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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED


Featured 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 25

What's New at E-E

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. To redeem your t-shirts:

  • Edit your profile.
  • Click the Rewards tab.
  • Click the Shirts link in that tab. You will see a list of the shirts that you have earned and are eligible to redeem.
  • Click the Redeem button. You will be taken to a page asking for your shipping information and t-shirt size.
  • Write Donate to charity in every field on the page that asks for your shipping information and t-shirt size.
  • Click Submit.

The total as of a week ago was about 250 of the t-shirts necessary to build the well, so if you don't want to redeem them, please donate them today!

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.

Podcast: The EE Podcast from a couple of weeks ago features Site Administrator Mark Wills describing the Most Valuable Expert program and Experts Exchange system administrator Jason Helfman explaining how businesses can use FreeBSD in their networks. Mr Helfman is a frequent contributor to the FreeBSD project and has written a tutorial on building your own server. Podcasts are issued every couple of weeks and are available on EE's iTunes channel.

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!

Register a Friend for FREE! Have a friend who knows a thing or two about technology?

  • New Experts can answer questions and write articles to unlock Premium Services
  • To unlock these features and become a Qualified Expert, new Experts must earn 10,000 points (about 7 questions)
  • After that, they'll need to earn just 3,000 points each month to keep free membership and access to Premium Services

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PictureFaithful readers know that we spend quite a bit of time in the Midwest visiting the grandkids (yes, I know -- I hide my age well behind blue sunglasses), and since the other half has only seen winter there a couple of times, we decided to go visit. This trip had a few interesting twists and turns, though.

First, I want to take the time to thank the kind people on the "EE Port Team" -- Mark, Molly, Kathryn and the rest of you who I don't know about -- for the amazingly nice gift you sent me, and for all of the support you have given me in the eight years plus I've been doing this. I don't know what you said to the US postal service, but we weren't home on the day it was supposed to arrive, but the mailman saw that the box said perishable, and even though Monday was a holiday, personally delivered it to my daughter-in-law's office.

The second interesting thing was the headline in one of the local papers, about how a federal court had told one of the local schools to stop blocking websites to high school students. What makes the story a little different is that the complaints were about only a few sites being blocked, but the judge's order tells the school to stop using the software altogether -- at least until it gets fixed.

The third interesting thing -- actually, it's kind of creepy -- was when one of my children called us and said she had gotten a package in the mail from someone she didn't think she knew, containing a letter that said he had been trying to get in contact with her for years. After we did a Google search to find him, we called her back and read her a press release, and sent her a photo from one of the dozens of stories (gotta love cameras on cell phones). Then she remembered meeting him over twelve years ago, and after she read us the letter, we told her to get in touch with the detective.

The detective wanted the envelope, so a couple of days later we delivered it for her, and found out that he is getting the FBI involved, because the package contained DVDs that had been copyrighted and "distributed", so the weirdo is in for a long stay someplace. He also told us about how they deal with cybercriminals -- some of the ways they track them down and gather information.

Now if we could just get them to track down all the people who interrupt dinner.


PierceWeb did pretty much everything right. He found the first part of his solution by finding how to create two select menus, and tinkered around so that he got his second menu the way he wanted, but then getting them to work together stumped him. EE's resident Javascript expert, mplungjan gave him the solution, and streamlined the code in the process: "That works great! Thank you very much for your expert assistance! I really appreciate your help! mplungjan conquers the elusive "Double Dynamic Select Menu". Excellent solution! Thanks"

In Brief

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There's a sucker born every minute: And a lot of them are going to jack up the price of Facebook's stock. Guess who wins.

The bigger they are: Becoming the world's most valuable company is not without its drawbacks. Apple is now the target of people who think it is overvalued (despite their own evidence that it isn't), and has a bullseye on its back over its supply chain. For those of you not into jargon, the "supply chain" is not what is used to keep 31-cent-per-hour workers at their stations building iPads and XBoxes. But in a curious paradox, while iPads are manufactured in China, there's a decent possibility that Apple might not be able to sell them to the billion or so people who want them.

Inside Joke Department: It's not quite the same as Dad unplugging the server to use a saw, but the folks at CERN are blaming bad cables. At least they're not saying "ooops" about the Higgs boson.

Dumb and dumber: We're not sure which is worse: someone in China thinking that iPhone gas stoves was a good idea, or the Chinese police thinking they're doing their part to combat copyright infringement by seizing them -- and being proud of doing so.

Irresistible forces and immovable objects: All of these have happened recently.

  • "The Internet" outfaced those mean, nasty, horrible people from the recording and movie industries. The bill would have either protected copyrights, jobs and abolished the Designated Hitter or kept the Fourth Amendment intact, preserved innovation by insanely huge tech companies and saved saved the rebels from more Death Stars depending on who you talked to... AND
  • A group of Senators -- the very same people who had to be convinced that the recording and movie industries wanted the ability to be judge, jury and executioner of anyone who posted a link to a site that might be suspected of possibly violating the copyright to Heaven's Gate -- have decided that they want to protect the US's cybersystems, but they don't say whether they're going to include protecting the world from copyright pirates is part of the mission... AND
  • The new law wouldn't stop agencies like the Federal Trade Commission -- the folks responsible for making sure that everyone gets what they want and that nobody gets everything they want when it comes to the web -- from dropping security requirements from contracts for its own sites, and then blaming everyone else for its screw-up... AND
  • The legislation doesn't do any more than President Obama's "Privacy Bill of Rights" does to protect the privacy of anyone from the prying eyes of the people the real Bill of Rights (that pesky Fourth Amendment again) is supposed to protect us from -- the government... AND
  • It doesn't much matter that Google has agreed (along with Microsoft and Yahoo) to adhere to the President's proposal, because Google has a history of paying attention to privacy concerns only in word, but not so much in deed, making its acquisition of Motorola look like a step toward trying to become another Apple -- which also had its own issues tracking its users ("We don't, but we're going to update our software so we don't do it any more")... AND
  • It isn't just Safari users who are upset at Google tracking them by bypassing browser security features; Microsoft says Google is messing with Internet Explorer settings too. Note that there's one prominent browser not named here... AND
  • A week after the Motoroogle merger was okayed, Microsoft filed a complaint in Europe saying that Motorola (read: Google) is charging too much for the use of technology it holds patents to... AND
  • The next day, word got out that Google is replaing the CEO of Motorola with one of its own, but insisted that Google isn't going to favor Motorola over other hardware vendors, despite evidence to the contrary... AND
  • The day after that, Google also announced that it's bailing out of Clearwire, the WIMAX network it owns with Sprint and Comcast, a sign that it is still thinking about dark fiber, and in turn about being the world's supplier of search, productivity, social, mobile communications and hardware, and entertainment.

You can't fix ignorant either: Back in November, a federal court issued an order to seize the computers of (and indict the operators of) a botnet called DNSChanger that redirected infected computers to sites they didn't want to visit. As part of the seizure, infected machines were sent to a "walled garden" of DNS servers to send them to the right sites, and the owners of infected machines were told them to get them cleaned up. As of last week, about half a million of them hadn't, and the court order is due to expire. That means that about 500,000 computers who are still infected -- younghv estimates about half an hour's work would clean the mess up, and that had someone just done basic patching and updating wouldn't have the malware in the first place -- will be out connecting to other systems in a couple of weeks.

In requiem: Windows Live is comatose.

Time sinks: Former TechCrunch employees bashing TechCrunch, WeMetOnAPlane.com (okay -- it isn't quite there yet, but it will be), and Bob's new favorite, WhitePeopleProblems.

Sign of the Apocalypse: Or maybe a sign that the Apocalypse will never happen.


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New Genius: jason1178 has earned his second Genius certificate, this one in Miscellaneous Web Development. Congratulations, buddy!

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

  • capricorn1 has 20,000,000 points overall in the Microsoft Access topic area. Only one EE member has more points in a single topic area than he does.
  • mlmcc has reached 16,000,000 points overall.
  • rorya reached the 13,000,000 point level in Microsoft Excel.
  • CodeCruiser has reached the 9,000,000 point level overall.
  • alanhardisty has earned 8,000,000 points since joining Experts Exchange.
  • DaveBaldwin has surpassed the 5,000,000 point level.
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arnoldNetwork ManagementMaster
apache09Office / ProductivityMaster
johanntagleOracle DatabaseMaster
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apache09SBS Small Business ServerMaster
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