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Comment I thought this sounded familiar (Score 4, Informative) 189

"The scheme is a revised version of a plan drawn up by the Labour government which would have created a central database of all the information.
The idea of a central database was later dropped in favour of a scheme requiring communications providers to store the details at the taxpayers’ expense.
But the whole idea was cancelled amid severe criticisms of the number of public bodies which could access the data, which as well as the security services, included local councils and quangos, totalling 653 public sector organisations.
Labour shelved the project - known as the Intercept Modernisation Programme - in November 2009 after a consultation showed it had little public support."

So it's just the same plan probably being pushed for by the same security service lobbyists for a second time, this time with more success because "the Olympics".

Comment Re:My recommendations. (Score 1) 647

Well, it's clearly not going to be for everyone, but it left me feeling pretty excited about equal rights and feminism in general. Anything that leaves a lasting impression has got to be a good.

It sounds a little vapid from the blurb but it's funny insightful and seemed to resonate with a few things that I experienced growing up.

Comment Re:My recommendations. (Score 1) 647

Forgot one that left a big impression on me that wasn't Fiction.

Biographical: How To Be a Woman - Caitlin Moran

1913 – Suffragette throws herself under the King’s horse.
1969 – Feminists storm Miss World.
NOW – Caitlin Moran rewrites The Female Eunuch from a bar stool and demands to know why pants are getting smaller.

There’s never been a better time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven’t been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain

Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should you get Botox? Do men secretly hate us? What should you call your vagina? Why does your bra hurt? And why does everyone ask you when you’re going to have a baby?

Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin Moran answers these questions and more in How To Be A Woman – following her from her terrible 13th birthday (‘I am 13 stone, have no friends, and boys throw gravel at me when they see me’) through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, fat, abortion, TopShop, motherhood and beyond.

Comment My recommendations. (Score 2) 647

Here are some different books from different genres that I have particularly liked and read recently. They're Steam Punk, Cyber Punk, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Space Opera, and Dystopia. If you like this sort of thing I've got more on my Goodreads profile.

Steam Punk: Soulless - Gail Carriger

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Cyber Punk: The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer - Neal Stephenson

Decades into the future, near the ancient city of Shanghai, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has broken the rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neo-Victorians, by making an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called "A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer". Seattle Weekly called Stephenson's Snow Crash "The most influential book since ... Neuromancer."

Fantasy: Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear

Urban Fantasy: Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Space Opera: Old Man's War - John Scalzi

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place. So: we fight. To defend Earth (a target for our new enemies, should we let them get close enough) and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has gone on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force, which shields the home planet from too much knowledge of the situation. What's known to everybody is that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve your time at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine-and what he will become is far stranger.

Dystopia: The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Comment Re:Hungarian Notation (Score 1) 731

The user is a developer, and the code will crash if they do, so that's their own fault. The point is to make sure damn well they know what they are doing if they do.

When programming, the language should take care of the type checking, and the programmer should take care of ensuring the data that was input to the function was valid within that domain.
This can be achieved by defining a new type if it's a new type of data (for example an class for an IP). Then the user won't be able to pass the wrong type of data. This is part of the reason why OOP is powerful, it adds type checking to the compiler.
PHPs OOP support added the ability to restrict the type of a variable, with non freely converted types (int, string, etc), with once exception.

It's a flaw in PHP that you can't force a user to pass an array, even though PHP doesn't automatically convert between it and primitives.

As this is not a domain validation check, leave it to the compiler to find the flaw.

It's a waste to add checking like that to code as it doesn't offer any benefit for the end user of the code. The person who is visiting a website or whatever doesn't care that that parameter passed is an array or an int (they do however care that the value of that array or int is within the correct domain)

Comment Re:Hungarian Notation (Score 1) 731

You can tell from the function definition what the inputs should be.

The same affect can be achieved by documentation (I do also stick a bit of PHPDoc with it in too) but not every ones IDE supports PHPDoc. Most everyone's IDE supports getting the function with variables.

This save a little bit of time faffing about figuring out what the inputs should be.

Comment Re:Hungarian Notation (Score 1) 731

I use Hungarian notation in PHP.

This may seem redundant in a weakly typed language like PHP. However, things get messy when you start writing Object Orientated PHP, and you can't force a user to pass you an array, or an int. You could code in checks for it, but that's simply more code that could have a bug in it.

Comment My Favourite Place To Code. (Score 1) 508

In the office, with my boss at the other side of the office. I do get more done in a more formal environment.

However, my boss recently switched seats to be behind me, and I'm just not as productive any more..

The optimum position seems to be, boss close enough to be able to be friendly with him, but far enough away that I don't feel pressured by his presence

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