Random thoughts and links

Today you’ll get a smattering. Why? Because I like the word “smattering”.

Let’s start with this from Forbes.com on research and questioning beliefs:

So I have to conclude from my little (academically invalid) mini-experiment that some people are inclined to dismiss results from research if they do not like them – and even without reading the research or without the skills to properly understand it. In contrast, other, nicer findings that I had posted in the past, which people did want to believe, never led to outcries of bad methodology and mentally retarded academics and, in fact, were often eagerly retweeted.

This, of course, is not helped by a news media that seldom really understands how real research is conducted and often report a study’s findings as if they were conclusive proof, whereas most good studies will often identify their weakpoints and explain the limits of their findings. It then falls to us as readers to think critically and determine how valid the study is, even though we lack enough information to really know.

I’m not a fan of The Cloud concept in computing. It’s far too trusting.  But it seems I’m not the only who has reservations about cloud computing. Roger Kay lists Three Reasons Why The Cloud Isn’t Ready For Prime Time. I’ll just list one of them:

Meanwhile, reliability remains a problem.  In a robust, locally-based model, the cloud is used intermittently to sync various endpoints, each of which can operate on its own.  If one dies, another can be used.  But if your computing paradigm relies on the cloud, you can’t do anything when the network is down.

I see this demonstrated all the time because my kids use Google Docs for their homework.  On an otherwise quiet evening, doors start bursting open as they emerge in panic.  “Hey, dad!  What’s up with the network?”  Usually, the problem is on our end and requires only a simple reboot.  But sometimes it’s elsewhere in the wider network, and we can’t do anything about it.

And that’s not the most frightening reason.

And last, but not least, because I do like to call attention to celebrities behaving goodly, kudos to Tim McGraw:

The country music superstar is giving away 25 mortgage-free houses — one for each stop on his upcoming “Brothers of the Sun” tour with Kenny Chesney — to wounded or needy service members.