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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

AUGUST 1, 2012

Featured Content

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

Nata's Corner
Altoids, Apple and protests

Editor's Choice Article
Leading zeros solved

Tip From The Mods
About www.ee-stuff.com

Why Does My Tech Company
E-mail Go Straight to the
Recipient Spam/Junk Folder

teksquisite shows why

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through July 28

What's New at E-E

Topic areas: We've brought back both the Joomla, Drupal and Web-Based CMS topic areas.

Updates: In addition to the reinstated topic areas, Experts Exchange has Added the "Monitor" and "Add to Knowledgebase" buttons and "My Topics" to the mobile site, and has upgraded the "print" view of pages to include code snippets. You'll also notice a few little changes to the Profile tab in the Workspace, and that for your Saved Searches, you can now include the number of comments as a parameter.

Private EE? We've been asked countless times for a "private" version of Experts Exchange, and with the rebuild that led to EEv10, we can actually recreate the Experts Exchange systems on smaller scales. If you're interested, take our survey; someone is going to get a polo shirt out of it.

TEDx San Luis Obispo: Experts Exchange is the premier sponsor of TEDx San Luis Obispo, set for Friday, September 28, at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. The event will include talks by three of our own: mark_wills, tigermatt and matthewspatrick.

Mobile: If you haven't checked out the new Mobile version yet and want to win some stuff, Experts Exchange is offering an incentive: an iPhone/iPad accessory pack. Experts Exchange has extended the contest to August 10, so get your comments in there now or the Marketing folks might give the pack to your humble editor as a birthday present.

Webinar: EE's next webinar will be Thursday, August 9, and will feature JamieMcAllister covering how to get started with Sharepoint 2010. You'll find details and registration at GoToMeeting.

Podcasts: Gary Weyel and Mark Barbir spent a bit of last week in Seattle at the MozCon cnference. Listen to their report on our iTunes or SoundCloud channels, and now it's available using Stitcher.

Blog posts: A couple of weeks ago, Mark was also provoked into writing an interesting post defending Quora's required registration -- something we're very familiar with at Experts Exchange. Also, Jenn Prentice took a break from writing profiles of Experts to weigh in on whether gender is an issue at Experts Exchange.

Kudos: Solenthaler was looking for a way to build a dropdown list in PHP, and got assistance from neerajsoni and mplungjan: "Dear Experts! Both solutions are working - Thank you very much! I used 'mplungjans' exactly as proposed in my application. It's great to have such experts handy. I like "expert-exchange.com"!"

An admittedly complex parsing macro was getting the best of Bevos, so aikimark helped her out: "This is one of the most interesting pieces of code that any of the experts here has helped me with. Thank you so much for your timely, creative response and best wishes."

matthewspatrick went a little above and beyond in helping smollenhauer come up with a cross checking system in Excel: "Excellent solution! I especially appreciate the ability to build a dynamic range name for the lookup column. I'm using that technique elsewhere and teaching it in my classes! You ROCK!"

westone was having trouble figure out why a Windows XP computer was being redirected until younghv pointed him in the right direction: "Thank you, the suggested utilities took care of it. Rogue Killer stopped a hidden blacklisted process, and TDSSKiller detected a rootkit in the boot record (I think that's the correct terminology) and took care of it. And it didn't long to accomplish. More time was spent downloading the tools than they required to clean it up. Your help is appreciated."

Most Valuable Experts: Nominations are now open for our second round of Most Valuable Experts, the people who will be considered the "best of the best" at Experts Exchange for the coming year. Awardees will be hard-pressed to follow our inaugural group, but we know they're out there.

Mentor program: The Admins and Experts Exchange have been kicking around the idea of a techology mentorship program for a while, and we would like to hear from you about what EE's members would like to see.

Why Does My Tech Company E-mail Go Straight to the Recipient Spam/Junk Folder?

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teksquisite is a leading Expert on security issues, and has a brutal sense of humor. Her Tekblog is always fascinating.

Recently, a tech business (Company A) that I consult with called me and asked why I was not responding to their email. I replied that I had not received any email from their company. They told me that they would re-send them. I waited and waited and waited...

The next day I called them stating that I still had not received any email from them. They responded that I should check my junk mail folder. Why would I want to do that? Most tech-related businesses know how to stay out of junk filters!

It is extremely rare that I ever check my spam/junk folders; they are configured to auto-delete every seven days. I decided to peruse my spam folders (just in case) and noticed that I had received quite a few emails from Company A and they were all marked as spam. They were not the only tech company included in my spam folder.

What did they have in common? Images without text, keywords often used by spammers (such as "Click here"), inclusion of too many links, and too many embedded images. Some of the rejected company emails also included excessive-use of capitalization or punctuation and animated graphics.

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.
Subject: Urgent Message
  Sent: 24/07/2012 6:52 AM

  'bnetminder@experts-exchange.com' on 28/07/2012 6:52 AM
        552 5.2.0 dzsE1j0172beq7t01zsEPH Suspected spam message rejected. OB702

  'bnetminder' on 28/07/2012 6:52 AM
        552 5.2.0 dzsE1j0172beq7t01zsEPH Suspected spam message rejected. OB702

Sorry, Netminder, but I have to have a little fun!!

Tech Business E-mail Signatures: Keep It Minimal [K.I.M.]
Your tech-business signature should be no longer then four lines and should use a 10-11 pt. standard font size. Think of your email signature as comparable to a business card or company letterhead - it should reflect your company brand. A Tech business email signature should include:

  • Name
  • Company
  • Your title
  • Phone number/Fax
  • Link to the company website/(Optional Trademark)

If you have included social media icons at your company website, email recipients will be able to connect to these accounts through the company website link provided in your e-mail signature.

Keep Branding Consistent
Inconsistent email signatures also create an open door for cybercriminals to use your brand as a stepping stone in their phishing campaigns.

The Solution
Create a company-wide Email Signature Policy and template. Employee email is not the place for personal advertising using a corporate email address. A tech-related company is not a social media company!

Tip from the Moderators

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Who and what is www.ee-stuff.com?

Our tip this issue comes from ModernMatt.

Health warning: this "Tip from the Mods" might dust off the history books for some of our long-term members. I'm not even sure I have been with the site long enough to qualify for telling the whole story, but I'm very grateful to our editor for putting me in the driving seat for this week's column, so I must at least try!

A few days ago, the Moderators received an enquiry from a concerned member of the community regarding a particular website which had cropped up in posts to Experts Exchange. One member was attempting to send another files via a site called ee-stuff.com. For most people, they may have never heard of this site, let alone ventured over there to discover what it does.

At first glance, it might be difficult to tell whether the website is related to EE or not. The theme of the site doesn't look one bit like the EE site today, yet the inquisitive visitor will very rapidly discover some EE-related discussion and a page requesting EE login credentials in order to progress to the "secure" area! In today's security conscious world, it is quite right to question the legitimacy of such requests. They could all too easily be phishing sites trying to harvest logon details, email addresses or other information; this is an ongoing concern in the security world and one our very own Nata is all too familiar with, based on her frequent reports for this newsletter.

Nevertheless, we can confirm the site is indeed legitimate and approved by Experts Exchange. However, it is not run by EE. It is and always has been a community effort run by volunteers on the Mod, ZA and Admin teams: owned by Netminder, originally built by GhostMod (kudos -- it is a mammoth system to code from scratch) and now managed by a crack team consisting of GhostMod, RQuadling, thermoduric and myself.

The original intent of the website was to complement the tools available on the main EE site with additional features which could be deployed more quickly or with relaxed security requirements. We didn't have the uptime requirements which EE naturally had to adhere to, so we could be a little more dangerous in our experimentation -- our experienced developers seldom introduced any bugs though! Our systems include the first file upload system (still available for use to this day) and the original neglected question system for the Moderators to send notices of questions which need attention (now fallen out of use).

Built in 2005, long timers at EE will recall the theme we use is the same as the EE site used at the time. Since then, EE has experienced two major upgrades -- once in 2007 and again in 2012 -- and at least the same number of theme changes, but maybe even more. We've never changed the theme at EE Stuff. We'd like to think the current theme is pretty special, because it is the only example we know of which shows an active site on the Internet in some old EE livery; the only other examples are a series of photos on the wall at the EE office, which picture all the theme changes going back to the original launch site in 1996.

Today, EE Stuff has begun to fall out of use in the Expert community. Many tools have been absorbed into the main EE site and are more conveniently accessed there. We still perform a vital role for the Badgers, as the site is a conduit for easy distribution of our tools and APIs for us to communicate effectively with EE. Our file upload system is still in existence though and can accept just about any file extension with a massive file size limit. We rename any executable files for security reasons, but that is about the only pre-caution taken. We really are very flexible with this system.

So, if you are looking to share a huge file for some strange extension which is not yet available at EE or you are just interested in seeing some of the legacies which have helped build the community and site we know today, check out ee-stuff.com. We would definitely appreciate your feedback and any suggestions which would help us improve our service to you and the rest of the community.

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PicturerespectHere's why you shouldn't put a battery in your back pocket. Especially in Las Vegas, where as it is too many people lose their... never mind.

If you're anything like me, throwing away those Altoids tins seems like a terrible waste. They're just the right size, pretty sturdy, and handy for all kinds of things. So here's a list of ten things you can build with an Altoids tin. The other half uses them to keep golf tees in instead of his pants pocket.

Three weeks ago, Specialist Sterling Wyatt of Columbia, Missouri was killed in Afghanistan, and his family scheduled a funeral for him in his hometown. That prompted a small church from Kansas to schedule a demonstration that would have promoted their homophobic agenda, but the good people in Columbia took to Facebook to prevent the disrespect that the demonstration would have shown to Spc. Wyatt and his family. The result was astonishing; my son, who is a police officer in Missouri, happened to be in Columbia the day of the procession, and said he had never seen anything so moving.

Just in case you didn't get the memo, if you're a US citizen, it's a good bet that someone's watching you. Someone certainly wants to. And some people are making it easier.

Apple has released its latest operating system, Mountain Lion, and there's some good news and some bad news. The good news is that upgrading to it will cost you $20 from the App Store; the bad news is that your apps may not be compatible and there's no rollback feature. Another piece of good news: it doesn't seem to be affected by the new trojan that's out there.

Finally, there are a couple of scams you need to watch out for. Given that it's hot all over the US lately, the one offering electric bill discounts has spread to every corner of the country. The other is a confirmation email on a US Airways flight you didn't book. The big problem is that the copycats will probably come up with similar emails for other airlines that you might have booked on. So be careful.

In Brief

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Don't say we didn't warn you: There are two real problems with data retention requirements imposed on private companies by governments. One is the whole Big Brother thing people have been justifiably paranoid about since about 1949; the other is that it makes for a convenient target.

Istanbul favored: If you've diverted your eyes from your monitors since Friday you know that the Olympic games are in full swing (Britons have our deepest sympathy for the unholy mess you must be suffering through trying to get across town) after a few weeks of headlines about US uniforms made in China (as opposed to Burma) and security problems. Apparently, some people are betting that the biggest headache for the London organizers will be online gambling, but it's a probable 12 to 7 to be Twitter.

For us on the west coast of the US, though, the biggest problem with the Olympics is NBC. It's not surprising that the Peacock will broadcast live somewhere and then show its finely tuned delayed broadcast during prime time (so they can make back all the money they spent getting the rights); after all, it's all about the benjamins. It's not even that they cut out a memorial to London victims of terrorism (although it's a remarkable bit of drama). But what really annoys us is how truly horribly ignorant their commentators are. Seriously, NBC. Our favorite reviews:

What makes this all priceless is that one reporter -- Guy Adams, the Los Angeles bureau chief of The Independent -- had his Twitter account suspended when NBC complained about his posting a corporate email address. Right. Twitter backed off Tuesday.

Goin' to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come: It'll be culture shock for all those Silicon Valley engineers, but KC will be able to buy both TV and gigabyte Internet service using Google's fiber optic network. The real question, besides the ones from the EU about all that Street View data Google was supposed to have deleted a couple of years ago, is who's next.

Falling flat: Google's Bouncer system that is supposed to scan apps uploaded to Google Play in order to prevent malicious programs from reaching cell phones failed to find all manner of bad things, and when Google finally did bounce the app from its store, it didn't bother to tell customers anything.

Patent scoreboard: Microsoft d. Google (nee Motorola), Germany. Complete box score. Early in the first period: Apple, Samsung all even. The trial started Monday.

He read it on the Internet: An opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal a week or so ago was pretty much all wrong. Apparently, the blogger asked Matt Lauer and Meredith Veiera.

Drip... drip... drip... Facebook's stock price isn't the real problem. Not helping one bit: Zynga.

Now it's time to close the barn door: Oracle ran an ad in The Wall Street Journal that wasn't entirely accurate, but pulled it when IBM complained. Of course, the ad can still be found, since it got a good amount of publicity.

In requiem: Sally Ride, the United State's first female astronaut; and Sherman Hensley of The Jeffersons.

Makes sense to me: If you worked there, you'd probably swear a lot too.

You don't get voted off Mercer Island, though: Microsoft has its own reality TV show.

Signs of the Apocalypse: One or the other can wait. Or maybe not. For one thing, it could be dangerous.


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EE For Life: thinkpads_user is the newest member of the 5,000,000 Point Club, and will join 85 other EE members who will receive Premium Services for life.


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