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HTMLfixIT Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 by Don

On June 20th Windows XP has done it again — updated with service pack three (SP3) as commonly called. One of the things I dislike about it is that it doesn’t clearly state what it is. For example, many people I know refuse to download the Malicious Software Tool (link) from Microsoft as they feel it phones home too much information. You need to study a long time and ultimately assume that this update doesn’t somehow include that tool.

I find it annoying that if you hit decline on download Malicious Software Tool, it goes away only for the current version and the next time they update it … well you need to decline it again.

So if you were smart enough to downgrade from Windows Vista or if you were really smart and never updated in the first place, I guess it’s time for an update.


Thursday, June 19th, 2008 by Franki

In less than 24 hours, the latest release of Firefox has been downloaded more than 8 million (8000,000) times.

So far the reviews have all been positive, and while many themes and extensions are not yet available for 3, many have already been ported over and more are available every day. Additionally the default theme for Firefox 3 is much more eye catching than the corporate looking (read: boring) theme of Firefox 2.

Testing here at over the release candidates and the final release show it to be an order of magnitude faster than Firefox 2 to load and to render, even on sub standard computers. It also doesn’t significantly increase it’s memory use over time as Firefox 2 did. The list of new and improved features is as long as your arm and has been detailed on dozens of sites so I won’t go into it here.

Interestingly Firefox 3 already accounts for nearly 10 percent of HTMLfixIT’s traffic, which goes to show that a good many of our techie visitors already know about it.

1 Comment »

Thursday, June 19th, 2008 by Franki

In a move that has many people shaking their heads in wonder, Ebay are about to make offering Paypal payments on auctions compulsory in Australia. The ACCC has indicated they may well take action over it, but Ebay then issued a statement to their users that they are going to push ahead anyway and only delayed the action for a month because of the ACCC statement (Which said essentially that they think the action to potentially be anti-competitive.)

Ebay claims that the measure is for user security, but were that true and they really wanted to “help” users, they’d want to lower the price of Paypal transactions related to Ebay auctions so they are not double dipping on the fee charges, (ie getting paid for the auction listing, and then again to accept payment for it.)

They have not done this and as a result people are leaving Ebay in droves from the message boards we’ve read. Ebay perhaps consider Australia a good test market because in the grand scheme of things they haven’t really lost much if it falls apart because of this, or perhaps they think the extra payment money will make up for the drop in sellers and consumers. Who knows?

One thing that is for certain. The recent opening of the Tradingpost could not have been timed better. Telstra/Sensis must be absolutely delighted to discover Ebay driving business their way.

If Ebay had instead specified that payments could only be accepted by any method that can be easily reversed or by systems with similar security constraints to Paypal, it would probably have happened without ACCC interference. I find myself somewhat surprised that they did not expect the fuss that has resulted to be honest.


Friday, June 13th, 2008 by Franki

It’s been about 5 years since I released the first advx counter, so much has happened in my life that I had a hard time making room for the next version of the counter, but I finally got there.

There is a ton of new stuff in this release candidate, the following are just a few:

– Up to date browser and OS detection.
– Significant bug fixes and improvements throughout.
– Navigation changes include first/last/next/previous links when displaying large
volumes of stats rather than displaying all in one page.
– Search engine bot detection.
– Non JavaScript browser detection.
– Much better file locking and error reporting routines.
– Display collected URL strings encoded to stop XSS problems.
– Detailed displays are in alternating colour codes to aid readability.
– Updated country of origin library.
– Aided install. The script can check all of its required files locations and permissions and report problems.

This is a release candidate, but it is a fairly stable one as it’s been running endlessly behind for over a year.
Please try the newly upgraded demo to see what’s different. (Keep in mind that the actual statistics displayed in the demo are fake and fairly old except for a couple I added to show Firefox 3 and vista/ie8.)

Those of you with the current ADVX counter, can upgrade to the new RC just by overwriting the old files with the new. This
upgrade is of no use to people without the old ADVX counter because the upgrade doesn’t come with the configuration files
required to get it working. (you use your old ones unchanged)

The new advx counter 2.00 upgrade can be downloaded here. and the instructions are included in the zip file.

Anyone wishing to report an error or bug, please use the forum listed in the menu to the left. Assuming nobody finds any show stoppers, this release candidate will become the final 2.00 version in a week or two.

1 Comment »

Friday, February 15th, 2008 by Don

So I find that Microsoft has once again decided to switch things up in the Excel world with the xlsx file format. Why would you not build in backwards compatibility? Because you choose to make it inconvenient in hopes of forcing people to buy your new product? Fortunately they do have a tool to allow you to open the new format in your “old” program. However to use it you need to update your Microsoft environment and even in this age they FORCE you to use Internet Explorer.

Silverlight Download Center BetaI fire up Internet Explorer (I used it very very rarely) and go to Microsoft and the first thing that they do is of course ask me if I want to be part of their beta program for the Silverlight Download Center. Why? What advantage to me? No.

Next they require me to download the validation tool to be sure I’m not cheating them. Now I can really go get the “Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats“. Hopefully it works and I can open my Office 2007 file in my Office 2003. What a bother. I much prefer Open Office anyway, but this time it didn’t work for me to open the Office 2007 file. I bet that won’t last long.

No Comments »

Monday, February 4th, 2008 by Don

Well I hoped for the underdog — even if it makes Michigan’s Tom Brady lose to Michigan State University(ishes) Plaxico Burress who actually broke down in tears after the game in his interview. It was a great game. I didn’t see it being close. I didn’t see the Giants winning. Congratulations to them. That should put spygate to rest too so that we need not hear more about it.

The most interesting things to me?

1. How lame that the NFL insists on running a play with one second left when the Patriots were willing to concede. They need to adjust the rule book for that situation to permit a coach to finish it under that circumstance.

2. A regular guy, 185 pounds, 5′ 09″ was the MVP in my book had the Patriots won. Their goto receiver was a normal sized guy, Mr. Welker — and he is a Mister after that gutsy performance. Of course then “they” name Manning when it should have been a defensive player in a defensive game.

3. Speaking of marketing … the NFL has a page on the Superbowl??

4. Best Ad Series? Probably Bud Light or Coke. It was a toss up. The auto ads were uninspired and boring.

5. sells you to their site. Up until now Danica has avoided the overly sexist advertising pushed by Bob over at Godaddy. Unlike Amanda (I’m really too skinny but who cares) Beard and What’s her Name — I have fake everything but I can wrestle, Danika has remained above that garbage … until this ad. Oh well, I guess money talks.

Congratulations the the Giants.

I had some concerns for them late in the game when a lot of their defensive players were hitting the deck with cramps and such, and I wondered if they were out of gas. They kept bouncing back like a team of energizer bunnies.

One little side note for me: I am currently working on a site called That site markets misting systems including large fans with misting heads in them. Often you see them in big sporting events in humid arenas, including in the Superbowl (they also make misting systems for everything from residential decks to industrial facilities). The television cameras often show the players sitting in front of the cooling fans on the sidelines trying to stay cool. What fascinates me the most is the fact that the mist is apparently vaporized within inches of the nozzle and so you never get wet with this type of cooling system. I don’t know that this particular company provided them for this event, but I guess my selective perception is heightened at present and so I notice them. What does your selective perception bring to the fore front for you when you see a game of this magnitude?


Friday, February 1st, 2008 by Gary

I knew I wasn’t the only one! reports that the proportion of Australians using Mozilla Firefox to surf the web is among the highest in the world, according to internet trend research. The article goes on to say that almost one in three web users in the Oceania region – 31 per cent – were using Firefox, compared to 28 per cent in Europe and 21 per cent in the US.

Those are pretty interesting statistics, and I must admit that I was surprised at the comparatively low utilisation amongst US users. Any thoughts as to why?

Check out the full story: Australians embrace open source browser. The article has attracted some emotive comments on the site, so it’s pretty clear that folks (I would guess a fair chunk of web developers) are still very passionate about their browser of choice!

No Comments »

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