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  • Writing Efficient SQL: Set-Based Speed Phreakery

    Phil Factor's SQL Speed Phreak challenge is an event where coders battle to produce the fastest code to solve a common reporting problem on large data sets. It isn't that easy on the spectators, since the programmers don't score extra points for commenting their code. Mercifully, Kathi is on hand to explain some of the TSQL coding secrets that go to producing blistering performance.

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  • Linking Secrets - Part I - Linking Structure

    Google classes a link as a 'vote' for your website, as most people only link to a site if they are talking about it or referring to it as a good resource. This means the almighty link has become a huge factor in how well you rank in the search engines.

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  • Bodies do not stay sticked together by joint in retina display

    - by Mike JM
    I'm rehearsing on Box2D revolute joints. Everything's going pretty well except for one thing. For some reason bodies joined together with revolute joints do not stay sticked, they start getting apart from each other from the app start when I run it on retina device or simulator. On non retina device it works just fine, as expected. Here's the screenshot of the non-retina version: And here's the behavior when I run the same app on retina device/simulator: I'm taking content scale factor into account.

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  • Does Ubuntu run on current Asus Transformer Prime?

    - by Ubuntu User
    I've read instructions about dual boot Android / Transformer Prime (a significant factor in ordering one). Also about not working with /latest/ Transformer Prime (firmware / BIOS?) Also about imminent Ubuntu ARM support. Will I be able to run Ubuntu in a day or two when Transformer arrives? Also, am I right to assume I can restore Transformer to factory status if I break something in the attempt?

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  • C++ Programming: Better Accessibility with High DPI Support and MFC 10

    A number of factors are driving the requirement for applications to correctly support high DPI settings--increased monitor resolutions are making it more difficult for users to read text on the screen, compliance with disability access legislation is an increasingly important factor for corporations, and users are now expecting applications to behave well at higher DPI settings. MFC 10 and Visual C++ 2010 have built-in support for high DPI, making the development of a DPI-aware application quicker and more simple.

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  • Friday Fun: Fort Blaster – Ahoy There

    - by Asian Angel
    In this week’s game you and your pirate crew luck out and find a series of forts full of treasure waiting for you to claim in a campaign of high seas terror. So hoist the colors, grab your favorite cannon, and get ready to blast your way to fame and fortune! How to Banish Duplicate Photos with VisiPic How to Make Your Laptop Choose a Wired Connection Instead of Wireless HTG Explains: What Is Two-Factor Authentication and Should I Be Using It?

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  • Guide to Building a Website - Top 5 Tips For Keyword Page Optimization

    Keyword page optimization is full of strange technical terms - meta tags, keyword tag, HTML tags, etc. In this guide to building a website we will look closely at how search engines scan your website and the fact that the relevancy is the main factor for Google. You might realize that these buzzwords might not have the same weight as before.

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  • Finding Stuff in SQL Server Database DDL

    You'd have thought that nothing would be easier than using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) for searching through the DDL for both the names and definitions of the structural metadata of your databases, for the occurrence of a particular string of letters. Not so easy, it turns out, though Phil Factor is able to come up with various methods for various purposes.

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  • Aptronyms: fitting the profession to the name

    - by Tony Davis
    Writing a recent piece on the pains of index fragmentation, I found myself wondering why, in SQL Server, you can’t set the equivalent of a fill factor, on a heap table. I scratched my head…who might know? Phil Factor, of course! I approached him with a due sense of optimism only to find that not only did he not know, he also didn’t seem to care much either. I skulked off thinking how this may be the final nail in the coffin of nominative determinism. I’ve always wondered if there was anything in it, though. If your surname is Plumb or Leeks, is there even a tiny, extra percentage chance that you’ll end up fitting bathrooms? Some examples are quite common. I’m sure we’ve all met teachers called English or French, or lawyers called Judge or Laws. I’ve also known a Doctor called Coffin, a Urologist called Waterfall, and a Dentist called Dentith. Two personal favorites are Wolfgang Wolf who ended up managing the German Soccer team, Wolfsburg, and Edmund Akenhead, a Crossword Editor for The Times newspaper. Having forgiven Phil his earlier offhandedness, I asked him for if he knew of any notable examples. He had met the famous Dr. Batty and Dr. Nutter, both Psychiatrists, knew undertakers called Death and Stiff, had read a book by Frederick Page-Turner, and suppressed a giggle at the idea of a feminist called Gurley-Brown. He even managed to better my Urologist example, citing the article on incontinence in the British Journal of Urology (vol.49, pp.173-176, 1977) by A. J. Splatt and D. Weedon. What, however, if you were keen to gently nudge your child down the path to a career in IT? What name would you choose? Subtlety probably doesn’t really work, although in a recent interview, Rodney Landrum did congratulate PowerShell MVP Max Trinidad on being named after a SQL function. Grant “The Memory” Fritchey (OK, I made up that nickname) doesn’t do badly either. Some surnames, seem to offer a natural head start, although I know of no members of the Page-Reid clan in the profession. There are certainly families with the Table surname, although sadly, Little Bobby Tables was merely a legend by xkcd. A member of the well-known Key family would need to name their son Primary, or maybe live abroad, to make their mark. Nominate your examples of people seemingly destined, by name, for their chosen profession (extra points for IT). The best three will receive a prize. Cheers, Tony.

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  • Website Design Tips For Improving Traffic

    When designing your website you should give careful consideration as to how website visitors will find you. Your answer will be the dominating factor in the design and structure of your site. If you ... [Author: Barbara Bulkin - Web Design and Development - April 03, 2010]

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  • Do You Care How Fast Your Business Website is? Google Does

    Google - the biggest player in the internet search engine business by far - have many ways that they determine how a certain website ranks within their listing and those criteria keep changing all the time. If you have done a little SEO homework you know that content - fresh, original content - is king but Google have thrown another factor into the mix that you may not think too much about.

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  • Are any Zotac Zboxs suitable as HTPC / media centres?

    - by Jakub
    Are any Zotac Zboxes suitable as HTPC / media centres? I'm after a fanless HTPC client in the living room to work with my MythTV server in my home office. I like the small compact form factor of the Zbox but what little I could find by Googling didn't clearly recommend any particular models for Ubuntu / MythTV / XBMC. Can anyone recommend any models that work with little hassle? Or, if there aren't any, are there other more Linux-friendly small format fanless PCs I should be looking at instead?

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  • Leading SEO Keyword Research Tools

    Keywords are arguably the main thing to factor in when creating SEO content, or when one wishes to start and manage a Pay Per Click Marketing Campaign since any successful SEO campaign is only as good as the choice of keywords. To utilize SEO content, you might want to check out some of the leading keyword research tools.

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  • CES 2011–Microsoft Keynote Impressions

    - by guybarrette
    Microsoft has been kicking off the CES for a number of years by doing a keynote the evening of the event first day.  This year, SteveB talked about Xbox, Kinect, Windows 7 new laptops, Surface 2 and Windows vNext running on the ARM architecture. Some of the design of the new laptops showed are quite amazing.  This one has a dual screen with no physical keyboard.  The image is split between both screens.  A software keyboard appears when you place your 10 fingers on the lower screen. This one from Samsung has a sliding keyboard somewhat like numerous cell phones have. What I found the most amazing is that Intel was able to miniaturized a full Intel architecture (CPU, motherboard, memory) in a tiny form factor.  Imagine having the power of a full PC running .NET apps in a Zune/iPod form factor! They also showed V2 of the Surface device.  This one is called the Samsung SUR40 for Surface PC.  It’s much sleeker and it will likely loose the BAT (Big Ass Table) moniker  More info here SteveB announced that Windows vNext will run on ARM chips.  I’m intrigued by this announcement (you can read about it here) and I have many questions: -In the past ARM devices were slow, what now makes the ARM architecture able to run Windows? -ARM is 32-bit only, I think. -Does this mean that Intel wasn't able to provide such a lightweight architecture or simply that they weren't interested? -From what I understand, apps would need to be recompiled for ARM. Will we need to do that from an ARM PC or could it be done natively on Intel or on an Intel PC running in an ARM VM?  VS 2012? Ahhhh, smells like a cool PDC is coming up    Clearly it looks like PC have enough power for most of us right now and that the race is now about miniaturization, power consumption and battery life. You can watch the Microsoft CES 2011 keynote here var addthis_pub="guybarrette";

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  • Hear This! Latest on SEO Marketing

    Change is the only constant phenomenon life has to offer, and these changes affect our being in totality. The good thing is that, these changes are usually ways of improving our lives or way of lifestyle and someone on the wise track would know it best to embrace rather than fight these changes. A wise business marketer would want to keep abreast of the changing factor and use them to his advantage.

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  • The viability of open source forking

    <b>InfoWorld:</b> "Source code availability is a central factor in establishing trust in the open source community, as knowledge that the source is available can often allay fears about the future of a particular open source project or product. And yet, this trust can often be overstated."

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  • Why Is Vertical Resolution Monitor Resolution so Often a Multiple of 360?

    - by Jason Fitzpatrick
    Stare at a list of monitor resolutions long enough and you might notice a pattern: many of the vertical resolutions, especially those of gaming or multimedia displays, are multiples of 360 (720, 1080, 1440, etc.) But why exactly is this the case? Is it arbitrary or is there something more at work? Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites. The Question SuperUser reader Trojandestroy recently noticed something about his display interface and needs answers: YouTube recently added 1440p functionality, and for the first time I realized that all (most?) vertical resolutions are multiples of 360. Is this just because the smallest common resolution is 480×360, and it’s convenient to use multiples? (Not doubting that multiples are convenient.) And/or was that the first viewable/conveniently sized resolution, so hardware (TVs, monitors, etc) grew with 360 in mind? Taking it further, why not have a square resolution? Or something else unusual? (Assuming it’s usual enough that it’s viewable). Is it merely a pleasing-the-eye situation? So why have the display be a multiple of 360? The Answer SuperUser contributor User26129 offers us not just an answer as to why the numerical pattern exists but a history of screen design in the process: Alright, there are a couple of questions and a lot of factors here. Resolutions are a really interesting field of psychooptics meeting marketing. First of all, why are the vertical resolutions on youtube multiples of 360. This is of course just arbitrary, there is no real reason this is the case. The reason is that resolution here is not the limiting factor for Youtube videos – bandwidth is. Youtube has to re-encode every video that is uploaded a couple of times, and tries to use as little re-encoding formats/bitrates/resolutions as possible to cover all the different use cases. For low-res mobile devices they have 360×240, for higher res mobile there’s 480p, and for the computer crowd there is 360p for 2xISDN/multiuser landlines, 720p for DSL and 1080p for higher speed internet. For a while there were some other codecs than h.264, but these are slowly being phased out with h.264 having essentially ‘won’ the format war and all computers being outfitted with hardware codecs for this. Now, there is some interesting psychooptics going on as well. As I said: resolution isn’t everything. 720p with really strong compression can and will look worse than 240p at a very high bitrate. But on the other side of the spectrum: throwing more bits at a certain resolution doesn’t magically make it better beyond some point. There is an optimum here, which of course depends on both resolution and codec. In general: the optimal bitrate is actually proportional to the resolution. So the next question is: what kind of resolution steps make sense? Apparently, people need about a 2x increase in resolution to really see (and prefer) a marked difference. Anything less than that and many people will simply not bother with the higher bitrates, they’d rather use their bandwidth for other stuff. This has been researched quite a long time ago and is the big reason why we went from 720×576 (415kpix) to 1280×720 (922kpix), and then again from 1280×720 to 1920×1080 (2MP). Stuff in between is not a viable optimization target. And again, 1440P is about 3.7MP, another ~2x increase over HD. You will see a difference there. 4K is the next step after that. Next up is that magical number of 360 vertical pixels. Actually, the magic number is 120 or 128. All resolutions are some kind of multiple of 120 pixels nowadays, back in the day they used to be multiples of 128. This is something that just grew out of LCD panel industry. LCD panels use what are called line drivers, little chips that sit on the sides of your LCD screen that control how bright each subpixel is. Because historically, for reasons I don’t really know for sure, probably memory constraints, these multiple-of-128 or multiple-of-120 resolutions already existed, the industry standard line drivers became drivers with 360 line outputs (1 per subpixel). If you would tear down your 1920×1080 screen, I would be putting money on there being 16 line drivers on the top/bottom and 9 on one of the sides. Oh hey, that’s 16:9. Guess how obvious that resolution choice was back when 16:9 was ‘invented’. Then there’s the issue of aspect ratio. This is really a completely different field of psychology, but it boils down to: historically, people have believed and measured that we have a sort of wide-screen view of the world. Naturally, people believed that the most natural representation of data on a screen would be in a wide-screen view, and this is where the great anamorphic revolution of the ’60s came from when films were shot in ever wider aspect ratios. Since then, this kind of knowledge has been refined and mostly debunked. Yes, we do have a wide-angle view, but the area where we can actually see sharply – the center of our vision – is fairly round. Slightly elliptical and squashed, but not really more than about 4:3 or 3:2. So for detailed viewing, for instance for reading text on a screen, you can utilize most of your detail vision by employing an almost-square screen, a bit like the screens up to the mid-2000s. However, again this is not how marketing took it. Computers in ye olden days were used mostly for productivity and detailed work, but as they commoditized and as the computer as media consumption device evolved, people didn’t necessarily use their computer for work most of the time. They used it to watch media content: movies, television series and photos. And for that kind of viewing, you get the most ‘immersion factor’ if the screen fills as much of your vision (including your peripheral vision) as possible. Which means widescreen. But there’s more marketing still. When detail work was still an important factor, people cared about resolution. As many pixels as possible on the screen. SGI was selling almost-4K CRTs! The most optimal way to get the maximum amount of pixels out of a glass substrate is to cut it as square as possible. 1:1 or 4:3 screens have the most pixels per diagonal inch. But with displays becoming more consumery, inch-size became more important, not amount of pixels. And this is a completely different optimization target. To get the most diagonal inches out of a substrate, you want to make the screen as wide as possible. First we got 16:10, then 16:9 and there have been moderately successful panel manufacturers making 22:9 and 2:1 screens (like Philips). Even though pixel density and absolute resolution went down for a couple of years, inch-sizes went up and that’s what sold. Why buy a 19″ 1280×1024 when you can buy a 21″ 1366×768? Eh… I think that about covers all the major aspects here. There’s more of course; bandwidth limits of HDMI, DVI, DP and of course VGA played a role, and if you go back to the pre-2000s, graphics memory, in-computer bandwdith and simply the limits of commercially available RAMDACs played an important role. But for today’s considerations, this is about all you need to know. Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.     

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  • Efficient SQL Server Indexing by Design

    Having a good set of indexes on your SQL Server database is critical to performance. Efficient indexes don't happen by accident; they are designed to be efficient. Greg Larsen discusses whether primary keys should be clustered, when to use filtered indexes and what to consider when using the Fill Factor.

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  • Laying out SQL Code

    It is important to ensure that SQL code is laid out in the best way for the team that has to use and maintain it. Before you work out how to enforce a standard, one has to work out what that standard should actually be for the application. So do you dive into detail or create an overall logic to the way it is done? Phil Factor discusses. span.fullpost {display:none;}

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  • How to Downgrade Packages on Ubuntu

    - by Chris Hoffman
    Ubuntu’s Update Manager keeps your packages at the latest version, but occasionally a new package version may not work properly. You can downgrade an installed package and lock it at a specific version to prevent it from being updated. This is particularly useful when you run into an updated package with a regression – a bug that prevents things from working properly. How to Banish Duplicate Photos with VisiPic How to Make Your Laptop Choose a Wired Connection Instead of Wireless HTG Explains: What Is Two-Factor Authentication and Should I Be Using It?

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  • How to Easily Watch Netflix and Hulu From Anywhere in the World

    - by Taylor Gibb
    Ever wanted to access an online web service, only to find it’s only available to those people living in the United States? Read on to find out how you can get around this restriction by changing one simple setting in Windows. How to Banish Duplicate Photos with VisiPic How to Make Your Laptop Choose a Wired Connection Instead of Wireless HTG Explains: What Is Two-Factor Authentication and Should I Be Using It?

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  • IIS8 Memory Improvements

    - by The Official Microsoft IIS Site
    There is a lot of buzz in the Internet Information Services (IIS) community about IIS 8, the version of IIS that is included with Windows Server 2012. While there are plenty of new features in IIS 8, for this writing I am going to focus on the memory improvements that you will see for the application pools. Memory is a key resource on an IIS server as it is often the first limiting factor if you planned your CPU and disk requirements appropriately. I was fortunate to be able to attend TechEd North...(read more)

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  • How to Run PowerShell 2 and 3 Concurrently in Windows 8

    - by Taylor Gibb
    Windows 8 comes with a shiny new version of PowerShell, version 3. But while playing around with it, I have noticed a lot of scripts that I had written for version 2 are now throwing errors, so here’s how to get version 2 back while not losing version 3. How to Banish Duplicate Photos with VisiPic How to Make Your Laptop Choose a Wired Connection Instead of Wireless HTG Explains: What Is Two-Factor Authentication and Should I Be Using It?

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