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July 2004 - Posts

The Case Against George W. Bush

An extremely well-written article by Ron Reagan in the September 2004 issue of Esquire : The son of the fortieth president of the United States takes a hard look at the son of the forty-first and does not like what he sees.

Before you start reading, note that you can increase the text size in your browser - well done, Esquire.

“watching Bush flounder when attempting to communicate extemporaneously, one is left with the impression that he is ineloquent not because he can't speak but because he doesn't bother to think.”

“Mr. Bush governs as if by divine right, seeming to actually believe that a wise God wants him in the White House and that by constantly evoking the horrible memory of September 11, 2001, he can keep public anxiety stirred up enough to carry him to another term.”

“Come November 2, we will have a choice: We can embrace a lie, or we can restore a measure of integrity to our government. We can choose, as a bumper sticker I spotted in Seattle put it, SOMEONE ELSE FOR PRESIDENT.”

Bravo. 

BTW, “Someone Else for President” bumper stickers are available at CafePress.

DNC Speakers and Speeches
If you missed any of the speakers and speeches at the DNC this week, you can watch them on the 2004 Democratic National Convention Official Site.
Listmania! The 2004 President Bush Christmas wish-list

Found this at Blogcritics.org - posted by Neil Ralley on Amazon:

  1. How to Enjoy Your Retirement, Second Edition : Activities from A to Z
  2. 101 Secrets for a Great Retirement : Practical, Inspirational, & Fun Ideas for the Best Years of Your Life!
  3. What Do You Want to Do When You Grow Up?: Starting the Next Chapter of Your Life
Netscape 7.2 coming soon?

I can't find much about this on the Netscape site, except a link on the Netscape Store site to order a Netscape CD and Guidebook.

eWeek says “All indications from AOL, though, point to a maintenance release with Version 7.2. More than anything, Netscape 7.2 will bring the browser in line with security and feature updates that Mozilla has undergone in the past year.”

There doesn't seem to be else written about it lately, except on discussion boards. Has anyone tried it? What do you think?

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-025

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-025
Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (867801)

Issued: July 30, 2004
Version: 1.0

Summary
Who should read this document: Customers who use Microsoft® Internet Explorer

Impact of Vulnerability:  Remote Code Execution

Maximum Severity Rating: Critical

Recommendation: Customers should apply the update immediately.

Security Update Replacement: This update replaces the one that is provided in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-004, which is itself a cumulative update.

Caveats: This update does not include hotfixes for Internet Explorer provided since the release of MS04-004. Customers who have received hotfixes from Microsoft or their support providers since the release of MS04-004 should review the FAQ section for this update to determine how this update might impact their operating systems.

 

Office 2003 Service Pack 1 is available - including some fixes for FrontPage

The long-awaited Office 2003 Service Pack 1 is now available on the Microsoft web site. There's a KB article with a detailed description of what's included, and a FrontPage-specific KB article as well - Issues that are fixed in FrontPage 2003 by Office 2003 Service Pack 1. They fixed the problem of not being able to include an .asp page in an .asp page.

The Billboard Clear Channel Didn't Want You to See

Curveball over at Kuro5hin.org writes about the billboard that will be up on the CondeNast Building in Times Square during the Republican Convention.

Democracy is best taught by example, not by war

I wanted so many people to see this that I bought the bumper sticker.

'Not Found' Is Not An Option: Error Handling and User Experience

Found this over at sitepoint: 'Not Found' Is Not An Option: Error Handling and User Experience. There is no greater disappointment than failing to find what you're looking for. From time to time, surfing the Web will lead us to dead ends that typically sport the titles "Error 404", "Not Found", or "The document could not be found".

A few recommendations that will help you deliver a better user experience:

Do Not Redirect Without Permission

Redirecting people to the homepage -- or any other place, for that matter -- without an explanation is simply impolite, and will only confuse your visitors. Such a simple implementation may seem like a good idea, but it's really only a means to avoid the problem -- not a real solution.

Do Offer a Site Map

Many Usability experts say that site maps have no place in a Website and that, if a site really needs to be mapped in order for users to get around, a design problem exists. I think that statement is questionable, but if there's a good place for a site map, it's at your 404 page. Think about it: this document would appear in the only place at which no real content was served. It's the best place to offer a global view of the content structure of your site, as it provides hints to your visitors and will help them find what they're looking for.

Do Offer a Search Form Whenever Possible

If you have an internal search engine, putting a search form in your 404 page is a no-brainer. But, what about taking it a step further? Depending on the server-side technology you use, you might be able to trigger an automatic search based on any data you can extract from the visitor's query.

Do Fix those Broken Links

HTML and XHTML Frequently Answered Questions

The W3C HTML Working Group has released HTML and XHTML Frequently Answered Questions, written for Web content authors and designers. Two of the FAQs are: Why should I care if my document is in correct HTML? It displays all right on my browser and Why do you say "user agent" everywhere, instead of "browser"?

Here's a new site I'll be reading for the next week

Convention Bloggers: A community site for bloggers participating in the DNC, July 26-29. Acts a bit wierd in IE, though - I wonder what software they're using for the site?

Edit: The site works much better in Firefox 0.9.

Implant surgery update

You may recall I had oral surgery back in April to have two implants put in. I went back to the oral surgeon/dentist on July 13th for what I thought was a final checkup before I would go back to my own dentist and have the crowns put in.

Not quite.

I knew something was up when the oral surgeon approached me with a Novocaine needle. I asked what it was for - he said he had to numb me to take out the healing screws that he had placed inside the implants - to get to the healing screws he had to punch a small hole in the gum just above it.

OK.

The first healing screw came out with no problem.

The second healing screw was a different story. It wouldn't come out. It was locked in. He used a tool with a ratchet, I think - I heard it but I didn't see it. The tool didn't work - as a matter of fact, it broke in my mouth! So now, not only is the healing screw still locked in, but now there is a piece of carbide from the tool sitting on top of it!

I went back this past Tuesday and he tried again for another hour to get out the piece of carbide. Nothing worked - not even diamond drill bits.

At this point, he's consulted with the company that makes the tool that broke to see what they recommend.

Worst case for me is that I may have to have the surgery done over, only this time it would be two surgeries - one to have the implant taken out, and another to have a new one put in - they can't do both on the same day.

I am not happy.

Toshiba has released the Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition Update for e800/e805
On July 23, 2004, Toshiba posted the Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition Update for the e800/e805. Has anyone tried it? How did it go?
FrontPage Web Casts in August 2004
Two new Web casts coming in August targeted at FrontPage interoperability with Windows SharePoint Services sites.
Your potential. Our passion.

From Microsoft Research: Your potential. Our passion. Love the music - try loading it in two browser windows at once  :-)

The Disappearing Home Link

Found this over at whitespace: “One of the problems that we designers have is that we assume that users understand that web like we do. However, I have found myself many times looking for the “home” link only to remind myself a couple seconds later that I should try to click on the logo. I can only imagine the trouble that non-expert users would have.“

“What if a user comes from google to a subpage? How will they know how to get to the homepage? What about the thousands of new users who are going online for the first time ever?“

Good points.

Time to check the sites I've designed to see if I could find my way home.

It's Tuesday and it is Patch Day
Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for July, 2004
Issued: July 13, 2004
Version Number: 1.0

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-jul.mspx

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-024
Vulnerability in Windows Shell Could Allow Remote Code Execution (839645)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-024.mspx

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-023
Vulnerability in HTML Help Could Allow Code Execution (840315)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-023.mspx

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-022
Vulnerability in Task Scheduler Could Allow Code Execution (841873)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-022.mspx

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-021
Security Update for IIS 4.0 (841373)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-021.mspx

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-020
Vulnerability in POSIX Could Allow Code Execution (841872)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-020.mspx

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-019
Vulnerability in Utility Manager Could Allow Code Execution (842526)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-019.mspx

MS04-018: Cumulative Security Update for Outlook Express (823353)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-018.mspx
(this one does not appear to be live yet).

Microsoft MVP Awardees on the Communities site
Live and in living color - there's a new addition on the Microsoft Communities site - Microsoft MVP Awardees - with pictures, bios, so you can get to know your favorite MVP a bit better. Here's where you can meet the FrontPage MVPs for 2003-2004.
Giving in to the spammers?

I've had my web site spiderwebwoman.com since 1997 and from day one I used pretty much the same email address for everything - posting to newsgroups, emailing with friends, shopping online, etc. The amount of spam got to be so high that I decided to shut that email address down. I spend the last few weeks changing my email address everywhere - MS Passport, my web site, online shopping sites, travel sites, family, friends and neighbors. Last night I finally deleted the address from my account admin screen at my web host.

I have to smile (laugh) when I think of all the email spam that is bouncing now, but it makes me sad mad that I had to do it.

the five people you meet in heaven
I just finshed reading “the five people you meet in heaven” by Mitch Albom - what a wonderful book. I like the ones that tell a story and make you think. It's about the impact you have on other people's lives, including people you've never met.
What features would you like to see in the next version of Internet Explorer?
Post them on the InternetExplorerFeedback Wiki over at Channel9  There's quite a long list there.
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