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  1. There was no real option for a coalition of SPD, Greens, and Left Party in 2005 or 2013. Just because they are all nominally left-winged parties doesn't mean they could have formed a working government. The differences are too serious. The Left's anti-Western and particularly anti-NATO stance won't sit well with either SPD or Greens. And the Greens aren't exactly leftist on the economy. Neither is the SPD. What left-wingers they had left with Lafontaine. There might be some back-pedalling on the Hartz reforms, but when it comes to stuff like free trade they are still as neoliberal as they were under Schroeder.
  2. Well, Merkel's CDU didn't really do well in 2009. The Liberals won that election. They just didn't make anything of it, which led to the 2013 disaster. The only time Merkel led the CDU to a good result was 2013. 2005 they barely came out ahead of the SPD, after having lead the opinion polls by a large margin for many months. 2017, well that what we are dealing with now. Problem for the SPD is that they don't benefit from the CDU's relative weakness. Nor did being in opposition from 2009-2013 do them any good. As for the current coalition talks, there's only so much you can accomplish with a mere 20% of the votes. The SPD has been crippled by the rise of the Left Party, and the Greens before that. The same is going to happen to the CDU is the AfD stays around.
  3. That was just Hamburg, though. Federal government is a completely different beast. If the AfD doesn't tear itself apart we will see them as part of a regional government, eventually. But it's a long way before they'll be part of a federal government.
  4. A colony on Mars is a solution for which no problem exists. If you want to hedge against a big catastrophe on earth then build shelters and stockpile food. The earth has a population of 7,600,000,000. Even if only one in 10,000 survived that's still a lot more than you could ever hope to settle anywhere in space. Antarctica and the floor of the oceans are really lovely places compared to Moon or Mars, BTW.
  5. If fusion reactors ever become feasible they will probably be neither cheap nor clean. Current experiments with plasma confinement certainly aren't. So, if we want to get away from fossil fuel it's renewables. There isn't anything else.
  6. 4 kg is a lot. There might be something wrong with the scale or the way you use it.
  7. Looks like we're going to have another grand coalition, after all. This one won't come cheap.
  8. Actually, even mineral water can be extensively processed. What you can't do is add minerals. You can extract some, though, and of course carbonate it. Regulations for ordinary bottled water are somewhat laxer. You can add as well as remove minerals to create the desired mix. As for using water from the well, I don't see what's supposed to wrong with it. Just don't let it sit in bottle for a month before you drink it. Same with tap water, of course.
  9. Well, it's from San Francisco. I'm sure this stuff will be a hit in Silicon Valley.
  10. That's not a valid backup strategy. You need incremental backups to be able to able to restore data you inadvertently deleted or messed up. And some of your data might be corrupt but you haven't noticed that yet. That's why keeping copies of the latest version isn't good enough. Still, having a snapshot of your data in a safe place is a good idea.
  11. Apple's cloud works quite well these days, not just for backups. It also makes your files available across your (Apple) devices. Might be less useful if your computers are Windows machines, though. Keeping your photo library on the phone is a very bad idea. You'll lose it sooner or later. Either sync to your computer or buy the cloud space, or both. And of course, backing up that computer is vital, too. I keep my photo library, which is mostly shot with DSLRs, on my iMac at home using the Photos App. It is synced to iCloud and backed up hourly to alternating hard drives. Oh, and it's 10 Euro a month for 2 TB of cloud storage. (I guess 10 $ in the US). As for being hacked, there is always that danger. But if you are mainly concerned about your business correspondence, then your email provider is of course the primary target. How do you handle your email? Does it all stay on your provider's servers? Or does it get deleted when you download it?
  12. There's a nice story on Ars Technica. The Long Island Iced Tea Corporation has tripled it's share price over night by renaming itself Long Blockchain Corporation. Yes, markets are totally rational.
  13. Then they haven't let the right people look at this stuff. They should at least be able to find out what elements it's is made of. That kind of thing really isn't rocket size.
  14. The one percent don't have an impact on the median income. It's the income level that divides the richer half of the population from the poorer. Average would be worthless because of all the part time and precarious jobs on the lower end and the very rich on the higher end. Your figure looks a bit low, BTW. That has to be net salary after taxes and social security. That would be misleading when compared to other countries with different level of social security / welfare. That's the point I was making above. How much money a household needs to survive and preserve some level of dignity depends a lot of the services and social security schemes your government provides.