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  • When is calculating or variable-reading faster?

    - by Andreas Hornig
    hi, to be honest, I don't really know what the "small green men" in my cpu and compiler do, so I sometimes would like to know :). Currently I would like to know what's faster, so that I can design my code in a more efficient way. So for example I want to calclate something at different points in my sourcecode, when will it be faster to calculate it once and store it in a variable that's read and used for the next points it's needed and when is it faster to calculate it everytime? I think it's depending on how "complex" and "long" the calculation is and how fast then cache is, where variables are stored, but I don't have any clue what's faster :). Thanks for any reply to my tiny but important question! Andreas PS: perhaps it's important to know that I code in JAVA, but it's more a genral question.

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  • Customer Experience and BPM – From Efficiency to Engagement

    - by Ajay Khanna
    Over the last few years, focus of BPM has been mainly to improve the businesses efficiency. To create more efficient processes, to remove bottlenecks, to automate processes. That still holds true and why not? Isn’t BPM all about continuous improvement? BPM facilitates and requires business and IT collaboration. But business also requires working with customer. Do we not want to get close to and collaborate with our customers? This is where Social BPM takes BPM a step further. It not only allows people within an organization to collaborate to design exceptional processes, not only lets them collaborate on resolving a case but also let them engage with the customers. Engaging with customer means, first of all, connecting with them on their terms and turf. Take a new account opening process. Can a customer call you and initiate the process? Can a customer email you, or go to the website and initiate the process? Can they tweet you and initiate the process? Can they check the status of process via any channel they like? Can they take a picture of damaged package delivery and kick-off a returns process from their mobile device, with GIS data? Yes, these are various aspects to consider during process design if the goal is better customer experience and engagement. Of course, we want to be efficient and agile, but the focus here needs to be the customer. Now when the customer is tweeting about your products, posting on Facebook and Yelp about their experience with your company (and your process), you need to seek out that information. You need to gather and analyze the customer’s feedback on the social media and use that information to improve the processes and products. This is an excellent source of product and process ideation. So BPM is no longer only about improving back-office process efficiency, it is moving into a new and exciting phase of improving frontline customer facing processes, customer experience and engagement. Let me know how you think BPM can enhance customer experience.

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  • How to Increase SEO Efficiency

    So you would want to increase your SEO efficiency immediately. Well you will have to make use of professional search engine optimization techniques in order to get the desired results shortly. They are typically known as On Page Optimization, and Off Page Optimization.

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  • SQL SERVER – An Efficiency Tool to Compare and Synchronize SQL Server Databases

    - by Pinal Dave
    There is no need to reinvent the wheel if it is already invented and if the wheel is already available at ease, there is no need to wait to grab it. Here is the similar situation. I came across a very interesting situation and I had to look for an efficient tool which can make my life easier and solve my business problem. Here is the scenario. One of the developers had deleted few rows from the very important mapping table of our development server (thankfully, it was not the production server). Though it was a development server, the entire development team had to stop working as the application started to crash on every page. Think about the lost of manpower and efficiency which we started to loose.  Pretty much every department had to stop working as our internal development application stopped working. Thankfully, we even take a backup of our development server and we had access to full backup of the entire database at 6 AM morning. We do not take as a frequent backup of development server as production server (naturally!). Even though we had a full backup, the solution was not to restore the database. Think about it, there were plenty of the other operations since the last good full backup and if we restore a full backup, we will pretty much overwrite on the top of the work done by developers since morning. Now, as restoring the full backup was not an option we decided to restore the same database on another server. Once we had restored our database to another server, the challenge was to compare the table from where the database was deleted. The mapping table from where the data were deleted contained over 5000 rows and it was humanly impossible to compare both the tables manually. Finally we decided to use efficiency tool dbForge Data Compare for SQL Server from DevArt. dbForge Data Compare for SQL Server is a powerful, fast and easy to use SQL compare tool, capable of using native SQL Server backups as metadata source. (FYI we Downloaded dbForge Data Compare) Once we discovered the product, we immediately downloaded the product and installed on our development server. After we installed the product, we were greeted with the following screen. We clicked on the New Data Comparision to start our new comparison project. It brought up following screen. Here is the best part of the product, we just had to enter our database connection username and password along with source and destination details and we are done. The entire process is very simple and self intuiting. The best part was that for the source, we can either select database or even backup. This was indeed fantastic feature. Think about this, if you have a very big database, it will take long time to restore on the server. Once it is restored, you will be able to work with it. However, when you are working with dbForge Data Compare it will accept database backup as your source or destination. Once I click on the execute it brought up following screen where it displayed an excellent summary of the data compare. It has dedicated tabs for the what is changing in what table as well had details of the changed data. The best part is that, once we had reviewed the change. We click on the Synchronize button in the menu bar and it brought up following screen. You can see that the screen has very simple straight forward but very powerful features. You can generate a script to synchronize from target to source or even from source to target. Additionally, the database is a very complicated world and there are extensive options to configure various database options on the next screen. We also have the option to either generate script or directly execute the script to target server. I like to play on the safe side and I generated the script for my synchronization and later on after review I deployed the scripts on the server. Well, my team and we were able to get going from our disaster in less than 10 minutes. There were few people in our team were indeed disappointed as they were thinking of going home early that day but in less than 10 minutes they had to get back to work. There are so many other features in  dbForge Data Compare for SQL Server, I am already planning to make this product company wide recommended product for Data Compare tool. Hats off to the team who have build this product. Here are few of the features salient features of the dbForge Data Compare for SQL Server Perform SQL Server database comparison to detect changes Compare SQL Server backups with live databases Analyze data differences between two databases Synchronize two databases that went out of sync Restore data of a particular table from the backup Generate data comparison reports in Excel and HTML formats Copy look-up data from development database to production Automate routine data synchronization tasks with command-line interface Go Ahead and Download the dbForge Data Compare for SQL Server right away. It is always a good idea to get familiar with the important tools before hand instead of learning it under pressure of disaster. Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com) Filed under: PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, SQL Utility, T SQL, Technology

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  • Improve efficiency of web building setup and processes - Wordpress on Mac

    - by Rob
    Can anyone see any ways in which I can improve my speed and efficiency with the following setup? Or if there are any obvious holes in my building process? This is for building Wordpress websites on Mac: 1) I have a standard Wordpress setup that I work from which includes various plugins that I tend to use across all setups - thus cutting out the step of having to download them all the time! 2) My standard WP files are copied into a Dropbox folder - thus creating backups of the files. 3) I then open up MAMP and setup a local version. 4) I open up Coda and setup the FTP details so files can be uploaded to the live domain by using the publish button. If anyone has any advice on how to improve this process then please let me know!

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  • WP: Oracle Multitenant on SuperCluster T5-8: Study of Database Consolidation Efficiency

    - by uwes
    Consolidation in the data center is the driving factor in reducing capital and operational expense in IT today. This is particularly relevant as customers invest more in cloud infrastructure and associated service delivery. Database consolidation is a strategic component in this effort. Oracle Database 12 c introduces Oracle Multitenant , a new database consolidation model in which multiple Pluggable Databases (PDBs) are consolidated within a Container Database (CDB). While keeping many of the isolation aspects of single databases, it allows PDBs to share the system global area (SGA) and background processes of a common CDB . The white paper recently published on OTN: Oracle Multitenant on SuperCluster T5-8: Study of Database Consolidation Efficiency analyzes and quantifies savings in compute resources, efficiencies in transaction processing, and consolidation density of Oracle Multitenant compared to consolidated single instance databases (SIDBs) running in a bare-metal environment.

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  • How to check Early Z efficiency on AMD GPU with Windows 7

    - by Suma
    I have a game using DirectX 9, and a development station using Win 7 x64. I am still able to get access to another station with Vista x64 / dual booted with WinXP x86. I wanted to check early Z efficiency in the game and to my sadness all tools I have tried seem to be unable to perform this task: AMD PerfStudio AMD GPUPerfStudio 2 does not support DirectX 9 at all AMD GPUPerfStudio 1.2 does not install correctly on Windows 7. When I have tweaked the MSI package (a simple OS version check adjustment was needed), it complained the drivers I have do not provide needed instrumentation. The drivers old enough to support the GPUPerfStudio would most likely not be able to operate with my Radeon 5750 card (though this is something I am not 100 % sure, I did not attempt to try any older drivers, not knowing which I should look for) PIX PIX does not seem to contain any counters like this. It offers some ATI specific counters, but when I try to activate them, the PIX reports "PIX encountered a problem while attaching to the target program." I do not want to upgrade to DX 10/11 just to be able to profile the game, but it seems without the step I am somewhat locked with a toolset which is no longer supported. I see only one obvious options which would probably work, and that is using WinXP (or with a little bit of luck even Vista) station, perhaps with some older AMD card, to make sure GPUPerfStudio 1.2 works. Other than that, can anyone recommend other options how to check GPU HW counters (HiZ / EarlyZ in particular, but if others would be enabled as well, it would be a nice bonus) for a DirectX 9 game on Windows 7, preferably on AMD GPU? (If that is not possible, I would definitely prefer switching GPU to switching the OS, but before I do so I would like to know if I will not hit the same problem with nVidia again)

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  • Corporate Efficiency

    - by AndyScott
    Thoughts on streamlining the process of getting someone up to speed when they join a project as a new hire; or as is common in some companies, switch from one project to another: Has anyone heard of a strategy (including emphasis towards consistent, ongoing documentation) that would bring a user up to speed quickly? Has there been any thought given to focused documentation, specific to a role within a project? Or formalized mentoring within a project, that goes beyond a “system walkthrough”?   Often it's overlooked what time is wasted when a senior level worker is brought on board.  It's assumed that they will know the right questions to ask. They are the type of people that normally learn quickly, and in their own ways, so let them get by with what's out there.   Having a user without a computer will cost you measurable worker hours, making it an easy target to shoot at (and rightly so). Not getting them up to speed as quickly as possible is an efficiency issue, that seems to have become an industry standard as an accepted loss. Given the complexity of the projects within most companies, and the frequency with which users are shifted from one project to another based on need; I think this is an area that bears consideration.

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  • The Boston Globe Delivers Higher Satisfaction and Efficiency with Omni-Channel Support

    - by Tony Berk
    Unify customer interactions. Improve customer satisfaction. Increase agent efficiency. Better informed business decisions. These sound like a good set of goals for any business. Actually implementing processes to affect all of these is not necessarily easy for every business. On top of the normal challenges, throw in a rapidly changing industry and the challenge sounds daunting. But that's exactly what The Boston Globe took on, and customers are benefiting from a much improved experience. “We feel like we hit the bull’s eye with finding the right solution to support the growing digital environment,” said Robert Saurer, The Boston Globe's director of customer care and marketing.Oracle's RightNow CX solutions helped The Boston Globe to manage approximately 60,000 calls each month and respond to 5,000 monthly e-mails. More importantly, Web self-service rates are exploding and the online subscriber's most preferred support channel is chat. And what about social? The Boston Globe customer support team offers the same great level of support on their Facebook page and is monitoring Twitter and YouTube too! Read the full Customer Experience success story on The Boston Globe here.

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  • Php efficiency question --> Database call vs. File Write vs. Calling C++ executable

    - by JP19
    Hi, What I wish to achieve is - log all information about each and every visit to every page ofmy website (like ip address, browser, referring page, etc). Now this is easy to do. What I am interested is doing this in a way so as to cause minimum overhead (runtime) in the php scripts. What is the best approach for this efficiency-wise: 1) Log all information to a database table 2) Write to a file (from php directly) 3) Call a C++ executable, that will write this info to a file in parallel [so the script can continue execution without waiting for the file write to occur ...... is this even possible] I may be trying to optimize unnecessarily/prematurely, but still - any thoughts / ideas on this would be appreciated. (I think efficiency of file write/logging can really be a concern if I have say 100 visits per minute...) Thanks & Regards, JP

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  • Use Those Extra Mouse Buttons to Increase Efficiency

    - by Mark Virtue
    Did you know that the most commonly used mouse actions are clicking a window’s “Close” button (the X in the top-right corner), and clicking the “Back” button (in a browser and various other programs)?  How much time do you spend every day locating the Close button or the Back button with your mouse so that you can click on them?  And what about that mouse you’re using – how many buttons does it have, besides the two main ones?  Most mouses these days have at least four (including the scroll-wheel, which a lot of people don’t realize is also a button as well).  Why not assign those extra buttons to your most common mouse actions, and save yourself a bundle of mousing-around time every day? If your mouse was manufactured by one of the “premium” mouse manufacturers (Microsoft, Logitech, etc), it almost certain came with driver software to allow you to customize your mouse’s controls and take advantage of your mouse’s special features.  Microsoft, for example, provides driver software called IntelliPoint (link below), while Logitech provides SetPoint.  It’s possible that your mouse has some extra buttons but doesn’t come with its own driver software (the author is using a Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000, which amazingly is not supported by the Microsoft IntelliPoint software!).  If your mouse falls into this category, you can use a marvelous free product called X-Mouse Button Control, from Highresolution Enterprises (link below).  It provides a truly amazing array of mouse configuration options, including assigning actions to buttons on a per-application basis. Once X-Mouse Button Control is downloaded, its setup process is quite straightforward. Once downloaded, you can start the program via Start / Highresolution Enterprises / X-Mouse Button Control.  You will find the program’s icon in the system tray: Right-click on the icon and select Setup from the pop-up menu.  The program’s configuration window appears: It’s extremely unlikely that we will want to change the functionality of our mouse’s two main buttons (left and right), so instead we’ll look at the rest of the options on the right side of the window.  The Middle Button refers to either the third, middle button (found on some old mouses), or the pressing of the wheel itself, as a button (if you didn’t know you could press your wheel like a button, try it out now).  Mouse Button 4 and Mouse Button 5 usually refer to the extra buttons found on the side of the mouse, often near your thumb. So what can we use these extra mouse buttons for?  Well, clearly Close and Back are two obvious candidates.  Each of these can be found by selecting them from the drop-down menu next to each button field: Once the two options are chosen, the window will look something like this: If you’re not interested in choosing Back or Close, you may like to try some of the other options in the list, including: Cut, Copy and Paste Undo Show the Desktop Next/Previous track (for media playback) Open any program Simulate any keystroke or combination of keystrokes ….and many other options.  Explore the drop-down list to see them all. You may decide, for example, that closing the current document (as opposed to the current program) would be a good use for Mouse Button 5.  In other words, we need to simulate the keypress of Ctrl-F4.  Let’s see how we achieve this. First we select Simulated Keystrokes from the drop-down list: The Simulated Keystrokes window opens: The instructions on the page are pretty comprehensive.  If you want to simulate the Ctrl-F4 keystroke, you need to type {CTRL}{F4} into the box: …and then click OK. Assigning Actions to Buttons on a Per-Application Basis One of the most powerful features of X-Mouse Button Control is the ability to assign actions to buttons on a per-application basis.  This means that if we have a particular program open, then our mouse will behave differently – our buttons will do different things. For example, when we have Windows Media Player open, for example, we may wish to have buttons assigned to Play/Pause, Next track and Previous track, as well as changing the volume with the mouse!  This is easy with X-Mouse Button Control.  We start by opening Windows Media Player.  This makes the next step easier.  Then we return to X-Mouse Button Control and add a new “configuration”.  This is done by clicking the Add button: A window opens containing a list of all running programs, including our recently opened Windows Media Player: We select Windows Media Player and click OK.  A new, blank “configuration” is created: We repeat the earlier steps to assign buttons to Play/Pause, Next track and Previous track, and assign scrolling the wheel to alter the volume:   To save all our changes and close the window, we click Apply. Now spend a few minutes thinking of all the applications you use the most, and what are the most common simple tasks you perform in each of those applications.  Those tasks are then perfect candidates for per-application button assignments. There are many more configuration options and capabilities of X-Mouse Button Control – too many to list here.  We encourage you to spend a bit of time exploring the Setup window.  Then, most important of all, don’t forget to use your new mouse buttons!  Get into the habit of using them, and then after a while you’ll start to wonder how you ever tolerated the laborious, tedious, time-consuming process of actually locating each window’s Close button… Download X-Mouse Button Control Highresolution Enterprise Similar Articles Productive Geek Tips Add Specialized Toolbar Buttons to Firefox the Easy WayBoost Your Mouse Pointing Accuracy in WindowsMake Mouse Navigation Faster in WindowsVista Style Popup Previews for Firefox TabsStupid Geek Tricks: Using the Quick Zoom Feature in Outlook TouchFreeze Alternative in AutoHotkey The Icy Undertow Desktop Windows Home Server – Backup to LAN The Clear & Clean Desktop Use This Bookmarklet to Easily Get Albums Use AutoHotkey to Assign a Hotkey to a Specific Window Latest Software Reviews Tinyhacker Random Tips DVDFab 6 Revo Uninstaller Pro Registry Mechanic 9 for Windows PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2010 Download Videos from Hulu Pixels invade Manhattan Convert PDF files to ePub to read on your iPad Hide Your Confidential Files Inside Images Get Wildlife Photography Tips at BBC’s PhotoMasterClasses Mashpedia is a Real-time Encyclopedia

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  • SQLAuthority News – Windows Efficiency Tricks and Tips – Personal Technology Tip

    - by pinaldave
    This is the second post in my series about my favorite Technology Tips, and I wanted to focus on my favorite Microsoft product.  Choosing just one topic to cover was too hard, though.  There are so many interesting things I have to share that I am forced to turn this second installment into a five-part post.  My five favorite Windows tips and tricks. 1) You can open multiple applications using the task bar. With the new Windows 7 taskbar, you can start navigating with just one click.  For example, you can launch Word by clicking on the icon on your taskbar, and if you are using multiple different programs at the same time, you can simply click on the icon to return to Word.  However, what if you need to open another Word document, or begin a new one?  Clicking on the Word icon is just going to bring you back to your original program.  Just click on the Word icon again while holding down the shift key, and you’ll open up a new document. 2) Navigate the screen with the touch of a button – and not your mouse button. Yes, we live in a pampered age.  We have access to amazing technology, and it just gets better every year.  But have you ever found yourself wishing that right when you were in the middle of something, you didn’t have to interrupt your work flow be reaching for your mouse to navigate through the screen?  Yes, we have all been guilty of this pampered wish.  But Windows has delivered!  Now you can move your application window using your arrow keys. Lock the window to the left, right hand screen: Win+left Arrow and Win+right Arrow Maximize & minimize: Win+up arrow and Win+down arrow Minimize all items on screen: Win+M Return to your original folder, or browse through all open windows: Alt+up arrow, Alt+Left Arrow, or Alt+right arrow Close down or reopen all windows: win+home 3) Are you one of the few people who still uses Command Prompt? You know who you are, and you aren’t ashamed to still use this option that so many people have forgotten about it.  You can easily access it by holding down the shift key while RIGHT clicking on any folder. 4) Quickly select multiple files without using your mouse. We all know how to select multiple files or folders by Ctrl-clicking or Shift-clicking multiple items.  But all of us have tried this, and then accidentally released Ctrl, only to lose all our precious work.  Now there is a way to select only the files you want through a check box system.  First, go to Windows Explorer, click Organize, and then “Folder and Search Options.”  Go to the View tab, and under advanced settings, you can find a box that says “Use check boxes to select items.”  Once this has been selected, you will be able to hover your mouse over any file and a check box will appear.  This makes selecting multiple, random files quick and easy. 5) Make more out of remote access. If you work anywhere in the tech field, you are probably the go-to for computer help with friends and family, and you know the usefulness of remote access (ok, some of us use this extensively at work, as well, but we all have friends and family who rely on our skills!).  Often it is necessary to restart a computer, which is impossible in remote access as the computer will not show the shutdown menu.  To force the computer to do your wishes, we return to Command Prompt.  Open Command Prompt and type “shutdown /s” for shutdown, or “shutdown /r” for restart. I hope you will find above five tricks which I use in my daily use very important. Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com) Filed under: PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, SQLAuthority News, T SQL, Technology Tagged: Personal Technology

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  • SQLAuthority News – Android Efficiency Tips and Tricks – Personal Technology Tip #003

    - by pinaldave
    I use my phone for lots of things.  I use it mainly to replace my tablet – I can e-mail, take and edit photos, and do almost everything I can do on a laptop with this phone.  And I am sure that there are many of you out there just like me.  I personally have a Galaxy S3, which uses the Android operating system, and I have decided to feature it as the third installment of my Technology Tips and Tricks series. 1) Shortcut to your favorite contacts on home screen Access your most-called contacts easily from your home screen by holding your finger on any empty spot on the home screen.  A menu will pop up that allows you to choose Shortcuts, and Contact.  You can scroll through your contact list and then just tap on the name of the person you want to be able to dial with a single click. 2) Keep track of your data usage Yes, we all should keep a close eye on our data usage, because it is very easy to go over our limits and then end up with a giant bill at the end of the month.  Never get surprised when you open that mobile phone envelope again.  Go to Settings, then Data Usage, and you can find a quick rundown of your usage, how much data each app uses, and you can even set alarms to let you know when you are nearing the limits.   Better yet, you can set the phone to stop using data when it reaches a certain limit. 3) Bring back Good Grammar We often hear proclamations about the downfall of written language, and how texting abbreviations, misspellings, and lack of punctuation are the root of all evil.  Well, we can show all those doomsdayers that all is not lost by bringing punctuation back to texting.  Usually we leave it off when we text because it takes too long to get to the screen with all the punctuation options.  But now you can hold down the period (or “full stop”) button and a list of all the commonly-used punctuation marks will pop right up. 4) Apps, Apps, Apps and Apps And finally, I cannot end an article about smart phones without including a list of my favorite apps.  Here are a list of my Top 10 Applications on my Android (not counting social media apps). Advanced Task Killer – Keeps my phone snappy by closing un-necessary apps WhatsApp - my favorite alternate to Text SMS Flipboard - my ‘timepass’ moments Skype – keeps me close to friends and family GoogleMaps - I am never lost because of this one thing Amazon Kindle – Books my best friends DropBox - My data always safe Pluralsight Player – Learning never stops for me Samsung Kies Air – Connecting Phone to Computer Chrome – Replacing default browser I have not included any social media applications in the above list, but you can be sure that I am linked to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)   Filed under: Best Practices, PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, SQLAuthority News, T SQL, Technology Tagged: Android, Personal Technology

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  • SQLAuthority News – Android Efficiency Tips and Tricks – Personal Technology Tip

    - by pinaldave
    I use my phone for lots of things.  I use it mainly to replace my tablet – I can e-mail, take and edit photos, and do almost everything I can do on a laptop with this phone.  And I am sure that there are many of you out there just like me.  I personally have a Galaxy S3, which uses the Android operating system, and I have decided to feature it as the third installment of my Technology Tips and Tricks series. 1) Shortcut to your favorite contacts on home screen Access your most-called contacts easily from your home screen by holding your finger on any empty spot on the home screen.  A menu will pop up that allows you to choose Shortcuts, and Contact.  You can scroll through your contact list and then just tap on the name of the person you want to be able to dial with a single click. 2) Keep track of your data usage Yes, we all should keep a close eye on our data usage, because it is very easy to go over our limits and then end up with a giant bill at the end of the month.  Never get surprised when you open that mobile phone envelope again.  Go to Settings, then Data Usage, and you can find a quick rundown of your usage, how much data each app uses, and you can even set alarms to let you know when you are nearing the limits.   Better yet, you can set the phone to stop using data when it reaches a certain limit. 3) Bring back Good Grammar We often hear proclamations about the downfall of written language, and how texting abbreviations, misspellings, and lack of punctuation are the root of all evil.  Well, we can show all those doomsdayers that all is not lost by bringing punctuation back to texting.  Usually we leave it off when we text because it takes too long to get to the screen with all the punctuation options.  But now you can hold down the period (or “full stop”) button and a list of all the commonly-used punctuation marks will pop right up. 4) Apps, Apps, Apps and Apps And finally, I cannot end an article about smart phones without including a list of my favorite apps.  Here are a list of my Top 10 Applications on my Android (not counting social media apps). Advanced Task Killer – Keeps my phone snappy by closing un-necessary apps WhatsApp - my favorite alternate to Text SMS Flipboard - my ‘timepass’ moments Skype – keeps me close to friends and family GoogleMaps - I am never lost because of this one thing Amazon Kindle – Books my best friends DropBox - My data always safe Pluralsight Player – Learning never stops for me Samsung Kies Air – Connecting Phone to Computer Chrome – Replacing default browser I have not included any social media applications in the above list, but you can be sure that I am linked to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)   Filed under: Best Practices, PostADay, SQL, SQL Authority, SQL Query, SQL Server, SQL Tips and Tricks, SQLAuthority News, T SQL, Technology Tagged: Android, Personal Technology

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  • Stack vs queue -based programming language efficiency [closed]

    - by Core Xii
    Suppose there are two programming languages; one where the only form of storage is one (preferred) or two (may be required for Turing-completeness) stacks, and another where the only form of storage is a single queue, with appropriate instructions in each to manipulate their respective storage to achieve Turing-completeness. Which one can more efficiently encode complex algorithms? Such that most given algorithms take less code to implement, less time to compute and less memory to do so. Also, how do they compare to a language with a traditional array (or unbounded tape, if you will) as storage?

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  • Ball bouncing at a certain angle and efficiency computations

    - by X Y
    I would like to make a pong game with a small twist (for now). Every time the ball bounces off one of the paddles i want it to be under a certain angle (between a min and a max). I simply can't wrap my head around how to actually do it (i have some thoughts and such but i simply cannot implement them properly - i feel i'm overcomplicating things). Here's an image with a small explanation . One other problem would be that the conditions for bouncing have to be different for every edge. For example, in the picture, on the two small horizontal edges i do not want a perfectly vertical bounce when in the middle of the edge but rather a constant angle (pi/4 maybe) in either direction depending on the collision point (before the middle of the edge, or after). All of my collisions are done with the Separating Axes Theorem (and seem to work fine). I'm looking for something efficient because i want to add a lot of things later on (maybe polygons with many edges and such). So i need to keep to a minimum the amount of checking done every frame. The collision algorithm begins testing whenever the bounding boxes of the paddle and the ball intersect. Is there something better to test for possible collisions every frame? (more efficient in the long run,with many more objects etc, not necessarily easy to code). I'm going to post the code for my game: Paddle Class public class Paddle : Microsoft.Xna.Framework.DrawableGameComponent { #region Private Members private SpriteBatch spriteBatch; private ContentManager contentManager; private bool keybEnabled; private bool isLeftPaddle; private Texture2D paddleSprite; private Vector2 paddlePosition; private float paddleSpeedY; private Vector2 paddleScale = new Vector2(1f, 1f); private const float DEFAULT_Y_SPEED = 150; private Vector2[] Normals2Edges; private Vector2[] Vertices = new Vector2[4]; private List<Vector2> lst = new List<Vector2>(); private Vector2 Edge; #endregion #region Properties public float Speed { get {return paddleSpeedY; } set { paddleSpeedY = value; } } public Vector2[] Normal2EdgesVector { get { NormalsToEdges(this.isLeftPaddle); return Normals2Edges; } } public Vector2[] VertexVector { get { return Vertices; } } public Vector2 Scale { get { return paddleScale; } set { paddleScale = value; NormalsToEdges(this.isLeftPaddle); } } public float X { get { return paddlePosition.X; } set { paddlePosition.X = value; } } public float Y { get { return paddlePosition.Y; } set { paddlePosition.Y = value; } } public float Width { get { return (Scale.X == 1f ? (float)paddleSprite.Width : paddleSprite.Width * Scale.X); } } public float Height { get { return ( Scale.Y==1f ? (float)paddleSprite.Height : paddleSprite.Height*Scale.Y ); } } public Texture2D GetSprite { get { return paddleSprite; } } public Rectangle Boundary { get { return new Rectangle((int)paddlePosition.X, (int)paddlePosition.Y, (int)this.Width, (int)this.Height); } } public bool KeyboardEnabled { get { return keybEnabled; } } #endregion private void NormalsToEdges(bool isLeftPaddle) { Normals2Edges = null; Edge = Vector2.Zero; lst.Clear(); for (int i = 0; i < Vertices.Length; i++) { Edge = Vertices[i + 1 == Vertices.Length ? 0 : i + 1] - Vertices[i]; if (Edge != Vector2.Zero) { Edge.Normalize(); //outer normal to edge !! (origin in top-left) lst.Add(new Vector2(Edge.Y, -Edge.X)); } } Normals2Edges = lst.ToArray(); } public float[] ProjectPaddle(Vector2 axis) { if (Vertices.Length == 0 || axis == Vector2.Zero) return (new float[2] { 0, 0 }); float min, max; min = Vector2.Dot(axis, Vertices[0]); max = min; for (int i = 1; i < Vertices.Length; i++) { float p = Vector2.Dot(axis, Vertices[i]); if (p < min) min = p; else if (p > max) max = p; } return (new float[2] { min, max }); } public Paddle(Game game, bool isLeftPaddle, bool enableKeyboard = true) : base(game) { contentManager = new ContentManager(game.Services); keybEnabled = enableKeyboard; this.isLeftPaddle = isLeftPaddle; } public void setPosition(Vector2 newPos) { X = newPos.X; Y = newPos.Y; } public override void Initialize() { base.Initialize(); this.Speed = DEFAULT_Y_SPEED; X = 0; Y = 0; NormalsToEdges(this.isLeftPaddle); } protected override void LoadContent() { spriteBatch = new SpriteBatch(GraphicsDevice); paddleSprite = contentManager.Load<Texture2D>(@"Content\pongBar"); } public override void Update(GameTime gameTime) { //vertices array Vertices[0] = this.paddlePosition; Vertices[1] = this.paddlePosition + new Vector2(this.Width, 0); Vertices[2] = this.paddlePosition + new Vector2(this.Width, this.Height); Vertices[3] = this.paddlePosition + new Vector2(0, this.Height); // Move paddle, but don't allow movement off the screen if (KeyboardEnabled) { float moveDistance = Speed * (float)gameTime.ElapsedGameTime.TotalSeconds; KeyboardState newKeyState = Keyboard.GetState(); if (newKeyState.IsKeyDown(Keys.Down) && Y + paddleSprite.Height + moveDistance <= Game.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height) { Y += moveDistance; } else if (newKeyState.IsKeyDown(Keys.Up) && Y - moveDistance >= 0) { Y -= moveDistance; } } else { if (this.Y + this.Height > this.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height) { this.Y = this.Game.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height - this.Height - 1; } } base.Update(gameTime); } public override void Draw(GameTime gameTime) { spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteSortMode.Texture,null); spriteBatch.Draw(paddleSprite, paddlePosition, null, Color.White, 0f, Vector2.Zero, Scale, SpriteEffects.None, 0); spriteBatch.End(); base.Draw(gameTime); } } Ball Class public class Ball : Microsoft.Xna.Framework.DrawableGameComponent { #region Private Members private SpriteBatch spriteBatch; private ContentManager contentManager; private const float DEFAULT_SPEED = 50; private float speedIncrement = 0; private Vector2 ballScale = new Vector2(1f, 1f); private const float INCREASE_SPEED = 50; private Texture2D ballSprite; //initial texture private Vector2 ballPosition; //position private Vector2 centerOfBall; //center coords private Vector2 ballSpeed = new Vector2(DEFAULT_SPEED, DEFAULT_SPEED); //speed #endregion #region Properties public float DEFAULTSPEED { get { return DEFAULT_SPEED; } } public Vector2 ballCenter { get { return centerOfBall; } } public Vector2 Scale { get { return ballScale; } set { ballScale = value; } } public float SpeedX { get { return ballSpeed.X; } set { ballSpeed.X = value; } } public float SpeedY { get { return ballSpeed.Y; } set { ballSpeed.Y = value; } } public float X { get { return ballPosition.X; } set { ballPosition.X = value; } } public float Y { get { return ballPosition.Y; } set { ballPosition.Y = value; } } public Texture2D GetSprite { get { return ballSprite; } } public float Width { get { return (Scale.X == 1f ? (float)ballSprite.Width : ballSprite.Width * Scale.X); } } public float Height { get { return (Scale.Y == 1f ? (float)ballSprite.Height : ballSprite.Height * Scale.Y); } } public float SpeedIncreaseIncrement { get { return speedIncrement; } set { speedIncrement = value; } } public Rectangle Boundary { get { return new Rectangle((int)ballPosition.X, (int)ballPosition.Y, (int)this.Width, (int)this.Height); } } #endregion public Ball(Game game) : base(game) { contentManager = new ContentManager(game.Services); } public void Reset() { ballSpeed.X = DEFAULT_SPEED; ballSpeed.Y = DEFAULT_SPEED; ballPosition.X = Game.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Width / 2 - ballSprite.Width / 2; ballPosition.Y = Game.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height / 2 - ballSprite.Height / 2; } public void SpeedUp() { if (ballSpeed.Y < 0) ballSpeed.Y -= (INCREASE_SPEED + speedIncrement); else ballSpeed.Y += (INCREASE_SPEED + speedIncrement); if (ballSpeed.X < 0) ballSpeed.X -= (INCREASE_SPEED + speedIncrement); else ballSpeed.X += (INCREASE_SPEED + speedIncrement); } public float[] ProjectBall(Vector2 axis) { if (axis == Vector2.Zero) return (new float[2] { 0, 0 }); float min, max; min = Vector2.Dot(axis, this.ballCenter) - this.Width/2; //center - radius max = min + this.Width; //center + radius return (new float[2] { min, max }); } public void ChangeHorzDirection() { ballSpeed.X *= -1; } public void ChangeVertDirection() { ballSpeed.Y *= -1; } public override void Initialize() { base.Initialize(); ballPosition.X = Game.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Width / 2 - ballSprite.Width / 2; ballPosition.Y = Game.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height / 2 - ballSprite.Height / 2; } protected override void LoadContent() { spriteBatch = new SpriteBatch(GraphicsDevice); ballSprite = contentManager.Load<Texture2D>(@"Content\ball"); } public override void Update(GameTime gameTime) { if (this.Y < 1 || this.Y > GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height - this.Height - 1) this.ChangeVertDirection(); centerOfBall = new Vector2(ballPosition.X + this.Width / 2, ballPosition.Y + this.Height / 2); base.Update(gameTime); } public override void Draw(GameTime gameTime) { spriteBatch.Begin(); spriteBatch.Draw(ballSprite, ballPosition, null, Color.White, 0f, Vector2.Zero, Scale, SpriteEffects.None, 0); spriteBatch.End(); base.Draw(gameTime); } } Main game class public class gameStart : Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game { GraphicsDeviceManager graphics; SpriteBatch spriteBatch; public gameStart() { graphics = new GraphicsDeviceManager(this); Content.RootDirectory = "Content"; this.Window.Title = "Pong game"; } protected override void Initialize() { ball = new Ball(this); paddleLeft = new Paddle(this,true,false); paddleRight = new Paddle(this,false,true); Components.Add(ball); Components.Add(paddleLeft); Components.Add(paddleRight); this.Window.AllowUserResizing = false; this.IsMouseVisible = true; this.IsFixedTimeStep = false; this.isColliding = false; base.Initialize(); } #region MyPrivateStuff private Ball ball; private Paddle paddleLeft, paddleRight; private int[] bit = { -1, 1 }; private Random rnd = new Random(); private int updates = 0; enum nrPaddle { None, Left, Right }; private nrPaddle PongBar = nrPaddle.None; private ArrayList Axes = new ArrayList(); private Vector2 MTV; //minimum translation vector private bool isColliding; private float overlap; //smallest distance after projections private Vector2 overlapAxis; //axis of overlap #endregion protected override void LoadContent() { spriteBatch = new SpriteBatch(GraphicsDevice); paddleLeft.setPosition(new Vector2(0, this.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height / 2 - paddleLeft.Height / 2)); paddleRight.setPosition(new Vector2(this.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Width - paddleRight.Width, this.GraphicsDevice.Viewport.Height / 2 - paddleRight.Height / 2)); paddleLeft.Scale = new Vector2(1f, 2f); //scale left paddle } private bool ShapesIntersect(Paddle paddle, Ball ball) { overlap = 1000000f; //large value overlapAxis = Vector2.Zero; MTV = Vector2.Zero; foreach (Vector2 ax in Axes) { float[] pad = paddle.ProjectPaddle(ax); //pad0 = min, pad1 = max float[] circle = ball.ProjectBall(ax); //circle0 = min, circle1 = max if (pad[1] <= circle[0] || circle[1] <= pad[0]) { return false; } if (pad[1] - circle[0] < circle[1] - pad[0]) { if (Math.Abs(overlap) > Math.Abs(-pad[1] + circle[0])) { overlap = -pad[1] + circle[0]; overlapAxis = ax; } } else { if (Math.Abs(overlap) > Math.Abs(circle[1] - pad[0])) { overlap = circle[1] - pad[0]; overlapAxis = ax; } } } if (overlapAxis != Vector2.Zero) { MTV = overlapAxis * overlap; } return true; } protected override void Update(GameTime gameTime) { updates += 1; float ftime = 5 * (float)gameTime.ElapsedGameTime.TotalSeconds; if (updates == 1) { isColliding = false; int Xrnd = bit[Convert.ToInt32(rnd.Next(0, 2))]; int Yrnd = bit[Convert.ToInt32(rnd.Next(0, 2))]; ball.SpeedX = Xrnd * ball.SpeedX; ball.SpeedY = Yrnd * ball.SpeedY; ball.X += ftime * ball.SpeedX; ball.Y += ftime * ball.SpeedY; } else { updates = 100; ball.X += ftime * ball.SpeedX; ball.Y += ftime * ball.SpeedY; } //autorun :) paddleLeft.Y = ball.Y; //collision detection PongBar = nrPaddle.None; if (ball.Boundary.Intersects(paddleLeft.Boundary)) { PongBar = nrPaddle.Left; if (!isColliding) { Axes.Clear(); Axes.AddRange(paddleLeft.Normal2EdgesVector); //axis from nearest vertex to ball's center Axes.Add(FORMULAS.NormAxisFromCircle2ClosestVertex(paddleLeft.VertexVector, ball.ballCenter)); } } else if (ball.Boundary.Intersects(paddleRight.Boundary)) { PongBar = nrPaddle.Right; if (!isColliding) { Axes.Clear(); Axes.AddRange(paddleRight.Normal2EdgesVector); //axis from nearest vertex to ball's center Axes.Add(FORMULAS.NormAxisFromCircle2ClosestVertex(paddleRight.VertexVector, ball.ballCenter)); } } if (PongBar != nrPaddle.None && !isColliding) switch (PongBar) { case nrPaddle.Left: if (ShapesIntersect(paddleLeft, ball)) { isColliding = true; if (MTV != Vector2.Zero) ball.X += MTV.X; ball.Y += MTV.Y; ball.ChangeHorzDirection(); } break; case nrPaddle.Right: if (ShapesIntersect(paddleRight, ball)) { isColliding = true; if (MTV != Vector2.Zero) ball.X += MTV.X; ball.Y += MTV.Y; ball.ChangeHorzDirection(); } break; default: break; } if (!ShapesIntersect(paddleRight, ball) && !ShapesIntersect(paddleLeft, ball)) isColliding = false; ball.X += ftime * ball.SpeedX; ball.Y += ftime * ball.SpeedY; //check ball movement if (ball.X > paddleRight.X + paddleRight.Width + 2) { //IncreaseScore(Left); ball.Reset(); updates = 0; return; } else if (ball.X < paddleLeft.X - 2) { //IncreaseScore(Right); ball.Reset(); updates = 0; return; } base.Update(gameTime); } protected override void Draw(GameTime gameTime) { GraphicsDevice.Clear(Color.Aquamarine); spriteBatch.Begin(SpriteSortMode.BackToFront, BlendState.AlphaBlend); spriteBatch.End(); base.Draw(gameTime); } } And one method i've used: public static Vector2 NormAxisFromCircle2ClosestVertex(Vector2[] vertices, Vector2 circle) { Vector2 temp = Vector2.Zero; if (vertices.Length > 0) { float dist = (circle.X - vertices[0].X) * (circle.X - vertices[0].X) + (circle.Y - vertices[0].Y) * (circle.Y - vertices[0].Y); for (int i = 1; i < vertices.Length;i++) { if (dist > (circle.X - vertices[i].X) * (circle.X - vertices[i].X) + (circle.Y - vertices[i].Y) * (circle.Y - vertices[i].Y)) { temp = vertices[i]; //memorize the closest vertex dist = (circle.X - vertices[i].X) * (circle.X - vertices[i].X) + (circle.Y - vertices[i].Y) * (circle.Y - vertices[i].Y); } } temp = circle - temp; temp.Normalize(); } return temp; } Thanks in advance for any tips on the 4 issues. EDIT1: Something isn't working properly. The collision axis doesn't come out right and the interpolation also seems to have no effect. I've changed the code a bit: private bool ShapesIntersect(Paddle paddle, Ball ball) { overlap = 1000000f; //large value overlapAxis = Vector2.Zero; MTV = Vector2.Zero; foreach (Vector2 ax in Axes) { float[] pad = paddle.ProjectPaddle(ax); //pad0 = min, pad1 = max float[] circle = ball.ProjectBall(ax); //circle0 = min, circle1 = max if (pad[1] < circle[0] || circle[1] < pad[0]) { return false; } if (Math.Abs(pad[1] - circle[0]) < Math.Abs(circle[1] - pad[0])) { if (Math.Abs(overlap) > Math.Abs(-pad[1] + circle[0])) { overlap = -pad[1] + circle[0]; overlapAxis = ax * (-1); } //to get the proper axis } else { if (Math.Abs(overlap) > Math.Abs(circle[1] - pad[0])) { overlap = circle[1] - pad[0]; overlapAxis = ax; } } } if (overlapAxis != Vector2.Zero) { MTV = overlapAxis * Math.Abs(overlap); } return true; } And part of the Update method: if (ShapesIntersect(paddleRight, ball)) { isColliding = true; if (MTV != Vector2.Zero) { ball.X += MTV.X; ball.Y += MTV.Y; } //test if (overlapAxis.X == 0) //collision with horizontal edge { } else if (overlapAxis.Y == 0) //collision with vertical edge { float factor = Math.Abs(ball.ballCenter.Y - paddleRight.Y) / paddleRight.Height; if (factor > 1) factor = 1f; if (overlapAxis.X < 0) //left edge? ball.Speed = ball.DEFAULTSPEED * Vector2.Normalize(Vector2.Reflect(ball.Speed, (Vector2.Lerp(new Vector2(-1, -3), new Vector2(-1, 3), factor)))); else //right edge? ball.Speed = ball.DEFAULTSPEED * Vector2.Normalize(Vector2.Reflect(ball.Speed, (Vector2.Lerp(new Vector2(1, -3), new Vector2(1, 3), factor)))); } else //vertex collision??? { ball.Speed = -ball.Speed; } } What seems to happen is that "overlapAxis" doesn't always return the right one. 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