March 2009

How Many Friends Can You Follow?

March 10, 2009

The rise of social networks like Facebook and Orkut allow you to easily follow the happenings of your friends. Twitter allows you to keep track of what they are doing on a real‐time basis. But how many people can you truly follow? The Economist has an article which spreads some light on this: Robin Dunbar, […]

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Understand Normalization Before Denormalizing

March 7, 2009

Database denormalization is an area which is frequently misunderstood and gets software developers into trouble. Many developers seem to think that denormalization is the antithesis of normalization and have conflicting goals. You frequently read people demonizing normalization as a straitjacket that reduces the performance of the system and makes coding complicated. This is a misunderstanding of […]

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Lying about Reading Books

March 6, 2009

Apparently, 65% of Britons interviewed in a survey admitted to lying about reading the following books: (What I have read is in bold) 1984, by George Orwell (42%): Partly read and dropped War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy (31%) Ulysses, by James Joyce (25%) The Bible (24%): Partly read (The Old Testament, and the 4 […]

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Market Correction Still in Progress

March 5, 2009

Once again raising the specter of a great Depression, the stock markets today are at fresh 12‐year lows. Citigroup shares at less than a dollar and nationalization (by whatever term it will be called) imminent. To rephrase a tired joke, you could have made a million dollars in Citi stocks, provided you had 27 million […]

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Real Education Reform

March 4, 2009

Every year during election season, we hear politicians bemoan the state of the American education system. We are presented with statistics that show European countries way ahead of America on math and science scores. Also, there is no dearth of horror scenarios where China and India graduate millions of engineers every year with Americans finding […]

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Discussions and Arguments

March 2, 2009

One of my acquaintances is fond of saying, “You can wake up a sleeping person, but it is impossible to wake a person who is pretending to sleep.” I am reminded about this when talking to some people. There are people with whom you can have a meaningful conversation. With others, it feels like talking […]

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Organizational Hand‐Shaking

March 1, 2009

In a previous article about outsourcing, I briefly mentioned “hand‐shaking” between the customer and the vendor. By this, I meant that both parties should go through a phase of understanding about how each side operates. This allows them to communicate properly and complement each other’s weaknesses. If this step is not present, small issues can […]

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