Late last month, shortly before the U.S. Congress shut down for its summer recess, the Senate Judiciary Committee's Intellectual Property subcommittee held an unusual hearing -- unusual because the only committee member attending the hearing was the chairman, Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah. Why would such a prestigious committee hold a hearing in Washington attended by only one member? To slam through some controversial legislation, of course. Senator Hatch was trying to pass a new law "reforming" the U.S. patent system and apparently felt it would all go much more smoothly without the presence of the other committee members.
Legislation to remove the rights of citizens and small businesses to innovate need to stop. Congress needs to get back to doing what the Constitution empowered it to do: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"
4:29:20 PM comment 
Chris Date has an interview over on the O'Reilly site that's well worth the time to read. A favorite quote, one of many:
To a first approximation, "object/relational" just means the domains over which relations are defined can be of arbitrary complexity. As a consequence, we can have attributes of relations--or columns of tables, if you prefer--that contain geometric points, or polygons, or X rays, or XML documents, or fingerprints, or arrays, or lists, or relations, or any other kinds of values you can think of. But this idea too was always part of the relational model! The idea that the relational model could handle only rather simple kinds of data (like numbers, and strings, and dates, and times) is a huge misconception, and always was. In fact, the term object/relational, as such, is just a piece of marketing hype ... As far as I'm concerned, an object/relational system done right would simply be a relational system done right, nothing more and nothing less.
1:09:01 PM comment 
I took the MySQL Core Certification exam yesterday, and passed. It was a tough exam, a bit too picky about edge cases, I think, but I passed. The NDA pretty much forbids me saying more about the exam. Fair enough. The exam is only valid if the Q&A aren't published, otherwise, the value of the exam and certification plummets, as happened with "paper CNEs" and "paper MCSEs".
The MySQL folks don't seem as constrained by the NDA, and post a "real life story" as well as point to two blogentries. That ought to give you a pretty good idea of what's involved. I'll wait a while before taking the Pro certification, as it'll require a few weeks of dedicated night and weekend studying, but I think that's the proper level of certification for a software development consultant like me to have.
11:19:18 AM comment