Now, a lot of people advocate Firefox. And while it is a good looking browser, and in some respects safer than other alternatives, I don't necessarily want to use it. So I keep with Internet Explorer (by the way, I just installed Internet Explorer 7 Release Candidate 1 and it is a slick browser).
This week I decided to have Firefox open on my second monitor. You see, even though IE7 seems to do all I need, it still fails to work with some "web 2.0" applications and the only way I could use that was by running Firefox.
And while there, I thought, why not have it showing my server's stats? Easy, just connect to LogMeIn IT Reach (which I talked about before) and... Oh, wait... It needs to install an extension. The yellow bar came out say something like "to install extensions, click the Options button and enable this option".
The button was there. But not the option. I thought I've seen this option before, and rightly disabled it. But where is it to enable again?
Nowehere to be found. So, it took me, an IT professional, about 5 minutes to figure out there was no option anywhere in the menus on Firefox to enable this. And off to Google, where I found all about the "about:config" page.
It's like a regedit for Firefox. Hidden. Away from users. And taking my control of my experience away from me. How non-user friendly was that?
Removing an important option from the menus and burying somewhere hard to find. Security by obscurity? And why the instructions Firefox itself gives me on how to enable installation are not accurate? The yellow bar should not reference the options if it's not there.
After double-clicking the appropriate option, I was able to finally install the proper extension for LogMeIn to work.
Is this kind of little things that makes me go away from an otherwise nice piece of software.
UPDATE: on an IRC chat someone pointed to me this was an oversight, and the software is still Beta. Forgive me, but a Beta software that claims to have an important part of the browser market should not be beta, but considered production. Some people are not here to test applications, but to work with them.
He's also an author and his latest book Professional Visual Studio 2005 (co-authored with Andrew Parsons) is available from Amazon:
He's the guy on the right side on the cover. Well done, Nick! You can find more on Nick Randolph's blog.
One of the videos is with Microsoft's Darryl Burling showing some of the live.com features, more specifically how to add some site feeds to your personal page and some more detailed information on Microsoft Gadgets. And he uses Geekzone as an example on how to add a site's feed to your page.
Check the video here (Geekzone appears at about 1 minute 40 seconds).
We also have a Geekzone Blog gadget for live.com, available from the official Geekzone Blog.
Synchronization with NewsGator Client Software- NGES now synchronizes subscriptions and read states with NewsGator Inbox, FeedDemon and NetNewsWire. The benefits are pretty dramatic. On the Microsoft Outlook side, companies can choose to deploy client-less (via Exchange integration) or install the Inbox plug-in. While the latter requires software installation, it has some cool bells and whistles (which I why I use it) and removes the need to talk to Exchange (or the Exchange admin).
Enhanced Directory Server Integration- With the release of NGES 1.3, we added support for LDAP-compliant directory servers. We not only made that integration tighter, but we added tools for the administrator to specify the exact groups and users to import and synchronize (and control allowable user types to import).
Improved Podcast Support- The NGES web interface now automatically detects podcast enclosures and highlights them for users.
Category Filtering- The NGES web interface offers a great addition for finding relevant content with the Category Filter.
Additional Reports- Based on requests from several customers, we added some additional reports to the Reporting tab of the Administration section.
Security Modifications- Last, but certainly not least, we made some modifications on the security front. SSL certificates are no longer required for AD-integrated installations as the Exchange username and password have been removed from the administrative screens and are now modified with the configuration wizard. Usernames and passwords for the SQL Server account are now stored in encrypted format for extra security. Finally, potentially harmful enclosure tags are automatically removed from posts and prevented from displaying.
Very good stuff. I am running version 1.0 here and keen to get the new version and install it. I have been talking to Newsgator to arrange this and a demo to walk through the new bits so I can find out more about it.
You can read our review of the NGES software in the main Geekzone review section.
The surcharge will initially be $1.20 a month for customers with service up to 768 kilobits per second and $2.70 per month for customers with faster DSL service, according to the company.
The fee comes as a government fee on DSL customers for the Universal Service Fund is being phased out. For customers with service up to 768 kpbs, the fee was $1.25 a month, and for customers with service of up to 3 Mbps, the fee was $2.83 a month, according to Verizon. Customers will no longer pay such charges effective Aug. 14, New York-based Verizon said.
The bold is mine. According to the article the company lobbied the FCC (Federal Communications Commision) to deregulate the DSL market, and remove the surcharge, to immediatelly after implement its own surcharge because
... [of] new costs that we've developed over the past year as we've been developing and delivering this standalone DSL service. That service doesn't have the benefit of the revenue that was coming in from voice.
And people here complain of Telecom New Zealand? We haven't seen everything companies can do, yet...
UPDATE: The FFC is investigating why Verizon is applying this surcharge instead of simply increasing the base price of their services, if this is a cost-related charge, as the company claims. More information here.
You can access two Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 on-line training materials for free:
Clinic 3053: What's New in Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 Administration (Beta 1)
This online clinic provides a rich multimedia learning experience where you explore the new features and enhancements of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007.
This clinic introduces you to the role-based installation provided by Exchange Server 2007 and describes the various server roles. It presents the major installation requirements for Exchange Server 2007 and describes the features from previous versions of Exchange that are de-emphasized or unsupported in Exchange Server 2007.
This clinic also describes how to administer Exchange Server 2007 by introducing you to the Exchange Management Console and the Exchange Management Shell, which you can use to administer all aspects of the system. It illustrates some common administrative tasks, such as working with recipients and monitoring Exchange.
Finally, this clinic introduces the concepts, key features, and benefits of unified messaging. It describes how to configure unified messaging for an individual user. It explains messaging security, archiving, and regulation compliance features provided by Exchange Server 2007, and describes how you can use these features to benefit your organization.
This clinic is targeted to messaging IT Professionals with experience on Exchange Server 2000 or Exchange Server 2003.
Clinic 3054: Overview of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 Architecture (Beta 1)
This online clinic provides a rich multimedia learning experience where you explore the most significant changes in the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 architecture.
This clinic describes how the most significant changes in the Exchange Server 2007 architecture improve upon earlier versions of the product. It also describes the design goals behind these architectural changes, the infrastructure required to deploy Exchange Server 2007, and the three different Active Directory topologies in which you can install Exchange Server 2007.
This clinic introduces the architecture of the five server roles in Exchange Server 2007 and describes the communication between the server roles. It illustrates message routing and how to interoperate with Exchange Server 2003 routing groups. It also describes different deployment scenarios.
Finally, this clinic introduces the changes made to the Exchange Server 2007 message store. It describes the improvements in performance and user experience that these changes provide. It also illustrates how to configure client infrastructure services in Exchange Server 2007.
This clinic is targeted to messaging IT Professionals with experience on Exchange Server 2000 or Exchange Server 2003.
This is a completely transparent, UDP-based VPN software that simply works. It's incredible. It took me some time to try it. I wasn't sure it would be a fit for my network, but I have to say I am glad I did. So glad that I actually bought two Premium 1 Year license for our servers, so that it can run the software as a service. all other computers run the free version, which will only work while I am logged in.
It's much better than FTP (unsecure) or FTP-SSL (secure, but serves only to put and get files). Hamachi creates a full network, and computers simply join these, like they would on a LAN - even though they may be thousands of kms away, as it is my case.
Having a 10Mbps (down)/2Mbps (up) cable-modem service here also helps a lot. When I copy files to and from, I have the impression I am working on a machine just sitting by my desk!
Hamachi was bought a few weeks ago by LogMeIn, a company that develops another software I use a lot, and which I talked about in my previous post.
Why are they stupid? This is the copy and paste of a spam e-mail I received. The text is nothing really, and the "ad" is in an attached image - which could possibly be infected with a exploit such as the wmf vulnerability announced by Microsoft back in January 2006. Believe it or not a lot of people don't patch their systems, either because they don't know or because they don't care.
But back to the spam. If you receive an e-mail such as this one, you would have to be stupid to buy something from this "source":
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Another example is a job offer (probably a multi-level marketing thing or scam) with this text:
She brought it to him, the old scuffed Lord Buston he'd had since college, and put it in his hands. Something flickered. "And if you didn't, Paul Sheldon, who did? Doesn't matter what she shot me up with. During the days he diverted himself with this pleasant foolishness "Looking at those cartons was the Sam e as looking at the figures on the little parlor table. There was a feeling about her of clots and roadblocks rather than welcoming orifices or even open spaces, areas of hiatus. brimstone
For goodness sake. Who in their right mind feel tempted on getting a job with a company that sends e-mails like this?
What I've noticed lately is that some of these e-mails come with text that looks like Google News e-mail alerts. Probably because they can easily go through a filter.
Obviously the spammer is using an old technique to bypass filters, by inserting random words and make it difficult for a program to determine if there's a "sale pitch" in it. The thing is, most spammers use old programs, bought years ago, but people don't update their defences, so those still work to go through your Inboxes.
Also obvious is that spam is a great business. People wouldn't do it if not making money out of it.
Other possibility is that spammers simply send out those e-mails in an attempt to infect user's machines - to collect data or simply create their army of bots, used later to launch attacks, for a coin. There are armies of bots available for rent on the Internet these days. And those computers are running from unsuspecting users' houses around the world.
It seems all design decisions came from their "market research". The phone does look nice, but not having USB 2.0 and using a proprietary USB connector and using a single port for synchronisation, charging, headsets seem to be an interesting result, wouldn't you agree?