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Earth

Submission + - 800-year-old Farmers Could Teach us How to Protect the Amazon (scienceworldreport.com)

fishmike writes: "In the face of mass deforestation of the Amazon, recent findings indicate that we could learn from its earliest inhabitants who managed their farmland sustainably. An international team of archaeologists and paleoecologists, including Dr. Mitchell Power, curator of the Garrett Herbarium at the Natural History Museum of Utah and assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Utah, report for the first time that indigenous people, living in the savannas around the Amazonian forest, farmed without using fire. These findings are published today, April 9, 2012, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

Submission + - At what point has a Kickstarter project failed? 2

skywiseguy writes: I have only used Kickstarter to back a single project so far, but one of the backers of that project pointed us to a project promising video capable glasses which was once one of the top 10 highest funded projects in Kickstarter history. After reading through the comments, it is obvious that the project has not met its expected deadline of "Winter 2011" but the project team rarely gives any updates with concrete information, all emails sent to them by backers get a form letter in reply, they routinely delete negative comments from their Facebook page, and apparently very soon after the project was funded, they posted pictures of themselves on a tropical beach with the tagline "We are not on a beach in Thailand." Their early promotions were featured on Engadget and other tech sites but since the project was funded they've rarely, if ever, communicated in more than a form letter. So at what point can a project like this be considered to have failed? And if you had backed a project with this kind of lack of communication from the project team, what would you consider to be the best course of action? Disclaimer: I have not backed this project, but I am very interested in funding Kickstarter projects and I do not want to get caught sending money to a less than reputable project. According to the above project's backers, Kickstarter claims to have no mechanism for refunding money to backers of failed projects and no way to hold the project team accountable to their backers. This does not seem like a healthy environment for someone who is averse to giving their money to scam artists.
Idle

Submission + - Akira's Iconic Motorcycle Races Through Japan (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: The 1988 film Akira stands as a classic not just in Japanese animation, but in the entire post-apocalyptic film genre. As such, fans of the film have been drawn to some of its most memorable moments and visuals, particularly the futuristic motorcycle driven by one of the main characters. One fan even went so far as to devote several years to creating a working replica of the signature vehicle, which has become the only one officially recognized by Akira's creator, and which recently toured Japan to raise money for charity.
Intel

Submission + - Intel's Sandy Bridge CPUs finally arrive (techreport.com)

crookedvulture writes: Intel has officially taken the wraps off its next-gen Sandy Bridge processors. It looks like they were worth the wait. Performance is way up versus the competition from AMD, and power consumption is down, resulting in substantially less energy usage overall. The new integrated graphics processor is a big improvement over past iterations, and it offers a nice boost to video encoding performance. You don't have to spend that much to get in on the action, either. Dual-core models start at only $117 and you can get a quad for less than $200.

Comment Re:"Great leap forward" (Score 1) 344

No, not really.

MySQL has the concept of storage engines, in which, for every table type you create, you pick which storage engine you want to use: MyISAM, InnoDB, etc. That will determine what features one gets. However, most people don't even bother reading a single bit and get a knee-jerk reaction because the default type is the old MyISAM. Granted, it shouldn't be the default anymore, but still... bliss is only one click away for changing the table type.

InnoDB is the second most-common storage engine (the first being the old/kludgy MyISAM) and is ACID-compliant, supports foreign keys, etc. The only thing it lacks is full-text support which is only available on MyISAM tables, but that can be worked around of relatively easily.

There are also other storage engines available, some free, some commercial, and some that enable some neat tricks (like the Blackhole storage engine for replication purposes).

Comment Re:"Great leap forward" (Score 1) 344

You bring up a good point there, and I won't try to dismiss it as it's certainly valid. Misfired releases, so to speak, have hurt MySQL in recent history and created division even in its own community.

I'm just trying to shake down these age-old misconceptions that no longer have any base in reality :) (no foreign keys! no transaactions! no ACID!).

Comment Re:"Great leap forward" (Score 1) 344

I could see your point if MySQL weren't being used in some high-profile instances. However, even that isn't the case anymore. For instance, Google has submitted quite some patches of its own to MySQL.

See MySQL's case studies here: http://www.mysql.com/why-mysql/case-studies/

Disclaimer: I am not in any way related to MySQL as more than a web developer. I'm even contemplating a move to PostgreSQL somewhere down the road due to the recent Oracle shenanigans. But nowadays, it is a pretty good product.

Comment Re:Firebird is better (Score 1) 344

Dude, this is Slashdot. For many of the "old timers" here (and a good portion of the new-timers), PHP is still a toy language, MySQL doesn't even have transactions, and Windows 95 is horrible. For the rest of the world, times have changed.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 344

You have to specifically create the tables with a non-standard SQL code to get them to use the right database backend to get foreign key support.

The what to the who, now? Dude, if you're using MySQL and you have issues because you can't get past the default storage engine, I can't wait to see what happens when you have to do actual work.

Comment Re:"Great leap forward" (Score 2, Informative) 344

It's not 2000 anymore. 99% of the problems people have historically with MySQL are simply not present in recent production versions. PostgreSQL and MySQL roughly have feature parity nowadays, Stop treating MySQL as if it's some toy. WikiVS has a good, up-to-date comparison: http://www.wikivs.com/wiki/MySQL_vs_PostgreSQL

I also find it amusing that an AC below complains about "how many storage engines"? Whoosh, that's the sound of the point flying over his head.

By the way, I'm not dissing PostgreSQL in any way, I think it's great. But it's about time some meaningless mantras stop being chanted.

Intel

Submission + - 32nm Xeons improve performance, power efficiency (techreport.com)

EconolineCrush writes: Intel's Xeon 5600 series is the latest batch of CPUs to tap the company's cutting-edge, 32-nano fabrication process. Code-named Westmere-EP, these new server and workstation CPUs add two cores and 4MB of cache per socket while remarkably staying within the same thermal envelopes as their predecessors. When pitted against the last Xeon generation, the new chips predictably offer better performance and power efficiency. Intel's power-optimized Willowbrook server motherboard may be even more impressive, as it enables a dozen-core Xeon L5640 system to consume just 66W at idle.
Apple

Submission + - User reports searing-hot iPad, melted cord (techreport.com) 3

J. Dzhugashvili writes: A member of the Tech Report forums reports that his iPad's charging cord literally melted in the middle of the night, and the iPad it was connected to became searing hot—hot enough that the user dropped it and caused some damage. Melted charger cables and searing-hot (or combusting) batteries are nothing new, and they've led to mass battery recalls in the past. After getting in touch with Apple, however, the user was simply told he was responsible for damaging the device by dropping it, and that the iPad was out of warranty for having jailbroken software installed.

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