Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Flexible Relational Databases

I finally got to watch the finale of 24 and it was awesome! Best one yet in my opinion (Season 2 was the reigning champion for insane ending beforehand), and so if you haven't seen it I highly reccomend finding it now! I also saw The Contender and was very surprised (spoiler alert) that the Latin Snake, Sergio Mora, ended up winning. He was undefeated in the whole tournament and though he seems to always be smaller he kicks a lot of butt. The topic today isn't too exciting but I wanted to talk about it because I find databases fascinating since so much of our everyday lives depend on them. This article from the ACM magazine discusses the disadvantages with relational databases and how the solution to all its problems lie in modularity and configurability. It reasons that viewing SQL as a binary decision is far inferior to a family of richer languages that allow for different levels of sophistication. For example, if you want to search all the different kinds of content available on the web you need that database of information to be much more flexible and able to be configured depending on what exactly you need to do. Anyway, it's not a very long read and something I highly reccomend for the computer scientists out there.

There's no shortage of nerd news today. The theme this week seems to be computer hackers and now there's some news about hackers who encrypt files on a victim's computer and demand ransom money in exchange for the key. It's a scary thought, but it appears to only be a few contained incidents and can be easily traced through the financial transaction. If you're more afraid of phishing schemes then you may want to look into the Netcraft Anti-Phishing toolbar for Firefox. Samsung has developed a 16 GB flash drive, which means that laptops can be built with longer life because of the light battery consumption of flash memory. Meanwhile, IBM has decided to open up the Cell architecture very soon so that the open source community and software developers can jump on the disgusting technology that lies with in. I think I've made the point several times in the fast that this chip is a door to very big things. IBM is also trying to foster teaching open source skills in universities with the help of Red Hat, and I think that would be pretty sweet. The more diversified programmers you get out there the better. There are fresh protests for Google to face with reagard to its library project and possibly copyright infringements. It's curious that they're not answering these concerns immediately. Lastly, I think many of you should read this article about writind down your passwords! Using the same one everywhere is dangerous.

The movie news today isn't too shabby. Fallen star Sylvester Stallone, who was the driving force behind The Contender, has written a biopic about Edgar Allan Poe and is sniffing around for the cast. An odd writing choice but I hope he pulls himself back together again. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated movie Domino (with many big names attached to it) has been pushed back by New Line to November from this summer without any explanation, but the character the movie is based off of was arrested last week. There's another review online for Batman Begins and it confirms all the good stuff we've heard so far in a very spoiler-free way. I enjoy a cute movie every once in a while and I think Chicken Little will be one of those given the new trailer. There's also a trailer online for Sky High now, which can also be a good family film. Lastly, since the poster looks better than the movie I thought I'd share the poster for the Bloodrayne movie:

At least she looks pretty good

I thought I'd do the Tuesday Twosome this week:

1. What two shows had the best cliff-hangers this year? Explain:
24 had some awesome cliffhangers as well, and I also liked a couple of the ones from Lost.

2. What two shows had the worst cliff-hangers this year? Explain:
I don't have a huge variety of shows to choose from here but I guess I'd have to say Joey and Jack and Bobby.

3. What two shows (that have been renewed) are you going to miss over the summer? Explain:
I'm definitely going to miss my 24 fix every Monday, and I also thought Joey was a pretty fun show to watch every week.

4. What two shows (that have not been renewed) are you going to miss? Explain:
This is easy: The Contender and Jack and Bobby were both high quality shows and were sadly cancelled due to low ratings. Why don't people like boxing anymore anyway?!

5. What two shows (that have not been renewed) are you glad are gone from TV? Explain:
I thought Father of the Pride was pretty bad and I'm also glad they finally got rid of that stupid Extreme Makeover show.

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