763 posts • joined Wednesday 18th April 2007 11:16 GMT
"Comes of believing computers more than geology or thermometers."
Blimey - who does that ? Perhaps whoever it is might like to take a look at how scientists do it... might learn something.
"The logic chain of "the models must be right, we need to fix the input data" is scarcely conduscive of reliable conclusions."
Absolutely - just as well that's not what happens with any of the climate models i've ever seen or heard of.
"CO2 has reached levels more than three times present without the planet turning into Venus or Waterworld (crap movie anyway), ergo it won't. In fact, it was more biologically productive. Had to be or all those dinos would have starved."
Viewed on CO2 levels alone that's about right - as most folk would agree with... however most of the biggest concerns have nothing to do with the absolute levels of CO2, do they ? I mean, you do understand rate dependency don't you ?
"I'm skeptical the author read the actual article."
Me too - i've just finished the paper and so far the similarity between it and this article is conspicuous by it's absence. If I had to precise the paper so far, it would be to quote a line from it
"Even if cultural cognition serves the personal interests of individuals, this form of reasoning can have a highly negative impact on collective decision making. What guides individual risk perception, on this account, is not the truth of those beliefs but rather their congruence with individuals’ cultural commitments."
but that is perhaps only meaningful in context.... so perhaps the best advice would be to go and read the paper, it's actually very interesting. What the actual finding seem to indicate is that the effects of 'motivated cognitiion' is strongest in people who have a world view that is strongly hierarchical and individualistic - and less so, but still present, in people who aren't
selfish c*nts so inclined.
It might also be worth having a look at some of the earlier work from Dan Kahan, e.g.
Re: Does this mean automation?
"Admittedly there is probably a lot of "please squash these 100 links to this video of Max Mosely" repetition, but even so..."
I think that the bulk of the reason right there, the Google counsel mentioned that these 1,200,000 odd requests "targeted some 24,000 different websites.". That equates to 1 every couple of minutes, or 1.5 / minute over a 8-hour work day, if each link to a site was unique - still quite a lot in absolute terms but easily manageable with a modest number of operators. I would imagine that the true number is somewhere in between the two, and that the site aggregation is almost certainly done automatically (if would be mad not to).
Potato / Potaaaaato (Re: Which Os(s) are affected.....)
"These are not 'normal' virii"
..and that is not a normal word - be careful with it as it is the source of many a pointless battle. That said, whether you favour vira, viri or viruses - with an 'i' or an 'ī' in the first vowel - you can pretty much bet against virii.
For an entertaining, interesting but not too in depth poke at this, you might want to have a butchers at
if you've not already... it's actually quite a good read - especially considering it's from a Perl-monger 
 Perl users should note this is too be interpreted in a 'humour' rather than scalar, or other, context.
@AC Re: Very proud
"..this team, along with that of Voyager, deserve a medal."
Hear, hear. Well put.
"Surprised noone has posted the xkcd cartoon yet."
Very good point Sir, although it is tremendously sad.... here it is for them that would like a pointer
Re: Very proud
"Made in the USA."
Oh good lord...
Re: Very interested in the thumbs down
"I've no problem with being downvoted but I'd love to know why in this case."
I've not down-voted you, although somewhat tempted in that I think your ire might be better directed at a web-master who decides that Google Checkout is the only way to process transactions. The sign-up requirement is a pain in the ass if you just want to make a purchase (although not really an issue if you already an account - quite a few people in the world do) but you'd hope that maybe the payment options were somewhat more extensive - perhaps you could ask them why ? They may have reasons they think important, or even be unaware of the imposition it causes - they may even be tempted to change if they realise it might cause them to upset or lose customers.
"Apple, RIM didn’t infringe Kodak patents"
Well, to be picky, they were found to infringe a claim in the patent (claim 15) - in the case of Apple due to the iPhone 3G and for RIM, all the products in the accusation. The were, however, not found guilty of unfair import practices (19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(1) see e.g. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/19/1337) a decision which was related to the invalidation of claim 15.
"This boils down to the fact that someone, somewhere, is willing to pay more for these services than they cost to provide. This is the very definition of adding value."
By that logic, manufacturers are adding value as someone, somewhere is willing to pay more for their services than they cost to provide. They, along with distributors, are not the only ones (e.g. support services) by any stretch of the imagination - however that is sufficient to disprove the assertion
"IT distributors: The only people adding value to the world economy"
"Unless you'd all like to tell me why it is that distributors add value to you?"
They don't in general.
"Oh don't. It's been a long day."
I agree - shall we continue to pretend we're interested in SIMs, or all go for a cold beer ?
"The silver block to the right of the A4 chip is where the microSIM goes"
Is that Apples own unique version of 'right' ?
Re: Can we please...
"And, while you're at it Reg webmonkeys, could we have more pointless subdomains, all with their own separate login form and "keep me logged in" cookie that doesn't work?"
..as if to prove the point, I had to log in again to upvote this. Genius.
Mmmmmm - black and white
I'm deeply in love with the Leica M-Monochrom, however six grand is (a) way out of my range and (b) an awful lot of rolls of Ilford PanF+.
Come the lottery win I may have to change my mind though...
@Thought About IT Re: Controversy
"Isn't that one of Heartland Institute's tactics: teach the controversy?"
Ummmm - isn't what ?
@AC Re: Misleading
"So Google had a jury verdict confirming they did copy the syntax and structure of Java but whether such action can be considered fair use or not is still up for decision - which is the crucial point for the copyright part of the proceedings."
Fair use is one, rather important point, in this phase of the case... the issue of whether the APIs are eligible for copyright protection is another, which rather makes the other point moot if it fails that test. That is "still up for decision".
"However the idea that variations in the Sun have any serious effect on the climate is a controversial one."
So controversial it prompted people like skepticalscience to say
'As supplier of almost all the energy in Earth's climate, the sun has a strong influence on climate. A comparison of sun and climate over the past 1150 years found temperatures closely match solar activity (Usoskin 2005).'
..pretty clear they don't believe it has much effect...or were you referring to the recent period, which they immediately discuss thus
'However, after 1975, temperatures rose while solar activity showed little to no long-term trend. This led the study to conclude, "...during these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source."'
Those quotes are from the 'intermediate' level discussion, you can have a butchers at the 'advanced' for more discussion and links to the effects of flux and climate.
@Andrew Orlowski Re: Misleading
"Now that's what I call spin."
Ahhhh - dramatic irony at its finest....
Re: Copyright an API?
'Thanks but are you sure about that? The case you linked to is for "telephone directory white pages". '
Yep - bizarre as it may sound. It deals with, inter alia, the concept of originality with regard to protection from copying of compilations. This has been brought up recently in relation to the 'originality' of (at least some parts of) the Java APIs.
Re: Copyright an API?
"Copyright on an API is nothing new and was already covered by the US court of Appeals over the Johnson Controls v. Phoenix Control Systems case back in 1989!"
Johnson Controls pre-dates, and is superseded by Feist, see e.g.
"For its part, Oracle has presented damning and unequivocal evidence that Google knew it needed a licence if it was to build Android on Java"
"Unequivocal" ? Well if you're talking about having Android running on a certified compatible implementation of Java SE (e.g. certified via the JCK), then yes... but it doesn't. That leads to the question of whether there is a requirement to obtain a license for the "necessary IP" the JCP expert group members may have - something the clean room implementation was, in part, meant to avoid. The liability as found in the trial for the copyright side of the implementation has been described by Judge Alsup as essentially zero - the patent part is being debated now - so it's hard to agree with you here.
If you're suggesting that there is "unequivocal evidence that Google knew it needed a licence" to implement Android as they have done - well then, no, that's simply not true.
@Sean Timarco Baggaley
"None of the existing models can predict known changes in the climate that have happened in the recent past, for which ample data already exists"
Given such ample data, I look forward to your proof that there exist no models that can predict any recent changes.
"It's possible that the Earth's climate is, in fact, too complex for us to be able to work out what all the variables are, in which case only basic trends over long periods of time may be predictable; detailed forecasts that tell us exactly who or what is to blame, and in which proportions, might not be possible for decades yet."
Knowing all the variables won't get you everything - I highly recommend reading up on physical modelling, non-linear systems, attractors and Poincaré sections in particular. Trying to predict bounds in the state map of the climate system is useful, as is the likelyhood (or not) of certain trends. Asking whether it's going to rain in June and how much of that rain is due to fossil fuel emissions in Belgium is obviously a no-go - I trust that's not the sort of "detailed forecasts that tell us exactly who or what is to blame, and in which proportions" you mention.
"Luckily, due to the magic of some very hotly contended modelling, you don't have to assume this"
There, corrected it for you :D"
Hardly, unless you think all the evidence for anthropogenic climate change is solely due to computer modelling.. the statement I was addressing was
"...likely causes of anthropogenic climate change."
Assuming, of course, such a thing actually exists.
i.e. the existence of it, not the modelling.
"Don't make the mistake of confusing science and climate modelling..."
I don't - one is a field, the other is a technique - one widely used in many disciplines.
".one is informed guesswork, the other isn't."
If the former is referring to climate modelling then it's not all guesswork - you either understand that or don't know much about modelling - although it does strive to be informed.
Re: "...likely causes of anthropogenic climate change."
"Assuming, of course, such a thing actually exists."
Luckily, due to the magic of science, you don't have to assume this - huzzah !
Of course the degree to which this will effect things will be the subject of much impassioned debate - some informed, some not, some even from people whose interests are not actually vested in financial or political gain (perish the thought).
Re: Mr. Parker,
"You wish for an explanation on why I think our computer models are wrong ? "
No - I asked you why you thought
"We base our computer models on what we think is representative, then derive conclusions from those models without double-checking the source data."
..with the emphasis on why you think that the source data is not double-checked. The articles you list don't address that
- the first is a paper about the effect of wind accelerating a known glacial melt condition
- the second is an observational paper
- the third is a press piece from the Global Warming Policy Foundation (forgive me if I don't give that much credence)
The quote from the fourth article (measurement) is accurate, as is your discussion of it (IMO) up until your assessment of how proxies effect the models and hence the spending (of which I agree on some points, but not all). However the quote does not really do the article justice, and perhaps lends a different tone than intended by the author. Here are some other quotes from there...
"The next step is to assemble the proxy data and use it to make estimates for the whole globe, or at least the northern or southern hemisphere. This step requires more assumptions and the liberal use of statistical methods. But even a fuzzy picture, which is what we get in the end, is better than no picture at all."
"There is no getting around it: the 20th century shows an outsized, unprecedented climb in global average temperature at the same time that greenhouse gases have exceeded any level known in the past half-million years (as far back as we can see as of today). "
"GCMs are useful for analyzing the climate system. Researchers tweak them, and the data they feed on, in many different ways to weigh the influence of forcing factors, and to estimate how the internal climatic variations would respond to different forcings. Many of the parameters, the numbers used to represent various factors in the complex real world, are poorly constrained by the data and are being studied in elaborate experiments."
..and at the end, and perhaps most interesting in view of your comments about modelling..
"Imperfect as they are, [General Circulation Model]s are our best tool for helping us assess the reliability of the climate record. And they are our only tool for modeling the possible climates of the future. The picture they draw is a hazy one, but it points firmly toward further warming for several centuries to come. And it points squarely at human input of greenhouse gases as the basic cause.
This knowledge does not automatically translate into a set of policy choices. Climate scientists can help in assessing the possible choices, but they cannot determine those choices. Only political systems can do that. There is a wide range of legitimate debate, but questioning the science is no longer legitimate.
I have gained a great deal of clarity on the science of this topic from the rigorous and thorough review by Jones and Mann in the June 2004 Reviews of Geophysics. I was once a typical skeptic, but am not one now."
You subsequently say
"So let's cut the hype, lock the zealots in their padded chambers and think rationally in a quiet atmosphere, hmm ? "
I agree totally with this, and this is what the vast majority of the science is trying to do (as far as I can see) - the zealotry and mis-information is largely coming from elsewhere, and from both sides, don't get me started on that..
"Then we will be more able to make the right decision, instead of deciding things based on what the most heavily-funded lobby wants to push for."
That would be nice, however given how things work for pretty much everything else - i'm not holding my breath.
@R 16 Re: Ill make this quick. Title "how to stop viruses"
"Result. No more viruses. (well you would make them almost extinct)
Kind of scary how simple it is isnt it."
Ah sorry - I was going to up-vote that initially as I read it as 'Kind of scary how simple I am isn't it.'....
Re: "this comparatively reassuring picture"
"We base our computer models on what we think is representative, then derive conclusions from those models without double-checking the source data."
That's unlike any computer modelling i've heard of, or implemented. Can you explain why you think this is true, or is it just a feeling of yours ?
"Let's keep on measuring, evaluating and improving our understanding, hmm ? It's the only way to learn, and zealots be damned."
That's a very good idea - it's called science.
@Oninoshiko Re: Neat!
"They may actually get PVs to useful effencies yet!"
They already are.
Re: Can you challenge a foreign patent?
The application procedure, and the various filings required in each country, seem somewhat long-winded... it looks like you have to pass patentability checks internationally if you want to enforce things - but the FAQ is not too clear on that
The application notes and other docs linked from there may shed more light.
Re: As what I said earlier...
'No officer above the rank of mess sergeant is permitted to go into combat with pierced nipples.'
..or was that 5796 ?
@Marvin Re: Free... yes, the basic version.
"The pro version (in many variants it's 8h free pro-trial, then reverting to basic) costs $500/person, not a freebie by any standard."
Yep - but have you used the free version ? The functionality in it is substantial and the differences between it and the 'Pro' version largely irrelevant to non-professionals. Sketchup tool interactions and usage models are also (IMO) second to none. It is a staggering piece of software for free, that is costs should I want the more advanced features (e.g. for real client-side architectural work, rather than my own stuff) I don't find out of order - the price is still not that high in the context of this type of design software and, frankly, there's nothing else like it for basic 3D work (again, IMHO).
Also, there are a number of extremely good renderers available for not much cost that integrate with both versions of Sketchup, so the visualisation is not that effected by which you choose.
Re: Oh how times have changed
"Marius, I thought you knew better. You sir, are a hypocrite and have sold out. After this sad affair gets settled, your 15 minutes of fame and any good contributions you made to the wireless network community will be forgotten, or with the stigma of disgrace associated with it."
OK - i'm curious... Is this damning judgement based on the court transcripts, something you (as someone who perhaps could get in contact with him, given your previous assistance and help) have discussed with him or just the brain-dead, over simplified, head-line obsessed nonsense that normally passes for news reporting about anything remotely technical ?
I've not gone over any transcripts yet, and doubt if I could get to talk to him, so he could indeed be a complete shit - but i'm wondering if you could enlighten me why you're so sure ?
Re: Probably not many
"The question is"...
..the question was, why did the author want to point this out ?
"how many are trying to hire an IT professional and either a) see 'hacker' and think 'what an idiot, this guy admits to committing crimes, next!', or b) see 'hacker' and think 'what a hairy-assed weirdo, this guy will be impossible to manage, next!'"
Indeed, however he seems happy enough with it and I doubt Marius Milner is desperately scrabbling to work. I'm not disagreeing with you, i'm just more curious about the original question rather than second guessing someones feelings about their own LinkedIn profile.
'Milner describes his occupation as a "hacker" on his LinkedIn page.'
Well... yes - he's a software developer. I'm failing to see the point of mentioning that unless you don't understand the difference between 'hacker' and 'cracker'....
iTunes fanbois have a sex life ? Who'd have thought.....
Re: Just asking
"So you'd be perfectly happy for me to have a look through your diary, your photo collection, your financial records and your collection of love letters? "
To make your analogy more accurate you would have to put your photo album and financial records out on your front wall with the pages open... or dictate your diary in a loud voice in the pub.
That said, as has been pointed out elsewhere over and over - the accessibility of the data doesn't make Google's behaviour at all ethical.. they are effectively taking advantage of the fact that many, perhaps most, people with a router aren't aware of how open they can be.. and what they are exposing. Given that the world is not entirely populated by angels, perhaps some more effort from service providers and network supply vendors might also help in this area... perhaps they are already, it's not like I switch either frequently, but i'd not put much money on that.
@Vic : Re: API to be assumed as copyrightable
> Judge Alsup has deleted an earlier notation, that he would decide
> the copyright status of the Java API
I don't think he has.
I've not seen the records, so i'm going by second hand news here, which I had no reason to doubt.
"Note that that is a jury instruction to assume it, not a case law precedent."
Oh absolutely, however at face value it had me starting to feel a tad nervous in conjunction with the notation removal. It would always have to have been backed up by a ruling one way or the other.
"It appears that Judge Alsup wants the jury to decide first if there is any infringement *if* Oracle's position on copyrightability is assumed correct. If the jury says there is no infringement, then that is that - he doesn't have to make a ruling."
..I was coming to that way of thinking while mulling things over this weekend..
"So this actually looks like an attempt by the judge to avoid grounds for appeal. That's a good thing."
Good point - hadn't considered that at all.
API to be assumed as copyrightable
It looks like Judge Alsup has deleted an earlier notation, that he would decide the copyright status of the Java API, and instead there will apparently be an instruction to the jury to assume they are copyrightable - i've not seen the wording yet, so it's hard to know what that could lead to, if anything, outside of this case. That said, whatever anyone feels about Google, this has at least the potential to be the start of something generally rather nasty.
Re: For completeness...
"With the greatest of respect, please do one or the other."
For clarity, that was meant to be directed at El Reg and not you personally. Apologies if it caused offense.
Re: For completeness...
"Right, that's it. I've had enough. The gloves are off. You can only comment on trials if you understand trials from now on.
..and what about an understanding, however limited, of the matters being discussed - that could, possibly, be useful ?
"Be aware that trials are 'he said, she said' affairs. One party argues their side. The opposition fires off their side."
One party argues it's side, with the other party also questioning witnesses and the other counsel. Then it reverses. There is plenty of too and fro in both cases. There is also a large amount of prior knowledge and discussion about much of the detail. These things can be reported and discussed - if the author is willing and able.
" We can only fairly, accurately and contemporaneously report on proceedings as the trial progresses."
Then report accurately.
"Thus accusing us of censorship or bias implies your inability to read previous coverage, or appreciate the above point."
Hardly, that's logic stretched way beyond breaking point - there has been a lot of ranting (which can't help either way) but I don't think measured and/or legitimate queries about missing information or perceived bias is always out of order. '[T]he above point' is also not entirely correct.
"No one's side has been omitted."
Much of Google cross earlier, and a huge amount of pertinent background information, has been missing in the two previous articles i've read. Oracle cross is largely missing here... most of this part has been missed in truth.... previous days coverage has been largely AWOL as well.
" It's an ongoing trial, if you can't keep up, be quiet."
Well put. With the greatest of respect, please do one or the other.
"Why on earth would I sign up to this Gcrap when I can get whopping 25GB free on Skydrive?!"
You don't have to. If Skydrive suits you better and you don't want yet another online storage resource then that's grand.
As for others, well all new Skydrive users will only get 7GB, not 25GB, and for some the Google integration may work better than the Microsoft, e.g. for those who don't use a Microsoft OS - you can use Skydrive on your OSX/iOS device (as I have) but the benefit is far from compelling... just another bit bucket.
Either way, I really don't think Google care about another Anonymous Coward spouting off as though their view of the universe is the only one that matters - I know I don't.
" it is possible to spot objects just 31cm long, almost exactly the length of your correspondent's size 13 flip flops, from space."
Oooo - not one to pass up a good co-incidence when it comes by, might it be a candidate for a Reg unit of satellite resolution, the Flip Flop (ff) ?... e.g.
"That's nothing, the 1960's spy satellites had a resolution of 0.1 ff"
Re: Counter historians
"A story claiming that elephants can fly does not become true (or 'not false') because the story also happens to (correctly) point out that elephants have trunks"
You refer to "the Milly Dowler story" - without qualifications as to what part of the whole story relating to her. Parts of "the Milly Dowler story" were almost certainly false (the deliberate deletion), many parts were true. That does not make "the Milly Dowler story" false, as you claim, only elements of it.
I did not claim "the Milly Dowler story" (as a entity) was true - you claimed it was false.
"skywatcher will survey – and publish – the entire visible sky on a weekly basis"
No it won't. Not unless it can see through thousands of miles of solid and molten rock. As I recall, Chile is in the southern hemisphere, so siting it there means that it won't be taking any pictures of the Ursa Minor / Draco / Ursa Major part of the sky any time soon...
..would they perhaps lie in the part of the sky that is not visible to the camera then ?
"On 5 July the Milly Dowler story broke, causing universal revulsion. And while it turned out to be false"
The 'story' was not false insofar as the hacking allegations were concerned - the accusation of directly deleting the voice messages was. IIRC the phone provider automatically deleted messages 72 hours after being listened to, and the particular emptying of the message queue, leading to the 'false hope', was likely due to a private investigator for the Dowlers listening to them. What seemed fairly certain was that they were not maliciously deleted by the NotW or it's agent in order to make room for more messages - something that was being alleged.
At the time it was still unclear whether this accounted for all message deletions, the suspicion being that some may have been deleted by the agent for the NotW inadvertently 'starting the timer' - highly likely given that the PI and NotW admissions of listening to some messages.
Down-voting a question ? Way to go, must have asked the right question I guess....
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