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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

Featured Content

What's New at Experts Exchange
From SLO and beyond

Linking to off-site content
How linked content will be treated

Nata's Corner
Burning land and Burning Man

Using the Knowledgebase
joewinograd on using files

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through Sept. 7

What's New at E-E

Wayne and Jamie Social Notes: Jamie Keen became the wife of Wayne Taylor in ceremonies held August 23-25 (yes, three days) at the Eleandra Resort in Mission Beach, Queensland. Our warmest regards to the happy couple!

New Topic Advisors: There are a bunch: arnold, billprew, COBOLdinosaur, diverseit, dragon-it, fanpages, FireRunt, GaryC123, Gary_The_IT_Pro, gerwinjansen, GrahamSkan, IrogSinta, kaufmed, jimhorn, mrcoffee365, padas, PortletPaul, Ray_Paseur, robert_schutt, tagit, TBone2K, TerryAtOpus, The_Barman, thinkpads_user, TommySzalapski, Tony1044 and ValentinoV. Welcome aboard!

MVEMost Valuable Experts: There is still time to nominate your favorite Expert for the Gamma class of Most Valuable Experts at Experts Exchange. Site Admin Mark Wills spoke about the MVE program, and you can read about the Alpha and Beta classes, and then let us know who you think the best of the best are.

Kudos: BernardGBailey was trying to figure out how to get a SQL query including date criteria, when PortletPaul showed him a little easier way: "Works just as requested. EE is the best solution provider for my work."

joyacv2 was looking for a way to use more than one filter criteria in an Excel spreadsheet. HarryHYLee posted some code, which got a "nicely done" from Excel Savant (and Microsoft MVP) byundt, and this from the Asker: "Perfect code, I make a little modifications to use in my code."

ozo, byundt, phoffric and TommySzalapski all gave nachtmsk some ideas for programming a solution to his third-grader's homework, but after Big_Rat wondered whether a third-grader is really supposed to solve "a Diophantine equation in three variables requiring positive integer solutions," he asked the teacher; it turned out she had handed out the wrong assignment. "I'm going to assign points to this soon, but it's going to be hard, everyone has been great. I'll be splitting points because everyone's input was valuable. I am curious to know if any of the third graders were able to solve this on their own - maybe there exists a math prodigy in that class?!"

Podcasts: 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.

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.

Linking to off-site content

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The Moderators and Topic Advisors have begun a joint initiative to improve the quality of the information given to Askers in response to questions. At the center of that is a more strict description of how linked content is to be used. Since this is a course correction -- more than it is a big change -- over the next few weeks you'll probably see more comments about links, but over a period of time we'll be stepping up the enforcement of the Terms of Use regarding linking to competing sites. The bottom line: links should be used to support the suggestion you're making to an Asker; they should not be the suggestion. To give everyone an idea of what we have been seeing, we have identified a number of types of linked content, and this is how we'll be dealing with each:

The internal link:
Links to other PAQs or articles at EE are by definition exempt from any action. A good example is alanhardisty's comment recommending demazter's migration guide, which is an article written for Experts Exchange.
The answer link:
If the question is "where do I find the most recent version of Ubuntu?", the answer is the link to the download of the most recent version of Ubuntu. Those are pretty cut and dried, and should be acceptable under pretty much any circumstances. wesly_chen can't answer the question much more clearly.
The original source link:
Original sources are generally copyrighted, so copying and pasting is not an option. For the most part, they will be material posted on a manufacturer's site, but can also include blog posts that specifically address the issue raised or it it's to a member's own blog. We like the way PeteLong uses content from his own site.
The helpful link:
While we're generally not fans of links, the ones that give a summary of what is on the page are better than nothing. piattnd used a link to support his suggestion.
The hurts more than it helps link:
These are the ones to competing Q&A sites (as opposed to a MSDN page). Even if the comment quotes from the page, the link will be removed.
The unhelpful link:
This is one that says "here's what you need to do" but doesn't give any information about what is on the page. Initially, the Moderators and Topic Advisors may be a little more forgiving if it's an original source, but you should refer to the support pages on how to do linked content properly.
The blind link:
A post that contains nothing enlightening but a link to an outside site is blind and is unacceptable.

If you have any questions about a linked page you are planning on posting, you should ask for an evaluation first.

Using the Knowledgebase

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joewinograd has written two articles about using some of the features at Experts Exchange -- one on embedding screenshots and the other, more recent one on getting the most out of the new Personal Knowledgebase. Both are presented here:

How to Embed Screenshots in Posts

This article explains how to embed/insert screenshots (screen captures/screen grabs) into EE posts. A search found a previous article on the subject and one follow-up to it. But large portions of those articles are devoted to explaining how to capture screenshots. My focus in this article is on members who already know how to capture screenshots but don't realize that it's possible to embed screenshots directly into posts, making it much easier to review the text and images in a question or answer. I've seen members post screenshots in Word and PowerPoint files that are attached, as well as in image files (typically, JPG and PNG), yet these images are also attached rather than embedded. I've even seen images posted outside of EE on image-sharing sites, such as Imgur.

How to Embed Screenshots and Other Files with My Personal Knowledgebase

During the review/publication process for one of my previous articles, How to Embed Screenshots in Posts, the Page Editor, lherrou, brought to my attention a new EE feature — the ability to upload files into My Personal Knowledgebase (MyPKb). Furthermore, when those uploaded files are images, they may be embedded in questions, answers and articles. In fact, all of the screenshots in this article were embedded from MyPKb. Beyond just images, you may embed other file types, which I'll discuss toward the end of the article.

I considered adding a section about this methodology to my previous article, but decided that it is worthy of its own article. In addition, an objective was to keep the previous article brief.

This article assumes that you already know how to capture screenshots into image files (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, etc.) via techniques such as the PrintScreen key (captures all monitors), Alt-PrintScreen (captures just the focus window), the Snipping Tool (built into W7 and W8), Snagit (a popular commercial product from TechSmith), Greenshot (a free, open source product published under the GNU GPL), etc.

Nata's Corner

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Nata's Picture091113dJust what I want for Christmas... NOT: Windows 8.1. Unless you were planning on giving me Windows 8.

We didn't go very far from home over the Labor Day weekend, in large part because everyone else was going where we might have wanted to go because they didn't want to come up our way. But one place we knew we weren't going to go was out in the desert outsite of Reno to Burning Man, which apparently used to be pretty entertaining (if you like that kind of thing), but is now becoming the rich-and-clueless's "in" way of showing how cool they are. You watch: in 2015 either Facebook or Twitter will have a tent.

Speaking of Facebook, the company had planned to update its privacy policies again -- meaning we all have to find out (again) where they've buried the various "opt out" checkboxes, because it's a good bet that they've all been switched back so that we're all opted back in (I'm not even joking). The email they sent out says the updates include information on advertising, using your personal information with ads, controlling or removing apps, and what data you're sharing with mobile devices, but late last week FB decided to hold off the updates when privacy groups complained. I'm still waiting for someone to develop an application that we can use to keep these people in line.

I've never been able to figure out why there is so much spam out there. Really. I know that it doesn't take much to send, and I know that there are people out there who fall for variations of the Nigerian general scam, but I couldn't really fathom how so much of it winds up in my inbox every day. Then I saw an article in the New York Times about four Russian men who were linked to a spambot responsible for a third of all the spam that's out there -- including the dozens of "enhancement" emails that I get every day.

Finally, if you're a fan of music in Britain who doesn't like having to spend money on a song only to find out that it isn't very good, you should keep an eye on the papers, because the ISPs have been asked to create a database of illegal downloaders, which means the US recording and movie industries are probably going to try to get the government to force ISPs to do the same thing.

In Brief

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Stop the presses: Americans don't believe their privacy is being protected by either the government or big corporations. Also, Google is a patent troll.

Darn the bad luck: Despite the fact that we spent over half our life selling advertising, there's very little that makes our day brighter than the news that the advertising "industry", especially when it comes to the Internet, is in trouble. Specifically, it doesn't bother us much that ad blockers are working, and more people are using them.

Time to get in line again: There are new iPhones waiting to be announced tomorrow, and Apple wants you to trade yours in at an Apple store instead of someplace else. Hint: back it up before you leave home.

Like that's gonna happen: The US Army has a huge security problem it's doing nothing about.

There's a bright side to being so far out of the race that buying Nokia elicited little more than a giggle: it means you're no longer the target of choice for malware writers. You'll note Mr Ballmer's quote about it being a "signature event" for Microsoft -- as in, Microsoft is doing what it has always done: buy what it can't build.

Eddie736Happy birthday: Harley-Davidson is 110; our youngest brother isn't.

This could be entertaining: The government of India is apparently about to prohibit its employees from using Gmail and similar US-based services (like Outlook.com and Yahoo) because of the ongoing leaks of NSA documents. Of course, that doesn't stop the recipients of emails from Indian government employees from using any of those services -- which means the NSA will get the information anyway, right? They're certainly spending enough money -- including some of it on lawyers.

Time sink of the week: Now I Know.

Not that we're surprised, but apparently, Steve Jobs wasn't a saint after all, but he did leave the company with his well-known chutzpah -- one more thing he learned from Bill Gates. Still, we're pretty sure the company doesn't want to mess with the French wine industry over a word.

We don't normally do games, but when we do, we do Japan World Cup 3 (turn the sound down at work, though). The real question, though, is whether games like this will be shown at the next Penny Arcade Expo.

It wasn't me...

replicatorY'know... it's not all that different from a replicator: And it's a lot easier than a mind meld. Can we help it if the latest Star Trek movie was released on DVD and Blu-ray yesterday -- without some of the extras available if you download it from iTunes.

Now you're just being silly: T-Mobile is suing AT&T, which would ordinarily delight us, but this is nuts. The lawsuit is over a color. And speaking of purple, Yahoo has decided on a new logo. Yawn-hoo... personal opinion: despite the criticism it's decidedly better than almost all of the crowdsourced versions.

I forgot my phone. Siri most certainly would like you to.

Signs of the Apocalypse: Tesla is outselling Porsche and Range Rover in California. "Srsly" is now in the Oxford English Dictionary; thank the stars all our friends go to Cambridge. Indexing tweets.


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New Prodigy: Gertone, who for six consecutive years has been recipient of EE's "Sniper" award, has reached the 5,000,000 point level in XML. Congratulations!

New Geniuses: nobus has moved back into a tie with angelIII for the most Genius certificates as he earned his 13th, in Windows OS. mwvisa1 reached the Genius level for the fourth time, in SQL Server 2008. Earning their first Genius certificates were The_Barman in Excel and IrogSinta in Access. Well done by all!

My First Million: Experts who reached the 1,000,000 point level in August were mccarl, nemws1 and clonyxlro. Great work!


  • mlmcc has earned 18,000,000 points since joining Experts Exchange in November 2000.
  • aneeshattingal is the 30th member of Experts Exchange to earn 11,000,000 points.
  • LSMConsulting has earned 9,000,000 points in the Access topic area.
  • emoreau has reached the 8,000,000 point level overall.
  • PeteLong has become the 76th EE member to have 6,000,000 points.
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
asimnazir123.NET ProgrammingMaster
mlmcc.NET ProgrammingSage
EdTechyApple OSMaster
thinkpads_userApple SoftwareMaster
MereteDigital MusicSage
Sembee2Email ClientsMaster
ve3ofaEmail ClientsMaster
it4sohoEmail ServersMaster
surbabu140977Hardware FirewallsMaster
oBdAIT AdministrationMaster
it4sohoLinux DistributionsMaster
MazdajaiLinux DistributionsMaster
breadtanMicrosoft IIS Web ServerMaster
ded9Microsoft OSGuru
vivigattMisc NetworkingMaster
GertoneMisc ProgrammingMaster
GaryC123Misc Web DevGuru
IrogSintaMS AccessGenius
BitsqueezerMS AccessSage
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
redmondbMS ApplicationsGuru
The_BarmanMS ExcelGenius
HarryHYLeeMS ExcelMaster
marahman3001MS ExcelMaster
Rgonzo1971MS ExcelWizard
paulsauveMS OfficeGuru
arnoldMS SQL Server 2005Wizard
mwvisa1MS SQL Server 2008Genius
jimhornMS SQL Server 2008Sage
ArneLoviusNetwork Design & MethodologyGuru
craigbeckNetwork SecurityMaster
Alex140181Oracle DatabaseMaster
TerryAtOpusQuery SyntaxGuru
paulsolovServer HardwareWizard
sammySeltzerSSRS SQL Reporting SvcGuru
skullnobrainsUnix OSMaster
QlemoVB ScriptWizard
rowbyWeb-Based CMSMaster
DavisMcCarnWindows 2003 ServerGuru
PriceDWindows 2003 ServerMaster
pony10usWindows 7Master
ScottChaWindows 7Master
nobusWindows OSGenius
aneeshattingalWindows Server 2008Master
gcoltharpWindows Server 2008Master
kdyerWindows Server 2008Master
pradeep08_81Windows Server 2008Master
QlemoWindows Server 2008Wizard
Stoner79Windows Server 2012Master