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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 16 declined, 2 accepted (18 total, 11.11% accepted)

Networking

+ - Do you recognize the six early warning signs->

Submitted by
Artemis
Artemis writes "Do you recognize the six early warning signs of losing your job?

If you are a CIO and are noticing too many of the following signs, you may want to start looking for employment at a new organization.

It's not unusual for a job search to take over six months, especially if you are specialized or targeting a specific geographic area. Use the same advice for your career that you would in your disaster recovery plan: it's a lot easier to plan for disaster than recover after it strikes."

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Windows

+ - Windows Vista SP1 Coming...->

Submitted by
Artemis
Artemis writes "Microsoft has just announced the beta for Windows Vista SP1.

Find out: What is SP1? What is it not? When can I get my hands on the Beta of SP1? And what about SP1 itself — when will that be available? Besides these questions a time-line and a Windows Vista SP1 Whitepaper have also been released. Will SP1 be Vista's saving grace? Or will it be another Windows NT Service Pack 6 and cause the release of Vista SP1a?"

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Microsoft

+ - Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5 released->

Submitted by
Artemis
Artemis writes "Microsoft has announced the release of the second beta for both its IDE, Visual Studio 2008, and its platform, .Net 3.5. The betas for both Visual Studio 2008 and the smaller Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions are available to download for anyone who would like to try them out while in beta.

Visual Studio 2008 can be installed along-side Visual Web Developer 2008 Express or Visual Studio 2005, so you can try out 2008 without messing with your current environment. .NET 3.5 Beta 2 also include a go-live license which allows you to build and deploy applications into production.

Some of the new features of VS 2008 Beta 2 and .NET 3.5 Beta 2 are:
  • VS 2008 Multi-targeting support: Lets you target multiple versions of the .NET platform
  • VS 2008 Web Designer: A significantly improved HTML web designer — includes split-view editing, nested master pages, and much-improved CSS integration.
  • .NET 3.5 ASP.NET AJAX: The AJAX library is now built into the ASP.NET functionality in .NET 3.5
  • VS 2008 VB/C# Compilers: Now include keywords and capabilities for functional programming, which lets you write cleaner code. The compilers also now include support for LINQ (Language Integrated Query), which makes querying/working with data a first-class concept in .NET.
  • LINQ to SQL Improvements: LINQ to SQL is an built-in OR/M (Object Relational Mapper) in .NET 3.5. This allows you to model relational databases using a .NET object model. You can then query the database using LINQ and update/insert/delete data from it. LINQ to SQL fully supports transactions, views, and stored procedures.
"

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Windows

+ - No "Logon Using Dial-up Connections" in Vi->

Submitted by
Artemis
Artemis writes "If you're an IT Manager wanting to setup domain logins on a Windows Vista laptop and looking for the "Logon using dial-up connections" checkbox on the logon screen, look again. The option has been removed from that screen, but the functionality still exists, this post explains how to accomplish the same thing you could in Windows 2000 and XP in Vista.

In most IT departments it is quite common to setup a fleet of laptops as members of the domain and then have users logon to the domain using cached credentials when they are not connected to the corporate network. This works great except that since the laptop cannot contact a domain controller it cannot download the latest applicable Group Policy. Therefore the policy that is used is the one that was effective last time the laptop successfully contacted the domain controller during the logon process, which is probably not the most up-to-date Group Policy.

The way this is resolved in Windows 2000/XP is that a user checks the "Logon Using Dial-up Connections" checkbox at the logon screen. This forces Windows to dial a remote connection before attempting to logon to the domain. Since a remote connection now exists between the laptop and the domain when the logon attempt is taking place, Windows will download the current applicable Group Policy.

Now that's great and everything, but Vista poses a new situation — mainly, where the heck is that checkbox? It's not there, but it's feature is — here is how to accomplish the same thing that checkbox does in XP in Windows Vista.

Now your users will be able to logon to the domain with the Vista laptop using a remote connection and the current Group Policy, not cached credentials. While the solution here is interesting, it would also be nice to know why this change was made."

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Windows

+ - Log on automatically in Windows Vista->

Submitted by
Artemis
Artemis writes "If you have a single-user PC and would rather have it automatically log on than display the Welcome Screen, this post is for you. Obviously do not do this on a computer that contains secure or confidential information. Also, don't follow the instructions for some older versions of Windows that involve editing the registry and adding your username & password to it. Those methods leave your username and password in unencrypted plaintext, and while having your computer automatically log on isn't the safest thing, there is no reason to store your password in plaintext when you can avoid it. Best of all, this way is much easier than editing the registry and stores your password as an encrypted LSA secret.

From the search/run box in the Start Menu, type netplwiz. Clear the check box for 'Users must enter a username and password to use this computer. The 'Automatically Log On' dialog box will appear, enter your username and password here and click 'OK'. This is the username and password Vista will use to automatically log on with every time it starts. Next time you start your PC it should load directly to the desktop!"

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Networking

+ - New Ethernet standard:not 40Gbps,not 100, but both->

Submitted by
Artemis
Artemis writes "When Ethernet was originally created in 1974 it was a 3Mbps technology from Bob Metcalfe at Xerox PARC that few thought would beat out technologies such as Token Ring from the big boys like IBM. But Metcalfe left Xerox to found 3com and promote Ethernet, while also boosting the speed from 3Mbps to 10Mbps, compared to Token Rings 6Mbps. Now a days 1Gbps networks are becoming standard and 10Gbps networks are creeping in to specialized situations. But the Higher Speed Study Group (HSSG) is not satisfied. They have approved a Project Authorization Request (PAR) for a new standard, IEEE 802.3ba, which will give Ethernet speeds of up to 100Gbps.

When IEEE 802.3ba was originally proposed their were multiple possible speeds that were being discussed, including 40, 80, 100, and 120Gbps. While there options were eventually narrowed down to just two, 40 and 100Gbps, the HSSG had difficulties decided on the one specific speed they wanted to become the new standard. HSSG chair John D'Ambrosia told PC World that although he "wouldn't say there was a fight, I would say their was an education going on, and it got heated at times." During the discussions two different groups formed, one which wanted faster server-to-switch connections at 40Gbps and one which wanted a more robust network backbone at 100Gbps. The higher speed required more expensive and power-hungry equipment, you can find out more about it from this presentation [PDF].

Unable to come up with a consensus the HSSG decided to standardize both 40Gbps and 100Gbps speeds as the IEEE 803.23ba standard. Each speed will use different connection equipment. 40Gbps can be 1 meter long on the backplane, 10 meters for copper cable and 100 meters for fiber-optics. The 100Gbps standard includes specifications for 10 kilometer and 40 kilometer connections over single-mode fiber.

According to D'Ambrosia this is the first time the specification group has approved two different speeds in the same specification. If IEEE approves the specification it could be completed by 2010 with devices that support is soon thereafter."

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Software

+ - Minimize anything to the System Tray in 111 KB->

Submitted by
Artemis
Artemis writes "Here is another great little utility that adds some functionality that I wish was already built in to Windows. RBTray is a very small (111 KB) GPL/Open Source program that lets you minimize any application to the System Tray by simply right-clicking the applications Minimize button or pressing Windows+T. RBTray's site is hosted at SourceForge, you can download either the installer version or the binary-only version. Absolutely no configuration is necessary. The source code is also available for anyone who would like to contribute."
Link to Original Source
Quickies

+ - 2000 Uses for WD-40->

Submitted by
Artemis
Artemis writes "The Tacoma Wheelman's Bicycle Club (TWBC) has compiled a list of 2000 unofficial uses for WD-40. Here are their Top 10:
  1. Use to loosen rusty nuts and screws, clean garden tools
  2. Cleans piano keys
  3. Keeps wicker chairs from squeaking
  4. Lubricates small rolling toys
  5. Keeps garden tools rust-free
  6. Cleans patio door glide strip
  7. Removes crayon from clothes dryer (make sure to unplug dryer first)
  8. Removes scuff marks from ceramic tile floor
  9. Keeps metal wind chimes rust-free
  10. Removes crayon from walls
"

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Printer

+ - Inkjet cartridges lie about being empty->

Submitted by Artemis
Artemis (14122) writes "Epson has released a report they commissioned on "empty" inkjet cartridges. The interesting part? The cartridge and the printer disagree on when it is actually out of ink! The study looked into the efficiency of both single and multi-ink cartridges. The cartridges were measured before and after use and were considered empty when the printed reported they were empty. The Kodak EasyShare 5300 ranked worst in the study, indicating it was out of ink where it was still actually 64% full! These results are horrible, but even the best inkjet printers left an average of 20% of the ink in their cartridges when they were reported empty."
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