Wednesday, May 5, 2010
This chart is taken from the fantastic report by the UN, "Kick the Habit, a UN Guide to Climate Neutrality.", page 103. You need to combine it with the World Ressource Institute chart, pasted below, on the proportion of the entire problem that is caused by different activities, including agriculture and livestocks (it's 12.3%.)
It's also the reason I drive a 70 mpg motorcycle, and why I lobby for 100% clean electricity for Massachusetts by 2020.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I am distressed at the number of the IT professionals who are taking Apple's claims about the goal of the App Store's no-Flash or other such programming languages policy at face values. Apple's objective when refusing Flash has nothing to do with their stated position. Their concerns over quality or stability are not credible, when their action indicate that their goal with disallowing Flash is to reinforce their lock down on the platform. Indeed, Apple has already begun abusing the new-found benevolent dictator position:
They have censored political speech from being published through the App Store, at the same time as newspaper are transitioning to using the App Store as their publication platform.
They have blocked the Scratch project from releasing their brilliant programming platform for teenagers on the iPhone, a favorite computer platform of teenagers, destroying MIT's hopes of giving the millennials a Commodore 64-equivalent -- a self-driven path for developing computers wizard skills.
Apple's PR department has been spinning their intent since the very moment of the release of the iPhone.
In the late '90s, Microsoft tried to use its monopoly position to crush the possibility that web application could become sufficiently feature-rich to compete with Windows. After years of fighting against that abuse of monopoly power, mainly through the funding of a huge effort to create the Firefox browser, today we enjoy thousands of rich and innovative web applications.
On the back of that success, we geeks are now handing a control of our computing to Apple. If one person buys an Apple products, no harm is done; if we all do, we instantiate an abusive monopoly, one that promises to be even more severely clutched than Microsoft's was.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
It's probably an unfortunate measure of the quality of modern journalism that few of us would be surprised to hear that an editorial on a politically controversial topic contained significant factual inaccuracies.
But climate change seems to have reached the point where even some apparent facts have become points of contention, and at least some reporters have become comfortable with simply making things up and ascribing their imaginings to credible scientific sources.
Apparently fed up with similar practices in editorials produced by Canada's National Post, a climatologist has now sued the publisher for libel and defamation. But the suit seeks a judgment that's remarkably sweeping: the scientist wants the publisher to hand over the copyright to the editorials so he can attempt to erase them from the Internet.
Link to the Ars Technica article on the matter.