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Internet Explorer

Journal Journal: IE8 - Time to Upgrade the Web

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 yesterday, for Windows XP and Vista. So if you (or your friends, co-workers, or family) are still using IE6, it's once again time to think about upgrading or switching. (Assuming, of course, that you're not locked in by corporate policy or another piece of software.)

  • IE6 is now two versions behind the current release.
  • IE6 is almost 8 years old (it was released in 2001).
  • IE6 is lacking in many capabilities that all other modern web browsers have, in web technology, in security, and in features you can use.

You can read a review at Wired, a write-up from the IE team, or a summary of technical changes from WaSP.

Of course, Internet Explorer isn't the only option out there. There's Firefox , Opera , Chrome and a host of other alternative browsers that are worth checking out.

If you're still running Windows 2000 or some other old version of Windows that can't run IE7 or IE8, I'd absolutely recommend Firefox or Opera. Either will be much better than IE6, both will run on Windows 2000, and Opera will even run on Windows Me and Windows 98 (but you really ought to move to something more current than Windows Me.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: WGA False Positive Experience

Back in July(?) 2006 when Microsoft issued an update to the Windows Genuine Advantage tool, I figured I may as well install it (I'd be forced to eventually) on my one Windows box. So I installed it, and rebooted, and the login screen proclaimed loudly that Windows was not genuine. (Well, not literally loudly, it didn't shout over the speakers or anything -- which would be an interesting deterrent, now that I think about it.)

This came as something of a surprise, given that:

  • This was a Dell, not some no-name computer.
  • It still had the original OS install, and no hardware had been changed.
  • The previous version of WGA had reported no problems.

I logged in, did some searching on Microsoft's knowledge base, and found a link that said something like "Validate here." I clicked on it.

To my surprise, it told me my copy was perfectly valid.

I eventually concluded that Norton Internet Security had blocked the initial validation attempt. Because there was no desktop shell, there was no opportunity for it to pop up a notice and ask me if I wanted it to let the data through.

After that experience, I can't say I'm surprised that Microsoft found many of their false positives to be the result of security software. Admittedly, they were looking at registry changes, crypto problems and McAfee, rather than a transient error with Norton.

(Reposted from this comment, mainly so I can find it again easily without searching.)

Journal Journal: Semantic Comments

I've noticed one aspect my Slashdot use has changed since Slashdot's CSS makeover last year: the way I quote.

I used to do it simply: I'd just surround the pasted text with <i>...</i> tags, and let Slashcode fill in the paragraph breaks. It served as a visual cue. In fact, since most people quote at the top of the comment, it's more aesthetic than a plain, default indent-and-nothing-else <blockquote>.

Since the CSS redesign implemented a visual style for <blockquote>, I've actually started using the <blockquote> tag. Sure, it's longer to type, easier to misspell, and means I have to add all the paragraph tags and switch from "Plain Old Text" to "HTML Formatted" -- but it looks enough better that it's worth the effort.

Yes, actually, I am a standards-based web developer. Why do you ask?

Journal Journal: Meta Moderation Practices

I've been observing my decisions with meta moderation, and have noticed some trends:

  1. I let most positive moderations stand.
  2. If a post is funny, but not actually insightful or informative, I will generally mark the latter moderations as unfair.
  3. I'm a lot more critical of negative moderations than positive. I'll let some stand, but I'm much more likely to mark them as being unfair.

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"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer