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4.09.2008
Experts Exchange Community News
What's New at Experts Exchange
Geniuses, milestones and kudos

Survey Proves Value of Corporate Accounts
Save with the best online community

Cleanup Contest Winners
Thanks to all for your help!

The View From the Cluetrain
When are these folks going to get it?
Tips From the Moderators
About the self-closing system

More News and Notes
Ballmer plays hardball with Yahoo

Nata's Corner
Taxes, and more on emailing

New certificates
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What's New at Experts Exchange top

New Geniuses: Congratulations to angelIII, whose Genius certificate in SQL Query Syntax is his sixth, making him the third EE member to do so. Others earning Genius certificates were yuzh in Sun Solaris, Gertone in XLST (his second Genius certificate), and Infinity08 in C++.

Milestones:

  • TheLearnedOne became the sixth EE member to reach 10,000,000 points.
  • byundt has earned 7,000,000 points in the Microsoft Excel zone.
  • zorvek went over the 8,000,000 point level.
  • mlmcc has surpassed 7,000,000 points overall.

Kudos: vinceq had some very nice comments for RQuadling's solution: "RQuadling, I very much appreciate the time and effort you took to help me with my question. It is people like you who make this a great place. You could've stopped at directing me to the prototype site, but you went above and beyond by showing code and adding the comments about what each step is doing. Thanks again, I hope I can be as proficient as you and help someone else down the line."

dtreadway7 sent comments in to the office:

Well, I started out not liking the wait (4 days) for an expert to get to my problem. What I realized is that I needed more than someone to give me the code. I needed to understand it. HonorGod got my case and he not only helped me, but taught me a great deal about some rather grey areas of DOM JS programming. I quickly took the job out of his hands and was able to create and bugfix my own Dynamic JS!

Our thread is long ... over 200 comments just between the 2 of us but, what a tremendous amount of knowledge he turned over to me. I am a happy camper. I dare say that Experts-Exchange should have a slightly vertical market change: LESSONS!!

Thread getting to be over 50 comments? Evaluate the Askers proficiency and offer him a deal. "Give a hungry man a sandwich and he eats for a day. Show him how to grow his own food and he eats for a life time!"

And finally, zorvek, one of the Zone Advisors, had high praise for a solution provided by dlc110161: "Keep an eye on this one. She has got the goods!"


Survey Proves Value of Corporate Accounts top

Corporate accountsAccording to King Research's 2007 study, The Value of Online Communities, 93% of IT professionals "believe they do their jobs more efficiently and save time by using online IT communities." 80% of those IT pros say that they save at least an hour and 37% save 3 or more hours every week.

Experts Exchange isn't just any online community; Experts Exchange is the premier IT resource that enables you to work more efficiently by collaborating with the world?s best IT professionals. Create your Corporate Account now and save your IT department 780 hours over the next year.

Start your Corporate Account

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Cleanup Contest Winners top

These are the winners of the First Annual Spring Cleanup Contest. The top contributor in each group will receive his or her choice of a gift certificate for $50 from Amazon.com, BordersStores.com or iTunes.com. The top ten contestants from each group will each receive a limited edition Experts Exchange coffee mug. Thanks to all for your assistance!

Rookie CVs
  Member Points
1 cyberwebservice 136
2 MrHusy 118
3 f_o_o_k_y 77
4 JustUNIX 57
5 meverest 49
6 suhasbharadwaj 29
7 steelseth12 20
8 Damionas 16
9 Dhaest, Wcombee 10
9 zephyr_hex, _Stilgar_ 10
Veteran CVs
  Member Points
1 mbizup 1,198
2 TheLearnedOne 1,021
3 tigermatt 1,006
4 Tolomir 861
5 b0lsc0tt 782
6 ciuly 664
7 rindi 555
8 mplungjan 487
9 DanRollins 284
10 Ryan_R 188
The View From the Cluetrain top

We've written a lot of stuff about the recording and movie industries and their desire to extract exorbitant sums of money from people for almost anything, even if they haven't earned the money. Now for the latest evidence. First, there's the fact that at least two federal courts have decidedly different opinions as to when the "piracy" alleged by the recording industry actually occurs. Is it piracy to upload music using a file-sharing system? Or does the piracy actually occur when someone downloads it?

The RIAA says the former, which is a lot like saying that looking at a tip left on a restaurant table makes everyone who sees it guilty of theft. Now, we can't say reliably (if only because no one can really tell) how much money the record companies are not getting because people are downloading songs from file-sharing networks, but we do know they're not in a hurry to send it to the musicians. What we do know is that the industry is looking for almost any reason to try to stick it to Apple.

Why Apple? It's pretty simple. Apple's iTunes, as of fairly recently, is either the number 1 or number 2 source for downloaded music, and is unique in that it told the music industry how much it was going to charge for songs (the company is not noted for humility. That has rankled the BMW set for some time, to the extent that there are indications that they beginning to get a clue that suing college students -- and colleges -- isn't working.

We can appreciate what seems to be more or less a sound business tactic; it makes sense to find a new outlet for your product if you don't like the existing one. Still, for the industries, they'd rather resort to good old-fashioned thugery than doing something smart. The industry has convinced a few legislators in Britain that holding ISPs responsible for the alleged infractions of their customers is a good idea. The MPAA has suggested the same thing in the US, and they've even suggested forcing ISPs to charge a fee to each of its customers which, of course, would go to the film and recording industry.

It would be nice if someone just slapped these people.

Tips From the Moderators top

We mentioned this a month or so ago, but it's worth mentioning again. Experts Exchange has three new systems in place that allow an asker to close his own question if he comes up with the answer himself, or if there doesn't seem to be a solution to the problem. But built into the systems is a pitfall that will delay the process if you're not careful.

If you received any assistance from the Experts, you should always award the points; please see the Help page for information. Basically, if the Experts help you find your solution, they should be rewarded. If not, then one of the following three options is available to you.

If there's no answer despite the suggestions from Experts, then you will want to click the Delete Question button. That posts a notice in your question and sends out an alert to the participants of your intention.

If you have answered the question yourself without any help from the Experts, then post your solution, and click the Accept as Solution button. This option does not involve awarding points to anyone your points will be refunded, and posts a message and alert similar to the Delete Question process.

If you want to award points, even though you found your own solution, then click the Accept Multiple Solutions button. As with the two options above, a notice and alert are posted, and you do not have to award all of the points you originally offered for the question.

Now the catch, once you have clicked one of the three buttons, and the notice is posted, ANY comment will interrupt the automatic process - whether or not it is an objection to your action. When that happens, a notice is posted to the Moderators to assist you, which will generally delay the process. So post your solution, then click the button -- not the other way around.

And with apologies to Steve Jobs, one last thing: Please take the time to read the popups when you're trying to so something at Experts Exchange. Between them, the instructions on each page, and the help page, it's pretty difficult to make any mistakes.

More News and Notes top

Playing hard-Ballmer: Late last week, Microsoft president Steve Ballmer made it pretty clear to Yahoo: he was giving them an offer they can't refuse. He told Yahoo in uncertain terms that Microsoft wants Yahoo's board to accept its offer or face the prospect of a proxy fight, and gave them three weeks to decide. On Monday, Yahoo boss Jerry Yang, after predictably hemming and hawing over the weekend, said, "Uhhh ... no." That doesn't necessarily please some Yahoo stockholders.

Just what I want to read: the forwarded jokes of Dick Cheney: It turns out that CDs and DVDs might not last as long as all of us think they will, so now we're all supposed to back up all of our emails... on paper.

The Bill giveth, and the Bill taketh away: We're not sure if it's really better to have had internet access and lost it than never to have had it all, but the Navajo nation is about to find out, when the satellite signal funded by the Gates Foundation gets turned off.

We told you this was coming: The International Olympic Committee has sent a little note to the Chinese government that it has to provide open internet access to journalists there to cover the Olympic Games in August. So... we're curious. Suppose the Chinese government just says no? Note to Toronto: can you be ready in three months?

Happy birthday, DARPA: We wouldn't be here without you.

Somehow, this just seems funny: Last week, 1) Microsoft announced that Windows XP will be around for a while, and 2) Bill Gates hinted that the next version of Windows might show up early. Somehow, one can only wonder if Vista is turning out to be the next Bob.

We never know what will come across the transom: As might be expected, we get a lot of emails, and some of it is from people we actually want to receive emails from -- notably the members of Experts Exchange. A few of the items we've received lately, with credit appropriately noted:

Sign of the Apocalypse: The US Census Department is going to use paper and pencils in its 2010 count and the end of the Maury Povich Show.

Nata's Corner top
Nata's Picture

For those of you just getting around to filing your income tax returns, it's worth reminding you that the wonderful folks at the Internal Revenue Service never send you an email about your return. The Washington Post had a story this week about how phishing attempts are way up, so don't take the bait.

My last item, about emails and forwarding, got a couple of emails. The first was from RBKircher, who wrote, "Thank you, thank you, thank you! -- your comments say exactly what I'd like to say -- now how to get it to all those people who don't understand?"

The other one came from younghv, who said that he "received [this] from someone about three years ago and have 'passed it on' approximately 14 1/2 billion times (so far). Right on!" It's pretty complete, so I've reproduced it below:

Do you really know how to forward e-mails? 50% of us do; 50% do NOT.

Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you get tired of repeated "clicking" to get to the original message? Do you hate it? I do. Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the people who got the message before you, namely their e-mail addresses. As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his (her) computer can send that virus to every e-mail address that has come across his computer. Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each hit. That's right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel! How do you stop it? Well, there are three easy steps:

  1. You MUST click the "Forward" button first, then you will have full editing capabilities of the body and headers of the message. If you don't click on "Forward" first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.
  2. Make sure you are forwarding only the intended copy. This is usually the last page you opened. DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message. That's right, DELETE them. Highlight them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever it is you know how to do. Or, HIGHLIGHT and copy what you wish to send and paste it in a new e-mail window. This is the BEST method as you are SURE that you are not sending un-intended junk and addresses. It only takes a second.
  3. When you send an e-mail to more than one person, DO NOT use the To: or Cc: columns for inserting e-mail address. Always use the Bcc: (blind carbon copy) column for inserting the e-mail addresses. This way the people you send to only see their own e-mail address. It's that easy. When you send to Bcc:, your message will automatically say "Undisclosed Recipients" in the "To:" field of the people who receive it. If you are creating an e-mail from scratch, place your recipients addresses in the Bcc:column. Some recipients require that you have at least 1 address in the To: column. If so, use your own or make your best friend the sacrificial lamb.
  4. If you are using Outlook Express and Bcc is not currently displayed, follow these easy steps.
    (a) Choose the Create Icon.
    (b) Click on the View header.
    (c) Select All Headers. That's it. Outlook is similar. Create is called New and there is a Bcc selection under View. I am not familiar with other e-mail programs but I am sure they are also similar.

So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail, the endless "clicking to open" folders, the entire world's e-mail addresses and the viruses! Finally, here's an idea!!! Lets practice the new method and send this to everyone we know.

Sounds good to me... as long as it doesn't wind up here.

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