18 March 2016

Methane feedback loop

I’ve posted about this before, but it’s been suspected for over a decade that global warming could trigger the sudden release of methane from permafrost, leading to a methane feedback loop. In the last year, Arctic temperatures suddenly rose much faster than the rest of the world, blowing straight past the 2°C target to a 3°C average. Now here’s NOAA’s latest graph of the growth rate of atmospheric methane: Notice that it’s not even restricted to the north pole. ... Read more

17 March 2016

Mathematics is an elder god

There are quite a few movies which suggest that a mathematically-inclined mind makes you prone to depression. In fact, not that many famous mathematicians suffered crippling mental illness, apart from David Hilbert, Georg Cantor, Kurt Gödel, Alan Turing, Isaac Newton, Carl Gauss, Pierre de Fermat, Alexander Grothendieck, John Nash, Paul Erdös, Henri Poincaré, Bernhard Riemann, Joseph-Louis Lagrange, Évariste Galois, Ludwig Boltzmann, Marius Lie, Emil Post, Charles Babbage, Augustin Cauchy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, and Blaise Pascal…

16 March 2016

ICANN reform

Back in 2014, I wrote about the US government’s control of the Internet via ICANN and DNS. US meddling with other countries’ web sites threatened to fracture the Internet. Behind the scenes, negotiations were afoot, and now after a couple of years of talks, the Internet belongs to the world — or at least, to multiple stakeholders. It will be interesting to see what happens next time there’s a major spat over DNS. ... Read more

15 March 2016

…tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Clipper.

The US governments wants to weaken encryption and put in mandatory backdoors which will damage security. It was a ridiculous and terrible idea the last time they tried it, in the 1990s. We’re still fighting to eliminate the security problems they introduced then. We fought this battle and settled it already, why are we fighting it again..?

15 March 2016

Clockfuckery day

Another clockfuckery day has come and gone. Like Donald Trump, daylight saving time started as a joke, but our political system somehow ended up taking it seriously. While DST is obviously stupid, regular time zones are pretty annoying too. I’m not the first person to have considered switching to UTC and being done with them. This year the Washington Post discussed the idea as proposed by an economist and astronomer. ... Read more

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