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Internet Explorer

Journal Journal: Save the U.S.A. - Don't Use Internet Explorer! 3

From Yahoo! News:

The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team touched off a storm this week when it recommended for security reasons using browsers other than Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer.

Personally, I use Mozilla Firefox. It's in version 0.9.1, so theoretically it is in beta, but I have no problems with it. It is as easy (if not easier) to use than Internet Explorer, it (of course) lacks all the security holes present in IE, and it includes many more features, such as Tab Browsing, which lets you open multiple web pages in tabs at the top of the screen rather than opening a pile of new windows for each page. It's very nice. It's also much faster than IE, and it is more standards-compliant--so it almost never shows pages wrong.

You can also get Mozilla Thunderbird, which is an email client to complement Firefox. (Mozilla still has a full-blown suite, and Firefox and Thunderbird are standalone, faster, better versions of the browser and mail components of the full suite. They really are much better, they're not just part of the full suite in a separate program.) While it won't replace Outlook, it could probably replace Outlook Express, and it is much more secure than Outlook (which isn't very hard to be) so you won't spread email worms.

Read about it on Yahoo! News or Slashdot.

America Online

Journal Journal: AOL sucks.

Let's just leave it at this--porn spam, getting booted offline, that screeching modem, "you've got mail," the stoopid luser tech support people who won't let you get ahead of their feeble, pea-sized brains and scripts, a crappy browser, "Free AOL and Unlimited Internet", "Make $$$, Refer A Friend", "AOL is downloading new graphics. You will not be charged for this online time. AOL will disconnect when finished." while keeping your phone tied up, the little people on the logon screen, the popup "Video Professor" ads, the down-home "huge corporation" feel, the "easy to use, hard to get anything done" feature set, their theft of WebMD's quote: "the chat rooms, I love the chat rooms!", the "okay, just reinstall half your hard drive and you'll be online again" tech support script, the endless reboot-dial up-it doesn't work-yell at tech support-reboot... cycle.....

But life is good!


Journal Journal: Why Perl ROCKS! 1

Perl is the freakin' GREATEST LANGUAGE EVER!

Perl is awesome!!!!! (sorry) It's just great. Here's why...

  • Built in hashes--this makes programming ten times easier!
  • Built in regexps--okay, it's not the only language with these, but they make stuff so much easier, especially processing email messages to find commands.
  • everyone's written everything already--a trip over to CPAN will find a module for any low- or medium-level interface to other stuff you need, so you don't have to reinvent the wheel
  • super-"flexible" syntax--okay, this one drives me nuts sometimes, but perl has many cool syntax features like

    while (<>) { print; }

    and various permutations of that kind of thing.

  • everything returns something--tons of functions (like substituting with regexps) return true or false depending whether they worked, rather than forcing the user to check some other way to find out if it worked.
  • I dunno, the syntax just flows off your fingers, and it keeps the keycaps on the number row from getting jealous!

obey the camel


Journal Journal: DRM Sucks.

DRM really sucks. All this stuff about companies making secure BIOS's and OS's so that they can keep you from copying music is just insane. This is just like a lot of weaker encryption systems; John Doe can't break it, but a dedicated hacker could. Unfortunately, it's a dedicated hacker, not John Doe, who's going to be fighting this.

I think the only way to keep this from happening is to basically create a grassroots movement against things like it--but involve regular, non-geek types, not just "us." By getting everyone else worried that they won't (they probably won't, it's not a lie) be able to listen to music off a friend's CD or do stuff that seems perfectly fine, nobody will accept these, and the companies that try to be exclusive and only grant access to those who use DRM-protected hardware/software will have nobody waiting for them.

Just my three cents (hey, it's my journal, I say three cents!),


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