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2006-06-13

[Mobiles] It's a Smaller World, After All

Oh, Bother. Eeyore's Got a Cell Phone.

Disney Mobile has begun selling phones and service through its Web site and by phone, officially launching the mobile virtual network operator service that promises parents a high degree of control over how much and when their children can use their wireless phones.

The family service plans start at $60 per month for 450 minutes and range as high as $250 per month for 4,500 minutes. All the family plans include two lines of service, and additional lines can be added for another $10 per month. The service requires a two-year contract, credit approval and is limited to nine phones per family account. All lines are subject to an activation fee: $35 for the first line and $25 for each additional line.


Sprint is the carrier for DM. More details at RCR News.

[Environment] Not Just a Space Heater Any More

It wasn't until college and the curriculum required for my B. S., back east at Sub Normal U., that I learned of the variability of the sun. It is a variable star, and its output waxes and wanes in both defined cycles (sunspots) as well as for either random, or undetermed, reasons. Just ask any of the hundreds of thousands of amateur radio operators who are bemoaning the current dearth of sunspots.

In the past two years since this Swiss study was published, I've seen other no-axe-to-grind scientists concur in its validity, and seen no contradiction to the data. Sun gets hotter; Earth gets hotter.

Here's one fellow who tracked that variability through a number of indicators in the natural world, collectible with low-tech devices.

Another undeniable large physical event could have altered the biosphere adequate to cause all we've seen, and that idea's put forth by Vladimir Shaidurov, inner of the most prestigious scientific award in Russia for 2004, the State Prize, and director of the Computer Modelling Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Given two reasonable explanations for global warming other than greenhouse gasses, and the documented challenges to the greenhouse gas theory by other scientists, perhaps some more science should be done before mandating we make drastic changes to our economy?

And, there are worse problems than global warming; just ask any resident of Vinland. There's a theory that dialing up the CO2 helps plant growth, and other estimates suggest global warming helps our economy. Then, too, altering the biosphere also pushes back the next Ice Age:

For the past 800,000 years, there have been periods of approximately 100,000 years called Ice Ages, followed by a period of 10,000 years, a period called Interglacial, followed by another Ice Age. We're about 10,500 years into the present Interglacial period, namely, we're 500 years overdue for another Ice Age. If indeed mankind's activity contributes to the planet's warming, we might postpone the coming Ice Age.


Of course, all science relies on objectively reliable data, and the data for the global warming hypothesis is within the margin of error for the methods used to collect the data.

2006-06-11

[Linux] Free Linux Support Via IM

Qunu is a new launch which offers free technical support on Linux and computing via Instant Messenger services. Here's a list of compatible IM clients and setup instructionsif you'd like to join in.
Qunu is a next-generation expertise matching service. We use instant messaging to connect -- in real time -- people who have software or tech-related questions with experts who are passionate and willing to help.