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Comment A quick letter that I sent to my ISP (Score 1) 442

ESPN's web site has a link that makes it easy for users to tell ISPs that they want ESPN360, but ISPs need to hear our point of view and know that they have plenty of customers who don't want their ISP to give into ESPN360's shenanigans. I posted the following onto my ISP's customer feedback page. Please feel free to clean up and use in any way that you see fit.


I just wanted to give my feedback about ESPN360. I prefer that Speakeasy continues to operate as a neutral ISP regarding ESPN360 and does not pay ESPN360 to get their content for Speakeasy subscribers. I believe that individual end users who want to access ESPN360 content should pay ESPN360 directly and not through their ISP, especially as there are Speakeasy customers who do not use or have even heard of ESPN360. As an entertainment web site, ESPN360 is not offering a service that is of general public value that would warrant ISPs instead of individual end users to pay ESPN360 for access.

I enjoy my Speakeasy service as it exists today, and I hope that ESPN360's plan to get ISPs instead of end users to pay for their content fails. If ESPN360 succeeds, other web site operators may attempt the same strategy and lead to service fragmentation on the Internet, which raises the barrier to entry for new ISPs and also raises the operational costs of existing ISPs. It's an attempt to impose a cable company business model onto ISPs, which could additionally lead to ISP responsibility of delivered content.

Please keep Speakeasy as a neutral Internet connection by turning down any attempts from ESPN360 to get Speakeasy to pay for ESPN360 access.

Thank you for your attention.


Do the SSL Watchmen Watch Themselves? 171

StrongestLink writes "In an intriguing twist on the recent Comodo CA vulnerability discussed here last week, security researcher Mike Zusman today revealed that three days prior to StartCom's disclosure of a flaw in a Comodo reseller's registration process, he discovered and disclosed an authentication bypass flaw to StartCom in their own registration process that allowed an attacker to submit an authorized request for any domain. During a month which was marked by the continuing paradigm shift to SSL-verified holiday shopping, the Chain of Trust continues to run off the gears, and Bruce Schneier is even commenting publicly that SSL's site validation mission isn't even relevant. What lies ahead for the billion-dollar CA industry?"

Comment Re:Layoffs (Score 1) 640

I researched this for a small architecture firm earlier this year, and my recommendations for them were in the following order, with the first listings having the most preference for their particular business:

1. hosted Exchange
2. Scalix
3. Yahoo! Zimbra

Google Apps probably would have been #1 if it had better feature parity at the time that I reviewed it, and it's possible that Google Apps would probably now be in the top three.

A really nice thing for the customer about the three recommendations above is that all feature full compatibility with Microsoft Outlook. I personally detest Outlook, but they like it, and all three are fully compatible with Outlook's groupware features.


First Look At Windows 7 Beta 1 898

The other A. N. Other writes "It seems that Microsoft couldn't keep the lid on Windows 7 beta 1 until the new year. By now, several news outlets have their hands on the beta 1 code and have posted screenshots and information about this build. ZDNet's Hardware 2.0 column says: 'This beta is of excellent quality. This is the kind of code that you could roll out and live with. Even the pre-betas were solid, but finally this beta feels like it's "done." This beta exceeds the quality of any other Microsoft OS beta that I've handled.' ITWire points out that this copy has landed on various torrent sites, and while it appears to be genuine, there are no guarantees. Neowin has a post confirming that it's the real thing, and saying Microsoft will be announcing the build's official availability at CES in January."
Input Devices

Touchscreen Netbooks To Shine At CES 2009 109

i4u writes "The new generation of netbooks debuting at CES 2009 will add touch and have twistable screens to use them in tablet or notebook style. Intel is set to introduce a new Classmate netbook with a twistable screen and touchscreen at the CES 2009. Back in October Asus said it was planning to introduce touchscreen Asus Eee netbooks in early 2009. Asus is exhibiting at the CES Unveiled pre-show that takes place on January 6th. Expect the Asus Eee Touch to be unveiled then. Gigabyte has outrun all of them with the Intel Atom-powered M912V that has been on the market for a while. Adding a touchscreen is rather easy. More difficult is to offer a touch-optimized UI. Let's see what the netbook vendors are going to invest on the software side."

Comment (Score 1) 108

To add myself to the set of Quicken alternative comments, I'd like to promote It's an easy-to-use software as a service (SaaS) solution that runs as a full-page Flash application and uses a proactive budgeting approach rather than Quicken et al's reactive budgeting approach. With mobile browser access, it's possible to check the balance of each virtual envelope before making purchases, which helps make it proactive -- you can avoid spending money in the first place if the current balance of the relevant envelope isn't sufficient. In Quicken and other solutions, you enter in receipts after the fact and then get depressed about always spending more than you planned to in various categories.

I don't work for Mvelopes's company, but I am a very happy customer. I used Quicken from about 2002 to mid-2008, and I have to say that Mvelopes is far easier to use and keep up to date. It saves me at least two hours per week over my previous process, and I used to use Excel for budgeting because Quicken's budgeting modules suck, especially compared to Mvelopes's granular envelope spending and funding plan features. Mvelopes was designed with budgets at its core, which it calls envelopes, and envelopes are funded with each paycheck and other income sources as they come in.

Mvelopes isn't free, but it's competitive with the Quicken upgrade treadmill, and their online customer service is good enough. Bugs get fixed, and they are always adding features and improving usability further. It's reminds me a lot of the upgrade model of my employer, There's no software to install, besides Flash, and no action on your part needed to get updates. As a result of being a paid service, versus, the data is private, and they don't load the UI with third party advertisements. Their privacy policy might not be as strong as the one at, but it's good enough for me, for whatever that's worth :-).

Hopefully, this helps..


Quicken 2007 For Mac Lacks EV Cert Support 108

adamengst writes "If your bank uses the Extended Validation certificates that require a higher level of identity checking on the certificate authority's part (as at least one Seattle bank does), you may not be able to download transactions using the Mac version of Quicken. Quicken doesn't gracefully ignore extra information in EV certificates as older Web browsers do, but instead throws an error and refuses to download transactions. Intuit says they're working on a fix — but users may have to wait 'a couple of months,' and even then the fix may not be applied to versions before Quicken 2007."

BitTorrent For Enterprise File Distribution? 291

HotTuna writes "I'm responsible for a closed, private network of retail stores connected to our corporate office (and to each other) with IPsec over DSL, and no access to the public internet. We have about 4GB of disaster recovery files that need to be replicated at each site, and updated monthly. The challenge is that all the enterprise file replication tools out there seem to be client/server and not peer-to-peer. This crushes our bandwidth at the corporate office and leaves hundreds of 7Mb DSL connections (at the stores) virtually idle. I am dreaming of a tool which can 'seed' different parts of a file to different peers, and then have those peers exchange those parts, rapidly replicating the file across the entire network. Sounds like BitTorrent you say? Sure, except I would need to 'push' the files out, and not rely on users to click a torrent file at each site. I could imagine a homebrew tracker, with uTorrent and an RSS feed at each site, but that sounds a little too patchwork to fly by the CIO. What do you think? Is BitTorrent an appropriate protocol for file distribution in the business sector? If not, why not? If so, how would you implement it?"

Comment Re:last sentence (Score 1) 597

Many will probably disagree with me on this, but I consider Windows to be a legacy operating system that I run on rare occasions within a VMware Server virtual machine. When run in VMware Server on a more modern desktop Linux operating system or even on a Mac, the risk likeliness of getting infected by viruses and malware is reduced by not using it often and limiting its use to specific applications that don't yet work on Linux or on a Mac. If its use is restricted to an internal accounting app, as an example, it would be difficult to get infected by an email virus or, if its firewall is enabled and VMware's NAT was in use, other standard Windows worms. As a result, it should be okay to use it past XP's end-of-life until it can run in Linux or Mac (or become web based).

When implementing the aforementioned scenario, it's possible to restrict IE browsing with IE URL Lock at (shameless plug, though it's open-source) or, if your Windows apps don't use IE in any way (the reference pane in Office, as an example, uses IE to render reference info and search results), it's possible to use the proxy-is-localhost configuration approach or an upstream block to restrict browsing.


Don't Overlook Efficient C/C++ Cmd Line Processing 219

An anonymous reader writes "Command-line processing is historically one of the most ignored areas in software development. Just about any relatively complicated software has dozens of available command-line options. The GNU tool gperf is a "perfect" hash function that, for a given set of user-provided strings, generates C/C++ code for a hash table, a hash function, and a lookup function. This article provides a reference for a good discussion on how to use gperf for effective command-line processing in your C/C++ code."

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