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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

FEBRUARY 15, 2012

Feature Content

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

Nata's Corner
Email, security and privacy

Tip From The Mods
On new releases and bug fixes

Fan mail for Experts

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through February 11

What's New at E-E

Most Valuable Experts: The first group of Experts Exchange's Most Valuable Experts were announced last week, citing twelve members for their contributions, not only as Experts, but as supporters of the EE community; they are recognized more for how they earn their rankings at Experts Exchange than they are for the rankings themselves. The awardees are:

   Rory Archibald (rorya): Rory is the top Expert in Excel and a Microsoft MVP admired by his peers at EE for his patience and generosity in dealing with people.
   John Blanke (johnb6767): John is, in many ways, the archetype for the EE Expert: He came to Experts Exchange trying to find a solution, and stayed to give back.
   Kevin Cross (mwvisa1): Kevin seems like the busiest man in the room. In addition to being a Page Editor and Zone Advisor, he belongs to several usergroups near home... and coaches his daughter's basketball team.
   Ingeborg Hawighorst (teylyn): Ingeborg has been around EE for a while, but only started answering questions in 2010 -- and was good enough to be EE's Rookie of the Year. The next year: the Microsoft MVP. She's definitely one of EE's Most Valuable too.
   Scott Helmers (scott): A four-time Microsoft MVP in Visio, he wrote the book on the subject for Microsoft Press and has contributed to EE's Cloud Class webinars.
   Matt Huxtable (tigermatt): In his first year at Cambridge University, Matt has been at EE for a third of his life. A Page Editor and Zone Advisor, he still maintains his secondary school's 2000 machine network.
   Mike McCracken (mlmcc): Mike has been working with computers for over 30 years; if there's anyone, anywhere, who has taught more people about Crystal Reports, we don't know of him.
   Ray Paseur (Ray_Paseur): Ray started programming back when almost every language was spelled in upper case letters, and picked up PHP after "retiring".
   Sean Stuber (sdstuber): Sean's contributions in Oracle, besides being near the top of the HOF list, include several articles on network access control lists unavailable anywhere except EE.
   Valentino Vranken (ValentinoV): A prolific author at Experts Exchange, with 15 highly regarded articles, Valentino is also on the board of the Belgian SQL users group.
   Terry Woods (TerryAtOpus): Terry has found his niche at EE in the Regular Expressions topic area, and started this year as he finished last year: as a major contributor in the beta-testing of the EEv10.
   Philip Windell (pwindell): Philip is a Microsoft MVP in Forefront-ISA, and contributes not only at EE, but at several other industry forums as well.

T-Shirt Challenge, redux: Okay, Experts. You asked for it; now is your opportunity to answer questions for clean water. If you have t-shirts you haven't redeemed (and don't need more shirts), you can offer them to charity, and Experts Exchange will donate the money it saves to WaterRun to build a well to provide clean drinking water to the Ayder region of Ethiopia. This will be the fourth well contributed by the membership and staff of Experts Exchange.

User group sponsorship: Over the years, Experts Exchange has sponsored the occasional user group meeting; now, you can get EE to help your user group by first taking a look at the short list of requirements and then filling out the application. EE will come up with up to $300 for your group, and will kick in six-month trial memberships for your group.

Certified, customized and cool: 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!

Customer Service contest: If you have a reason to deal with the CS department, you can win one of the very nice EE polo shirts just for filling out the survey after your experience. The contest runs through the end of the month, so post about your experience today!

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PictureMy public service announcement for this issue: Ten things IT professionals -- which a lot of you are -- do that lead to burnout. Are you listening, dear?

There are a lot of questions asked at Experts Exchange about monitoring email and who can do it under what circumstances and so on; basically, in the US anyway, if an organization is supplying the computer, the network and everything else so that you have a company email address, then they can monitor it for whatever reason they want. When my other half worked for a big computer company, the husband of one of his co-workers worked to one of those financial services companies -- and all he did all day long was look at the email traffic into other employees' accounts. But what isn't legal is for an organization to monitor employees' personal accounts; if you work for XYZ Company, and they give you an @xyzcompany.com email address, they can look at that, but they can't monitor your Gmail account -- not legally anyway.

It's also not legal for agencies of the federal government to fire whistleblowers -- the people who tell other government agencies or newspapers about things that aren't right in government. For six people who worked for the Food and Drug Administration, that's a big deal because they have sued the FDA for not just firing them over some possibly shady doings, but broke into their personal email accounts to gather evidence against them. In the meantime, I'd definitely consider getting a second opinion if your doctor uses one of the recently approved devices.

Trustwave's annual security report is out -- it's a free download with registration -- and it has some interesting little tidbits:

  • Third party organizations responsible for system development, support and maintenance are the source of four out of five security deficiencies.
  • Less than 12 per cent of malware samples were detected by anti-virus systems.
  • The most commonly used password is "Password1" because it fits Microsoft's Active Directory "complexity" requirement.
  • Attacks on law enforcement agencies increased almost five times from 2010 to 2011.
  • Almost 30 per cent of attacks come from Russia, and just over ten per cent come from the US. 32.5 per cent ceom from "Unknown Origin", and missing from the list is -- you guessed it -- China.
  • Believe it or not, spam emails have dropped to below 37 per cent after being above half of all email for the three previous years. Pills still leads the subject matter list.

And one thing you're not going to find me doing any time soon: Using my phone to pay for anything or to check my bank account. If you do, you're nuts, especially if you're using an Android device in a chain restaurant.

Finally, the lines are being drawn over Google's new privacy policy that theoretically protects your privacy from everyone (except, of course, Google). A privacy watchdog has sued the Federal Trade Commission to enforce a consent order Google made with the FTC in which it supposedly agreed that Google wouldn't combine user data -- which is is going to start doing in two weeks. Meanwhile, the European Union is also adding pressure that Google is, so far, resisting. And speaking of not always being up front about things, those deleted Facebook photos you hope your mother never sees? They're probably still there.


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The Moderators come across a lot of questions that seem to highlight the skills of Experts; one such question was nancywva's problem with registry changes. Russell_Venable went above and beyond in finding the problem, leading nancywva to say "This problem was a tough one for me. The help I received was outstanding. Thank you to everyone who followed through with me for so many days. Russell Venable, you are incredible. To anyone who reads this dialogue, please block those sites in your router." It didn't end there; Vee_Mod wrote to us to say "I dont think weve ever had an active Expert with the capabilities (and persistence) of Russell." Sorry, VM, but there are quite a few who have matched Russell over the years -- but there are also never enough of them.

Ohmit was pulling his hair out over a SBS server that was losing a couple of minutes every day. demazter and dariusg came to the rescue: "Dematzer, Darius you are the greatest. You are gods! Oracles! if you ever come to Denmark come by and I buy you a whole barrel of beer (and a cake) THANK YOU. I would have said something more but I'm crying :-)"

younghv hit the daily double a couple of weeks ago. First, he helped SueHauser solve an Internet access problem: "The article that younghv gave me is what I was looking for. I am not ready to close it yet as I am still working to totally resolve my problem. This will be a great help in clearing up malware infections. Thanks". Then malware stopped steven5000 from being able to run Windows Defender: "WOW... This is a TON of info...read some of the links...some of the stuff I do, but most I have not been doing... BUT...now I understand why you want to run scans with Windows active... Printing out the info and probably all the links...putting the stuff in a 3 ring binder... Many, many thanx...!!!"

slats52 was looking for a simple solution to starting xmllint in a bash script, and duncan_roe's six-line command fit the bill: "Well duncan_roe, you've done it again. I thought I finally was able to stump the experts, with what I convinced myself was a ridiculous request. But I'm very impressed that you've proved me wrong. This isn't the first time you bailed me out, and I'm sure it won't be that last. Thanks Again, Steve P.S. We'll be getting your corner office ready..."

In Brief

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Making lists: Our friends know of our abiding passion for basketball (Go, Tigers!) and high-quality universities, so we're passing along the following list of 10 Lessons Jeremy Lin Can Teach Us Before We Go To Work Monday Thursday Morning, along with a great list of eleven deadly social media sins.

In case anyone has forgotten: Iran has its own ways of dealing with unpopular websites: a) shut down the Internet; or b) execute the site's developer.

Be like Mike... rosoft: Google's Android operating system is the most popular smart-phone operating system -- even if the phone might be spying on you -- which makes it also the most targeted by malware. Raise your hand if you didn't see that coming.

In requiem: Ben Gazzara and the last vestiges of Eastman Kodak's dignity. As long as they don't take my Kodachrome away.

Words cannot describe... bacon milkshakes.

Don't feed the trolls, Part 1: A few years back, we made note of Eolas Technologies, a little company that got a patent for what it called the "interactive web" while its owner worked for the University of California, and its success at suing Microsoft and winning over $500 million. The verdict was eventually overturned, but Redmond settled rather than risk another trial. Eolas didn't go away, though; instead, it filed claims against about 20 familiar companies -- Apple, Blockbuster and eBay among them. Last week, the case finally went to trial, with everyone expecting the worst: that the patent would be held as valid, and the world would come to an end. Cooler heads prevailed.

Also, avoid Nome: When the temperature drops below freezing, you're going to have problems with it working. (Thanks, Todd!)

Nothing to do with tech: Greek police want to issue arrest warrants for European Union officials. Microsoft, Intel and Google won't object.

What's the Chinese word for applesauce? ProviewTechnology has sued Apple, holding up sales of the iPad in China, saying it owns the legal rights to the name iPad. Oh, yeah... Cupertino will pay.

Sticking it to The Man: Kingsoft has a free alternative to Microsoft's Word, Excel and Powerpoint suite that is getting decent reviews -- as long as you don't need anything super-sophisticated. The price is certainly right.

Matt, be careful what you post on Facebook: Memo to teenagers: you're not always smarter than your parents. It's as real as anything is on Facebook.

Beachfront property in Topeka: When Google says it's not going to build retail stores we don't believe it either, and here's why. Microsoft is building them too.

Don't feed the trolls, Part 2: The Boston police department reacted to Anonymous and the BBC put one on television.

Jason's Time Sink of the Week: Not all of them are funny, but enough are. Then there's also Steve Jobs' FBI file.

You, too, can irritate the recording and movie industries: Just download your own Pirate Bay.

There's a joke in here just crying to be let out: Authorities in Utah were good enough to tell Alabama law enforcement agencies that they'd been hacked by Anonymous (also suspected in the attack on the CIA's website over the weekend). Also, a woman was arrested in Boston for trying to pass fake $20 bills at a strip club.

Think you're smart enough? Go ahead: take the test.

Signs of the Apocalypse: Sleep-texting, a headline you never thought you'd see, and MySpace is growing.


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New Geniuses: Dhaest has earned two Genius certificates over the last couple of weeks, in .NET and C# Programming, bringing his total to five. kaufmed has earned his fourth, in Regular Expressions. strung, the all-time leader in almost everything Macintosh, has his second Genius certificate, in Mac OS-X. Earning their first Genius certificates were MikeKane in Cisco PIX/ASA Firewalls and ded9 in Windows 7.

Milestones: With this issue, we are including both answer and articles points here.

Expert In Topic Area Certificate
Dhaest.NET ProgrammingGenius
brutaldev.NET ProgrammingMaster
yo_beeActive DirectoryMaster
AkhaterActive DirectoryWizard
sigurarmAdobe PhotoshopGuru
jason1178Apache Web ServerMaster
maximus5328Apple OSMaster
maximus5328Apple SoftwareMaster
pgm554Backup / RestoreMaster
LeeOsborneUKBlackberry ProgMaster
MikeKaneCisco PIX/ASAGenius
fgasimzadeCisco PIX/ASAGuru
Ray_PaseurContent ManagementMaster
DaveBaldwinEmail ClientsMaster
fgrushevskyEmail ClientsMaster
fgasimzadeHardware FirewallsMaster
x_comInternet MarketingMaster
strungMac OS XGenius
KdoMisc DatabasesGuru
LSMConsultingMisc DatabasesWizard
matrixnzMisc ProgrammingMaster
ahoffmannMisc SecurityWizard
apache09MS ApplicationsWizard
HainKurtMS DevelopmentMaster
Shanan212MS ExcelMaster
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
arnoldMS Forefront-ISAMaster
TehzarMS SharePointMaster
lcohanMS SQL ServerSage
emoreauMS SQL ServerWizard
awking00MS SQL Server 2005Master
oBdAMS SQL Server 2005Master
hanccockaMS SQL Server 2008Master
MlandaTMS SQL Server 2008Master
dqmqMS SQL Server 2008Wizard
coolsport00MS Virtual ServerMaster
SouljaNetwork AnalysisMaster
richrumbleNetwork ManagementMaster
ikalmarNetworking HardwareGuru
knightEknightQuery SyntaxGuru
Ray_PaseurQuery SyntaxGuru
gdemariaQuery SyntaxMaster
kaufmedRegular ExpressionsGenius
dariusgRemote AccessMaster
setasoujiroSBS Small Business ServerMaster
woolmilkporcStorage MiscMaster
ehabsalemSymantec Anti-VirusMaster
gerwinjansenUnix OSMaster
MartinLissVisual Basic ClassicGuru
RolandDeschainVisual Basic.NETWizard
Idle_MindVisual C++.NETMaster
COBOLdinosaurWeb BrowsersWizard
ahoffmannWeb Languages/StandardsMaster
dvt_localboyWindows 2003 ServerGuru
fl_flyfishingWindows 2003 ServerMaster
lucius_theWindows 2003 ServerMaster
ded9Windows 7Genius
ChetanKhuranaWindows 7Master
garycaseWindows 7Wizard
matrixnzWindows BatchMaster
arnoldWindows OSGuru
QlemoWindows Server 2008Guru
DrashielWindows Server 2008Master
jcimarronWindows Server 2008Master
jordannetWindows Server 2008Master
newmathWindows Server 2008Master
pcsmitpraWindows Server 2008Master
rscottvanWindows Server 2008Master
slemmesmiWindows Server 2008Master
MojoTechWindows Server 2008Wizard
zc2XSL FormattingMaster