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Windows 8 sales poor

http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/windows-8-sales-well-below-projections-plenty-blame-go-around

Pretty damming article from Paul Thurrott, a known Windows advocate.
Ducknald Don Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2012
 
 
I'm using up vacation time this week, so I've got time for a long winded post.  I'll take each heading from Thurrott's blog article.

"Microsoft blames the PC makers"
Yeah right, touch screens have been around since what the '80's?  Tablet sales are disappointing too.  The market for confusing kiosk style devices is much smaller than the market for fine-grained human input devices like keyboards and mice.  Casual users aren't looking for something new to learn, they just want the familiar to be easier to use and more dependable.

"Lingering questions about Sinofsky"
Thurrott claims that a major problem with Microsoft management is a lack of transparency about the future direction of Windows, so external parties don't trust Microsoft's press releases.  Thurrott also claims "This lack of trust will cause consumers to look elsewhere."  Maybe in a parallel universe, but in this one, consumers quit looking forward to the next release of Windows when Windows 95 did away with the geekiness required to run Windows 3.1.  When my mother didn't have to know anything about having the right Winsock dll on her computer to get email, personal computing became possible for the masses, and if nothing changed from that she would be happy.  Everything since Windows 95 is either making the old OS work with new devices like USB devices and digital cameras or is confusing consumers to the point where they just want something that has one click/touch access to Google Search and can play  Youtube videos. 

"It’s the economy, stupid"
The Greeks and the Spaniards can revert to a sustenance  economy and drive oxcarts, and the global population of PC users isn't going to drop.  100% of corporate users would upgrade to Windows 8 before Monday if it could be deployed across the enterprise for just the cost of licenses.  It's the lost productivity and extra costs for IT support that make it too expensive for businesses, which is why Windows upgrades haven't been rolled out en masse since XP.

"Confusing range of device types"
Apparently the problem "is a mess of different hybrid designs, rather than a concerted, industry-wide effort to consolidate around a few basic designs."  Thurrott claims Windows 8 is sending mixed messages to hardware vendors, so companies like Lenovo are building personal computing devices in too many different configurations.  He has cause and effect confused, it was the proliferation of  portable devices running different OS' that resulted in Microsoft designing an OS that tries to run on everything, but doesn't work better on anything .

"Windows 8"
Here the problem "is a confusing, Frankenstein’s monster mix of old and new that hides a great desktop upgrade under a crazy Metro front-end."  I agree with the Frankenstein part, but keeping most of the good things from Windows 7 (just hidden) is not an upgrade.  If he is referring to the latest configuration of Windows Live Whatever, changing the base free add-ons like email and web browsing every six months is not my idea of a great upgrade either.

"Windows RT"
"Surface"
Two headings but an inter-dependent problem.  It's Windows CE all over again.  As Thurrott says "Imagine Apple announcing a major new version of iOS and then releasing a new tablet that runs Mac OS X instead of that new iOS version"  When you design an OS to be both the chicken and the egg, chances are good the egg gets broken and the chicken never gets hatched.  Consumers don't like buying stuff that doesn't work yet, no matter how much you hype it.  If Apple needs to increase sales, they hype an existing product as something new, consumers hand over money, they get something that works just like it did yesterday, and everybody loves it.

"Intel"
Consumers know squat about Ivy Bridge and Clover Trail processors, and care less.  To repeat myself, hardware has nothing to do with the success or failure of Windows 8.

"Windows 8 is no Vista, in many ways. Until it is."
Windows 8 is dead.  Vista was launched when laptop sales were skyrocketing.  So it got installed by default until Microsoft did one of its smartest moves and repackaged Vista SP3 as Windows 7.  To prove my point, consumers paid money to upgrade to Windows 7 to get rid of Vista.  And whatever Microsoft does to compete with Android and iOS will have no impact on its Windows business unless it tries to force consumers to run its mobile platform on desktops.  Consumers don't have to upgrade (is there anyone in the world who doesn't have some version of Windows?), and if Microsoft wants hardware vendors to pre-install Windows 8, there has to be an eject button for the mobile parts of Windows 8. 

Microsoft has the luxury of launching dead products whenever it wants, when you supply the software that runs 9 out of every 10 computers on the planet, consumers will wait a long time for you to get it right.  Windows on the desktop drives sales for corporate server software, and the Office monopoly guarantees a virtual monopoly for the desktop OS.  It's what marketing types call a virtuous circle.
Howard Ness Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2012
 
 
I love your essays.

I just don't get the ergonomics argument of touch screens for long houred desk work. There really isn't one.

I had a friend that worked on early computing back when they had the first screens, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They used light pens for direct interaction. People did not like it, it was very tiring to hold your arms up. So you only used it for certain things and tried to use the keyboard. Finally they just used the keyboard since touching the screen was just too much of a PITA.
Scott Send private email
Friday, November 16, 2012
 
 
I disagree regarding the hardware, as the lack of obvious choice is indeed a part of my hesitation regarding Win 8.

My next working PC will probably be something mobile, such as a laptop - but I don't fancy forking out for just another boring old laptop.

I've had 2 of them; not really keen.

Now it if easily plugs into a full-size monitor, mouse, keyboard and sound system, preferably via an easy port or single cable, AND can accept a small portable keyboard AND can be carried around as just a tablet, while keeping everything 100% IBM PC compatible and also compatible with normal Windows software then I'm interested..?

Some products I've seen come close but no cigar, though I haven't looked all that hard, precisely because there doesn't seem to be much choice for such things.

I'm very open to the idea of a new physical platform, if it can do a LOT more than just a tablet/iPad,

Basically make my full-size desktop PC portable and touch-screen, with modular snap-on components and sure, I'll pay for the hardware and a Windows upgrade, as it expands my IT universe.

Make it all proprietary connections, crippled hardware or crippled software (RT) and I really can't see the point?

What do the tablets do that a notebook can't? What does a notebook do that a full-size laptop can't? What does a laptop do that my desktop PC can't?

The only benefits are portability, and my thumbdrive is pretty darn portable.

Without new hardware there's absolutely nothing compelling about Windows 8 to me, not least because my desktop PC doesn't have a touchscreen, rendering those big ugly blocks entirely useless.

To me Window 8 is for phones - and I use Android.



AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Saturday, November 17, 2012
 
 
"The only benefits are portability, and my thumbdrive is pretty darn portable."
It's a slightly different topic, but the answer is data portability, not application portability.  In other words, software fits the device, appropriate for what the device is suitable for (no spreadsheets or pdfs on a smartphone), but you carry your data with you.  Kind of like your iTunes library.  Why not emulate what is truly successful?

I don't see any smartphones running a Windows mobile platform that are less than five years old.  In North America nearly every adult already has a smartphone, and they are unlikely to switch platforms (if RIM goes bankrupt, they'll have to pry my Bold from my cold, dead hands).  In the teenage market, I can't see Windows 8 RT/Surface competing with Android on smartphones, even if it does eventually work better.
Howard Ness Send private email
Saturday, November 17, 2012
 
 
"In North America nearly every adult already has a smartphone,"

FWIW, Oct 1st 212 Pew research puts U.S. numbers at least at "only" 50%.  (I find that it is even as high as half just incredible).  But yours is still a fair point.
Racky Send private email
Saturday, November 17, 2012
 
 
FWIW, I don't own or use cell phones and do not permit them to be used in my presence. Pull out your cell phone a *second* time in front of me and you get a punch.
Scott Send private email
Saturday, November 17, 2012
 
 
@Scott, you're what's known around here as a 'character'!
Drummer Send private email
Sunday, November 18, 2012
 
 
I'm with Scott on cell phones.  I do own one, but for my own use (nobody calls me as I don't give out the number).  If anyone starts looking at theirs while talking to me, I say, "All right, I'll leave it with you" and walk off.  Had some shocked looks, but then they just look back at the phone.  They don't get it.
Harry Phace Send private email
Sunday, November 18, 2012
 
 
Drummer, I don't really hit them, I was just saying that for humorous effect. But I've never owned one, they give me the creeps, I think it's the radiation, it feels weird. Sometimes someone hands me their to talk to someone and I can feel this itchy sensation against my face. It's a very different feel from talking to a wired phone. I am sure that some day the stats are going to come out that testicular cancer rates went up on users and the phone cartel suppressed and spun study results like the tobacco companies did.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, November 18, 2012
 
 
There is no lack of studies of the ill effects of annoying behaviours, but the ones that linked cell phones to brain cancer and starting fires at gas pumps didn't stand up to scrutiny.  There aren't any studies linking cell phones to being run over or falling down, but that's just because you would actually have to do expensive observational research instead of running statistics programs on government databases.  Since we are off topic anyway, let me make the statement that ever since SPSS was released in 1968, scientific research in general, and social science in particular, has gone downhill.

And Scott, you must truly be living on a tropical island; even if you lived in a bunker on a ranch in Idaho, you would still be married to a cell phone like the rest of us.
Howard Ness Send private email
Sunday, November 18, 2012
 
 
No idea what the Idaho remarks is supposed to mean. Not everyone is so foolish as to carry cell phones with them.

As to the rest of it, you're a patsy of the cell phone cartels Howard. Don't be so naive. Big Tobacco had "all studies" conclusively proving that the polonium in cigarettes can't possibly cause cancer.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/31/who.cell.phones/index.html

> A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

> What that means is they found some evidence of increase in glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer for mobile phone users, but have not been able to draw conclusions for other types of cancers.

> Results from the largest international study on cell phones and cancer was released in 2010. It showed participants in the study who used a cell phone for 10 years or more had doubled the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, November 18, 2012
 
 
I, for one, wear my aluminum foil hat when I'm using my cell phone. I don't want the aliens to use their mind control radiation waves on me. You can laugh all you want, but I read it on the internet.

These cell phone conspiracy theories are more absurd than the Thurrot article (which he admits is just one big pile of ... "guesses").
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Sunday, November 18, 2012
 
 
It's too late Wyatt.  Is it just a coincidence that we switched to aluminum foil from tin foil about the same time people started to report seeing UFO's?  Why is it you can't find real tin foil anymore?

Microwave radiation is everywhere.  Even in the darkest regions of the universe (see Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation).  We all die, so microwave radiation must be the cause.
Howard Ness Send private email
Sunday, November 18, 2012
 
 
Somewhat back to the topic...

"the answer is data portability, not application portability. In other words, software fits the device, appropriate for what the device is suitable for (no spreadsheets or pdfs on a smartphone), but you carry your data with you. "

If that's the answer what was the question?

My phone, which isn't even Windows, already does open and edit Word docs and read PDFs.

My point is that for me to change from my Android phone and desktop PC I need something pretty compelling, preferably something that converts my phone into Windows 7.

Failing a Windows 7 phone I could settle for a Windows 7 tablet, provided I can plug it into my 21" FST monitor and full-size keyboard when I'm at home (and mains power, and my subwoofer sound system, obviously).

Oh, and I need to connect my microphone, for Skype.

And a USB mouse.

And a DVD drive, of course. Make it 2 of them.

I mentioned the twin 500 GB hard drives, right?

In short, make my desktop portable, with both a touchscreen AND a keyboard.

Really I just want to plug my phone or tablet into a dock and have a full desktop station at home, while being able to carry the thing around. If I know i'll be working I can take my keyboard and mouse too...

Right now there isn't anything out there that does all that, so why would I change from Windows 7?

If going portable, why would I want anything other than a Windows 7 laptop?

Even with such a laptop it's not my PC is it? So I'd be constantly moving files and software across between the 2, trying to emulate my home PC, Urgh.

Hence my desire for something that IS my home PC when it's at home, my laptop when I'm working away and my tablet when I'm just curled up on the sofa.

THAT would be a reason to update my OS.

In the meantime, what's the point of Windows 8metrowhatever? The ONLY benefit to the thing seems to be if there's some funky touch-screen hardware for it - and there isn't any.

It's completely useless then.



AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Monday, November 19, 2012
 
 
Howard Ness:
'"Microsoft blames the PC makers"
Yeah right, touch screens have been around since what the '80's?  Casual users aren't looking for something new to learn, they just want the familiar to be easier to use and more dependable.'

Touchscreens have their advantages, but not with me.

It is more than just not wanting to learn.  I am not a casual user, and I am not interested in turning things upside down because SomeCompany released Something.  When I get a new system, I have to spend considerable time to set it up so that I can use it.  Installing software, tweaking options, checking it over: it all takes time.  And that is before I end up puzzling over the changes.

I have a couple of Windows 7 systems that I have copied my Visual FoxPro development to.  They are faster systems.  Well, except when I am running some of my utilities.  I have a custom file search utility.  It is written in QuickBasic and will not run directly on a Windows 7 system.  I have to run it under DOSBox and run so, it is considerably slower than it running natively on my Windows XP system.  If I switch my main development to one of Windows 7 systems, I may have to rewrite my utilities.  I am not keen to do so.  I just modified one of the utilities to correct an unclear error message.  The last time I had changed that utility was about 6 1/2 years ago.  The file search utility is dated 2008-05-28.


'"It’s the economy, stupid"
The Greeks and the Spaniards can revert to a sustenance  economy and drive oxcarts, and the global population of PC users isn't going to drop.  100% of corporate users would upgrade to Windows 8 before Monday if it could be deployed across the enterprise for just the cost of licenses.  It's the lost productivity and extra costs for IT support that make it too expensive for businesses, which is why Windows upgrades haven't been rolled out en masse since XP.'

For example, my example above.


'Microsoft has the luxury of launching dead products whenever it wants, when you supply the software that runs 9 out of every 10 computers on the planet, consumers will wait a long time for you to get it right.  Windows on the desktop drives sales for corporate server software, and the Office monopoly guarantees a virtual monopoly for the desktop OS.  It's what marketing types call a virtuous circle.'

Probably not what you intended, but I am staying with Office 97.  It does not have ribbons.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Gene Wirchenko Send private email
Monday, November 19, 2012
 
 
"Now it if easily plugs into a full-size monitor, mouse, keyboard and sound system, preferably via an easy port or single cable, AND can accept a small portable keyboard AND can be carried around as just a tablet, while keeping everything 100% IBM PC compatible and also compatible with normal Windows software then I'm interested..?"
If your question is what device can do all this, you provided the best answer, a cheap flash drive. 

But the data on your flash drive is embedded in files that are only useful when opened with specific applications, and those applications don't work equally well across different devices.  To use a document as an example, it is formatted as a pdf so it can be printed on paper.  That's the only use of pdf's, otherwise for better portability the document should be formatted as plain text, RTF or as a graphic file.  If a pdf is viewed on a device that doesn't offer 100% scaling at the saved paper size, the underlying document loses some meaning.  The medium is the message, as someone much, much smarter than me once said.

So the meaning of our data changes across different devices, and I see examples of that in business communication every day.  If we want to control how the data we communicate is understand across different devices, we need different applications, developed for specific devices, to format that data before it is communicated.  Another example is weather information viewed on a smartphone (or an iPod Touch).  You can view in a browser or in an app designed for that particular device.  What information you see displayed on one screen and what you have to do to view information on other screens (by scrolling or putting your finger on a hotspot or whatever) affects how you receive and interpret that information.
Howard Ness Send private email
Monday, November 19, 2012
 
 
Windows 7 is the new XP!

I made the mistake of upgrading my laptop to Win8. I had to search Youtube for a video that showed me how to shut off my computer with Win8.

I'm sure I'd love a Win8 tablet, but a laptop without a touchscreen is no place for it.

All Microsoft had to do was to leave the start button, and let me treat Metro as though it were an app.  Instead, they dropped Start and treated desktop like an app. Go figure.
Darren Send private email
Thursday, November 29, 2012
 
 
I figured I'd cease lurking temporarily to continue the off-topicness -- hope you don't mind.

Wyatt and Howard, just because one chooses to take the precautionary approach when it comes to cell phones doesn't mean they're an unreasonable paranoid looney conspiracy theorist.

I think calling the idea that cell phone could possibly cause cancer absurd is, quite frankly, absurd. Just because it can't be definitely proven/not proven right now doesn't mean it won't be in the future. Science and technology is an ever-changing field; at one point in time the idea of having an electronic device that performed mathematical equations instantly would've been considered absurd. As Scott alluded to somewhat, at one point in time people probably thought the idea that inhaling smoke of any kind could cause cancer was absurd too.

And yes, it's true that microwave radiation is everywhere, but the strength of electromagnetic radiation is cut in half as the distance between you and the transmitter doubles, isn't it? When you talk on a cell phone there's little if any space between you and the transmitter; it's placed directly against your head, and when you're not talking on it and it's in your pocket, it's placed directly against your body.

If you think cell phone radiation is harmless, more power to you. But no need to mock those (including many scientists who admit research has been inconclusive and more data and research is needed) who aren't quite so sure.
I Usually Just Lurk Send private email
Friday, November 30, 2012
 
 
Oh and back on topic, I'm not surprised Windows 8 sales are poor. The interface is horrendous.
I Usually Just Lurk Send private email
Friday, November 30, 2012
 
 
I like Neil deGrasse Tyson's answer to the question of cellphone / cancer studies. He explains in layman's terms how scientific studies are done, and how to interpret said studies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGenk99YDwY#t=53m27s

(53 minutes in)


Short answer: there's no conclusive evidence linking cellphones to cancer (or vice versa: http://xkcd.com/925/ ).
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Friday, November 30, 2012
 
 
> Short answer: there's no conclusive evidence linking cellphones to cancer (or vice versa: http://xkcd.com/925/ ).

Exactly my point: until there is conclusive evidence that states that cell phones absolutely do not and cannot cause cancer or other harm to the body, I personally will be following the precautionary principle and will try to limit my exposure as much as possible.

I'm not sure why this upsets and offends people, unless they're directly or indirectly involved in the industry or something.
I Usually Just Lurk Send private email
Friday, November 30, 2012
 
 
What can I say? People are are very ignorant. They see a guy on TV tell them phones are safe and they repeat "But I saw it on youtube!!"

Meanwhile REAL SCIENCE is ignored. To repeat my previous note:

> A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

Someone comes in here and says shapeshifting aliens are stealing their cat's food - that's a conspiracy loon.

Citing actual scientific studies doesn't fall in that category and those, like as Howard and Wyatt, who dismiss real science with shrugging and claiming "tin foil hats!" are just promoting corporate propaganda and can no longer be taken seriously as they have shown no ability to think critically or comprehend science.
Scott Send private email
Saturday, December 01, 2012
 
 
Ugh, I give up. You've convinced me, Scott. Oh, what a fool I've been. I've just bought my shack in the wilderness and prepared my grizzly-man beard.

Goodbye forever, dangerous technology.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Saturday, December 01, 2012
 
 
> A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision after reviewing peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety. The team found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."

Yes, they--the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)--put it in that category, "2B", which includes, among hundreds other compounds, coffee and talcum powder applied to the perineal region.  (No, not both at once, just the powder).  It's a big catch-all, a "category used when a causal association is considered credible, but when chance, bias or confounding cannot be ruled out with reasonable confidence."

It's fine to point out one conclusion from one body, and I would not automatically dismiss it as tinfoil hattery, but it seems that the *overall* evidence (such as rather contrary evidence from the INTERPHONE study) is just not particularly compelling in 2012.  Here is one review of the state of it from a hard boiled science blogger/physician:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/06/01/the-bride-of-the-son-of-the-revenge-of-c/
Racky Send private email
Saturday, December 01, 2012
 
 
That analysis is more thoughtful, I am glad he addresses the issue where many detractors will claim that microwaves are not ionizing radiation and therefore incapable of causing cancer, which is a red herring distraction technique.

I don't agree with him that cell power levels are so low as to be ignorable, but I already addressed that above fairly exhaustively.

Note that he points out that DDT and lead are also in your 2B category.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
 
> I don't agree with him that cell power levels are so low as to be ignorable, but I already addressed that above fairly exhaustively.

I'm not sure where you addressed that fairly exhaustively above...?  Maybe I just missed it.  Do you mean your itchy face effect?  Check this study out:

http://www.bmj.com/content/332/7546/886

Interesting that the participants couldn't distinguish between when the EM radiation was on or off.

There are some comments on that blog post that show some math about the power levels being really small compared to other commonly encountered phenomena in our world, but I have no sense how accurate those are.  A little Googling on the power levels would be interesting.

> Note that he points out that DDT and lead are also in your 2B category.

Sure, but another way to look at that is that apparently DDT and lead have not yet been firmly established as carcinogenic.  It seems the 2B category is a big catch-all and IARC errs well on the side of caution (which is probably a good idea).

I'm not saying I know one way or the other what the Truth is regarding cell phones and cancer; I'm just saying that if this link between them were a company, I wouldn't (yet) invest in it.
Racky Send private email
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060828211626.htm

"People who are routinely exposed to lead on the job are 50 percent more likely to die from brain cancer than people who are not exposed, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study."

http://men.webmd.com/news/20080428/cancer-risk-lingers-for-long-banned-ddt

"Men exposed to the lingering remnants of the once widely used pesticide DDT have an increased risk for the most common form of testicular cancer.

Scientists reporting in the April 29 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute have found that men with the highest blood levels of DDE (dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), a DDT byproduct, were 1.7 times more likely to develop testicular germ cell tumors than those who had the lowest levels."
Scott Send private email
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
 
The thing about this is no amount of studies showing links will convince you guys because you are invested in a foregone conclusion.

You all use cell phones and you tell yourself you would never expose yourself to harmful things because you believe in "healthy living". Meanwhile you eat processed foods with pesticide residue, live in police states, and breath polluted air while driving alone to work.

When a cigarette smoker saw a independent study that said "there is a link between heavy smoking and higher rates of certain kinds of cancer, they said "Those studies are wrong." When the smoker saw a study financed by the tobacco industry that found conclusive evidence both that smoking is beneficial to your health and causes no ill effects, the smokers said "Those studies are the good ones! Only a fool believes the other ones, why there are at least 10 tobacco financed studies showing it is good for every 'crackpot tin foil hat' study that says smoking is bad. The numbers speak for themselves! Science is a democracy, one study one vote!"

In retrospect it's easy to say it's all obvious, since clearly putting crap in your lungs will cause cancer, right? That's not always been obvious though, and it's in fact not true. Did you know that smoking doesn't cause cancer? That's the real fact. Pot smokers are at decreased risk of lung cancer. So the smoking itself  isn't the issue. It's cigarette smokers that are at higher risk, not smokers in general. What about the cigarettes is it? We know the answer, it's the Polonium, with ionizing radiation that causes DNA damage, that is the main cause of cancer. And amazingly Polonium levels in tobacco fields are much higher due to modern industrial practices, in the past they were much much lower, and 200 years ago tobacco smoking did NOT cause cancer, so it's not even the tobacco. It's the inhaling into the lungs of ionizing radiation.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
 
The real problem in this case (and in lots of modern "scientific" research) is that there is a statistical link between phenomena, but no experimental evidence to determine and prove the physical mechanism that caused the link.

Statistical analysis doesn't prove anything, it provides a probability that an observed relationship between phenomena in a sample was not a chance occurrence.  The probability is dependent on certain assumptions, that the distribution of all possible results is a close fit to a mathematical formula (and that formula can be reliably determined from the sample), that the observation of a result has no impact on the probability of that result, that variances within the sample are representative of variances in the entire population, and some other things that I've forgotten about.

When you have phenomena that do not have a proven cause, and the phenomena can't be re-created (because it occurred in the past and all of the factors involved are not known, or were not measured) statistical analysis can be a shortcut to directing further research to determine those causes.  Decisions based on only statistical analysis (treatments, legislation, etc.) only increase the probability that the true cause of these phenomena will never be known.

The other thing (and the reason for this discussion) is that human beings continually see imaginary patterns in real life.  We've being doing that since Pythagoras or longer.  What is different in modern times is that society is making decisions at the speed of light.  There is no place for waiting until the true causes of various effects can be determined,  and even if we did wait that long, the world would have changed so much, we would be fretting about other effects before we did anything about today's effects.  So everything is decided by who has the loudest opinion, and those opinions are based on our own psychological tendencies instead of external truths.  Which I find depressing, but maybe that's just my own psychological tendency.
Howard Ness Send private email
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
 
This discussion is pointless though. I know far more about the subject than anyone here, but it doesn't matter because superstition not facts or competence are what are valued by poor designers and the general public. This is why my software kicks ass and sells well and I can compete head to head with Fortune 500 companies with thousands of employees who can't collectively keep up with my innovations. If people could think and apply common sense we'd have lots of great software to choose from from various producers, rather than lots of crapware produced using superstitious methodologies coupled with the corrupting influence of corporate politics, power struggles, and desires to exploit and victimize the users through surveillance and control rather than from giving them more freedom, knowledge, understanding and personal competence. Those who advocate for the user, such as Kathy Sierra, are targeted by the sociopaths in industry for destruction, with death threats, and insinuations of being a crackpot until their voices are silenced or ignored.

Everyone who has a cell phone is going to continue to insist that the cell phones are safe. Those that get brain cancer or go insane will file lawsuits saying that they were never told there was a risk. Like smokers though, its is they who have brought about their own destruction. The tobacco and cell phone and pesticide companies have simply profited from the ignorance and desire to believe in fables.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
 
Howard, it's unethical to do controlled causal studies to show what causes cancer in humans. Correlation studies are all that's permitted. So your argument that there is no evidence because of a lack of double blind controlled studies is another one of your irrelevant distraction arguments. Discarding anything that hasn't been proven to be causal using double blind studies means that nothing causes cancer or is harmful to humans, all is safe. An absurd argument, but definitely one I see used all the time by people who are willing to abuse science and pull one over on gullible members of the public.
Scott Send private email
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
 
Scott said:

>"The thing about this is no amount of studies showing links will convince you guys because you are invested in a foregone conclusion.
...You all use cell phones and you tell yourself you would never expose yourself to harmful things because you believe in "healthy living". Meanwhile you eat processed foods with pesticide residue, live in police states, and breath polluted air while driving alone to work."

I'm not yet convinced cell phones cause health problems and I am not directly invested:  I don't own or use cell phones (because I find them close to useless for my life).  I would certainly prefer they weren't harmful because I would prefer billions of people weren't harmed, including many people I am close to.  But I would have to turn in my scientist card if "no amount of studies showing links" would fail to convince me--and I don't think I would do that.  Yes, that would be irrational, of course.

I'm sure you're right about some people who have an "entrenched" belief that is self-favoring.  I'd just ask you to consider not painting too many with that same broad brush.  For my part, I don't understand why you seem so certain there is a strong and indisputable link given the pretty weak state of the evidence (or maybe I'm describing your view inaccurately?).
Racky Send private email
Sunday, December 02, 2012
 
 
" it's unethical to do controlled causal studies to show what causes cancer in humans."
We experiment on ourselves with our lifestyle choices.  And even then, some chain smokers never get lung cancer.  It is impossible to isolate the factor that causes cells to become cancerous so that when that factor is eliminated, there is no cancer.  There isn't a discrete cause and effect.  Who knows what combination of lifestyle choices or environmental conditions will either cause or prevent cancer in any given individual.  We can draw conclusions based on population averages, but when it comes to making a difference in the lives of individuals, it's all a crap shoot.

The undisputed fact that you have been wildly successful as a software developer and I haven't summoned the courage to quit working for the man has no connection to the real health effects of cell phone use, or to our respective susceptibility to superstition.  Perhaps this discussion is ultimately about different approaches to decision making in the midst of uncertainty, and I'll draw a very weak link to the original topic, which was about the consequences of decision making at the world's dominant software vendor.  I also think I'm mixing too much rum in my eggnog and I'm getting a headache.
Howard Ness Send private email
Monday, December 03, 2012
 
 

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