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Comment Re:Depends on your definition of "life" (Score 2) 250

It's likely as well that civilisations rise and fall all on their own. There wasn't any natural disaster that caused the end of the Roman Empire. Yes, parts of it survived but that was not enough to prevent the dark ages. I actually think that, if we survive, we're likely to become increasingly insular and introverted, both as a species and in our communities as well. In fact I see this starting off already. The only empire actually moving forward right now is the Chinese and they're doing so by bulldozing both their people and the planet. Every other empire has peaked and is falling right now. China is reliant on being able to capitalise on investment of one kind or another to keep it going and that's starting to wane. Not wanting to sound too pessimistic, we're probably already on the downhill slide. If we're lucky, people like Elon Musk might be able to achieve something in terms of colonising space and continuing our expansion but I'm not convinced it will happen. If we're not growing, we're shrinking and that's been happening for quite some time. A Financial system that seems to exist solely to serve itself is a good example of this. Banks that gamble with huge sums of 'money' that somehow generates wealth out of no where is another. Expansion isn't really happening at all and the only way to achieve this now is to work out how to exploit space, starting with the major planets. This is a message from science fiction but I do think it's remarkably sound where we are today.

Comment Re:It says it on the thing! (Score 1) 434

I've read enough now.

You're supposed to use the drier AFTER you've washed your hands. In other words, you've just washed with soap and water and therefore have no germs on your hand to be blown around the room. Maybe I'm wrong and some people use the driers between using the loo and washing there hands but I certainly don't.

Comment Re:That's some awful stuff (Score 1) 167

There are several issues with your comments.

Firstly, all farmed cattle have been bred to be farmed. They are similar to bovines from several thousand years ago but certainly not the same any more. Breeding will have included selection for being relatively sedentary and not needing to roam a great deal. Cattle in fields do not suffer from the kind of mental issues that afflict Orcas.

The tank for an orca is significantly smaller than the equivalent field for a cow. Tanks have got bigger but they are still small for a fast moving and powerful animal.

Orcas are predators, cows are not.

Ultimately, whilst cows do have a short life, they are generally treated quite well until the point at which they are killed.

To be honest, a comparison between the way we treat cattle and the way we treat orcas is not great as they are really quite different animals.

Comment Re:I fear for the future of Linux. (Score 1) 172

I don't think you should worry. The organisation I work for (a truely massive multinational) is only putting Linux and Windows servers on the floor (with the occasional AIX box). If you're running any enterprise s/w, with the exceptions of the obvious ones that need windows (Lync, Outlook etc), everything has to be on Linux. FreeBSD and OPenBSD don't have the support of enough support third-parties. Things like ZFS really aren't of interest at our level and if you need something like that, RHEL and Oracle have options. Its worth remembering as well that whilst windows might be making steps forward, it just doesn't tick the right HA and disaster abilities of a well configured cluster.

In one other respect, Linux is also very successful - smartphones and other mobile devices. Sure, it's not the GNU/Linux we were expecting but the far is that Linux is in the palm of a lot of hands and this is still increasing.

Comment Re: That's exactly right (Score 1) 645

Many of your points are right but we will have to get a hell of a lot better at capturing natural sources before we have a real impact. Wind turbines would need to be far more densely placed to have any substantial impact on local climate. Its also worth appreciating the fringe benefits to certain options. For example, collecting wave power could reduce coastal errosion.

Comment Re: Thanks a lot PostgreSQL devels (Score 2) 105

Merge is not really the same as upsert. Merge (using the dual psuedo table) is a potential solution to the problem as are a number of options using pl/sql. I think the real truth here is that oracle haven't seen the need to implement an upsert command. Its not difficult to code and would be easy to build a solution without the need of a special command.

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