The main thing of your political system that needs to be fixed is the lack of choice, i.e. you need more political parties. Like all real democracies in this world have.
I've mis-used databases just as you describe. And continue to do so. That's fine, I'm an amateur, and I never needed to handle databases larger than a couple thousand rows. I could probably get away with tens or hundreds of thousands of rows before running into problems.
Now if I were to develop something that needed a billion rows - that's a different story, and I do know my current approach won't work and I'd have to learn a lot about databases to pull it off. And submitter is obviously trying to do that (or at least something that needs a few rows and hoping it grows larger than Facebook and Google combined, so he needs scalability). Also I believe submitter doesn't really know what he's talking about.
If you really need to be able to handle that kind of data sets, and have even just a subset of the skills needed, you don't come to Slashdot for advice. You'd know who to ask - a friend or colleague who does just that.
So submitter may have big dreams, he almost certainly doesn't have the skills to have even a fighting chance of making it. And with that I don't need the actual database management skills, but the skills of knowing where your weaknesses are, knowing who can fill those gaps, and asking those people (maybe by having a discussion over a beer, or by hiring them outright).
If you want any viewers - more than just the people involved in making the movie and their close friends - you don't have much choice but to go the YouTube route.
These claims can only be proven true or false in court - which means one way or another the accused infringer will have to go to court. A simple counter claim does not invalidate the original request, as the counter claim can be just as invalid as the original claim. So for a DCMA takedown notice to be proven false, you'd need a takedown notice, then a counter claim, followed by a law suit where the copyright holder (the person whose content was incorrectly taken down) manages to win a judgement in his favour.
Besides that it will be hard to find a copyright holder to go through all this (and what are three judged false notices on half a million correct, i.e. undisputed, ones?), it's going to take years before judgements are granted, considering how slow the judiciary normally works.
The professor is addressing his students on a professional basis - he's getting paid for it - so there's clearly financial gain in play.
In his teaching he points out additions to the text, possible omissions, insights that have changed since the printing of the book (e.g. Pluto is not a planet any more). He gives the students the patches (bits of information) to add to their text books ("cross out 'nine', replace by 'eight'; cross out 'Pluto' from the list of planets and add it to a new category called 'dwarf planets'.").
The fact that one is done by computer, the other by hand, shouldn't change anything.
Slashdot is subject to the jurisdiction of US courts, not EU courts.
you are just as entitled to use it with or without the official support of the original manufacturing company.
Using it doesn't include modifying it
So all those students in US college adding notes to their text books, crossing out bits, etc - thereby modifying the book, which is presumably falling under copyright - are all breaking the law? Time to go after them!
And if you don't agree this is illegal, why would it be different to modify the software you run?
It was a fight just to get core, mission critical apps to work with IE 9; 10 and 11 are out of the question.
Sounds like time to bite the bullet and write them to use web standards for the user interface (this is obviously a web-app as you use a browser for access - so if you're doing anything more than displaying a user interface and maybe some basic input sanity checking and you're doing something wrong to begin with). As an added bonus this will relieve you of your dependency on IE and Windows, and it would even work on non-Windows systems such as most tablets.
I was more thinking, at least for UK users, why can't the government arrange for MS to make those patches publicly available? After all it's tax payer's money they use for it. And that means all of the UK citizens contribute to it, one way or another. It'd only be fair for those patches to be available for the rest of them as well.
After which it's of course just a small step to make it available to the world - and do the Internet at large a big favour.
Which is exactly what Google is using already...
What are the alternatives, really?
If you're worried about gaining two minutes a day by getting faster computer hardware, maybe you should first have a look at the coffee machine. I bet there's much more of a time saving to be found there.
The requirement of stuff like Google Apps account and having Google do your identity management, will be a huge turn-off for many corporations. Unless Google has an option to have these services all in-house.
Especially when it comes to sensitive data (and not just medical, my personal financial records for example I don't want out in the open either) I'd like to keep it at home. Not unencrypted on someone else's cloud. And definitely not in some foreign country, where organisations like an NSA are active.
If a window breaks, you can still see through it. If a monitor in your tank breaks?
Simple. Open the hatch, stick your head out. Enjoy the wind in your face, the whistling of the birds.
Wait a moment
Microsoft vs Google.
If that's the choice I'd still go for the second. Gut feeling says Google cares more about preventing NSA snooping than MS. And now I don't exactly like Google's snooping to target their ads better (they do a pretty shitty job there anyway), at least it won't get you on secret no-fly lists.
They're replacing a current stock of 4,300 of what used to be mid- to high-end hardware (when they were bought of course - after all they were designed to run Windows - replacement would mean current mid- to high-end stuff or Windows won't run well) with 2,300 low-end ones.
That cuts down the number of computers in half, and it cuts the per-unit hardware cost. I can't imagine them saving some 150 pounds per unit on license cost alone. Windows isn't that expensive in OEM licenses. The price difference between a typical Chromebook and a typical Windows laptop is more than the Windows license itself.