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HTMLfixIT Archive for July, 2007

Sunday, July 29th, 2007 by Franki

Dell is apparently expanding the number of machines they offer with the Linux Operating System. For people who want to use a computer for all the usual stuff like email, web browsing, office documents etc, these machines are the perfect tool. Better still they make excellent web development tools also since they come with Apache/PHP/Perl/MySQL and about a hundred development tools (editors and such). As an added bonus you get to avoid the Microsoft tax and get a machine that is faster and more responsive than it would be running Vista (depending on who you ask, but I doubt even Microsoft would argue since some of the machines are mid range laptops.)
You have to give credit to Dell, these Linux offerings may not initially amount to much financially for Dell, but they will now go down on record as the first of the top 5 PC manufactures to market and sell Linux pre-installed on their standard desktop hardware. The way Linux usage is going everywhere else, (from smart phones to supercomputers) they are unlikely to be the last huge company to support Linux on desktops, but nobody can argue they were the first to go mainstream with it.

Do we need or want an Open Source search engine? This is one I am not sure about myself. The way Widia are talking about using human intervention to increase relevancy is great, I only worry that the results will be slued toward personal preference or buddies rather then the relevance of the content itself. Time will tell because things seem to be moving along nicely for Wikia who just purchased a distributed spider called Grub to further their cause.

Apple usage is growing, Microsoft’s is apparently growing more, So says Microsoft anyway. My own belief is that there is room for all, I just would love to see the playing field more even between Windows, OSX and Linux so that none of them can ignore supporting each other. That would be the perfect world of choice.


Thursday, July 26th, 2007 by Franki

Apparently Sophos has discovered that 29% of all web pages host some sort of malware. I’m not sure if I am surprised by that or not. It’s almost like the Internet has become a virtual slum with over 80% of email classed as spam and 30% of websites trying to infect your PC with something.

Something else interesting in the article linked above is that they claim that Microsoft ISS and Apache web servers are equally vulnerable to cracking. They appear to say that half the attacks were to Apache and half were to IIS therefore they are equally targeted. That doesn’t make any sense because Apache installations outnumber IIS by 2 to 1 at last count IIS was 28% and Apache over 60%, so if the attacks were 50/50% then logically that means that IIS was significantly more vulnerable despite being much less popular. Still, it’s interesting reading right?

UPDATE: We’ve received a comment from Graham Cluley of Sophos and he was nice enough to direct us to the original report and explain that the story carried by Tgdaily and other sites is not entirely correct. The 1 million sites Sophos looked at for this report were sites that were blocked as being unfriendly in some way. In other words, the 1 million sites surveyed were already marked as seriously questionable and are therefore not in any way an even cross section of the normal web.

The end result is that the figures mean nothing to the web overall, other than that malware is a growing problem. Thankyou for letting us know Graham.


Wednesday, July 18th, 2007 by Franki

Not that long ago Microsoft released the Vista operating system to what appeared to be an eager world. That appearance was apparently a mistake. Vista has been said to be rather slow unless it’s running on high end equipment and lots of hardware is still lacking drivers for Vista. DRM or Digital Rights Management software is probably partially responsible for the lower performance of systems running Vista. (compared to the same software running XP). Encoding and decoding encryption needs lots of CPU and ram power, and Vista is loaded with it, all designed to make sure you can’t do anything Microsoft and possibly any of their affiliates don’t want you to do. That’s right, it’s all designed to police what you can and can’t do with your computer. And best of all (from their perspective) YOU ARE PAYING THEM TO REDUCE YOUR CHOICES AND FREEDOM!. For example, the Hardware changes required to adhere to required Vista DRM standards ends up being added to the price of the hardware and Microsoft gets paid hand over fist for it every time someone buys a PC with Vista on it. Recently I downloaded the latest drivers for a piece of hardware I own, and these new drivers were designed with DRM and content protection in mind. After I loaded the new drivers, I found my hardware had slowed down so much that I couldn’t use it anymore. That’s because DRM is not free in any sense, it uses CPU cycles and it uses memory. Strangely enough, it doesn’t seem to surprise anyone, that the latest hardware running the latest Windows seems to do heaps of stuff slower than the previous versions running on slower hardware. Where is all that extra CPU and memory going?

There is allot more to this issue, but it’s been really well covered by people much more knowledgeable then myself. Here are some pages you really should read if you are curious or angry about paying a company to take away your choices. Let’s start with this informative article entitled “Who owns your computer“. Then follow it up with a “Cost Analysis of Windows Vista content protection” which will open your mind and possibly freak you out a little as it did me. After reading it, you can watch an add for Microsoft Vista and marvel at how Microsoft’s high priced advertising execs can spin it all to sound like stuff you really want to pay for. As long as they focus on the eye candy and gloss over everything else, most people don’t know enough to look any deeper.


Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 by Don

Robert Scoble asks what happened to it. Where did ICQ go? Well, we still use it for our support forum … sort of. We run our own chat channel, but to be honest don’t sit in it much. Why? It can sometimes be distracting I guess and frankly I just forget to turn it on. Want to discuss an issue in there? Simple, drop us a line with the contact form and ask us to jump in there. We usually will.

In our case we run our own perl script for the chat channel and you can simply use your browser to connect to us. We tend to use MIRC a low cost IRC Client and then we use voice software to read the content of the chat room. Back when we both had more available time we could spend hours answering questions. To be honest, we decided at some point that we could only help those who had a quicker question and some people we had to refer on to other sources (like google the question and pick the right answer). Still, being able to bounce it off of someone in chat can sometimes be the breakthrough you need. We can be there for you, just ask.


Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 by Franki

After much recent studying of search engine trends and our rankings and hits from them here, I realized something. Although you don’t have to be a techie to know what HTML is, or to Google for error messages you get while installing scripts you found on the net, you are apparently allot more techie than the vast number of people who are searching for words like webpage or web design or Myspace or just blog. So after looking at our site carefully, I realized something, we overshot the biggest audience with most of our content. We’ve completely left the total newbies behind. Although we cover terms like HTML really well, absolute newbies have no idea what HTML is so why would they search for it? We don’t have anything for people who want to know, but don’t know what to search for to find out. (and so they look for things like “How do I create a website” and stuff of that nature.

To that end, I’ve started writing a beginner tutorial that aims to explain in the simplest way possible what the Web is and how it works, and filled it up with beginner search terms in the hope that it will result in more traffic from MSN/Yahoo/AOL/Altavista not to mention Google. Admittedly, this is partly an experiment in Search Engine Optimization on my part, but I believe that when I’m done it will be a very useful resource for absolute beginners to at least gain a basic understanding of how it all works.

1 Comment »

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 by Franki

Sigh….. I waited for someone to use that heading so I wouldn’t have to reveal myself as a closet Star Trek fan. Stories have been bandied about by all about a new report by scientists at the National Research Council which basically says that life elsewhere may have little in common with ours. My first thought was that they are right, aliens are probably very different from us, for example they are probably intelligent.

Then I put aside my cynicism and decided to wait and see how long it would be before someone used the lyrics from “Star Trekkin“. Sad to say, it turned out that it only occurred to me (or nobody else would admit to it).

All I can say in regards to the recent report, is that I’ll be terribly disappointed if, after watching years of sci-fi, it turns out that the only life out there is intelligent slime.

1 Comment »

Monday, July 9th, 2007 by Franki

Shockingly, a Motorola phone has killed a 22 yo man in China after it exploded (or at least the battery did) in his pocket and pushed broken ribs into his heart. The man was welding at the time and the temperature is the most likely cause of the explosion. China is apparently rife with counterfeit cheap batteries and this may have played a part in the incident. Read more here.

1 Comment »

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<random humor>
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</random humor>

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  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   July 21, 2024, 10:07 pm
  Time in Franki's part of the world is:   July 22, 2024, 11:07 am
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HTMLfixIT Site Stats.

Browser Statistics
Internet Explorer 85.88%
IE 717.63%
IE 62.3%
IE 50.00%
IE other8.6%
Moz Firefox 3.x3.03%
Moz Firefox 2.x0.18%
Moz Firefox 0.x/1.x26.65%
Netscape 8.x0.00%
NS 6+/Mozilla2.73%
Moz Seamonkey0.00%
Netscape 4.x0.00%
Opera 9.x0.00%
Opera 8.x0.00%
Opera 7.x0.42%
Opera 6.x0.00%
Opera other0.42%
Safari Mac/Intel5.21%
Safari Mac/PPC0.06%
Safari Windows25.2%
Google Chrome1.51%

Resolution Statistics
640 x 4800.25%
800 x 60026.14%
1024 x 76836.55%
1152 x 8640.25%
1280 x 80011.68%
1280 x 8540.00%
1280 x 102417.01%
1400 x 10500.00%
1600 x 12001.02%
1920 x 12007.11%
2560 x 10240.00%

OS Statistics
Windows 741.55%
Windows Vista2.4%
Windows 20033.91%
Windows XP20.86%
Windows 20000.36%
Windows NT40.05%
Windows 98/ME0.05%
Windows 950.00%
Mac OSX8.03%
Mac Classic0.00%

New Windows Virus Alerts
also by sophos.

17 Apr 2011 Troj/Mdrop-DKE
17 Apr 2011 Troj/Sasfis-O
17 Apr 2011 Troj/Keygen-FU
17 Apr 2011 Troj/Zbot-AOY
17 Apr 2011 Troj/Zbot-AOW
17 Apr 2011 W32/Womble-E
17 Apr 2011 Troj/VB-FGD
17 Apr 2011 Troj/FakeAV-DFF
17 Apr 2011 Troj/SWFLdr-W
17 Apr 2011 W32/RorpiaMem-A

For details and removal instructions, click the virus in question.