West Coast climate more affected by ocean than by air

 Malibu Beach, California

Changing Winds Explain Most Pacific Coast Warming 
[Via SFCC]

Changes in winds over the eastern Pacific Ocean explain most of the warming trend along the West Coast of North America in the last century, according to a new analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Similar atmospheric shifts are known to drive fluctuations in Pacific climate over decades in the form of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), a long-recognized pattern of seesawing ocean temperatures. The new research indicates that similar changes in regional pressure and winds can also drive trends in sea surface and coastal air temperatures that extend over a century or more.

This study used independently measured ocean and land-surface air temperature records from 1900 to 2012 to confirm an already well-documented increase of approximately 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius in the northeast Pacific Ocean and nearby land areas. What’s especially interesting and new about this work is that independently measured atmospheric sea level pressures over the past century show that circulation changes account for nearly all of the year to year, decade to decade, and century long surface temperature changes in the northeast Pacific Ocean and West Coast states since 1900.


A nice discussion from the authors of their research all over the news about West Coast warming. Here is the relevant graph:


First, you do not see the same sort of temperature trend for West Coast temperatures as seen globally. One of the benefits of living on a coast – the oceans modulate the temperatures. As shown in this paper. This is not new and has been known for some time.

What is new is that almost all of this can be modeled using ocean-driven winds, not by direct impacts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

It has been known for a long time that coastal temperatures have not risen as rapidly an interior temperatures. The question was, was any effect due to direct emissions of greenhouse gases? The model the authors present indicate that West Coast air temperature change fits best with changing wind patterns than with CO2 release.

As the authors state:

This study used independently measured ocean and land-surface air temperature records from 1900 to 2012 to confirm an already well-documented increase of approximately 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius in the northeast Pacific Ocean and nearby land areas. What’s especially interesting and new about this work is that independently measured atmospheric sea level pressures over the past century show that circulation changes account for nearly all of the year to year, decade to decade, and century long surface temperature changes in the northeast Pacific Ocean and West Coast states since 1900.

Changes in winds explain most of the temperature differences, most of which took place before 1940. And the winds are determined by ocean currents and ocean temperatures. 

They make the point that regional variation is not the same as global. While at a global level, we can see changes, at more granular levels, such as regions, other factors can dominate. It is not surprising that being near an ocean can ameliorate temperature changes since this is one reason people like living near oceans – it is not nearly as hot or as cold as living inland.

So, the change in wind patterns explains most of the atmospheric temperature variability for parts of the West Coast. But what is causing the wind patterns to change? As the authors state:

This study shows that atmospheric circulation changes, essentially changes in winds, were the proximate cause for West Coast/NE Pacific temperature changes from 1900 to 2012. If anthropogenic effects were important for NE Pacific / west coast warming from 1900 to 2012, they likely occurred through an indirect circulation pathway that that is not well simulated by current global climate models. The more we understand the regional climate dynamics discussed in this research the better we can understand how they may interact with human-caused climate change, and what the combined effect on the region’s climate may be.

Indirect pathways in ocean circulation  are what we would expect from anthropogenic release of CO2 into the atmosphere. We are not putting the CO2 or heat directly into the ocean. We do know that the ocean is soaking up a lot of atmospheric heat. 90% of the additional heat is being stored in the oceans.

This will likely have an effect on ocean circulation and thus atmospheric properties, but an indirect one rather than the direct effect.

Getting a better idea of the effects on ocean circulation patterns will help inform us a lot, not only at the regional level but at the global.

We really do not have a great idea of all the drivers behind these ocean changes (such as El Nino or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation), although we are gaining a better understanding all the time.The oceans are the greatest heat sink we have but since we do not live there, we do not have as much data as we have with atmospheric data. 

Understanding this as fast as possible will make for better models. That is what science does.

Could Apple be using U2 and Beats to resurrect Ping and help build the Uber of music?

U2, April 1st in Anaheim 

U2 Claims It’s Working With Apple On A New Music Format That ‘Can’t Be Pirated’
[Via Techdirt]

Apparently U2’s deal with Apple goes further than taking a bunch of cash and dumping unwanted music files on hundreds of millions of iTunes users. The band has said that it’s working on a brand new music formatthat “can’t be pirated.” Oh really? We’ve heard that before, many, many times. And every time someone claims that, whatever new DRM they created gets broken without hours. I imagine the same will be true of this. The format sounds like a rehash of other things that have been tried and failed before:

[The new format will be] an audiovisual interactive format for music that can’t be pirated and will bring back album artwork in the most powerful way, where you can play with the lyrics and get behind the songs when you’re sitting on the subway with your iPad or on these big flat screens. You can see photography like you’ve never seen it before.

Of course, we’ve been hearing this for years. Five years ago, the major labels were all going to team up to create “CMX”, a new music format that had all those audiovisual components. Where’s that now? Every few years we see startups claiming to have created a similar new music format that builds in all those audiovisual components… and no one cares. Is it possible that Apple with the help of U2 will suddenly figure it out? Sure. It’s possible. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Especially if it includes annoying DRM that no one wants.


First, I think U2 is involved because of Jimmy Iovine, who came with the Beats buyout. Iovine produced two of U2’s albums, both of which had lots of video adjuncts to them (Under a Blood Red Sky and Rattle and Hum).

I would not be surprised if all the U2 stuff – free album, etc. – is in lace to set up this new platform.

Platform? Because adding DRM to music or gussying it up with videos would not seem to be a moneymaker. Who pays for music?

Anything that can be digitized rapidly becomes free. Only those things that cannot be digitized seem to be open to making money off of.

Maybe that is what is going on here.

Speculation – couple this with the possible reason for buying Beats – creating a platform that permits musicians to support communities for their work. The work itself becomes free but the communities can directly support the music, without the need for middle men.

Jimmy Iovine sees the opportunity in changing the game and “building a communication between a fan and an artist.” In other words Beats Music is not yet another streaming service designed to sell music, but a platform for artists to build businesses and “sell everything but music” as Troy Carter says.

It makes the interesting comparison to Uber – which is disrupting taxi service in major cities:

In essence, Beats aims to become Uber of music by aggregating demand, connecting listeners to artists and empowering the artists to build thriving business on top of the platform. Much like Uber, which promises to end the era of poorly paid cab drivers. Or like Apple App Store, which connects users with app developers allowing them to build business on top of the platform.

The disintermediation of industries – the connection of creator and customer without intervening entities – is one of the main disruptors affecting many companies. Here it is being applied to the music industry.

The point of the article is that today, music is not really sold. It sells other things, whether they are concerts for the musicians or headphones they endorse. Business models based on selling music are doomed.The key is making it easy for the fans to find the acts they like and support them.

The strategy lesson from Apple and Beats is this: Look for opportunities to build platforms connecting consumers with value-adding complementors. (Think a “connect-ing business”, and not a “connected business”.) Capture value through bundling with the platform that will buy you hyper-growth driven by network effects and insurmountable competitive advantage. (And of course don’t tell anybody what’s you are up to before it’s ready.)

They would want to make it easy to connect fans and musicians, making it possible for communities to easily support one another. 

We already saw Apple make an aborted attempt at social music communities with Ping. It is obviously something they are interested in. The guys behind Beats seem to get this and might be able to help Apple create something actually useful.

With U2 as their first test case. We shall see.

The authorities cannot get data off your properly set up iPhone without your permission

 Rough iPhone 5 & 6 size comparison

Apple Says iOS 8 Update Keeps Data Private, Even From the Police
[Via Daring Fireball]

Brian X. Chen, writing for the NYT:

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” the company said on the new webpage. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

Christopher Soghoian, a principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said Apple’s new privacy policy reflected the revelations of the government surveillance programs revealed in documents leaked by Edward J. Snowden. “The public has said they want companies to put their privacy first, and Apple has listened,” Mr. Soghoian said.


People want secure phones. Apple opens itself up to a lot of problems if they are lying here.

I tend to think not. Apple is focussed on their users because, in contrast to Goole and Android, Apple’s users and customers are the same.

It will be interesting to see what the response of authority is to this. Apple has said they do not care about collecting people’s data and have made a phone that reflects that. The customer has total  control over who has access to their phone.

Paradigm shifts – the Watch is a watch just as the iPhone is a phone…not very

TV Shows We Used To Watch - Christmas 1959 

Apple Watch ‘Too Feminine and Looks Like It Was Designed by Students’, Says LVMH Executive
[Via Daring Fireball]

The Telegraph:

Jean-Claude Biver, who heads the French group’s luxury watch division, said the US tech giant had made “some fundamental mistakes” designing the Apple Watch.

“This watch has no sex appeal. It’s too feminine and looks too much like the smartwatches already on the market,” Mr Biver said in an interview with daily Die Welt.

“To be totally honest, it looks like it was designed by a student in their first trimester,” added Mr Biver, who heads up the brands Tag Heuer, Zenith and Hublot.

“PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”


The last quote is from the CEO of Palm discussing the paradigm shift that was the iPhone. Some of the rest:

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone”

And they never really did, even as the PC guts destroyed them.

I’m not certain the Watch is the Holy Grail but is the first real demonstration that what we will wear on our wrists will only tell time in a peripheral fashion, just as the supercomputer we carry in our pockets is only peripherally a phone.

People who continue to look at smart watches like jewelry are simply on the wrong side of the paradigm shift.

What we wear on our wrists will provide glances at data (something Apple has been the first to make explicit in my opinion). It is not for consuming data, like an iPad or for manipulating it, like a laptop or iPhone.

It is for rapid and quick interaction with data while we put our attention onto other things.

That is what I think Google got wrong with Glass, trying to make it kinda like a super computer on your head. What I think it should be is a display device for the output coming from the supercomputer in our pockets, for those times when we need to do more than glance.

Combine these and I bet we would have a very rapid way to interact with all the data being generated by the supercomputers in our pockets, in ways we cannot even imagine now.

Apple Watch is the best smart watch for those who already have iPhons

 Цена Apple Watch. А еще в них есть NFC для Apple Pay. Доступны в начале 2015.

The Apple Watch is designed for everybody
[Via The Verge - All Posts]

The Moto 360 is too aggressive. It’s too big. It’s too shiny. Its face is too large in comparison to its bezel. Its strap flops out from the edge of its case like a dog’s tongue on a hot day. That’s my opinion. Many will disagree with me, but I don’t care. I will never wear a Moto 360. I might wear an Apple Watch, though. I expect millions of others might too.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: the Apple Watch is not a pretty watch. A bulbous slab of metal, its case is a chunky blob with a square face and bulging sides. But while not conventionally attractive, it does achieve one extremely important goal: anonymity. However big it may be, the soft lines of the case seem to almost fade into insignificance, shifting focus to the strap…


I really like the new watch. I think it hits many of the necessary things I’d like to see in a smart watch 1.0.

One key aspect of timepieces that I expect smart watches to change – a smart watch will not be seen mainly as jewelry, as almost every modern watch is viewed. It will provide so much more usefulness than that.

Sure individualization will be important but as this tech matures, the usefulness will become more important, just as the computational usefulness of smartphones have come to dominate their phone calling aspects.

We are seeing some nice starts but I really see the smart watch as a useful adjunct mainly using the computational power of the mobile supercomputer we will carry in our pocket. You will need both.

What I liked about the Apple watch was one important aspect I had not seen done as well yet on other watches – it is for glancing more than looking at. That is, we just glance at the data, not interact deeply with it.

We glance at the time, glance at the text, glance at the temperature. We are not writing emails. I like that I can set up directions and the watch will silently use haptic feedback to tell me when to turn. 

No need to even glance. I’ll be able to pay  for clothes or open my hotel room with a simple motion. Control my TV streaming. Check in for an airplane trip.

The health and fitness stuff is not compelling yet but may well be in version 2 or 3. People forget that the original iPhone, while amazing, had many people think it was stupid and worthless. It did not become compelling until the 3G – a year after introduction.

I expect that this might be similar. I expect things to open up a lot as people change their view of what a watch can do, just as they changed what they think a phone should do.

But it will only be of interest to those who already have an iPhone since one is required. I see smart watches for either Android or iOS to drive more hardware lock-in. And it will only be a subset of iPhone users who may buy one, so I do not see them penetrating as far as iPhones.

I could be wrong though.

Of course, cell phone companies are already advertising an iPhone 6 for free with a 2 year contract and your old phone. So I expect some deals may make an Apple Watch a more interesting prospect.

But if Android is your favorite, I do not expect the Apple Watch to change your mind. 

I wondered about having a flexible iWatch last year


Tim Bajarin: Apple’s smartwatch is going to be historic
[Via MacDailyNews]

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“When Apple wants to make a big splash, it returns to its history,” Brian X. Chen reports for The New York Times. “Thirty years ago at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, a roomy auditorium in Cupertino, Calif., Steven P. Jobs introduced the original Macintosh. On Tuesday, Apple will come back to the center to unveil a set of long-anticipated products: two iPhones with larger screens, and a wearable computer that the media has nicknamed the iWatch.”

“The so-called smartwatch will be the first brand-new product unveiled under Apple’s new chief, Timothy D. Cook, who took the helm after Mr. Jobs died nearly three years ago. It is expected to come in two sizes and combine functions like health and fitness monitoring with mobile computing tasks like displaying maps, said people knowledgeable about the product. It will have a unique, flexible screen and, like the new phones, will support technology that allows people to pay for things wirelessly,” Chen reports. “‘I believe it’s going to be historic,’ said Tim Bajarin, a consumer technology analyst for Creative Strategies who attended the original Mac event in 1984.”


A unique, flexible screen? Could it be due to this patent I mentioned last  year? Not a hinge, but for something that could match a body’s contours.

Could texting help literacy?

 Writing Skills
[Via xkcd:]


He makes an interesting point. With so many people communicating with each other by the written language perhaps higher levels of literacy ill arise.

Because to be a part of the society arising from technology, you have to be able to communicate using words. And communication by words is the most powerful way to communicate.

Sure. there will be a lot of crap. But Sturgeon’s Law predicts that. I guess we shall see.


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