Archive for the ‘How To’ Category

I set up a YouTube account for teachers to use, but I was not able to upload a video until I set the username. However I couldn’t set the username at all. The interface would not work. I would enter my chosen username and click on “continue” and nothing would happen. After searching on the internet a bit, I came up with the solution. I had to enable Google+ use for the sub-organization for that user account in Google Apps for Education. As soon as I did that, I could make the username without any problems. I have heard that it is possible to go back and disable Google+ once the username is made without any ill effects (but I have not actually tried that yet, so I can’t guarantee the truth of that).

Climate change denial is a politically-motivated opinion. It is basically the same as “science denial”. I try not to get into fights with people about stuff like this because it is awfully frustrating, but sometimes I can’t help myself. Here is how I responded to a conversation on Facebook that included a lot of people expressing uninformed opinions about climate change.


Here’s the problem. We tend to surround ourselves with people who think the same way we do. This tends to make us accept ideas without questioning because “everyone agrees” or at least “those of us with common sense agree”.

In the case of climate change, the only way you could come up with the idea that (anthropogenic) climate change is not real is by reading opinion articles in politically-motivated media. However, once you have that idea in your head, it is easy to surround yourself with other people who also believe the same thing.

It is very difficult to find any scientific evidence that shows that the climate ISN’T changing. All of science includes uncertainty, but the kinds of uncertainty associated with climate science have to do with degrees (how much) rather than “is climate change a thing”.

I worked as a translator for two years in a research institute for environmental studies. I have read a lot of scientific papers about climate change from a lot of difference sources. I do not mean newspapers or articles online. I mean technical papers written by climate experts for climate experts. These people do not have an agenda. They are not politicians. They use math and scientific methods to show trends in the data that they collect.

Science is not something that you believe or don’t believe. It is something that you read and analyse and contribute to. Agreeing and disagreeing is all part of the scientific process, but before you cultivate your own opinion about a scientific topic like climate change, you have to be willing to put in the work to read the actual scientific literature on that topic. Otherwise, all you are doing is cultivating and spreading ignorance.

My cellphone (Android, HTC J-One) started giving me the following error every time I tried to follow a link to an external site from the official Facebook app.

Something went wrong
Sorry but there was a problem with this link
[insert link here]
You can now continue to this website or go back to the page you were on before. Remember: Only follow links from sources you trust.

I found out that the reason this happened was because I was not logged in to Facebook in my browser. The links in FB are often masked with a different address that includes the FB domain and by jumping from the app to the browser (where I wasn’t logged in), Facebook somehow thought someone was up to no good. Once I opened my browser and logged in there, I could click on links in the FB app and be taken to them without this error popping up.

Some sites will mention that deleting the Facebook Pages app will fix this problem. It didn’t in my case.

After I updated my computer to Windows 8.1 (from Windows 8.0), I got a garbled error message on my screen that said something about “Code D100″ and PPPoE. I couldn’t read the rest of it because it was in incorrectly encoded Japanese, despite the fact that my computer is Japanese. I figured out that the problem was with the Flet’s Connection Tool (フレッツ接続ツール). I was able to fix it by downloading a new version of the connection tool here.

I just updated my computer to Windows 8.1 and while I was working on a spreadsheet in Google Drive, I suddenly pressed a combination of keys that made my computer start reading out stuff on the screen. Here is how I got it to stop.

Press [Windows] and [Enter].

This will also make it start again. I got myself into this mess by trying to make a line break in a cell in my spreadsheet (which is done with [Alt] and [Enter]) and mistyping.

More info is available on the Windows site.