's 8 years of Clinton inbetween the two, but does that really matter? And it is very possible that we're looking at another 8 years of a Clinton! To summarize:

Clinton (possible/probable)
Clinton (possible/probable)
Bush (Jeb) (possible/probable)

omg just what the HELL is going on here?

Now the 22nd amendment was not designed to prevent this exact scenario, but isn't it true that the 22nd amendment was designed to prevent something very much like this from occuring?

I'm not pushing for a new amendment, but I do think we need to consider interpreting the constitution a wee bit less literally, and start looking more at the spirit of the document. The intention. If you believe that term limits are a good thing, then you should also be against what is going on here with this Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton nonsense.

It's a foregone conclusion that the republicans are gonna pick some yammering sack of jelly (with a hard candy shell) to be their candidate, which means that Hillary would end up being the lesser of two evils if she wins the nomination. So if you really believe in the spirit of term limits, then the real battle is going to be fought in the democratic primaries.

Monday, March 19, 2007

PS3: The Blu-Ray of Hope?

I've been watching this Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD silliness for over a year now. I'm kind of surprised that I haven't blogged about this until now. Especially considering that many of the predictions I made have come true. I knew the Wii was going to be popular, because for years I've seen the potential of a motion sensitive interface vs the boring old gamepad. That seems like a no brainer. What is surprising me is how poorly the PS3 is doing. It has been selling less than 5000 units a day for the last month. I figured it would do better, but in truth I am glad it is not.

The reason is obvious. It's the outrageous price tag. And what is the cause of that? It's simple really. Sony tried forcing Blu-Ray down everyone's throats. This added way too much to the cost of the console. And it was totally unnecessary. They had no reason to do it. It was just a smack in the face to gamers. I can go down the list of reasons why they claim DVD is not good enough. Rest assured, all the reasoning is completely bunk. The primary reason is the capacity issue. That is reason numero uno, and it is also a big fat lie. 9 GB is plenty of space. It will be at least 3 more years before developers start running into serious problems with such limited capacity. One of the biggest games ever made is Vanguard, for the PC. Once installed it uses up well over 20 gigs of hard drive space! Yet it is shipped on a single DVD. Amazing huh? And remember, the Final Fantasy series on the original playstation always spanned multiple discs, yet that certainly didnt stop the game from selling. Not by a longshot. So don't believe the lies about the need for more capacity. Also, additional content can be streamed via the internet if it comes down to that. Stuff like fmv cutscenes, which games dont really need. I mean, why else would the PS3 have wifi and a hard drive if not to store additional downloaded content? shrug

Remember, the PS3 was originally set to launch at around the same time as the XBox 360. The greed of Sony is what pushed it back. They wanted Blu-Ray, and they wanted it so badly that they even allowed Microsuck to gain a 5 million unit advantage. Talk about stupid! But does Sony care? Hell no. Because they got what they wanted: For Blu-Ray to get its day in the sun.

Here is where it gets complicated. It's actually very simple, it's just that few people have actually bothered to explain what's really going on here. That's where I come in! heh. It's time to talk about the ugly truth. You see, Sony has never really cared about gamers. They view gamers with a sort of cynical contempt. They took 10 years to build up the Playstation brand name. They did a pretty good job too, I must admit. I always preferred them compared to microsoft. Believe me, the last thing I want is to see the ol Vole monopolize the video game market! If that happens you can kiss all innovation goodbye! But as it turns out, Sony is actually being the bigger of the two turds. To understand what's really going on, it helps to know their business plan for the PS3. What they wanted to do with it is use it to leverage their precious Blu-Ray against HD-DVD. They are determined not to repeat the Betamax debacle. They approached all the movie studios and said, look this thing is gonna sell like hotcakes. Look at how many PS2's are out there! Well, in a few years there's gonna be that many PS3's, and they all got Blu-Ray! So it would be foolish to support HD-DVD. And most of the big movie studios bought the bull.

To be clear, both high definition video formats are a joke and a scam. How do I know this? Because right as I type this, there sits a folder on my hard drive, and in that folder contains many beautiful pristine 1080p high definition movie clips. (Mostly just trailers.) They are mainly just 2 or 3 minute clips, but I noticed something about them. And this is a very big thing! These are high quality H.264 encoded video clips. I found that if I take the size of one of these 3 minute clips, and multiply that by 50 (150 minutes) I noticed that it could easily fit on one DVD. Very easily. In fact you could double the quality, or double the content, and it would still all fit on one DVD! So why the need for an expensive blue laser and a whole new format? Uh, duh, there is none. It's a scam. A big money scam. In fact, the amount of money at stake here is so massive that Sony is actually willing to flush the PS3 down the toilet (and give the big middle finger to gamers) just so they could gain the leverage they need to win the format war. They might do just that. But scammers have a way of losing in the end, and I believe that both formats will ultimately fail because of it.

The important thing to note is that if Blu-Ray wins, it is a loss for everyone. Howso? Because it is the most expensive of the two formats. Not just the hardware, but the media too. In fact it is going to prove so costly that it is going to be a boon for all forms of discless media. Download services, as well as the cable and satellite services, are going to be the real winners here. And as for disc based media? Who is going to be the winner? No one really. We've been taught to believe that competition is good for the consumer, but this is not true in all cases. This is the reason I am blogging about this topic now. It is very important to be able to see the different between say, a price war between AMD and Intel, and what is going on between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. I guarantee that if 3 years ago they would have just sucked it up and agreed on ONE format, the cheaper format, then right now as I type this in March of 2007, you'd be able to go to the nearest Best Buy, or Walmart, or wherever, and buy a high definition DVD player for $100. And by the end of this year, High-def DVD sales would be in a position to overtake regular DVD. Now that has been pushed back at least 3 years! Wow. Way to screw up! Even as the price of a 32" LCD is set to fall below $500, the price of the players is still rediculously high, and will remain so for quite some time. (In what kind of insane world does a damn dvd player cost more than a 32 inch HDTV? lol) And not only that, but the Playstation brand name has been tarnished considerably. The future of the Cell processor has been all but destroyed, because it was so late to the mass market. It's sad really. So Blu-Ray fanbois, rejoice. I hope you dumbasses are still rejoicing two years from now when a Hi-def DVD burner costs over $100 and the blank discs still cost over 5 bucks apiece. Idiots.

You know who else loses in this format war? The movie studios! Kind of ironic eh? They could have made billions off of HD sales by now, but no, they had to buy Sony's bs hype. Thanks to gamers. Those gamers who were gonna flock to buy PS3's. A fair amount still did, and god knows how many in europe are gonna shell out the big bucks this week just so they can pay even more money later on!

Hey you PS3 lovers, I got a question for ya. If Sony put a damn cuisinart on the PS3, would you still buy it? Yes, Sony thinks you're that stupid. And quite frankly, ya act like it too.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Daylight Savings Time

Or time to scam the Daylights out of us?

Many computers are set to automatically adjust for DST. They use a very simple algorithm, like "on the 4th sunday of oct, at 2am, set clock back one hour". So now many clocks are going to be messed up over the next few weeks. IT professionals are scrambling to avoid any problems that could be caused by this, and there is a cost associated with that. No doubt the bearucrats in washington did not take that cost into account. I'm not sure how much money will be saved by this switched, after those "hidden costs" are factored in. It could be many years before we see any real gains from this small change to DST. It is also possible that this change might be exploited in some as of yet unknown manner. It could end up costing taxpayers millions! Only time will tell.

Monday, March 05, 2007

In Union We Stand

A peaceful co-existance, is dropping out of sight.
So band together, together we will fight.
Blasting the resistance, marching to the top.
They started this, we say when it stops.
Strike fear within their hearts!
Strike down those in your way.
Let them know, that we live, today!!
They threw us into flames,
Did not hear our cries.
But now, from the ashes we arise...

In union we stand,
As they! blaze across the land!!
In union, we make a final stand....

These are some of the lyrics to the song "In Union We Stand" by Overkill. It's a pretty hardcore metal album that was released almost exactly 20 years ago. It's funny, back when I first started listening to this band, I was quite the stereotypical angry young man. I'd walk around with earphones all the time, and almost always with some kind of metal playing on my walkman. I was much like many of the iPod "wearers" today. The really funny thing is I'm not into that at all anymore. Can't stand earphones. I like big speakers! heh. Yeah I've changed a lot. But one thing that hasn't changed is my love for songs like this.

Sadly, the word union has been raked over the coals in a thousand different ways over the past few generations. Whether we're talking about organized labor or marriage! I wont even get into the marriage thing, but I have to say something about unions as they pertain to organized labor. We owe a lot to what unions have done for us in the past. But the big money powers-that-be have long since discovered that the best way to destroy unions is... with outsourcing! How convenient. Some of it has merit, but really the majority of it is just a scam. That is something we're going to find out the hard way as fuel and shipping costs increase. It's a great deal for the oil barons but really sucks for the rest of us doesn't it? Especially now that our little piece of the oil pie is getting smaller and smaller with each passing year. And what happens if the cost of fuel rises so high that it erases any benefit of outsourcing? Then we'll be stuck trying to rebuild our local manufacturing base... which won't be easy. Just some food for thought, for the next time you are served another 4 course meal of high quality grade-A anti-union propaganda.