knorthern knight (513660) writes "Most major weather services (US NWS, Britain's Met Office, etc) have their own supercomputers, and their own weather models. But there are some models which are used globally. A new paper has been published, comparing outputs from one such program on different machines around the world. Apparently, the same code, running on different machines, can produce different outputs due to accumulation of differing round-off errors. The handling of floating-point numbers in computing is a field in its own right http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19957-01/806-3568/ncg_goldberg.html
The paper apparently deals with 10-day weather forecasts. Weather forecasts are generally done in steps of 1 hour. I.e. the output from hour 1 is used as the starting condition for the hour 2 forecast. The output from hour 2 is used as the starting condition for hour 3, etc.
The global model program (GMP) of the Global/Regional Integrated Model system (GRIMs) is tested on 10 different computer systems having different central processing unit (CPU) architectures or compilers. There exist differences in the results for different compilers, parallel libraries, and optimization levels, primarily due to the treatment of rounding errors by the different software systems. The system dependency, which is the standard deviation of the 500-hPa geopotential height averaged over the globe, increases with time. However, its fractional tendency, which is the change of the standard deviation relative to the value itself, remains nearly zero with time. In a seasonal prediction framework, the ensemble spread due to the differences in software system is comparable to the ensemble spread due to the differences in initial conditions that is used for the traditional ensemble forecasting." Link to Original Source top
knorthern knight (513660) writes "The second used to be defined as 1/86,400 th of a 24-hour day. But ocean tides, pounding against shorelines, slow down earth's rotation, so that a day gets 1.4 milliseconds longer each century. This seems small, but it would affect scientific constants (speed of light, etc). Since 1967, the International System of Units (SI) has defined the second as the duration of 9192631770 cycles of radiation corresponding to the transition between two energy levels of the caesium-133 atom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_clock#Mechanism Every few years, a "leap second" is added as necessary, either on June 30th or December 31st. Enjoy that extra second of sleep." Link to Original Source top
knorthern knight (513660) writes "When 2 light civilian planes collide in US airspace in Virginia, the usual response includes calling in the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) to investigate and make recommendations based on their results. But what do you do when the crash involves two planes piloted by a crash investigator with the FAA and the chief medical officer with the NTSB? In order to avoid conflict of interest by American investigators working for these agencies, the investigation has been turned over to to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as a neutral 3rd party." Link to Original Source top
knorthern knight writes "From the In-Soviet-Amerika-Hansen-supresses-YOU department; Dr. James Hansen, NASA's global warming cheerleader who whines about being supressed by the government, apparently feels no compunction about supressing others who disagree with him. In an article in the Guardian and an interview on WAMU radio, available in Realplayer and Windows Media formats, Dr. Hansen "will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer."" top
Warming supporters make BBC change climate article
knorthern knight writes "The Register has an article about how a global warming true believer pressured the BBC into changing the title and text of an article, which quotes the secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization as saying that 2008 will be cooler globally than 2009. Seems that was too much for the true believers.
2007 was Tenth Warmest for U.S., Fifth Warmest Worldwide
January 15, 2008
The average temperature for the contiguous U.S. in 2007 is officially
the tenth warmest on record, according to data from scientists at NOAA's
National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The agency also
determined the global surface temperature last year was the fifth
warmest on record.
Another warm year as Bali conference ends
13 December 2007
The Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia have
today released preliminary global temperature figures for 2007, which
show that the top 11 warmest years all occur in the last 13 years.
knorthern knight (513660) writes "A weird intersection of copyright/trademark with Canadian politics. Short background. Various Canadian cities and municipalities have launched a publicity/lobbying campaign seeking a fixed take from the GST (Goods and Services Tax, a national Canadian sales tax similar to European VAT). The amount sought is 1 cent for each dollar of the purchase price. This is summarized by the slogan "One Cent of the GST NOW". Acoording to this press release, the Royal Canadian Mint (the federal agency that prints Canadian paper currency and stamps Canadian coins) has demanded royalties for use of the phrase "one cent", and the image of the Canadian penny. The Royal Canadian Mint, a corporation of the federal government, has now demanded that the City of Toronto pay $47,680 for the public education campaign. Included in this amount is a request for $10,000 for the use of the words "one cent" in the campaign website address (www.onecentnow.ca) and the campaign email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and an additional $10,000 for the use of the words "one cent" in the campaign phone number (416-ONE CENT). The remaining $27,680 has been assessed against the City for the use of the image of the Canadian penny in printed materials such as pins and posters." top
knorthern knight writes "To counter P2P programs that encrypt their traffic to evade detection, Rogers Cable in Canada has apparently started throttling ALL ENCRYPTED IP TRAFFIC, according to this article on Michael Geist's blog. How many of you log in to work over a VPN or ssh-tunnel? How many get usenet news, or email over an encrypted connection. This could be a problem for Rogers Cable customers. Michael Geist, who happens to be the "Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law" at U of Ottawa, has "been advised that the University computer help desk has received a steady stream of complaints from Rogers customers about off-campus email service."" top
knorthern knight writes "According to this story, tens of thousands of LG customers [ in Australia ] will require a software upgrade for their televisions after the company identified the cause of a mystery glitch that is causing them to freeze. LG says it will need to send technicians to every affected home to perform a "simple software upgrade" but will not be in a position to begin the mammoth task for at least a week.
Several readers of the www.smh.com.au website have written in speculating that the malfunction was caused by Channel Nine switching on encryption — to prevent copying — when screening shows in the high definition (HD) or wide screen formats. This could explain why many readers who reported experiencing the glitch said it happened when they were watching prime time programs broadcast in the HD format, such as CSI." top
knorthern knight writes "...and the rest of the world is probably next as the RIAA pressures politicians worldwide to "harmonize their policies" with the US. The United States Copyright Royalty Board has basically accepted the big business position, and raised internet radio royalty rates to punitive, indeed destructive levels. Some details are at Broadcast Law Blog. The implications are discussed in more detail at the Save Internet Radio website. To summarize, nobody but the biggies can afford it. Note that these royalties are *IN ADDITION TO* ASCAP/SESAC/BMI royalties that terrestrial radio stations pay. Terrestrial radio will *NOT* have to pay these additional royalties, unless they stream their feeds over the internet." top
knorthern knight writes "Some people fear a remotely invoked "kill switch" in Microsoft products. In the past you could play safe by not connecting to the internet, and MS wouldn't be able to shut you down. What if Vista had to occasionally connect to the mothership, and request permission to continue functioning? And if it couldn't connect, it would cease functioning. If you don't believe me, check out Microsoft's EULAs
Product Name: Windows Vista
Version: Home Basic
Page 2 of that pdf, paragraph 4 talks about mandatory activation. If it was a one-shot deal, I wouldn't have a problem. **BUT*** paragraph 5 says...
a. The software will from time to time validate the software, update or require download of the validation feature of the software.
and if it isn't allowed to connect to the mothership...
c. If, after a validation check, the software is found not to be properly licensed, the functionality of the software may be affected. For example, you may
* need to reactivate the software, or
* receive reminders to obtain a properly licensed copy of the software, or you may not be able to use or continue to use some of the features of the software
OK, so you're the Chairman in China, or the President of France. From a national security POV, do you *REALLY* want a situation where the vast majority of PCs in your country have to call home to the USA, and beg for permission to continue operating? Not to mention that there are probably some PCs with sensitive information that should never connect to the net in the first place." top
knorthern knight writes "NOAA has issued a news release about the return of El Nino conditions, i.e. above average temperatures in the tropical Pacific. This is expected to lead to a chain of events resulting in warmer-than-average temperatures over western and central Canada, and over the western and northern United States. Wetter-than-average conditions are likely over portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Florida, while drier-than-average conditions can be expected in the Ohio Valley and the Pacific Northwest."