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Showing posts from April, 2006

NoWindow

I figure that I should probably do something productive so I don't appear to always be Mr. Doom-and-Gloom. So, I'm going to review a piece of software I ran across recently. It is called NoWindow:

http://www.adsciengineering.com/tools/nowindow/

This application has almost no Google PageRank and I found it only by pure accident. NoWindow's purpose is to start any application without displaying any windows. It is the perfect tool for system administrators that have long-running scripts that sit on web servers. It relegates console Windows running things like PHP and Perl scripts to run hidden behind the scenes.

I'm actually surprised that there are no similar applications out there. I have actually contacted the author of NoWindow and v1.1 was the result of that contact. The author is quite a nice guy and is very willing to make modifications and accept patches for the application.

The amazing part is that the application is only a couple hundred lines of code. Very …

World's largest database accessed by NSA

AT&T is a fairly well-recognized brand name. And with the recent merger with SBC and the uglification of it's trademark, it is even more recognized...mostly for the ugly-looking trademark. At any rate, there apparently has been some really underhanded stuff going down:

http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2006_04.php#004538
http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att/

AT&T apparently stores over 300 terabytes (yes, terabytes!) of information internally at the company and has given access to the NSA to process the data. The NSA, for those who don't know, stands for National Security Agency - a federal agency that answers to the government but still has to abide by the law.

Essentially, the EFF is crying foul (and I agree) because just about everything done on the AT&T network is recorded in that database. One of two things should happen: AT&T should restrict access to just themselves or allow EVERYONE to access it (both the "good guys" and the "bad guys"…

Windows Vista delayed to 2007 and here's why...

People are speculating why Windows Vista is being delayed - yet again. Jim Allchin said in February, "Vista is feature-complete, but the company [Microsoft] still has a lot work to do on it."

Now what do you suppose that means? Well, there are a few things I can think of:

1) Graphics work. The icons still have to be finalized - a lot of them haven't really been modified yet to use the shiny new Vista look-and-feel (i.e. 256x256 PNG icons - which are not compatible with most resource compilers).
2) Textual finalization. Choosing the right words for each dialog and UI element.
3) Documentation additions and changes.
4) Creating a consistent theme throughout every single area, nook, and cranny.
5) Move the Network Identification dialog to yet another obscure location. (Sorry, running joke - each version of Windows seems to move this dialog to a completely new and unexpected location requiring IT admins to play the digital equivalent of hide & seek).

6) Bugs. Zillions of bugs. …