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Un-SQL Friday: Stop SOPA!

This will be an unusually political Un-SQL Friday – and it’s two days early, to boot – but I’m making an exception to my no-politics-in-SQL rule – because it’s about internet freedoms.

I hereby declare this WEDNESDAY Un-SQL Friday. While T-SQL Tuesday is “…the SQL Server blogosphere’s first recurring, revolving blog party….on the chosen [SQL-related] topic,” UN-SQL Friday is a completely intermittant blog party about something SQL-adjacent.

This week’s Un-SQL Friday roundup is about SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Please take a couple minutes and read up…if this is meaningful to you, then blog and do what you can to spread the word on Wednesday, November 16 – American Censorship Day. Get involved however you feel you can best make a difference.

The internet is a wonderful, free place, and I believe that measures to combat piracy should be better targeted than SOPA.

Be sure to mention in your blog that you’re writing for Un-SQL Friday, and link to this post. Have it up ASAP…before midnight on Wednesday, November 16 is best. But we always take late submissions.


Here are a few highlights and articles to get you started.

11/17 addition: International human rights community vs.SOPA: “An enormous, diverse global coalition of press freedom and human rights groups have signed onto a letter (PDF) opposing America’s Stop Online Piracy Act, the worst proposed Internet law in the USA’s legislative history.”

PCWorld article: House hearing on Stop Online Piracy Act scheduled

BoingBoing: Stop SOPA Save the internet

  • The worst bill in Internet history is about to become law. …this law would give government and corporations the power to block sites like BoingBoing over infringing links on at least one webpage posted by their users.
  • …[government gets] unbelievable power to take down sites, threaten payment processors into stopping payment to sites on a blacklist, and throw people in jail for posting ordinary content …
  • Internet and democracy groups are planning an Internet-wide day of protest called American Censorship Day on Wednesday, November 16th for the day Congress holds a hearing on these bills to create the first American Internet censorship system. Every single person with a website can join and needs to.

Digital Digest: Internet Security And Innovation Under Threat From SOPA

  • The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) could have a drastic effect on software development, and Internet security, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned.
    SOPA would allow the government to blacklist websites and services via the Domain Name System (DNS).
  • The EFF also warns that many Internet security tools, such as firewalls or the widely used SSH tool, come with proxy and VPN functions, and under SOPA, any of these tools could be made illegal.

More from Digital Digest: US House of Reps Introduce New Controversial Copyright Bill

  • …the new legislation gives the government broad powers to intervene in what is traditionally a civil matter, to allow domestic websites to be seized, and injunctions filed against foreign websites, at the behest of Hollywood and the music industry, the two major industries supporting the bill

ZDNet: New house of representatives bill may strangle the internet or nerf the first amendment

  • SOPA wants to give, well, pretty much anyone with a law degree the right to shut down Web sites and domains. SOPA has some nasty teeth. First, according to the EFF, it allows individual companies to force payment processors (think PayPal or VISA) to stop paying any site that might be considered to be engaging in, enabling, or facilitating any form of copyright infringement.Let’s first look at how this might impact you. What cloud-based services do you use? Gmail? Dropbox? Amazon’s music sharing service? What about eBay? What about Facebook? Or perhaps you simply host your corporate email at an Exchange hosting provider, like I do.Let’s use that last one, as an example. My hosting provider, like most, offers a free SharePoint account along with their email hosting. Let’s say one of their other customers uploads something they shouldn’t. This new legislation would allow any other private company (including my hosting provider’s competitors) to demand that payment agencies cut off payments, effectively strangling cash flow and shutting the company down.

CNet: SOPA Hollywoods latest effort to turn back time

Major thanks to BoingBoing, without whom I probably wouldn’t have seen this in time.


Un-SQL Friday #006: Living in the Intertubez

We’ve had some BIG fun this week, relatively speaking, with #SQLSue and #SQLIdiot and just general #SQLcraziness. We’ve had several blogs out already, including my Rat Sues Corn! … and Why I Feed Trolls, Jorge Segarra’s heartfelt We Are Community, and Steve Jones’ Is my blog infringing on anything? 

Meanwhile, Redgate’s space on the web – from DBAInSpace.com, to the new SQLServerCentral.com background, to the hilarious Developer in Hull promo – is a virtual rave-slash-nerdgasm.  Even last week, when a bunch of us were at the PASS Summit, we lived a large percentage of our lives online in tweetups and live blogs.

But why should we have all the fun? Here comes Un-SQL Friday!

I hereby declare this Friday Un-SQL Friday. While T-SQL Tuesday is “…the SQL Server blogosphere’s first recurring, revolving blog party….on the chosen [SQL-related] topic,” UN-SQL Friday is a completely intermittent blog party about something SQL-adjacent.

Read this blog, and then write whatever you want about Living on the Intertubez. Be sure to mention in your blog that you’re writing for Un-SQL Friday, and link to this post. Oh, and have it up any time before midnight on Tuesday, October 25. Extra credit if you get your submission in ON Friday…an A+ gets you an imaginary virtual gold star!

I know the topic is wide, wide open…that’s good. You get to write about whatever strikes you, be it community/SQLFamily, trollz, accusations, netiquette, or anything else that you feel fits into the topic.

Have at it!
-Jen McCown

Roundup for Un-SQL Friday #005: Bad Interviews

It’s time for the Un-SQL Friday #005 roundup!

From managers…

First up, The Lone DBA admits that he wasn’t always (ahem) one of us…he’s got some excellent advice from the hiring manager’s point of view.   I particularly liked this:

When asked what your biggest weaknesses are, it’s a good idea to stop talking after ten minutes. Actually, it’s a good idea to stop talking after about ten seconds, ‘cos it’s a bit of a stupid question.

Warning to Americans: You’ll need to speak British to get all of TheLoneDBA’s  post.

To gladiators…

Next we have mild-mannered/man of steel Made2Mentor (David Stein), who has just completed a round of job hunting, and so is brimming with UnSQL Friday fodder.  His three interview stories include a to-the-death cage match*, a fatal recruiter error*, and DEATH UNTO YOU ALL WITH NASTY BIG POINTY TEETH*!  Actually his third story is a secret interview that’s really quite cool, but the “teeth” thing just flowed.

He then offered me the job and asked when I could start. I was rather taken aback because we hadn’t discussed the actual salary, benefits, and relocation package. When I asked him about those, he was suprised and said, “What do you mean?” {Editor’s note: Uh-oh.}

David gets bonus points for recruiting yet MORE interview stories from his readers.

(*These highlights may have been exaggerated for comedic effect. MAY HAVE BEEN.)

To saboteurs…

The blog that SQLHA (Allan Hirt) posted won my evil little heart instantly with this:

I don’t recommend some of the behavior I am going to talk about unless you really want to sabotage an interview.

Holy wooden shoes, Batman!  Sabotage an interview??  Why wasn’t THAT the Un-SQL Friday topic??


SQLRockstar (Tom LaRock) starts with what I assume must be a philosophical question. Or trivia. Actually, it could be a logic puzzle…What Color Are Santa’s Pants? Turns out that it’s a good analogy for figuring out what kind of person the hiring manager may be…  INTRUIGED?? I thought as much. 

Bonus points for BEST RANT:

Most all of those standard questions are bullshit. They are. I don’t care if you know that database mirroring wasn’t fully supported until SQL2005 SP1. That’s a piece of trivial information. Knowing that detail won’t make you a good DBA. If you want to hire a book, just put a shortcut to Google on your desktop and save HR the paperwork.

Slightly out of character, neither Sean nor I wrote anything specific for this particular Un-SQL Friday. However, you can read Sean’s litany of bad interview blogs here…he has PLENTY to say on the subject.

Thanks for playing, all, and happy days!

Jen McCown


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Where are We?

November 3-7: PASS Summit, Seattle, WA

PASS Summit: Jen is presenting How to Interview a DBA: A Panel Debate on Thursday 11/6 1:30pm, room 401 (along with Adam Machanic, Sean McCown, Bob Pusateri, and Michelle Ufford).

PASS Summit: Sean is presenting Performance Tuning Your Backups on Wednesday 11/5 3:00pm, room 602-604.

December 11: Presenting "Powershell Cmdlets.." at Alaska SQL Server User Group

January 30: "Become an Enterprise DBA" precon at Austin SQL Saturday

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Cunningham’s Law

"The best way to get the right answer on the Internet is not to ask a question, it's to post the wrong answer."
Relevant: http://xkcd.com/386/