Friday, 14 October 2005

If you happen to have the .NET Framework 2.0 pre-release installed on a Tablet PC and you've noticed reliability and/or stability problems using the Microsoft Ink functionality on your Tablet, Microsoft has released an update to fix some compatibility problems:

"Compatibility issues (events not firing, classes being disfunctional) with CLR2.0 have been found in Windows XP SP1/SP2 versions of Microsoft.Ink.dll on Tablet PCs. Since this dll is a system file on these configurations, they require update through Windows Update."

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Tablet PC | Tech
Friday, 14 October 2005 06:59:39 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 12 October 2005

So negative you are. Lighten up you must.

So - Before you say Microsoft sucks one more time, just let yourself laugh at what some of its employees manage to come up with from time to time.

Case in point: YODA, the programming language

Matt Warren posted his idea to build a programming language in Yoda-like English (can't quite call it plain English, can you?).

From Matt's post:


Instead of the cryptic c-like syntax below:



public void Main(string[] args) {

   Console.WriteLine(“Hello World”);




We will now have eloquent YODA-like syntax:



(args of string many are they) Main is what they seek yet return they do not.


Brace you must

     Written it is, the Console. “Hello World”



I know it’s difficult to believe, as strange as it seems. Yet, sometime in the future, everyone will be writing software this way. Knowing this, it makes my work so much more invigorating. I can literally feel the electricity in the air around here. It’s like some queer energetic force.


Go read the comments. They're just as good.

And by the way, for the record it only takes a little looking around to find out that Matt Warren isn't 100% joker. His real job has had him working at Microsoft with a supremely talented team on LINQ, which is "a set of extensions to the .NET Framework that encompass language-integrated query, set, and transform operations. It extends C# and Visual Basic with native language syntax for queries and provides class libraries to take advantage of these capabilities." I barely understand that, but I know it lets me (well, more like those code artists around me) do some cool querying of data in XML file, relational databases, in-memory data stores, whatever - which is cool. It's kinda like SQL syntax in .NET, is what it looks like to me. Linq is short for "language-integrated query." Makes sense. It's all for the next versions of C# and VB.NET.

[via Philippe Cheng [who also taught me some mad new beginner programming skillz today], via analog data transfer by Matt Lapworth]

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Humor | Random Stuff | Tech
Wednesday, 12 October 2005 20:31:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Google-toothIt must be true. I read it on the Internet. On a blog even.

It looked pretty convincing, really. Someone started a blog called Google Tooth in September, under the guise of being Google's first live-in, on-site dentist. A plausible possibility, when you consider the benefits Google offers its employees.

But it's not for-real.

Google has already confirmed it's a fake, but the real fun is in figuring it out without asking the newest Internet giant for their two cents on the matter. Of course, the one group you can count on to do just that is a bunch of weblog readers. Not to mention real Google employees.

The most obvious tell-tale giveaway was an image that was posted on the Google Tooth blog, ostensibly of the new office space (click the image below to go to the blog entry):


Nice use of color and open space, eh? Only problem with the image is this photo from the SUNY Stony Brook web server (click the image to load it from the server):


Amazing and uncanny resemblance. What do you figure the odds are?

This was a harmless enough - and even amusing - fake blog. Don't be surprised though if it ends up rubbing some people the wrong way. Fake blogs threaten some and amuse others. I thought it was creative and funny.

But people do get fooled:

Or maybe it's real and the trick is that people are saying it's not real, but what they're saying is actually the part that's not real.

Yeah, that's it.

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Blogging | Random Stuff
Wednesday, 12 October 2005 19:42:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 11 October 2005

Interested in checking out and beta testing the next version of Hotmail (code-named Kahuna)? Willing to provide feedback? Microsoft's newest web-mail client is in testing and the poll of testers is being expanded. You can sign up to be considered for testing here:

You can also see a few scrren snips and descriptions of some of the new features here.

Omar Shahine (Hotmail "front door" program manager and all-around good guy) posted the link to the signup on his weblog.

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Tuesday, 11 October 2005 19:30:46 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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None last month, but nine security patches were released today for Patch Tuesday - three critical, four important and two moderate severity. So, do your testing where needed and then go get all patched up.

November Security Bulletins:

MS05-050 - Vulnerability in DirectShow Could Allow Remote Code Execution
MS05-051 - Vulnerabilities in MSDTC and COM+ Could Allow Remote Code Execution
MS05-052 - Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer

MS05-046 - Vulnerability in the Client Services for Netware Could Allow Remote Code Execution
MS05-047 - Vulnerability in Plug and Play Could Allow Remote code Execution and Local Elevation of Privilege
MS05-048 - Vulnerability in the Microsoft Collaboration Objects Could Allow Remote Code Execution
MS05-049 - Vulnerabilities in Windows Shell Could Allow Remote Code Execution

MS05-044 - Vulnerability in the Windows FTP Client Could Allow File Transfer Location and Tampering
MS05-045 - Vulnerability in Network Connection Manager Could Allow Denial of Service

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IT Security | Tech
Tuesday, 11 October 2005 18:17:02 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Note: The Dyn-O-Mat web site is now a different product, so all links have been removed from this article.

Hurricanes are certainly a hot topic these days, and the destruction that they can cause we've all come to see and know. A company called Dyn-O-Mat has developed a product that absorbs water into a gel, then drops to the ground. One cool thing about their product is that when it hits salt water, it liquefies again and dissipates, supposedly harmlessly.

Apparently the company already used the formulated polymer product to take a thunderstorm off the radar back in the summer of 2001, and they hope now to use it to combat hurricanes, probably in their early stages, or to reduce the severity of an existing one.

"The way the Dyn-O-Mat team is going after the storm is by using what is called a 'Venturi Action.' The Venturi Action can be described as a pie-shaped piece that will be cut from the outer band into the eye of the storm. The intended result of this action is to allow the system to use it's own strength on itself. Essentially disrupt the cell, in hopes of significantly weakening the devastating power of the storm."

I saw the product demo'ed on a television news show this morning, and it looks very interesting. It does what they say - load a bunch of water into a bowl with a little bit of the Dyn-O-Mat product in it, and the water is instantly sucked into the gel. Someone should load a bunch of C130s or C5s up with that stuff, drop it over a section of big storm out in the middle of the ocean somewhere, and see what happens. What the heck.

Now, I don't know how I feel - ethically that is - about shutting down random storms on a whim, since they're a part of how the world works and all. But I suppose if there was a bad one that was clearly going to kill lots of people, this product could prove to be a very good thing. The hard-core Darwinians among us may disagree, but my opinion is that if it's safe and saves lives, it's worth checking out.

Dyn-O-Mat storm-fighting web page: (removed as expired)

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Random Stuff
Tuesday, 11 October 2005 03:19:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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