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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

SEPTEMBER 14, 2011


What's New at Experts Exchange
From the Central Coast and beyond

"I will never understand why..."

Nata's Corner
Big fines and discounts

Tips from the Moderators
A picture says a thousand words

In Brief
Things you might have missed

Who did what through Sept. 10


New Moderators: We have added two new members to the list of Moderators at Experts Exchange. ModSquad and RockMod both bring considerable expertise to the group, with a combined 17 years of membership at EE under their belts. Welcome aboard!

Mark it on your calendar: Jason Levine, AKA WhackAMod, one of Experts Exchange's site administrators, will host a meet-up at Lodo's Bar and Grill in Denver on Thursday, September 29 from 4 pm to 8 pm. If you're so inclined, feel free to come bend his ear about anything EE; you can RSVP here; the beer is on us.

Seeking Krispy Kremes: Purchase or upgrade to a Business Account from Experts Exchange between now and September 17, and we'll send you not only the mugs, but coffee and enough donuts (at least a dozen for a small workgroup account) to keep you bouncing off the cubicle walls until the weekend. Details on our blog.

Podcast: EE's next podcast will feature a report from the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco; up on EE's iTunes channel on Friday morning. Knowing these people, it should be pretty entertaining.

Blogs: We haven't written a lot about them, but there's a little corner of Experts Exchange that deserves a bit better -- the blogs that people write. These are some of the ones you might want to take a look at:

If you find something interesting, don't hesitate to use the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ buttons to let all your friends, neighbors, family and crew know. If you like what you read (or even if you don't), you can comment or even write your own.

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PictureRegular readers know that the other half and I sometimes travel a bit, and with all of the hassles going through airports and expenses of renting cars in cities far away, we have taken to driving. That means we're frequently in a places that have a public wireless network (McDonald's is great for making hotel reservations). The people at Cocoon had a blog post with some simple reminders for protecting yourself over public Wi-Fi networks.

Another great piece of advice -- especially for the parents of kids with newer laptops or tablets -- is to make sure the computers you use are protected against malware and spyware. Last week's sentencing of a man who extorted videos of teenaged girls shows why it's sometimes best to just unplug the webcam completely.

I will be the first to admit that I'm not the most highly technical person in the world, but I get it when it comes to knowing why my phone has to be able to figure out where in the world it is. That makes sense to me. But I don't for the life of me know what Microsoft was thinking when it thought it was a good idea to record and keep that information, especially after both Apple and Google are getting lit up over the same exact thing. Don't they read the papers? Oh, and I don't think I'm being paranoid; just because it's Microsoft doesn't mean Google isn't doing the same thing, and you know that when someone asks, they'll tell.

Finally, no column would be complete without a few things about Facebook. First, if you lose your job because of something you posted, your boss might have to give you your job back. Second, Facebook is in a little bit of a jam with the European Union over privacy issues. Third, if you let someone administer some of your pages, that person will have the ability to remove your "Creator" status, thereby locking you out of your own pages. And last -- and this is really annoying -- Facebook has buried the setting that lets you hide posts.

Someone please remind me again how all of this is supposed to be good for us?


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Steve_Brady on Experts Exchange: Steve_Brady is one of those people Experts love to see coming. He asks his questions in the clearest way possible, and sincerely wants to know how to do things himself, so when his question about styles and headings in Microsoft Word popped up, he got some fairly quick responses from thinkpads_user, teylyn, yobri and matthewspatrick. Steve was effusive in his response: "Thanks for the terrific responses! Each one of them is well thought out, clearly written and tremendously helpful. I will never understand why more people don't use this EE resource! Think of it. For $10 per month, I can ask a question like I did and in just over an hour, get comments back from four separate individuals, each of whom approaches it from a slightly different but extremely knowledgeable perspective, but is responding directly to me and the specifics of my question! That's sick! (As my kids would say to describe something as awesome.) Is there anywhere else that's possible? If so, I have never heard about it!" It didn't end there, though; teylyn used the discussion to write an article about a little trick she uses the Quick Access Toolbar to help manage styles in Word documents.

matthewspatrick on Excel: Understanding a business practice is often key to being able to answer a question like the one gberkeley asked regarding a SQL query for "business weeks". matthewspatrick took the time to figure out what she was looking for and posted a solution: "Thank you so very much!!! There's no doubt in my mind why you're a "Hall of Famer"!!!! The proposed solution is exactly what I needed and I could never have solved this on my own. I very much appreciate not just the answer itself, but the fast reply, the excellent questions to make sure you understood what I needed, and the clarity in the responses. You've made my whole week so much better!!!! A++++"

boomod on Experts: We're not sure which member attached to the London School of Economics sent us the email regarding boomod's Tip from the Moderators in our August 17 issue, but it was to the point (as one might expect): "Boomod, and his Aug 17 tip, rocks!"

In Brief

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Yeah... who? Did Zapaday know that Carol Bartz, erstwhile CEO of Yahoo, was going to be candid about her dismissal? Did it know that Yahoo may be for sale or may not be but is definitely a mess, considering you would be nuts to want to take the job at a company that has no idea where it's going. Kara Fisher of All Things Digital, who broke the story, had the best tweet, quoting Saturday Night Live: "it's a floor wax and a dessert topping."

Aol teched and crunched: Meanwhile, over at AOL, TechCrunch boss Michael Arrington announced he was starting his own venture capital fund, and AOL decided to kick in some money, but the company took its time about deciding whether Arrington was in or out as the boss at TechCrunch. When Huffington Post boss (and now the editorial boss at AOL) Arianna Huffington chimed in, that only made things worse -- so much so that even the TechCrunch staff was dazed and confused. As EE's Jenn Prentice wrote, it's a soap opera of epic proportions.

In other words: It was a great week if you're a blogger, and almost as good a week if you're a blogger who wants a job as the CEO (or editor) of a big content site, because in addition to Yahoo and AOL, Reddit found itself being [sorta] cut loose by Conde-Nast (they need a CEO), Google made a bid for Hulu (they'll need content managers) and bought Zagat (and more content managers), and as long as the news industry ignoring this, discounted this and paid attention to this.

Help wanted: HP wants beta-testers for its cloud services. There may also be a few assembly positions in the Touchpad division, but not in the cell phone division.

Apple suing for some kind of patent violation: But we still want a quantum computer simulator. Oh, and a Polaroid camera.

No, it's not the return of Ask Jeeves: Elizabeth II is looking for a new butler.

From the Bar Association Permanent Employment file: Speaking of suing...

Etc. etc. etc.: We're not expecting an invitation to visit Thailand any time soon, but we can't help but giggle a little at the lengths to which the government there will go to enforce the "thou shalt not speak ill of the King" laws. A Canadian ISP, doing business in the US, is being sued by a naturalized citizen of the US, Anthony Chai, who had been critical of the Thai policy of royal infallibility. The Thai government asked the ISP for information about Mr Thai, and when he returned to Thailand to visit his family, he was detained and interrogated not just there, but after he returned to the US as well. A little closer to home, a Bangkok man was arrested for insulting the King on Facebook.

So next summer, we all do our Christmas shopping early: Amazon has apparently cut a deal with California over collecting sales taxes that would leave the state "only" $9.38 billion in the red. The Democrats will probably block the deal, meaning it will probably be on the ballot.

If you're so rich, why aren't you smart? We were going to just entertain you with a list of the all-time worst tech decisions, but losing a second iPhone prototype has to rank up there (maybe they should try something new), as does banking on a cloud product that suffers frequent outages.

Signs of the Apocalypse: Companies that paid their CEOs more than they paid in taxes. A high tech ghost town. Your electronic insulin pump can get hacked.


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New Geniuses: Two members of Experts Exchange have earned their third Genius certificates: Microsoft MVP mkline71 earned his in Windows Server 2008 and kaufmed's came in .NET Programming. Earning his second, in Microsoft Operating Systems was johnb6767, and following up on earning his first 1,000,000 points was dlmille, who earned his Genius certificate in Microsoft Excel. Congratulations on your achievements!

My First Million: Five members of Experts Exchange reached the 1,000,000 point level for their careers last month. They are cmalakar, ronnypot, hnasr, cmalakar and dlmille. Well done!


  • Ray_Paseur is the latest member of Experts Exchange to reach 10,000,000 points overall.
  • johnb6767 has reached the 8,000,000 point level for his career at EE.
  • arnold and MASQUERAID brought to 75 the number of EE members who have earned 5,000,000 points.
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
kaufmed.NET ProgrammingGenius
DaveBaldwin.NET ProgrammingMaster
ivan_vagunin.NET ProgrammingMaster
JamesBurger.NET ProgrammingMaster
rajapandian_81.NET ProgrammingMaster
SandeshdubeyActive DirectoryGuru
Chev_PCNActive DirectoryMaster
Ray_PaseurAdobe FlashMaster
Fuzzy_Logic_Adobe FlexMaster
totallytontoBackup / RestoreMaster
jmeggersCisco PIX/ASAGuru
mwvisa1ColdFusion LanguageMaster
wkrasnerCrystal ReportsMaster
BillDLEmail ClientsMaster
BudDurlandEmail ServersMaster
hypercatEmail ServersMaster
jhoekmanInternet MarketingMaster
johnb6767IT AdministrationMaster
sigurarmMac OS XMaster
nickg5Math / ScienceMaster
strickddMicrosoft IIS Web ServerMaster
johnb6767Microsoft OSGenius
DavisMcCarnMisc HardwareGuru
gheistMisc NetworkingGuru
fmarshallMisc NetworkingMaster
strungMisc NetworkingMaster
woolmilkporcMisc OSMaster
aleghartMisc SecurityGuru
gurvinder372Misc Web DevGuru
gwkgMisc Web DevGuru
HainKurtMisc Web DevGuru
SSupremeMisc Web DevMaster
billprewMS ApplicationsMaster
limjiananMS ApplicationsMaster
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
jd_wightMS DynamicsGuru
dlmilleMS ExcelGenius
pratima_mcsMS ExcelMaster
royhsiaoMS ExcelMaster
RQuadlingMS ExcelMaster
imnorieMS ExcelWizard
robhensonMS OfficeMaster
teylynMS PowerpointMaster
gheistMS Server OSMaster
svetayeMS SharePointMaster
dbaSQLMS SQL ServerWizard
pcelbaMS SQL ServerWizard
gohordMS SQL Server 2005Guru
JestersGrindMS SQL Server 2005Wizard
PatelAlpeshMS SQL Server 2008Guru
pratima_mcsMySQL ServerGuru
acperkinsMySQL ServerMaster
DaveBaldwinMySQL ServerWizard
SteveJNetwork ManagementMaster
SouljaNetworking HardwareMaster
ryanmccauleyQuery SyntaxMaster
wdosanjosQuery SyntaxMaster
johnb6767Remote AccessMaster
billprewScripting LanguagesGuru
dbaSQLSSRS SQL Reporting SvcMaster
JestersGrindSSRS SQL Reporting SvcMaster
eeRootSwitches / HubsGuru
imnorieVisual Basic ClassicMaster
disruptVisual Basic.NETMaster
JamesBurgerVisual Basic.NETMaster
rspahitzVisual Basic.NETMaster
djjariesVisual C#Guru
strickddVisual C#Master
leakim971Web BrowsersMaster
robincmWindows 2003 ServerMaster
SandeshdubeyWindows 2003 ServerMaster
ve3ofaWindows 7Wizard
jmcmunnWindows InstallerMaster
mkline71Windows Server 2008Genius
abhijitwaikarWindows Server 2008Master
ActiveDirectorymanWindows Server 2008Master
dan_blagutWindows Server 2008Master
eugene20022002Windows Server 2008Master
SandeshdubeyWindows Server 2008Master
Tony1044Windows Server 2008Master
star_trekWindows XPMaster