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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

FEBRUARY 13, 2013

Featured Content

What's New at Experts Exchange
From the SLO and beyond

Nata's Corner
UPnP and hacking contests

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through Feb. 9

What's New at E-E

T-shirts for water: Experts donated over 500 t-shirts, enough to build our third water well, this one in Aditigray Village in Ethiopia. Thanks to all of the Experts and Members whose generous donations have made this project possible.

New t-shirt design contest: It's time to vote for the next set of designs for EE's new t-shirts. You have about two weeks, so don't delay.

New Topic Areas: Experts Exchange has added a Copy Review topic area, with subtopics for Marketing, Proofreading and Technical Writing. Post your documents -- they are automatically hidden from the greater Internet -- and let EE's Experts help you make them pristine!

Webinar: Jim Dettman, a Topic Advisor for Microsoft Access and Microsoft MVP, will offer a webinar called "MS Access Questions Answered" on Thursday, Febrary 28 at 11 am PST. The deadline submitting questions is today, so get signed up now.

Podcasts: Jessica DeVita, the Uber Geek Girl, joined last week's podcast to talk about Windows 8. All of the Experts Exchange podcasts are available on iTunes and SoundCloud, and you can listen to them on the Stitcher app for iOS and Android mobile devices.

In beta-testing: If you're a network or system administrator, you might want to take a look at Experts Exchange's "datacenter rack utilization and locator application", also known as dRACKula. Designed by EE's sysadmins, who were frustrated with lost productivity configuring and updating server racks, it allows you to monitor and update your systems with a smart phone or tablet -- from anywhere.

Free trial: Know someone who could benefit from Experts Exchange, but who has always said that s/he doesn't want to spend some money on something without trying it? Have that person fill out this form and they'll get a 90-day free trial.

Kudos: We won't ever be able to say enough good things about byundt, but his contribution to Cactus1994's question about an Excel formula is awe-inspiring. He got a little help from matthewspatrick, who clarified the question, but the solution is all byundt: "Incredible responses you've provided. I am constantly amazed at the replies I get to various questions on EE, and yours is one of the most impressive. I'm plugging your reply into my larger spreadsheet now." That was followed up with: "Everything works perfectly after plugging in your solutions to my larger analysis spreadsheet. Again, I am in awe of the solutions you provided. I truly appreciate your time, your expertise, your explanations, insight, and of course, the exact solution I was looking for."

matthewspatrick got a little love of his own from sannunzi, who needed to concatenate rows in Access. matthewspatrick posted a link to his article on the subject along with a little code: "This works like a champ. I thought it would take a long time for the query to run but it was fast. Thank you so much. This will save hours of work."

Sometimes, just getting a second set of eyes solves a problem. alanhardisty lent his to HaulnSS to solve a problem with Exchange ActiveSynch, and after a little back and forth: "I would give you a million points, if I could! ... Obviously very knowledgeable with IIS, Very much appreciated!"

aej1973 was fighting with javascript validation until mplungjan came along and noticed something fairly simple: "mplungjan, that was it, I would never have guessed! Thanks a ton, really appreciate your help and kudos to EE."

martenrune came to the rescue in samsolutions' question about SQL hosted on a Windows 7 computer: "Thanks for leading me to the right direction and taking the lead in helping me resolving the issue. Keep up the good work mate ... It was an excellent support as it was understood from the start. The advice has given thoughtfully and was not in general. It was worth joining the Experts-Exchange. It was the last day of my try with EE and I got the support I needed and that made to stay."

Expert badge: If you haven't grabbed one already, be sure to nab your very own certified Expert Badge and show off your skills on your personal blog or website. All the cool kids are doing it!

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PicturewirelessI'll believe it when I don't hear it. Television commercials are supposed to start getting quieter.

In about a month, security people are going to try to hack fully patched browsers for fun and profit at the CanSecWest (why does that sound so much like a military abbreviation? Maybe I watch too much NCIS) conference in Vancouver. The bottom line is that if you can crack IE, Firefox, Safari and Chrome, it's worth $500,000. Of course, Google's contest pays better.

Sophos has its annual security threat report available. Not surprisingly, the biggest targets out there are Java and Android. Then again, given how often the US government gets hacked, it's possible that we'd all better start thinking about whether we really need to be online.

This is serious. Almost all of us have bought a new device and plugged it into our computers, and Windows has very nicely popped up its Plug 'N Play system that goes and finds the right drivers so it will work correctly. Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is the next generation, written to make it possible for network devices to communicate with each other, but the release of a Rapid7 white paper a couple of weeks ago has caused the Homeland Security department to tell people to turn off UPnP because of bugs in the protocol. For most of us, disabling it in your router or firewall should do the trick.

Symantec and Microsoft both take a lot of heat out here; they're both described as making bloated software that's behind the times and isn't all that friendly and on and on, but every once in a while, we all need to give them their just due when they do something right, like busting up a big botnet that made its money through click fraud. And speaking of fraud, that Facebook legal notice you got? it's legit, so if you're one of the people who "sponsored" a "story" on Facebook but didn't really, you have until May 2 to file a claim.

In Brief

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Haven't we been down this road? Not that we have a stake in the game... but Michael Dell is going to use his own stock in Dell as collateral to ... buy Dell (he's also getting $2 billion from Microsoft -- which makes sense since Dell buys a lot of Microsoft software). Sounds a lot like the banking industry from about four years ago, so it's not surprising that other big shareholders aren't so happy with the deal. Go figure.

Earning their keep: The Federal Communications Commission has been pretty busy lately; the agency proposed "super WiFi networks" (making the tech industry happy and the cable industry apoplectic); told Congress that a free and open Internet is "under attack" from the UN's telecommunications agency, which is a little like saying the barn door is open after the horse has already left; and finally started thinking about what to do about cell phone disruptions during a storm -- while a huge snowstorm pounded the northeast.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't all my fault: Nata took a little bit of a justifiable shot at me in our last issue, but it turns out that maybe my having a spam tweet sent out by my account wasn't entirely my fault. I'd blame Facebook, but I don't have an account there. And while we're on the subject, if you want to guarantee that you're trending, it will only cost you $200,000 -- a day.

I'll do it after I've answered this question: One of these days, I'll read 10 steps to stop procrastinating. Or I can use Google Calendar; it obviously worked for them.

Tough times in the advertising businessDarn the bad luck: Big advertisers (and big ad firms) are finding out that Facebook ain't what they used to be. It especially didn't do well during the Super Bowl.

But they have so much money: The Chinese hacked the New York Times (and the Wall Street Journal), but Google's Eric Schmidt will still talk about them and the Times will still write about them.

Is there anything worth looking at? Google has mapped North Korea, but there are still blank spots -- just not as many. The reviews, though, are priceless.

New toys: The new Blackberry Z10 is getting good reviews. The Microsoft Surface: not so much. The Stanford Bluegene/Q system: absolutely. Just wait'll those guys on World of Warcraft see me now.

I'll take Privacy for $1,000, Alex. "The answer is: Google, AOL, Yahoo and Facebook." "What tech firms are not on the list of most trusted companies for privacy?" But Mozilla and Microsoft are.

In requiem: Andre Cassagnes, inventor of the first tablet-based art device; John Karlin, who led the development of the telephone keypad; and the old name of the manufacturer of the BlackBerry.

If there's no picture, it didn't happen: In a couple of days, a small -- if you call something the size of an Olympic swimming pool "small" -- asteroid will pass the Earth inside the orbit of communications satellites known as the Clarke orbit. Send us any photos you get of it...

If there's no tweet, it didn't happen: When HMV -- a record store company -- decided to cut costs the quickest way possible (fire employees), the one who had the keys to the company's Twitter account used it to retaliate.

Signs of the Apocalypse: If you're Steve Ballmer, releasing Office 365 with no support for the iPad "makes sense". Also, banned personalized license plates, a dad is paying his daughter $200 to quit Facebook, and the emails of two former Presidents were hacked.


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New Prodigy: sdstuber is now a Prodigy in Oracle.

New Aces: Rancy has earned his Ace certificate in Microsoft Exchange, while garycase picked his up in Miscellaneous Hardware.

New Geniuses: leakim971 has become only the seventh member of Experts Exchange to have seven Genius certificates; his most recent is in PHP. Ray_Paseur has earned his fourth, in Miscellaneous Web Development. Picking up his second was COBOLdinosaur, in CSS. Earning their first 1,000,000 t-shirts were redmondb in Microsoft Excel and SidFishes in ColdFusion.


Expert In Topic Area Certificate
JamieMcAllister.NET ProgrammingMaster
Michael74.NET ProgrammingMaster
cgaliherActive DirectoryGuru
IanThActive DirectoryMaster
mutahirActive DirectoryMaster
selvolAdobe PhotoshopMaster
innocentdevilApple SoftwareMaster
eeRootCisco PIX/ASAMaster
SidFishesColdFusion LanguageGenius
cyberwebserviceEE LoungeMaster
RancyEmail ServersWizard
aarontomoskyMicrosoft IIS Web ServerMaster
Darr247Microsoft OSGuru
ArneLoviusMicrosoft OSMaster
Frosty555Microsoft OSMaster
npsingh123Microsoft OSMaster
dstewartjrMicrosoft OSSage
ve3ofaMicrosoft OSSage
garycaseMisc HardwareAce
ScottChaMisc HardwareMaster
Ray_PaseurMisc Web DevGenius
nutschMS ApplicationsGuru
LowfatspreadMS DevelopmentMaster
capricorn1MS DevelopmentSage
redmondbMS ExcelGenius
CodeCruiserMS ExcelGuru
leptonkaMS ExcelMaster
aikimarkMS ExcelSage
MartinLissMS ExcelSage
redmondbMS OfficeGuru
Shanan212MS OfficeMaster
hanccockaMS Server OSGuru
fl_flyfishingMS Server OSMaster
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
olafdcMS Server OSMaster
dhawalsethMS SharePointMaster
ashiloMS SQL ServerWizard
kaufmedMS SQL Server 2008Guru
fmarshallNetwork Design & MethodologyMaster
agonza07Networking HardwareMaster
rauenpcNetworking HardwareMaster
Rick_O_ShayNetworking ProtocolsMaster
justinoleary911Office 365Guru
amit_n_panchalOracle DatabaseMaster
techlevelOracle DatabaseMaster
sdstuberOracle DatabaseProdigy
Sembee2SBS Small Business ServerGuru
ve3ofaSBS Small Business ServerMaster
gheistServer HardwareGuru
dariusgStorage MiscMaster
RolandDeschainVisual C#Master
mplungjanWeb ComponentsMaster
Ray_PaseurWeb ComponentsMaster
lherrouWeb Graphics SoftwareWizard
acperkinsWindows 2003 ServerMaster
jcimarronWindows 2003 ServerMaster
nimatejicWindows 2003 ServerMaster
reach2sandeepWindows 7Master
RobMobilityWindows 7Master
trgrassijr55Windows 7Master
McKnifeWindows 8Master
ve3ofaWindows 8Master
marsiliesWindows OSGuru
PantherTechWindows OSMaster
thinkpads_userWindows OSWizard
DavisMcCarnWindows Server 2008Guru
rbarnhardtWindows Server 2008Guru
Sembee2Windows Server 2008Guru
irweazelwallisWindows Server 2008Master
nobusWindows Server 2008Master
sedgwickWindows Server 2008Master
andyalderWindows Server 2008Wizard
jackiemanWindows VistaSage
lauchangkwangWindows XPMaster
thinkpads_userWireless NetworkingGuru