* Posts by Flatpackhamster

526 posts • joined 14 Jun 2011

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Can't upgrade, won't upgrade: Windows Mobile's user problem

Flatpackhamster
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Re: As I've said before

I agree. I had a Lumia 720 for 2 years, which sadly died a hideous death which was its own fault. It kept loading Cortana up so I had to beat it with an axe.

I bought a 640XL for £160 which has a cracking camera and a lovely clear screen and since I showed it what I'd done to the 720 it's been as quiet as a mouse.

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Apple’s retail chief: ‘Touching customers’ key to retail success

Flatpackhamster
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Re: How about touching a REAL UK Keyboard?

Just use the shortcuts on the keypad .... oh, sorry.

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Five reasons why the Google tax deal is imploding

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Osborne's future

He's just as bloody useless and nasty as Gordon Brown, which is hardly surprising when you consider he's been using Gordon Brown's taxing and spending spreadsheets since 2010.

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BT dismisses MPs' calls to snap off Openreach as 'wrong-headed'

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Publicly owned business

As a counter to that suggestion, let me point you to the success story that is the railways under national ownership.

The railways were actually nationalised three times. During WW1, the government took over all the railways and worked them in to the ground and failed to maintain them. Then at the end of WW1, when they were knackered, the government handed them back to the rail companies. Then it hiked wages for workers. Then it fixed ticket prices.

As a result of that section of brilliant actions lines closed and the companies were merged in to the 'Big Four' rail companies. They pretty much got back on their feet and started doing well again by the time WW2 came around, when the government did exactly the same thing - taking them over, running them in to the ground and failing to maintain them properly.

Finally, of course, it nationalised them after the war. It then chose to keep operating steam services when diesel was the way forward. Then it closed down two thirds of the rail network, stripping out the inter-city lines and designing a train network focused entirely on the needs of the capital. British Rail was a byword for incompetence and poor quality. They were still closing down rail lines right up to privatisation. Near where I lived they closed down a line and a set of stations by altering the timetable to ensure there weren't any connecting services, and then saying there 'wasn't any demand'.

This is the nature of nationalised public services. They are uniformly awful. The socialist ideal is fine but when it hits the buffers of reality it all falls apart. Like every socialist ideal.

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Four Boys' Own style World War Two heroes to fire your imagination

Flatpackhamster
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Mosquito on carrier

There was a Sea Mosquito (post war IIRC), but I wouldn't fancy landing something that big on a fleet carrier, let alone an escort carrier.

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The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

Flatpackhamster
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Re: And it's not complicated either

https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-new-record-maximum

Antarctic sea ice reaches new record maximum, the highest area since 1979.

Perhaps it takes a long time for that much else to melt, but it should at least be melting.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: And it's not complicated either

It was a hypothetical.

If the temperature is the same now as it was 130,000 years ago, why aren't the sea levels 6 metres higher now? Why are the sea levels for two time periods of supposed identical temperature so wildly different? 6 metres isn't peanuts.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: So let me get this right.

Oh, honestly. It feels as though you're deliberately missing the point. Maybe I should have phrased it differently to make sure it was clear.

Where are the grape growing regions of Germany? Take a quick look online and you'll find out they are in the WARMEST parts of Germany. They are not in Kiel or Lubeck, but in the south-west of Germany around Stuttgart and Baden-Baden.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: So let me get this right.

@Mephistro - yes, grow them just like that. Germany and Scotland are not on the same latitude, not by a considerable margin.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: And it's not complicated either

That's not what we're being told. We're being warned of very rapid sea level change.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: And it's not complicated either

Well if I increase CO2 in the atmosphere by 10%, how much will the temperature rise by? Exactly?

The article is bizarre. It's claiming that it's hot enough NOW for hippos to live and breed in the wild in Britain as they did 130,000 years ago. That's the clear inference. Hippos live in a subtropical climate now. Now when I look out of my window and see the frost on my car the first word that leaps to mind is not 'subtropical'.

There's the statement that sea levels were 6 metres higher 130,000 years at the same temperature. So are the authors saying there is NO link between temperature and sea level? Because they do seem to be with that statement. And that flies in the face of all the OTHER claims they've made about rising temperatures = melting ice caps = rising sea levels.

If the temperature is the same now as it was 130,000 years ago, why aren't the sea levels 6 metres higher now?

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: So let me get this right.

Can you point me to any examples of this? I'd like to see what they're finding out.

It would also be interesting to see what's coming out of Chinese research too, since that experienced warmer temperatures aswell during the MWP. Obviously that's just regional rather than global. But there do seem to be a lot of regions affected by it - N America, E Africa, China, Europe. I wonder what point it counts as global.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: So let me get this right.

Just to add - some of the information is already out there. Why don't the researchers take a look at pollen analysis for archaeological sites across Europe and the ME for the last 2,000 years? Big job, I know - but this would give you a long trend indicative of temperature fluctuation. It would also, of course, show vegetation changes caused by humans. However, if your vegetation switches from birch forest to rye growing, you can be pretty certain that the people living there weren't able to grow wheat because it was too wet or cold.

And if - IF - it is as warm now in Greenland as it was 130,000 years ago, plant a crop of what the Vikings were growing and see how you get on.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: Bring on the warming!!!

You can grow olives in Kent in a good year. My dad grows figs every year.

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Flatpackhamster
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So let me get this right.

The Mediaeval Warm Period wasn't warmer at all. So the fact that the Vikings were able to chop lumber in Greenland in the 10th and 11th century and grow crops in Greenland is not true. And the Roman period wasn't warmer either. So the vineyards at Hadrian's Wall didn't exist either.

And the reason none of those things really happened is that Michael Mann ran a computer simulation of some data that had some results that didn't fit his agenda.

Now I will admit that my expertise isn't in running computer simulations of data. My original background is archaeology. Roman archaeology in fact. So what I'd like to do is extend a challenge to the authors of this article. Grow a successful crop of vines on Hadrian's Wall. You can use modern vines, and modern viticulture techniques.

And yes, I know, local =/= global. I just think a little actual practical testing of real world situations which can be confirmed by archaeological investigation would be more beneficial than yet another set of computer simulations.

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Waving Microsoft's Windows 10 stick won't help Intel's Gen 6 core

Flatpackhamster
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3 years? Wow.

Someone's got some cash to splurge. It certainly isn't small businesses.

My small businesses are typically doing 7-8 years, with a drive or RAM upgrade after 3-4 years (replacing with SSD and doubling RAM typically).

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Nude tribute to Manet's Olympia ends in cuffing

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Alternate headline?

Ahh, old Reg, how I miss you.

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Flatpackhamster
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Acid.

A really strong acid spray sounds like an idea weapon. And it should get around any tedious rules about no projectile weapons. AND - the arena might be bulletproof, but is it acid proof? Time will tell.

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Windows 10 makes big gains at home, lags at work

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Bit bored of the anti-windows 10 stuff

I've been Microsoft pretty much 100% for 15 years. I've never been pro-Linux or anti-Microsoft.

I've been having a profitable time repairing windows 10 installations. I delivered one back on Saturday - Asus T100 tablet/laptop which did the upgrade and then the touch screen didn't work any more due to no drivers for Win10. I picked up a laptop this evening which has just been accidentally 'upgraded' and now Windows Live Mail and the printer won't work. I have a client booked in on Wednesday who did the Win10 upgrade 6 weeks ago and keeps losing internet access.

I am only a very very small business but I am seeing at least 3 people a week with failed Windows 10 upgrades.

I find it very galling that I am having to say to customers "no, this Win10 upgrade is shit and will ruin your computer" because I like Microsoft's products for the most part. The problem is they are NOT MARKET READY. I have a client running Outlook 2016 which keeps chucking up the oddest script errors. I have another running Outlook 2016 which produces another error when checking IMAP emails but not POP ones. And I have far too many customers running Windows who are bamboozled by upgrades and then can't find the stuff they're looking for.

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Windows 10: What's coming in 2016?

Flatpackhamster
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"Windows 7 diehards"???

You WHAT? You make people like me who want their OS to actually work for more than 3 days at a stretch sound like Alf Fucking Garnett.

I've got a Win10 machine on my desk at the moment. It was a Win7 machine. Customer did the upgrade. Computer is fucked. Processor at 100% all the time, half a dozen popup programs at the start crashing straight away.

I have another one on the desk too. Customer did the upgrade. Computer is fucked. Windows Live Mail doesn't work, random internet disconnects from the wireless card, start menu sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Programs load, or don't. PS2 keyboard and mouse work, but only if you switch the machine off and on a few times. That one I have just restored to Win7 factory settings.

I just sent another one off today. Customer did the upgrade. Computer is fucked. Won't print to 3-year old HP wireless printer, won't run Chrome or Firefox, long (3-4 minute) delays between clicking on a desktop icon and it activating. Restored to Win7, oh looky, it works fine now.

Fixed another one on Saturday. Customer did the upgrade. Computer is fucked.

Do you get the picture now? Windows 10 is NOT READY and it was wrong to upgrade everyone's computer and force them on to it. It was stupid. No, it was cretinous, arrogant, and monumentally stupid. I have been rolling out GWX Control Panel as fast as I can to my poor customers to spare them any more misery.

Diehard? Don't make me come after you in a white vest with a machine gun.

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Surface Pro 4: Will you go the F**K to SLEEP?

Flatpackhamster
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Win 10 Tablet mode

I've got a Linx 1010, which is a 10" tablet with keyboard and Windows 10. It has a 'tablet mode' option which gives you the Win8 'tablet' style interface, and it works better (in my experience) than Win8. For example, Control Panel in Win8 had tiny fiddly menus which were unreachable with fingers on a touch screen, but Win10's settings menu solves this. So it does sort of work.

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Drunk? Need a slash? Avoid walls in Hackney

Flatpackhamster
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£100k?

Hackney raises £1.2 BILLION from local taxes. And it gets a mahoosive government grant.

And this is going to save £100k?

It'd be far quicker to fire Hackney's appallingly overpaid chief executive. That would save £150k AND the associated pension costs.

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Microsoft steps up Windows 10 nagging

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Oi Microsoft

Another upvote for GWX control panel which I am rolling out for my entire customer base (which hasn't already been sucked in to the maw). Found out about it this week. It's a great tool. Much like the marketing team who came up with this MS wheeze. Great tools, all of them.

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US Navy's newest ship sets sail with Captain James Kirk at the bridge

Flatpackhamster
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When?

In the last month. Apparently what the world needs - especially the tech world - is more lightweight analysis by left-wing or centre-left journalists, of whom there is apparently a colossal shortage. Worstall's stuff was superb, Page's defence stuff also superb, but they didn't hold the same views as the Trendy Wendies, so out they go. The Register is rapidly becoming a fucking embarrassment.

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Alert after Intel Skylake chips, mobo sockets 'warp under coolers'

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Holy war time!

It's very easy to spot a computer with a failing CPU pump. There's a smell of burning metal and plastic and a distressed gasp from the owner.

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If it still works six months from now, count yourself lucky

Flatpackhamster
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Never had any Mac gear...

But my PC kit seems fine. My main computer will be 10 years old next month. It's had a SSD to replace the (fully functional) old disk drive. The graphics card did develop a fault so I changed that. I stuck more RAM in. But otherwise it's fine. My Acer laptop - not a manufacturer noted for robustness - is 6 years old in February. My previous machine was replaced due to age rather than faultiness. Same for the one before that. The occasional part has failed but rarely anything major.

A great many computers that I see that are obsolete are still in perfect working order but they're no longer fast enough to do the work demanded of them. I have a contact who takes the obsolete machines to Uganda and Tanzania and puts them in to schools out there, so it's nice to know they aren't going in to landfill.

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Amazon's new drones powered by Jeremy Clarkson's sarcasm

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Homing mat?

That's just the first thing that I think is wrong with a drone delivery system. The second will be piracy.

"Arrr, here comes an Amazon delivery! Ready the air rifle, me hearties! Arrr, the plunder be mine!"

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Hello Barbie controversy re-ignited with insecurity claims

Flatpackhamster
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Hmm

Where's Hello Barbie's charging point?

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Millions of families hit in toymaker VTech hack – including 200,000+ kids

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Naff

They sell partly (I imagine) because they're more robust than an ordinary Android one. If you give something to a child they WILL break it, mostly by accident, so the longer the thing survives before it breaks the better.

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Research: Microsoft the fastest growing maker of tablet OSs ... by 2019

Flatpackhamster
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Re: first tablet?

I remember RM Computing produced a range of dismal tablets for the education market. Slow, at least an inch thick, with poor quality screens and running a copy of Windows XP for tablets.

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Who owns space? Looking at the US asteroid-mining act

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Really? Harmful contamination? Really?

Puzzled by the downvoting. Who gave Mars Microbes accounts on El Reg? Can't see why anyone else would think that microbes were more important than the future of the human race, unless there's unaccountably an educated IT worker who's also a member of the green party. Pretty sure the Venn diagram for that would be two circles a bazillion miles apart. IT - requires logical thought. Green Party membership - flowers, trees, singing, tie-dyed clothing, loathing of all humankind, love of frogs.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: No problem for a long time to come

That's what I was thinking over a couple of days ago. How can you get the resources, once mined, to a place where they can be refined and turned in to something. Parachutes from 100km up I suppose, but that's not very accurate.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: Really? Harmful contamination? Really?

Well, quite. Wiping out Martian microbes and replacing them with earth microbes really doesn't matter. Once we've looked at them and analysed them, who cares? Let's get on and exploit the solar system.

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Thai women drugged punters 'with Xanax-spiked nipples' – cops

Flatpackhamster
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Re: "Walking Street"

Does it mean anything like the old English lane where prostitutes used to frequent?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gropecunt_Lane

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Your taxes at work: Three hours driving to turn on politician's PC

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Phone support...

I encourage all of my customers to have a password book these days. I tell them to write all their passwords in it. "Nobody's going to break in to your house to steal your passwords" I tell them. "Burglars are after iPads and jewellery and cash. If someone is breaking in to your house to steal your passwords, they're from the intelligence agencies, and you have far more serious problems than I can help you with".

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BBC encourages rebellious Welsh town to move offshore

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Public service announcement

It'll certainly be the first time since they ruined The Sky at Night.

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Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Here for the MS hate..

I don't use Linux and I never have done. I don't hate MS. But let me tell you about my week.

Last night about 9:30pm I logged on to my computer for the first time all day to find that Outlook was broken. It turned out that an update had borked it. Cue 60 minutes of tech troubleshooting at the very end of a very long day indeed.

This morning I picked up a computer running Office 2013 which refuses to acknowledge the licence that was installed on it last week. This morning I fixed a Windows 7 Pro machine which had somehow decided it had an illegal copy of Win7 on it.

This afternoon I'm backing up the files from one machine which has totally failed (due to MS updates in Win10). Yesterday I did the same to another machine which has totally failed (due to MS updates in Win10). This weekend I will be - guess what - restoring those machines to factory settings and restoring all the files and then I can return them to the customers next week.

It's my job. Fine. But my job is being made 20 x harder by Microsoft NOT DOING SOME BASIC FUCKING TESTS BEFORE THEY ROLL OUT A NEW OPERATING SYSTEM OR A FEW UPDATES.

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Flatpackhamster
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Is that the one that came down this week?

I have two dead Win10 computers from clients on my desk and neither will work. One has the 'left mouse click doesn't work' bug and the other has the 'screen flash' bug. Revert to Win7 and 8.1 for both of them, because older operating systems which haven't been released 12 months before they're stable don't crash and burn like this.

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How to build a city fit for 50℃ heatwaves

Flatpackhamster
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Re: wrong problem

@Captain DaFt.

Yes I did know that. One of the reasons for the rise in aridity was forest felling.

The same goes for Spain. Iberia was a very wealthy province and supplied vast quantities of grain to the late Empire. In the middle ages the forests were cut down to create grasslands for Merino sheep to graze. The rains washed the soils away and the grain production was lost.

In both cases the link is the removal of trees. North Africa is arid now but it doesn't have to be. Start with planting tough grasses, build up the topsoil. Dredge it from the sea if need be. Plant bushes, plant trees. And the aridity falls and you can grow more crops.

Expensive but certainly cheaper than the Paris Conference's plan for rich nations to give all of their money to poor nations as some sort of post-colonial guilt trip.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: wrong problem

The EU is setting aside huge tracts of land for wildlife that could be taken in to production. Russian agriculture is 40 years behind us technologically and far more yield per hectare is available there. If the temperature is warming then Canadian production as well as Russian production will increase with the longer growing season.

That's not even starting to look at the possibility of production in the third world nations who, with the right technology and infrastructure, will produce huge surpluses. Look at Kenya for an example. They make large amounts of hard currency exporting high quality cash crops to Europe.

The Sahara's problem is aridity. The Brazilian rainforest rarely drops below 26C, but it's wet, so there is a profusion of life.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: wrong problem

You can import food, even if it's 'too hot' to grow food. Not that it's ever 'too hot', because plants cope with it. What they don't cope with is aridity. But it's easy to import food, particularly for a rich country like the UAE surrounded by poorer countries who can produce cash crops that can be exported.

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Flatpackhamster
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Re: I would build down not up.

It's also unbelievably expensive. You have to dig all of that stuff out of the ground, build strong walls (far stronger than building up) to stop the sides caving in. You have to find clever ways to get sunlight down in to the depths. Cost, cost, cost.

Humans don't like living like that. They don't WANT to live like that. This is often the problem with such grand ideas. They rarely take in to account the humans at the centre of the architecture. It's why Brutalist buildings have been loved by academics and architects and universally despised by the people who actually have to live in or use them. Run the trains and buses and cars underground, fine. But don't expect humans to turn troglodyte.

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TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Horrendous in its implications

You say that the provision 'undermines the fundamental principles of democracy'. I disagree, it is sovereignty to which you refer, and yes it does.

Many things do. The EU undermines nation states' sovereignty by putting its legislation above theirs. All international agreements undermine sovereignty. The UN convention on the rights of the child undermines sovereignty.

What matters is whether or not the price paid for loss of sovereignty outweighs the gains in other areas.

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Fancy flying to Mars? NASA's hiring

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Is there a B Ark?

I think age is the least of my problems when I look down the job specification.

Why don't they just say 'Has to have been a US Air Force Pilot, Like Always' and have done with it?

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Flatpackhamster
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Is there a B Ark?

I don't fit any of the criteria for this one, so there must be one that takes people with arts degrees who get dizzy on a swing and have 1000 hours of accredited flight time on Falcon 3.0.

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Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth

Flatpackhamster
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Re: I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord

I always misheard that track.

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Google snaps Dutch woman completely taking the piss

Flatpackhamster
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It's the patriarchy that forced her to urinate in public. They're behind everything. They're a bit like a cross between reptiloids and the illuminati.

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How Microsoft will cram Windows 10 even harder down your PC's throat early next year

Flatpackhamster
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Re: pre loading win10

Thanks for this useful information. I will be doing it on every customer's machine I see.

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Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Flatpackhamster
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Re: Fuck, do I hate Apple

No, it's just Bob 'I hate Microsoft' Vistakin telling us all, once again, that he hates Microsoft.

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Microsoft scares the bejesus out of Skype users with x12 price hike

Flatpackhamster
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Wouldn't be the first price rise.

I'm fairly sure a Skype telephone number went from £6 a year to £20 a year very recently. As a consequence of that I got rid of one of my Skype telephone numbers. I don't mind paying a fair price but I object to being gouged.

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