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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

AUGUST 15, 2012

Featured Content

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

Nata's Corner
outlook.com and the Nook

Editor's Choice Articles
Three on debugging in C++

The Next Cybercrime Victim
teksquisite on prevention

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through Aug. 11

What's New at E-E

Updates: Some of the more important issues that have been fixed in the last couple of weeks:

  • Anchors: Comment IDs are now HTML anchors, which means you can link to a specific comment.
  • Advanced Search: The link to the Advanced Search page is now just below the search box on every page.
  • Saved Searches: If you're having trouble with your Saved Search, the Admins can now view and edit them to help you get them squared away.

For a complete list of reported and fixed bugs and requested features, please see the Support Center.

New Savant: CodeCruiser is the eleventh member of EE to earn over 10,000,000 points in a single topic area. His Savant certificate is in VB.NET. He has also earned over 2,000,000 points in both ASP.NET and .NET. Congratulations!

TEDx San Luis Obispo: Tickets are now available for the EE-sponsored TEDx San Luis Obispo, set for Friday, September 28, at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center. The event will include talks on The Power of Community by three of our own: mark_wills, tigermatt and matthewspatrick. Early bird purchasers save $12 off the regular price, so get your seats early.

Webinar: MVP JamieMcAllister's webinar on started with Sharepoint 2010 is now available on his website and will be available on the EE YouTube channel by the end of the week. A PDF of the Q&A portion of the webinar, along with Jamie's slides, is also available.

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.

Expert profiles: tedbilly is revealed as not your average geek, and TechSoEasy has some thoughts on dinner guests in the two most recent installments of our series of interviews with Experts.

Mobile: jakubbauman was the winner of the iPhone/iPad accessory pack. No soup for the editor.

Podcasts: Winning content strategies are the subject of EE's latest podcast. Podcasts are achived on iTunes or SoundCloud channels, and now it's available using Stitcher.

Blog posts: Two blog posts that caught our attention recently: evilrix wants C++ programmers to stop reinventing wheels, and skirklan has a rant on being part of the 99%.

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.

Kudos: By his own admission, mwheeler_fsd felt a little unsure of himself, having not used the services of the Moderators during his nine years on the site. When he clicked on the Request Attention button for the first time, his request was picked up by ModernMatt: "I want to thank you for your kind words. I take this site very seriously, and have a great deal of respect for all of you for the time you dedicate to its excellence. I've been a programmer for 25 years and am proud to be a member. It is, and has been, in my opinion, the support site to which all others must be measured."

Thanks, Mike; we feel the same way.

Expert badge: If you haven't grabbed one already, be sure to nab your very own certified Expert Badge and show off your skills on your personal blog or website. All the cool kids are doing it!

Customer Service contest: If you have a reason to deal with the CS department, you can win one of the very nice EE polo shirts just for filling out the survey after your experience. The contest runs through the end of the month, so post about your experience today!

Editors' Choice Articles

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phoffric contributed a series of three articles, all of which earned him Editors' Choice awards.

C/C++ Beginner's Debugging Guide using Visual Studio 2008 Express

This article is intended to help students become quickly comfortable with the VS 2008 Express Debugger. Students beginning in their study of C/C++ may shun the use of the very powerful symbolic debugger because of their belief that the learning curve is too prohibitive; after all, they have been successfully writing and debugging programs for the first couple of months using print statements. But as the programs become a little longer and bugs creep in -- and now, for some reason, it is harder to track down the problems. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that in a few minutes, a student can learn enough to significantly improve their productivity in completing assignments.

Some of the website tutorials on this topic are too comprehensive for a beginner who desires to quickly get started with this debugger. Learning just what is described below can save many hours in a homework assignment and many weeks over all your computer classes. For those who want to learn everything about the VS Symbolic debugger, see the MS Debugger Road-map.

Breakpoint Tips for C/C++ Visual Studio 2008 Debugger - Part 2

This article is the second in a three part article series on the Visual Studio 2008 Debugger. It provides tips in setting and using breakpoints. If not familiar with this debugger, you can find a basic introduction in the EE article located in Part 1, and as you get more familiar with the debugger, you may be interested in some additional miscellaneous tips in Part 3.

As assignments become more complicated (e.g., more loop iterations, more recursion, more function nesting), the tips shown below may further help improve your productivity.

For this article, all projects are built using a "General Empty" project. The first project reads in a very large list of scrabble words, and determines the largest set of anagrams in the list.

Watch, Memory, Stack Tips: C/C++ Visual Studio Debugger - Part 3

This article is a continuation of the C/C++ Visual Studio Express debugger series. Part 1 provided a quick start guide in using the debugger. Part 2 focused on additional topics in breakpoints. As your assignments become a little more complex, you may need to use additional techniques. This article focuses on the Watch Pane, examining blocks of memory, and viewing memory at different levels of the Stack Frame.

A Watch Pane, like the Autos and Locals Panes, also shows variable names, values, and types. It is especially useful for watching global objects which never show up in a Locals Pane. Unlike the Autos and Locals Panes, the Watch Pane is not filled in automatically; you need to insert the names yourself. In addition to variable (or object) names, you can also enter expressions to evaluate.

As you step through your program, if the item you are watching changes its value, then the value will appear in red.

What happens if you become the next victim of cybercrime?

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teksquisite is a leading Expert on security issues, and has a brutal sense of humor. Her Tekblog is always fascinating; this post is republished from the Cocoon blog.

The potential for you or me to become the next victim of cybercrime is something that we both need to think about. Ive been a victim a few times and I can tell you that it is frightening to be on the short end of the cybercriminal stick.

My heart was pounding...
Late one afternoon (in early 2011) my bank balance appeared to be dropping fast, and the only connection I could see was that it involved Megaupload Limited and PayPal. I contacted both PayPal and the 800 number to my bank, but I honestly did not feel as though they were doing enough to resolve my situation. The theft was happening in real time! So I did the next best thing and jumped on Twitter and tweeted that an account using Megaupload Limited was draining my bank account via PayPal! (At that time my main bank account was still back east in New Hampshire).

Twitter can be used as a powerful forum to get your point across if you know who to tweet to and the correct hash(#) tag(s) to use. It wasn't long before I was on the phone with managers from PayPal and the bank and all was made good again. A story like mine does not always end as sweetly.

The victims of cybercrime suffer...
For victims like Michelle Marsico who owns a small business based in Redondo Breach, California; logging into her bank account one day turned into her own personal horror flick when she realized that half a million dollars was hauled off by money mules. Cybercriminals will stop at nothing to get what they want and they do not care if they take your grandparents life savings or rob your childs college fund. If the money is there and they can find a weakness in security, a vulnerability in a web app, or an open door that lets them in -- your money will become their money.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek: Online banking fraud is primarily carried out in two ways. In a phishing attack, criminals impersonate bank websites in order to get unsuspecting users to provide their login credentials. The other modus operandi of online banking frauds is to install keystroke-logging malware.

Of course there are other banking attack vectors such as man-in-the-middle attacks, man-in-the-browser attacks, cross-channel attacks and pharming (Trojan horse/virus on the victim's computer). At times Internet threat possibilities can become quite overwhelming.

Time for the geek-gal stuff...
I use desktops with Vista and Windows 7, an iMac, a laptop (Win 7), a Linux server, an iPhone and an Android. I find myself layering different operating systems with whatever flavor works for me. On Windows and iMac I generally use Cocoon in varying capacities and also use Cocoon on my iPhone as my primary browser of choice. On my Linux machine I am mainly inside my terminal and rarely use a browser. If I am on public Wi-Fi -- Cocoon is my top choice for browsing the Internet.

I also find times that I use other services such as TorProject, Abine, and Hotspot Shield. It all depends upon the nature of what I need to do online when I am away from home or traveling. I am a very strong advocate of Internet security and privacy and appreciate having a multitude of online tools to choose from!

In a nutshell...
There is no all-in-one solution for online privacy and security. 2012 is the year of layering. We are at a point in our digital lives where we need to steer the ship away from the hacker-reef. We need to take account of all of the solutions that are currently available to us for online security and privacy and utilize them via layering so that we can enjoy our online experience instead of fearing it.

A little bit of Cocoon history...
Cocoon began in 2008 with co-founders Jeff Bermant and Brian Fox. Jeff had a really bad experience when his server was toasted by a virus that spammed friends and colleagues with 30K messages a day. CTO, Brian Fox -- (we all know him as the original author of the GNU Bash shell) teamed up with Jeff and founded GetCocoon from Virtual World Computing (VWC). In October, 2011 Vernon Irvin became the President and COO of VWC -- and continues to nurture and lead the Cocoon service into avenues that will protect us and the most vulnerable among us -- our children, teenagers and grandparents.

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PicturecoffeeEveryone should know by now that I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. I like seeing pictures of the grandkids, and there are times when I think it's the best way to communicate with some of my cousins, but it also bothers me that they play fast and loose with personal information, and that they do all kinds of little things that are annoying, like unchecking boxes every time they do an update to their systems, so I have to go back in and check everything again. The fact that Facebook doesn't respect privacy was at the heart of the class-action lawsuit about "sponsored stories", and now the company wants to keep financial information about their payout out of the public eye. It seems to me that if they can use our personal information, we should at least be able to see their information that, as a publicly-traded company, should be public too.

I'm thinking about getting a new laptop, and we're at a big of a crossroads. For one thing, we have at least three different operating systems around here (my laptop runs Vista, while the other half's runs Windows 7, and our two desktops run differing versions of Windows XP), and he says he'd like to upgrade them all to Windows 8 when it comes out. He loves XP and hates Vista (like just about everyone who's used both). I guess I should run Microsoft's upgrade advisor and then think about it a little more.

I'm also going to be taking a long look at Microsoft's new outlook.com. So far, I've avoided using a Gmail account, mostly because I really don't need to get any more caught up in the Google "all your data are belong to us" thing, but from what I've read about it, Microsoft might have a viable alternative. But I'm still nervous about having 10,283 names in my outlook.com address list.

I know I've mentioned the grandkids. The other half was thinking about getting one of them a Nook or a Kindle for our grandson (he's at the age where he's starting to read a lot), but I talked him out of it for the time being, and I'm glad I did, because Barnes & Noble is cutting prices, so it's hard to imagine a world where Amazon doesn't do the same thing.

Finally, the Gauss virus that apparently has its roots in the US/Israeli Stuxnet and Flame viruses, is driving security firms nuts, which means you should be extra careful -- especially if you live in the Middle East.

In Brief

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What goes around: Back in our college days, the closest thing to a personal computer was a PDP-11 terminal a couple of buildings over from the dorm connected to the campus's computer network, and boxes of file cards the CompSci students guarded with the intensity reserved for rare works of art. Now, VMWare has bought Nicira, a company that makes software that ties together different networks into one big simulated network.

Apple v. Samsung tote board... "A jury consists of 12 persons who has to decide who has the best lawyer." -- Robert Frost

Sign of the times: If your company gets sold to a very big company, polish up your resume. Also, Internet pirates will always win.

We can't make up this stuff.

Just in case you're interested in getting one of those .google domains: The comment period has been extended 45 days. Have fun...

Hitchhiker's guide: EE is somewhere between IKEA and Dropbox. We're certain there's some metaphysical meaning to that, but we're not sure what it is.

A matter of time: The betting window is open. How long will it be before some government decides it's a good idea to have a backdoor built into every computing device made in the country? Let's put it this way: others are asking the same question. EE's tim_holman sent us an invite to a workshop on the subject if you happen to be in London on Friday, September 7.

Bad day at Black Rock: Demonoid, one of the few torrent tracking sites that wasn't on the immediate radar screen of the recording and movie industries, was smacked a couple of weeks ago by a "massive" DDoS attack that took it offline for over a week. That was made worse by the Ukranian government shutting down the site -- no doubt panicking a few people -- and prompting the good folks at Anonymous to go after the Ukrainian government. Somehow, we see no winners in this dust-up.

In requiem: Johnny Pesky, Gore Vidal, cold fusion scientist Martin Fleischmann, Cosmopolitan (you know you look) editor Helen Gurley Brown, and Microsoft Metro.

Missing: valuable jewelry: Someone or something caused a certain volcano to erupt after over a century of dormancy.

Another one bites the dust.

Unfortunately, it's not likely to slow down spambots: Still, the idea behind courteous.ly is pretty cool. When they get it to work with the telephone, they'll really be on to something. Maybe they can cut a deal with Facebook. Maybe those are the "undesirables", or maybe just the 8.7 per cent.

There is a god. In a related matter, picking on gymnasts.

Talk to the hand: There's just something weird about putting on a glove and being able to play the violin without knowing how to read music.

Jason's contributions of the week: A special site for contract developers and designers, and another for getting your act together.

Chicken Little: The CyberSecurity Act that died in the US Senate last week was DOA anyway, if only because more than a few people questioned the premises. First, it required businesses to do what a governmental bureaucracy decides it should do (c.f. "government regulations", "government reporting", and "the ANY key"), even though most business are already doing it already (or should be, or should be faced to suffer the consequences if they're not -- c.f. TJMaxx, Facebook, Google and a host of others). Not that requiring security is a bad thing; it's just that government is always behind the times, and has an interest in coming up with new requirements so it can keep its funding. Besides, it seems sensible to install a lock on the doors before you're robbed rather than after, right? Second, after coming up with all of these requirements, they were made voluntary -- which means the only organization who was required to comply was the government itself. Finally, there was the normal US-style politicking that ensured that a Republican initiative would get stymied by the Republicans in the Senate.

Signs of the Apocalypse: Pop-up stalking by political candidates, and what some people will go through to get a new iPad.


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New Geniuses: Lowfatspread has earned his third Genius certificate, in SQL Server 2008, and also joined the EE For Life Club, having reached the 5,000,000 point level in his career at EE. First time Geniuses are JamieMcAllister, in MS SharePoint, and meyersd, in Hard Drives & Storage. Congratulations on a job well done!

My First Million: Members who reached the 1,000,000 point level in July included ArneLovius and arober11. Great job!


  • Idle_Mind has earned 2,000,000 points in four separate topic areas; the latest is C# Programming.
  • mplungjan reached the 8,000,000 point level in the JavaScript topic area.
  • harfang is the most recent member of EE to go over 6,000,000 points overall.
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