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Comment: So: what is their agenda here ? (Score 5, Interesting) 52

1) Tell us that it is not effective; thus we need not worry about loss of privacy; thus we might we well let them continue ?

2) It is not effective because they have not got enough money for XXX; so: please Mr congress critter - vote them some more money

3) It is not effective; you need not worry about encrypting your communications; hopefully enough idiots will believe that!

Pick one of the above or come out with more suggestions.

Comment: First light == last light (Score 1) 133

by Alain Williams (#49499433) Attached to: The Origin of the First Light In the Universe

From the penultimate paragraph:

When the last star in the Universe flickers out, those photons—long since shifted into the radio and having diluted to be less than one-per-cubic-kilometer—will still be there in just as great an abundance as they were trillions and quadrillions of years prior.

and that is all that there will be left --- according to current theories at any rate!

Comment: I completely agree (Score 5, Insightful) 87

by Alain Williams (#49384379) Attached to: UK IP Chief Wants ISPs To Police Piracy Proactively


  • * the post office should also check every parcel
  • * the train company to check that no passenger is a crook travelling to do a robbery
  • * bakeries that no one buying buns is going to put poison in them and so kill old ladies
  • * clothing shops that no one buying a mac is a flasher

The word will be a safer place if everyone checked that their customers were innocent!

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.

You cannot have a science without measurement. -- R. W. Hamming