If you do a lot of sysadmin work, choose a topic that interests you, and find some kind of chart or table or data set that you would like to memorize. For example, you could choose capital cities and states, countries and their capitals, wire gauge to diameter, etc.
After a while of using that password each time, you will be able to remember all kinds of esoteric table data and amaze your friends at cocktail parties when you can recite the capital of every country on the globe, or what year many famous scientists were born.
Since you have to spend the effort remembering data, why not make the data something useful that you would like to remember for other applications?
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Tablets are fun, show-off things that you use to waste time (though just like netbooks, they really suck for gaming). But you can actually get work done on a netbook and a good one will cost you less, too. Sorry, tablet fans, but that's how it is. They may be super cool to you and you think that you paid 500 bucks for a great thing, but you know in your heart that you paid 500 bucks for a goof-off device.
Not unless you count ALL web browsing as a waste, most email, and perhaps reading in general. Let's see, I also have spreadsheets that I keep (and maintain) on my iPad, To Do lists, Keynote presentations (admittedly created on my Mac), a calculator, financial information programs, sketchpad, and a thousand research PDFs (Papers), and yes, games. Sure, I won't be running R on my iPad, but I can easily do my thinking and research on it... And goof-off when I need to.
All in a convenient form-factor, free from the awkward, desktop-inspired keyboard, narrow-view screen, and short battery life of a netbook. Freedom from the desktop/laptop/netbook awkwardness is a feature.
Better sound quality?
Buh? An iPod is capable of providing higher quality audio than any of the internet radio streams offer, so what are you talking about?
And you do realize that "obscure" and "secret" have different meanings, right?
In a usual encryption scheme, the algorithm is public (or possibly obscure) and the key is secret.
With physical access to the device however, you can't really do better than obscurity, although some physical devices are really well protected.
the only metric that really matters (amount of sunlight over land per capita)
There are a hell of a lot of people in Africa who think there are some problems with your metric.
They are lying threw their teeth if they say nothing unusual happened. I watched it on fold on my trading platform and it was like 1/2 the market just turned off while computerized trades relentlessly sold to the nonexistent buy side. In the end its likely that the only people who got hurt by this were retail investors who trade with stop-loss or trailing stop-loss orders.
If they put an order in, they do not have my sympathy. They missed out on an opportunity, but they got what they asked for in order to do it.
How is that anybody's fault but their own? Sales don't happen unless the bid and ask prices match.
Have you seen the new twice as expensive, but only two-color Plasma from a little Japanese Company called Kobayashi Maru?
Key-value storage? That sounds like the ordinary file system to me.
What may be catastrophic about AGW is not simply that it's occurring. As you note the Earth has gone through large climate changes before. The catastrophic part is that it looks like we'll see changes in 200 years that would take thousands of years during a natural climate shift. Natural systems aren't well adapted to handle that rapid of a change. The human race is almost totally dependent on many of those natural systems for its health and well being for the time being. Any disruption of those systems is likely to be disruptive to our civilization. We'll adapt I imagine but some of it probably won't be fun.
When you talk about the AR4's "devastating" projections are you taking into account the time frame? For instance it projects sea level rise of something like 0.5 meters by 2100. That's like 1/5 inch per year. (More recent projections however project 1-2 meters of SLR by 2100.) The change is slow on human time scales but it keeps going. More of the AR4 projections have been found to be conservative than overstated.
If I'm still around and functional in 20 years I'll buy you dinner in the restaurant of your choice just to celebrate that.