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In this article I talked about the importance of integrity, the demand that your word be impeccable in your trustworthiness.

So now it comes to light via The Australian (sorry, it's behind a paywall) that the Thredbo Top weather station has been deleting record cold temperatures (remember it's Summer in the US, it's Winter in Australia). Two meteorologists noticed temperatures of about -10C (14 degrees Fahrenheit) disappear from the records.

The culprit? A smart card reader. Riiiiiiiiight.

It has been reported online that electronic smart cards were allegedly fitted to the BoM’s automatic weather stations, which put a limit on how low temperatures could be recorded in official weather data. The BoM declined to comment ahead of the internal review.

[...]

On her website yesterday, Dr Marohasy said it was not the recording­ devices that were at fault. “To be clear, the problem is not with the equipment; all that needs to be done is for the smart-card readers to be removed,” Dr Marohasy said.

I deal with card readers every day in my job. If a smart card reader is deleting data, then the idiots who wrote the firmware for the reader need to be flogged. There is no computational power in the reader itself to manipulate data other than to translate it from "computer-speak" to "smartcard-speak." At best, there has to be an logic trap that they screwed up on as part of the translation process because the deleted readers are all two digit negative numbers. At worst, the logic trap was intentionally there to "shave off " low temperatures. I will lean toward the former due to Occam's Razor, but I'm not entirely eliminating the latter.

 

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