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Comment Re:ipython (Score 1) 43

"everyone's nervous about its future"

As sad as John's passing was to our community, he did an excellent job of passing the torch on before he left us. There was only one unresolved pull request from him (we are still working on it, actually), and he selected an excellent person with almost as many commits as him to take over. Michael Drottenboom has been doing an excellent job, and our developer base has actually grown a bit. Of course, we would love to have some more people involved, but there is absolutely no uncertainty in our community with regards to the future of matplotlib. Have you tried out the experimental WebAgg feature? Pure awesomness.

Comment Re:What truly makes me sad however... (Score 1) 407

Heh, try being a meteorologist (not even a climate scientist), and those people come out of woodworks. I had one guy trying to argue against it based on (his understanding of) the laws of thermodynamics. Another trying to claim that because it couldn't accurately forecast the temperature outside his house, it must be wrong.

Comment Re:I've Tried This Logic with Resulting Low Impact (Score 1) 821

No LOL... you claimed that I said that there were so many problems that I wouldn't know where to start. That is not what I said, and I even provided a starting point. I pointed out a problem with your dependence upon using the press as the bona fide source of scientific consensus. Others have pointed out errors in other statements you made. Furthermore, you still fail to understand the distinction between a press release from a single scientist or scientific entity (be it a journal article or an article in a newspaper) as opposed to true scientific consensus. Just because it was published doesn't make it a part of the scientific consensus. As I stated, subsequent vetting of some of those ideas have resulted in finding flaws in the research, but you almost never hear of those articles in the press. Meanwhile, the vetting of other articles have yet to find significant flaws and the information has been subsequently been used in other research and proved valuable.

Of course, just because someone publishes an article claiming to find a flaw in someone else's research does not necessarially mean that the original research was flawed, either. That article has to be vetted as well. Science is slow, tedious, and a lot more ambiguous than the media has made it out to be.

Comment Re:Apples and Oranges (Score 1) 821

There was a time when, based on their observations, scientists thought there were canals on Mars. The reception of that news was probably mostly positive too.

Actually, that was a result of a misunderstanding of the Italian word "canali" that resulted in a translation into English as canals. *Some* English-reading scientists then made the logical leap that the canals must be made by intelligent life. As soon as better telescopes became available, it was found that the original observed canali were an optical illusion, and the scientific community as a whole dropped the false canals idea.

Comment Re:I've Tried This Logic with Resulting Low Impact (Score 1) 821

Then there's the fact that global warming causes *everything*. Warm winter? Global warming. Terrible winter with lots of snow? Global warming. Bad hurricane? Global warming. Few hurricanes during the season? Global warming.

Every single thing in that list has been attributed to global warming in the press.

Emphasis mine. There are a bunch of other issues with what you have said, but I wish to focus on this: "in the press".

Academic discourse does not take place in the press. Just because a researcher publishes a single article in a scientific journal does not make it automatically a part of the consensus. It takes years of subsequent vetting to verify or refute the claims made in the article. I will tell you that in the current scientific discourse, we have found several of these claims to be bogus or unsubstantiated, but other claims have so far stood the test of scrutiny.

Comment Re:Timing... (Score 1) 262

Actually, he is. These sort of large-scale projects are funded through authorizations by Congress. He has to work with the budget he is given, and when an authorization bill says that such-and-such will be purchased, he can't go ahead and say no. Specific details are often left up to the Executive branch, but the president can not unilaterally decide to build a hundred datacenters without having the money approved by Congress.

Comment Re:I thought we had it already (Score 1) 507

By and large, most of the active scientists and researchers directly in the climate field and those in the periphery (like myself) are like this (including Dr. Mann). We often have to call out BS publications (on both sides of the argument) that uses shoddy statistics and methods. However, because most of the scientific discourse is within the community, the few things that catches the attention of the general public and "armchair scientists" provides a highly skewed picture of the active debate. Add in that the media loves a good drama, and things go hell in a handbasket.

Submission + - No Set-Top TV Device Market Domination for Google ( 2

itwbennett writes: "According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, returns of the Logitech Revue (Google's set-top box) exceeded sales in the first quarter. Explaining why sales were so poor, Logitech Chairman Guerrino De Luca went way out on a limb, saying: 'There was a significant gap between our price and the value perceived by the consumer.' So significant that 'Logitech must take a $34 million charge in the first quarter, which more than comprises the company's Q1 net loss of $30 million,' writes blogger Chris Nerney. 'In other words, Google TV is pushing Logitech into the red!'"

Submission + - AT&T to Start Data Throttling, How Will It Aff (

greymond writes: "AT&T has announced that starting on Oct. 1 it will throttle the data speeds of users with unlimited data plans who exceed bandwidth thresholds on its 3G network. AT&T is following in the tracks Verizon and Virgin Mobile in reducing data throughput speeds of its heaviest mobile data users. With more data-intensive apps being published everyday, how will AT&T's data throttling affect users' mobile experience?"

Comment Re:I thought we had it already (Score 1) 507

For the raw data that was freely (as in gratis and libre) available already, several other research groups have taken their published methods for quality-control and duplicated their results for that data. For the data that was not freely available, there were some groups that purchased the data themselves (much of this data was always available for purchase) and reproduced and published results as well.

On top of that, there were other research groups that performed "quality-control and analysis" on completely different sets of data, and their results agree well with results published by others. Note that I said the results "agree well" with each other. They are not perfect matches, and where there are differences, subsequent research and analyses have yielded refined methods and results. Think of it as a large bootstrapping problem.

Now, you ask that how do we know that the analysis was done in a fair and objective manner in all places? Well, we could never be 100% sure until each and every single datapoint has been vetted and doing this is now easier than before (not that it was impossible to do before). However, analyses and research on the published datasets have not revealed any such tampering so far, therefore *I* am fairly confident that it didn't happen. If you are not convinced, then feel free to take these datasets and others and perform the analysis yourself. Just remember to publish your findings whether they are for good or naught.

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