Covered topics: life in general, personal productivity, life hacks, organization, software development, technology, etc.

'War' over digital privacy bill heats up

Should copyright owners be allowed to take electronic measures to block distribution of their files, even to the point of monitoring your computer system?

I say "No.  Get out of MY COMPUTER!"

I'm already tired of Microsoft and all of these other companies "rigging" their license agreements to yank as much money as they can, even the little guys.  A small-time, one-man-band cannot reasonably afford to use Microsoft technologies for clients unless they are loaded with bucks and motivated to spend it on technology.

I try to stay legit on all of my software, and some day I hope to sell the magic software that pays for my retirement, so I am sympathetic to the copyright issue.  But I expect, to a certain extent that there will always be a nasty element of unethical computer users who will always steal rather than buy.  It's really no better than shoplifting if you think about it.  And just about as "honorable."

It angers me because many or most of my friends and coworkers cross the line and pirate software in the name of convenience.  Other programmers advance their skills faster and more cheaply than I do because I wait until I can afford to buy software.  I also buy the version of the software that is most within my reach, so I probably don't get the "ENTERPRISE" version of anything.  Just the "PROFESSIONAL" version which lacks the features that I would need to learn to become completely certified.  (Gee, thanks Microsoft.)

I also think that the government needs to be very careful about the legislation it imposes on the software/Internet industry without truly understanding the issues.  I hope they don't screw this up!

Klogging and cyclical employment   Layoffs and hiring booms mangle whatever efforts you've made to make your workforce smarter.Klogging and cyclical employment lists four ways klogging improves knowledge continuity, and explains why now - in an economic downturn - is the time to start. [Phil Wolff]

When adding a special value to a data-bound DropDownList control in ASP.NET, my first instinct was to use Items.Add before databinding.  I tried doing the Add before databinding, because I want the special default value to show up at the top of the list.  Add only lets you append to the end of the item collection.  Bummer!

Well, as is usual with .NET, a little bit of research uncovered a different method that allows insertion (ironically it's named Insert!) of an item at a certain location.  Use the Items.Insert method with an index of 0 after the call to DataBind to place your special value at the top. :-)

Scoop

Scoop is yet another portal/CMS system.  This one is open source ("free"), written in Perl, and appears to user MySQL as its back end.

NEW T-SQL technique! (or new to me).  The @@IDENTITY function has historically been flaky and susceptible to outside interference.  You must use it immediately after you do an insert if you want it to have the correct value, but even then, it can be clobbered by triggers that may have run in the meantime.  The T-SQL SCOPE_IDENTITY function and the IDENT_CURRENT have

SCOPE_IDENTITY
Returns the last IDENTITY value inserted into an IDENTITY column in the same scope. A scope is a module -- a stored procedure, trigger, function, or batch. Thus, two statements are in the same scope if they are in the same stored procedure, function, or batch.

IDENT_CURRENT
Returns the last identity value generated for a specified table in any session and any scope.

Special thanks to Rick Dilling for using this technique in a stored procedure I was reading.  I haven't been able to confirm that this was added with SQL 2000, but it probably was.

joRiSS?

Interesting site from a layout perspective.  Not sure about the content yet, but Adam Curry mentioned it on his channels page as a tool for creating--what else--channels (in RSS, of course).

Bye Adam, and thanks

I find Adam Curry's weblog highly irrelevant to anything in my life, but he does use some interesting techniques (like a special channels page) on his blog site.  I just don't know who he is or why I should care.  But thanks for the ideas, Adam.

Thomas Jefferson. "Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook beneath it." [Adam Curry: Adam Curry's Weblog]

How true!

Another J2EE vs .NET Performance Comparison [Slashdot]

There's a really good whitepaper by the The Middleware Company that details their benchmarking and the performance issues.  Slashdot has the details, but I have already downloaded and printed the whitepaper if you are interested.

David Russell. "We live in a Newtonian world of Einsteinian physics ruled by Frankenstein logic." [Quotes of the Day]

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