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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

APRIL 16, 2014

Featured Content

What's New at Experts Exchange
From SLO and beyond

Nata's Corner
Breaches and more breaches

Tip From the Moderators
About advertising posts

Product Advisory Committee
What's in the future

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through April 12

What's New at E-E

RichardsonNew To EE: EE CEO Brian Clausen announced last week the addition of Gene Richardson as the company's new chief information officer. Previously employed by IBM and Motorola and a former vice president in technology for Charles Schwab, Gene will be overseeing development and system administration for Experts Exchange. Among his first activities: Meeting with the Product Advisory Committee.

Five Million Point Club: carl_tawn is the newest member of the Five-Million Point Club. That gains him a lifetime membership and the enduring gratitude of not only the company, but the community as well.

Hiring: Experts Exchange is looking to fill a number of positions. Employees enjoy a fun and challenging environment, as well as tons of great perks like free-lunch Fridays and a free gym membership in addition to traditional benefits like health insurance and 401k matching. So if you're interested in moving to the Central Coast, see the Experts Exchange blog careers page.

Updates: A few topic areas in the Web Development areas have been moved around, including ASP, ColdFusion and PHP to the Scripting Languages area, and Adobe Flex to the Web Frameworks area.

Kudos: BrianEsser is a "novice C# programmer" who was trying to rewrite some code for his Windows 7 computer, and got help from robberbaron: Sure do appreciate EE and their Experts 100% SOLVED. Learned a ton in the process. Thanks!

cindyfiller was pretty effusive in her comments to ValentinoV for his work in helping her push PDFs to a SSRS server: Wow - thank you for the massive response. You deserve a million points for this. I may not be able to try it today - but will tomorrow for sure. She did have to make a slight adjustment, but that just gave her a chance to say more: I added the dim reporfile as string and THIS NOW WORKS BEAUTIFULLY! Thank you again for your wonderful code above. I still wish I could give you the trillion points. This was by far one of the best answers I've ever received. It was above and beyond - provided me with the scripts needed to accomplish this!!!

NeilT got assistance from both mplungjan and tagit in using Jquery to narrow select options. mplungjan got praise from NeilT: Many thanks all for your great comments, my knowledge increases daily from your assistance. This one was perfect for my specific needs though. tagit also had something to add: Thank you as well for the comments. I like to think that's the site is about. It would be rare that I'd participate in a question and not learn something too.

tagit was on the receiving end of a couple of other nice posts after he helped thuna72 fix a line break in Excel: Best expert forever, thank you, I don't even want to think about how much time this will safe me in the future. Have a great day! Great and patient help to an absolute macro beginner, THANK YOU!

Referrals: Experts Exchange's referral program enables you to pick up some extra cash by referring friends, co-workers and that cousin who always wants to you fix his computer for free to Experts Exchange.

New Premium Service and Business Account members get a discount, and you can earn up to $50 per account. The caveats: 1) it's for new accounts only; 2) the email address in your profile must match the email address in a PayPal account; and 3) your referred member must use the link created by the system (go to your profile, click Rewards and then Referral) when registering.

It works for people who earn Qualified Expert status too. My secret? I had a stamp made of my unique URL and I put that on the back of a business card.

Product Advisory Committee

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Front: Sina May and Jim Dettman; in back, Kay-Kay Clapp and Molly Stoddard.


For two days last week, Experts Exchange hosted the site's Product Advisory Committee. Announced several months ago in CEO Brian Clausen's webinar on the roadmap for product development for the next three years, this was EE's first opportunity to meet several of the members face to face.

The PAC members include Jim Powell, Scott McDaniel, Jim Dettman, Ray Paseur, Todd L'Herrou, John Hurst, Dave Hansen and Administrators Jason Levine and Eric Peterson.

Mr Clausen first gave the committee a report on the status of several projects that are in the latter stages of completion. The first, a complete "rebranding" of Experts Exchange, will debut sometime in the next month after testing by the committee members, and will include new navigation, a more user-friendly color scheme and two behind-the-scenes upgrades, one to the Oracle database and the other to HTML5. The second, a major upgrade to the text formatting tool, is expected to be ready for prime time in early to mid-summer. He said that the system would first be implemented in the Articles system before being pushed to other areas of the site. Third will be a redesign of the topic area landing pages. Other systems getting attention include the re-introduction of the "Hire Me" button and a Member Search system.

The bulk of the two days of discussions revolved around establishing priorities over the rest of 2014 and into early 2015. The two systems that the committee members said were of utmost importance are those used by most of EE's membership: the Search system and the Question Wizard. Both will be the subject of more discussions during the next few months, as will systems for enhanced messaging, user groups and video tutorials.


Ray Paseur, Todd L'Herrou and Scott McDaniel.


Jason Levine and Dave Hansen.

Nata's Corner

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Nata's Picturefrog So far, all we're seeing on the airstrip below us are normal radio-controlled planes. But if I ever see a drone, I'm breaking out the shotgun.

There's gotta be a law against people like this. The funny part is that considering Facebook has always been so bad about how it "helps" users with privacy, it's kind of odd to think of them agreeing with the FTC. I wonder if Mark Zuckerberg's picture was on one of the 73 million profiles.

If you think your personal information was in jeopardy last year -- nearly half a billion identities were compromised in 2013 -- then you ain't seen nothin' yet. By now, everyone has heard about the Heartbleed flaw that made logging into a website a crap shoot, and while that's a biggie, it's not the only one. The app created by Fandango that lets you book movie tickets from your cell phone has been downloaded about 100 million times and transmitted unencrypted data, like passwords and account information. Meanwhile, Experian, the credit reporting company, was reported to have exposed 200 million Social Security numbers. I don't expect that it will get any better before it gets worse.

Molly Wood of the New York Times wrote a good piece a couple of weeks ago about getting rid of your search history. Given that it's not all that difficult for someone to analyze search results and figure out who is who (anyone remember the AOL search debacle?), and how easy it appears for companies to overlook a flaw like Heartbleed, maybe we should just all go back to tin cans and string.

Finally, Microsoft is making a lot of things available for free lately. If you're into mobile devices, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone is now free for devices with screens smaller than nine inches. Versions of Windows 7 can be downloaded for free through Digital River -- but you still need a valid license to use them. A good portion of the .NET technologies are being released as open source. Don't be surprised if the editor steals this as a Sign of the Apocalypse.

In Brief

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Chicken Little was right: A "mundane coding error" in OpenSSL, the open source library at the heart of securing data using the HTTPS protocol, has been exposing about two-thirds of the Internet's servers to the possibility of attack that is apparently undetectable. The good news: According to EE's new chief information officer, Gene Richardson, Experts Exchange runs a newer version of FreeBSD that was released after the flaw was fixed. The bad news: A good number of very popular sites ... ummm... weren't so diligent.

Meanwhile, the NSA, upon being accused of knowing and not saying anything about the flaw, denied everything, not that there is any reason to believe them. So it's perfectly reasonable that everyone from Angola to Yahoo will be figuring out ways to avoid spying by anyone. Here's what it looks like.

The best money can buy: Comcast is trying to buy Congress so it can buy (okay, "merge with") Time Warner.

Meet the new boss... er... there... he... goes: On March 25, the Mozilla Foundation named co-founder (and JavaScript creator) Brendan Eich as its new CEO, promoting him from the job of CTO. Within a week, three board members had quit, and Mr Eich's contribution to an anti-gay ballot measure in California was creating a groundswell of anti-support both inside Mozilla and outside. He resigned two days later.

Still clueless after all these years: The Republican party has its collective panties in a twist over the transition -- started during the second Bush administration -- of authority over domain names and numbers implied by the cancelling of the contract between the US Commerce department and ICANN, the non-profit corporation set up specifically to manage domain names and numbers worldwide. Our favorite observation is the one attributed to the Honorable Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who doesn't want the US to give up control of the Internet because she doesn't want to see any single country having control of the Internet. No wonder government workers hate their jobs; their bosses are idiots.

In requiem: Windows XP, of euthenasia April 8, unless you're the government of the Netherlands or the United Kingdom. Mourners were able to assuage their loss with an upgrade for Windows 8.1 that they couldn't install anyway. Also, Mickey Rooney, who most of you are probably too young to remember anyway.

Someone should make a movie: The movie industry has filed another lawsuit against MegaUpload. Maybe they can get Chewbacca for the starring role.

Kicked to the curb: A couple of years back, some video game hardware designers took to Kickstarter to raise $250,000 for development kits, exceeding their goal by an order of magnitude. Fast-forward to last week, when Oculus was bought for $2 billion by Facebook, making its owners very wealthy young men who are suddenly losing friends in both the gaming industry and among those who gave Oculus seed money. On the other hand, the deal makes for some great pieces of social satire.

Signs of the Apocalypse: Google has submitted a one thousand, nine hundred twenty-eight page application to trademark the word "Glass". A new take on flappy birdies. A five-year old hacked the Xbox. The North Korean space agency (we'll wait for you to stop laughing) has a new logo that looks a lot like NASA's and is the Spanish word for "nothing".


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New Ace: hdhondt has earned his Ace certificate in Printers.

New Geniuses: Two Experts Exchange members have earned their first Genius certificates. They are acbrown2010 in Active Directory and BriCrowe in MS SQL Server.


Expert In Topic Area Certificate
lcohan.NET ProgrammingMaster
robberbaron.NET ProgrammingMaster
acbrown2010Active DirectoryGenius
MaheshPMActive DirectoryWizard
DanCraciunAdobe PhotoshopMaster
NicoboDB Reporting ToolsMaster
TheLearnedOneDB Reporting ToolsMaster
dbruntonEmbedded HardwareMaster
dvzEnterprise SoftwareMaster
TimotiStHardware FirewallsMaster
skullnobrainsLinux DistributionsMaster
gheistLinux OS DevMaster
The_Big_DaddyMicrosoft IIS Web ServerMaster
joewinogradMisc HardwareGuru
SouljaMisc NetworkingWizard
rindiMisc SecurityMaster
Sembee2MS ApplicationsMaster
hgholtMS ExcelGuru
KimputerMS ExcelMaster
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
DanCraciunMS OfficeMaster
Rgonzo1971MS PowerPointMaster
lionelmmMS Server OSMaster
TG-TISMS Server OSMaster
BriCroweMS SQL ServerGenius
Buttercup1MS SQL ServerGuru
ste5anMS SQL ServerMaster
kenboonejrNetwork AnalysisMaster
mwecomputersServer HardwareMaster
billprewShell ScriptingWizard
gcl_hkSwitches / HubsMaster
nobusSystem UtilitiesSage
robberbaronVisual Basic.NETMaster
padasWeb ApplicationsMaster
DaveBaldwinWeb ServicesMaster
takecoffeWindows 2003 ServerMaster
MaheshPMWindows 7Master
merowingerWindows OSMaster
ram_keralaWindows Server 2008Master
Sembee2Windows Server 2008Sage
xBouchardxWindows Server 2012Master
joewinogradWindows XPMaster