Climate Change Politics; Office 365; SD cards

Chaos Manor View, Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Larry Niven and Steve Barnes were over this morning for a story conference, and then we went to lunch. Very productive morning. That used most of the day.


The Political Assault on Climate Skeptics

Members of Congress send inquisitorial letters to universities, energy companies, even think tanks.


Richard S. Lindzen

March 4, 2015 6:50 p.m. ET


Research in recent years has encouraged those of us who question the popular alarm over allegedly man-made global warming. Actually, the move from “global warming” to “climate change” indicated the silliness of this issue. The climate has been changing since the Earth was formed. This normal course is now taken to be evidence of doom.

Individuals and organizations highly vested in disaster scenarios have relentlessly attacked scientists and others who do not share their beliefs. The attacks have taken a threatening turn.

As to the science itself, it’s worth noting that all predictions of warming since the onset of the last warming episode of 1978-98—which is the only period that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) attempts to attribute to carbon-dioxide emissions—have greatly exceeded what has been observed. These observations support a much reduced and essentially harmless climate response to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide.

In addition, there is experimental support for the increased importance of variations in solar radiation on climate and a renewed awareness of the importance of natural unforced climate variability that is largely absent in current climate models. There also is observational evidence from several independent studies that the so-called “water vapor feedback,” essential to amplifying the relatively weak impact of carbon dioxide alone on Earth temperatures, is canceled by cloud processes.

There are also claims that extreme weather—hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, you name it—may be due to global warming. The data show no increase in the number or intensity of such events. The IPCC itself acknowledges the lack of any evident relation between extreme weather and climate, though allowing that with sufficient effort some relation might be uncovered.

There is considerably more, but you get the idea. The politics are ugly; the science is at best ambiguous.

So much for global warming…

“Climatologist John Casey, a former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant, thinks that last year’s winter, described by USA Today as “one of the snowiest, coldest, most miserable on record” is going to be a regular occurrence over the coming decades.

“Casey asserts that there is mounting evidence that the Earth is getting cooler due to a decline in solar activity. He warns in his latest book, Dark Winter that a major alteration of global climate has already started and that at a minimum it is likely to last 30 years.”

Charles Brumbelow

NASA Admits That Winters are Going to Get Colder…Much Colder

The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period roughly spanning 1645 to 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time.

Like the Dalton Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Maunder Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures.

During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum, astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots, as opposed to a more typical 40,000-50,000 spots. (Source)

Climatologist John Casey, a former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant, thinks that last year’s winter, described by USA Today as “one of the snowiest, coldest, most miserable on record” is going to be a regular occurrence over the coming decades.

Casey asserts that there is mounting evidence that the Earth is getting cooler due to a decline in solar activity. He warns in his latest book, Dark Winter that a major alteration of global climate has already started and that at a minimum it is likely to last 30 years.

Casey predicts food shortages and civil unrest caused by those shortages due largely to governments not preparing for the issues that colder weather will bring. he also predicts that wickedly bitter winter temperatures will see demand for electricity and heating outstrip the supply.

The United States is preparing only for Climate Change brought on by CO2. That change was thought to be warmer, not colder; but eliminating CO2 increases will reduce Climate Change and and thus we will be all right. Of course the theories predict warmer. And that hasn’t happened for some time, but theories apparently trump evidence.

And with the Congressional activities there won’t be any evidence. No one will conduct the experiments. It would all be a joke were it not so dangerous. Cold is a terrible thing. Prepare for high energy prices.

It’s cold outside, even after the warmest year in history.


Office 365

I am confused about your problems with Office 365 when it’s not connected to the internet. I use Office 365 on a Dell Venue 11 i5 tablet, which uses Windows 8.1 as the operating system. It’s Dell’s version of a Microsoft Surface Pro. (I’m not brave enough to use my school/personal computer to test Windows 10 yet. Perhaps this summer, except I’ve already scheduled learning R as opposed to SPSS which they teach in class.) I got the tablet right before starting in a Ph.D. program at the University of Central Florida, so I’ve had it for about seven months.
The Office 365 subscription I have is the University one, which as far as I can tell is a free for UCF students version of Office 365 Personal. Office 365 Personal ($6.99/month) allows you to download and install full versions of Microsoft Office locally. Except at installation, those local versions have never asked me to authenticate them on the internet. OneDrive (where I save my stuff) keeps a local cache as well as saving everything on the cloud.
The system works whether I’m on the internet or in a black hole of connectivity. Files are available whether I’m on the internet or in a black hole of connectivity. If I’m unconnected, my files are synchronized once I get connected.
Are you using the free version of Office 365, which only works online and uses your web browser to access limited functionality online apps? Perhaps that’s the problem. If not, then I’m not sure what’s happening.
BTW, I’ve been using OneNote for years and love it, although I haven’t been using handwriting on the tablet. For some reason, I just write too big on the screen, and my handwriting is no more legible large than it is small.
I’ve also just installed Dragon. I’m going to try to use it to write the first draft of my next paper. I’ll see if I need to get a microphone, or if the tablet’s microphone is adequate.
Hope your sprains heal soon.

Fredrik Coulter

Office 365 Followup

I wrote earlier about my lack of difficulties with Office 365 regarding online authentication. Last I checked, you cannot install Office 365 without online access; they don’t sell it on disk. As such, the best thing to do is immediately authenticate the software as soon as it’s downloaded and installed. You know you’ve got internet at that time; otherwise it wouldn’t have been installed in the first place.

Fredrik Coulter

I bought Office 365 and paid with Pay pal.

As you say, I must have had Internet access to install Office 365, since I cannot had had a disk; and of course I did. Moreover I used Outlook and Word when I was in hospital in December – I still need a way to import the two days worth of Outlook over to my main machine. But when I tried without Internet access, I was informed that I could not authenticate my Outlook, and when I tried to open Word 365 I got the same message. Later after I got Internet access again, they opened although there was a lot of clicking to be done. If you do not open Office 365 with Internet access this seems to happen. But see below. As to how you authenticate it on installation I must have done since I could use it. That doesn’t seem to have saved me.

I have always been a OneNote fan. I am delayed in installing Dragon. Thanks for the kind words.

And perhaps Eric has found the source of the problem:

    According to Microsoft, Office 365 only needs to authenticate once every 30 days. I suspect you had gone a long time without using any of the Office apps on the Surface while also on a working connection. It’s also possible that the Windows 10 install reset the counter. What isn’t clear is whether Office tries to authenticate more frequently than the 30 days, moving forward the period when prolonged loss of connectivity would become a problem.

Eric Pobirs

I certainty made no attempt to access Office 365 on the Surface Pro in February. I vaguely recall using it in January on Swan – Office 365 lets you have several legal copies.


SanDisk Squeezes 200GB Into a Tiny microSD Card

Stop for a second and take a look at the fingernail on your baby finger. That’s roughly the size of a microSD card that can now hold a whopping 200GB of data thanks to SanDisk. Remember when USB flash drives with a full gigabyte of storage were mind-blowing? We were so foolish back then.

Available sometime in the second quarter of 2015, the new microSDXC card uses the same technology that SanDisk developed for the 128GB microSDXC card it introduced last year, but with an improved design allowing the company to increase storage capacity by 56 percent. The new card also boasts transfer speeds of up to 90MB/sec, but once available its $400 price tag might be a little hard to swallow—even if the card itself isn’t.

Too bad there’s no slot for it in the new Galaxy S6. [SanDisk]

That 200 GB microSD card

    I strongly suspect that come November, if one went to SanDisk with the intent of buying that 200 GB microSD card, they would react with surprise. Such an oddball capacity suggests it exists solely as a demo of their manufacturing prowess, pushing against the physical volume constraints of shipping flash memory, rather than a product with a viable market. Consider, 128 GB microSD cards can now be frequently found for around $80. Which means you could have five of those, with a cumulative capacity of 640 GB for the cost of just one 200 GB unit.

    You’d have to have a very specific and valuable usage scenario to justify the purchase. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this item is never made available to retail. Samsung recently announced their latest advance in the reduction of flash cell size, followed by the announcement of the parts they sell for main storage in cell phones and tablets doubling in capacity, bring entry level from 16 GB to 32 GB and the upper limit on a single chip setup to 128 GB. Once this class of flash memory is available to SanDisk they should have little difficulty producing 256 GB microSD cards for a far lower MSRP meant to actually sell product, rather than as a stunt.

Eric Pobirs

I hadn’t thought about it. Very likely.

But then we have:

When it comes to SSDs, 200Gb is *not* an odd size.
Flash memory has a fairly low lifetime in terms of the number of erase cycles that can be made with the memory still functional, often on the order of 1000 erase cycles.
However, not all the memory cells last for the same number of erase cycles – there is a statistical distribution. Manufacturers “overprovision” their SSD memories by understating the actual capacity and using the extras as spares to replace the cells that fail early. Thus it is common to find flash memory products in “odd” sizes (i.e. not a power of 2).
With so-called “multi-level” cells (MLC and TLC and probably other acronyms) the situation becomes more blurred. Most cheap flash memory is multi-level, i.e. each memory cell is not a single bit but can store two bits (or maybe more) by dividing the charge into three levels + 0, or more. This allows the same product to store double the data, at the cost of some reliability. The reliability can be (somewhat) recovered by including ECC codes.
Flash memory has become extremely complex, and it is no longer to be expected (although it may happen) that capacities will be a power of 2.
Chris barker



Sex and terrorism

Perhaps, but I suggest there’s an extra element missing from that equation, and that’s pride. Self-respect.  A person on welfare may be able to have sex and kids, but that’s not nearly the same thing as having a marriage that’s recognized and honored by your community.  A warrior and a husband has status and respect that a welfare dependent can never have. 
Man does not live by bread alone.   That’s the mistake liberals make, I think.   They think that seeing to people’s physical needs is all there is to contentment, self-fulfillment, and it’s not , it’s the bare bottom tier of Maslow’s pyramid.  That’s why, ultimately, welfare doesn’t satisfy. 
Brian P.



Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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