Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Chris Pirillo led a "Users in Charge" conversation at Bloggercon this week. Afterwards on his blog, Chris called on all users to provide constructive feedback to product creators and developers by including the term "freedbacking" in their blog posts.
By writing about "freedbacking" in your blog you can give feedback, constructive criticism, or anything else youwant to contribute to the developers of blogreaders and news aggregators.
(From Bloglines News)
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/28/2006 07:43:00 AM
Monday, June 26, 2006
By chance I was looking at the website for Clarin, the leading newspaper in Argentina when to my surprise I saw an ad for a featured article about Scoble's departure from Microsoft including the picture shown here. (this is the original I took in 2004).
I sent an email to the writer of the article asking WTF. She answered within the hour apologizing and explaining that due to a short deadline they "neglected" to credit the photo. They immediately proceeded to add a credit at the end of the article (which has another photo of Scoble)
Interesting isn't it?
[Update 2006-09-18] I since posted the picture to Scoble's page on Wikipedia.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/26/2006 02:47:00 PM
Thursday, June 22, 2006
I have been out of computer range for the last few days. As soon as I returned from Boston's Tech-Ed 2006 we had to fly to Chicago for my mother-in-law's funeral. It was not a big surprise as she was not in the best of health and mercily she went fast and without undue pain.
Back in Miami, now starting to dig through the piles of email, blogs to read and whatever mess I'll find tomorrow as first day at work.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/22/2006 06:19:00 PM
Friday, June 16, 2006
Argentina gave a master lesson on how to play beautiful football (soccer) today by easily winning 6-0 over Serbia-Montenegro in World Cup Germany 2006.
With excellent play it demonstrated it is a strong contender for the Cup and a team opponets should fear.
The fans rejoiced all the way from Germany to Argentina. What a beautiful sight!
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/16/2006 01:21:00 PM
The vote is in. On the user poll to give the Visual FoxPro next version community project a name (Code name: SednaX), the community has voted for VFPX with VFP.Next coming a close second. Long live the Fox!
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/16/2006 01:16:00 PM
Welcome Dave Crozier. What a greater way to start blogging than to show a great looking demo of Fox Organizer (Beta 1). I do use dbi Technologies controls but this one looks like a nice alternative.
(Via Andrew McNeill)
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/16/2006 12:34:00 PM
There's been a lot of talk about how iPods and other portable devices pose a security risk to companies, as employees may store important company documents of them. Now there's fear that such devices could upload malware and infect corporate systems. A team of security specialists recently demonstrated exactly how such an attack might work. First they collected a bunch of cheap USB drives, the type a company might give out for free as a promotion. After loading malware onto them, they simply scattered a bunch of them around the parking lot of a bank at 6:00 AM, when nobody was watching. As the employees got to work, they found the drives just sitting there, and one by one plugged them into their computers as they day went on. What's funny is that the employees knew there was going to be a security test happening, and yet they still didn't find it suspicious that several USB drives just happened to be in the parking lot when they got to work. It's unfortunate, but it seems that the typical office employee just doesn't understand or care about security. Recall the studies suggesting how easy it is to get employees to give up their passwords in exchange for a cheap gift. While that lesson may seem obvious, just wait for the fearmongering about USB drives, totally missing the point.
Enough said. It is human nature and actually very difficult to overcome. Users (employees) require constant security awareness training. I've seen it in action. Users keep picking easy to guess passwords and give them away with ease. They'll plug in anything and install software or open any cute card they receive by email. A never ending battle.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/16/2006 11:30:00 AM
I saw one interesting new program announced at Tech-Ed keynote. Microsoft Forefront Client Security (now in early beta) is a unified solution to problems with malware for business PCs. It allows for centralized administration. It provides a single agent against spyware, rootkits, viruses and worms with real-time detection.
It works very well when combined with Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) and Exchange servers. It supports Windows 2000, WinXP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista.
Administration is powerful yet simple, allowing SysAdmins to define one policy that configures anti-spyware and anti-virus for a host of computers allowing for alert level settings specifying the type and volume of alerts generated. Policies can be deployed via Active Directory.
It also has a good set of reports examine real-time data and trends, warnings and detection of potential vulnerabilities.
I will be checking this tool out in more depth as it seems a good solution for business use.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/16/2006 09:28:00 AM
Take a look at Congressman Lynn Westmoreland's website and you see the Georgia Congressman is a God-fearing Republican. He proposes over and over to display the 10 Commandments in public buildings, from the Courthouse to Congress.
Then watch his interview with Stephen Colbert in Crooks and Liars.
Colbert: What are the Ten Commandments?The guy is a Bible-thumper that wants to push the 10-Commandments and can't even name them?
Westmoreland: You mean all of them?--Um... Don't murder. Don't lie. Don't steal Um... I can't name them all.
After watching the video, the guy seems a little retarded. I wonder why would anybody elect a moron like this one to Congress?
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/16/2006 08:22:00 AM
Thursday, June 15, 2006
The conference is going well, albeit with a few minor problems, such as a bus strike, which luckily has not affected me or anybody much as they brought more drivers from out of state, plus a minor fire I read about as I did not see it. There is more police presence everywere as there are about 12,000 attendees in town for this event.
The conference is going well. It is a major feat of logistics to be able to move, teach and feed this many people. Kudos to Microsoft and all the organizers.
One very nice touch was the placement of widescreen flat-TVs along many walls of the Convention Center tuned to ESPN2 and showing the World Cup games live. They even provided chairs so there are lots of fans congregating in front of the TVs for every game. Makes the event very lively as you can be almost guaranteed to have fans of almost every team in attendance. Even if you are not watching the games, the shout for every GOAAL!! (and miss) is heard across the center! Well done!
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/15/2006 12:45:00 PM
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
A little overkill but Gizmodo has a funny setup for the DIY crowd.
This unique mod combines nine USB hubs for an ultra, uber USB hub ready for global domination. Unfortunately, there aren’t specific instructions about how to do the technical wiring, but I’m sure the smarties that read us would be able to figure out how to pull this 31 port USB hub off. Mods like this hit my curious bone, so after the jump, let us know how many USB ports you are using at any given time. I think I am sitting around six or seven, but there have to be others out there that can top my weak machine.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/14/2006 10:51:00 AM
This Tripod Belt lets pro and amateur photographers alike keep their tripods close while freeing their hands for the quick action shot. The belt fits over the shoulder or wild-west-six-shooter style. Available now for $8.50
Certainly beats my normal carrying bag.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/14/2006 10:42:00 AM
While in Boston attending Tech-Ed 2006 I had the pleasure of attending the local Visual FoxPro group meeting.
Local Fox Developer Dmitry Litvak picked me up and we went to get Andrew Coats [MS] for an early dinner.
Andrew is a long time Fox Developer who now works for Microsoft as a Developer Evangelist in Sydney, Australia.
As an aside, earlier in the day at lunch time at the Tech-Ed conference, I sat at a table with a couple of Microsoft guys I did not know. They were talking showing their Australian accent. One of them saw the VFP polo I was wearing and commented that I'm the second one he saw that day as Andrew Coates was walking around wearing the exact same VFP 9.0 shirt. I had not seen Andrew yet and I mentioned I was meeting him the same night.
"Oh? At the VFP meeting?"
"Right" I said.
Turns out he knew about it as he works with Andrew at Microsoft Australia. Then he proceeds to tell his friend how Andrew always talks about FoxPro and points out to them when he sees a Fox app on the web.
He then mentioned how he went to a Fox meeting and noticed that "all the people were older, just like a geriatric place, all around 50", he joked. Funny guy. Yeah, like root canal. He was in his twenties and I happen to be 50 myself.
Back to the meeting which took place at the local Microsoft offices in Waltham, MA a suburb of Boston.
The attendance was about 20 people as the organizer joined the VFP and .NET developers in one meeting. Andrew talked mainly about SQL Server Express 2005 (SSE) comparing it to SQL Server (it's basically same but free an self contained) and to MSDE which it replaced.
He did the presentation in a laptop running the current Beta of Windows Vista which pleased the audience as they got a chance to see some of it in action.
As most of the attendees were FoxPro developers, Andrew used Visual FoxPro 9.0 as a front-end showing how to upsize data, then a couple of simple examples of accessing data through remote views.
He fired up Visual Studio 2005 and showed examples of ASP.NET accessing two different data sources, an SSE database (NorthWind that was previously uploaded from VFP) and data from a full SQL Server instance.
The controls on the form were bound through an object, showing the proper way to create 3-Tier architecture, as opposed to the cheesy run-of-the mill samples you see at most presentations were the speaker binds data directly from the UI to the underlying database, therefore creating older 2-Tier designs. To show how you can bind to any object that implements an IEnumerable return he also demonstrated a sample of binding to an XSD data schema of one of the SQL Server tables.
At the end he expertly answered all questions from the lively audience.
Kudos to Andrew for teaching the correct way to create Data Access Layers and proper design and for a great presentation.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/14/2006 09:46:00 AM
Saturday, June 10, 2006
I'm off to Boston today for Tech-Ed 2006. It will be my first time at this big conference and I'm sure I'll get a lot out of it. Yeah, it is in the middle of World Cup so I'll have to sneak a game or two here and there. Poor planning I guess.
If you see me there come say hi!
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/10/2006 08:13:00 AM
Friday, June 09, 2006
It has been noted elsewhere earlier in the week so this is not breaking news by now, but just in case you missed it, SednaX the Community Project for the next version of Visual FoxPro is moving to a new home at CodePlex.
This has also been noted outside of the VFP community by
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/09/2006 01:05:00 PM
Microsoft reminds us that it is ending support for Windows 98, Windows (8 SE and Windows Miserable Edition (a.k.a. ME) on July 11, 2006. This means Microsoft will end public and technical support on July 11, 2006. This also includes security updates.
Today we’ve made an update to the FAQ in MS06-015
related to the availability of an update for Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft
Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME).
Specifically, after extensive investigation, we’ve found that it’s not
feasible to make the extensive changes necessary to Windows Explorer on these
older versions of Windows to eliminate the vulnerability.
This is because during the development of Windows 2000, we made
significant enhancements to the underlying architecture of Windows Explorer. The
Windows Explorer architecture on these older versions of Windows is much less
robust than the more recent Windows architectures.
They go on to give a security recommendation:
We do strongly recommend that customers still using Microsoft Windows 98,
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), and Microsoft Windows Millennium
Edition (ME) protect those systems by placing them behind a perimeter firewall
which filters traffic on TCP Port 139 which will block attacks attempting to
exploit this vulnerability. This is discussed in the "Workarounds" section of
And, of course, with the upcoming end up support for these products, we
strongly recommend that those of you who are still running these older versions
of Windows upgrade to a newer, more secure version, such as Windows XP SP2, as
soon as possible.
My recommendation, if you are still running Windows Miserable Edition, especially in a business environment (you know who you are, I've seen some of you), throw that crap out and replace it with, at least, Windows XP SP2 already!
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/09/2006 11:12:00 AM
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Monday, June 05, 2006
Link (Via Boing-Boing)
"And when you enter the workforce, you will find competition from those crossing our all-too-porous borders. Now I know you're all going to say, "Stephen, Stephen, immigrants built America." Yes, but here's the thing--it's built now. I think it was finished in the mid-70s sometime. At this point it's a touch-up and repair job. But thankfully Congress is acting and soon English will be the official language of America. Because if we surrender the national anthem to Spanish, the next thing you know, they'll be translating the Bible. God wrote it in English for a reason! So it could be taught in our public schools.
So we must build walls. A wall obviously across the entire southern border. That's the answer. That may not be enough--maybe a moat in front of it, or a fire-pit. Maybe a flaming moat, filled with fire-proof crocodiles. And we should probably wall off the northern border as well. Keep those Canadians with their socialized medicine and their skunky beer out. And because immigrants can swim, we'll probably want to wall off the coasts as well. And while we're at it, we need to put up a dome, in case they have catapults. And we'll punch some holes in it so we can breathe. Breathe free. It's time for illegal immigrants to go--right after they finish building those walls. Yes, yes, I agree with me."
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/05/2006 06:38:00 PM
For years the county authorities and the FAA could not come to a workable agreement on the replacing the control tower at Opa-Locka airport (KOPF). This is the major general aviation airport and second biggest in Miami-Dade County after Miami International (KMIA).
The solution for the three years the construction of a new tower will take (the old one is crumbling), after they resolve their disputes? Make it a trailer tower!
The FAA owns a fleet of specially-made trailers to act as temporary towers in cases of emergency. In this case, just weld two containers, one on top of the other, and then slap a trailer-tower on top! Brilliant! For three fricking years! Actually it will be less than that. Only until the first hurricane comes through and the tower is found floating near the Bahamas.
Miami-Dade County officials are not amused:
'I guess you can call it a piece of modern art,' said Charles Danger, Miami-Dade County's top building official. 'This is not a structure that meets any code whatsoever.'Folks, you can't make this stuff up.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/05/2006 05:01:00 PM
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Visual FoxPro now sits in position 12 on the TIOBE Index (TIOBE Programming Community Index June 2006) and enjoys an "A" rating for the first time ever!
It also continues to hold as the fastest climbing language in the index over the past year. A distinction it has enjoyed for several months now.
Posted by Alex Feldstein at 6/03/2006 08:51:00 AM