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Comment: Re:No surprise (Score 1) 95

by msobkow (#47943039) Attached to: Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

To be fair, most animals don't allow multiple males to lead the herd/pack/whatever, so it's harder for them to form an attack troupe like humans or chimps do. Yes, there are exceptions, but when those packs encounter another pack it's just as vicious a battle. And they will gang up on a lone intruder as well.

I don't think humans or chimps are as "special" as a lot of people would like to believe them to be. We're just tool-using animals at the root of it all.

Comment: I used to have a data center (Score 1) 170

by msobkow (#47942773) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

At one point I had 5 machines all networked together, but nowadays you can get enough memory and CPU to install six different database servers on a laptop, so I'm down to one machine. I did have two, but my Linux box recently decided to go tits up so I've shifted everything to my WIndblows 7 laptop instead. Someday I'll buy another box for Linux, but it'll be a long time before I can save enough to buy a new machine -- I have other things that need buying first, and I'm on a disability budget nowadays.

Ah, how I miss the glory days of big-dollar contracting and being able to buy a machine with a bi-weekly paycheque without flinching. :)

Comment: There is a problem with that theory (Score 1) 261

by msobkow (#47942265) Attached to: New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

That theory assumes that growth can be virtually unlimited, when it's not. At this point in time, the only energy source we have that can deal with providing the transportation, food growing, and energy needs of the population is fossil fuels. If we continue using fossil fuels at an ever increasing rate, global warming is going to decimate food production. And millions upon billions are going to starve to death, if we aren't killed off by some plague or a nuclear war first.

Still, it does bother me that the biggest population growth centers are those least capable of supporting an increasing population. That makes the likelihood of wars that much greater.

Comment: PDP11 (Score 1) 170

by danheskett (#47942197) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

I had a PDP11 in my basement, all full working, with loads of equipment to go with it. I had a fun time learning about the genesis of the industry and learning about the internals and workings of the machine.

Then I had a housefire. The machine and all of its components were completely ruined. I had a good laugh explaining it to the insurance adjuster. I think I got decent money for it because it was an antique, but it was limited because I didn't declare it separately on my policy.

Comment: Low Power (Score 1) 170

by the eric conspiracy (#47942093) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

For my always-on machines I have a couple of Atom 525's with perhaps 30 TB of data storage. The OS for those is Scientific Linus 5.x (someday to be Centos 6.x).

These are plenty powerful enough for the services I use them for - files storage, light duty web serving, personal IMAP, DNS caching etc. and sip at the electrical supply.

They are good enough for light duty web browsing as well.

For more challenging applications (like games, photo editing etc) I have a couple of machines running 4 and 6 core I7s with 24GB of RAM. These only get turned on when I need them.

Comment: It only concerns me in one way (Score 1) 159

by msobkow (#47941381) Attached to: On Independence for Scotland:

It only concerns me in that a separation of Scotland would likely give the Quebec Separatists a second wind and we'd have to put up with their fantasies of keeping Quebec as it is now, keeping the Canadian dollar, and not taking on their share of the national debt. The Quebec separatists have always been in la-la land compared to the rational approach Scotland is following.

Canada has put up with enough nonsense from the separatists in Quebec. Personally I think if they try it again we should just fence off the original Quebec borders and kick the ungrateful fuckers out of the country.

Comment: Not necessarily a bad thing (Score 1) 105

by the eric conspiracy (#47940851) Attached to: An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

Killing most projects early is considered a good thing in some circles because it weeds out the garbage and makes more resources available to the more worthwhile projects.

Often you can tell how good a company is at managing R&D by how quickly it kills bad projects.

When I was working in R&D portfolio management we found that a bunch of small projects was much less likely to return something worthwhile than a more limited number of big projects.

It really boiled down to the idea that there is a non-linear relationship between resources devoted to a project and the likelihood of success.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir