2966 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
When reporting a comment for abuse, the ability to add a small snippet of text detailing why you felt this was abusive would be good. (Followed link; was spam. Off topic ad hom attack. Potentially libellous. Etc.)
In at least some cases it might save the mods some time. (Espessially with spam links.)
Re: BTW, why 800 numbers?
Sir, someone asked me a question. It was actually raised a couple of times in the thread. I responded with as much detail I reasonably could. From this you somehow decided to extrapolate that I "was unhappy" and felt the need to inject your uninformed viewpoint. This doesn’t “scare me.” It makes me irritated feel sorry for you that you feel this level of unwarranted and undesired personal dialogue is requested or required in such a setting.
The rest of us are trying to have an on topic conversation about the article. Kindly restrict yourself to such, or take the conversation - and your uninformed speculation - to a more appropriate medium.
Re: BTW, why 800 numbers?
I think your comment and questions are rather wildly off topic, and I really recommend this be taken elsewhere. E-mail is probably the most appropriate venue for such a personal discussion, if you feel it must be persued.
Re: BTW, why 800 numbers?
We did and do have non 1-800 numbers. But it's complicated. We had shut down two stores covering "the parts of Canada that are not Alberta." The remaining stores had only Alberta-local numbers. Also: many of our customers had the 1-800s on speed dial.
Oh, and it also came the same week as the website contact page was completely redone. ;/
Annnnd we had just recently sent out email newsletters and physical pricelists that had the 1-800 numbers on them.
So, folk were able to call the local numbers, sure. If they knew about them, and didn't immediately freak out when the 1-800s stopped working.
Re: Sounds like Planet Telecom are the people you should be cross with...
Planet Telecom did check with ThinkTel. Numerous times. By phone and email. Now, if you ask me how cross I am with ThinkTel, that would be a whole other article. One I can't write right now, because I haven't been able to adequately emotionally distance myself from the topic.
I've got nothing but all sorts of awesome happy for the Planet Telecom guys. They have done us a solid more than once throughout this particular event. Good people.
Google said I had been summoned? What's going on in here? What did I break? I don't remember this article at all...
Can the forum please include a button (two, if you need to be paranoid about violating one-click patents) that dispense caffeine? As a warm caffeinated beverage is optimal, but I will accept spontaneous intravenous intervention.
Surely this is supported by HTML5? If not, there has to be a jQuery library for it…
Re: Economics rears its ugly dismal head
Which goes right back to my overall comment. "Tech is enabling a single admin to admin far more" - thus one admin can admin multiple SMEs that ten years ago each would have had their own. And yes, I believe wholeheartedly that the pace of advancement regarding administrative automation far exceeds the rate of technological progress elsewhere in IT.
In short; yes, businesses like to do "new things." But newness is now a commodity available starting from $4.99 per user per month. With a sexy dead-simple control panel.
I run 16 networks; over 2500 people. I have three other sysadmins helping me; one is dedicated app support for one company. The other two between them to administrative scut work for three orgs/1200 people.
And yes, I am constantly introducing new tech to meet business growth. R&D and project management have come to completely replace the job of being a sysadmin. But that is exactly my point! 10 years ago, this collection of companies employed 25 IT bodies. Now it employs 5. Soon to be 4. And the pace of change has – if anything – increased.
You can reskill all you want, but the absolute number of available jobs is diminishing. The number of skilled professionals is rising, as we are still cranking out IT bodies from post-secondary faster than they retire.
That means a massive downwards force on wages and working conditions. And it means the best of the best will survive the fight; those who continually upskill. Fight hard to learn more so they can earn less.
Maintenance simply has nothing to with it. Maintenance is almost entirely automated at this point. We’re five years past that. We are at the point of automating innovation. Now there isn’t a need for such.
Just hand over your $4.99 per user per month.
Re: Should have gone to amazon.co.uk
Amazon.co.uk would seem a little counterproductive. (There's that whole ocean and suchlike.) But Amazon.ca did indeed have the metal business card holder I wanted. Provided not by Amazon itself, but by an "affiliate" company located somewhere in Ontario. I ended up dropping $750 on various widgets and bobs that I had been avoiding buying, but needed to get various tasks accomplished. All sourced from three affiliates.
15 minutes on Amazon solved the problem right quick. Versus ??????q of wandering around shopping malls, dodging in and out of random stores and calling random shops in the yellow pages. (If you don't even know where to start looking for an item, and it doesn't show up in any local search results, you're down to darts on a map!)
Amazon search? Simple, easy, happened to have multiple listings from multiple vendors.
Shopping mall of the semantic, tagged, indexed and searchable generation. Crowds of angry shoppers, wailing children, people with too much cologne and those who fight cashiers over $0.10 coupons simply need not be part of the equation.
Some research links from my search history...
Facebook Fans provide good ROI: PC World analysis of some primary research.
emarketer does some digging on Facebook for Brand Research.
Nextweb overview of 10 Case Studies in which Social Media provided good ROI.
Really good: Video: Facebook, 29M increase revenues, and exactly how Facebook drives ROI
...one of my clients moved about 10 blocks away. They sent out e-mails, posted signs, send out flyers, the works. Google Maps, despite MUCH prodding, would reset their location to the "old" location every few weeks. They got many complaints from customers every time this happened. Ended up losing a reasonable amount of business.
I'll agree with you that Maps is a PITA. But it is heavily relied upon by some.
Re: Interesting timing
An excellent piece, one I thoroughly enjoyed. It aligns well with my understanding of Facebook’s role in our collective social consciousness, as well as most of the science and statistics I’ve seen regarding IPM.
People don’t go to Facebook to shop. People use Facebook (somewhat) for discoverability but hugely for reputation. Selling directly through Facebook will quite likely never work.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Getting around the character limit...
Were I to qualify every single statement and provide primary research for every concept, I would not draw one iota less flak for mentioning a concept someone does not like. Centuries of history back up the fact that people willfully cling to beliefs aligning with their personal worldview, even in the face of compelling evidence.
I very purposefully tried to limit the thrust of the article to the fact that systems administrators need to prepare. Whether or not market research is correct in this regard actually doesn’t matter: companies are turning to sysadmins asking them to “make it so.”
It is pretty obvious from your posts that you don’t trust market research. You are pretty blatant that in your mind what advertisers think doesn’t reflect reality. Faced with that, nothing I could ever say - no evidence I could reasonably present - would convince you.
My evidence for this phenomenon comes from economists, from psychologists, from advertising industry groups and from market research firms. It is generally reasonably sound science, commissioned by people who have a vested financial interest in getting it right.
When an individual immediately dismisses all experts, (spanning scientists, corporations and industry organizations) because they personally (based on what evidence?) don’t believe it, the discussion is becomes of a different nature.
The discussion becomes akin to explaining climate change science, detailing how cell phones cannot cause you cancer, or that HIV does cause AIDS. You don’t write a 600 word article (or use one href) about that. Assembling the level of information required to counter every complaint is the work of a lifetime.
Regarding the importance of social media: I see the reality of it every day in my professional life. If you honestly care about the research, e-mail me. But please forgive me if I am not prepared deep dive a topic of this depth 2,000 characters at a time.
Either way, the next ten years will definitively tell the tale.
Re: Re: Getting around the character limit...
I never said this applied to every single business, or every single customer. However, if you are trying to reach the 18-32 demographic (which by far most business are) then being online – and social! – matters.
Quite frankly, the demographics that aren’t online and don’t use the net for product/brand research and which don’t use social media are shrinking. Partly because more people are getting online (and social) and partly because holdouts are dying of old age.
Social media is so important to an increasing % of consumers that it legitimately matters for most businesses. It most certainly is key to one critical demographic, and the importance of it is increasing.
This is not merely my opinion; this is the opinion of quite a few prominent economists, (one of whom was mentioned in my post) as well as several industry associations. It is a vital business strategy for most (but not all) businesses. Facebook/Twitter/etc. presences do provide ROI for most SMEs. You can’t really wish that away.
With few exceptions, businesses that deny this reality will be servicing a shrinking customer base. My professional experience reflects the recent spate of papers, studies and surveys that confirm the above. I have witnessed IPM revitalise numerous flagging businesses, while lack of it has doomed their competition.
I cannot provide you links to every study (or get hugely in depth into the economic side) in the ~600 words I am allotted for my sysadmin blog. The goal is not academic debate on economic theory. (There are other more appropriate forums for this.)
The goal is simply “hey guys, this is the way the world is heading. As sysadmins you should know about it. Requests are likely to land on your desk to support this. Be prepared.”
The concepts underlying IPM are not new. But the technologies – and skills – involved in making it happen are. That is where it matters to sysadmins.
Getting around the character limit...
For those that believe the opinions expressed in my article are uninformed, I have put together a brief overview of some of the key research points that have led me to the understanding expressed here. If you do indeed care about how I arrived at these conclusions, it is worth a look.
Off topic, and for the record: I am no fan of Facebook, nor of social media in general. I will use it - even profit from it - when I must. I recognise its importance to the generation that is succeeding my own.
But I am also aware of the science surrounding confirmation bias, including the concept of disconfirmation bias. I am aware of the concept of false consensus, and how it even applies in situations where we wouldn't expect it to.
Allowing my own dislike for social networking - or the “hive mind” on El Reg/Ars – to influence my perceptions of the real world uses of these technologies by other people would place me at a disadvantage. I have no interest in placing myself at a disadvantage.
Thus if I wish to get ahead I must put effort into perceiving the world as it is. Not as I – or the hive mind on the websites where I spend the bulk of my leisure time – would like it to be.
Search for it as "Internet Presence Management." Basically, it is a catch all term covering every type of internet-based marketing you can imagine, combined with business analytics, reputation monitoring and other such things.
Beyond just marketing, it covers how your company presents itself to customers. Do you offer real-time inventory? Do you have a social media presence? What kind? Flat-out P.R., or an EasyDNS-style Twitter-as-another-vehicle-for-tech-support actually useful approach to social communication.
What do people say about you on the internets? Are you on Ripoff Report? Are people saying mean things about you on forums, social media, and so forth? What are they saying? Are their complaints legitimate, or sour grapes?
Throw science and statistics at it too. We know that people predominantly like to whinge and complain, but rarely say a nice thing unless pressed. We’ve a few decades of studies to tell us what the percentages are like on that, so build some crawlers and scrapers to trawl about the internets and see how you really are doing.
Do you hire companies like Freeform Dynamics to gather hard stats on how your company is perceived, what customer demand is and so forth? If you are a software firm, do you run programs similar to the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program? What avenues exist for customers to provide feedback on your products and services?
The way I like to think of it is this: there is a concept amongst the types called “devops.” Where development and operations are fused into a single department in an attempt to eliminate inefficiency and promote agility.
Proper IPM is the extension of devops to marketing and enterprise resource planning. Using IT, statistics and proper science to monitor corporate online presence and in turn use that to make decisions about everything from future marketing to inventory management.
As always however, YMMV depending on whom you hire for IPM.
Bizarrely, the office supply stores don't seem to carry any that aren't somewhere in the $60 each range. (Staples does claim to be able to sell one to me through the online store, but apparently lacks the ability to tell me if they have it in stock at any given location.) This might be a dollar store item; but to be honest, I can’t remember ever having been in one in ~15 years…
No sir, I was not a customer of any of these shops. Indeed, I approached the entire exercise having - quite literally - not the first clue where I might buy such an item. I had never in my life purchased a business card holder. I have zero recollection of ever having seen them in a store when I was there. (I may have seen them, but I obviously didn't retain their presence.)
The business card holder is only one example. I have several hundred more. (A dozen or so related to trying to find the right $item for $task relating to basement renos I am currently involved in.)
So there’s this thing. I have never before used one in my entire life. My circle of friends has never before used one. We have (collectively) no idea where to go to get such a beast. Where do we start? I ask Google Maps. (It works about 50% of the time.) My friend asked Siri. We then fell back to Google proper.
But without the interwebs, buggered if I would even know where to start looking.
As it turns out, there are in fact several shops right along my route home that could have provided me with the widget I sought. (Pointed out to me by my neighbour when I discussed this with him last night.) Indeed, I probably would have ended up dropping upwards of $500 at these stores to get all the widgets I needed.
Instead, I spent about $750 yesterday getting not only those widgets, but other useful things like “micro USB cables, additional cables for my Galaxy Tab” and so forth. I loathe shopping. But I’ll do it when I have to. I don’t exactly “bargain hunt” by driving across the city to save $5 on something. I save up a list of items I need to get until something forces my hand – in this case, getting a card case – and I finally go forth and pick up the things I need.
The example used is really only one of many; and the hell of it is, I’m not one of the “instant gratification generation.” But my day job has become ever more focused on building services and technologies to satisfy them.
Oh, and before anyone tells me I'm full of it, my response is simply "time will tell." I used to be able to make a living as an SME sysadmin for a single company. Now, I run the IT for half a dozen organisations, act as consultant for at least two dozen more and have started and Internet Presence Management company.
A year ago, any income from The Register was a cute bonus. Something that I invested in buying a new ASUS Transformer, or a stack of software licences so that I could turn around and write more articles. It was a hobby that almost paid for itself.
Today, that income is absolutely essential if I am going to look after my family. I haven’t had a raise (at my day job) in 4 years. When the massive inflation for the Edmonton area is taken into account, I have in fact taken a significant pay cut.
To maintain a modestly frugal middle class lifestyle whilst paying off student loans and having any hope in hell of saving for an even modest retirement, we need a household income somewhere in the 120k cdn range.
If she makes 40k – about national average – then that means that I have to stump up 80k. I have 10 years of professional experience as a systems administrator. At least 5 of that as some flavour of higher management with added project management blue crystals. I have been fixing computers in one form or another since I was 8 years old. 80k for that level of experience is not something I consider out of bounds.
Instead, I have to effectively work 3 jobs (16-18 hrs, 7 d/wk) to pull in ~85k. It is quite literally killing me. Sadly, I am still doing better than most sysadmins in the Edmonton area, as most are unemployed. (Outsourced to Manila.) Those that aren’t are lucky to get ~60k with 10 years of experience.
I should have listened to my father and been a welder. In Alberta, that’s far better pay (~125k) for far fewer hours.
Reskilling will help some people; but the key here is the sheer volume of companies that can now be managed by a single meat sack. Some folks will do well by migrating skills towards cloudy giggery-pokery. But the absolute tonnage of meat required to keep all the interwebular widgets running will decrease dramatically over the coming decade.
Fewer nerds will be needed than exist today. The nerds that exist today are all being told “reskill or die!” Competition will be fierce, remuneration will plummet. Eventually, we’ll reach a point where the expectation is that people with 4 years of post secondary and 10 years of field experience work for sum($poverty_line * 1.10), and this is a transition that simply won’t be accepted by folk used to making sum($poverty_line * 3.00) or higher.
Jobs will start to leave industrialised nations. India and China are both out – they cost too much – but there are several skilled centers popping up in Africa that will fill the bill. Ordinarily this would be no cause for alarm; the quality of service would be so low that 5 years later it would all come back home. But it won’t.
Fact is; technology is advancing to the point that – by and large – you don’t need English-speaking, well trained, highly-skilled meat to run it. Mostly, gear looks after itself. If it doesn’t, well…it’s disposable! Just throw the offending thing away and buy a new one. Commoditisation magnified by “self-healing” technology.
Engineers are safe; someone has to design this crap. Circuits need to be engineered, software still requires immense skill and talent to write properly, and someone has to design that cloudy whatsit to not die. (Or at least do something useful like fail to backups when it does.)
But the sysadmin? Our time is limited. The coming decade will (with some exceptions) see the end of my kind. Those of us lacking an iron ring, who are passable at development but really dislike it…we’ve no future here.
But not within IT.
Re: On the bright side...
Out east, it is already installed. I have clients in NB with FTTH deployments. Greenfield deployments are active in ON and QC already, with actual investments in brownfield by major carriers (and some indies!)
The west is another story. FTTH exists in many greefield deployments here, but the majors have little reason to light them. In some rare cases, indies have lit up towers in V-town and Cow-town. Shaw claims that any day now they will do the same.
Those of us in brownfield neighbourhoods are boned; Shaw shuffles their feet around awkwardly and stares at the wall whilst Telus just starts laughing in an uncomfortable fashion.
On the other hand, we don’t have the ridiculous uber-UBB out west that seems to be the norm out east. So…the choices seem to be “slow, but you are allowed to actually use it” or “really, really fast, but pointless because the caps are low enough to hit them with a work-from-home RDP session.”
You might note...
...that a series of long-winded posts have been marked exceptions over the past ~1.5 yrs. When Drew asked me to give the new design a go, I quite purposefully tried out a few long-winded posting styles. (Both in the user forums and in the regular, article forums.)
With luck, the Powers That Be will have seen the good, bad and ugly of long-form posting in the current system. They can then go forth and modify the system as they see fit. I doubt you’ll have much cause to worry about violating the vulture Zen and the interforumular Chi beyond said deliberate attempts at breaking the system.
Portable PDF viewer
While it certainly is possible to use Sumtra or Foxit in portable mode, I find the point of them - PDF viewer shell/browser integration - to be missed. PDFs are a bog standard format for manuals nowadays (say...the mobo manual with the jumper layouts...) and really should be part of the OS itself.
I also like the ability to use them for scripts. I have found portable versions have problems with printint in Windows 7 if you summon them from the command line. Every now and again I have to coxe some widget that scans a directory, looks for any new pdfs and prints them. Bitter experience has taught me to use shell-integrated copies.
"Unrecognised item in bagging area."
In 7 years, none of the widget counters at any of the 8 stores I use that have them have ever done this to me. So...I have no idea how I avoid it. It has simply never come up!
You guys are going to make me shop at Superstore just to see what their check outs are like. The Sobeys/IGA ones here are fantastic, and I am pretty sure Safeway bought the same units, with a slightly different payment option configuration.
I’ve never had an “unrecognised item in bagging area” problem in the many years I’ve been using it. (The one by my house was a test store for the whole program.) The worst time I ever had was trying to hunt-and-peck through the menu to tell the thing that it should weigh my grapes and determine the price because I had lost the barcode. Even then, it meant only a few extra seconds as I poked at the screen.
Six years now with these things (almost seven?), and they haven’t given me grief once. Truly astonished. If beating Apache (and all it’s various mod_insanity) into submission was this easy, I’d be out of a job!
@Sean Timarco Baggaley
Slightly more to it, I'm sure. Now, I'm not an editor or any other such knowledgeable person, but I suspect that there is a magical bit of math somewhere that says “make articles only this long (or only this much on the first page) etc. in order to maximize eyeball time.” Critical, especially in light of the rise of the ADD generation.
Some sites offer the ability to log in with your user and change the “skin” of the site. (Some need subscriptions for this, others don’t.) You can in various cases choose different colour themes (I like black backgrounds with orange or green text,) different layouts, the ability to have “multi-page” articles presented as a single page and so forth.
I suspect that isn’t something that is a “flick a switch and change it tomorrow” modification for El Reg; ever know anyone who could turn an entire CMS around that fast? But all/some/none of these may be valid at addressing concerns.
Maybe you could have a doohicky that “remembers your device.” Facebook seems perfectly able of leaving some wretched cookie on most of my devices that separates them one from the other. (Or rather, it did until I figured out what it was doing and killed it.)
I think it’s important that The Register maintain some control over style though. El Reg needs things that make it unique. Not just the content…but the “little things” that mean when I glance at some random guy’s screen, I know he’s a vulture.
I like The Register. There’s good people here. I want it to have a strong, unique identity that separates it from other sites. But I also see entirely where you are coming from with the design thing, and, well…I think Drew’s in a tough spot there.
I am not a coloured pencil person. I am a professional troll. All gripes aside, the forum upgrades so far are a huge step forward. A lot of work by a lot of people, and it has been well done.
Very interesting conundrum.
The new style manipulation abilities bring the El Reg forums up to a far more capable standard than previously. They move from being “comments sections like I find on my local newspaper” to “within reach of forming the kind of commenter communities that Slashdot and Ars Technica maintain.”
Following exactly doesn’t set you apart, and there are design philosophies for the developer, head honchos and so forth that are different from both example sites. (As well there should be, the content is quite different, and I imagine that each site has its fair share of unique readers as well!)
One thing those sites are known for are the long, drawn out threads of ultimate doom that will spawn around any given topic. Not just the comments, but anything under the sun.
If this is the sort of community El Reg wants to attract, then maybe the “unique hook” could be the one thing I wish both those places did, but don’t. Imagine a “split this thread” button. (Or “take off the record?”) Something where a moderator, (or the original poster for a thread of comments) could push “split this thread,” and that whole chain pops out of the story comments and spears in user forums.
Now your story comments goes from 100 comments (50 of which are filled with screaming nerd rage) to 50 comments and one link that says “this thread moved here”
And/or, maybe you could “reply as user forum,” where your reply is an href to a completely separate forum where the character limits don’t apply.” Less 8-page nerd rage uber comments under the article, but still the freedom to write comments that deserve to be bound as a hardcover.
There's a few ways to play it, but it might be worth a look. It all depends on the type of nerds you are hoping to attract to the forums!
Design for a drawn out debate.
Well, the character limit is a big thing, naturally. The other big ones are as follows:
1) Inability to do “tabs” and carriage return issues. This makes delineating lists of points or doing quick point/counterpoint difficult.
2) Lack of a “quote” feature. You can try to do formatting manually, but that gets old quick. What is way easier is proper quotes. On other forums, when I hit “reply,” I get a pre-canned bit of BBCode in my box that looks like this:
[quote="drewc"]Drew wrote all the things![/quote]
Now, this is cool when writing a reference, but critical when chopping up a comment:
[quote="drewc"]Rabbits are evil[/quote]
No they aren't. They are most certainly sent by god. The told plecostomus me so.
[quote="drewc"]As supporting evidence, I offer that they had to be killed with a holy hand grenade.[/quote]
I see your point, but obviously it was a sort of anti-holy grenade as Arthur was able to wield it. If he can't understand the bit about the sparrows, he's obviously an evil chump himself.
And so on. Nesting quotes becomes pretty important as an ability as well.
3) Lack of a "spoiler" or "hidden" feature. This is like "quote," but hides the quoted text in a little JS box that you have to click on to make visible. This allows you to take an obscenely long set of arguments and cut them down to something that doesn't occupy a whole page.
[spoiler] It also serves to hide a related - but tangential - bit of musing away from the main body of the argument.[/spoiler]
These are pretty critical when you don’t have a fully threaded forum. (They mostly go away if you do.) The semi-threaded nature of El Reg’s forums removes the necessity of this from most casual conversation, but makes longer debates in which multiple parties really get going at it a lot harder.
Firstly, how's Trevor Pott to post his long missives now?
Simple; I go back to “not using the forums", and leave you lot in peace once more. I only really crawled back out of my hole on the other end of the internet because they needed someone to break the thing.
Reg commenters are (on average) fans of the short, emotive, moralistic, judgemental or witty epistle. The witty one-liner. Fans of the lengthy, point-for-point debates exchanging piles of supporting evidence, with rules of logical discourse and so forth?
Not so much.
There isn’t a great deal of “I don’t understand this, can you please explain it to me?" Or even “I think that might be wrong, here is why: <evidence>, <evidence>, <evidence>." Totally different commenting culture from what I enjoy, and one that in no way requires or desires my particular internets-commenting skillset.
This comment is almost 2000 characters long. This would just be enough to list the points I would be about to rebut during a typical deep dive thread.
End of the day? It's a good thing. A 2000 character limit would really target The Register's audience well; it is how commenttards here like things to be. I have given "having a proper debate" a go in a few threads. I have given "explaining things properly" a go in a few more. It’s just not feasible with the existing forum design.
Oh well. I will give it all a try again on Reg Forums v.Next. Until then, I will go back to my regular haunts and grind my “writing about science" skills until I level up a few more times.
Pints all 'round!
Haven't had the opportunity. I've had something someone claimed was ptarmigan, but it tasted like turkey. I'd have my issues with Whale/Dolphin as I consider them to be sentient and sapient. (Just as I would not kill or eat any of the Great Apes, any Corvids or any Elephants. All of which have significant scientific evidence pointing to homo-sapiens-class cognition.)
One possibility that I find enticing from the “om nom nom meat” side of life is that there is a group in eastern Europe trying to bring back the aurochs. There is a definitive difference between bison and cow (to the point that I almost never buy cow anymore,) so I am highly curious as to the yummy nature of an aurochs.
Most companies I deal with suck. From the vendor and manufacturer of my microwave to my DNS provider. Our blame-the-victim culture combined with hiring the absolute bottom of the barrel for every possible position means that I only rarely encounter a company I find even remotely useful.
When I do, they stick in my mind. So late at night, when I scrabbling around thinking "I really should write an article," every so often I decide to balance all the negative press we read in the world with something more upbeat. Tell a tale of being happy with your vendor/service provider for once.
No advertising involved; just a weird personality quirk that dislike "all negative all the time" in my morning newspaper.
EaseDNS and route53
EasyDNS has set up some thing wherein you can easily mirror/move/etc your DNS to Amazon. Haven't tried it yet, but seems to be their Next Big Thing in helping to prevent DDoS issues from affecting customers; help them more easily run on mutiple providers.
Claims were made apout a single interface that would change DNS on both services, but I cannout really vouch for I have not yet played with.
Own experience. I'm a customer; I pay them money. That's an odd form of advertising where you pay a company so you can write about them! That said, it could be the "next thing" in Apple journalism, so I should tread lightly...
The cognitive dissonance in calling my posts ad homenim with a comment such as you just posted is...impressive.
As for being an alarmist, I have no idea what you are talking about. I was talking about science. I've no idea where you get "alarmism" from. But hey, go have a beer and chill out, dude…
Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTMLThere are a number of holes in your arguments - enough to keep going for days and days - but I'll pick just the one out for simplicity's sake. I don’t actually want to spend the rest of my days debating Climate Change amidst an army of commenters with strong disconfirmation bias. (A reasonable chunk can be covered here anyways.)
Finally, I certainly never learned about any "buffer space" in all of my thermodynamics and heat transfer classes, but I can tell you that the specific heat of water is four times greater than the atmosphere and there is far more of said water on this planet than said gas. To say that we have somehow saturated the oceans and they can no longer act as a heat sink, well, I just can't think of any polite way to disagree with it.
If you learned about thermodynamics and heat transfer then with any luck you have learned things about turbulence, mixing and so forth. The long and the short of this being that oceanic layers don’t quite mix as much as we would like.
So sure, there is all sorts of capacity in the deep ocean to absorb heat. Gobs and gobs and gobs of it. The problem is getting the heat to the lower layers of the ocean. The atmosphere can only conduct so much heat to the surface layers of the water at any given time, and that water then has to either radiate it away or mix with the lower layers.
The long and the short of it is that the depth of the top layer of water (and the concept of layers along with an understanding of turbulence are critical here) determines how much heat the oceans can absorb (both in terms of solar radiation and in terms of atmospheric heat.)
What’s more, the warmer it gets, the shallower the mixed layer becomes. (As it becomes warmer, the stratification of the oceans becomes more stable, mixing occurs less, etc. and yadda yadda.)
The oceans may be big and all, but unless the energy gets from the mixed layer to the lower ones, then they aren’t exactly sinking any of that heat.
A-ha, you say: but conduction would carry the heat downwards eventually! This is where El Nino/La Nina are so critical; when the barrier layer (the one between the mixed layer and the thermocline) becomes saturated with heat, the whole system goes a bit titsup and mixing with the deep ocean finally occurs.
How much of the heat mixes is really the determining factor of how much your big giant oceans can absorb. What happens when the heat buildup start affecting layer mixing…well that’s another kettle of fish.
As to the ad hom “you really are a believer," well…I think you have me mistaken for someone else. I am actually strongly sceptical about a great deal of climate change voodoo. There is some bad science going on, and a great deal of misinformed NIMBYism.
But I am convinced by evidence. And I spend a great deal of time reading it. What I am not convinced by are the various typical denier logical fallacies. (There is a heck of a difference between an actual skeptic and a denier!)
Even if we can get past the really crazy ones who honestly believe there is a conspiracy to suppress the truth, in any given drawn out argument I will run into the following in short order:
1) Argument from incredulity (mankind can’t possibly affect something so large as the Earth!)
2) Fallacy of composition (it was colder last year!),
3) False authority (7 scientists who have nothing to do with climate science signed a petition with one that did saying it’s all hokum!)
4) Cherry-picked data (the past X years shows a decline, so long as I choose the warmest year in the past while as the basis for my cherry-picked graph!)
5) Moving goalposts/impossible expectations,
6) Proving a negative (which veers into god-of-the-gaps territory; “if you can not/ do not know everything there is to know then by default climate change can’t be happening/isn’t anthropogenic/won’t cause problems/etc.")
7) Straw man (predictions in the past said we would all be underwater by now, thus the whole thing is false! Additionally: “some extremist who believes the science of global warming did this/flies in a jet/eats meat/etc. thus everyone who believes in the science of global warming are all liars/thieves/whoresons/filthy socialists out for my money/etc."
That’s just the surface stuff. The really hardcore ones get into some pretty damning cognitive dissonance. Scary stuff.
Long story short: no, I am not a “believer" in global warming. I am someone who has read the science and for the most part am convinced that it has been done properly. I understand the concept of uncertainty, and how we can “know something" while error bars still exist.
I can even be convinced otherwise. If someone wants to point me at a whole bunch of peer reviewed scientific papers that clearly demonstrate that extant climate science is wrong, (or even offer reasonable doubt!) I will gladly peruse them. The thing is; any alternative explanation for the evidence we have been collecting needs to actually explain that evidence.
If you want to convince me that extant climate science is real, the bar is well defined: peer reviewed papers that outline how extant science is wrong, with tests that can demonstrate the proposed hypothesis. If those experiments and analyses pan out, not only will I believe the science presented me, but I suspect those folks would be in for a Nobel Prize. (That would be a hell of an achievement!)
What abotu for you? What standards of evidence do you need before you will accept the science?
Ah well, off to the pub with me!
@chris gray 1
Actually, most sane climate change mitigation provides very good medium-term ROI. High up-front costs, but paid back within 10 years and certainly much cheaper in the long run. The problem is that coping with climate change involves two things:
1) Getting over our fear of nuclear power
2) Investing in infrastructure instead of fiddling with banks
As a society we seem to have a pathological aversion to actually manufacturing goods and then employing skilled people to maintain them. The reasons that people reject climate change are - IMHO - far more to do with morals; they don't like the idea that they are leaving future generations a worse world than the one they were left.
There are plenty of ways to start dealing with climate change now that result in a net gain of jobs, economic growth and a general improvement in our standard of living. But we have to get over the moral hurdles and shed the cold-war nuclear boogyman crap that has been holding us back for 50 years.
My problem is that an increase in atmospheric temperature cannot cause an increase in temperature in currents that is three times larger (than the atmospheric change).
No, but it doesn't have to. The atmospheric temperature change isn't the only thing driving the oceans to warm. They absorb solar radiation a heck of a lot more than the atmosphere does! That's why they will warm more than the atmosphere. Also consider that greenhouse gases prevent the oceans from radiating the heat away, as they the reflect (some of) that radiation right back down at the oceans.
In other words, the ocean cannot absorb any more heat, causing the atmosphere to heat up. That refutes the findings as stated in the article, namely that "...the surprise is that those currents are warming faster than the globe as a whole".
That’s part of it, yes. But there are also local variations. Why are these currents warmer than the models project? Why are other areas warming more slowly? What local effects play a role here? (Deepwater mixing – or lack thereof – is probably a big contributor.) Please do remember that the whole earth doesn’t warm evenly. There will be local variations; sometimes these variations will even be quite dramatic!
Other aspects that goes begging are firstly, what has happened to the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) aka the Ocean Conveyer Belt system over the same period
It still exists, (and is indeed a major consideration in the paper!) but how much heat can be mixed at depth is something we are still in the process of studying. It turns out that the deep ocean can absorb more than we at first suspected, but the exact circumstances under which this can occur (and what the thermal transfer maximum is) are still active areas of research.
and secondly, is there any tie-in with the El Niño/La Nina cycle?
If you read the paper, the authors account for this in their research, and the variations observed appear to be independent of this cycle.
Here lies the rub: the system is so complex and has such a vast number of components (some which have probably not been discovered yet) that I think it is still rather presumptuous of anyone to make sweeping statements regarding the whole system based on observations in one particular area.
They didn’t. The localised variance was something that existing climate models predicted would exist. This team verified the prediction made by these climate models. When they started digging deeper they begun to see how it was all connected, they found that in fact the amount of heat present was even higher than the models predicted.
Their analysis points to possible issues that the warmer water may have absorbing additional CO2 load (thus being able to mix it with the lower depths and buy us a few more years,) but more importantly the study highlighted exactly how much uncertainty existed in extant temperature records and how we should best go about addressing it.
So, that being one of the main focuses of the project, they were still able to determine that all values within the bounds of uncertainty came out to “bad.” The question is really “exactly how bad.”
For that we need more buoys.
1) Climate change isn't about "mostly" anthropogenic or not. It's more complex than that. The Earth's biosphere has a certain capacity. If we weren't burning fossil fuels at all, it would actually be capable of absorbing quite a bit of CO2 above the "normal background" amount. This would give a non-human-populated Earth the ability to deal with all sorts of natural variation with relative ease.
Instead, we have been burning fossil fuels. This means that we have been pumping a lot of extra CO2 into the system; more than the biosphere can adequately process. The acidification of the oceans is really all the proof anyone should need of that fact. The biosphere simply cannot process the CO2 that is being pumped out; the result is the slow carbonation of the oceans.
What % of the CO2 being released into the atmosphere is “natural" and what % is caused by us is a moralistic sleight of hand. We have a really good handle on how much CO2 we are pumping into the atmosphere. And it is a lot. Even if the natural CO2 emissions were enough to overload the biosphere (they aren’t,) we would still have to look at it from the standpoint of adding the sum totality of mankind’s emissions overtop of that.
Again; it’s not that easy. You see, as I said earlier, the biosphere can actually handle more CO2 than is “normally" pumped out by things like volcanoes. That means there is actually capacity within the system to deal with some human input. Unfortunately, that capacity has quite simply been exceeded.
“How much is natural" is a cute way of trying to make the whole thing into a moral issue. “Well, if the earth puts out CO2 on its own, then it’s okay for us to do so," etc. It is sidestepping the issue of “no matter who is responsible, we are demonstrably beyond the carrying capacity of the biosphere."
2) Natural CO2 emissions are variable. Human CO2 emissions only ever go up. (Which IMHO is blame that can be laid at the feet of the anti-nuke NIMBYs, but that’s an entirely other discussion.) So some years the CO2 emissions will be down, some years they will be up. But overall they are on a notable and dramatic upwards trend. (With no notable long term aggregate increase in natural CO2 emissions.)
3) “How will this affect us" is indeed the question. It is where – IMHO – we need to be focusing our research, politics and priorities. The big one that hurts us isn’t going to be “the climate is warmer." Ocean acidification will be a massive global economic boo-boo way before we start to notice rainfall shifts or flooding of low-lying areas. (Florida, etc.)
Long term; population centers that can’t tolerate a few meters rise in ocean level will have to be abandoned. We will have to learn to manage stronger storms, and find ways of managing water resources on continent-wide scales. (Rainfall pattern alterations will be a real pain in the latter half of this century.)
Politically, we’ll start to run into peak oil issues long before we notice the climate change, but the end result is the same; we need to wean ourselves off of Oil. There are good reasons that have nothing at all to do with climate change alarmism.
1) Energy independence
2) We need those hydrocarbons for things like plastics
3) Oil production is unable to meet extant energy needs, let alone our projected demands
4) Increased cost of oil extraction makes it economically non-viable for extant energy use cases.
Long story short: we need nukes. Lots of them. It’s the only technology we have that can even begin to address our energy demands. (Hydro is a close second.) Natural gas will be a nice alternative to coal for the next 20 years or so, but that is on its last legs as well. (Cost of extraction beyond the 20 year timeframe is looking distinctly prohibitive to burn it as electricity.)
The windmill fantasy needs to die. Dead a thousand deaths. Photovoltaic should not be far behind. The science isn’t there to show that these are viable solutions without massive changes in our lifestyle. Anyone who honestly believes that western civilisation is going to stagnate its energy demands and/or that the developing world is going to somehow not grow to demand to use as much energy as we do is flat out nuts.
Discussions regarding mitigation of climate change issues must occur within a framework of realistic expectation. We must accept that we are not going to change our ways overnight, nor are we going to save the world by recycling our milk jugs. (Household waste is less than 3% of total waste in the US!) We have to be looking at how to meet extant and growing energy demands in a way that doesn’t strain the biosphere further, and we have to start developing technologies as well as economic and political strategies to begin to reduce our CO2 footprint below the limit where the biosphere can cope.
Only then can we being the long road towards allowing the planet to adjust to “the new normal."
Science doesn’t say change is bad. Science says too much change, too quickly causes problems. The people in our way are on both sides of the political fence. Those on the right denying that climate change even exists, and those on the left preventing us from instituting the only technologies we have that allow us to cope with it.
Depressing, the whole topic.
In any case, we don't need a "complete and definitive" understanding of all the systems in play in order to know what's up. Instead, we work to shrink the error bars more and more; and we have been for some time. Unfortunately, the error bars have been steadily reduced such that all of the various possible outcomes lie between "not good" and "stupidly not good" with the peak of the bell curve sitting just the other side of "it costs us less to act now than it does to just let it happen."
There’s too much politics and belief on all sides of this fight, and not enough listening to the actual science.
Based on your comments re: "everyone's been beating on" the IPCC numbers, etc, it sounds like you might be one of those folks who believes in climategate, "that the science isn't good" and the whole rigamarole of the manufactured controversy.
Consider reading this. It is a good report on a recent completely independent study (funded by the oilcos, no less!) that utterly failed to find an issue with the current state of climate science.
The whole “the numbers are bunk, there really is a controversy!” thing has actually been debunked. By the very scientists that were paid to shore up the idea that there is a controversy. Some days, science actually works.
Hurrah for scientific ethics!
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