Sunday, 21 November 2004

MSN rather quietly (I think) released from beta testing its Web Messenger IM interface last week. If you have a desire to do IM from anywhere, any time, even when you’re away from your computer at home or work, this is for you.

Just don’t sue me for feeding your sick electronics addictions, though…

How do I access MSN Web Messenger from another computer?
In one of the web browsers listed above, enter in the address bar. In Microsoft Internet Explorer, you can add this site to your favorites by pressing CTRL+D.
What is the difference between Web Messenger and Messenger?
MSN Messenger is a fully featured instant messaging program that you install on your own computer or one you have permission to install on. MSN Web Messenger enables you to quickly and easily use basic instant messaging features on a web browser on any computer without installing any software.


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Sunday, 21 November 2004 09:08:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Jesper M. Johansson, Security Program Manager at Microsoft, has published the third in his series of three articles about the pro’s and con’s of using passwords or pass-phrases in authenticating users to a network or application.

This is the final article in our series on passwords versus pass phrases. The first part covered the fundamentals of passwords and pass phrases, how they are stored, and so on. The second part focused on relative strength and detailed mathematical approaches to determine which is stronger. This final installment concludes the series and gives some guidance on how to choose passwords and configure a password policy.”

Read the article here. Also read Rob Hensing’s review and point of view. His comments are worthwhile.

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IT Security | Tech
Sunday, 21 November 2004 08:59:11 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Mark Harrison points out that a new RSS feed is now available on MSDN for SharePoint Portal Server information - cool! It looks like it’s updated when new articles are posted on MSDN, which means not frequently – but all the more reason to have an easy way to know when they’re published without having to go look.

RSS feed here:

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SharePoint | Tech
Sunday, 21 November 2004 08:28:01 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 20 November 2004

(Or, "Isn't it interesting the ways we meet the coolest people nowadays?")

The world's changing, and changing fast. How we meet people, how we get to know each other, how we communicate and stay in touch over vast distances, how we immediately connect with someone around the world... It not like it used to be when we (those of us who remember the first skateboards, that is) were kids.

Nowadays they have extra wheels on skateboards. We have instant communication of several types, and we share our lives online for others to read and relate to. Sometimes we meet people online that just seem to click, with whom we have something in common. People we want to meet in the carbon world, not just in the silicon one.

That happened to me.

For quite a while now I've linked to Jill's web site, which chronicles her family's progress as they remodel a fixer upper in a Portland suburb. I started reading her web site a while back when the writing style caught my eye. I saw it on ORBlogs, a web site that aggregates blog entries from people around Oregon, or who used to be here.

Charlie, Jill's husband, is a cop. I used to be a cop. Jill's stories (with the occasional Charlie prose tossed in) are hilarious, and paint a great picture of life in general, not just the process of repairing their rather unique fixer upper home, which she nicknamed their own little Kosovo.

Jill and Charlie also embedded into me the term "big ass honking truck," to the point where I have adopted it as my own, because it so perfectly describes what I recently acquired (yes, I know I owe pictures, they're coming...).

Anyhow, it also turned out (in this big small world we live in) that someone I work with and respect greatly is friends with Jill and Charlie. Funny how that happens, eh? You meet in the ether and someone made of carbon makes the connection.

I drove my Big Ass Honkin' Truck to Kosovo today, to go say hi to Jill and Charlie, to show off the Hemi and built-in bluetooth, and to tour the fixer-upper. It's quite a project, but a good one. The front deck is awesome. The fireplace is great. The trim is very nice. Downstairs is ready to paint. It's going to turn out to be very nice, I can tell.

It's fun to meet people you have something in common with - Things like a desire to write in order to clear your mind of the clutter and to think new thoughts is a process that drives bloggers everywhere. I also have a bunch of unfinished home projects (upstairs floor and painting in the "bonus" room, deck plans, yard, fencing... Ummm, you get the idea). Cops always have something in common that others can't quite experience unless you've been there - not in a bad way, just a real-world, seen-it-all kind of way.

So, I'm really glad I got to meet them in person. And the "kids," if only briefly (Random inside info: The anti-fart spray was a bonus, but vegan food will do that to ya. Go-Go Speed Racer. Heh. But alas, another story, for another time. And hey General - take your time and driving will come easily. You'll be fine.).

Have you ever "met" someone online, wished you knew them in person, but never got around to meeting and shaking hands? Stop putting it off. You'll know if it's the right thing to do. Do it and you'll be glad.

I know I am.

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Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Saturday, 20 November 2004 18:01:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Just a quick hit list off the top of my head this morning of things I would like to change or add to my blog app (which is dasBlog, by the way):

  • Email notifications on a scheduled basis – I used to like getting an email on my blackberry when someone linked to my blog from another web site (a referrer notification), but then things took off, and I had to turn it off due to the enormous volume of email. If I could schedule an hourly or daily summary that would be sent via email, that would be great. Note that I still want to get my comment email like I do now – as soon as they are posted – so I can continue to reply via email if needed, or at least see what’s going on. I would also like to specify different email addresses for different items – like one for referrers, one for comments, etc., if I want to.
  • Better statistics – dasBlog lets me see what’s been happening today (well, actually, more like today on my calendar but data available based on someone else’s time zone, which is kinda weird). It would be nice to see aggregated stats that I can sort through in whatever way I like.
  • Multi-user posting support would be nice, not so much for this blog but for another one I am planning.
  • SQL server option for data storage.
  • Templates 100% CSS, and some of the hard-coded stuff to move out into the templates. I’d like to be able to specify what the “Comments” link says, or to be able to apply the link associated with that function to a graphic on my page (like the one next to the comments link below, for example – you can’t click the image, just the text, since I can’t seem to figure out a way in the templates to add the href to the image).
  • IP logging in the event log for the user viewing the page.
  • IP logging with comments in the app.

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Blogging | Random Stuff
Saturday, 20 November 2004 11:38:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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BlogJet v1.2 beta has been released for download. As a paid user for many many months, I am excited to see this coming. A few bugs to work out, but it’s nice to see new stuff!

BlogJet is a windows app that allows to you quickly and easily post to your blog, including text, images and files. New features being worked on in the beta include a properties page that lets you do time and date adjustment, summaries, pings, comments and trackbacks in the UI. Not working for me on the first computer I installed it on, but hey its a first-beta. Can’t wait for the functionality. Very cool.

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Blogging | Tech
Saturday, 20 November 2004 11:16:47 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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