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Comment Re:Weather forecasting has a way to go (Score 1) 43

I can understand why they get predictions about the future wrong, that bit is hard. What gets me is when the prediction for right now is at odds with what is actually happening. It seems like there is a significant delay between sensors on the ground taking a reading and the models being updated.

I'm not a Met, but I do have some understanding of the processes involved in model forecast runs.

Both the ECMWF and the US's GFS V2 (which, incidentally, is normally trounced by the ECMWF when it comes to predictive qualities) rely on a global network of real-time pressure and temperature sensors. Every six hours, that data is assembled into the databases needed for the ECMWF (and GFS, GEM, JAMSTEC etc) to run. They crunch the numbers and spit out a forecast, starting 6 hours out from the initialization conditions.

Apart from it being slightly comical when the guy on TV says sun is out but looking through the window I can see rain, it makes short term predictions useless. If they say it will rain this evening when I want to go out but the forecast for right now is wrong, what am I supposed to do with that information?

Back in the days when Pluto was still a planet and Bill Crosby wasn't creepy, the local TV stations actually employed a meteorologist to do their short-range forecasting (or had an agreement with the local airport or whatever). That guy (usually an older guy) would draw the maps and explain the weather, and usually get it right (with, of course, the obviously insane errors). Since that guy was doing local forecasts (and note the airport comment; planes need really good local weather to land, or at least they did; I'm not sure about today), it was actionable information.

Fast forward to today, and you see a TV personality showing off a narrow waist and ample cleavage whilst presenting the weather. They are reading off model forecasts that may or may not bear much resemblance to your reality. That crap is at best guidance only; and hardly actionable for this evening.

If you want to have actionable rain information, I've read about an app called Dark Sky (note: I have nothing to do with this app; it's feature set and how it works caught my attention). It uses the pressure and temperature information that comes from your phone (and app users around you) to build a local-to-you forecast. My iPhone 4S doesn't have the necessary sensors, so I've not really followed up with the app, but I have heard lots of good things. YMMV.

Comment Re:Don't worry! (Score 1) 417

In 85 years we'll have flying cars, submersible habitats, colonies on the moon, we'll be terraforming Mars and flying around in spaceships.

Course, all that was supposed to have happened - well, now According to the "experts".

If you consider writers of fiction to be experts. Which might explain why you believe the lies of climate science denialists.

You're right. Let's listen to Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, instead.

He said, in March 2000, snowfall will become a very rare and exciting event.

Comment Re:Hmmm (Score 2) 214

Even with the relatively high value of the cargo, it is still hard to see how the person who delivered it could reasonably expect to be paid for it.

Doesn't have to be a payment. "Deliver this package into the jail, and we don't hurt your wife / children / etc". Coercion can be a wonderful motivator, too.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 904

At least that is my hope. The concept of car ownership is archaic. I look forward to the offloading all the associated penalty costs of car ownership in favour of a service model.

You mean like Zip car?

I loved Zip Car, but not having control of the car is a problem. For instance, having a car available when you need it, for the length of time you need it, is the biggest problem. Life happens; you're on the road and whammo! a traffic jam because of an accident. If you're driving the car, you've now got a problem because the car needs to be returned. Or, you're waiting on a car that's currently stuck in a traffic jam.

We used Zip Car for about a year, and decided that a 15yo QX4 (which we paid for) suited our needs better. Being able to control the transport in our life is liberating.

Comment Re:Need to find a co-conspirator BEFORE you do thi (Score 1) 217

When you're committing a crime, don't screw your partner who can expose you.

Crime 101 I suppose...

I refer you to the opening heist of The Dark Knight, where each of the gang members shoots the gang member who has just done his bit.

"So do you kill me?"
"No, I kill the bus driver."
"Bus driver?"
(Bus crashes through wall, killing the first gang member. Second gang member shoots the bus driver)

Comment Re:"Edge" (Score 1) 140

I find it funny they've worked so hard so as not to alienate the users who think the "blue e" is the Internet but thought it was ok to radically change the interface in Windows 8.

Windows 8 was lead by Steven Sinofsky, described as someone with the maniacal power and force of will of a Steve Jobs ... lacking Jobs' best gift: An innate understanding of good design.

After Windows 8, Sinofsky didn't work at Microsoft anymore. Now Microsoft have to deal with his legacy: some good and some bad. The result is Windows 10, led by Gabe Aul.

I actually don't mind the Windows 10 Start menu. It's a good compromise between the Windows 95 - Windows 7 concepts and the Windows 8 Start screen. It could be better, but it's good enough.

Comment Re:bit coin doesn't solve the strategic issue. (Score 1) 359

It's catastrophic to remain with the Euro, too. Acknowledging the economic & political lunacy that has been Greece over the last however many years, sticking with the Euro merely keeps the pain lingering far, far longer that another country in the same situation would.

Suppose Greece remains with the Euro: sooner or later, prices are going to rise. If you're thinking about visiting somewhere on the Mediterranean, are you going to stay in Greece, where the prices are high, or somewhere else, where your Euro has much more buying power? Greece would enter a nasty period of stagflation with no real opportunity to break the cycle.

The only outcome for Greece that is good in the long term means nasty times ahead in the short and medium terms. The opportunity to avoid this has been squandered buying votes; now loaning money to Greece simply keeps the problem from resolving.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard