Friday, February 25, 2005

Firefox Update Version 1.0.1

MOZILLA FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES UPDATE TO FIREFOX: "The Mozilla Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving choice and promoting innovation on the Internet, today released an update to its award-winning Firefox 1.0 browser. The Firefox security update is available for the 27 million users who have already downloaded the free browser. The Mozilla Foundation encourages all users to download the update, which is available now on all platforms at

'Regular security updates are essential for maintaining a safe browsing experience for our users,' said Chris Hofmann, director of engineering for the Mozilla Foundation. 'The Mozilla Foundation has developed a community of users and developers who continuously provide feedback on Mozilla software, and as a result of that constant vigilance, we are able to provide quick and effective responses to security vulnerabilities.'

The Mozilla Foundation evaluates security issues on an ongoing basis and will issue security updates as warranted. The security update for Firefox includes several fixes to guard against spoofing and arbitrary code execution."

Sunday, February 20, 2005


SitePoint Tech Times: "XHTML 1.0 is a language for writing Web pages using the same tags as HTML, but with the more tightly controlled tag syntax of XML. XHTML makes it easier for programs of all kinds to read and generate Web pages, while making the job of the Web developer only slightly harder.

XHTML also allows for other XML-based tag languages to be mixed into a Web page for specialized needs (e.g. MathML). Browsers that support these tag languages can then display such specialized content within the page. This extensibility puts the 'X' in XHTML.

The case for avoiding XHTML was pointed out to me by the author of SitePoint's upcoming DHTML book, as I tut-tutted his use of HTML (as opposed to XHTML) for the book's sample code.

Here it is in a nutshell:

1. Browsers decide how to handle a file based on the MIME type that the server sends with it.
2. HTML Web pages are identified with a MIME type of text/html.
3. Pages written in XHTML that are sent with a MIME type of text/html don't benefit from any of the features of XHTML.
4. To benefit from the features of XHTML, pages must be sent as application/xhtml xml.
5. The most popular Web browser (Internet Explorer 6) cannot view pages sent as application/xhtml xml.

From this, it follows that you cannot benefit from using XHTML without breaking compatibility with Internet Explorer 6. So you might as well just use HTML.

With this in mind, the case for using XHTML is a lot weaker than I had come to believe. What it comes down to is 'Web standards are good, so to help promote them, support XHTML by implementing it however you can. Your clients all want it anyway.'

What most standards-conscious professional developers do today is write XHTML and allow browsers to treat it as HTML. Meanwhile, advanced developers who want to take advantage of XHTML can configure their servers to send XHTML pages as application/xhtml xml to browsers that support it (not Internet Explorer).

Assuming that isn't practical for you, you're left with a choice: support the XHTML standard by feeding it to browsers that expect HTML, or stick with HTML and send browsers what they expect to receive."

-- Yikes! I didn't know this about XHTML. Me, up on my standards soapbox all the time... Well, good thing I use Mozilla Firefox! With IE7 supposedly coming out this summer, who knows - this ignorance on IE6's part may be solved, and this issue will be no more. But, I will continue to code my sites in XHTML to support the continued progression of web standards, while my web servers keep sending out the XHTML code as HTML type. My reasons for using XHTML have more to do with supporting the standards than with displaying my sites on other devices like cell phones and the like. The appolication MIME type issue, then, really doesn't affect me.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

And Jeffrey said, "To Hell"

Anil Dash: And Jeffrey said, "To Hell": "Four years ago, Jeffrey Zeldman said, 'To Hell With Bad Browsers' and ended up changing the web. That's damned impressive."

And thank God for Jeffrey!! It took some time, but four years later, the web is finally starting to come around to a somewhat standards-compliant environment. Browser manufacturers are taking note of standards, and starting to move away from proprietary implementations of code. ("Starting to," anyway). The success of a browser like Mozilla Firefox is proof of concept that standards-compliant browsing is better.

No more coding for Netscape 4!!!!

I sure don't miss it!

Blockbuster Sued Over Late Fees Claim

I knew it was too good to be true!!

Slashdot | Blockbuster Sued Over Late Fees Claim: "'CNN has a story about Blockbuster's violation of New Jersey's consumer fraud act in which they made false claims in their 'No More Late Fees' campaign. New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey filed a lawsuit today in hopes that Blockbuster would stop misleading their customers into thinking they could keep their movie rentals as long as they want without penalty.'"

A New Firefox Look

You know you love it! :) I've obviously converted my blog to a new Mozilla Firefox inspired theme. I got the idea from a template on, and modified it a bit to fit my needs. Any problems - let me know! Thanks!

Friday, February 18, 2005

McAfee Goes XHTML

SimpleBits | McAfee - "Standards-based redesigns of corporate sites are becoming so frequent, it’s amazing to just stumble upon great work while clicking around randomnly for research. Bravo to the McAfee team for embracing the good stuff. Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional, even."

What a Pig

Yahoo! News - Harvard President Releases Transcript of Remarks on Women - "Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers released a transcript Thursday of controversial remarks he made last month suggesting that women had innately lower aptitudes for math and science than men.

The transcript — posted on Summers' Harvard website — showed that in addressing a Jan. 14 conference in Cambridge, Mass., of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the university president said that intrinsic gender differences, family pressures and employer demands played a larger role in keeping women out of top-level science jobs than discrimination.

The remarks sparked protests from female scientists and others, and Summers had been under growing pressure to release the transcript.

Summers conceded in his remarks to the gathering of economists and scientists that he was being deliberately provocative.

"So my best guess, to provoke you, of what's behind all this is that the largest phenomenon, by far, is the general clash between people's legitimate family desires and employers' current desire for high power and high intensity," Summers told the audience.

"In the special case of science and engineering," he said, "there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude, and that those considerations are reinforced by what are in fact lesser factors involving socialization and continuing discrimination."

At a meeting Tuesday of about 250 undergraduate faculty members, numerous speakers criticized Summers and used his remarks about women as an indictment of his leadership and management style.

A task force on the status of women at Harvard was appointed as a result of the president's comments.

His remarks fueled an ongoing controversy at Harvard about the decline in tenured professorships for women in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which is the university's primary academic body.

The percentage of women offered tenured positions has dropped every year since Summers became president in 2001. Four of 32 tenure offers in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences were extended to women in the last academic year.

Summers has repeatedly apologized for his remarks, which he said he believed were not for general distribution.

The flap spilled over to the Yale University campus in New Haven, Conn., where more than 100 graduate students protested Thursday what they said was inequitable treatment of women.

The protesters faulted Yale President Richard Levin for not joining the presidents of Stanford, Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (news - web sites) in denouncing Summers' comments. "

Canceled Hockey Season Takes a Toll

All of hockey - both players and owners - should be ashamed of themselves. They make me sick, the whole lot of 'em.

Yahoo! News - Canceled Hockey Seasons Takes a Toll - " "I'm ashamed by what we did," Los Angeles Kings president Tim Leiweke said, invoking unusually blunt criticism of owners and players alike. "Smart people should have solved this by today."

The emotional damage from the NHL's suicide season ranges beyond the hockey faithful, and the economic destruction touches more than millionaires such as the New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr, the NHL's highest-paid player last season at $11 million; and billionaires such as Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis.

Thousands of NHL club employees' pay and work weeks were slashed when the lockout began months ago. The 500 to 1,000 seasonal workers at each arena, from popcorn poppers to Zamboni drivers, will miss up to 41 game paychecks, not counting the playoffs.

And the minimum-wage-plus-tips workers at countless hockey-dependent restaurants such as Pittsburgh's Ruddy Duck, Boston's Halftime Pizza — and yes, Detroit's Hockeytown Cafe — had their very livelihoods blindsided. [more]"

[H]ard|OCP Wins

You go, Kyle!

[H]ard|OCP - Mission Accomplished: "We set out to defend our rights by refusing to take down this article about Infinium Labs CEO Tim Roberts, and the court has awarded us final victory today. Infinium Labs and Tim Roberts cost HardOCP close to a quarter million dollars in legal fees as we stood up for our rights. We will continue to share our opinions and the facts about cheats, swindlers, and racketeers we see in our industry.

3. Plaintiffs' publication of the Article did not constitute common law libel, trade disparagement/trade libel, and/or tortious interference with a contract.

4. Plaintiffs have no liability to the Defendants...

Not bad for a website 'run by two punk kids,' one of which is the 'lowest form of life on this earth.'

It has taken almost a full year to reach this end. It has been a lengthy and costly battle. But if put in the same position again, we will gladly defend our rights to tell our readers the truth."

Cracking iTunes' DRM

With iTunes and Napster slapping each other back and forth about whose copy protection is better, it's good to remember that there will NEVER be an uncrackable music copy protection... mark my words!

infoAnarchy || QtFairUse: Cracking iTunes' DRM: "QtFairUse extracts DRM-free AAC data from a DRM'd AAC stream as it plays in the Quicktime player. A Register article describes more of the details. Note that this is not tapping the decompressed audio, but instead actually tapping the decrypted AAC data before it gets decompressed. Thus, the DRM removal process results in no loss of quality.

A few caveats: the software only works for Windows, and the dumped streams are raw AAC without headers, so they cannot be easily played. QtFairUse is not quite ready for everyday use, perhaps, but it is at least a proof of concept.

This serves as another example of why 'uncrackable' DRM in the real world is a ridiculous idea. If the sound plays through your speakers, it must exist in decrypted form somewhere in your computer's data path. If it exists in decrypted form, you can tap it and extract the decrypted data."

Go Daddy to Issue SSL Certificates to Open Source Projects Free of Charge

Good stuff. I'm a reseller for Go Daddy and have used them for years in my web development pursuits. Nice to see them furthering the open source cause.

Go Daddy to Issue SSL Certificates to Open Source Projects 'Free of Charge': "The Go Daddy Group, Inc., parent company of, the No. 1 registrar of domain names, announced today that it will issue its Turbo SSL Certificate to bona-fide open source software projects -- at no cost. 'Open source' software projects allow software developers free access to underlying software code, as well as the ability to read, redistribute, and modify the source code.

Go Daddy has already issued its first free SSL Certificate to binarycloud, an open source project focused on application framework and development environments for creating large-scale PHP applications. The Turbo SSL certificates which Go Daddy will issue to open source projects -- a $29.95 value -- are issued within minutes, have 99% browser recognition, and provide 128-bit Web server security -- the highest level of encryption available on the market today. Learn more about Go Daddy's no-charge initiative for the open source community at [more]"

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Standalone IE Coming This Summer

Standalone IE Coming This Summer - While details are still scant, Microsoft today announced that it will be releasing a standalone version of Internet Explorer this summer. This is a drastic reversal of Microsoft’s stated intention to cease developing IE as a standalone product—and one that will have standards advocates biting their fingernails with trepidation. Is this new browser simply a high-profile security patch, in an attempt to assure users that IE can provide them with a safe browsing experience? Or can we finally expect more robust support for such web standards as CSS?

Cancel your summer vacations, folks—we just might have a few months of browser testing ahead of us.

Sunday, February 13, 2005 PHP Active Calendar

This looks like a promising little PHP class. For all of the trouble I've had in the past implementing nice looking PHP-based event calendars, I look forward to the chance to try this one out. Project details for Active Calendar: "Active Calendar is a PHP class that generates calendars (month or year view) as HTML tables (XHTML-Valid). It can produce static calendars without any links or calendars with navigation controls, a date picker control, event days and content with event URLs, and linkable days (optionally URL or Javascript). The layout can be configured using CSS, and JavaScript is not required. The supported dates (on systems using a 32-bit signed integer Unix time_t) are: 1902-2037 (Unix) and 1971-2037 (Windows), when using the default PHP native date functions, and 100-3000 and later, when using the ADOdb Date Library."

Microsoft Promises: Longhorn beta by June

Microsoft Promisses: Longhorn beta by June - "Microsoft is targeting a June release for Beta 1 of Longhorn, the next major Windows client release. That news came from John Montgomery, a director in Microsoft's developer division, during an interview taken at the VSLive conference in San Francisco.

An early version might also be made available at the WinHEC 2005 (Windows Hardware Engineering Conference), which is held from April 25-27 in Seattle. Last year, build 4074 was made available at WinHEC 2004, but since then, changes to Longhorn have been announced by Microsoft affecting the core of the Operating System. [more]"

Browser Speed Comparisons

Slashdot | Browser Speed Comparisons: "Internet browser speed tests for 'cold starts', 'warm starts', rendering CSS, rendering tables, script execution, displaying multiple images and 'history'. 'Opera seems to be the fastest browser for Windows. Firefox is not faster than Internet Explorer, except for scripting, but for standards support, security and features, it is a better choice.'"

Firefox may only win speed awards for its script processing, but the use of tabbed navigation and Firefox's wonderful mouse gestures makes my personal experience with the browser much more speedy than using Internet Explorer. And with the reduced number of times I have to reload the browser due to crashing (as I used to do so often with IE), I've saved a ton of time right there.

To me, increased productivity = speed, too!

Napster To Campaign Aggressively Against iPod

I love this idea - being one of those people who can't afford (or chooses not to afford) to pay the ridiculous amounts of money being charged for iPods. I'd gladly buy a cheaper portable player and sign up with Napster! I thought Napster's Super Bowl commercial with the price comparison vs. iPod was very effective. It's got me thinking about buying a Napster-compatible player!

Slashdot | Napster To Campaign Aggressively Against iPod: "Forbes reports that Napster plans an aggressive marketing campaign against Apple's iPod as part of its subscription service full launch later this quarter. Napster's service uses Microsoft's Janus technology to enable DRM protected music files 'bought' through subscription services to be transferred from a PC to a portable music player. Napster CEO Chris Gorog said the company is betting heavily that their monthly 'all you can eat' subscription service will win the battle for online digital music services, claiming, 'It's exactly what consumers want to do. Napster To Go is very similar to the P2P experience.' He believes the best way to market the service is to emphasize its advantages over iTunes and its iPod-only compatibility. 'We're going to be communicating to people that it's stupid to buy an iPod.' Maybe I'm too old to get it, but I fail to see the attraction of paying a monthly fee for as long as I want to have access to my music.' Of course, if Napster To Go supported iPod, they'd have a much larger install base to convince to use their service, instead of still pleading people to buy a portable player with compatible DRM installed."

Opera Claims Microsoft Has Poor Interoperability

Slashdot | Opera Claims Microsoft Has Poor Interoperability: "Opera CTO Hakon Lie has countered the claims that Bill Gates made regarding Microsoft's superior interoperability last week. He points out their invalid webpages, MS's unwillingness to serve the same content to different browsers, IE's poor CSS support, tardy documentation and limitations of their XML format, and more.' From the article: 'You say you believe in interoperability. Why then, did you terminate the Web Core Fonts initiative you started in 1996? You deserve credit for starting it, but why close down a project which could have given you yet much good will? (Verdana sucks, but Georgia is beautiful!)"

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Yahoo! betas! toolbar! for! Firefox!

Yahoo! betas! toolbar! for! Firefox! | The Register: "Yahoo! has released a beta toolbar for the Mozilla Firefox browser. You can download the Windows version here. The net giant is to release MacOS and Linux flavours 'shortly'.

The toolbar includes bookmarks and customs sites, 'search this site', search history, 'translate this page', courtesy of Babelfish, notifications when Yahoo! Mail arrive, an RSS subs button for My Yahoo!, etc. etc.

So not exactly earth-shattering, but this a nice pat on the back for Firefox and the Mozilla Foundation, and removes one barrier to switching from Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Press release here."

Symantec Antivirus May Execute Virus Code

Slashdot | Symantec Antivirus May Execute Virus Code: "'Symantec has admitted that a serious vulnerability exists in the way its scanning engine handles Ultimate Packer for Executables. According to a ZDNet article, this means the scanner would execute the malicious program instead of catching it. Tim Hartman, senior technical director for Symantec Asia Pacific, said: 'A vulnerability is not a vulnerability till somebody discovers it but because this is now known, somebody could craft an e-mail, mass mailer or a virus that takes advantage of it. It affects our firewalls, antispam, all the retail products and the enterprise products as well'' Symantec recommends you immediately patch your software."

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

How Google Maps Works

All you web programming geeks out there - check this out. A very nice write-up on the technologies and methods used by the new Google Maps app. Good stuff!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

New Super-CPU

The Laporte Report - "Watch out Intel and AMD. Forget the G5. IBM, Sony and Toshiba unveiled details yesterday of a new microprocessor that contains the equivalent of eight CPU cores around a central coordinating core based on PowerPC. The Cell processor, in development since 2001, starts at over 4 gigahertz, has nearly twice the transistors of the Pentium 4 and can deliver 10 times the performance. Look for it in the new Sony Playstation 3, TVs from Toshiba, and IBM high-end workstation computers coming later this year. Apparently there are several operating systems already running on the Cell in the labs, including Linux. With its PowerPC heritage, it shouldn’t be hard to port OS X to it - now that would be a killer product."

Google Maps to Rival Mapquest

Slashdot | Google Launches Mapping Service: "The beta version of Google Maps is now online, offering an alternative to Mapquest with what some might describe as a very much improved user interface, offering a cleaner layout, drop shadows, clickable waypoints and keyboard controls that allow you to move and zoom the map. For IE and Firefox/Mozilla at this point (no Safari or Opera support, as yet)."

phpBB Site Cracked, Developers Locked Out

Netcraft: phpBB Site Cracked, Developers Locked Out: "The server hosting the main site for the phpBB bulletin board has been cracked, leaving the development team locked out of its primary server. The open source project's web site was compromised using a vulnerability in a separate program, AWStats, which was announced Jan. 17 and has also been used to hack several popular weblogs in recent days.

The site blamed the intrusion on 'a group of politically motivated hackers' wishing to publicize an agenda. 'While the group who did this say they changed only a single password, we have lost all access to the server, ' the team states. 'This means we cannot access the system even in single user mode.' The compromised server is being shipped from the project's data center to its server manager, meaning the site is unlikely to be restored immediately. [more]"

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Go Daddy Ad Rejected by Fox

Netcraft: Go Daddy Doubles Super Bowl Ads, Has One Rejected by Fox: "Domain registrar Go Daddy has decided to purchase a second ad during next Sunday's Super Bowl, for an overall $4.8 million investment in 60 seconds worth of air time. But the advertisement Go Daddy submitted for its second 30-second slot was rejected by the Fox Network, according to a weblog post by CEO Bob Parsons.

Go Daddy will instead use the newly-purchased ad slot - to appear in the final minutes of the game - to repeat a first-half ad, which has already been approved by Fox. Go Daddy will make the rejected ad available on its web site Monday, apparently hoping to get additional publicity from Internet buzz, and leaving skeptics to wonder whether the 'rejection' was a strategic ploy to gain extra mileage from the Super Bowl investment. [more]"