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Comment Re:BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 1) 132

I thought that everybody in the UK with a TV set is already paying for the BBC by law (i.e. no choice). If this doesn't change then the BBC will keep producing good independent programming.

The question now is, if everything will be as before for you, why do you care if others get it for free? Is this some "justice" thing?

Comment Re:"because it originated from the wireless networ (Score 1) 547

You don't want anybody to talk to the cops, guilty OR innocent.

This is because if only one group talks to the cops it leads to information unraveling (i.e. innocent ppl talk -> if you shutup you admit you're guilty, so you better talk and get some better treatment or whatever.)

The only way the fifth works is if it works for everybody, otherwise it's useless.

Comment Re:Get serious about your selection process (Score 1) 163

To achieve this in SQL Server do this:
BEGIN TRANSACTION;
SET TRANSACTION ISOLATION LEVEL REPEATABLE READ;
//update your table here
//.. wait as long as you want
COMMIT TRANSACTION; //when ready


Alternatively you can use the WITH( REPEATABLEREAD) table hint when you select (but you still have to use transactions).
There are also implicit transactions and a lot of other ways to control concurrency...

Comment Re:Amazon Pricing problems (Score 4, Interesting) 73

Actually there is no reason to be freaked out by their pricing. Just buy the number of instances that you need (one for example) and don't set up any auto-scaling. This way if you get slashdoted your instance will just fail as a normal server would and you will incur no charges. Also no service...

I have worked with amazon aws and with dedicated server providers. Amazon has been much faster and reliable.

Furthermore, the way to protect your life savings from a potential business failure is not through inefficient procurement practices. Just incorporate, otherwise you will be open to all kind of risks (must of it unknown to you, and uninsured)

Comment Re:This is a rare breed of human. (Score 1) 758

Your exceptions are either misunderstandings (i.e. "GMO product with built-in insecticides or herbicide resistance[...] was no doubt heavily sprayed with herbicides"

I recommend "DNA: The Secret of Life" by Watson for a new perspective on GMO. It's well written and will clarify a lot of aspects about it, and other more interesting subjects.

Comment Re:Clearly, this will fix the problem. (Score 1) 1591

I am not american but I always watch closely news about the gun control in the US. I don't really like that the US is heading the way of other civilised countries in this regard. I know that US bashing is popular these days(since Iraq, GWB etc.) but the reality is that the rights that people enjoy there have always been important for the rest of the world. More precisley that country has always been a beacon of hope to opressed people around the world, and a source of concern to all goverments who would take their freedoms, or continue denying them. No man is an island, no country is ever trully a hermit kingdom. As long as american citizens enjoy certain rights there is hope for every other opressed man around the world. This is especially important in lights of american rights guarantees (some of do not even exist in most countries, and others are "implict", i.e. they can be taken away when the goverment no longer considers them so) and american conviction that they have a duty to promote their ideals around the world.

I don't know if this is really that relevant to this discussion. But the point of my message to americans is that not all foreigners are "america hating/bashers". We are not all statists (even left-wingers like me). It is american conviction and courage that dragged a lot of the world out of darkness. I am from eastern europe and I know first hand what this means.

I really think it is important that you know that the right to bear arms is not just an american issue. It is a human rights issue in my view. When this right will dissapear in the US it will probably dissapear from the entire world.

If you are from the US then keep fighting for your rights. At least you are in position to defend them, or at least to have a discussion about them. Most other people don't have that choice.
Education

Ask Slashdot: Stepping Sideways Into Programming? 152

thundertron writes "I'm a 28-year-old, non-technical, UX-focused Product Manager at a startup. Overall I'm very happy with my work, but I'm endlessly frustrated that I'm not committing code. I love the few occasions where I commit some front-end code or put together a fairly sophisticated query, but if the onus were on me to put together an entire site my hands would be tied. I've thought about going back to school (or even taking time off from my career to take courses) in CS to immerse myself in programming. The flip side is that I know I won't want to do that forever — I won't want to be employed primarily as an engineer because I like too many other aspects of the business. My best option seems to be to dive into Ruby on Rails and just pick up what I can in my spare time. Perhaps others in the Slashdot community have some suggestions/recommendations?"

Comment Re:Color me skeptical. (Score 1) 213

The thing that determines how much work the database has to do in order to produce the results is the FROM, the WHERE and the GROUP BY, because those are the ones that determine what's going to be accessed, joined, sorted and how. The SELECT (except for the use of aggregate functions) primarily just decides what information to present from the join results and how to present it.

I don't think this is correct. The SELECT list does impact the performance of the query because if it requires un-indexed columns that are not used any other clause(WHERE, FROM) than a lookup or a table scan will be needed to retrieve the values. This being said the only way that removing a column form the select list of a query will make it slower is if the query planner has some bugs :)

Comment Most people are not bothered (Score 3, Informative) 197

Most people in the UK are happy to be profiled in exchange for financial benefits. When the Tesco Clubcard was introduced it was so popular that people stopped shopping at other supermarkets like Sainsburys, which then had to introduce their own "loyalty card" schemes. Tesco announced last year that there are now 16 million active clubcards in the UK. As a comparison point there are around 25 million households in the UK , so a significant number of British households are having their shopping profiled in detail already.

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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