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    Re: Learn the stars, by phone
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 May 22, 17:26 -0700

    George, you wrote:
    "There's the contradiction."
    No, there isn't a contradiction because we're using fairly vague terminology, 
    and both descriptions can fit just fine.
    Let me give you an analogous example: suppose one navigator says "celestial 
    navigation with a good metal sextant is as accurate as 0.5-1.0 nautical 
    miles" and another navigator says "celestial navigation with a good metal 
    sextant is only as accurate as 2-3 nautical miles". Those could both be 
    reasonable statements since neither one of them makes any real statistical 
    claim. Neither you nor I have said anything about standard deviations or 
    expected error or probable error or any of the other things that would 
    QUANTIFY the expression "pointing accuracy". What I HAVE SAID (or at least I 
    tried to get this across) is that NONE OF THIS MATTERS. This is not a 
    measuring instrument. It's an educational device. It does what it does. It 
    works "as advertised".
    And you asked:
    "Frank informed us his quoted half-degree "came from the official specs". 
    Well, did it? Did Celestron make such a claim at some time, then diluted it?"
    I can tell you that I definitely saw that in printed materials from Celestron 
    back when the SkyScout was first released. Beyond that, you're on your own. 
    If you're really so absorbed, indeed so obsessed, by all of this, then I 
    suggest you contact Celestron.
    And you wrote:
    "That would be interesting, in itself."
    Yes, it might be interesting. Publishing the real accuracy in practice would 
    only get the company in trouble. Publishing much broader error ranges later 
    would probably save some customer complaints. And again, you might be able to 
    ask someone at Celestron about it, but I doubt they would reply since 
    litigious folks... well... you could imagine.
    As for your comments suggesting that I'm just trying to find "wiggle-room" or 
    that I am trying to sweep something "under the carpet", I learned within 
    weeks after joining this group five years ago that you make comments like 
    this when you're frustrated. I can understand your frustration, George, but I 
    can't help you with it.
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