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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

Featured Content

What's New at Experts Exchange
From SLO and beyond

What people are saying about EE

Nata's Corner
iOS7, Google and your old iPad

SQL Math Query
sdstuber takes on tiles

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through Sept. 21

What's New at E-E

New Topic Advisors: We have added a few more: RainerJ, woolmilkporc, ChrisStanyon, apache09 and mccarl. If you're interested in learning about the Topic Advisor program, you should contact the Admins.

Survey: Experts Exchange is beginning to develop an on-site notifications feature, and is seeking user feedback for it. If you're willing to provide your thoughts on the new feature, please take our survey.

New guest blog: If you didn't get a chance to see it, take a look at teksquisite's recent guest blog post on Experts Exchange, about how Facebook can delete your profile arbitrarily, without any recourse. "Never build your business around Facebook," she writes. "Think of all third-party sites as fluid; here today and potentially gone tomorrow."

Also on the EE blog: the first in a series of posts that highlight great solutions from Experts. Selected by the Topic Advisors, we'll be bringing out the questions and answers that are interesting, profound, or even just entertaining. Expect to see a variety of some really good stuff!

MVEMost Valuable Experts: You only have a few days left to nominate your favorite Expert for the Gamma class of Most Valuable Experts at Experts Exchange. Read about the Alpha and Beta classes, and then let us know who you think the best of the best are.

Expert badge: If you haven't grabbed one already, be sure to nab your very own certified Expert Badge and show off your skills on your personal blog or website. All the cool kids are doing it!

DrackulaUnlimited racks for $29/mo: It's a data center app that doesn't bite, also known as dRACKula. Now you can get unlimited users and manage unlimited racks and datacenters for just $29 a month or $299 a year.

BugfinderBugFinder: BugFinder is Experts Exchange's new system that allows you to post your website and have Experts help you find the problems with spelling and grammar, display issues, functionality and security issues, or just get feedback. You assign points based on the nature of the bugs found, and can reward those Experts who help you out the most. Check it out.

Free trial: Know someone who could benefit from Experts Exchange, but who has always said that s/he doesn't want to spend some money on something without trying it? Have that person fill out this form and they'll get a 90-day free trial.


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baub_eis was having some issues with a SQL query after his web host migrated servers. He got more information than he counted on from The_Big_Daddy and padas: "Thanks on the SQL injection stuff. I'm familiar with it I've had to fight it off before. Thanks for all of your help. I believe that when I was entering test data to test what was going on i got the phrase 'test' inserted into a 'int' field. So that was the problem. So I'm giving the majority of points to Big Daddy. But I'm gonna give a few to the others that chimed in. As being a web developer that is a one man show, I don't always have other folks to ask questions and this forum has saved me I don't know how many times. My appreciation goes out to all of you!"

Over the past few months, isnoend2001 has posted quite a few questions in the web development topic areas, including one recently about using CSS to make his page layout more SEO-friendly. padas helped out there too, along with DaveBaldwin: "padas thanks for taking the time and the links, very informative. I had not decided to rearrange the layout, just wanted to see if it could be done. Took me about 2 months to change the old table based layout to html5. Thanks to you guys i did it."

BostonBob wanted to download stock trading information from Yahoo -- a fairly frequent request in the Excel TA -- for 184 different ticker symbols. His existing code took over a minute to make the updates, and wasn't bringing back all the desired information. byundt rewrote the code so it took less than a second to run, got all the info, and updated values automatically both when the workbook opened and then every five minutes after that: "Can I give 50,000 points? So awesome and so solved. You're a super-hero. thanks! thanks! and thanks! again! A = Awesome. Totally beyond the call of duty. You redid the entire sub and then some....and I just wanted it to be 'tweaked.'"

SQL Math Query

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It's not every day that one of the top Experts in a topic area posts a question about that topic, but then again, installing new flooring can be an inspiration.

sdstuber explains why he asked a question about coming up with a query that would identify "N >= X such that Y is evenly divisible by N", given that X <= Y. "The question started from the overlap of two events: One, me answering another person's question on a related topic (creating files of a fixed size) and second, me getting some new flooring installed.

Between the two of those I came up with the simply phrased question with a not-so simple solution. My goal was to try to avoid doing prime factorization. As mentioned in the thread I already have a table of primes and code to generate others as needed as well as the ability to generate compound factors of the primes. However, that is not only complicated but expensive.

At this point, in reading through all of the posts in the thread, the editor's eyes began to glaze over a little. If you're not an Expert in Oracle, SQL queries, some coding and prime numbers, be prepared to read some of the posts a few times.

So, I wanted the simplest code that could still perform well, with more emphasis on the performance. What Nick67 brought was a repeated focus on the primes and factors with multiple presentations, noting their use for shortcuts inthe relationship between odd and even factors as well the importance of a square root limit in finding factors.

Most importantly, he beat in that they are the only viable means as the numbers get really big. While I did eventually keep a large part of my own code, I eventually had to reverse my position on how to solve for inputs that were too big simply brute force through."

So why does all this matter? PortletPaul, no slouch when it comes to databases, asked that too. "I currently have no business use. However a couple of place it could apply would be tiling rectangular areas or determining a fixed width for text given a minimum width requirement," sdstuber replied. "For example: I have 120 one-foot square tiles to layout for an area. I have a 7-foot long object that could be anywhere in my tiled area. What is the minimum width I can use and generate a rectangular area? Answer: 8. That's a simple one, most could probably do it in their head, I'm looking for the most efficient means of generating that answer for a general case."

So the next time you're posting a solution -- or even a question -- try to use sdstuber's question as an example. You never know where or when it might lead someone to The Next Big Thing.

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PictureThe other half's golf gameNot everyone is happy with Apple's iOS 7. Still... six pages of review?

It shouldn't come as a big surprise that the reason about half the people who quit Facebook do so because of privacy concerns, and it shouldn't come as a big surprise that sites that existed to remove your profile were the targets of Facebook's lawyers. There's still hope, though: Cynthia Perla, who hasn't updated her website in over two years, wrote a macro that deletes all the groups that you didn't start in about the time it takes to make a cup of coffee. Other people have kept updating it through all of Facebook's changes.

I should also mention Bliss Control here. If you're one of those people who has accounts on a number of different social sites, you can at least make everything consistent. Or not. But the best part is that they keep the site updated, so if you want to change the third party settings on your Facebook account, you don't have to go digging through your profile to find them. Another site that will help you manage your privacy is Adjust Your Privacy. While it lets you change your settings on a lot more sites, it only deals with the ones that affect your privacy. It also has tools to help you opt out of online tracking.

My other half uses Google -- a lot, considering how many times he's said they're evil and hypocritical and have bad breath -- so I sent him the link to instructions for getting away from them. Of course, that won't change the fact that information about you is still being collected, because everyone who you're not going to stop replying to emails sent from Google accounts, are you? And they still collect data on who visits what websites, too, so no matter what you do, Google will know. And if you think using something like the Tor network will keep you from prying eyes, guess again. An appeals court has decided that we may soon find out exactly what Google does collect.

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft announced it would give you $200 credit to trade in your iPad for a Microsoft Surface. Then last week, they upped the ante. The catches: my iPad I isn't included in the deal, and the credit is a gift card that must be used on a Microsoft device, like a Surface. Just remember -- a new Surface was announced yesterday.

In Brief

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Somebody's gonna sue: A professor at the University of Vienna has built a device that lets you scan a book from a Kindle. Don't expect it on the market by Christmas, though. And Google's owners were paying $3.19 a gallon for fuel for their fleet of jets, everyone else was paying about $4.35. It pays to be rich. Now, see... if Blackberry had gotten the same deal...

Somebody did sue: A doctor in Ohio has filed a class action lawsuit against Apple for not getting a discount from iTunes. LinkedIn is being sued for far more substantial reasons.

When there's nothing on TV: An oral history of the "collision between journalism and digital technology" (if you like listening to wealthy white folks talking about why the media business is becoming irrelevant). Or you can imitate modus_operandi and go for Rocky's run in Philly.

The next big thing: Twitter's eventual IPO. They got unsolicited advice from Mark Zuckerberg, who knows a few things about messed up IPOs.

Wonders never cease: The IgNoble Awards have been handed out. Our favorite: the psychology prize for confirming, by experiment, that people who think they are drunk also think they are attractive. Next year they're going to reveal if they think they're better dancers.

It's not too early to start working on getting your editor one of these for Christmas. Just don't send him a new job title.

In requiem: Joy Covey, Amazon's first CFO. Ray Dolby, inventor of the noise-reduction system and developer of surround-sound. Calvin Coolidge Worthington. If you never saw his commercials, your television viewing history is sorely lacking. Relapsing: BlackBerry.

Still waiting for someone to Google Map it: Grand Theft Auto V is out. So are the protesters and haters.

Maybe they'll get it right this time: Microsoft has new Surface products. Apple still has trouble with the download concept though (but not the hype concept), and Google has given the EU another offer to settle their antitrust case.

Speaking of the new iPhones, Nokia was amused and not only is there already a bounty for hacking the fingerprint identification system, there's a group that says they've done it.

What're they gonna do? Arrest Google? Add Facebook and Yahoo to the list of companies trying to get permission to reveal what data the government secretly asks for.

We can think of a few people who should have applied: Over 200,000 people have applied to be settlers on Mars. The final groups will be selected over the next two years. We'll let you decide who should go.

Show me the money: Verizon and the FCC are back in court over "Net Neutrality" [video], which is a euphemism for "charging the big boys more money". Also, HP has been dropped from the Dow Jones 30 industrial averages.

Whatever floats your boat: The big expensive toys for billionaires are gone from San Francisco bay, but the technology will be on televised sporting events forever.

Speechless: We don't know exactly how to react. On the other hand, we do know how to react to the story of a teenaged suicide winding up on a Facebook sponsored ad for a dating site. Facebook apologized, but still. And then there's this guy.

Signs of the Apocalypse: AllThingsDigital's founders and stars are parting ways with their owners. Chinese capitalism at its best. Samsung is building the A7 processor for Apple's new iPhone 5S. Yes, that Samsung.


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New Geniuses: Two long-time members have earned their first Genius certificates. pepr earned his in Python Scripting, while Ark picked one up in Visual Basic. Congratulations on your achievements!


  • slightwv, the top overall Expert in Oracle, has earned 7,000,000 points in that topic area.
  • aneeshattingal is the 30th member of Experts Exchange to earn 11,000,000 points.
  • LSMConsulting has earned 9,000,000 points in the Access topic area.
  • emoreau has reached the 8,000,000 point level overall.
  • PeteLong has become the 76th EE member to have 6,000,000 points.
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
Gertone.NET ProgrammingGuru
samirbhogayta.NET ProgrammingMaster
achaldaveActive DirectoryMaster
seth2740Active DirectoryMaster
eoinosullivanApple HardwareGuru
MereteDigital Living SoftwareGuru
n2fcEE LoungeMaster
ve3ofaHardware ComponentsMaster
diverseitHardware FirewallsMaster
MereteIllustration SoftwareMaster
RainerJMicrosoft IIS Web ServerMaster
julianHMisc DatabasesMaster
TomRScottMisc NetworkingMaster
aikimarkMS ApplicationsGuru
FaustulusMS OfficeMaster
joewinogradMS OfficeMaster
cgaliherMS Server OSGuru
SubsunMS Server OSMaster
ve3ofaMS Server OSWizard
cpkilekofpMS SQL ServerGuru
DcpKingMS SQL ServerGuru
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
JamesBurgerMS SQL ServerMaster
Tony303MS SQL Server 2005Master
mlmccMS SQL Server 2008Guru
Louis01MS SQL Server 2008Master
TomasHelgiMySQL ServerWizard
surbabu140977Network ManagementMaster
dvzOracle DatabaseSage
breadtanOS SecurityWizard
jerryb30Query SyntaxGuru
cgaliherRemote AccessMaster
sushil84SBS Small Business ServerMaster
TG-TISSBS Small Business ServerMaster
arnoldServer SoftwareMaster
SubsunShell ScriptingMaster
padasSocial NetworkingMaster
ArkVisual Basic ClassicGenius
Ray_PaseurWeb Dev SoftwareGuru
padasWeb Languages/StandardsGuru
trgrassijr55Windows 2003 ServerMaster
joinaunionWindows 7Master
aadihWindows 8Master
garycaseWindows 8Master
breadtanWindows NetworkingMaster
DaveBaldwinWindows NetworkingMaster
ded9Windows OSGuru
Spec01Windows Server 2008Guru
AndrewJDavisWindows Server 2008Master
ded9Windows Server 2008Master
sarang_tinguriaWindows Server 2008Wizard
strungWireless NetworkingMaster