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Gary A Lucas


Gary A Lucas

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... the same with our apartment building.
(they've kept the radiators cranked way up; it's hades in here.)
so far as the environment goes? I am probably going to actually march in
the Sierra club's part of the nyc women's march on Saturday.
I wish I had more faith.. that something or someone could stop this inexorably destructive path we're on.
very few seem willing. so damn stupid and short sighted!

Gary A Lucas

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Muted La Niña Follows Potent El Niño

One year ago, the central and eastern parts of the tropical Pacific Ocean were pulsing with heat, a result of one of the most intense El Niño events on record. One year later, La Niña has been relatively quiet, and she does not seem to be staying for long.

La Niña is the cool sister pattern to El Niño. While El Niño knocks down the easterly trade winds and sloshes warm water from the western Pacific to the Americas, La Niña pulls up cool water from the depths of the eastern Pacific, energizes the easterlies, and pushes the warm water back toward Asia. Regions that often get drenched with rain and snow during El Niño often go dry during La Niña events, and vice versa, as atmospheric circulation and jet streams shift with the changing heat and moisture supply from the vast Pacific Ocean.

The first pair of maps compare sea surface height anomalies in the Pacific Ocean as observed by NASA scientists on November 4, 2016, near the peak of the current La Niña, and on January 18, 2016, near the peak of last winter’s El Niño. The measurements were made by altimeters on the Jason-2 and Jason-3 satellites, and show averaged sea surface height anomalies. Shades of red indicate areas where the ocean stood higher than the normal sea level; surface height is a good proxy for temperatures because warmer water expands to fill more volume. Shades of blue show where sea level and temperatures were lower than average (water contraction). Normal sea-level conditions appear in white.

In a report issued in December 2016, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center described the latest La Niña as “weak” and likely changing to neutral conditions in early 2017. La Niña conditions—with surface water temperatures at least 0.5° Celsius below normal in the central and eastern Pacific (the Niño 3.4 region from 170° to 120° West longitude)—began to surface in July and August 2016. During last year’s El Niño, surface water temperatures were as much as 2.5°C above the 1981-2010 norm. During the current La Niña, temperatures have not dropped more than 1 degree below normal.

“Last year’s Niño was huge in area, duration, and magnitude,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “My take is that because it lasted so long and covered such a large area, it damped the return of strong trade winds needed for a healthy Niña. Note the strong positive heat content north of the equator—the entire tropical Pacific between Central America and Hawaii—that lingered into the fall.”

The patterns following the great El Niño of 2015–16 have been starkly different from what occurred after the last major event. In 1997-98, very warm El Niño conditions persisted for roughly 13 months, but were then followed by roughly 32 months of well-below-normal (La Niña) water temperatures in the eastern Pacific. In 2015–2016, water temperatures and sea surface heights were above normal for 19 months, first weakly and then with great gusto in late 2015. But this event has been followed by just five months of weak La Niña conditions that are already fading.

The second pair of maps compare conditions in December 2016 with December 1998, one of the strongest La Niña events on record. The data come from Jason-3 and from the TOPEX-Poseidon mission.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, noted that the current pattern is somewhat similar to 1982–83, when another strong El Niño was followed by a relatively modest La Niña. “Just when you think you have seen everything and think you know what to expect, something happens that you just can’t explain,” he noted. “There are many rhythms and natural variabilities, and nature will always keep it interesting.”
The near-record water temperatures of 2015-16 has been followed by a modest, quiet appearance of La Niña.
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Gary A Lucas

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Gary A Lucas

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Jane Millerick's profile photoGary A Lucas's profile photo
Jane, it doesn't say on Birds GALLERY. I just like unusual and colorful birds.

Gary A Lucas

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Gary A Lucas

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Gary A Lucas

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Understanding Spamming on Google+

A lot of people find themselves in trouble on Google+ because they have serious misunderstandings about spamming. Let me start with two of the most common misunderstandings and then get to the facts about what spamming is. I'll close with the "secret" to avoid being flagged as a spammer.

Misconception #1: Spamming involves sharing promotional content.
The most common misconception -- and the one that leads many people who have no intention to spam to be flagged as spammers -- is that spamming involves sharing promotional content. Who the content (a post or comment) is shared with, how content is shared, and the overall sharing behavior of the person sharing the content play a much greater role in determining whether content is viewed as spam or not. Any post (even this one) could be spam.

Misconception #2: You can determine what is or is not spam simply by looking at it.
This comes down to the same point as Misconception #1: the fact that spamming is generally determined by how content is shared, who the content is shared with, and the overall behaviors of the person sharing the content. You can sometimes recognize that content is spam based on its context (e.g., an off-topic post shared in a community), but you cannot determine that a post is not spam by looking at it even in context. For example, you cannot tell by looking at this post whether I shared it excessively in a spammer-like manner, which would make it spam. You therefore cannot judge by simply looking at a flagged post whether the Google+ spam filters flagged the post appropriately or not.

Misconception #3: Political and religious posts are treated differently by the spam filters.
People with all political views and from all religions often complain that their posts on those subjects are being flagged because of their political or religious views. That's not true. The reasons for their posts being flagged are the issues discussed in the remainder of this post, all of which are conspicuously apolitical and non-denominational.

What is spamming?
At the highest level, spamming is delivering unwanted content to significant numbers of people. It is generally not about what the content itself is other than to the degree that the content is delivered to people who do or do not want to receive it.

Assuming a post doesn't violate any other rules, it might be perfectly fine when shared with one audience but spam when shared with others. It might even be perfectly fine if shared one way with an audience but spam if shared in different manner. Or a post might be perfectly fine if shared individually with different audiences but become spam if shared with all of them. On top of that, a person's overall sharing behavior could make whatever they might share at that moment unwanted.

Let's assume for the remaining discussion that we are talking about a great post that doesn't violate any of the rules in Google’s User Content and Conduct Policy ( other than the spamming rule.

Sharing that hypothetical post with specific circles, a collection, or Public would not be spamming unless options I will mention in the next two paragraphs were selected. Sharing the post in a community could be either perfectly acceptable or spamming depending on whether the post complies with the community's rules. (Remember that each community has its own rules in addition to Google's rules.) The community's rules are a consideration because community posts are presented to all members of a community. Members joined the community with the expectation that they would receive only posts through the community that comply with the community's rules. Therefore, any post delivered to the members through the community that violates the rules is implicitly unwanted by the membership -- and therefore spam.

As I said, there are options in classic Google+ that one can choose which can make sharing the same post with the same audience a form of spamming. If you select the option to send emails when sharing a non-community post in classic Google+, that runs a high risk of changing acceptable sharing into spamming. Without that option, your posts will be displayed only to people who follow you. They made the decision to follow you, so that's okay unless there are more general issues (which I'll talk about in a moment). Selecting that option, however, can force emails and notifications to people who might not want to receive them. It's spamming if you trigger unwanted emails or notifications, so using that option can lead you to being flagged for spamming.

A similar problem would occur if you were to add Extended circles, Your circles, or the names of specific circles when sharing with Public in classic Google+. That can also trigger unwanted notifications to anyone in the groups you added to Public -- and therefore be spamming.

Fortunately, both of the possibilities I just mentioned have been eliminated in the new Google+ to avoid the problems I discussed.

The next problem involves the same post being delivered to the same people multiple times. No one (at least virtually no one) wants to see the same content repetitively. The issue with sharing content with multiple audiences each of whom it might have been reasonable to share a post with arises when there is overlap in the audiences. Sharing the same post to multiple collections or communities is an issue because there is a very high probability that the same people follow more than one of a person's collections or are members of the same communities the poster wants to share to. As a result, those people could see one instance of the post for each of the collections or communities the post was shared with. That's just as bad as if you explicitly shared the same post with them multiple times -- and therefore considered to be a form of spamming.

Yet another issue relates to the fact that virtually no one wants to see their Home streams or the streams of the communities they join dominated by posts by a single individual. Therefore, the sheer volume of posts one shares can become a spamming issue. When a person shares too many posts in too short a period of time -- even if they might be shared with what appear to be different audiences, it presents a high probability that people would see an excessive number of posts by that person, which would be perceived as spamming.

Note that while I have spoken thus far about sharing "the same post," all of the above applies to sharing posts that are substantially similar. Making relatively minor changes to posts doesn't prevent them from being perceived as being the same -- and therefore as spam -- by recipients. The same applies when people include similar blocks of text frequently. This is especially true if the blocks of text contain the same or substantially similar links (e.g., links to different posts in the same blog). One common practice that gets people into trouble this way is including a "signature block" in their posts because they can be picked up by the spam filters as substantially similar content.

I have focused primarily on posts thus far, but there are still other things that can lead to a person being viewed as a spammer:
* Sharing the same or substantially comments too frequently -- because the same people are likely to see the repetition.
* Excessive commenting in a community -- again, because no one wants to see a community dominated by one individual.
* Excessive +1ing -- because one's +1s become meaningless when used excessively. It also appears to Google as an attempt to manipulate rankings.

How to avoid being flagged as a spammer
The secret for avoiding being flagged for spamming lies in the statement I made about spamming earlier: "At the highest level, spamming is delivering unwanted content to significant numbers of people." The most important word in that sentence is "unwanted." You have to look at sharing from the eyes of the recipients.

It doesn't matter that you want to share a message. It matters whether the recipients will welcome that message. That means not only whether they would welcome the message overall but whether they would welcome another instance of the message (if you were sharing it repeatedly) and whether they would welcome it in the context of other things you might have shared recently. If the answer is "no" to any of those conditions even for just a few recipients), sharing the post or comment would be spamming -- so don't share it (or at least don't share it at that moment). 
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Gary A Lucas

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"Starting in January, Chrome will flip the web’s security model: Instead of warning users only about HTTPS-encrypted sites with faulty or misconfi­gured encryption, as Chrome currently does, it will instead flag as “not secure” any unencrypted sites that accept a username and password or a credit card. That unmistakable alert will appear to the left of Chrome’s address bar."
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very good to know..

Gary A Lucas

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"AMERICA’S TV AND telecommunications companies are on a buying spree.This summer, Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo, a year after snapping up AOL. Last month, AT&T signed a $85.4 billion deal to acquire the media giant Time Warner. And now, CenturyLink, the third largest telecom in the US, has agreed to buy Level 3 Communications, a company dedicated to running the backbone of the Internet.

What this shows is that these old-school communications companies are under threat—from all sides. Companies like Amazon and Facebook and Netflix are challenging traditional television with their streaming Internet video services. Smartphone makers like Google and Apple are eating into the power once wielded by the country’s cellular services, with Google even offering its own mobile service. And some Internet companies, including Amazon and Google, are even pushing into home Internet services. So, the old-school companies are looking for ways of fighting back."


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a little older, and a little more confused
I'm 60 something, retired, with little money. I use the internet for news, music and art. I'm a movie maven also, IMDb (The Internet Movie Database) is great. I usually get showtimes there. I use Google+ as a news source and the added family and friend news is nice. I feel like I need to contribute, and since I'm not real active anymore I usually share news stories and videos I like, or feel should have a bit more exposure. Since the news stories have time limits more or less, I delete them in 12-24 hours. Video links I leave for a day or so depending. Some things, images and such are significant, so I leave them. And there are some quite interesting articles on Wikipedia that need a reminder, so I leave them indeterminately. Anything personal I usually put in the photo albums. I follow news outlets and musicians mostly. I'm relatively apolitical, though apparently center left. I'm a spiritualist, in the 19th century sense, maybe like Arthur Conan Doyle. I like Charles Fort also, the paranormal investigator. I like philosophy and metaphysics also. I do not own a 'smartphone', I use a laptop.
Bragging rights
visited Great Britain and France
Basic Information
Gary A Lucas's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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