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Comment Re: Of course a tool like Holden would say that... (Score 1) 575

"Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act requires the routers in USA to have ability to intercept and log network traffic." ISPs are actually required by law to provide wiretap access into the network traffic. This is done by storing all network packets on an extra CALEA server on the network. While it would be reprehensible for an ISP to do this for data mining, it's required that the ISP do this for the government. Failure to comply means facing some hefty fines.

Comment EFF info on "browsewrap" agreements (Score 1) 216

The EFF has actually published a document comparing the different ways users can agree to TOS online. A "clickwrap" requires the user to engage in a "I have read and agree" type checkbox, and is generally accepted in courts as binding. A "browsewrap" is more along the lines of "by continuing to use this site, you agree". These have been held under tighter scrutiny by courts.

The Clicks That Bind: Ways Users "Agree" to Online Terms of Service

Comment Re:Do you need a database? (Score 1) 272

I recently posed the following question in #mysql:

Wordpress stores posts (pages) in one table, and individual fields of data in another table. As more fields are added, the field table grows geometrically.

Drupal stores entities (often, but not always, pages) in one table, and each field in separate tables. JOINs are used to query the data.

So which is more optimal? One large table with all field data, or separate tables and JOINs? The response was that both CMSs use MySQL "wrong". How I understood that was, MySQL is built for large tables of data. Each table should have a defined structure where each field is given it's own column. This is in fact how some CMS systems manage their database (afaik, Expression Engine uses this structure). However, this is less flexible in terms of multi-value fields and, eventually, modifying the table structure will become slow as the amount of data in the system grows.

Given that programmers have no foreknowledge of the fields that will be created by CMS users, there needs to be a level of flexibility that's not immediately possible with a relational database. Does NoSQL not fill that need?

Comment Re:Separation of Concerns (Score 1) 391

It's mostly because Javascript is closer to LISP than it is to C, even though the use of braces would lead the casual observer to conclude otherwise. Closures are a central concept in Javascript programming. If you don't define a variable as being specific to your scope, the parser will use the next scope outwards. Technically you never create global variables... the highest scope in which you can create variables is as a property of the `window` object. Of course, it's very easy to clutter that object, but it's also easy to create new scopes (define a function, declare your variables).

Variable scope is a strange concept to get used to at first. It seems cluttered if you're used to explicitly defining your variables, then having those variables only available in that function. Having variables available to scopes nested in your scope is very flexible and lends itself to writing some beautiful code.

Comment Re:Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 395

You're probably one of the people who believe curing depression is as simple as thinking happier thoughts. Newsflash: The brain is a complicated mechanism, and we don't fully understand how it works yet. We do know that certain chemical balances can result in certain behavior patterns. There are certainly mental exercises that can help, but don't be insulting to people who suffer very real mental struggles on a daily basis.

Comment Re:Liberal strategy (Score 2) 1144

Thank you :-p I was beginning to think no one else in this thread saw through the mudslinging to realize both parties are at fault. I recently read Thomas Sowell's opinion piece on the shutdown (copy at and elsewhere). He points out that the Republican controlled House passed the budget for everything but the health care legislation, and Democrat controlled Senate denied the entire budget because it didn't include health care funding. Everyone who says the blame lies with one party or another is perpetuating the deeper problem... A "stand on the sideline, cheer your team" tribalism. I don't know why the American people aren't calling out everyone involved. I like what the Australians and Canadians do, now that I've heard it. Dissolve both the House and Senate and hold a general election? Seems the only sensibly democratic thing to do at this juncture :-p

Comment Re:So untrue (Score 1) 474

In terms of right-left being hardcoded biologically, there is a new study suggesting a link between upper body strength and political opinions on economic redistribution.

“Despite the fact that the United States, Denmark and Argentina have very different welfare systems, we still see that — at the psychological level — individuals reason about welfare redistribution in the same way,” says Petersen. “In all three countries, physically strong males consistently pursue the self-interested position on redistribution.”

However, I think there is a third rational option that eludes our current left-right political spectrum in the US. The Founding Fathers were philosophers, thinkers. They worked hard to examine the historical basis for the every choice they made, disagreed often, and concluded on a system that granted individuals rights and refused the government power. I think the psychological make-up of individuals makes it difficult to see the third option, but I believe that makes a reasoned approach to politics invaluable.

Comment Look for work at a private school (Score 1) 416

I've heard many of the problems with the public school administration aren't problems at private schools. The claim is that "at will employment" makes for a better relationship with the administration. I don't know how true that is, and I wish I could think of where I saw the original discussion I would ask some private school teachers their feelings on the matter and see what kinds of response you're able to get.

Alternatively, you could always look for work in Finland :-p

Comment Re:They skipped IE support on their ADMIN pages (Score 2) 273

80% will work fine if you:

  • Support only IE9+, or
  • Ignore CSS3 linear-gradients (the MS filters are too buggy and slow to be used in IE)
  • Rely on jQuery or some other Javascript library for all your DOM manipulation needs
  • Use a Javascript library or custom code for your JavaScript 1.6+ needs (did you realize Array.indexOf wasn't in JS until 1.6?)
  • Don't try to use display: inline-block; without IE specific hacks
  • Don't use :before or :after psuedo-elements, or :(first|last)-child selectors without ie7-js
  • Don't use display: table-cell; (even though some developers still do, and for the life of me I haven't found a suitable analog or shim)

If you're skipping out on all that, then yeah, sure, 80% of what you do will work fine in IE, no problem. If you try to do more than that, you will be fighting an uphill battle to make your site work properly in IE.

Comment Obama's term... (Score 1) 548

The thing that concerns me is what I've seen happening to Obama the last few years... He played the social network to ride the election, and promised many things he should have been able to deliver. Instead, it seems that the relentless political tides have worn him down, and I see him reneging on his core values. I wish it weren’t so, but it seems to me that the only way to fix the system is by replacing much more of our government with political leaders in touch with their constituents needs.

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