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Friday, August 22, 2008

Outlook 2007 Security Alert - Exchange

A customer e-mailed today about an Outlook Security Alert that was showing up on one of their workstations. I used Remote Desktop to log in to the PC to check on the error.Since this was one of my customers using my hosted Exchange service I first checked the certificate to make sure it was from our Exchange provider. It looked fine, so I clicked the 'Yes' option and all worked well. The problem was that the alert box still came back each time they open Outlook. After a few minutes away from the issue, I realized that the problem must be in the Outlook settings because we're not using encryption and shouldn't need a certificate at all. I reconnected with the PC and went to the 'Security' tab in the account settings, unchecked the 'Encrypt data....' box and the warning went away and stayed away.I know there are lots of different causes and solutions to this but most are related to the Exchange Server setup. Since this is a hosted service, the best solution was a quick fix on the client...

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Advanta Bank - credit card - rate increase

I guess blogs tend to evolve. This is supposed to be a technical site but sometimes one just needs a soapbox to shout from and vent some frustrations. Here's one now.I just received a notice from Advanta Bank that my interest rate will be going up next month. When I signed up for this account, I was offered a fixed annual rate of 7.99%. The new rate is going to be 22.59% plus variable rate index. According to Advanta, The Variable Rate Index for any billing cycle is chosen by us from among the London Interbank Offered Rates (LIBORs) published int the Wall Street Journal's Money Rates section during the three (3) months prior to the month which contains that billing cycle's Billing Cycle Closing Date. So I'm figuring they can pick the highest of the past 3 months and add that to the 22.59% and (based on a quick Internet search) that is about 3%.So, 7.99% to 25.59%. My first thought was that I had misread the notice and that it must be for default accounts or special advances or someone...

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Spam - CNN - MSNBC

This new wave of spam with the fake headlines and lists from CNN and MSNBC are really odd. I don't know how they've managed to get thru most spam filters but it just occurred to me how to track down the culprits.I noticed that the two news networks that are used in the headlines are pretty well known for their liberal bias. Also, the fake headlines usually allude to some spectacular mis-deeds by President Bush or John McCain.My conclusion? It's a right-wing conspiracy to keep all the liberals so busy reading e-mail messages and trying to remove viruses that they won't have time to vote on November 5th. 

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Page Translation - Language

Have you tried adding translation to your web sites?I added it to my blog a few days ago (it's on the nav bar to the right) and am really impressed with the results. Since I know Dutch, I tried that first and it looks like it does a nice job of getting the translation close enough to read and understand. I have a few web customers that may be able to benefit from this as well.Please test it on my blog and let me know how it works in various languages.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Pop-up blockers - toolbars - bundled software

I hate pop-up blockers. I've had three calls this week from clients that could not access certain web functions. They thought that either the web sites or their browsers were malfunctioning. All cases were solved by turning off pop-up blockers and/or uninstalling the toolbars that include pop-up blockers. It's not too difficult  to get users to turn off the built-in pop-up blocker with IE7 but when they also have ones from Google, Yahoo, Verizon etc. it can get a little tricky to help them by  phone.I've found that most people don't even realize that they have these toolbars. They often come bundled with other software and even when it's an optional add-on, the default setting is usually to opt in. Once the toolbar is installed, the default setting for most is to block pop-ups. So, a typical user that is downloading some useful software and just clicks 'OK' or 'Next' without un-checking and resetting anything ends up with pop-ups being blocked and not knowing why. All they...

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