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Comment Re:They should fix their user schema first (Score 1) 54

You're adding a useless column that has no actual meaning.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're saying you're opposed to surrogate keys in principle. The foreign key link to the users table is what gives a surrogate key meaning.

The downsides are that the tables referencing the user name have to store the user name (but that's probably capped at 30 characters or so)

A column holding up to 30 UTF-32 characters takes 120 bytes, compared to an integer that takes 8, or 4 if you don't expect half the global population to create an account. Even if you use UTF-8, you still have to allocate 120 bytes because code points above U+10000 (mostly emoji and lesser-used Chinese and Japanese ideograms) take four code units.

These would be more than offset by the fact that you can completely avoid a join in many cases since you already have the user name directly in the table you're querying.

And then you have to balance the practical problem that propagating a primary key change places locks in the majority of tables in the system against the cost of a join to a table that's probably already cached in all servers' RAM. In fact, factoring usernames out to a separate table could be seen as compression for all other tables, allowing more of their rows to be kept in RAM.

Comment Which side are 10-12 inch laptops on? (Score 1) 110

Yeah, MS thinks that phone toys and desktop power systems (gaming, non-linear editing, content creation) are somehow exactly the same, and therefore need a similar toy interface meant for a 4 inch screen.

Does an 10-12 inch laptop with a touch screen more closely resemble "desktop power systems" or "phone toys"? There are arguments for both:

Like desktop power systems
The screen is big enough to hold two 80-column text editor or terminal windows side by side. And the screen is also big enough for small windowed "accessory" apps, as proven by "desk accessories" on the single-tasking operating system of the original Macintosh with a 9" black and white screen. (DAs ran in the running application's process; MultiFinder didn't land until System 5 and was optional before 7.)
Like phone toys
These laptops have touch input. And the screen isn't big enough to hold two full pages side by side.

Comment Re:They should fix their user schema first (Score 1) 54

sexconker ( 1179573 ) wrote:

What would you propose?
An integer with the IDENTITY flag set that auto increments and has no actual meaning?

Yes. For example, a user with username sexconker could have user ID 1179573. Store user ID in most places, and the username is an INNER JOIN psn_users_basic away. Here, psn_users_basic holds the most commonly used columns of a user's profile, with less commonly used ones in a separate table, whether flat or sparse (EAV).

Comment The limit to authors is the record human lifespan (Score 1) 92

It sounds more like an unlimited time to authors

The limit to individual authors is the record human lifespan. "Life" for works of corporate authorship is reckoned at a fixed 25 years after publication or 50 years after creation, whatever comes first.

As for retrospective extensions, so long as the term is finite at any given moment, and so long as nobody manages to prove what the Supreme Court in Eldred called "legislative misbehavior" on Congress's part, the term complies with the "limited Times" restriction. The Copyright Term Extension Act was ruled a one-time harmonization to the copyright term in the European Union. But I imagine that a further extension prior to 2024 would be stronger evidence of "legislative misbehavior".

Comment Copyright in the Constitution (Score 5, Informative) 92

I don't recall copyright having an amendment. Don't Constitutional rights trump pretty much everything else, period?

Copyright is one of the enumerated powers of Congress (U.S. Const. I.8): "The Congress shall have power [...] To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." This power is subject to other rights retained by the people, such as freedom from Congressional interference with freedom of speech (U.S. Const. Amendment I).

Comment Re:"Breaking news from a conservative viewpoint" (Score 1) 136

The best available data comes from consumers who report it to the DOT (WARNING: Source may be paywalled)

Why not go straight to the quoted Wired article with the hyperbolic title?

Those are the same link. And when viewed through Firefox Tracking Protection, with no specific ad-blocking extensions installed, the text of said hyperbolic article is as follows (screenshot):

Here’s The Thing With Ad Blockers

We get it: Ads aren’t what you’re here for. But ads help us keep the lights on.
So, add us to your ad blocker’s whitelist or pay $1 per week for an ad-free version of WIRED. Either way, you are supporting our journalism. We’d really appreciate it.

From the page to which "whitelist" links:

In Firefox “Tracking Protection” may activate our adblock notice. It can be temporarily disabled for a browsing session by clicking the “shield” icon in the url bar if visible and following the instructions.

See the editorial "An invitation to settle matters with @Forbes, @Wired and other publishers" by Doc Searls. Apparently the administrators of WIRED are too incompetent to switch to advertisements not based on tracking viewers' browsing habits.

Comment Re:Why don't we just make the pages smaller? (Score 1) 105

International travel is a luxury. To save money compared to what your carrier charges for international roaming, you could find Wi-Fi, or you could whip out your passport (for ID pursuant to applicable know-your-customer laws) and buy a burner SIM for each country to which you travel.

Comment Quadrature mirror filters (Score 1) 105

It uses wavelet compression.

"Wavelet" is just a fancy name for quadrature mirror filters (QMF). The ATRAC codec in MiniDisc audio used QMF back in 1992, making it prior art for general QMF patents expiring before 2013. Or are there more specific patents for use of QMF in images?

It's a patent and litigation minefield.

Each mine has a seven-digit number attached to it. Which numbers apply to the use of wavelets in JPEG 2000?

Comment Re:Hosts = more efficient vs. addons/dns etc. (Score 1) 105

It's read from disk and parsed every time you resolve anything. Linearly.

Hosts data, like all other data, is loaded from disk initially but read from RAM once cached (far faster)

KiloByte's point is that the OS's hosts lookup is O(n), while a purpose-built local DNS server that reads a hosts file can manage O(log(n)) using explicit cache data structures. The speedup when you resolve a site outside your top 50 can outweigh the slowdown for switching in and out of kernel mode. And it'd have the same security benefits as your hosts file, plus the ability to use wildcards.

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