The largest collection of Darwin’s work in history, now on the web!

This is awsome!

Darwin’s private papers online – the largest publication of Darwin’s papers in history. Read about it here. Browse the papers here.

This site contains Darwin’s complete publications, thousands of handwritten manuscripts and the largest Darwin bibliography and manuscript catalogue ever published; also hundreds of supplementary works: biographies, obituaries, reviews, reference works and more.

Almost all is online only here: such as 1st editions of Voyage of the Beagle, Zoology, Descent of Man, all editions of Origin of Species (1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th & 6th); important manuscripts: Beagle Diary & field notebooks, Journal, transmutation notebooks and Autobiography.

I know I know … “Darwin’s work is just a bunch of THEORIES!”
Yep, Evolution sure is a theroy … and sound scientific theory can be used to predict things … like this: Lizards Rapidly Evolve After Introduction to Island

In just a few decades the 5-inch-long (13-centimeter-long) lizards have developed a completely new gut structure, larger heads, and a harder bite, researchers say.

If Darwin’s work is inaccurate about anything, it seems that the speed of the Evolution process may be somewhat underestimated.

If an island full of lizards can evolve so drastically in a mere thirty years, with what mankind is currently doing to itself, just how drastically are we affecting our own evolution?

Microsoft sees future IT workers as simple “truckers and longshoremen”

In an article describing Microsoft’s mainstream containerized data centers (named “C-Blox”) Microsoft general manager of data center services Michael Manos says his vision of the future of IT is IT workers who look more like “truckers and longshoremen than traditional IT workers”.

Microsoft To Mainstream Containerized Data Centers With C-Blox

Microsoft has developed its own specifications that include, for example, configuration for electrical components and the layout of physical servers, for its containers. Those specs make Microsoft’s containers different from anything on the market today, and a potential opportunity for future Microsoft products. The containers, which Microsoft calls C-blox, are largely self-contained and will require very little hands-on maintenance.

“The doors are closed, and because of the level of automation in our systems, we can run it and accept a certain amount of failure over time,” Manos said. Manos argues that it is more cost effective to build redundancy and automation into Microsoft’s data center applications and allow some hardware to fail than it would be to physically manage such a large data center. The hands-off approach also means design can be tweaked to allow for maximum cooling and energy efficiency without worrying about how accessible the systems are to human hands. Of course, Microsoft also builds backbones that link power, cooling, and bandwidth among the containers.

In the C-blox world, a truck drops off a data center container and then picks it up again in a few years when Microsoft is ready to switch over to new hardware. Administrators will only enter the physical C-blox in the rarest of occasions. “In that sense, your IT workers look more like truckers and longshoremen than traditional IT workers,” Manos said. It will also allow Microsoft to run the entire Northlake facility with a continuous staff of little more than 20 or 30 employees.

So are we now to believe that a “truckers and longshoremen” skills shortage shows need for an increase of the 85,000 H-1B visas already available? A related question; is Microsoft’s Michael Manos merely arrogant or is he simply stupid?

Thanks to Corbis for the image.