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Comment Its like buying an oil change AFTER a blown engine (Score 0) 268

People are under this false impression that they can just go buy a program that will retroactively fix any and all virii and spyware. This is a lot of times impossible. Once a virus or spyware truly infiltrates your system you most likely have to reload Windows and then load antivirus/spyware protection from scratch (like they should have all along). The Windows registry is craptastic, but it exists and as long as it does many virii and spyware will be able to prevent repair software from installing successfully. You can't really expect Symantec to log into your computer remotely and hack your registry enough to install their software and then remove all of the bad stuff for you for free. End users are idiots.

Comment I call shenanigans (Score 1, Insightful) 515

To be perfectly honest, there is probably no study out there performed by a reputable research company that can show the network stack in Linux is THIS MUCH faster than the Windows network stack. In fact, I would be willing to be the driver on the Compaq running windows for the network card is the compaq-provider driver and is rather stale, or even better the NIC may be a different revision than the one in the other compaq running Linux. Also, if the download speed test was performed in Windows first, chances are that Comcast had the files cached for a quicker download if the tests were performed back to back. There are too many variables to warrant this post even being displayed, and there are no whitepapers out there that will back this performance difference.

Submission + - Photos of Sony Ericsson P3i

AndyHaman writes: "There are spy pics of a new Sony Ericsson communicator (P3i) in the Internet. Justamp reports that design is based on the M600, though with different color solution. Its display is likely to have a QVGA resolution, 260K colors and a 2.8" diagonal. Besides the device features a 3.2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi support, GSM/EDGE 900/1800/1900 and HSDPA networks, the source says."

Submission + - Hard drive failure greater thant vendor estimates.

Agent2592 writes: "Here is a very interesting article on a study about hard drive failure. Notable from the article: -Hard drive failure rate is much higher that what the vendors suggest -SCSI/FC discs ("server class"), contrary to common perception DO NOT have a significant advantage over PATA/SATA ("desktop class") when it comes to failure rate. -Operating temperature and failure rate DO NOT have a significant correlation. In other words discs kept at a lower operating temperature fail just as much. (RAPID & frequent temperature change do have an impact) -There is NO reliable predictor of failure. (SMART included)"

Submission + - CSS Web Site Design

Paul S. R. Chisholm writes: "Eric A. Meyer is a serious Cascading Style Sheets guru. He's written several books on the subject, including the O'Reilly "Definitive Guide." His latest, CSS Web Site Design, is written for a different audience, the kind of people who would rather learn by doing than wade through a lot of theory. Does it suit the needs of that audience? Yes, and people beyond that audience as well.

[EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE — Please do not publish my e-mail address!]

People learn in different ways:
  • By reading a bunch of theory, once, and immediately being able to apply it.
  • By reading a bunch of theory, once, and stumbling the first time they apply it, but achieving proficiency the second or third time.
  • By reading something, thinking they understand it, but really not having a clue when it comes to concrete application. (Please, no jokes about managers.)
  • By working through some specific examples (and maybe later copying-and-pasting from them).
  • By taking a course, with an instructor who walks you through theory and examples and usually a few exercises (or more than a few).
For the first two, there's O'Reilly's Cascading Style Sheets: the Definitive Guide. For the last two, there's CSS Web Site Design Hands-On Training from the Hands-On Training series. Both books are written by Eric A. Meyer, who's done a lot with CSS. In this latest book, he takes a complex web page, and changes its appearance and layout without modifying the HTML. Instead, he modifies the "styles" for different elements in the HTML. (Meyer usually embeds styles into HTML, to make the examples simpler. He describes how to use external style sheets, and uses them exclusively in the last chapter.) When CSS is used correctly, it can handle all the details of a web page's appearance, and even fine-tune a lot of those details, leaving nothing in the HTML but the content and an abstract description of how it's organized. This is a good thing.

The first chapter, and the beginning of the second and third chapters, describe a little bit of theory. The entire rest of the book (other than then appendices) consists of a series of exercises. Each chapter covers one topic, and each exercise in the chapter shows how to use a particular CSS tag or technique. Chapters 2 through 9 are effectively one big exercise, taking a single web page and making dozens of small changes to its appearance. (Using the same web page helps avoid distraction. Honestly, though, I hope I never again read about "Thomas Twining's English coffee house.") Chapter 10 starts with the same content as a bare HTML page and an empty style sheet, and then element by element adds to the style sheet so the web page has the desired design. Finally, there's a very nice reference section for CSS2 properties, some answers to "frequently asked" questions, and a decent list of pointers to more information on CSS.

How effective is this learn-by-example approach? It varies. For some of the book, such as chapter 4 on page layout, and chapter 7 on margins and borders, I was really glad I worked through all the examples and got to see before-and-after results for each change. (Put another way: If I'd lost the CD, I'd have had a tough time getting through those chapters. Or maybe not; the examples can be downloaded via the book's errata page.) On the other hand, in the chapters on foregrounds and backgrounds, typography, and print styling, it was easy enough to just look at the HTML/CSS and screenshots in the book; the interactive approach wasn't of much benefit, at least to me.

CSS Web Site Design's use of full-color screenshots was very effective, and pretty much necessary for showing some of the effects. The book laid flat pretty decently, though not perfectly, especially in the early part of the book. I found (and reported) about sixteen typos, none which was too terrible; not bad for a book of this length and detail, but not great.

No book can cover everything. This is a "how to" book, not a "what to do" book. You'll learn a bit about design, but mostly about how to implement design via CSS. If you want to learn a lot about how to design web pages and sites, you'll need to go elsewhere. You'll also need to start elsewhere if you don't know much about HTML/XHTML. (CSS Web Site Design has a few introductory words about HTML. I was surprised, and disappointed, it didn't say much at all about the <div> tag. That tag is hardly ever used except in conjunction with CSS. Thus, it's something even experienced HTMLers might need a little help with.)

This book is over 400 pages long, with lots of fairly big pictures (screenshots). CSS: The Definitive Guide is over 500 pages long, with a lot fewer pictures. What's the difference? The Definitive Guide spends much more time on theory. It also goes into some specific details CSS Web Site Design shows only by example, such as the four elements of specificity (inline, ID, class, tag) for resolving style conflicts, and margin value replication. The Definitive Guide also spends whole chapters on some subjects, such as lists and user interface elements, that CSS Web Site Design covers in two or three pages.

Is this a good book for everyone? Pretty close. For people who learn by doing, this is probably a great resource. Personally, I'd rather get an explanation of how everything works; even so, I got quite a bit out out of this book, more than from another book I've read on the subject. (The name has been omitted to protect the guilty.) CSS Web Site Design may not teach you enough to be featured on the main page of the CSS Zen Garden, but if you don't know much about CSS, you will after reading this book.

For more information, see the book's web page and the author's site.

That's what I think about CSS Web Site Design. What I think about CSS itself is another matter. Yes, it's a huge improvement over using tables (and changing document structure) to control layout, but ... well, let's just say I cringe every time someone talks about "negative margins." Bruce Eckel has written more (and more perceptively) on this subject in his article, Web Standards: Only Less of a Mess.

Paul S. R. Chisholm has been developing software for more than 25 years. He's worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Ascend Communications/ Lucent Technologies, Cisco Systems, and some small startups you've never heard of. This review does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any past, present, or future employers."
The Internet

Submission + - Web Analytics:Managing Incongruous Site Statistics

Ikaro writes: "XML engines, spiders, spam attempt on comments and trackback can be considered real visitors by your log analytics application. Find out the reason why many times different web analytics applications show different data about the same web site. Continue..."

Submission + - When nerds collide: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs

ramboando writes: Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates are scheduled to share the stage this Wednesday night at The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference. Both executives have made multiple individual appearances at the conference, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary this year, dubbed "D5". But this will be their first joint session at D, and a highly unusual event. ZDNet Australia takes a look back at some other times the two titans of tech have shared the spotlight.
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Playstation 3 new firmware upscales DVD/PS2 games!

An anonymous reader writes: Sony's official release of the V1.80 firmware, the PS3 is now capable of upconverting standard-def DVDs, non-HD Blu-ray disc content and all PlayStation games (including those for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2) to 1080p. Will this change your mind after all the much publicized failings of the PS3 into the most versatile optical disc player of all time?
United States

Submission + - Academic group releases plan to share root zone.

Boothie writes: According to this article, this Internet Governance Project (IGP) proposal "would distribute control over the process of signing the root zone file to multiple organizations, all of them nongovernmental in nature, defusing fears that U.S. national security agencies will control the Internet's DNS root zone keys."

Submission + - Mailing list archives 2.0

acid06 writes: "According to the recently launched site, "Grokbase is all about reading mailing list archives your way. Multiple display options are available. Bookmarking and tagging allows you to share, note and promote articles you find valuable."
Could this sort of thing actually improve the current "no one searches the archives" syndrome that seems to plague every mailing list in existence?"

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