Wall Street Journal RSS Feed Information is available. RSS isn’t just for the little guys any more. First exploding (in my opinion) in blogs and smaller places, the big boys are now coming on board with RSS feeds, further validating the concept has long term viability. This page also is good because it explains in simple terms what to do with an RSS feed.
Up until recently, I never really thought that I had very extensive browser needs, but I’ve now loaded most of a dozen Firefox extensions into my browser. The reason is pretty simple, I didn’t know what I was missing till I tried them.
I’m not going to get into this in too much detail, you can browse the links if you are that interested, but I’ll do a tiny pitch on each one to give you an idea.
J.K.Rowling Official Site – Harry Potter is now up and running. I read all the Potter books for some light entertainment when my kids had them around. They are entertaining, although they get repetitive about now.
I am not much of a flash fan, and yet, this is a very neat site. It requires that you hunt around … but it also offers a text only version.
I am currently on dial-up, so this is one slow trip for me … if I had to hit the Hogwart’s Express, I might bounce off the brick wall before I got in!
Well, now this is an interesting one.
Microsoft claim that they get more virus’s not because they are less secure, but because they have more market share. It appears they were at least partially wrong.
(Actually, they are totally wrong, they have nowhere near the market share of web servers as does the open source Apache (67.3% Apache, 21.3% MS IIS), and yet Microsoft IIS (The MS web server software) has had many more critical security flaws than has Apache.)
In an effort to compete on a more even footing with Yahoo and Google, Microsoft is developing their own search engine, one that relies on their own search and spidering algorithms, (rather then using the results from other engines as MSN search does now.)
You can test the results now at MSN Tech preview.
The beta search is only using a database of about one billion documents, which is much much smaller then the other major search engines, but HTMLfixIT is already in there, so I guess that’s a good sign. :-)
If Microsoft are going to use algorithms like Google in order to create their own “pagerank” type technology, that can only be seen as a good thing as my personal experience of the current MSN search has been pretty dismal, particularly when compared to Google.
The world has millions of sight impaired people, Australia has at least 300,000, and other countries have an order of magnitude more.
Should they be discriminated against by web designers? Most countries have laws that give an emphatic NO! In fact, there have been court cases where companies have been sued for not providing for the disabled.
So, how does an ordinary “sighted” web designer discover if their proud works are suitable for those with vision impairments?
Up till now, you just had to follow disability guidelines and hope that was enough.
Up until tonight, whenever I posted a new story on HTMLfixIT, I did so by typing it into my text editor and spell checking it there before pasting the lot into the submission form for articles.
Tonight I came across Spellbound which is a full spell checking extension for Firefox.
It installed flawlessly, I simply selected all the components by ticking the relevant boxes on the spellbound page, and then did the same for a dictionary (choosing Australian in my case.).
PHP5 is now a stable release.
- Object Oriented approach to XML,
- SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is included for Web services.
- SQLite and a new MySQL (MySQLi) extension are included.
- New ZendII engine and some significant enhancements to PHPs Object Oriented behavior and methods.
And a heap of other stuff. Programs written using pre-existing PHP object orientation may need some minor touch ups to work on PHP5
(or they may not, depending on how program was coded.)
For info and downloads, head over to php.net.
While doing my daily rounds of the various tech news sites that provide the source for most of the articles you see here, I came across this blogging article on TheRegister.
The fact that 8000 new bloggers appear every day isn’t really news to my mind, neither is most of the other accompanying data. What struck me as the “real’ news in the story, is this quote: “while a staggering 12 per cent attract the attention of lawyers with their biting commentary”.
Twelve percent of bloggers get into legal trouble? Is it just me or is that an inordinately high percentage?
Even if you’re not a Linux fan, you should have a look at this because it makes for fascinating reading.
People that know me, know that I am no fan of Microsoft, I make no secret of it.
I do admit however, that they played a significant part in making computers the commodity they are today (and have been paid handsomely for it), and that their software is often pretty good from a usability perspective.
The problem is that they have used some extremely questionable business practices in the last 20 years, crushing or buying the competition, getting busted for appropriating code and then settling out of court with a non-disclosure agreement as part of the deal (DR-DOS anyone?). There are literally dozens of cases of this and related issues. The United States government themselves found Microsoft guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, as did the European Union, the problem is that neither significantly punished them for it.
Just an interesting sideline story.
Iraq is still in upheaval, with problems popping up all over the place, but in the shadow of all that, they have started their first Linux Users Group (LUG)
with the idea of showing people (particularly those in government) how to setup an IT infrastructure that doesn’t rely on the software or services of big multinational companies which always results in huge amounts of money heading offshore.
Right now, those few that are using software in Iraq, are using pirated versions, as obviously the average Joe over there doesn’t have the same financial situation as we do.
The big multinationals are very happy about the pirated software, because it means that if people get dependent on the software, and used to its quirks, then when the big piracy crackdown finally happens, they hope these people will end up being forced into buying the software legally rather then look around for a free alternative. (like Linux).
Here is an interesting little trick.
Open your browser (any gecko based browser, this doesn’t work in IE, but since there are at least half a dozen ways to get to micro$oft from within IE, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out. :-) ), and type: http::// in the address bar.
If your experience is anything like mine was, Micro$ofts web page will open in your browser.
It’s also the first result that shows up in Google..
How on earth did http::// end up going to Micro$ofts web site? Should we all be tightening our tinfoil hats?
Or is it just a weird quirk of Googles ranking engine?
I’ll leave that up to you.
Here is a pretty rare item, a security flaw that effects multiple browsers, in fact nearly all the popular ones in use today.
The affected browsers affected are:
Pre 0.9 Firebird
Pre 1.6 Mozilla
Pre 7.51 Opera.
Just for a change of pace, here is a security flaw that effects a browser other then IE, In this case it’s Mozilla and Firefox.
This is not a critical flaw as such, and in some quarters it’s viewed as a feature.
Its not a flaw that will compromise your machine, or steal your data, but what it can do, is start any application on your computer if you visit a page that uses a link with shell: instead of http:
This is a neat site that explains in very simple terms many common things, including many computer concepts.
This is not exactly “new” news, the story came out around the 25th of June, but it’s important enough to warrant a mention here.
This story revolves around a proposed amendment to the copyright laws, one that has far reaching implications.
In short, the idea is that any service or device that can be seen to “induce” copyright violation, can have the manufacturers or providers be held accountable.
That doesn’t sound too bad in theory, but consider the implications, there are many things that can be considered inducements to copyright infringement. Here are some examples:
- Ipod, or any storage based MP3 player.
- All P2P file sharing applications.
- Removable hard drives.
- CD and DVD burners and burning programs.
- Instant Chat and IRC programs.
- Web hosting.
- Internet connection.
SciTE Text Editor is a very nice text editor for syntax highlighting in many languages.
Just a quick note to wish all in the US a happy 4th of July, but remember, celebrate safely! Injuries from Fireworks – NCIPC Tells about injuries from fireworks. As a “survivor” of a pretty good hand blow up in my youth, I can tell you it ain’t pretty. So have fun, but be safe.
Have you ever read the EULA (End User Licence Agreement) that you agreed to when you signed up for a Hotmail Passport? If you haven’t you should as it makes fascinating reading. You would be surprised (and most likely angry) at what rights to your own information you actually have, or more importantly you’ll be surprised at what rights Micro$oft has over your data. (There was a uproar not that long ago, when Microsoft in their licensing agreement for Passport, basically claimed the right to do anything with any data that passed though a Passport server. That means MSN, Hotmail, MSN Messenger and others. They made some adjustments to the EULA, but its still an outrageously tight license from a users perspective.)
Even more fascinating is the new court of appeals ruling that has declared that it is not illegal to read other peoples e-mails, if they happen to be in the ram of your computer at the time. Apparently a gentleman by the name of Bradford C. Councilman decided to spy on his customers by reading their e-mail from free e-mail accounts he had given them, he used this information to gain a leg up on Amazon by finding out what books people wanted.
For the second time in as many weeks, Internet Explorer has yet another security flaw that is being actively used to compromise users, and the sole purpose of this one is to steal your banking details.
For the love of god people, why are you still using IE? How many virus’s must you be infected with, and how much spy and malware must your computer get before people come to their senses? IE has only one real purpose now days, and that is to install updates from Windows update. For anything other then that you are asking for trouble and its only a matter of time before you get caught. Get Opera or Firefox or Mozilla, just get something and stop this nonsense please.
Remember people, these particular virus/trojan infections have one purpose, to take money from your pocket, and put it into theirs, and the easiest way to stop that happening, is to NOT use IE.