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Comment: Re:Here is how you do science. (Score 1) 764

by Actinide (#32094870) Attached to: Second Inquiry Exonerates Climatic Research Unit
Oh FFS. The overwhelming majority of the data are available. If you think CRU are wrong, run your own analysis and see if you can come up with a significantly different answer. No-one has been able to do that yet, as pretty much any way of analysing the data comes up with pretty much the same answer. For instance excluding all the skeptics' hand-picked poorly-sited stations (surfacestations.org) gives exactly the same answer for US temperature: http://www.skepticalscience.com/On-the-reliability-of-the-US-Surface-Temperature-Record.html So are the skeptics too stupid, too lazy, or already done it and know that CRU is correct?

Comment: Seriously poor correlation (Score 1) 162

by Actinide (#29808485) Attached to: Cosmic Radiation Makes Trees Grow Faster

Looking at the paper itself.. it rests entirely on an allegedly strong correlation between "annual growth anomaly" (which is the absolute deviation from a cubic spline fitted to the entire data set) and annual cosmic ray flux. So far so good although the choice of a cubic spline is "interesting" (it has a very good fit to the tree ring data, well no shit Sherlock that's the whole point of a cubic spline isn't it).

The resulting 45-year record has a superficial resemblance to cosmic ray data over the same period although I rather suspect that this is dependent on the degree of smoothing specified for the cubic spline.

But now the good bit - the fit between the growth anomaly and cosmic ray flux has a correlation coefficient of 0.39, or if you prefer an "r^2" of 0.15, from 45 points. Alternatively you can (and the authors do) specify it as a probability of fit,which gets a mighty 0.8% (i.e. there is a less than 1% chance that the cosmic rays explain the growth ring data).

Of course the usual suspects that complain the entire field of anthropogenic global change is "junk science" will doubtless be all over this one like a rash. Different standards apply to research claiming an extraterrestrial effect, you see..

Security

Cyber Gangs Raise Profile of Commercial Online Bank Security 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the only-you-can-prevent-identity-theft dept.
tsu doh nimh writes "The Washington Post's Security Fix blog has published a rapid-fire succession of investigative stories on the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars from companies, schools, and public institutions at the hands of organized cyber thieves and 'money mules,' willing or unwitting people recruited via online job scams. Some businesses are starting to challenge the financial industry's position that they are not responsible for online banking losses from things like keystroke logging malware that attacks customer PCs. Last week, a Maine firm sued its bank, saying the institution's lax approach to so-called multi-factor authentication failed after thieves stole $588,000 from the company, sending the money to dozens of money mules. The same group is thought to have taken $447,000 from a California wrecking company, whose bank also is playing hardball. Most recently, the Post's series outlined a sophisticated online system used by criminals to recruit, track and manage money mules."

Comment: Re:Goverment failed to back-burn, that is the stor (Score 1) 397

by Actinide (#27028879) Attached to: Is Climate Change Affecting Bushfires?
Sure, a lot of self-appointed experts are saying "there wasn't enough fuel reduction", plus a few real ones with barrows to push. We'll have to wait for the results of the formal investigation, but so far its looking awfully like those firestorms went straight through absolutely everything: bush that hadn't been burned for years, bush that had had recent fuel reduction, bush that had had recent summer fires, managed plantations, and even farmland with scattered trees. When it hasn't rained for weeks, the temperature has been between 35 and 45 degrees C for much of that time, and then you get 46 to 48 deg C with gale-force winds, EVERYTHING burns. You'll get little argument that fuel reduction burning reduces the impact of wildfire under "normal" summer conditions. But when the gale force winds blow at over 45 deg C (that's over 110 deg F), all bets are off regardless of prior burning.

Comment: Re:Staroffice without Linux... (Score 2, Informative) 156

by Actinide (#20207209) Attached to: Google Pack Adds StarOffice

My biggest gripe was the small incompatibilities between .ppt and ooimpress; when presenting to an audience of hundreds you can't all of a sudden have text flowing off the slide or the .bmp come up black. If I wanted to share something (most everybody else still runs Powerpoint) I had to doublecheck the whole thing prior to doing the slideshow.

Few things irritate me more than a meeting that insists on .ppt, and which won't let you plug your own laptop into the projection system. But there is a solution for this: export your talk to .pdf using a mechanism of your choice (embedding all fonts of course), and display it full-screen in Adobe Viewer. I've seen the occasional startled-looking convention centre IT drone when I've made this request, but even the most blinkered of them are able to accommodate it.

OK so you don't get to use any movies this way, or animated builds, but you can at least build text in by using multiple pages which differ only by a single bullet point if you are that way inclined (Apple's Keynote can build a .pdf in this form automatically, presumably other presentation applications can as well). And on the plus side you get, pure, guaranteed cross-platform compatibility - something powerpoint has never been able to do even between different versions of MS windows.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

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