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* Posts by TkH11

345 posts • joined 15 Apr 2010

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Post-Profit Prophet RUSSELL BRAND is the HUMBLE CHRIST of STARTUPS

TkH11

Brand's an idiot. A pseudo intellectual without a real understanding of how business works.

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TkH11

Re: "there must be a deficit"

Why should profit being made by companies result in the downside of people not having up-to-date skills? I don't actually agree, but I'd like to hear your reasoning.

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EMC accuses Pure Storage of 'raiding' its people, IP

TkH11

Wild allegations "suspicious circumstances...for 30 people"..and what suspicious circumstances are those then? The employees being offered a much better remuneration package? !!

Suspicious, in that you didn't want them or expect them to leave? It's the individual's free choice.

In my employer, many people in the last year have gone to the competition, Cisco, but alas, my employer couldn't care less..it wants people to leave because it's making redundancies!

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TkH11

EMC need to pay better then in order to retain its staff! But there is a serious question of the taking of confidential data belonging to EMC by these employees when they move to the competitor. Taking lists of clients to a competitor IS unlawful. It might even be criminal. If EMC can prove that, then they've got a valid claim. But as for trying to stop their staff being poached? Dream on EMC, dream on, you can't stop that.

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Fiendish CryptoLocker ransomware: Whatever you do, don't PAY

TkH11

It never ceases to amaze me how many people open and click on links in emails without knowing who they're from. Even my employer (who shall remain nameless) has become infected despite there being a fairly recent and high profile campaign targetting computer security and phishing emails. Some people are just dumb.

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TkH11

Re: It encrypts .doc, .dwg etc

How naeve can you get? ! Obviously never worked for a large corporation then. The idea that they do things properly always is just naivety. Release documents will (should) be in a document management system, but there are always many documents which are not.

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Let's talk about continuous delivery

TkH11

Re: Much ado about not very much.

Yes, agreed. I think the description of what continuous delivery and the analogy of a car was quite poor.

I'm not a CD expert, but it seems to rely heavily on automation (and so it should, it takes out the human and reduces the error rate), but it seems to me that the emphasis is on, as you noticed, bug fixing!

But then the question is, so who's doing, when are the new features being integrated into the build?

I have worked for 15 years in development and for 5 years in operations, and both need to take place, bug fixing and new feature introduction. Generally I've seen project managers focus on putting in the new features and completely ignore the defects that have been identified during the operational life of the software.

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TkH11

Version numbers are entirely valid and very useful, and if they are used, they should be relied upon. I don't accept the premise they should be used as a guide. If you define a configuration and the configuration items within that configuration are specified by version numbers, then you should be able to rely upon them. It's black and white, if the version numbers are provided for that configuration item, then it must be the correct number for it.

I work on systems where both high level source code is deployed to the production environment (it's interpreted and that's just the way the application works) and where binary files are deployed.

For those text based high level language source code files and text based configuration files, it's appropriate to use a version number in the file, either handwritten in with a comment header block detailing the change history, or automatically inserted by a configuration management tool.

For the binary files, that's not possible, and hence, checksums are the way to be sure of what version the file is at.

So both textual version numbers and checksums are complementary, and release notes which then state the version numbers of the modules in the build can reference both.

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Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet

TkH11

Re: Couple of corrections, massive bias

No, FlatSpot, that's BS. Margaret Hodge, despite being a Labour MP, is pretty neutral and I have watched her a number of times in house of commons select committee hearings, she's good, she's got teeth, she doesn't take BS and she's straight up, I don't see any party political bias in her, in her questioning and any press statements she makes.

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TkH11

Re: 25 Year IT Career and this still happens

I think there is an awful lot of truth in what you have written, from my limited experience in working in a civil service agency. But I think this bureaucratic bovine excrement partially comes about by the very pervasive unions which seem to dominate civil service organisations.

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TkH11

Doomed to failure right from the start

Too many providers, like they're going to talk to each other effectively and have systems (such as requirements capture, defect management, test specification..) that are interoperable.

What you need is a single provider (supplier),a prime contractor that can then farm out work to subcontractors, but only if there is a very clear division of work: such as, one subcontractor work on software, the other works on the hardware build, delivery.

Even then, when you have a prime and sub contractors, from my own experience, you really want them using shared applications, otherwise inefficiency and mistakes creep in.

I wonder if this is compounded by typical government BS to have multiple suppliers (because of some crazy rules), perhaps to reduce risk of a provider going into liquidation, when the risk is massively increased by having so many providers.

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Report: Secret British spy base in Middle East taps region's internet

TkH11

Re: Sod this...

Does anyone have a fetish for shemales, except other shemales perhaps?

Yuk...

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Snowden journo's partner wins partial injunction on seized data

TkH11

Re: There's more going on here...

1/ The UK Government are claiming, in court, to know the content - to have read it and understood it. It follows from this that they have the clear data. Surely we are not being led to believe they have cracked the encryption in 5 days?

Under the RIPA act, if the Police ask you to hand over decryption keys and you fail to do so, you can be imprisoned, I think for up to two years.

Miranda almost certainly did hand over the decryption keys to the files, because he would have been prosecuted if he didn't.

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TkH11

Re: But whose data is it?

>"Theresa May believed it was necessary to examine all the data "without delay in the interests of national security"."

>More like "in the interests of finding out what the Americans are up to"!

It's highly likely some of the documents were classified USA material, assuming this is the case, Theresa May has pretty much admitted examining classified documents belonging to the secret service agencies of another country. Americans won't be happy. (if there is a NOFORN caveat applied to the docs).

(Unless, the Yanks gave her permission to examine them so she can report back to her USA masters what kind of material these people have acquired).

These are American documents, nothing to do with the British. Our government by examining the documents is effectively spying. It's intercepting classified documents belonging to another country.

Now whilst it might be argued, that the USA and UK are in joint partnership with their intelligence activities, that doesn't give the right for one country to intercept the classified documents of the other.

You don't know what the security marking is on the documents until you see the front page of the document, if it says "SECRET - USA Eyes Only, NOFORN", do you honestly think that the reader wouldn't take a peek inside?

if you know it's classified material, you shouldn't be looking at all, unless you are duly authorised and on a need to know basis. The fact she is home secretary does not give her the right to examine ALL classified documents belonging to the UK, the only people inspecting those documents should be the Yanks (and arguably journalists!).

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Hundreds of UK CSC staff face chop, told to train Indian replacements

TkH11

Re: You get what you pay for.....

It is interesting to read the experiences of others here with Indian off shoring, which mirror mine. The quality of the Indian developers is generally not very good, I have come across a few exceptions.

One indian guy here in the UK told me, when an employer receives a bunch of CV's from potential Indian recruits, the only thing that is accurate on that CV is the name on the top ( the rest is lies).

I work on two major projects and the bean counters are trying to off shore it, of course the company is run by accountants that just see figures on a spreadsheet, the daily rate of an indian employee, but the bean counters don't understand the complexity of the systems, the higher turnover of indian staff ( not long after they are trained up, they go, so we don't train them properly to prevent that), they need greater supervision which takes more time away (and increased cost) from the English based staff.

They will off shore my job in time, but they will regret it, but the bean counters ignore what we tell them. What do we expect? They are accountants, not techies.

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TkH11

Re: Tricky question. Will they give you a rubbish reference if you tell them to get stuffed?

You don't understand, a compromise agreement is not redundancy, both result in termination of the employment of the individual. There are only a few ways ( as far as i know, in law) to terminate the employment contract (if you have been with an employer for more than one year)

1) Redundancy

2) Compromise agreement

3) Dismissal through disciplinary proceedings.

Different rules and process apply to each. If an employer declares redundancies and announces the start of a minimum 45 day consultation period ( recently changed from 90) and they then select a preferred person (according to the selection criteria) then they are definitely going down the route of redundancy, and if they were then trying to diddle you out of money by then changing to a compromise agreement, that could well be illegal.

Once they have selected a mechanism to terminate your employment, I think they would be on unsafe ground to change it, unless they had a good lawful reason, such as the employee doing something grossly wrong and then necessitating the invocation of the disciplinary process.

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TkH11

Re: Tricky question. Will they give you a rubbish reference if you tell them to get stuffed?

Telling an employer to get stuffed can not affect your redundancy package. They can't customise the redundancy package to each individual on whether they like the individual.

If telling the employer involves doing something wrong of sufficient magnitude they invoke disciplinary proceedings which then results in termination of your employment contract, then they have fired you and your exit from the company is being fired and not being made redundant and hence you won't get the redundancy package.

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Mystery object falls from sky, area sealed off by military: 'Weather balloon', say officials

TkH11

It's too big to be a standard weather balloon instrumentation pack. Meteorologists do use packages made from the same white expanded polystyrene (styrofoam to you yanks) to contain instruments but they are normally a lot smaller. Typically in a weather balloon there is a GPS receiver, RF transmitter, battery, sensors for measuring temperature, air pressure, humidity. The whole lot fits in to a small lightweight polystyrene box. The key design goal being to keep the price of the thing down (because most of them are never found, returned back to the organisation that released it), they'll often have an address tag with a return address in case it is found. The one in the video is far too big and complex in shape to be a standard weather balloon with a standard instrumentation pack, could contain additional sensors for some other purpose.

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TkH11

Re: If Occam was alive today ...

If you ask the question if someone is a Linux user, then you're evidently not a serious nor highly skilled IT professional. How do I know? Been in the biz for a long time and used many operating systems and languages.

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Snowden's XKeyscore revelations challenged

TkH11

Re: Pat 4 USA has a problem

HB or H2, which do you prefer?

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TkH11

Re: There is middle ground too

but... in order to the searches they are giving examples off, the data must be in the database(s), so it is being collected somehow, I agree not by XKeyScore, having said that it is not inconceivable that there is a facility within XKeyscore to trigger the data collection features of another system. One can imagine a scenario where an analyst types in the email address of a target, the first thing that happens is a search of the databases by XKeyScore and then triggering of data collection if there isn't any data in the db's. Who knows. Anything is possible. Typing in random valid email address in to XKeyscore probably won't return anything as they can't collect and store every email sent around the world, so it makes sense to trigger a data collection activity from the network and have some control over what data is intercepted from the network.

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TkH11

Re: nothing to see here, move along

That is not the reason top secret is put on to slides, it most definitely not a default protective marking. The protective marking that is assigned is dependent on what they consider the impact to be if the information fell into the wrong hands. There is no such thing as a default protective marking level.

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Girls, beer and C++: How to choose the right Comp-Sci degree for you

TkH11

Re: Pascal had a use (for me at least)

UMIST, early 1990's. Did we meet?

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TkH11

Re: Pascal had a use (for me at least)

"I find if you can program one you can program in the other. Pascal, Basic, Delphi, C++, Java, C"

Mostly true, but I did meet someone that had programmed in Cobol, and was trying to program in C.

Poor guy didn't have a cats chance in hell. He really couldn't hack it.

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TkH11

Re: Alternatively ditch comp sci all together

"With a successful career, largely in software engineering, now behind me (I'm retired) I can say this is actually pretty good advice. I never had a day's formal instruction in any form of programming or comp. sci., but I did do a lot of Physics and Maths."

I am going to agree with that. I studied Computer Science O level and A level and have a degree in Electronic Engineering. All the programming languages I know I have taught myself by picking up a book and doing practical exercises.

The best people in IT are not those that have been taught, they are the people that teach themselves by being inquisitive, picking up books, doing practical things, working things out for themselves in their spare time.

One of the first languages I learned was 6502 machine code, typing in hexadecimal op codes into a monitor program (no assembler) to write the op codes into RAM, running the code and looking at the processor registers and working out what just happened. There was a dissembler, what did JMP ($C010) mean?

What did JMP $FA mean? Gradually, - in the first case - I realised that the PC (program counter) register contents ended up being what was being stored at memory address $C010, (it was an indirect memory jump!) It was by experimenting, observing, that's how I learned machine code.

it doesn't matter so much what your degree is, the really good people work read around and experiment and learn for themselves.

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TkH11

Re: No you choose your degree at 13

"At A level I did Maths, Physics and Computer Studies. I'm glad I did CS because it included a mix of Pascal programming and the basics of how computers work. It was my first formal introduction memory, bit manipulation two's compiment, fixed and floating point and all that. I think it set a good foundation for further learning at uni and beyond."

I did all of that at A level Computer Science in 1986. Didn't need to do a degree to do that.

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TkH11

Re: No you choose your degree at 13

"The best computer programmers I've ever worked with, apart from one exception, have arts degrees or in one case had left university partway through a medical degree."

In which case, you haven't met many very good programmers then.

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TkH11

Re: No you choose your degree at 13

Most solutions to problems I can design in minutes in my head, then hand draw out data models on paper, form layouts, having everything all figured and drawn out in perhaps 30 minutes.

Capturing it in crappy Visio is the hard and time consuming part, which I find very frustrating, it restricts the creativity, but documentation must be done.

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TkH11

Pascal

Studied Pascal in school back in the 1980's, it was good, it was structured, it had procedures and it was compiled, it was better than the multiple dialects of BASIC of the day. I found my productivity increased dramatically doing the school programming projects.

But I have never used Pascal since. I have never come across it being used in my career. I've been coding for around 30 years.

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Daft tweet by Speaker Bercow's loquacious wife DID libel lord

TkH11

Re: How is it defamatory

How is it defamatory? I thought the judge clearly explained that. But the full text of what he said isn't included here in this article here. The judge did discuss the use of the phrase "innocent face", which did not need to be appended if she was genuinely asking the question as to why he was trending. By adding that phrase she is clearly changing the meaning of the question, and implying something which she has not stated. Her intent was clear.

If you take a moment to ponder over it, she couldn't make the statement he was a paedophile, that would have been libellous and she knew it, so what she was trying to do was to encourage people to go look for themselves, it's obvious from her post that she knew why he was trending, she knew what was being said about him and she was encouraging others to go find out for themselves. She evidently knew what the concept of libel is and she was trying to get round it but not stating what she believed to be true but by encouraging others to uncover what she knew.

The law is clear, as the article states the relevant paragraphs, the person has to be named and the attitude of people towards the 'victim' has to be adversely affected by what the perpetrator (Bercow) has written. Even without claiming he is a paedophile, Bercow's action has easily satisified both those clauses of the law. The law is the law, the interpretation of it is clear.

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TkH11

You can't be held in contempt of court for something like that. Contempt of court occurs if someone fails to comply with an instruction/order from the court.

It is then for the judge to decide if a criminal prosecution is appropriate ( and judges rarely do this in a civil case), notify the attorney general and then refer the matter to the Police.

Situations where people have been sent to prison over civil cases - such as Jeffery Archer, Jonathan Aitkin are because at the trial for the civil case ( person A suing person B), they were sworn in under oath and it was later proven they lied under oath, as a consequence they were then criminally prosecuted for the offence of perjury.

The other offence that applies in civil court cases is 'attempting to pervert the course of justice', this is where you make a witness statement, or other statement which is accompanied by a statement of truth (you have to declare the written statement is entirely truthful) and you have knowingly lied in that statement.

The civil court can then in theory commence committal proceedings for an attempt to pervert the course of justice, and proceed to criminally prosecute you but rarely do.

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TkH11

Re: Unacceptable decision

if it is verbal, it is defamation. if it written, it is libel.

There is no law stopping people from speaking the truth. It has to be untrue for the law to take effect.

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Oi, Microsoft, where's my effin' toolbar gone?

TkH11

Re: What is this article supposed to be?

Evidently AC you don't know much about software or computing.

Why the f**K would a toolbar vanish be dependent on the f**ng hardware??

Yes, there's lot of different hardware out there, but with abstraction layers, device drivers, an application which sits on top of the operating system (in a layering model) the hardware should have little effect on the application (save for performance).

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Review: Intel 335 240GB SSD

TkH11

Re: Power fail behaviour?

I think you've missed the point on this one. If the SSD is in a laptop then the laptop has a battery and the user will be given advance warning of the battery going flat and so issues a controlled shutdown to the laptop, and the hard disk is shut down cleanly.

if you've got the SSD in a desktop, then as the user it's incumbent upon you to have a UPS feeding the PC, so what's the problem? What problem are you trying to fix? There's little incentive to put batteries or supercaps into SSD disks.

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'Red October' has been spying on WORLD LEADERS for 5 years - researchers

TkH11

Cryptofiler

According to Wikipedia, Cryptofiler isn't used for classified information.

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Inside the new climate row as Mystic Met Office goes cool on warming

TkH11

Re: @TkH11: Right to down play

The MetOffice does not provide false figures. How people use the information provided by the Met.Office is down to the users of that information. If the users don't understand that predictions (and more so longer term predictions) carry uncertainty, then that's down to the users, you can't blame the Met.Office for that.

You can't blame the Met.Office for actions users take, users have to be responsible for their own actions.

The climate models that were in existence around the year of 2000 or so, their output only gave close agreement to reality (observational data was then showing an increase in global temperature) is if a manmade element of CO2 was added. This was a clear sign that manmade CO2 was a key factor in the global climate change. That's what the meteorological community knew at that point in time.

You make decisions based on the available knowledge you have at the time. What you can't do is 10 years later go back and say "They messed up, it's their fault, they got it wrong", which is what you are trying to do.

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TkH11

I am aware of that argument, but I actually thought the figure was a fair bit lower. But, may being of a certain age, the recollection is failing.

In fact I once saw the prediction accuracy figures for the Met. Office NWP models and it was up in the 90's percent, so you sir, are talking BS.

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TkH11

Re: Completely lost

Let me tell you something about Met. Office staff; I've met some.

They are decent honest people. I've worked in many different sectors, meteorology being one, defence being another, telecommunications, investment banking being others.

Met Office scientists are very humble, very decent honest people, very trustworthy with far higher integrity than many other people I've have the pleasure of meeting over my career.

The idea Met.. Office staff are manipulating data, pursuing personal agenda's, creating conspiracies is complete nonsense. For their level of intelligence, for the sheer hard work, the skill involved, for their academic qualifications, most are paid peanuts, they're not in it for the money, they're in meteorology because they find it interesting.

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TkH11

Re: Another ignorant MP

No they haven't.

If you create a forecast for a particular date and time, if you revise that forecast and republish it, then the previous forecast is invalidated, it is superceded ! It has to be, there is no other logical viewpoint.

You can't have two or more different forecasts for a point in time which are 'current'.

The idea they still kept the old one is rubbish.

The Met.Office forecasters understand this, they're very proceduralised (if that is a word) : they have to be, they produce daily forecasts for the aviation business, both civil and military. You can not cause confusion by having multiple current forecasts, there must be NO ambiguity. Airlines, airports, the military have to make decisions based on those forecasts, as time passes to towards a particular prediction point in the future, the Met. Office will issue revised forecasts as they rerun the NWP models several times per day and it's incumbent upon the airlines, the military and other users of the forecasts to use those newer (and hopefully more accurate) forecasts. That's business as usual.

Every forecast that is made by the Met.Office has a TOI : Time of Issue to prevent the sort of confusion you are talking about.

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TkH11

Re: talking of don't have a clue

As someone that has had close association to the world of meteorology, AC is right.

The best models the Met.Office have got are the short term forecast models (chemical vapour dispersal model (what used to be called NAME) and hurricane track prediction models), but all of these are easily verifiable, they can run the model, make the prediction and then compare reality to the prediction, so they know how accurate these models are (or not).

The behaviour of these meteorological phenomena last over a time period of days, so by gathering observation data the models can be verified, modified to improve their accuracy.

But climate, over hundreds, thousands of years is an all together very different story.

And the output of these models is being used by government to make long term strategic decisions.

The accuracy of the model is going to decrease over the run time of the model. The short term forecast models out to 3 days, 5 days become significantly inaccurate beyond the 5 days.

The Met. Office know this (and have known it for a long time) but only recently started trying to communicate to the public in the form of 'uncertainty' expressing percentages.

Anything beyond 5 days, take it with a pinch of salt.

So asking, requiring the Met.Office to produce accurate forecasts for years ahead (albeit it is an entirely different model, not just running the short term forecast model for a longer run time) and then basis an entire strategy which affects tens of millions of people is somewhat tenuous and questionable!

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TkH11

You are being arse raped for electricity costs because of the so called free-market economy, the commodities markets! That's the problem, not the cost of running the Met. Office or money being spent by the government in wanting to enourage in green technologies.

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TkH11

Re: Not the Met Office's fault.

That's not entirely right. Whilst flood defences along one river will protect one town it may result in a higher than normal river level height which may affect another town further downstream, so I am prepared to accept there is an element of truth in what you say, but the fundamental problem is the change in the nature of the rainfall events, which are a) longer in duration, b) over a wider area, c) higher in rainfall rate (expressed in millimetre's per hour).

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TkH11

Re: Fish.........

I think if you're going to mention the incident with Fish, then you have to describe the cause. The cause was a lack of observational data back in that time. It's not appropriate to blame an individual forecaster for getting it wrong. Technology today means they gather a lot more observational data and feed that into the numerical weather prediction models (NWP).

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TkH11

You obviously don't understand the full scope of what the Met. Office does.

Forecasts aren't primarily for the benefit of the public, the Met.office's primary customer is the military.

They're owned by the Ministry of Defence. They have a number of primary customers including air traffic control organisations, airlines, Army, Royal Air Force, environment agency, water companies, local councils, even supermarkets.

The idea that you could simply give them abacuses is naive to say the least - and by implication cease the provision of forecasting services.

The Met.Office's mathematical numerical weather prediction models are some of the best in the world, you are right, often they do get it wrong, that can be down to many factors, but you fail to understand the impact of chaos theory, in that the weather can fall into a chaotic state and not be predictable.

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TkH11

attitude

I'm surprised at the attitude on here of supposedly intelligent people: so we don't fully understand the weather and our climate and we can't construct 100% models, so let's not even try? Let's not spend the money doing it?

Fortunately, mankind has never adopted that attitude,

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TkH11

Right to down play

The Met.Office doesn't fully understand our weather or our climate. It can't do, and it probably never will.

We can only to a reasonable degree of reliability predict the weather in the UK out to 5 days in to the future, a number of years ago, around year 2002, that was only 3 days. We haven't made that much improvement in gathering the data, in understanding the subject enough to create accurate forecast models.

So they get it wrong, big deal. It happens. It's time to accept that the Met.Office doesn't fully understand it. It's work-in-progress. In my opinion, the Met.Office is right to down play their predictions, they know there is a significant amount of inaccuracy, unreliability and that is not the Met.Office's fault: it represents where science, the subject of meteorology is today. We evolve, we learn, we develop. That's life.

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TkH11

Re: Good

>The Met Office has a duty to present their analysis of the data in a robust way.

As scientists they do have that duty and I am sure they do present it. There was simply one episode where scientists didn't disclose all the information they had and this has resulted in considerable damage to the reputation of climatologists.

But there is a difference in presenting empirical data and making interpretations, predictions based on that data. The average member of the public doesn't understand the complexities in climatology or meteorology and when a prediction is made they interpret it with absolutely certainty, but any scientist, mathematician or engineer, (any many other intelligent people) know that a prediction means there is some degree of uncertainty that goes along with it.

Weather and climate have many cyclical behaviours, some we understand and some we have only recently discovered. If the period of a cyclical behaviour is short enough compared to the lifetime of man then we have a chance to capture enough observational data to a) observe the behaviour and b) analyse what is causing it.

The problem is, we already know that a number of behaviours have periods in terms of thousands and tens of thousands of years so whilst it is ok presenting empirical data, we have to be extremely careful with making predictions based on prediction models which have been constructed based on observational data when we don't fully understand the behaviour.

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TkH11

Re: But, but, but...

I have been known on occasion (I keep it secret) to read Daily Mail online articles, (but I claim not to be purchaser of the newspaper). DM journalists are entirely clueless about anything scientific or technical. It's truly shocking. I think I only found one article that was 100% technically correct out of many, and I'm quite sure the journalist didn't write it, it must have been prepared text that was given to him. The article was so detailed about DNA I am quite sure that many of the DM's readership were left baffled by it.

Anything that can put the DM in their place, and correct their sloppiness is welcome in my opinion,

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TkH11

They don't have a clue, but why should they refund the tax money that has been spent?

That tax money has been used to try to improve mankind's understanding.

Are you incurring a financial loss because mankind doesn't understand how our climate works?

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TkH11

Re: Completely lost

Two points: 1) You're making an assumption (which I can't even say if it is true or not), that the increase in rainfall is equally offset by longer dry periods so that the yearly rainfall amount remains the same.

Only the passage of time will show if that assumption is true or not.

2) What the Met.Office person said is quite valid, the variance is increasing. We are experiencing rainfall rates which are higher (expressed in millimetres per hour) then we typically experience, and for longer periods of time, which results in a higher rainfall accumulation figure (in millimetres).

It is appropriate to examine the monthly rainfall figures and the greater rainfall will seen from those figures. However, it is possible that the yearly average remains the same, but see point 1 above.

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