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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

APRIL 10, 2013

Featured Content

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

Nata's Corner
Facebook, donations and bugs

Tip From The Moderators
About sample files

Editors' Choice Article
The Trust Center nuisance

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through April 6

What's New at E-E

Excel Resources: Following up on its launch of a special page for Windows 8, Experts Exchange has created a similar page for Excel. Both are works in progress, but they're a glimpse of what the landing pages for the topic areas might look like in the future.

CatsCats winner: SteveV's entry (at left) won our package of EE goodies, including a shirt, a flash drive and one of our world-famous snow globes, in our LOLCats Catpshun contest.

Podcast: Our own Jenn Prentice returned last week to host Andrew DeMille and former EE developer Jon King of Edufii, a skills development platform for coaches and athletes, for this week's podcast. 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.

Google Hangout: Four of EE's Most Valuable Experts, including teylyn and mark_wills, will be center stage for a Google Hangout about "what makes a good Expert" on Wednesday, April 24 at 2 pm Pacific time. You'll also be able to tune in to our YouTube channel to watch the proceedings live.

BugfinderBugFinder: BugFinder is Experts Exchange's new system that allows you to post your website and have Experts help you find the problems with spelling and grammar, display issues, functionality and security issues, or just get feedback. You assign points based on the nature of the bugs found, and can reward those Experts who help you out the most. Check it out.

DrackulaDrackula: It's a data center app that doesn't bite, 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. There's even a free trial, so you have nothing to lose.


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Frosty555 was looking for a server-based music management system, and got some advice from lherrou: "Actually nevermind, the more I use Plex the more I realize it is frickin awesome. The other alternative might be XBMC, which is what Plex is based off of, but it's kindof like deciding to use Debian instead of Ubuntu. You could.... but the latter is a lot more polished and has a lot of the beginner's issues resolved already. Thank you for the tip lherrou!"

lherrou also helped fjkaykr11 resolve an issue with an HTC Droid that wouldn't show email. lherrou suggested a possibility and a "how to" link: "@lherrou Thank you so much. That worked. I thought it might have something to do with it but I was having trouble finding the cookies. Thanks again."

vegas86 was having some trouble with a formula for counts in Excel. Eight (8) minutes after he asked the question ssaqibh had an a solution for him: "Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't say it enough! THANK YOU SSAQIBH! You have just made my day! :)"

We're entirely sympathetic to aprillougheed (who, by the way, is a couple of months from celebrating her 16th anniversary as a member of Experts Exchange): she wanted to copy a video of her nephew's state basketball championship -- absolutely understandable -- from her DVR to a DVD. garycase looked at the list of equipment she provided and gave her a number of options: "I'm going to go ahead and close this question. I just got the AverMedia USB device today. It will be next Monday by the time I test and record with it. I think I will purchase the DVD Recorder. Something tells me I should get it know, before they are unavailable. Gary - you did a fantastic job. Appreciate it so much. One of the best experts and answers ever!"

Editor's Choice Article

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Overcome the Trust Center nuisance
By MacroShadow

Today we will discuss a problem that most Microsoft Office (2007 and up) developers have (or are very likely to) encountered while deploying a new application to their users.

The problem
A new security feature was introduced in the Microsoft Office 2007 suite, the Trust Center. It is meant to prevent malicious code from running on the machine of an unsuspecting user, on the opening of an office file via an AutoExec macro, or code in the "OnLoad"/"OnOpen" events of the startup form.

Every time a Microsoft Office file that was created on a different machine is opened, it is checked by the Trust Center, to insure that the file doesn't contain malicious content. The Trust Center doesn't have database of malicious code nor does it have heuristic scanning capabilities. Since the Trust Center doesn't have a way of identifying which macros are legitimate, it will check for any of the following:

  • Microsoft Visual Basic for Application (VBA) macros
  • COM add-ins (in a non-trusted folder)
  • Smart tags
  • Smart Documents
  • Extensible Style sheet Language (XSL) documents


Nata's Corner

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Nata's PictureThere may be hope for us all yet when it comes to stopping robocalls, catching thieves and hunting down malware writers.

When I first started doing this column, I never imagined that I would be telling you that one of the most dangerous threats to keeping your personal information yours and not everyone else's is your friends -- the people who you choose to let see your information on Facebook. Graham Cluley of Sophos must be getting a little tired of saying the same thing over and over: check your privacy settings, because it's not just the apps you install that can see your data, but the apps the people on your friends list install as well. You'll find the setting under Apps, then Apps Others Use under the privacy options.

The big news out of Facebook is their new non-phone phone, Facebook Home, which is really just a way of skinning your phone so that you spend all your time on Facebook. It's only available for Android devices -- Apple isn't about to give Mark Zuckerberg the keys to its kingdom -- but the thing that would worry me most is that on one device, you have both Facebook -- which is famous for being a little lax about your privacy and for doing all kinds of things to put ads in front of you -- and Google, which is only a little better about privacy (and the European Union doesn't think Google has gone far enough). The question is... who's gonna win?

mosquito trap This is definitely low tech, but if you live anywhere that has mosquitos, this seems to actually work. Take a 2-liter soda bottle and cut it in half. Mix 3/4 cup of hot water (200 ml) with about 1/4 cup (50 grams) of brown sugar. When it has cooled, add 1 gram of yeast (there are about 7 grams to your average yeast envelope), and pour the mix into the bottom half of the bottle. Turn the top part of the bottle (without the cap) upside down and wedge it into the bottom, and then seal it with electrician's tape (or black duct tape). Put it someplace near the house, and let it collect mosquitos. The yeast produces carbon dioxide, which is the same thing that attracts mosquitos to you.

Finally, one of the more interesting websites I've come across lately is Sell It Forward, a partnership between ebay and Goodwill. We've accumulated a lot of extra "stuff" -- a lot of it clothing that doesn't fit any more -- that normally, we would have to bag up and take to a local hospice- or crisis center-second hand store. They'd give us a receipt so we can deduct it on taxes. This new partnership is a neat idea, though. You sign up, and they send you a mailer that you can put the clothing into. You send it back, and they try to sell your stuff on ebay for a couple of weeks. You get paid for what sells, and a receipt for what doesn't -- and that gets donated to Goodwill.

In Brief

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I think I did pretty well under the circumstances. We're not going to bother with all of the April Fool's Day alterations to various sites, but we will give you a few that were worth chuckling about (and link to ZDNet's screenshots:

Rosebud... In requiem: Film critic Roger Ebert; if only we could all write half as well. Also, Britain's Lady Margaret Thatcher and Disney's Annette Funicello.

The news goes on for 24 hours a day. Simple, elegant ideas: Civility, please; Google Note -- except that in the case of the latter, you can expect advertising to be eventually served; the New York Times in haiku; and BreakupText.me.

I always gagged on the silver spoon. First world problems: calculating redshift.

Don't believe everything you hear on the radio. Just after we put our most recent issue to bed, Spamhaus, the non-profit organization that identifies and keeps track of ISPs that allow spamming, was hit by a massive DDoS attack when it blacklisted a Dutch ISP called Cyberburnker, who first retaliated and then denied being responsible for the attack. There's a lot that both businesses and IT folks can learn, since the one thing they haven't learned is that procrastination won't make the danger of open DNS resolvers go away.

I am not a gentleman. I don't even know what a gentleman is. We knew it all along: Facebook leads to a life of crime.

it's no trick to make a lot of money... if what you want to do is make a lot of money. There are a number of reasons to like T-Mobile's new "no contract" service -- notably that it lifts the veil from what the big two (AT&pT and Verizon) charge for subsidizing new phones -- but the one we like best is that they sell iPhones cheaper than Apple does.

I don't think there's one word that can describe a mans life. Now we know why AT&T won't let you say what you think of them as a password.

We never lost as much as we made. Bubble or no bubble, our old econ prof is probably turning over in his grave over Bitcoin. Security companies are worried about it too.

You don't care about anything except you. Are we the only people who got a giggle out of what the DEA has to say about Apple's chat service?

I can't do this to you? Oh, yes I can. Just when web developers thought things were going to get a little easier, Google and Apple are going their separate ways in developing their web browsers.

I guess that'll show you. California is considering legislation that would strengthen laws about who knows what about you and who they told. Some people might get nervous, and there's no doubt that the government would be exempt.

I don't know how to run a newspaper, Mr. Thatcher; I just try everything I can think of. Some code injection by Comcast touched a few nerves, because it hijacks your web traffic, routes it through Comcast servers and sends up a nice little message saying "you've been spending too much time watching YouTube videos". It's not so much that Comcast is inserting the code into one's pages that has people upset, though; rather, it's that it's

  • "...beyond awful - it fails to display, makes endless AJAX requests, and more..."
  • "...a company writing JS that bad would probably screw up the rest of the process too..."
  • "Oh, it's just awful. It's worse than just "not knowing JavaScript." This is code from someone who has no idea how to program..."
  • "Where the hell did they find the coder to make this?" [Editor's note: the reply is priceless.]

The point to the code -- which already has a blocker for Chrome and (of course) an applicable meme -- is to tell the user that s/he is approaching the limit of his/her allowed bandwidth.

Some people can sing, some people cannot. Happy birthday, cell phone.

Maybe I'll make some teeth and whiskers... (AKA Signs of the Apocalypse): Two words: Manatee Gray. Just wait'll it comes out in invisible. All six Star Wars movies at the same time, since the video games will soon be long, long ago. Ads that have a conversation with you.


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My First Million: Reaching the 1,000,000 point level at Experts Exchange in March were RainerJ, robert_schutt, RolandDeschain and _jesper_. Congratulations!


  • CPColin is the first employee of Experts Exchange to earn a Guru certificate, in Java Programming.
  • nobus's 2 million points in Miscellaneos Hardware is the second topic area in which he has reached that level. He also has at least 1,000,000 points in ten other TAs.
  • By reaching 4,000,000 points in SQL Server 2005, aneeshattingal has become the fifth member of EE to reach that level in two different topic areas.
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
AkilaPalanimuthu.NET ProgrammingMaster
jyparask.NET ProgrammingMaster
JaihuntActive DirectoryMaster
msmamjiActive DirectoryMaster
smckeown777Active DirectoryMaster
zenvenkyActive DirectoryMaster
pgnatyukApple ProgrammingSage
girionisApplication ServersMaster
woolmilkporcBackup / RestoreGuru
DavisMcCarnDisplays / MonitorsMaster
DaveBaldwinImages and PhotosMaster
savoneLinux DistributionsMaster
jlevieLinux DistributionsWizard
TommySzalapskiMath / ScienceSage
padasMicrosoft IIS Web ServerMaster
CrisHanna_MVPMicrosoft OSGuru
RancyMicrosoft OSGuru
thinkpads_userMicrosoft OSSage
jcimarronMicrosoft OSWizard
dtoddMisc DatabasesGuru
Michael-BestMisc HardwareGuru
nociMisc NetworkingGuru
thinkpads_userMisc SecurityMaster
Slick812Misc Web DevMaster
aikimarkMS AccessSage
rikin_shahMS DynamicsMaster
Rgonzo1971MS ExcelGuru
armchair_scouseMS ExcelMaster
sedgwickMS ExcelMaster
wasiftoorMS ExcelMaster
infoplateformMS Forefront-ISAMaster
Rgonzo1971MS OfficeMaster
Exchange_GeekMS Server AppsMaster
npsingh123MS Server AppsMaster
xxdcmastMS Server AppsMaster
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
thinkpads_userMS Server OSMaster
einarbrownMS SharePointMaster
Ray_PaseurMS SQL ServerMaster
deviprasadgMS SQL Server 2005Master
jyparaskMS SQL Server 2005Master
ryanmccauleyMS SQL Server 2005Wizard
jyparaskMS SQL Server 2008Master
robert_schuttMS SQL Server 2008Master
MASQUERAIDMultiMedia ApplicationsGuru
craigbeckNetwork OperationsMaster
craigbeckNetworking HardwareGuru
Syed_M_UsmanNetworking HardwareMaster
PortletPaulOracle DatabaseMaster
MichaelT_PHP and DatabasesMaster
Exchange_GeekSBS Small Business ServerGuru
R--RSBS Small Business ServerMaster
KravimirScripting LanguagesMaster
omarfaridScripting LanguagesMaster
ve3ofaServer HardwareMaster
The_BarmanVB ScriptMaster
jyparaskVisual Basic.NETMaster
RouchieVisual Basic.NETMaster
ArneLoviusVoice Over IPMaster
jason1178Web ComponentsMaster
QlemoWindows 2003 ServerWizard
RancyWindows 2003 ServerWizard
breadtanWindows 7Master
dragon-itWindows 7Master
Michael-BestWindows 7Master
smckeown777Windows 7Master
rindiWindows 8Master
pony10usWindows BatchMaster
smckeown777Windows NetworkingMaster
RobSampsonWindows OSGuru
hanccockaWindows OSMaster
MereteWindows OSWizard
PberWindows SecurityMaster
thinkpads_userWindows Server 2008Guru
dons6718Windows Server 2008Master
lazarus98Windows Server 2008Master
strivoliWindows Server 2008Master
vivigattWindows Server 2008Master
RancyWindows Server 2008Sage
ArneLoviusWindows Server 2008Wizard
pony10usWindows XPMaster