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Your Technology Problems...SOLVED

SEPTEMBER 28, 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. 24


First look: Experts Exchange has been doing Q&A (and a few other things) for quite a while, but it's stepping up its game with a completely new iteration that will debut in the next couple of months. If you're interested in how EE plans to avoid the bone pile, take a look at http://beta.experts-exchange.com/, and don't be shy about saying what you think. Also new is EE's first YouTube TV commercial

Hail, and fare well: Loyal readers know that Nata has been contributing here for years, but what you don't know is that there has been a third member of the team: Natalie Kuhn, who has been our contact at the office responsible for getting the newsletter out on time, making sure it works in email clients, and catching our more egregious typos. She is moving on to a new position half a continent away at the end of this week; we will miss her, but wish her well in her new endeavor. Thanks, Natalie, for all your amazing work!

reading whitingEngagements: The irrepressibleCourtney Reading, Experts Exchange's marketing coordinator, agreed last month to become the bride of Grant Whiting, who delivered his proposal in Disneyland on August 20, the bride-to-be's birthday. The wedding is scheduled for June 16, 2012. Our most sincere congratulations to both of you!

New kids on the block: Our friend and colleague (and former EE intern) Matt Pegler is one of the founders of Team Up, a site designed to help you "find, join, and organize sports and fitness activities". We wish him and his partners well.

If you're not busy tomorrow: 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.

tweetshirtTweetShirt Tuesday: Last week's winner of our "Favorite Green Application" TweetShirt Tuesday contest was logudotcom, who tweeted about CoolerMail. Watch the Experts Exchange blog for our next contest!

Webinars: Our last webinar, from Scott Helmers on his top ten best new features in Visio 2010 is now available as part of Experts Exchange's Cloud Class series. We will also have Alison Balter's webinar from yesterday on avoiding bugs in Microsoft Access up in the next day or so.

Nata's Corner

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Nata's PictureI sent this to my other half last week, but I'm guessing he isn't going to take the hint. For one thing, he isn't into video games -- but he does spend too much time on his computer.

broke facebookIt seems like every other issue I'm writing something about Facebook making some kind of change to something. Last week's F8 conference was huge just about everywhere in the tech world, even while HP was getting a new CEO. A quick rundown of the changes:

  • Logging out won't stop Facebook from tracking pretty much anything you do.
  • The Timeline keeps track of everything you do automatically -- whether you want it to or not -- but you can control what gets shown to everyone else through your privacy settings.
  • The Ticker takes care of updating people on your friends list about what you're doing and where you're doing it. If you see one of your friends playing a game, you click a link and you can play too.
  • Spotify, Netflix and Hulu can all be used through Facebook and now become a part of your Timeline.
  • Yahoo News will now emphasize stories your friends are reading.

But everything new Facebook does comes at a price. Everyone expects the occasional reset of your privacy settings, but the new Facebook will require you to be a lot more cautious, especially with apps. Before, when you wanted to add something from an app to your wall, the app would ask permission -- each time. Now, it asks once. So if you share a silly picture of your boyfriend with your sister, unless you're really careful about your settings, it gets shared with everyone else on your list that could include, oh, your boyfriend's parents, for example.

Another problem is going to be a whole new bunch of Facebook inspired spam that will eventually include malware. To me, the biggest problem is going to be information overload to the point where your Facebook pages look like the TV screen in Poltergeist -- and there's something just as creepy about all of it too.

TrendMicro published a pretty interesting infographic on 20 years of malware in a week that also celebrated -- if that's what you call it -- the tenth anniversary of the Nimda virus. Even then, the best way was to make sure you had antivirus software installed and up to date, but the second best was education: Don't open any attachment from anyone you don't know. It's still good advice. But no... it's a sure bet that people will keep right on clicking Heiki Klum's picture.

Finally, anyone who uses PayPal should start worrying, because white-hat hackers have exploited a weakness in the SSL encryption used by websites around the world.


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Customer Service on the Experts: EE's Customer Service department sent us the following email from hibbsusan: "I recently looked at my question history and saw that it is up to 40. Just about 100% success rate. I'm taking this opportunity to thank you -- and the experts. This is a great site; it houses a lot of motivated people, eager to learn and to teach. I'm very happy to be a part of it. Thanks!"

alanhardisty on Exchange... In one of the most recent examples of what makes a good article, CinchIT asked how to get emails from an Exchange 2003 server on his iPhone4. alanhardisty pointed him to an article written two years ago on Activesync connection problems that was exactly what CinchIT needed.

... and on SBS: alanhardisty also showed his persistence in resolving 12vltmn's question about emails being received on a Blackberry but not in Outlook. What appeared to be a simple problem turned complicated very quickly, but throughout, Alan stayed with it, earning the following: "Alan is awesome! The experts on this site have been very helpful to me. Thanks to all, thanks to Experts Exchange. alan: IF you ever do come over my way, I'll buy you lunch. Thanks for everything!" RockMod on community support: One of EE's newest Moderators, RockMod, responded to a relatively commonplace Community Support request, but the response from gbzhhu (one of the few members who has been a member longer than RockMod) surprised him: "Thank you. I think the zones you added are probably enough. I should have replied to the experts soon but this issue is almost costing me a client and I was running around trying to get a solution in as many places as possible and now decided perhaps EE is the only place I am likely to get a solution. Please montor this question so that I get as much response as possible from best experts. Could you ask The_LearnedOne (Bob) to participate, he usually beings in fresh thinking."

Scissors85 and younghv on malware: We always like to see Experts work together to help solve a problem like removing DoubleClick's toolbar, but digisel was pretty effusive in his comments for Scissors85 and younghv: "Thanks to BOTH of you. You have been really great. You might be interested to know I posed the same problem last week and received five well meaning participants. None of them came up with what you both did. I want to say that I think Scissor was really fair and justiably generous to younghv. It really show the real and deep quality of input from both of you. It was a worthwhile experience to encounter two experts who were so dedicated. I can't thank you enough. I wish I could award 10,000 points to each. I hope you accept my allocation as my best response to an excellent response from both of you. Thank you so much. All is well now - and I have upgraded both of you to super genius."

keith_alabaster on Internet routing: tigermatt is no slouch when it comes to running a network, as his Genius certificates in Exchange and Windows Server will attest, but sometimes even the best people get stumped, and when that happens, EE is fortunate to have people like keith_alabaster around. "Keith, I was in difficulty over this yesterday. With your assistance I now fully understand each of these options and how they apply to my environment, and I am happy to go ahead and send the documentation with option 1 selected. I don't tend to ask questions, but when I do it is generally because I am outside my comfort zone. This is one of the best solutions I have received here at EE. Words cannot explain how much I appreciate your help! Many thanks."

billprew on scripts: Once billprew saw hoshie329's question on using VB Script to parse a file, it took him only a few minutes to come up with a solution: "This works perfectly, great solution. Thanks"

In Brief

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We know what's paved with good intentions: A story came across the wires Sunday about a US senator waying that GM's OnStar vehicle location service invades privacy because even after a car owner cancels, the system stays connected, and because GM has reserved the right to sell the data collected. We will admit that a change to OnStar's terms of service could have something to do with the Senator's concerns, and maybe we're a little jaded, but the following observations can be made:

  • OnStar was launched in 1996, and the Senator is just now getting around to thinking about this? The US and Canadian governments are part owners of the company, and there was at least one court case on the issue decided about government use of vehicle cellphone techology -- in 2003. More to the point, telephone companies have been sharing who knows how much information with the federal government over the last ten years or so.
  • The Senator is a member of the Senate subcommittee that was all over the Internet and television last week as it had its conversation with Google chairman Eric Schmidt (see below), but maybe he didn't think he got enough air time.

High stakes poker: Facebook is going to wait a while before cashing in its chips. Yahoo probably doesn't have that luxury, and GroupOn may not have any chips left to cash in.

Netflix raises Yahoo, AOL; HP checks: In my next life, I'm going to come back as one of those people who gets paid to tell corporate big wigs when they're making really stupid decisions. First the Yahoo board and Carol Bartz. Then Tim Armstrong and Arriana Huffington of AOL and Michael Arrinngton of TechCrunch. Surely there was no way to top those. Then along comes Netflix, which effectively raised its prices, then tried to sugar coat it but forgot to look up the Twitter name of the new company. The stock dropped to a new low, the twittosphere went nuts, and bloggers villified CEO Reed Hastings -- but we're betting that they've figured it out. HP, on the other hand, probably doesn't, because it's stock dropped to a six-year low

Google looks at hole cards: Google's Eric Schmidt apparently decided that adult supervision was needed in Washington last week (if only because Larry Page was busy in court), since the company was simultaneously being raked over the coals by a US Senate subcommittee and investigated by the FCC.

Taking the vigorish: Amazon has agreed to start collecting sales taxes for California.

Waiting for a seat at the table: It's going to be February before AT&T and the US justice department square off in court over the T-Mobile acquisition.

Taking forever to bet: Just be glad you're not on dial-up.

Pushing away from the table: Sometimes you need to know when to quit.

Amazon sweatshops: No, we're not talking about Apple or Nike having new factories in South America. We mean Amazon Dot Com. Amazon wiggled in response.

Department of No Surprises:

They're as good reasons as any: Why coworkers make bad decisions like tweeting about unreleased products (unless you're a board member and the product is the iPhone). It's also an object lesson in the observation that "most people who reply to blogs don't have much of value to say -- and prove it."

In other news, Zefram Cochran will be born in two years: CERN physicists have apparently made a neutrino move faster than light.

Sign of the Apocalypse: A pattent on booing the Yankees. Or the Red Sox -- take your pick. Or simply check your emotional baggage if you're a Dodgers fan. It's all the emoticon's fault. Also, Google hosts malware.


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New Geniuses: Two members of Experts Exchange earned Genius certificates in the past two weeks. rindi has picked up his second, in the Windows XP topic area, while epasquier reached his first 1,000,000 points in the Delphi Programming TA. Congratulations to both on their accomplishments.

Milestones: In a career full of "firsts" at Experts Exchange, it is a little odd that angelIII has become the second EE member to earn over 4,000,000 points in each of three topic areas by reaching that level in the SQL Syntax zone.

Expert In Topic Area Certificate
mwvisa1.NET ProgrammingGuru
Shaun_Kline.NET ProgrammingMaster
HainKurt.NET ProgrammingWizard
SudonimAccess Coding/MacrosMaster
MidnightOneActive DirectoryGuru
abhijitwaikarActive DirectoryMaster
hanccockaActive DirectoryMaster
cs97jjm3Adobe AcrobatGuru
yobriAdobe PhotoshopMaster
alanhardistyBackup / RestoreMaster
RobMobilityBlackberry HardwareWizard
erniebeekCisco PIX/ASASage
ikalmarCisco PIX/ASASage
ZvonkoColdFusion LanguageSage
UltrusContent ManagementMaster
emoreauCrystal ReportsWizard
willmcnFileMaker ProWizard
leakim971Internet DevelopmentMaster
tbsgadiInternet MarketingMaster
luc_royIP TelephonyMaster
eoinosullivanLeopard (OS 10.5)Guru
DaveBaldwinMicrosoft IIS Web ServerGuru
arnoldMicrosoft IIS Web ServerMaster
jcimarronMicrosoft OSGuru
BigSchmuhMisc DatabasesGuru
SouljaMisc NetworkingGuru
jakethecatukMisc NetworkingMaster
MereteMisc Web DevMaster
DaveBaldwinMisc Web DevWizard
datAdrenalineMS AccessGuru
Nick67MS AccessWizard
TheHiTechCoachMS AccessWizard
als315MS ApplicationsMaster
cs97jjm3MS ApplicationsMaster
TheHiTechCoachMS ApplicationsMaster
DatabaseMXMS ApplicationsWizard
andrewssd3MS ExcelMaster
TinTombStoneMS ExcelMaster
cgaliherMS Server OSMaster
Expert In Topic Area Certificate
fomandMS SQL ServerMaster
dan_masonMS SQL Server 2005Master
lluddenMS SQL Server 2005Master
ewangoyaMS SQL Server 2005Sage
dbaSQLMS SQL Server 2008Guru
JestersGrindMS SQL Server 2008Guru
andycroftsMS SQL Server 2008Master
teylynMS WordSage
ewangoyaMySQL ServerMaster
sdstuberMySQL ServerMaster
SouljaNetwork Design & MethodologyGuru
jmeggersNetwork Design & MethodologyMaster
MAG03Network Design & MethodologyMaster
virdi_dsOracle DatabaseWizard
bportlockPHP installationMaster
for_yanProg LanguagesMaster
thauslaProject Mgmt SoftwareMaster
limjiananSBS Small Business ServerGuru
hanccockaSBS Small Business ServerMaster
dstewartjrSBS Small Business ServerWizard
PowerEdgeTechServer HardwareSage
hanccockaServer HardwareWizard
billprewShell ScriptingGuru
QlemoShell ScriptingMaster
liddlerUnix OSMaster
robocatUnix OSMaster
zorvekVB ScriptSage
dlmilleVisual Basic ClassicMaster
x77Visual Basic ClassicMaster
JamesBurgerVisual Basic.NETGuru
pivarVisual Basic.NETMaster
wdosanjosVisual C#Master
x77Visual C#Master
CodeCruiserVisual C++.NETMaster
willlywilburwonkaVoice Over IPGuru
_agx_Web Languages/StandardsMaster
jason1178Web ServersMaster
ve3ofaWeb ServersMaster
cgaliherWindows 2003 ServerGuru
ronnypotWindows 2011 ServerMaster
McKnifeWindows 7Guru
bz43Windows 7Master
rbudjWindows 7Master
centervWindows 7Wizard
kshaysWindows SecurityMaster
ve3ofaWindows Server 2008Master
rindiWindows XPGenius
CallandorWindows XPWizard