A very interesting article in The Guardian tells the story of a nice elderly couple from Ashford, UK, which has built a property empire worth £280 million. It's simply amazing what you can reach, if you start at the right time and in the right place.
If you are really interested, here is the full 2007 budget speech, given by Gordon Brown on 21st of March 2007
In this my eleventh Budget, my report to the country is of rising employment and rising investment; continuing low inflation, and low interest and mortgage rates; and this is a Budget to expand prosperity and fairness for Britain's families - and it is built on the foundation of the longest period of economic stability and sustained growth in our country's history.
I was deeply disappointed to discover, that .NET framework 2.0 didn't contain XQuery implementation. Apparently, it was included in one of the earlier beta releases, but then was dropped by Microsoft in favour of the forthcoming LINQ project - some sort of blend between C# and Oracle's Pro*C (probably much prettier than the latter).
Lord Chancellor has delivered his new budget speech for 2007. Surprisingly for many, he promised some tax cuts for businesses and individuals alike. Not surprisingly, most of the money will be recovered from the tax payer using new taxes and elimination of existing allowances. All in all, according to most comments, the speech is more about politics and much less about UK economy.
Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 has been released. To be honest, I don't understand why the changes required a whole SP - the list is very short and doesn't look all that important. Maybe the release notes are incomplete?
High performance computing in financial and other industries is constantly challenged by growing demand for faster results and larger volumes of data to process. FPGA - specially designed hardware units - through their ability to execute complex tasks in parallel - can substantially increase the throughput of systems and reduce data centre load. For many popular tasks a couple of machines with FPGAs on-board can replace a cluster of 50+ nodes.
So, what is the software that I hate the most? The list could be long, but some applications are internal to places where I worked and are unknown to the rest of the world. From the familiar to an average Internet user things I can mention:
- Picasa - I already wrote about my feelings toward this bastrad child of Google