February 2008 - Posts
It's going to be nice to have the extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day, when we can really enjoy it, but it's going to suck to be driving to work in the dark again.
This one was as predictable as lawsuits ever get: A Los Angeles firm this afternoon has announced a class action against Network Solutions and ICANN over the former's practice of locking up domain names as soon as they are searched for on its site, which means the party searching can buy the name only from Network Solutions.
The practice has been highly controversial and now lawyers at Kabateck Brown Kellner are tossing around words such as "defraud" and "scheme." They're also suing ICANN for failing to stop what is known in the industry as "front running."
From the press release:
Network Solutions has forced millions of people to buy Internet domain names from them instead of cheaper competitors through a scheme that's netted the firm millions of dollars, a federal class action lawsuit filed today by Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP states. ICANN, whose policies facilitate the scheme, is also named in the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Lawsuit targets Network Solutions, ICANN over the 'front running' of domain names | NetworkWorld.com Community
I am so guilty of Nos. 4 & 10:
- You can't concentrate on anything while waiting for the gadget delivery person.
- You get your box cutter out first thing on delivery day just so it's ready when the gadget arrives.
- You stop in your tracks every few minutes every time you hear a truck drive down the street.
- You feel your heart drop every single time a FedEx truck drives past without stopping.
- You plug in all the peripherals for the new gadget before it even arrives.
- You go over everything you need to build your new system multiple times while waiting for it.
- You make a list for everything you need to install on the new system and the order you need to do so.
- You rearrange every plug in the power strip just to make sure there is room for one more.
- You greet the UPS man brusquely because he's not the FedEx guy.
- You keep checking the delivery status online every 15 minutes just to make sure it hasn't changed.
jkOnTheRun: You know you're a hopeless geek when:
If you use FrontPage (or you know someone who uses FrontPage) - we have good news for you if you are considering upgrading your toolset. Expression Web provides a really solid Web authoring tool to create and maintain sites based on standards-compliant code. I have a non-technical friend (a theatre producer) who bought Expression Web on my advice (he was a hardcore FrontPage user), and he found Expression Web very easy to use and intuitive.
The Expression team has a great upgrade offer - if you purchase Expression Web between now and June 30 2008, you can receive a free 80 GB USB drive and a complimentary copy of "Microsoft Expression Web Step by Step"! Visit this site to learn more about the offer.
Canadian Developers : Cool Offer and Information for Canadian Web Designers
From Jacob Good:
Got my copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional from the Install Fest Microsoft had a few months back…
It came with a nice Product Key, but no instructions on how to take our existing trial edition and upgrade it to the fully registered professional product…
Here’s what I did to get it working:
Insert newly acquired Visual Studio 2008 Professional DVD that you received from Microsoft.
Wait till the auto-run starts, or right click on the CD and run the auto-run.
Select Change or Remove Visual Studio 2008
Wait till it goes through it’s initialization procedure and click next.
You’ll be prompted with a dialog with the Product Key Entry on the bottom and a button that says Upgrade. Enter in your Product Key and click Upgrade! (NOTE: My screen shot does not have the product key box, but it will be located at the bottom of the screen in the white space)
Wash hands repeatedly and enjoy your free software…
That’s all that it took to get my copy up… from trial to Professional!
thoughts to blog: Visual Studio 2008 Professional
Teenage gaming heroes apart, few of us are perfect when it comes to dexterity, sight and hearing.
In 2003, Microsoft commissioned Forrester Research to ‘measure the market’ for accessibility technology and present findings about computer users who could benefit from it.
The results were surprising. One quarter had a visual impairment, nearly the same percentage had dexterity difficulties, and one fifth had hearing problems.
All in all, Forrester found that nearly two thirds of the survey sample would be likely to benefit from accessibility technology in one way or another. The real eye-opener was that the survey sample consisted entirely of 18- to 64-year-olds. You don’t need to be a market analyst to realise that accessibility is even more important for young children and the elderly.
Windows has had accessibility features since version 95, and even before that there was a separate ‘Access pack’ available for Windows 3, so many of the utilities and features we’ll be looking at here are not new.
However, Vista sees several improvements - particularly in the way accessibility functions are organised - and one new killer feature.
Read the complete article at Vista accessibility - 19 Feb 2008 - IT Week
If you recall, back in January Network Solutions found themselves under fire for purchasing and holding certain domains for five days after they're searched for at the company's website. The tactic allowed the provider to keep shoppers from doing business elsewhere. At the time, Jonathon Nevett, Vice President of Policy at Network Solutions, issued a statement saying that the practice wasn't anti-competitive -- it was a security feature:
...we have implemented a security measure to protect our customers. The measure will kick in when a customer searches for an available domain name at our website, but decides not to purchase the name immediately after conducting the search...You are correct that we are trying to take an arrow out of the quiver of the tasters. As you know, domain tasters are the largest Front Runners. [...] Some folks may not agree with our approach, but we are trying to prevent this malicious activity from impacting our customers.
ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) recently investigated a number of front-running complaints, and found more often than not, the complainants generally misundertsood the domain business. While SSAC did not formally investigate Network Solutions, they did have a chat with Nevett (see this transcript, about halfway down), who continues to defend the practice as their response to front-running.
Network Solutions Defends Holding Domains Hostage - Still apparently a security 'feature', not anti-competitive endeavor... - dslreports.com
Learn about new developer features that help make Internet Information Server (IIS) 7 the most flexible, extensible and customizable Web server on the planet. We have rebuilt the extensibility model for IIS7 to be more modular and customizable. We’ll cover the new extensibility architecture in IIS7. In IIS7, the core IIS web server functionality is implemented using the same platform that you will use to build your extensions to the server. We’ll also show off the new distributed configuration system and how easy it is to deploy applications, including IIS configuration, through simple XCopy deployment. You’ll learn about improved support in IIS7 for common Web programming languages like PHP as well as how to do applications using the best of PHP and ASP.NET.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
2:00P-3:30P EST (11:00A-12:30P PST)
Register at this link:
Note: Audio will be via the Internet. Your machine will need a speaker.
Public Sector Developer Weblog : WEBCAST: Introducing Internet Information Server 7 for Developers
See the Swoosh?
We added a little swoosh icon after updates in your timeline. Clicking it inserts @username into the update field so you can react more easily to a person you're following.
Twitter Blog: See the Swoosh?
In addition to the normal features, here's what else I need:
Multi Line is OK
CallerID & Call Waiting
Speakerphone on the base is required; Speakerphone on the handset would be nice
Voice Mail compatible (no answering machine)
Ability to plug a corded headset into both the base and the cordless handset
CallerID screen on the handset and the base
Ability to see on the handset and the base the last 10 or so numbers that I called out and redial them
The bandages are off, the stitches are out, and I've weaned myself off the meds - well, not really. I didn't take much of the heavy duty stuff after the first 48 hours.
I started Physical Therapy last Friday and today had my fourth session. So far, the Therapist has me doing a set of 7 exercises during the session, and doing them once or twice a day at home. She's recommending to the doctor that I continue PT for another four weeks. I see the doctor on Monday and hopefully will get from him a return-to-work date.
I have reached the point where I'm glad I had this done. With assistance from the PT I can now put my arm up over my head with less pain that I was experiencing before the surgery. I am still not allowed to do it by myself, though. That will come in time.
Loren Heiny has posted his list of the Top ten reasons why Twitter keeps going down - personally I believe No. 1 and No. 2 say it all:
1. Everyone knows that Robert Scoble has almost 5,000 followers on twitter. Well, it turns out that he finally decided to reach out to all his following friends in a meaningful way and send a thank-you tweet to each and every one of them. The result? Twitter tanked.
2. Not satisfied with his follower count, Robert Scoble then tried to add the five thousand and first follower. Twitter choked. Face it Robert, there's a hard limit on the Internet: 5,000 contacts is it. That's all you get. Period.
Incremental Blogger: Top 10 reasons why twitter keeps going down
Teach your students how to use a professional design tool to create their own Web sites with this new student-friendly tutorial, Your Learning Guide to Expression Web. Download the tutorial here.
Be sure to check out our teacher-created and classroom-tested curriculum unit (including lesson plans), The Expression Web Curriculum Unit. It complements the tutorial for classroom use. Download the curriculum here.
Walter Stiers - Academic Relations Team (BeLux) : Microsoft® Expression® Web Tutorial and Curriculum Unit Now Available!
CHICAGO (AP) -- United Airlines will start charging domestic passengers $25 to check in a second piece of luggage if they are not part of its most-frequent-flier programs, the airline said Monday.
United to charge $25 for extra luggage on domestic flights - Feb. 4, 2008
I have a client who is ready to start blogging and we are looking for some recommendations. She would prefer it if it could be hosted on her existing site which is running on Microsoft-IIS on Windows 2000 (we manage the site with FrontPage). She would like the URL to be either www.domain.com/blog or www.blog.domain.com
We are not sure what her current host VIA net.works offers or supports - I've written to them but haven't heard back yet.
She also looking for a CAPTCHA based commenting system, but if that doesn't work, she'd like the ability to switch to comments moderation - I'm not sure that's possible, but I told her I would look.
Her other request it that it be customizable with respect to the colors and font, so it looks as much like her existing site as possible.
Price wise, she's looking for anything from free up to $15.00 a month.
Do you have any recommendations and or examples we could look at?
Edit: I should also mention that this customer is a nonprofit organization as described by Section 501 (c)3.
From the Public Sector Developer Weblog:
Microsoft has recently released a new series of Virtual Labs (pre-configured Windows environments that you can Remote-Desktop into and learn how to use our products/technologies) for Microsoft Expressions. For those of you who are not aware of what Expressions is, Expressions is a set of Designer and Developer tools for Multimedia, Web UI, and Digital Asset Management (e.g., Full motion videos, pictures, etc.).
To learn more about Expressions in general or get a free trial download, check out this link: http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/overview.aspx?key=web. For the Virtual Labs, you won't need anything, because they come pre-configured with all of the software that you need to learn how to use the products. And, of course the Virtual Labs are FREE!
Here's a list of the Expression Virtual labs (Link to the main page is: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/aa740378.aspx):
MSDN Virtual Lab Express: Expression Web- Designing Pages with CSS
MSDN Virtual Lab Express: Expression Web and ASP.NET 2.0 Controls
MSDN Virtual Lab Express: Create a Standards-Based Web Site with Expression Web
MSDN Virtual Lab Express: Designing Pages with CSS using Expression Web
Public Sector Developer Weblog : Free Training: New Microsoft Expressions Virtual Labs
Are you a superbowl ad critic? Of course you are, everyone is. Even if you don’t watch the superbowl, those pervasive ads will end up in YouTube, Digg, and your cousins blog and your best friends Facebook profile. Tired of others choosing which one was the funniest/stupidist/biggest waste of time? Well this year, you can rate your own superbowl ads using Twitter, and see what everyone else in Twitter thinks too.
There’s just three steps:
1) Sign up: Get a twitter account, got that? Good.
2) Send your vote to @superbowlads: When we’re watching the game in real time, simply send a reply to superbowlads. Jeremiah Owyang created this Twitter account just for this virtual event. Reply to the superbowlads account, name the commerical, and give it a rating of 1-5 stars, 5 being the best.
“@superbowlads That Pepsi commercial was funny 4 stars”
“@superbowlads The Hillary Clinton advertisement was bunko 2 stars”
“@superbowlads Bud-wise-er, that was so 10 years ago, weak. 1 star”
3) See what others rated: You can then see everyone who’s rated the ads by doing a search on any of the Twitter search tools - see this example, it’s showing all the people who have replied to superbowlads.
Read more at Jeremiah Owyang's blog:
Hey Armchair Critics, Rate the SuperBowl ads this Sunday using Twitter
Josh Legard has written a Windows Live Writer Feed Insert Plugin that makes it easy to pull multiple RSS or Atom feed items into a blog post.