March 29, 2006
Experts Exchange Community News
You are receiving this because you are an member who has opted-in to receive newsletters.
What's New at Experts Exchange
Click here to unsubscribe from the newsletter.
Experts By The Numbers
Below are a couple of tables that we've shamelessly borrowed from ameba's site. The table on the left shows which Experts have the most Certificates earned. The right table shows the top "Batting Averages" for the first three months of 2006, calculated by taking the number of Answers and Assists, and dividing it by the number of questions the Experts have participated in. We set an arbitrary limit of 150,000 points earned as a minimum.
Most Certificates Earned
Member Number
leew SheharyaarSaahil amit_g PeteLong sirbounty sunray_2003 ahoffmann angelIII war1 CrazyOne sajuks 21 19 18 18 17 16 16 14 13 13 13
Batting Average
Member Average
aneeshchopra Gertone todd_farmer garycase BlueDevilFan Sembee Sancler scolja TechSoEasy fritz_the_blank vickerleung 91.8 91.4 91.0 88.4 88.0 87.8 87.6 87.0 85.9 85.5 84.9
Taking a bite out of Apple

If you've been watching the news at all lately, you've seen Apple's twist on the Pixar film Chicken Little: the sky is falling, at least in France. Why? Because the lower house of the French parliament passed a law (which still must be approved by the upper house) that says you can't sell digital online music that can only be played on one kind of player.

In other words, if you buy a song from iTunes, and you're French, you will be able play it on Windows Media Player. Any Digital Rights Management software that is included will have to contain software that will make it interoperable with any player. It's obviously good news for consumers, and not so good for Apple and Motorola, which currently have the only players for iTunes music.

Apple calls it "state-sponsored piracy" because the law allows people to circumvent DRM software if that is necessary to guarantee "interoperability" -- and most software that does that is illegal in most of the world. But the French say that consumers shouldn't be locked into one type of player to listen to their favorite music, and their surveys suggest that people will pay more if they know they can listen on whichever device they want.

If there's one thing we learned in our Intro to Economics class a long time ago, it's that limiting supply will cause prices to go up, so it's perfectly sensible that Apple would want to keep iTunes for its own players. A few analysts say that the whole issue is much ado about nothing, suggesting that Apple will just pull out of France (maybe the International Olympic Committee knew something, because it selected London over Paris for the 2008 Olympics, and the law would go into effect in 2007) since by some estimates, France doesn't account for more than two per cent of Apple's sales of iPods and iTunes.

One of the other things we learned was that if there's a monopoly (or what appears to be a monopoly), then someone will try to break it, and that's certainly true in Europe, where both Microsoft and now Apple are seen as the Big Bad Beasts. In this case, the folks who want to loosen the Apple stranglehold will have some big guns of their own: the people who deliver the downloads and, of course, the folks in Redmond, who want to increase their own market share.

The battle for the hearts, minds, and ears of the world's music lovers is just beginning... and no doubt watching with interest: the motion picture industry.

The Premium Services include a number of features not available to "limited" members. Among them:
> Unlimited question points
> VIP Search
> Bookmarks
> Quick Links
> Collapsible menu
> No ads
You can purchase Premium Services on a month-to-month, semi-annual or annual basis, and take full advantage of all that Experts Exchange has to offer!
Not an April Fool's Joke among them

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. - Tom Clancy

Anyone who has ever sold anything to the government knows that the government doesn't buy generic -- and going with name brand merchandise certainly applies to the Feds. But nobody thought much about that when IBM sold its PC division to Lenovo last year, including both IBM and the State Department, which recently bought another 15,000 of the same computers they've been using all along, except that these don't have Big Blue's label on them.

The former CEO of Qwest Telecommunications, currently awaiting trial for insider stock trading, filed suit against Qwest because he wasn't included in the settlement of a shareholder lawsuit that was the result of a restatement of revenue that caused the price of Qwest's stock to fall from $64 to $2. The suit says that neither Joseph Nacchio, the CEO, nor Robert Woodruff, the CFO, were considered in the $400 million settlement between the company and its shareholders.

The city manager of Tuttle, Oklahoma, threatened to call the FBI because he was convinced that Linux maker CentOS had hacked the city's website.

There is some evidence that it's not a good idea to share your laptop with your significant other.

Don't these people talk to each other? A few weeks back, there was this huge flap about Sony's digital rights management software that messed with your computer. Why was the DRM software there in the first place? Because music companies don't want you making copies of their CDs and giving them to your friends. So we have to wonder at the news that Sony's gaming division is not only coming out with a new PlayStation console, but that it will also create a PlayStation Network for online gaming that will include the ability to download games -- embracing the very technology that Sony's music division has been fighting tooth and nail.

And while we're on the subject of games, the World of Warcraft game -- the number of players worldwide is a number close to that of some European countries -- is at the center of a lawsuit filed by a man who has written an unofficial guide to the game and was selling it on eBay. The game's manufacturer, Blizzard Entertainment, complained to eBay that the guide violated its copyrights; the author protested, and when Blizzard didn't respond, eBay reinstated the book. Blizzard complained again, and now it is being sued.

Tip from the Moderators: Three more from Community Support

Using copyrighted material: In a word, don't. In addition to being really bad form, it's a violation of copyright law to copy and paste copyrighted materials as the answer to a question. Better that you should provide a link, with a description of the materials, as your post. Just a note: historically, the Moderators have removed posts that are "borrowed" from other websites.

So you've answered your own question: You can post a request in the Community Support topic area -- not in Expert Input or Expert Care -- asking for a refund of your points, but you first have to make sure that you've responded to all of the Experts, and you also have to post a fairly complete description of your solution. If you don't, you might not get your refund.

Earning Premium Services: It's not that difficult. Really, it isn't. All you have to do is earn 10,000 Expert points -- the ones you receive for answering questions -- and 3,000 each month in order to maintain the Qualified Premium Services. You'll see a link on EE's pages that says "You Qualify!" -- click that, and you're done. One piece of advice, though. Sometimes, it looks like the Premium Services haven't kicked in. Log out of EE, then delete the EE cookie, and log back in. To delete the cookie, do a search for a file that ends in "" in your Cookies folder; make sure you search through your hidden and system folders or you won't find it.

Page Two: More News and Notes
Nata's Corner: bot... bot... bot...

woman in specticalsThere was a time, not that long ago, when I used to call my husband a bot. He's not, of course (okay, maybe sometimes he is), but I meant it in a nice way.

The reason I bring it up is because a couple of weeks ago, we were visiting some friends, and someone asked what a bot is. Simply put, a bot is a little piece of programming that automatically does something. Some are pretty simple; I saw one at a website that turned dirty language into a bunch of asterisks, which is actually fairly common. If you're not a Premium Services member at Experts Exchange, then bots are what make the ads show up on the pages.

Bots are what makes Google (and all the other search engines) work. Think about it. Google used to post how many web pages it searched. Now, why bother. But Google doesn't actually go out and search the Internet each time you click the I Feel Lucky button. It actually searches through its own very large index of pages, and it has that index because of the Googlebot that goes out and does all the work for it.

But there are a lot of bots that aren't so nice. They can arrive on your computer through an email or from a website, and get downloaded without your knowing it. At that point, they can do all kinds of things, from sending out spam to searching your computer for personal information like credit card numbers. So always make sure that your antivirus software is up to date, because the AV companies generally find out about the latest bots pretty quickly. Most bots nowadays are used to create "zombie" networks that are then used to spam, but they're also being used to attack websites of big companies, trying to extort money out of them.

Not quite on the subject, but have you ever wondered what a map of virus outbreaks would look like? F-Secure has made one. I just don't know why there's so much activity going on outside of Los Banos, California.

Inside the numbers
ameba, one of EE's prominent Experts, provides us with a list of newly earned Certificates. His list of all of the Certified Experts is located at his site. The list below covers the period from March 13 through March 27.
Expert Certified in Topic Area
Arji jmantha709 Afsarm IT-Schubertz raopsn jimhorn leclairm aneeshattingal Sirees Dabas thefritterfatboy carl_tawn BlueDevilFan frrf Rejojohny bsdotnet aki4u AGBrown orbulat craskin aindelicato Roonaan mshogren cLFlaVA BogoJoker HonorGod Merete allocationerror irwinpks Computron VerifyMe dopyiii CodedK 1stITMAN carrzkiss Jay_Jay70 Sage Wizard Master Master Master Guru Master Wizard Master Master Guru Master Master Master Sage Guru Master Master Master Master Master Sage Guru Guru Master Master Sage Master Master Master Master Master Master Wizard Guru Master MS Access MS Access MS Access MS Access MS Access Visual Basic Visual Basic Microsoft SQL Microsoft SQL Microsoft SQL ASP ASP ASP ASP ASP.NET ASP.NET ASP.NET ASP.NET ASP.NET ASP.NET Networking JavaScript JavaScript JavaScript JavaScript JavaScript Windows XP Windows XP Windows XP Windows XP Windows XP Windows XP Windows XP Windows 2000 Windows 2000 Windows 2000
Expert Certified in Topic Area
nedvis flyguybob LeeDerbyshire Lilshooter einsteinjr79 jonorossi Ceiled Kelvin_King jensfiederer rfgkev doobdave Jacco leew Mazaraat KaliKoder redseatechnologies maramom mrichmon Tomeeboy siliconbrit rangasuman Tomeeboy sjohnstone1234 ravenpl AmigoJack bglodde RCorfman TZych meintsi upul007 dgrafx dqmq Jay_Jay70 TheCleaner mahesh1402 aneeshchopra Master Genius Guru Master Master Master Master Guru Master Master Master Guru Sage Master Master Master Master Guru Master Master Master Master Master Master Master Master Guru Master Wizard Master Master Master Master Master Guru Wizard Windows 2000 Exchange_Server Exchange_Server Exchange_Server Exchange_Server C# C# Java VB.NET VB.NET VB.NET Delphi Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2003 Hardware Web Development Web Development Web Development Web Development PHP PHP PHP PHP Programming Oracle Excel Outlook Outlook ColdFusion Databases Microsoft Network Microsoft Network MFC Flash
Expert Certified in Topic Area
nobus Jon_Ferguson duncan_roe akshah123 Tomeeboy manav_mathur matthewspatrick maramom Roonaan leew marilyng mbonaci RobWill fargo calvinetter nodisco jjoseph_x matthewspatrick ahoffmann CDCOP crissand SheharyaarSaahil nprignano calvinetter Eagle6990 kg_bang JesterToo Arthur_Wood mgcIT PsiCop Callandor TechSoEasy Havin_it tim_qui Master Master Master Guru Master Wizard Master Master Wizard Master Guru Master Master Master Guru Guru Master Master Wizard Master Wizard Master Guru Master Master Guru Master Master Master Guru Guru Wizard Master Master Windows 98 Linux Linux PHP and Databases PHP and Databases Perl MS Office Desktops CSS Windows Security Lotus Notes/Domino Lotus Notes/Domino Routers JSP Firewalls Firewalls Firewalls Word Apache IIS MultiMedia Apps MultiMedia Apps FrontPage VPN Handhelds/Wireless Sharepoint Languages Languages Citrix Sendmail Microchips SBS Small Bus. Server Fireworks Notebooks Wireless
2003 experts have 3356 certifications: Genius:86 Sage:152 Wizard:209 Guru:593 Master:2316
Copyright ? 2006. All rights reserved.