### Number Watch Web Forum

This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

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Re: April's number

Depends who does the rounding up I guess. But is 0.666666666 a real value or a calculator syndrome?
People are fond of quoting numbers to a great many decimal places simply because the calculation yields those places.
It ought to be the case that one looks at the number and decides where the digits are meaningful and where they are just noise.
SInce ).7 seems to be equivalent to or even less than the error band for the measurements, and since it emerges only from the "homogenised" data the real value ought to be 0 degC with no decimal places. There is a difference between 0degC and 0.000degC.
The difference is in the implied accuracy of the value.

Then again, 0.7 is the value routinely used for propaganda purposes. Since the proponents of Global warming/Climate change/Catastrophic climate change/whatever the latest expression is (which could, by now, for all I know, include global cooling/chilling which even the AGW camp admits is happening, though they claim it masks the full extent of global warming, use this value then it is an appropriate value to use. Number of the month is often about false numbers used in some propaganda scare story or whatever. It often isn't about the exact number or its exact meaning but the use to which it is being put.

Re: April's number

I thought Paul's post was intended to be humorous, bringing the 'Number of the Beast', 666, into it or something like that.

A more accurate version of the 0.7 deg C rise number, for anybody that particularly wants it, is that it is 0.74 deg C and is a best estimate temperature rise over the 100 year period from 1906 to 2005. The figure comes from the IPCC's 2007 AR4 Report Summary for Policymakers. The news media tend to quote the figure to one decimal place rather than the two decimal places given by the IPCC.

In the previous IPCC reprt, AR3 or TAR issued in 2001, the best estimate temperature rise figure was given as 0.6 deg C (it was only given to one decimal place) over the 100 year period 1901 to 2000.

Re: April's number

The IPCC have no more justification for quoting 2 decimal places than anyone else given the uncertainties in the raw data and especially since this figure arises from the "homogenisation" process and judicious use of carefully selected end points.

Re: April's number

Too geeky? eh?

The title for the April summation article has since been amended, but originally read "Number fo the Month" - so yes, the comment was intended to suggest that the devil is in the details - i.e. the word was spelt backwards, but it could also be seen as only 2/3rds (0.6666..) there. So, given that the number as given is 0.7, the tie in to innumerate rounding seemed too absurd to overlook.

Re: April's number

Yes, I saw the joke at my expense and appreciated it. The error was that I had omitted the letter “r”. I had in fact made the correction, but was interrupted during the uploading process, which I failed to complete.
I have great difficulty with these modern flat keyboards and often find myself typing gobble****ok. As a student I taught myself touch typing on an old fashioned portable, but it does not adapt well to the new keyboard layout. The most irritating part is the closeness of the “caps lock” to the “a” and my bent little finger often strays.
PS I see I have been censored by the machine. Hoist by my own petard! Don't understand why.

Re: April's number

I have the same problem with my CapsLock key. I solved that problem though. I turned it off. Keyboard settings on my Mac. I still manage to get extra caps in my content. That is from my other character flaws. I have grown to love my Macs chicklet keyboard though.

I don't know if Windows lets you disable the CapsLock key.

Re: April's number

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-caps-lock-key-in-windows-vista/

For a tutorial on disabling the caps lock in Windows. Not quite as easy as the Mac. You get to play with hex..

Re: April's number

In Linux I just levered the key cap out. On the rare occasions I actually want a caps lock function I poke my little finger down the hole.

Re: April's number

Does anyone use the ergonomic keyboards at all?

I sometimes wonder.

With all the 'elf 'n safety around these days I wonder so little attention is given to keyboard users.

So many innocuous products these days come with a full set of instructions in multiple languages always reminding one not to let unsupervised children play with them etc. (even when they are children's toys) that I wonder that computer manuals do not come with a full set of instructions about special seats, posture, eye strain (my company paid for regular eye exams and glasses as required for all computer users - not out of benevolence, I'm sure, because they had little obvious regard for replaceable workers, but perhaps out of "ye olde feare of litigation") and the rest of the precautions and somewhere in amongst them a reference to ergonomic keyboards.....?

My problem is bad enough with my own keyboard, but complicated by my wife's, a different model from the same manufacturer - and never again - which has a keyboard layout geometrically different.
I also have to bear in mind that @ on mine is the " key and on hers is some other key - the penalty of buying mine in Singapore and then selecting a UK English keyboard layout. Caps lock is just one bug bear.

Another is the dreaded touch pad. I hate them even though they add amusing thinks like mood monitors and pressure graphs. I hate them as much as the old roller ball variety on the first laptops which seemed to have an affinity for dirt (and when you finally prised out the roller ball it would immediately drop to the floor and head for cover leading to some minutes lying on the floor and fishing under the sideboard or a cupboard for it and it finally emerging more dirty than when removed, like a Labrador from a muddy pond).

On my old machine plugging in a mouse would disable the touch pad automatically.

On my new machine the manufacturers mouse program didn't allow for this option in their version of the logitech driver.
Every time I typed my palm would brush the touch pad and I'd look up (not a touch typist) to find that for some reason I was now typing in the middle of previously written text.
After downloading and trying a variety of different Logitec drivers, not specifically for my machine but with the auto disable feature, to no avail, I one day noticed that Fn F7 disabled the touch pad.

I suppose this might be found somewhere in the manual but three years is a long time to discover this little gem for one's self.

So much better had Acer stuck with Logitecs own software solution.
The inscrutable minds of computer manufacturers don't reveal why they felt this to be a better idea.

By the way, Google was of no help because, while I found no end of similar complaints on the various techie blogs, and which is where I got the idea to download a generic logitech driver rather than Acer's own, I nowhere found this answer.
Maybe one day I'll share with them Fn F7.

One other problem for those of us who watch our fingers and look up occasionally to view the page on screen is the frequently malfunctioning "Ins" function.
Normally switched off, this has a mind of its own and not infrequently, when I am inserting text into an already composed document, I find it is happily overwriting what was already written instead of simply inserting new text. Coupled with the touch pad problem this is always an added amusement for my day.

My list of geeks to be hung, come the revolution, is not limited to hackers and spam merchants, Bill Gates and Norton or McAfee (who seems to have his own problems at the moment and none of my sympathy) but extends to those computer manufacturers who can't seem to standardise on anything and at least allow us a chance of a decent day's computing.

Re: April's number

Ah the joys of the touch pad. I am getting better at not touching it while typing. The click on my touch pad doesn't work though so I have to use the "tap to click" feature and the "three finger drag" which sometimes gets confused with the three finger swipe which gets mixed up with the two finger scroll. Of course the two scroll isn't always a scroll, sometimes it is a zoom, not to be confused with the pinch and the pull.

My computers run bare to the world. McAffee and Norton represent a tradeoff that doesn't pan out. You can maybe get a virus by visiting the wrong sites (always by accident of course). OR you can make sure you have a virus on your computer and install McAffee or Norton.

Looking up from my screen I just realized I have 5 different keyboards within arms reach.

There is a variation of the insert problem you mention. One of the way I select text is with the shift key. Hold it down and up arrow to select the text. I swear weird things can happen when you do this. I delete the selected text and the selection box backs up and selects the remaining text the same size as what I selected. I start typing and BAM my good text is gone.

Command Z to the rescue.

Re: April's number

Using temperature as a proxy for energy in a gas is dangerous. Displaying the anomaly makes me wonder if there is an honest scientist connected to the whole debate. There is a reason we were forced to discuss Cp in physics, fluid dynamics, chemistry, thermodynamics, and material science. With that value you can get a much closer approximation of what happens in a system. Without it you are pretty much throwing popcorn darts in gusty winds at a target.