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Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 127

2014 called -

Forget Makerbot - did you warn them about the Paris attacks? The Ankara bombings? The Metrojet bombing? Did you tell them to have Robin Williams visit a psychiatrist? Did you tell them to have Carrie Fisher visit a cardiologist? Did you have them warn Ukraine not to underestimate Russia in Donbass? Did you tell Germanwings to up their game on psych evals? Did you tell them to teach Podesta basic email security? Did you tell about Brexit? Did you warn them about Trump? Did you have anyone tell Clinton that she'll be best known for email servers and a conspiracy theory about a pizza parlor's occult child pornography dungeon? Did you warn Bowling Green about the horrific terror attack, and the cruel irony that people will forget about it?

Comment Re: Nope (Score 2) 127

Is it really that expensive? I know some people who had run a small startup automaker that raised 30-something million. They were about 3 months out from first commercial deliveries (having made a couple dozen prototypes to various degrees, ranging from empty shells to full builds), with about $10m still left in the bank - when the board decided to bring on a guy from Detroit (Paul Wilbur, the guy responsible for the Chevy SSR, and a bunch of other train-wrecks-in-car-form), who then proceeded to run the company into the ground.

Are aircraft that much more expensive than cars, that you can't even build a demonstrator for that kind of money? To be fair, the automaker's vehicle was technically classified as a motorcycle, so their regulations weren't as onerous as for most cars (but they still did full crash and crush tests anyway, voluntarily). But, I mean, they just churned out prototypes one after the next.

Comment Re:Amber Rudd is dim (Score 1) 262

For me, the most disappointing thing in the whole debate is how poor the media are at challenging these ideas when our political classes come up with them. I've seen several interviews and panel discussions in recent months where even the presenters or "expert" guests essentially start from the premise that yes, obviously we have to do these things to keep everyone safe, and then spend the next several minutes bike-shedding instead of exploring the big issues. Just once, I would like a high-profile, well-regarded political journalist to have some idea about the real implications of these technologies and how they are used, and to push back at least a little against the idea that you can just magically set up communications systems to allow government monitoring without any downsides.

Comment Re:In before global warming whiners... (Score 4, Insightful) 210

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/how-culture-clash-noaa-led-flap-over-high-profile-warming-pause-study

Rose's story ricocheted around right-wing media outlets, and was publicized by the Republican-led House of Representatives science committee, which has spent months investigating earlier complaints about the Karl study that is says were raised by an NOAA whistleblower. But Science Insider found no evidence of misconduct or violation of agency research policies after extensive interviews with Bates, Karl, and other former NOAA and independent scientists, as well as consideration of documents that Bates also provided to Rose and the Mail.

Instead, the dispute appears to reflect long-standing tensions within NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), based in Asheville, North Carolina, over how new data sets are used for scientific research. The center is one the nation’s major repositories for vetted earth observing data collected by satellites, ships, buoys, aircraft, and land-based instruments.

In the blog post, Bates says that his complaints provide evidence that Karl had his “thumb on the scale” in an effort to discredit claims of a warming pause, and his team rushed to publish the paper so it could influence national and international climate talks. But Bates does not directly challenge the conclusions of Karl's study, and he never formally raised his concerns through internal NOAA mechanisms.

Tuesday, in an interview with E&E News, Bates himself downplayed any suggestion of misconduct. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data, but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was,” he told reporter Scott Waldman. And Bates told ScienceInsider that he is wary of his critique becoming a talking point for those skeptical of human-caused climate change. But it was important for this conversation about data integrity to happen, he says. “That’s where I came down after a lot of soul searching. I knew people would misuse this. But you can't control other people,” he says.

At a House science committee hearing yesterday, Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS (publisher of Science and ScienceInsider) stood by the 2015 paper. "This is not the making of a big scandal—this is an internal dispute between two factions within an agency," Holt said in response to a question from Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX), the panel’s chairman, and a longtime critic of NOAA’s role in the Karl paper. This past weekend, Smith issued a statement hailing Bates for talking about “NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion.”

Some climate scientists are concerned that the hubbub is obscuring the more important message: that the NOAA research has generally proved accurate. “I’m a little confused as to why this is a big deal,” says Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist with Berkeley Earth, a California nonprofit climate research group that has examined surface temperatures. He’s the lead author of a paper published in January in Science Advances that found Karl’s estimates of sea surface temperature—a key part of the work—matched well with estimates drawn from other methods.

Researchers say the Karl paper’s findings are also in line with findings from the Met Office, the U.K. government’s climate agency, which preceded Karl’s work, and findings in a recent paper by scientists at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, an alliance of 34 states based in Reading, U.K. And although other researchers have reported evidence that the rise in global temperature has slowed recently, they have not challenged the ethics of Karl’s team, or the quality of the data they used.

Read on. It's worth it. The short of it: Bates was demoted by Karl several years back. Bates accepts both AGW, and the conclusions of Karl's paper, but decided to post a nitpicking complaint that he had used the ISTI land data in addition to the base NOAA data (the former of which isn't as high quality), without specifically commenting about the data source quality difference:

The Science paper would have been fine had it simply had a disclaimer at the bottom saying that it was citing research, not operational, data for its land-surface temperatures, Bates says.

But Mike Tanner, director of NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at NCEI, says there’s no NOAA policy that requires such a disclosure. “There's nothing. That doesn’t exist,” he says

The article also goes into the split within NOAA over how strongly to focus on new data and approaches that capture effects which old data and approaches might have missed, vs. old ones which are less accurate but more validated. The land data people tend to fall into the former category while the satellite people tend to fall in the later category. Karl was a land guy and Bates was a satellite guy.

It's interesting to read Bates' blog post with "Karl" replaced by "The guy who demoted me":

The most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of the Guy Who Demoted Me et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Guy Who Demoted Me study or K15), purporting to show no ‘hiatus’ in global warming in the 2000s (Federal scientists say there never was any global warming “pause”). ... In the following sections, I provide the details of how the guy who demoted me failed to disclose critical information to NOAA, Science Magazine, and Chairman Smith regarding the datasets used in K15. I have extensive documentation that provides independent verification of the story below. I also provide my suggestions for how we might keep such a flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards from happening in the future. Finally, I provide some links to examples of what well documented CDRs look like that readers might contrast and compare with what the guy who demoted me has provided.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 253

OK, but with the gaming examples you're talking about (a) a DRM system that was obviously broken and (b) DRM applied to something where you bought a permanent copy. I have much less sympathy for the content provider in those situations, and if they wind up having to refund a lot of people's money because they shipped a broken product then I still won't have much sympathy for them.

The opposite side is when you have DRM protecting a service like PPV or Netflix where you know you're not buying a permanent copy, and most people will just fire up the player and enjoy the show without ever knowing the DRM is even there. In that case, the DRM is transparent to legitimate viewers, but some form of protection is reasonable to prevent casual infringement.

As I've said throughout, there has to be a balance. DRM that breaks stuff is bad, and people who supply broken products should make good on the damage to their customers. But DRM also makes it practical to follow new and useful business models that can benefit everyone involved.

Comment Re:makes suing security researchers a feature ... (Score 1) 253

Right, but why should any business give up broad legal rights like that? There needs to be a compelling argument that they get something worthwhile in return. From a commercial perspective, I just don't see one here. From the W3C's perspective, it's trying to bring some standardisation to the industry, but it's abundantly clear that major content providers will walk away and implement their own proprietary equivalents if they are backed into a corner, so the W3C has very little bargaining power to try to force the matter. (See also: Mozilla's handling of the same issue.)

Again, I have nothing against legitimate security research and responsible disclosure, but there is a reason we're talking about laws here. It's because it typically requires laws, or other regulations with statutory backing, to compel desirable behaviour when commercial pressures alone won't do it. If there's a problem with abusing provisions in the DMCA to inhibit valuable security research, that problem needs to be corrected at the same level, the DMCA, not kinda sorta worked around through some commercial agreement with a non-statutory standards organisation.

Comment Re:makes suing security researchers a feature ... (Score 1) 253

My point is that the rightsholders have those legal rights already. It's not anything the W3C is doing that provide those rights, it's laws like the DMCA.

And again, just because someone says they are a security researcher, why should they magically be above those laws? If the laws are inappropriate for some reason, they should be changed for everyone. If they are fair and reasonable, security researchers shouldn't get a pass for breaking them just because of their line of work.

In short, I think you raise valid concerns, but I think you're aiming at the wrong target.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 253

I would agree that the scales were tipped too far towards creators if everyone actually played by the rules, but as we're all aware, in a world full of piracy that isn't always the case. The unfortunate result is the kind of polarised extremes you describe. The world would be a much nicer place, IMHO, if we had a culture of respecting creative work and contributing to support it, and a market for that work that operated in some reasonable and transparent way, more like what the original copyright tried to achieve rather than the modern, ever more draconian developments of the idea. If we had a more respectful culture, there would be no need for creators to waste time and money on DRM schemes, and no risk to consumers of DRM schemes going wrong. But sadly, you only have to read any discussion about copyright on a forum like this one to see how far away we currently are from that ideal.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 253

And those rights, per the industry are to go "forever plus one day".

Excessive copyright duration is a real problem, for sure, but it's a completely different issue to DRM. Most works shared illegally online are very recent, and would still have been covered by even the shortest duration of copyright from when the idea first started. Most DRM is disrupting the sharing of those works, not things that were created 50+ years ago.

Comment Re:DRM (Score 1) 253

If it's DRM on something that was presented as a permanent sale, I'm inclined to agree.

If it's DRM to enforce temporary access when that was known to be part of the deal up-front (PPV, subscription libraries, and so on) then I think it's a different matter.

Comment Re:Digital Rights? (Score 1) 253

That assumes you're talking about the kind of mass market content that is usually available and easy to find on a torrent. There's a huge long tail where that isn't the case, and you're making a big assumption that someone who chooses to pirate will easily be able to find an alternative source.

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