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Comment Re:interesting question (Score 4, Informative) 168

Have you got any good readings you can recommend on the subject =)?

Registration and Purchase required? PDFs from the New Cambridge History of Islam. There's an amazing maritime section here:

Blow your mind, with the journal of the travels of 14th Century adventurer, Ibn Batutta. He makes Marco Polo look like a homebody.

1929 abridged translation of Ibn Batutta's journals:

More books? Warwick Ball is an accessible archaeologist and historian, who effectively destroys the case for "Clash of Civilizations", and the entire dubious taxonomy of "east and west".

Nice, "pro-Nabatean" writeup on the late-antique origin of Arab maritime trade, after the breakup of Alexandrian east. You will have to go farther back, to the Phoenicians of Tyre and Carthage, 'tho! This author begins with Nabatean emergence. There are many links on this site... Quite fascinating.

Oman and maritime history. Nice to overlay this with the Nabateans. These things met and mingled - especially out in the Indian ocean, away from home:

The sections on Ancient Indian and Chinese maritime development is slim, but worthwhile:

An Indo-centric, but factual and entertaining page:

Summary of "silk-routes":

Genoa in the Crimea:

Technology of early Islamic ship-building - mostly focused on Mediterranean, not Indo-Persian

Comment Re: Of course... (Score 2) 419

I think that diversity, with different choices and competing projects and ideas are healthy and desirable for users and the market. Choice is never bad. Monocultures are.

There is nothing to stop Shuttleworth and Canonical doing what they want to do and nothing to stop them from disagreeing with the opinions and actions of others.

Likewise, other people are free to their opinions and their choices.

As long as there is a Free Linux kernel and a healthy free market of competing distributions, all with their unique ideas and strengths, the world will be good.

You will prise Slackware from my cold, dead, fingers though :-)

As long as there is Xlib (or XCB), X protocol to go with the Free Linux kernel, we'll be just fine. I couldn't care less what Ubuntu/Canonical/Shuttleworth gets up to. That's their business. I have a choice. So does everyone else.

Comment Re:It's a weird experience (Score 3, Insightful) 242

Do you crinkle in fear each time a car comes at you from the opposite direction? Every time you get on a plane?

Lots of potentially dangerous actions in your life, many other people can terminate it accidentally or on purpose.

At least if a car going the opposite direction crashes into you, or the airplane pilot crashes the plane their life and property is in serious jeapordy as well.

Comment Re:Here'e the problem (Score 1) 168

The true definition of species is a group that can and do inter-breed to make offspring. So, the line actually *IS* very clear cut... as soon as a mutation occurs that branches one set so they can no longer reproduce with the other, it is a new species.

That's one form of speciation. Another form, is some of the species settle in a different region --- with a very larger distance between two groups of the same species, they will become a different species, because they don't interbreed: even if they are still physically able to breed --- they won't.

They'll meet the can requirement, but because they are separated by distance they won't; failing the can and do requirement.

Comment Re:Obligatory creationism troll. (Score 1) 168

What! Science says that there were three different species of humans, now it says that there was only one. See. Scientists keep changing their mind. How could you put your faith in them?

Science evolves, based on the results of new experiments, and the acquisition of new information.

Religious doctrine on the other hand; always stays the same, even when factual information proves something wrong.

For example: it was proven that the earth and other planets revolve around the sun.

Put your faith in Jesus, by all means. But don't be a dogmatic moron, and think that your religion tells you what all the historic and physical facts are.

Jesus never said anything about God having created everything directly with a wave of the hand, not through any indirect mysterious processes such as evolution.

Comment Does it really matter? (Score 1) 668

The Koch brothers, aka Tea Party, don't really care about science as such. All they want is to not pay taxes or get EPA fines for pouring toxins into the environment. If you tell them that their actions kill people why should they care if science or the tooth fairy tells you so? They just don't care. They simply want more money for themselves and they believe selfishness is the only ideal. Caring about the suffering they inflict on the world would be a sign of human frailty.

Comment Finance? (Score 2) 105

I don't work in finance, but I'm surprized not a single hedge fund made the list. A big part of their compensation is in the bonus, but still you can't live on a base of $130k in Manhattan, kindergarten costs $38k per year per kid, not to mention a place to live, etc.

Is it just that you need to have 10,000+ employees before 50 of them post their salary on glassdoor?

Do hedge funds actively discourage their employees from posting?

Comment Re:The faster data moves (Score 1) 75

E10? in the UK for ITU-T they have E1 through E4.....we're talking about business grade time division multiplex carrier lines, not DSL or cable or other consumer grade shakier and less reliable tech

I imagine 'E10' there is a reference to 10 Mbps metro Ethernet, something like the Ethernet in the First Mile approach. There's nothing inherently "consumer grade" about DSL itself: indeed, even E1 "leased lines" get delivered over HDSL or similar in some cases. Unlike cable, which is contended and prone to collisions, DSL gives you a constant bitrate (unless configured to vary to squeeze higher bitrates when line quality permits) point to point link, just like a conventional leased line - all the performance fluctuations of typical DSL Internet access come further into the network, where your 20 Mbps connection is sharing a 1 Gbps backhaul with a thousand others and gets choked up when everyone is streaming X-Brother Get Me Out Of Here or whatever. Give the DSL link dedicated or uncontended backhaul like leased lines have, you'll get the same performance too.

Comment Re:Is this the right move? (Score 4, Insightful) 182

If it isn't public that severely limits the number of people who can work on finding an antidote. Even if they are making the information available to "qualified professionals" it still substantially increases the barrier to finding a fix.

Perhaps this is the intent behind witholding the sequence. They want to give themselves an advantage in finding the antidote, while still publishing their research.

By witholding the sequence, which they have learned ---- they can use it to give themselves a competitive advantage towards also being the first to find the antidote: while the other researchers have to work blindly, with no genetic code to assist them in finding/isolating the new strain or work on identifying an antidote.

Comment Re:This is proof? Really? (Score 1) 282

Except that the executive branch has no discretion on paying a whole lot of that money. Many benefits are defined by law, and failing to pay them means breaking the law. A lot of expenses are going to be for contracting goods and services, and not paying is going to be illegal.

When paying them is physically impossible without breaking the law, they must delay the payments.

However, the public debt is constitutionally protected and cannot be questioned by the executive.

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