Archive | September, 2004

Andrew blogs Visual FoxPro DevCon Keynote

Congratulations to Andrew MacNeill for not one, not two, but six posts on the Visual DevCon keynote presentation, given tonight in Las Vegas:

  • DevCon 2004 Keynote with the Fox Team Part 1
  • Calvin VFP Keynote Part 2
  • YAG – VFP Keynote SQL Demos
  • Randy Brown – Keynote Demos
  • VFP 9 Keynote – Reporting Features
  • DevCon Keynote Cleanup

Technorati’s Lessons Learned

The Doc Searls Weblog points to an article by David Sifry, listing their cascading troubles that started with a fire at their colocation facility. I went through a similar learning experience while I was at and we had our servers hosted by USDataCenters. Short answer: you should have a local UPS on your machine with ‘soft shutdown’ software in place so that your box doesn’t get corrupted when the rest of the facility goes down.

There’s a Mr. Murphy here, and he’s got a torch.

David Sifry: The colo fire has led to a cascade of failures

CoDE Focus special issue on VFP 9 available for download

A special issue of CoDE magazine, called CoDE Focus, has been released for VFP 9. I know in the past, Microsoft underwrote these issues, though I don’t know if it is true for this one. Great articles by Doug Hennig, Cathy Pountney, Rod Paddock, David T. Anderson, and more!

Microsoft: You Want a Fixed IE? Pay us.

CNET reports Microsoft to secure IE for XP only.

Microsoft this week reiterated that it would keep the new version of Microsoft’s IE Web browser available only as part of the recently released Windows XP operating system, Service Pack 2

Hello? Is anyone at Microsoft listening? What a great strategy! Let’s abandon the 200 million customers who chose not to upgrade and leave them with software known to be defective. Of course, Microsoft will backport its Avalon and Indigo subsystems from Longhorn to Windows XP because they see the uptake of Longhorn as too slow. Maybe it’s time for them to re-examine their business model and consider enticing customers to upgrade with carrots (like features!) instead of sticks (like abandoning them with buggy software).

It’s your choice. Upgrade for $99 to Windows XP, a new version of the operating system that may or may not work with your existing hardware and software. Or abandon the “free” browser and run something more secure. Microsoft has claimed the IE will always be “free,” so how can they demand $99 for the most recent version?

Take a look at Opera, Mozilla, FoxFire or Camino (for the Mac). These vendors haven’t abandoned Windows 2000.

Rick Strahl: IE is riddled with bugs, security holes and lacks standards compliance

Alex Feldstein links to Rick Strahl’s “Browser wars? Maybe not, but…” and Alex adds “Rick writes an opinion about the browser wars… I completely agree with what he says. I use IE at work (corporate standard) and the latest Firefox version at home. Although I personally like Firefox, I try to make my websites compatible with both… IE and Firefox both have some security problems, but IE’s are worse. There are many issues that Microsoft has to address, security being just one of them. Read the full blog at “Browser wars? Maybe not, but…

I’m surprised by the strength of Rick’s writings, but agree whole-heartedly. IE is my last choice for browsing, after Camino, Safari, FireFox and Opera…

Tivo + NetFlix + RSS = nextGenTV?

Television seems to be poised on the brink of making itself completely irrelevant, or reinventing itself into a fantastic new medium with the power of Tivo-NetFlix-RSS: thousands of hours of video-on-demand streamed from in-house servers could make TV as exciting as you want, rather than being stuck with a slow night of re-runs. Dan Gillmor writes:

TV and the Net.

(This is also my Sunday column in the San Jose Mercury News.)

Media junkies have felt a small shiver of anticipation from recent press reports pointing to a linkup between NetFlix, the mail-order video-rental company, and TiVo, the hard-disk home video system. Maybe we’ll soon see the NetFlix catalog made available via the Internet.

The idea definitely has some allure. Anything that lets us avoid a trip to the video-rental store, while simultaneously offering more choices of movies, sounds good at first glance. In some ways, it’s the future of home entertainment.

If such a service ever does take shape, however, it’ll likely include severe restrictions on what customers can do with what they’ve rented. The copyright wars ensure that.

More… [Dan Gillmor’s eJournal]

FireFox on fire

With the Preview Release of version 1.0, FireFox developers and promoters set a goal of one million downloads in 10 days. They smashed through the one million mark in less that half of that – 100 hours! Join in the fun:

Get Firefox!

Win XP2 default firewall configuration could open your shares to the world

On Ed Leafe’s ProFox mailing list, member Bill Anderson pointed out a PC World blog posting [Update: link removed; gone] that in turn links to their German publication with an article that says that under certain circumstances, having Windows File and Print Sharing opened for your local network can also open it for your Internet connection, exposing your files to the world. Oops.

It provides a step-by-step to ensure your are not exposed. Take a minute and check your settings!

If I understand the bug correctly, the problem is that the firewall settings are universal for all of your network connections, and the settings are applied to “my subnet” rather than explicit IP addresses. When you’re at home on your 192.168.1.* network, life is fine. But if you take your machine on the road and dial in via CompuServe, a T-Moble wireless access point, or a client’s network, you are now sharing all of your file shares with everyone on that subnet. That’s not a smart design. Each network connection should have it’s own settings, so you can open File and Print shares in trusted settings and have them blocked in others. And PC Welt’s solution of assigning IP addresses only fixes those situations where the other connection doesn’t have the same IP addresses, so if your client also has 192.168.1.* addresses, everyone on their network could read your files. Unacceptable.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the WinXP firewall is only a one-way blocker and you should really look for a better product like [Note: links removed, ancient and questionable] Kerio, ZoneAlarm or Tiny.

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