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Comment .06% "Compelling" (Score 3, Insightful) 132

"...the graphical and informational figures flunk every Tufte test, which is unfortunate" -- Says so much about the author of the post. .06% increase in a data set of this size is compelling? It stinks when the data doesn't fit one's preconceived notions.That's one of the the beauties of science and why healthy scepticism is required.

Comment The Dutch Seemed To Have Managed (Score 0) 401

AGW that old saw wielded by people that are looking for funding or power or both. Sadly science gets lost with this type of hysteria and our planet's history is cherry picked depending which side of the religious argument you inhabit. (MCO anyone, or LIA)?

If everyone stopped farting tomorrow and we cut our emissions by 50% we'd barely move the needle based on peer reviewed climate models (all of them). There would be a massive world wide depression and you could expect food shortages but you wouldn't change the climate much. So instead of screaming about weapons of mass destruction, perhaps folks should start looking at the cost of mitigating potential issues created by a warmer earth. The Dutch have done a great job with dealing with a rising sea over the last 2500 years.

Looking at solutions that work instead of creating bigger problems would be a healthy start to a constructive debate. It would also be a nice change from the demagoguery.

Comment Some Good OSS Based Options (Score 1) 282

Blocking content at the router/firewall is the best place to block it inside your network. Otherwise you're dealing with keeping several machines up to date. As IT infrastructure becomes more diverse (Mac, Windows Flavors, Guests etc) keeping individual machines updated will be harder than a centralize point. Another option is to force users to utilize a specifc DNS server (ie Then all you do is block DNS traffic destined for any other DNS servers.

I'd avoid the $50 walmart router and look at some stand alone firewall/routers with good filtering options: IPCop ( + URLFILTER ( or Cop+ ( or UnTangle (

Will it slow down your connection? It can if you do not use fast enough equipment, but in general the price of CPU cycles isn't an issue when using PC based solutions.

Comment A newly invented journal to get past peer review. (Score 2) 355

AH BEST. The original paper was rejected by the journal JGR Atmospheres but finally they have passed "peer review". The BRAND NEW heretofore unheard of Journal Geoinformatics and Geostatistics will now feature the BEST paper. Yes ladies and gentlemen, issue 1 volume 1 will have this study as its centrepiece.

In other earth shattering news - NOAA has discovered that the further away from the structures you put the thermometer, the recorded night time temperatures are colder. This is known as the "theory of duh" in physics circles, but required experimental verification by climate scientists.

There is still much science to be done and much politics to extricate from climate science

Comment Reading Ike's entire speech (Score 2, Insightful) 449

It's interesting that people always point to Ike's comments re: the military industrial complex. In the same speech he said the following re: science

"Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. "

I wonder if we will see similar thinking with respect to funding science?


Comment Re:a bit naive... (Score 2, Insightful) 641

> they have to pay out will come from their backers - the oil industry

Do you any evidence of this, or do you just "know"? If I was to put on your conspiracy hat and "follow the money" I see trillions of dollars and power going to government agencies, scientists that "study" the problem are getting more and more funding. Western governments desperately need money to pay for social programs that are unsustainable, and "climate science" is a perfect excuse to tax more. Who exactly is using who?

> Look at how much the oil industry have had to pay to take over governments

You seem to confuse taxation with "pay off".

>dismiss science

Science is a methodology, what's being dismissed is evidence that contradicts the pervasive theory.

> The longer you resist, the more you will suffer.

Whose therapist said that?


Comment UL never had this issue. (Score 1) 275

This is another well documented case of where government, especially big government fails (no matter how well intentioned). I'd urge readers to do some research on underwriters laboratories. A UL listing is de-rigeur for anything in new construction and has been for decades, yet UL certification is voluntary and the testing and listing of certified products is undertaken by a totally private entity. From the UL web site "Underwriters Laboratories® is an independent product safety certification organization that has been testing products and writing standards for safety for more than a century. UL evaluates more than 19,000 types of products, components, materials and systems annually with 20 billion UL Marks appearing on 66,000 manufacturers' products each year. UL's worldwide family of companies and network of service providers includes 68 laboratory, testing and certification facilities serving customers in 102 countries." Energy Star Compliance should be handled by UL, not the EPA. Considering recent scandals the EPA simply isn't credible and this is but one more example.
The Internet

Submission + - Anthony Watt's responds to Economist ( 1

cluge writes: Anthony Watts, author of the Watt's Up With That blog has posted an open reply by Willis Eschenbach in response to the Economist. You may recall that the Economist recently had an blog post titled "Scepticism's limits" covered by Slashdot. That post was extremely critical of Mr. Eschenbach and Eschenbach fires back finding errors in logic and fact that undercuts the Economist's arguments. The entire affair is yet another reminder of the power of the Internet and the diminishing bully pulpit of traditional media outlets. 20 years ago Eschenbach would have had a hard time getting a reply out there.

Comment Wait a second? (Score 3, Interesting) 135

>Owners of a jailbroken iPhone with a default root password are advised to flash
>to the latest Apple firmware in order to ensure no malware is present."

If they flash to the latest apple firmware, will they be able to

  • 1. Use the network of their choice
  • 2. Run non apple allowed apps (skype)
  • 3. Play their music without DRM

Most importantly - will they be able to jailbreak the device after the update?

I see a future where Apple, the RIAA, and others might wish to write worms to help prevent people from hacking their devices or brick devices that have been "hacked".

Comment Re:So, maybe you missed the memo? (Score 1) 271

>The one over a year ago where the Bush Administration confirmed that man-mad global warming was a real threat?

I'm not sure why you would think that I would care about what a US administration thinks. Perhaps you think former President Bush is a good diviner of scientific truth? Personally I think such an attitude is a bit crazy, but if you love the ex President that much, good for you.

You're much more likely to get my attention by backing up your opinion with specifics, like scientists, studies, and actual data. If you think that a Government regulatory agency that won't follow it's own rules and squashes dissent combined with a legal system is a good arbiter of how science should be conducted, then I can't help you. Mind you I'm not saying that AGW isn't real, only that the state of the current theory is so poor that it makes little sense to base a bet worth a few trillion on it at this point.

>The one where every nation in the world is meeting in Copenhagen in two months to draft a replacement to the
>Kyoto protocol, because ten years on the climate threat is considered more dangerous than ever?

How did that Kyoto protocol go? It didn't work, and it didn't have the desired affect. When evidence is mounting that theory is broken, why would the "world" rush to enforce rules that are based on a models that don't work? Hardly seems "scientific", but traditionally patience and a clear understanding of a problem has never been a politicians strong suit, on the other hand lemming like following is traditionally a trait found in the political class (ie those going to Copenhagen)

>How about the one where the several thousand scientists who contributed to the last IPCC
>report don't care much for your baseless, non-scientific opinions that denigrate decades of
>careful research and observations?

Biffa was one of the IPCC leads. Here is a person that REFUSED to release his data or methodology until forced to by a publication several years after the fact. This also meant that studies that followed using his data in their conclusions still had the original problems replicated compounding the problem. Why would any research not release both data and methodology after they've been published? That in and of itself strikes me as "non-scientific".

If a researcher wishes to publish papers where his little black box/book holds the methods and data for his fancy graphs and no one is allowed to look inside, then we should change their title from Researcher or Scientist to Vicar. If you choose to follow said Vicar, that is your business.

Comment Expect to see more stunts (Score 2, Insightful) 271

As evidence mounts that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming isn't the disaster the chicken littles have been preaching for the last 2 decades, the more dramatic, outlandish, and shrill the commentary will become. Expect to see more of these stunts from both countries and entities expecting to receive a big pay day from the industrialized nations, while the evidence points to a theory that needs serious revising and models that aren't very accurate at the most basic of predictions.

To date a lot of the proxy data used to bolster the claim that the observed warming trend was "unprecedented" turns out to be extremely poorly put together. The recent Briffa revelations are so bad and Briffa so resistant to releasing his data (which is contrary to scientific methodology) that one has to wonder if there was deliberate fraud. In climate research this has happened before. The original, discredited Mann hockey stick was another example where a researcher refused to release both data and methodology, and when forced to told the world that data was lost (until it was found by accident on his FTP server). Both examples are indications that peer review in some fields is nothing more than a cliquish acceptance of a forgone conclusion.

Perhaps this stunt will bring attention to the matter that current understanding of AGW is poor at best and that current climate models are woafully inadequate (and perhaps a tad overly dramatic). More research is needed and more importantly the people conducting that research need to strictly adhere to scientific method if we are to have a clear view of the mechanisms that shape our climate and what the human population effect on it.

Final Thought : Having researchers act like a group of 14 year old girls that decide who is "in" and who is "out" isn't science - it's dogma. It does little to advance the course of science - but it makes great reading. Better drama than day time TV.

Comment Thoughts (Score 4, Insightful) 776

As the government pumps more money into the economy - it looks for more items/services to tax to try to make up for the insane amount of deficit spending. This cycle is a bit part of the reason the great depression lasted so long (ie until WWII). This tax is partly driven by "health" concerns and partly driven by a need for funds to cover the massive amount of deficit spending. A happy coincidence - win win for everyone (Notice the position of tongue and cheek)

Here is the irony of this sort of taxation behavior. If you are successful and get people to stop buying soda - your tax revenue goes away. This creates another problem because the revenue starts being counted on (see cigarette and alcohol taxes for example) and the vicious cycle continues with the government looking for other things to tax (all in the name of your well being mind you) to make up for the loss of the revenue which should have been expected. When the taxation goes too far you start to create an underground economy in the taxed product and enforcement of taxation starts to take up a signifigant amount of the revenue. A quote from the DOJ budget

"The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requests $1,120,772,000 for FY 2010, including $1,114,772,000 in Direct Salaries and Expenses and 5,025 full time equivalents (FTE) and $6,000,000 for construction of explosives ranges at the ATF National Center for Explosives Training and Research (NCETR). Specifically, ATF requests $1,077,783,000 and 4,979 FTE for current services, $17,989,000 and 46 FTE for Southwest Border enforcement efforts, and $19,000,000 for operations and infrastructure costs associated with the NCETR."

Can you imagine what the Bureau of healthy food enforcement budget will look like in 20 years? Considering all the hyperbole that we have to suffer through regarding foods (first it's good for you, then it's bad, then it steals your wife, then it's a miracle diet food, etc, etc, etc) who has any faith that the regulations dreamed up with the contradictory drivers of increasing tax revenue and eating healthy compounded by several special interest groups will produce anything but a mess?

These are hard times and the government needs to SHRINK just like every other sector of the economy. Why should the government not feel the same pain and be forced to make hard decisions that every other entity is? It shouldn't. Here is a simple rule - does the law proposed increase or decrease liberty? If it decreases liberty it probably is a bad law and should not be passed.


Comment Re:Yep... (Score 1) 179

>the per-port cost of 10Gb ethernet is astronomical compared to something that would go in a consumer device

That is what was said abot ethernet. Now it's so ubiquitous that my blue ray player has an ethernet port. Why intel isn't just pushing to lower the cost of ethernet which is already well understood. With the advent if Isata and I scsi do we really need a different layer 2 protocol?

Comment Agile, Scrum and fashion sense (Score 1) 434

What is amazing to me is that some folks actually think that applying one methodology over another is the be all fix all for a bad development team, poor work habits, and/or poor management. The lack of a plan can't be fixed with Agile practices, although agile can overcome a poor plan. Agile is hot right now, just like capri pants were a few years ago. It's fashionable.

A lot of developers love it because they hate writing documentation and think anyone that looks at their code should be immediately enlightened as to what they were thinking at that moment in time. These folks point to agile manifesto and scream "Working software over comprehensive documentation". Sorry - sometimes you have to write documentation.

Writing good code involves some planning, some thinking, and with teams LOTS of GOOD communication. It's a creative process as much as it is a engineering or scientific one. If you have a strong management team, good people, and dedication you will quite probably produce good code. It doesn't matter if your a scrum master, agile devotee, or a guy that still starts out with a flow chart. Agile is not the be all end all of coding, and even properly implemented won't make a project successful.


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