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Comment: Re:Type "bush hid the facts" into Notepad. (Score 1) 119

I agree completely. There is no reason that a program cannot read UTF-8 and store as UTF-32 internally. There is a trade-off between time and memory. Note that UTF-16 is also a variable length encoding scheme so you still need to start at the start of string to find the nth character.

Comment: Re:Type "bush hid the facts" into Notepad. (Score 2) 119

by Alain Williams (#49310765) Attached to: OS X Users: 13 Characters of Assyrian Can Crash Your Chrome Tab

Unicode and how it is represented in a file are two different things. Unicode is a good idea, it solves many problems and contains all the (to me) strange characters used by: Greeks, Chinese, etc.

How to represent it in a file is different. UTF-8 is the obvious answer today, but other encodings were tried by different organisations first. The big win of UTF-8 is that you can have characters from very different regions on the same web page (or in the same file) - something that you cannot do you you adopt a purely 8 bit code like iso-8859-1.

We are still in transition: there are files encoded in various ways out there; however I think that UTF-8 will eventually become the encoding mechanism that everyone uses - so files encoded in other ways will become increasingly rare. So: a bit of patience please.

Comment: Re:I choose MS SQL Server (Score 1) 320

by Alain Williams (#49295603) Attached to: Why I Choose PostgreSQL Over MySQL/MariaDB

Those are the current limits. So do you build your business round the database that is free today and hope that: a) your business does not grow so that it needs more, and b) that MS does not reduce the limits and catch you. Either way you run the risk of ending up having to pay the license fees. Why not pick a database that will always be free - and keep that cash for something else ?

Comment: Who will that include ? (Score 2) 284

Will it include corporates such as newspapers who grab images, etc, from individuals' web sites and publish it on their web site and ignore any attempt by the copyright holder (individual) to get proper compensation ?

I doubt it - such laws do not seem to apply to corporates.

Comment: Difference between preferred and achievable (Score 1) 115

by Alain Williams (#49197221) Attached to: Preferred way to communicate with co-workers?

I much prefer chatting face to face, but in a distributed environment that is often not possible - so what I will actually achieve is phone or email. Having said that: a written form (eg email) can be better at communicating decisions that are complex and need to be remembered.

Comment: Re:science, art, businesses (Score 2) 57

by Alain Williams (#49157895) Attached to: Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Defining "pop music" as whatever is on the Billboard Top 100, especially now, is reductive. I understand it's quantifiable and that's the best idea they had for a quantitative definition of pop. However, Billboard's charts are virtually irrelevant when trying to ascertain what people **actually listen to by choice**

Correct: it is talking about the sales of new records/CDs. This tends to disfavour long lasting styles such as classical music and boosts the here-today, gone-tomorrow junk that fills the 'pop parade'. This is exactly what the music industry wants, they need churn in taste and bands/performers/... to keep people buying their output.

Comment: Re:NSA involvement ? (Score 2) 59

Zimmermann might well be good and honest ... but how well does he know the people who he will employ to help him ? What if one of them has a problem: financial/drugs/marital/... that allows the NSA to put pressure on them (''help them out of their sticky situation'') in return for ''something that is in the best interests of the USA'' ?

In mitigation: they do publish their source code for review. I don't know how easy it is to check that that is what is installed on the phone that you buy.

Comment: NSA involvement ? (Score 4, Insightful) 59

I have to ask: is there secret NSA involvement in this ? An inside man who will put a couple of back-doors in the 'phone.

I have absolutely no knowledge that this is the case, but the NSA certainly has the resources & motivation to do so. It seems to have done this sort of thing in the past.

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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