O'Reilly Hacks

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 04/02/2003 - 21:39

Sorry for the lack of news lately - I've been hard at work on other parts of the site. Too bad most changes I made aren't even noticeable unless you know what to look for...

Anyway, I have a few new articles for everyone. To kick things off, I wanted to mention the new O'Reilly Hacks Series of books. Each book in the series contain 100 hacks, or "tools, tips, and tricks that help users solve problems." I just bought Linux Server Hacks and Google Hacks, and so far I'm quite impressed. Well worth checking out if you're looking for some new reading material.

LegRoom.net Theme Updates

Submitted by jbreland on Sat, 03/29/2003 - 19:28

I'm currently in the middle of updating the LegRoom.net theme, as well as updating the layout of the home page. Although the theme looks almost identical at the moment, I've made extensive changes on the backend, reimplimenting it with another theme system that will make updates and modifications much easier in the future.

However, as a result of the changes, there are still a few minor problem with page layout, colors, etc. If you notice any such problems with the site, please let me know. Also feel free to send any feedback or ideas for improvement.

In the meantime, please bear with me while I complete this transition. Thanks.

Dell Takes the Low Road Regarding Ink Cartridges

Submitted by jbreland on Fri, 03/28/2003 - 21:52

This is an update to the story below. Dell includes a hardware sensor that detects refilled ot 3rd-party ink cartridges, and refuses to allow use of them. So, either buy a separate printer, or expect to pay out of the ass for ink cartridges for your Dell printer.

For more information , see the Slashdot post or the original Yahoo article

Dell Offers Self-Branded Printer Line

Submitted by jbreland on Tue, 03/25/2003 - 10:32

Apparently, all of the year+ old rumors are true - Dell will begin selling its own printer line next week. According to C|Net, Dell has two goals in mind: boost it's own sales, and hurt archrival HP. HP, you might remember, snubbed Dell last year when the rumors of a Dell-branded printer line first surfaced. Dell, it seems, is still rather pissed about that.

This move, combined with their decision to begin selling Dell-branded PDAs last fall, makes for some interesting times at Dell.

You can read the full article here:
http://news.com.com/2100-1041-993750.html?tag=lh

Mozilla Minotaur Project Formally Launched

Submitted by jbreland on Tue, 03/25/2003 - 08:47

Most fans of the Mozilla web browser suite are probably aware of Phoenix, the lightweight, cross-platform browser heavily based on Mozilla's code. Phoenix supports the same web standards as Mozilla, but it has a much smaller memory footprint due to it's stripped-down codebase, lack of integrated mail client, etc.

Well, here's more good news for speed-happy or low-end hardware users - Minotaur. Designed with the same goals as Phoenix, this will be a lightweight, cross-platform mail client based heavily on the Mozilla Mail code. You can read additional details in this usenet post, or on the project homepage.

I just want to also say that, although I personally prefer the standard Mozilla suite, this is a good thing. Older machines especially will benefit from this, as well as anyone that's put-off by Mozilla's sometimes long startup times (due to the fact that, unlike another web browser, it's not loaded as part of the OS).

Office Depot to Only Sell 'Designed for Windows XP' Products

Submitted by jbreland on Mon, 03/24/2003 - 17:07

In an amazingly stupid move, Office Depot has decided to only sell Designed for Windows XP certified hardware and software.

"Please be aware that Office Depot is immediately requiring all products that connect to a Personal Computer ... must pass these Designed for Windows XP logo requirements to be considered for retail distribution through our stores.... Products must be certified as Designed for Windows XP by May 30, 2003."

This is undoubtedly due to pressure by Microsoft to extend their monopoly even further, this time to retail shelf space!? If a retail chain as large as Office Depot bows to their pressure, you can guarantee that they'll only increase the pressure on other distributers to drop non-MS certified products. Hopefully, other retailers will have more backbone and common sense than Office Deopt, who has just landed themselves on my boycott list.

Read below for more information, including the press release:

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=8472

Human Error Is Greatest Security Risk

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 03/19/2003 - 15:11

According a new security survey released by the Computing Technology Industry Association, human error, rather than technology, is the most significant cause of security breaches.

Of course, anyone that's worked in the security field can certainly tell you this. Social Engineering, anyone?

More info can be found at the PCWorld article below:

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,109872,00.asp

The Ultimate Lock-In

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 03/19/2003 - 11:17

I just read an intersting article on osOpinion about the Microsoft's file format lock-in tactics. Basically, it discusses Microsoft's current dominiation of the Office Suite environment, how it is largely due to their proprietary file formats that prevent people from switching to other suites (hence the term "lock-in"), and where this is headed in the next versions of Office and even Windows. Hint: It's not good.

The bottom line is that now is the time to begin looking at and switching to alternatives. I recommend OpenOffice to get started. You can and should read the full story below.

http://www.osopinion.com/perl/story/20982.html#story-start

phpMap 0.1 Released

Submitted by jbreland on Mon, 03/17/2003 - 08:43

This is a late announcement here, but phpMap 0.1 was released a couple weeks ago. Why am I announcing it here? Becuase it's my project! What does it do? It's an online, php-based map program. Right now it's still in very basic form (it only allows image zooming and navigation), but in the future it will also include location recognition, database tie-ins to retreive additional information, location pinpointing, a menu-based navigation system, etc.

For more information, see the phpMap web page. To see it in action, check out the Ole Miss Campus Map. Remember, though, that most of the features in the Campus Map are not currently present in phpMap.