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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

APRIL 24, 2013

Featured Content

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

Nata's Corner
Fraud, phones and Surface

Tip From The Moderators
About using BugFinder

All the News...
... that's fit to tweet

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through April 20

What's New at E-E

Lifetime Member: Qlemo has become the 93rd member of the Lifetime Members club. Congratulations!

Guest blogger: teksquisite has followed up her outstanding article on securing WordPress -- she has an update about some of the kinds of attacks WordPress sites have been suffering -- with another article, this one on securing home wireless routers. The bottom line: make sure you have secured access to it, and make sure the firmware is up to date.

Podcast: This week's podcast features EE developer Dave Kelly talking about Google Glass and Mark Lassoff, owner of LearnToProgram.tv and one of the contributers to EE's Cloud Class tutorials. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Kudos: When Ikky786 ran into problems synching an iPhone to SBS, he was fortunate that alanhardisty responded: "guess what got it working!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PATINENCE. I MEAN IT. YOUR A GEM. THERE IS NO WAY IN HELL THAT MAN CAN SUCCEED ON THIS EARTH WITHOUT EACH OTHERS HELP. SOLVING PROBLEMS ON YOUR OWN CAN BE DONE, BUT IT TAKES TOO LONG WITHOUT PEOPLES HELP. ASKING FOR HELP CAN CUT YEARS OFF YOUR LIFE. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. AN MOST OF ALL THANK YOU TO MY CREATOR." After a little more coaching, he followed that up with, "your my server guru from now on. I left servers and came back. worked for HP and BT. this is rediculous chatting in a forum like this. lol ill be coming back to you for help. and obviosuly you will get full points.! what would we do without internet and people to help. im ecstatic!"

Free trial: Know someone who could benefit from Experts Exchange, but who has always said that s/he doesn't want to spend some money on something without trying it? Have that person fill out this form and they'll get a 90-day free trial.

All the news that's fit to tweet

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ericpete is a former newspaper editor, occasional low-level Expert and basketball junkie who has spent over 13 years at Experts Exchange, and has spent much of the last decade editing the EE newsletter.

Journalism -- our life's work for over thirty years -- took a bit of a gutpunch a couple of weeks ago when Tumblr decided to shut down Storyboard, the internal project that used real people with skills to edit and curate content at the site. The hint that being in journalism has "never been the most profitable of business models" isn't entirely accurate; until the early 1950s, print journalism was incredibly profitable; in the half century following, the most profitable divisions at television networks (never mind that news broadcasts have tended towards the sensational, shallow and superfluous). It's not the craft's fault that those two industries haven't been able to adapt their business models to delivering reliable information; if journalism and journalists have been responsible for their decreasing importance, it's because the people who pay the bills are more interested in making sure there is money left over -- which is why the Fox network exists and thrives -- than they are interested in an informed and thoughtful constituency.

That was never more evident than last week when one of the United States' longest existing traditions -- the Boston Marathon -- was interrupted in horrific fashion by two homemade bombs. This year's 26+ mile long race was dedicated to the memory of the 26 children and educators who died in neighboring Connecticut in December.

First, misinformation abounded, and moved faster than Muhammad Ali. In their haste to be "first", many were just plain wrong, but Twitter was astonishly so, tolerating idiots who set up fake accounts that only made things worse for both the news media, the police and the greater Boston community. Of course, it also allowed people to show just how stupid they really are.

Second, accurate information and commentary is the underpinning of the First Amendment; those who wrote it recognized that the unfettered expression and exchange of information and ideas were essential to a free society. They also knew that even in the 1700s the media -- the newspapers and magazines printed on Gutenberg's invention -- could be used to persuade, but they had no way of knowing that the government they were establishing would be planning on taking in nearly $3 trillion and spending even more than that. With that kind of money (and power) at stake, it becomes a normal business expense for organizations to exist solely for the purpose of protecting its members' interests. Thus, it came as no surprise that during the week when Boston was first celebrating and then mourning that the US Senate could cave in to a special interest group. Those founding fathers, who were also celebrated in Boston last Monday, would be nauseated.

Finally, those who run media companies have become more beholden to the bottom line than to the greater cause of maintaining an informed and thoughtful society. Gone are the days when the Gannetts and Knights and Ridders and McClatchys were news companies, with the emphasis on the news; they're now companies with a presence in the news industry. It's not so much that newspapers and magazines are going broke; it's rather that their profit margins aren't what their boards of directors think they should be. Some of those companies have maintained profitability not by providing accurate and unbiased information, but rather by becoming shills for one interest group or another, willing to pronounce the same mendacity repeatedly until people don't know that it's hogwash.

Social media -- for all of its flaws, hyperbole and inaccuracies -- can go a long way toward changing that, but not until the people who whip out their iPhones to check their Facebook and Twitter feeds become a lot more discriminatory about what they pass along. After all, we don't have Walter Cronkite around to tell us the way it really is.

Postscript: It should go without saying that if you plan on donating to a charity as a response to the events in Boston, check their bonafides first, and if you're going to use a crowdsourcing site, make sure the recipients are legit. The scammers are already out in force.

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PictureLegoIt took Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield to demonstrate the best explanation ever of why my life seems to be the way it is.

I have this great business plan. Build a site that everyone wants to use. Then make it so there's so much peer pressure users "can't leave". Then keep monkeying with their privacy settings, getting them all worked up, and then back them off, so I seem like a great person. Rinse and repeat so people will pay me a lot of money because I have all this data on them and I can target my ads -- okay, maybe not as well as Google, but I don't want to pay people who are that smart like Page and Brin do (the cheaper, the better, right?). Then, once I have them all addicted, tell advertisers that I'm going to make sure their ads aren't delivered unless they pay up to $16.00 or more per message to deliver them.

I suppose the good news is that a gang of people who stole $250 million through online bank fraud were arrested a couple of weeks ago. But house arrest? and only five years? especially when you realize there are others who figure they can do exactly the same thing?

Regular readers know that I have a love-hate relationship with my cell phone. I love the phone itself; even if I only use it for a few things -- like making and receiving phone calls and texts, and occasionally taking a picture, it has a lot of things I can do if I ever really feel like it. I'm also frustrated because we don't live in a Verizon service area, so sometimes getting a connection is problematic. But the one thing that I've never done is install any apps, and now I'm glad I didn't. There have been at least 9 million downloads of the bad apps, and that's just the ones they've found so far. (By the way, there's also a petition out there to get Verizon to do away with contracts.)

If you're one of those people who bought a Surface Pro with Windows 8 and wonder what happened to the neat little tool that let you capture a screenshot, it's still there, but it's hidden in the \system32\ folder. You can do a search for "snip" (usually, you can get away with just the first three characters), and then when it finds the program, you can pin it to the desktop. At this rate, there won't be any complaints about Windows 8 by, oh... 2021 or so.

Finally, there's no way to put the advertising toothpaste back into the tube -- we're going to have to live with it forever, I think -- but at least there are applications and extensions out there that will let you keep track of who's tracking you.

In Brief

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Only 349 shopping days left until Windows XP support stops. We'll keep reminding you as a public service.

For anyone who was involved in one of Experts Exchange's all-time great questions, we've found a challenge: a role-playing game in Excel. Just don't go making mistakes like a couple of Harvard economists did (thanks, Todd!!) If you're interested, byundt located the smoking gun on the paper.

Problems of the rich and famous.

Coming to a tablet near you: iSteve.

Picking up where the SCO vs. Novell case left off, Viacom lost to YouTube again.

Our initial reaction to Windows 8 was pretty straightforward: WTF? Apparently, we werent alone; as former Portland Trailblazer (the team owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen) Rasheed Wallace might say, "Ball don't lie."

We love the Wayback Machine, but it's not exactly as big a time-sink as Wikipedia or Ancestry.com, both noted for their ability to send readers off on afternoon-wasting journeys into worlds built around the Second Battle of Bull Run or your great-great-great grandmother's city of origin. So we have to admire the research that was undertaken to find some websites stuck in time.

Also stuck in time: big companies who have never figured out how to make money off search like Google.

It's five o'clock somewhere.

Why it's a good thing that crooks like Facebook... and not that it's related or anything like that, but some people should choose different careers.

Why it's always the copycats who seem to be the most successful and why there will always be the leeches, not to mention the speculators and the competition.

Why you should be extra careful when firing someone with admin access to your servers.

About a year ago California decided to scrap the project that would have tied together and modernized all of the state's courts, on the heels of a failed payroll project and a disastrous DMV project; these should serve as a more portentous warning to IT people considering major upgrades.

Consumerist readers have given Electronic Arts the site's worst company in America award for the second year in a row, making EA the first repeat winner. It had the toughest bracket, too, facing off against other terrible customer-service companies like Google, Facebook and AT&T. Apropos of which, there's still time to file a claim in the price-fixing lawsuit against EA over the price charged for football games.

Maybe SXSW will be able to update its website now that Google is bringing Austin super high-speed broadband. Provo is getting Google's largesse too.

Seems to me that if you're going to pay $1,500 for a pair of glasses, you should be able to do what you want with them, but it turns out you only lease the software that makes the glasses work -- so Google still owns it.

My better half has a longer memory than Siri. She also has a longer memory than Apple investors.

If you're Leroy Jethro Gibbs, you don't believe in coincidences. So we'll let you sort it out: Spamhaus blacklists a spammer, and gets hit with a massive DDoS. Reddit [unsuccessfully] tries to find bombers, and gets hit with a massive DDoS.

In requiem: USA Today founder Al Neuharth, and Jonathan Winters.

Signs of the Apocalypse: How to get your own mugshot. The world's largest videogame. The North Korean navy. A Zuckerberg has trouble with Facebook privacy. Microsoft says uninstall a security fix.


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New Aces: RobWill has earned his second Ace certificate, this one in Virtual Private Networking, while ACH1LLES has earned his first, in SharePoint.

New Geniuses: Earning their second Genius certificates were Sharath_123, in Query Syntax, and Rancy, in Outlook. First time 1,000,000 point t-shirts go to johanntagle in MySQL and ValentinoV in SQL Reporting.


  • rorya is the 13th member of Experts Exchange to earn 14,000,000 points overall; he is the all-time leader in points in the Excel topic area.
  • mkline71 and MASQUERAID are the two most recent members of EE to reach 6,000,000 points in their careers.
  • Qlemo has earned 5,000,000 points since joining Experts Exchange.
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
robert_schutt.NET ProgrammingGuru
mas_oz2003.NET ProgrammingSage
gauthampj.NET ProgrammingWizard
jtoutou.NET ProgrammingWizard
footechActive DirectoryGuru
MutawadiActive DirectoryMaster
shaiksajActive DirectoryMaster
SSharmaAnti-Virus AppsGuru
COBOLdinosaurApache Web ServerMaster
strungApple Digital LivingGuru
MacGuy47Apple OSMaster
MAG03Cisco PIX/ASAGuru
DelphineousEE LoungeMaster
Exchange_GeekEmail ServersGuru
dbruntonHardware ComponentsWizard
Rick_O_ShayHardware FirewallsMaster
padasInternet DevelopmentMaster
crazedsanityLinux NetworkingMaster
billprewMicrosoft OSGuru
kevinhsiehMicrosoft OSGuru
lionelmmMicrosoft OSGuru
fmarshallMisc NetworkingGuru
rauenpcMisc NetworkingMaster
BillDenverMS AccessWizard
andrewssd3MS ApplicationsMaster
Rgonzo1971MS ApplicationsMaster
terencinoMS ExcelGuru
JSRWilsonMS ExcelMaster
MacroShadowMS ExcelMaster
terencinoMS OfficeMaster
DatabaseMXMS OfficeWizard
Netman66MS Server OSGuru
ACH1LLESMS SharePointAce
colly92002MS SharePointGuru
JoeKlimisMS SharePointMaster
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PortletPaulMS SQL ServerGuru
Louis01MS SQL ServerMaster
robert_schuttMS SQL ServerMaster
ValentinoVMS SQL ServerSage
PortletPaulMS SQL Server 2005Master
jimpenMS SQL Server 2005Sage
PortletPaulMS SQL Server 2008Guru
ZberteocMS SQL Server 2008Guru
vastoMS SQL Server 2008Master
ve3ofaMS Virtual ServerMaster
johanntagleMySQL ServerGenius
KdoMySQL ServerWizard
craigbeckNetwork Design & MethodologyGuru
RobWillNetwork SecurityMaster
byundtOffice / ProductivityMaster
mccarlProg LanguagesMaster
Sharath_123Query SyntaxGenius
ValentinoVQuery SyntaxMaster
oBdASBS Small Business ServerWizard
Ray_PaseurScripting LanguagesSage
omarfaridServer HardwareMaster
ValentinoVSSRS SQL Reporting SvcGenius
rkworldsSSRS SQL Reporting SvcMaster
robert_schuttVB ScriptGuru
jtoutouVisual Basic.NETSage
padasWeb BrowsersMaster
Ray_PaseurWeb Languages/StandardsSage
padasWeb MarketingMaster
sedgwickWeb Services and WCFMaster
hanccockaWindows 2003 ServerSage
joewinogradWindows 7Guru
upalakshithaWindows 7Master
KCTSWindows NetworkingGuru
Darr247Windows OSGuru
sushil84Windows Server 2008Guru
compdigit44Windows Server 2008Master
hirenvmajithiyaWindows Server 2008Master
JaihuntWindows Server 2008Master
millardjkWindows Server 2008Master
kevinhsiehWindows XPMaster