Monday, November 10, 2014

The Impact of Popular Technology.net



Popular Technology.net is an impartial, highly cited website referenced over 200 times in books and scholarly peer-reviewed journals, by major and regional news media, public policy organizations and think tanks, political institutions, on radio and by the technology community. The following is a sample of these references, which does not include the tens of thousands of comments made on blogs, forums, news articles and social media throughout the Internet.

Book Coverage:

Climate: The Counter-consensus (Robert M. Carter, 2010) - Climat, Mensonges et Propagande [Climate Lies and Propaganda] (Hacène Arezki, 2010) - L'Innocence du Carbone: L'effet de serre remis en question [The Innocence of Carbon: Greenhouse effect questioned] (Francois Gervais, 2013) - The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (Alex Epstein, 2014) - Watermelons: How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children's Future (James Delingpole, 2012)

Journal Coverage:

Earth System Dynamics - Energy & Environment - Energy Policy - International Journal of Modern Physics B - La Météorologie - Australian Nursing Journal (Trade Journal)

Media Coverage:

American Thinker - Atlantico - BarbWire - Breitbart - Breitbart London - Canada Free Press - Daily Kos - Die Weltwoche (Switzerland) - Forbes - Fox News - GOOD Magazine - Grist Magazine - Herald Sun - Hot Air - Hufvudstadsbladet (Finland) - Human Events - Jewish Journal - NewsBusters - Newsmax - NOS (Netherlands) - Power Line - PJ Media - Quadrant Magazine - Right Side News - Right Wing News - Swissinfo - The Daily Telegraph - The Guardian - The New American - The Patriot Post - The Philadelphia Inquirer - The Register - The Washington Times - TruthRevolt - Uday India

Regional: 24.UNT (Uppsala, Sweden) - Athens Patch (Georgia) - Boston Environmental Policy Examiner (Massachusetts) - Carolina Journal (North Carolina) - Cleveland Photography Examiner (Ohio) - Coastal Point (Delaware) - Hastings & St. Leonards Observer (Hastings, UK) - Hawaii Reporter (Hawaii) - Idaho Press-Tribune (Idaho) - Kansas State Collegian (Kansas) - Laramie Boomerang (Wyoming) - Manassas Environmental News Examiner (Virginia) - Marietta Daily Journal (Georgia) - Mountain News (California) - NewsOK (Oklahoma) - Northridge-Chatsworth Patch (California) - Policy & Issues Examiner (Florida) - The Border Mail (Albury–Wodonga, Australia) - The Columbian (Washington) - The Dominion Post (Wellington, New Zealand) - The Gisborne Herald (Gisborne, New Zealand) - The Lakeland Times (Wisconsin) - The Landmark (Missouri) - The News & Observer (North Carolina) - The Roanoke Times (Virginia) - The Valley Breeze (Rhode Island)

Alternative: Infowars - Nature News - Prison Planet - RINF Alternative News - Sovereign Independent

Organization Coverage:

American Enterprise Institute - American Society of Mechanical Engineers - Anglesey Against Wind Turbines - Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (France) - Australian Environment Foundation - Capital Research Center - Center for Chinese & Global Affairs (Peking University) - Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow - Competitive Enterprise Institute - European Institute for Climate and Energy - Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity - Friends of Science - Frontier Centre for Public Policy - Global Warming Policy Foundation - Heartland Institute - Institute for Energy Research - Institute for Population Studies - John Birch Society - John Locke Foundation - Maastricht School of Management - Media Research Center - National Center for Policy Analysis - New Zealand Climate Science Coalition - Principia Scientific International - Raptor Education Foundation - Science & Environmental Policy Project - Science & Public Policy Institute - SINTEF (Scandinavia's largest Independent Research Organization) - The Boat Owners Association of New South Wales - Turn 180 (Ireland) - World Federation Against Drugs

Political Coverage:

Idaho Legislature Federal Lands Interim Committee - Montana Supreme Court - UK Parliament Energy and Climate Change Committee - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation - U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker

Radio Coverage:

Agenda 21 Radio (Paul Preston) - No Agenda (Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak) - Rick Jensen (WDEL-AM) - Rush Limbaugh - The Corbett Report (James Corbett) - The Marty O Radio Show (Martin O'Sullivan) - WeatherBrains (James Spann)

Resource Coverage:

Internet Public Library (IPL) - The Dictionary of the Climate Debate (DCD)

Tech Coverage:

Beaconfire - Blue's News - CHIP Magazine - Gameguru Mania - Icrontic - Linux.com - Linux Today - MajorGeeks - MSFN.org - NT Compatible - OSDir.com - OSNews - RemoveAdblock.com - Spread Firefox - Switched (Aol Tech) - Tennessee College of Applied Technology - The Tech Report

Weblog Coverage:

Australian Climate Madness - Bishop Hill (Andrew Montford) - C3 Headlines - Claes Johnson (Ph.D.) - Climate Audit (Steve McIntyre) - Climate Change Dispatch - Climate Depot (Marc Morano) - Climate Guy (Denis Rancourt Ph.D.) - Climate Lessons - Climate Observations (Bob Tisdale) - Climate Realists - Climate Science - Climategate česky [Climategate Czech] - Common American Journal - Critical Thinking - Deft News - Die Kalte Sonne [The Cold Sun] - DougRoss@Journal - Fabius Maximus - Facts & Arts (Kenneth Rundt Ph.D.) - Flopping Aces - Global Warming is Unfactual - Greenie Watch (John Ray Ph.D.) - Green World Trust - Hide the decline - Icecap (Joseph D'Aleo M.S.) - Impact of Climate Change - Independent Sentinel - Ingemar Nordin (Ph.D.) - iOwnTheWorld - Jennifer Marohasy (Ph.D.) - John Lott (Ph.D.) - JoNova (Joanne Nova) - Junk Science (Steve Milloy M.S.) - Lauri Gröhn (M.S.) - Liberty Unyielding - Moonbattery - NoTricksZone (Pierre Gosselin) - Patterico's Pontifications - Rabett Run (Joshua Halpern) - Real Science (Tony Heller M.S.) - Richard Tol (Ph.D.) - Ronald S. Strange (Ph.D.) - Science Skeptical Blog - Skeptical Science (John Cook) - Skeptical Swedish Scientists - Small Dead Animals (Kate McMillan) - Speak Up America - SPPI Blog - Stockholms Initiativet [Stockholm Initiative] - Sustainable Oregon - Suyts Space - Tallbloke's Talkshop (Roger Tattersall) - The Air Vent (Jeff Condon) - The Art of Weather (Art Horn) - The Australian Climate Sceptics - The Berean Call - The Blackboard (Lucia Lundgren Ph.D.) - The Hockey Schtick - The Lid (Jeff Dunetz) - The Reference Frame (Lubos Motl Ph.D.) - The Resilient Earth (Al Simmons and Doug Hoffman Ph.D.) - The Universal Spectator - Tom Nelson - Watts Up With That? (Anthony Watts) - Weasel Zippers

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Scientists at NASA and the USGS do not know the difference between Windows ME and Windows 2000


As another example of scientists not understanding the computer technology they are using, NASA's Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center and the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) Earth Resources Observation and Science Center are apparently ignorant of elementary knowledge about Microsoft Windows operating systems. In their User Manual for their MODIS Reprojection Tool Swath they confuse Windows ME (Millennium) with Windows 2000.
The second section is relevant to Windows systems and includes specifics for 95/98/2000 and NT/ME/XP. [...]  
Windows 95/98/2000 users must edit the AUTOEXEC.BAT file to add the path information and set the MRTSWATH_DATA_DIR variable. [...] 
Windows NT/ME/XP users must edit their user keys to add the MRTSwath PATH, MRTSWATH_HOME, and MRTSWATH_DATA_DIR to the system variables.
Windows ME and Windows 2000 are two very different operating systems built off different code bases and confusing them like this is a sign of an amateur programmer who was never professionally trained. Windows ME (Millennium) was the last of the Windows 9x line of operating systems following Windows 98. While Windows 2000 is an NT-based operating system originally called Windows NT 5.0.

The proper way to list these operating systems would be,
Windows 95/98/ME 
Windows NT/2000/XP
These are not just typos in their documentation but are actually errors in their installation file (install.bat) included in their MRT Tool Swath archive file (MRTSwath_download_Win.zip).
:AUTOEXECMOD 
REM Processing Windows 2000.
REM Modify the user's AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
echo Windows 2000 installation ...
IF EXIST "c:\autoexec.bat" GOTO AUTOEXECEXISTS 
echo Updating C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT.
GOTO MODIFYAUTOEXEC 
:AUTOEXECEXISTS 
echo Updating C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT (old version saved as AUTOEXEC.MRTSWATH).
copy c:\autoexec.bat c:\autoexec.mrtswath 
:MODIFYAUTOEXEC 
echo set MRTSWATH_HOME="%MRTSWATHDIRECTORY%">> c:/autoexec.bat
echo set Path="%MRTSWATHDIRECTORY%\bin;%%Path%%">> c:/autoexec.bat
echo set MRT_DATA_DIR="%MRTSWATHDIRECTORY%\data">> c:/autoexec.bat
This matters because the fundamental requirements of the specifications for applications to run properly on Microsoft Windows 2000 is quite clear,
Chapter 1. Windows Fundamentals

Summary of Windows Fundamental Requirements

Rationale
Passing these requirements will help ensure that your application runs in a stable, reliable manner on Windows operating systems.
Customer benefits 
Customers can be confident that a compliant product will not adversely affect the reliability of the operating system.

Requirements

5. Do not read from or write to Win.ini, System.ini, Autoexec.bat or Config.sys 
Your application must not read from or write to Win.ini, System.ini, Autoexec.bat, or Config.sys. These file are not used by Windows 2000 systems
To properly set the Path in Windows 2000 you do so using the Desktop GUI or the registry.

Hacks who were never professionally trained in computer science like Mr. Mosher do not know these very basic things and instead ignorantly spread this misinformation.
Unless you are in fact running Win2000 or NT then #1 will be the choice you want to make. If you are running Windows2000 then the install is going to make a change to autoexec.bat. If you are running NT, XP or anything later than XP ( Vista, 7 etc) Then there is no autoexec.bat to change and the installer will be modifying other files to do the install.
Any competent and professionally trained programmer would have noticed this elementary error. The problem is most of the people creating and using these scientific data tools have no formal computer science training and do not know how bad they really are. This was confirmed in an article in the journal Nature.
[A]s computers and programming tools have grown more complex, scientists have hit a "steep learning curve", says James Hack, director of the US National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. "The level of effort and skills needed to keep up aren't in the wheelhouse of the average scientist."

Greg Wilson, a computer scientist in Toronto, Canada, who heads Software Carpentry — an online course aimed at improving the computing skills of scientists — says that he woke up to the problem in the 1980s, when he was working at a physics supercomputing facility at the University of Edinburgh, UK. After a series of small mishaps, he realized that, without formal training in programming, it was easy for scientists trying to address some of the Universe's biggest questions to inadvertently introduce errors into their codes, potentially "doing more harm than good". [...]

"There are terrifying statistics showing that almost all of what scientists know about coding is self-taught," says Wilson. "They just don't know how bad they are."

As a result, codes may be riddled with tiny errors that do not cause the program to break down, but may drastically change the scientific results that it spits out.
The lack of basic computer science knowledge like this is so prevalent in the scientific community that this misinformation apparently made it into a scientific publication.

Addendum: Despite being updated in December of 2010, the MRT Tool Swath User Manual fails to mention that no one should be using Windows NT (Support ended in 2004), Windows Millennium (Support ended in 2006) or Windows 2000 (Support ended in July of 2010) since they are all obsolete operating systems that do not receive support or security updates from Microsoft anymore.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Who is Steven Mosher?


Steven Mosher is an English major with a long career in marketing and technology who is known for wasting everyone's time by making indecipherable drive-by comments on skeptic websites. He is not an "aerospace engineer", he is not an "open-source software developer" and he is certainly not a "scientist" (despite all ridiculous claims to the contrary).
"Mosh[er] is indeed a scientist..." - Willis Eschenbach
Unlike apparently most of those who entertain his comments I took the time to research Mr. Mosher's credentials and found them long but completely devoid of any scientific education or experience.

Steven M. Mosher, B.A. English, Northwestern University (1981); Teaching Assistant, English Department, UCLA (1981-1985); Director of Operations Research/Foreign Military Sales & Marketing, Northrop Corporation [Grumman] (1985-1990); Vice President of Engineering [Simulation], Eidetics International (1990-1993); Director of Marketing, Kubota Graphics Corporation (1993-1994); Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Criterion Software (1994-1995); Vice President of Personal Digital Entertainment, Creative Labs (1995-2006); Vice President of Marketing, Openmoko (2007-2009); Founder and CEO, Qi Hardware Inc. (2009); Marketing Consultant (2010-2012); Vice President of Sales and Marketing, VizzEco Inc. (2010-2011); [Marketing] Advisor, RedZu Online Dating Service (2012-2013); Advisory Board, urSpin (n.d.); Team Member, Berkeley Earth 501C(3) Non-Profit Organization unaffiliated with UC Berkeley (2013-Present)

Ironically, the #1 word that appears on his LinkedIn profile is Marketing.

Since he has been a frequent commentator on various climate related websites [Climate Audit, Climate Etc., The Blackboard and Watts Up With That?] his status has grown into somewhat of an urban legend. Yet, he is only notable in the global warming debate for two main things:

1. Writing a book on the Climategate scandal in 2010 - "Climategate: The Crutape Letters" and,
2. Outing Peter Gleick over the fake Heartland Institute Memo in 2012.

While both are legitimate, neither has anything to do with scientific research and both lend to his English language skills. The problem with trying to determine his education and experience is his background changes depending on the source and various positions and titles appear to have evolved over time.


Background Inconsistencies and Misrepresentations

Sometimes it appears even Mr. Mosher does not know who he is.

* In a March of 2012 resume Mr. Mosher posted to Indeed.com he claims to have a "Ph.D. in English" but in an interview in 1999 he explicitly stated, "I quit my Ph.D. in English to become a full time operational analyst."

Source: Steven Mosher Resume posted to Indeed.com

* Depending on the source Mr. Mosher's degree from Northwestern University reinvents itself:

"B.A. English Literature and Philosophy"
"B.A. Philosophy and English"
"Philosophy, Linguistics"
"B.A. English"

Northwestern University does not offer majors in "English Literature and Philosophy", "Philosophy and English or "Philosophy, Linguistics" so these appear to be embellishments on his English degree. If he did receive a double major or multiple degrees at Northwestern University he would have made sure to mention this but never does. (Update: this is now mentioned on his LinkedIn Profile)

* Mr. Mosher's profile for urSpin claims that he was a "Professor at UCLA" but an online profile he posted states he was just a "Teaching Assistant".

* In an October of 2013 comment at Climate Etc., Mr. Mosher claimed that, "between 1985 and 1993 I worked as an aerospace engineer." Yet, in an interview in 1999 he stated his work related to war gaming and flight simulators during this time. He even played the title of his position at Northrop down, "An old college buddy from Northwestern got me a summer internship at Northrop Aircraft, doing operational analysis. That's a fancy term for war gaming."

* Mr. Mosher's title of "Vice President of Engineering" at Eidetics International is misleading since one of his online profiles claims he was "Vice President of Simulation" and "Designed Flight Simulators". This is confirmed by U.S. Department of Defense Grants he received during this time specifically relating to flight simulators. A departmental title like this is also relatively insignificant at smaller companies with only 40 employees like Eidetics International.

* The bio for Mr. Mosher's book claims, "He later joined Northrop Aircraft where he worked as an threat analyst and director of analysis until transitioning to the commercial world in 1995 when he joined Creative Labs" but all of his online profiles say he worked for Eidetics International, Kubota Graphics and Criterion Software between 1990 and 1995 after he left Northrop.

* Mr. Mosher appears to have held six or more titles during his 11-year career at Creative Labs which is rather unusual:

"Director of Marketing and Product Development"
"Director of Graphics Marketing"
"Vice President of Emerging Technology"
"Vice President of New Technology"
"Vice President of Graphics Business Unit"
"Vice President of Personal Digital Entertainment"

I was able to confirm that he was a Vice President at Creative Labs and most likely the Vice President of Personal Digital Entertainment since he was representing Creative Labs at a technology conference in 2004 with this title but some of the others may have been manufactured.

* Mr. Mosher's profile at Vizzeco claims he was responsible for "launching the very first MP3 player". Yet, the first Creative Labs MP3 player the NOMAD was released in April of 1999, while companies like Diamond Multimedia had already released an MP3 player the RIO in September of 1998 and the very first MP3 player the Saehan MPMan was released a year earlier in March of 1998.

* In a January 2010 article at Breitbart and in a February 2010 article in The Guardian they both claim Mr. Mosher is an "open-source software developer". Yet, in a March 2010 comment to DeSmogBlog Mr. Mosher stated he was actually only an "open-source advocate". These are two vastly different things, one is a profession the other is a cheerleader. Mr. Mosher could have easily gotten this misinformation corrected since he was also an author at Breitbart but failed to do so.

* In a November 2010 article in the New York Times it claims Mr. Mosher is a "software developer" but there is no evidence of him ever being professionally employed in this role. On his LinkedIn profile under the self-appointed title of "Marketing Consultant" it is claimed that he is an "R Software Developer" but this is a misnomer, as there is no evidence of him writing new software applications using the R programming language but rather he uses it to analyze data. Ironically, in a March 2010 comment to DeSmogBlog he stated, "I stopped writing code ages ago".


Climategate Role

Mr. Mosher is frequently given far too much importance relating to Climategate breaking in November of 2009 when actually he was akin to a courier, being one of the first people who was given the hacked emails by the WUWT moderator who found them, Charles Rotter, and only because they happened to be roommates at the time. The anonymous hacker had posted an FTP link to multiple sites such as Warren Myer's Climate Skeptic, Patrick "Jeff" Condon's The Air Vent and of course to Anthony Watt's Watts Up With That?, none of which were to Mr. Mosher's blog which had been up since June 2009. Despite delusions of grandeur ["Steven Mosher is to Climategate what Woodward and Bernstein were to Watergate"] and ridiculous assertions ["He was just the right person, with just the right influence, and just the right expertise to be at the heart of the promulgation of the files"] Mr. Mosher was nothing more than a temporary go-between that he used to inflate his importance in the matter. He was never directly contacted or targeted by the anonymous hacker as a source to leak the emails since he was not prominent in the climate skeptic community and it required no special "expertise" to read emails, nor special "influence" to contact people like Steve McIntyre. In the end it was Anthony Watts and Charles Rotter who "broke" the story at WUWT where the anonymous hacker had originally intended. This did not stop Mr. Mosher from making ridiculous claims to have "alerted the internet" to the Climategate emails.


Is he a Scientist?

It is rather odd that the Berkley Earth team would bestow upon Mr. Mosher the misleading title of "Scientist" when he has clearly not earned it through education and experience.

He first appeared on the Berkley Earth website in July of 2012 as a "Consultant" but an online profile he posted claims he started in January of 2012 as an "Open Source Volunteer". It seems once professional scientists climatologist Dr. Judith Curry and statistical scientist Dr. David Brillinger left the team in early 2013, he was quickly promoted to the title of "Scientist" but why? My emails to Berkley Earth asking for an explanation as to what qualifies Mr. Mosher to the title of "Scientist" were not answered. His LinkedIn profile claims he has been a "Scientist" with Berkley Earth since March of 2013, which is the same time he was first listed as a co-author (notably always last) for a couple of insignificant papers (Rhode et al. 2013, Wickham et al. 2013). This is rather weak criteria, considering it would allow just about anyone to use the title of "Scientist", including many graduate students who may have assisted a professional scientist with research for a paper and were rewarded with their name as a co-author. What is even weaker is that his role with Berkley Earth by his own admission is one of a technical nature similar to a data analyst not a scientist, "I am currently writing and maintaining R code devoted to the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project."

Sometimes the answer is rather simple. Since the founder of Berkeley Earth, Richard A. Muller, is a Professor of Physics at the University of California Berkeley, it is incorrectly believed that Berkeley Earth is affiliated with the University but further research reveals that it is an independent 501C(3) Non-Profit Organization registered to a house in Berkeley California and completely unaffiliated with UC Berkeley. This gives the organization the facade of a scientific authority when in reality they can fabricate whatever titles they feel like. If Berkeley Earth wants to be taken seriously they should begin by not manufacturing credentials for people who have clearly not earned them, as this does a disservice to professional scientists who have put in the years earning advanced degrees and doing scientific research at research institutions and universities.

Mr. Mosher also conveniently appears to be the main contact for the Berkeley Earth website and potentially maintains it.


In Conclusion

In the end, Mr. Mosher may be very good at marketing (especially himself) but the evidence clearly shows he is not a scientist.



Update 1

* In response to a discussion about his background where all of my comments were censored at Climate Etc., Mr. Mosher links to a technical paper about flight simulators he co-authored while at Eidetics International. The paper is redundant, as it has already been established in this article that he worked on flight simulators at Eidetics International and a technical paper on the results of "flight simulator experiments" still does not make him an "aerospace engineer".

* Mr. Mosher also claims to have been responsible for the artificial intelligence in a 1998 video game Falcon 4.0 but his name does not appear anywhere in the manual.

* As an example of transparency and openness, Judith Curry is extensively censoring my comments at her website Climate Etc. to protect Mr. Mosher who cannot handle tough questions about his background.



Update 2

As further evidence that he is not a professional software developer, Mr. Mosher lacks elemetary knowledge of the difference between the Windows ME (Millennium) and Windows 2000 operating systems.



Rebuttals

Criticism: Anyone who follows the scientific method is a scientist.

Rebuttal: Claiming anyone can be a "scientist" makes the title meaningless. There is a big distinction between an amateur scientist and a professional scientist. A professional scientist is "a person who is trained in a science and whose job involves doing scientific research or solving scientific problems." Since Mr. Mosher has no educational background or any professional experience as a scientist, the only thing he can be considered is an amateur scientist.

* scientist (defined) "a person who is trained in a science and whose job involves doing scientific research or solving scientific problems" - Merriam-Webster

* scientist (defined) "someone who is trained in science, especially someone whose job is to do scientific research" - Macmillan