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Past Measurements May Have Missed Massive Ocean Warming

Andreas Mayer Re:Models are right, measurements are wrong? (423 comments)

I thought that science made conclusions based on observations, not that it made observations based on conclusions

It is completely normal that conclusions lead us to doubt our observations and do new measurements. Observations can be misleading unless we have a proper theory with appropriate measurements.

As for the current problem: Computer models are not reality, but - apart from data from the past - they are the best we have.

Science works like this:
First you observe something.
Then you try to come up with an explanation. That explanation needs to make some predictions (or it would be useless).
Then you test those predictions. Usually by making experiments.

Now, here we have a problem. We don't have a second earth to experiment with. And even if we had, the timescales involved are too large to make experiments in real-time.

So instead we use climate models. But these models are not reality. These are models we come up with on our own. How do we do that? Well, people that are generally learned about the subject try to think about anything that could possibly affect the climate. They then create a mathematical model and see if it's predictions fit the known data (i.e. data from the past must predict the present). The better it does, the better the model.

Now it turns out that we have some wrong data. Obviously that wrong data will have lead to climate models that do not predict reality.

This means we have to alter our current climate models to fit the new data. Someone will have to come up with an idea what exactly is wrong with the models and how to fix them, of course. But that is no different from how the models were created in the first place.

It also does not mean the models are not useful. They are. As long as they accurately predict current climate from past data, we can assume that they will also predict *future* climate from *present* data.

But, yes, our predictions can at best be as accurate as our observations. And if we measure wrong, that is a problem.

Disclaimer: IANACS - I am not a climate scientist

about 2 months ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Andreas Mayer Re:Would this be legal if a proposed law passes? (249 comments)

Would this also bar restaurants from effectively penalising customers who want to post postive revews?

They don't do that, so I don't see a problem. (Giving some people a discount is not the same thing as penalizing everyone else.)

about 2 months ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Andreas Mayer Re:Why don't they have ice? (249 comments)

No idea.

But now you know, and if you absolutely need ice with your food, just go somewhere else.

about 2 months ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Andreas Mayer Re:The review ecosystem is good and truly broken.. (249 comments)

Why not have each reviewer's rating for a given item/location be statistically compared/weighted to that reviewer's history of ratings, e.g. a 5-star rating from someone who consistently gives 5-star ratings for everything could be valued less than someone who only does so some of the time,

Why? Maybe I simply only review things I like. Why would that devalue my reviews?

about 2 months ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Andreas Mayer Re:The review ecosystem is good and truly broken.. (249 comments)

the weird moderation that happens in anything apple v android.

I'll never understand how attached some people get to a corporation. The corporation will never love you back.

The problem are not people who supposedly 'love' a corporation. The problem are people who think someone loves a corporation just because he likes some of their products.

about 2 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Andreas Mayer Re:Is it me? Or is it you? (545 comments)

I can't figure out if I'm just too old and grumpy or if operating systems are just desperately uninspired.

It's probably a mix of both.

Of course operating systems have matured. Today they do practically everything we can think about. There are no obvious features left to add. So development, especially from an end user's perspective, seems slow.

On the other hand, I don't agree that there is no development like you seem to imply. I'm using OS X, so that's the only OS I can really talk about. Some of the things we got the last few years:
- Spotlight.
A fast global search can really change some workflows. Gone are the days when I had to trawl through nested folders to find that file from a week ago. Now I can search for name or content or even the date I did use it last.
- Time Machine
Switching machines? Just restore from the last Time Machine backup and everything is like it was before.
That new version of application X sucks? Accidentally clobbered some file? No worries. Restore from Time Machine backup.
- iCloud Sync
OK, so not everyone wants that. But it is nice if data is kept in sync between devices automatically.

Of course there is much more, many of it not directly visible. (There's a reason MacBooks have great battery live. And it's not just better hardware.)

So, I agree with you up to a point. OS development is not as exciting as it used to be. But it didn't stop either. Interesting things still happen.

about 2 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Andreas Mayer Re:I fixed windows on my system (545 comments)

I fixed windows on my system, I forked out $$ and installed Directory Opus. Now I'm happy with Windows, much more so than with Mac.

I never understood the focus on file managers. Is moving files around really such a big part of your computer use?

about 2 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Andreas Mayer Re:how long can I keep my Win7? (545 comments)

I don't get it, why do some people do that? I can somewhat understand about getting a new car that has various gadgets to impress the chicks. But a computer?

I think for those people the computer is not a tool, something to get something done (be it work or games). For them it is more of a toy to tinker with, like a model train. I mean, how many people tinker with their vacuum cleaner, change components of their power drill or build a custom case for their TV? Yet, some people do all these things with their computers. They are not tools; not means to an end. For those people the computer itself is what holds their interest.

about 2 months ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:define "customer" (290 comments)

from what i understand of the definition of "customer", a "customer" means "someone who is paying for a service".

The law isn't even talking about customers. The term is "Verbraucher" which is better translated as consumer.

The judge explicitly stated that the law in question does apply to non-paying users.

about 2 months ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:We need more like this (290 comments)

The users have not in fact brought any custom to google. They're receiving a free good or service and should not be entitled to anything.

German law disagrees.

about 2 months ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:Google should win this if they went to court... (290 comments)

No! Communication *can* be two or one way. It is two way in this case.

The judge ruled that Googles automated reply does not count as communication in this case.

Feel free to argue with him.

about 2 months ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:What is a customer? (290 comments)

Alternatively since that fine is so small in Google terms, if it's a one-off, maybe they should just pay it and carry on. I wonder how long it would take for further action to result if they did that.

Err... it is €250,000 per case. That is, every single automated reply could cost them €250,000.

Also it says "alternatively 6 month of jail time for a member of the board". The next ruling might skip the fine ...

about 2 months ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:What is a customer? (290 comments)

Answers derived from the actual ruling. (Translate yourself if you don't believe me. :P)

Is a web site visitor a customer?

If they used some Google service, then yes.

Or does some form of payment for services need to be made?

No.

What about android users, does having an android device make someone a customer or would google need to sell the OS for that to count?

If it's only about the OS, I think the seller would be the only one the user has a business relationship with. But since almost any Android device includes Google services - yes, I think practically every Android user is a customer of Google in the legal sense.

It sounds like the Judge ruled that any person who uses a google service is a customer even if that service is free.

Yes.

It seems like that is a win for the consumer, but I have to wonder if that was the correct decision in this case. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to need to be a paying customer for a company to expend resources to adequately respond to your communications. Some questions can cause hours of follow up work to send a reply.

If Google decides to discontinue all Google services in Germany as a result, would that really be a "win" for the German consumer?

You are of course free to argue about the merit of the law. But the ruling is "correct" in the legal sense.

Personally, I think Google is making a shitload of money in Germany and they should be able to use some of that to talk to their customers. They would be unbelievably stupid to shut down operations here just to save the cost of paying a few people to actually respond to email.

about 3 months ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:Customers (290 comments)

The general public can't. But that's because they aren't customers, they are the content.

The ruling states that Google users are, indeed, customers of Google in the legal sense.

about 3 months ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:The End Result . . . (290 comments)

They'll just change their automated reply to "Thank you for your issue/concern. We'll look into it and get back to you if necessary."

That's actually possible.
But after this ruling I'd expect the consumer protection agency to follow up and check if anyone gets any response to their questions. If not, they'll sue Google again. And of course, in case this happens and the court decides that Google did not do what they were told, the next fine will be substantially higher.

I think it would be better - and in the end probably cheaper - for Google, to just hire some personnel who actually read and answer customer mail.

about 3 months ago
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German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

Andreas Mayer Re:so does this mean.... (290 comments)

That the German Goverment should also respond to ALL emails,

No. There is no requirement that a company has to respond to all email. But it has to be possible to contact them via email. Responding with an automated mail, saying that email does not get read at all is not allowed.

Someone posted a link to the ruling above. You can read the exact reasoning there. I'm too lazy to translate it all. :P

about 3 months ago
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New Windows Coming In Late September -- But Which One?

Andreas Mayer Re:Why (251 comments)

Why hasn't Google given Microsoft the coup de grace and actively developed some desktop/laptop distro ala Chromebook but without the stupid "web only" focus?

Because that wouldn't help them. Google is all about ads. They developed Android only because they were afraid they would be locked out of the emerging mobile systems.

There is no sign that desktop operating systems try to get rid of the browser. The only way to sell more ads on the desktop is to make the browser the OS. Which is exactly what Chrome does.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

Andreas Mayer Re:Sandboxing (331 comments)

Where's the sense in whitelisting a few applications and then go "but you may run the others too"? Where's the sense in that?

That's exactly how it works in OS X today. And I think it's a very good solution.

about 3 months ago
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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Launches Nov. 13th

Andreas Mayer Re:That reminds me... (146 comments)

As others have said; Final Fantasy XIV.

No Mac client. No sale.

Guess I'll keep playing WoW.

about 3 months ago
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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor Launches Nov. 13th

Andreas Mayer Re:That reminds me... (146 comments)

Won't run on my Mac.

about 3 months ago

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