# Thursday, 03 February 2005

I have 10 Gmail invites sitting in my inbox right now. Place a comment if you want access to the promised land :)

posted on Thursday, 03 February 2005 21:21:19 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I’ve always found the MSDN webcasts to contain great information but I’ve always had a hard time getting at them. Not a problem any more as there is now a ASS feed available for upcoming webcasts. Be sure to subscribe today.

More details are available in the MSDN Events and Webcasts Developer Center Launches today post on the MSDN Webcasts Weblog.

posted on Thursday, 03 February 2005 21:17:47 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Every single .NET blogger out there has pointed out that Enterprise Library 1.0 was released some days ago. It’s an interesting release which bundles some of the existing application blocks together in a symbiotic package:

  • Caching Application Block. This application block allows developers to incorporate a local cache in their applications.
  • Configuration Application Block. This application block allows applications to read and write configuration information.
  • Data Access Application Block. This application block allows developers to incorporate standard database functionality in their applications.
  • Cryptography Application Block. This application block allows developers to include encryption and hashing functionality in their applications.
  • Exception Handling Application Block. This application block allows developers and policy makers to create a consistent strategy for processing exceptions that occur throughout the architectural layers of enterprise applications.
  • Logging and Instrumentation Application Block. This application block allows developers to incorporate standard logging and instrumentation functionality in their applications.
  • Security Application Block. This application block allows developers to incorporate security functionality in their applications. Applications can use the application block in a variety of situations, such as authenticating and authorizing users against a database, retrieving role and profile information, and caching user profile information.

Notoriously missing is the User Interface Process application block which should be included in a future release.

What immediately springs to mind (for me at least) is, “what is going to happen to the existing blocks?”. The answer can be found in the message board for the Enterprise Library workspace on GotDotNet where Tom Hollander says,

As blocks get incorporated into Enterprise Library, the old versions will become deprecated. We'll most likely keep them available online as archived versions for a period of time, but we'll be recommending Enterprise Library for new development. This won't have any impact on the blocks from a support perspective - our blocks are supported by Microsoft Support Services at the source code level, so you will be able to continue to get support for the old blocks once Enterprise Library is available.

So basically you must use the Enterprise Library rather than the application blocks themselves. I think that is an important point which isn’t readily available unless you do a little digging.

Guidmaster points out three articles for getting started with the new release:

The articles are all from @baz’ blog where even more information can be found.

posted on Thursday, 03 February 2005 15:16:08 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I’m not talking about satan here but rather about the spammers of the world looking to make a buck on the gullible people out there. I’ve been hit by referral spam en masse, luckily my upgrade to dasBlog 1.7 put some measures in place for me to use in this event. It’s getting pretty bad on the spamming side when time is spent on referral spamming a site like mine with my rather low visitor count. Ah well.

Comment spam is pretty much solved in dasBlog 1.7 by use of the CAPTCHA system but referral spam is still a problem. I thought I’d point you to the MT-Blacklist/Comment Spam Clearinghouse where I among other things found an updated Movable Type blacklist file for dasBlog.

posted on Thursday, 03 February 2005 08:32:14 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 27 January 2005

I’ve been trying to branch out from the mostly technical blogs I read  because I really don’t want to be that kind of person who knows about only one thing, and also I want to stimulate my brain into using different patterns as I’m sure that the end result will that I’ll do better at what I do on a day to day basis.

One of the blogs I found through Robert Scoble’s link blog: Creating Passionate Users. I’ve been reading it regularly ever since the first post I stumbled across. Every post is simply a little nugget of gold, very well written, and very interesting. Each post is rather long and not really suited for skimming as the topic often requires you to reflect on the content which is a very good thing as most blog entries tend to be a little on the short side and often not very well thought out (kind of like every post found here actually :)). Take this last post “Most classroom learning sucks” detailing what can be done in order to further intellectual growth in schools, great post with a great story to back up the point of the post.

posted on Thursday, 27 January 2005 10:58:36 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 26 January 2005

A quick rant about people insisting on naming all their links here, e.g. More information about product available here. Don’t you just hate that? Why won’t people put some descriptive text in their links?! Not only does it help the page rank on Google as described in my post The Black Art of Google Optimizations, it also helps blind people as well which is an even better reason to do it.

In order to further the movement I hereby declare this day hence forth the:

“PUT SOME DESCRIPTIVE TEXT IN YOUR HYPERLINKS PEOPLE!”-day.

posted on Wednesday, 26 January 2005 09:25:14 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 24 January 2005
Need a schema for RSS 2.0 XML? Look no further Jorgen Thelin has got what you need.
posted on Monday, 24 January 2005 15:15:23 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I do blog reading both at home and at work as I’m sure many other people do as well. Or that is what I would like to do but I have around 200 feeds which I like to follow and I just don’t want to spend the time at home checking up on feeds I already read at work. I’m adopting a world view where time is the only real currency, and I really don’t want to spend any more of it managing the information flow than I already am. Thus I thought that I would shop around for services providing read synchronisation for my feeds, with the advent of online aggregator services like Bloglines and NewsGator Online I figured that there would be no problem finding what I was looking for.

How wrong I was.

FeedDemon is an aggregator client where support for both Bloglines and Newsgator Online Services was recently announced so my guess was that this would be the best place to start. Sadly I found a comment from Nick Bradbury who said,

Joost, the way it works is that FeedDemon only downloads items you haven't already read in Bloglines, and when an item is downloaded in FeedDemon, it's marked as read in Bloglines. We considered one-to-one item synching, so that an item isn't marked read in Bloglines until you've actually read it in FeedDemon, but the added bandwidth consumption and performance cost didn't make this worthwhile, IMO.”.

I simply don’t agree with that statement. In this day and age where personal time is getting increasingly hard to come by, synchronisation is exactly the kind of thing which saves time by enabling people to access their information when they need it without having to think about where they access it from, or what they accessed so they can keep their home or office information up to date as well. The scenario is easily handled by IT and yet Nick Bradbury claims that the is no point in enabling it; why oh why should the user spend valuable time synchronising data?! I just don’t get it.

Microsoft recently announced the Microsoft Office Outlook Live service which I think goes to show that I’m not the only one thinking about this out there. Microsoft believes that people want to access their data wherever they are and they want their data to be as up to date as possible. I personally believe that it is only a matter of time before we see initiatives like synchronising music, video, and other large data stores. If not the entire data store then usage statistics such as play count, last played, play lists, and so forth for starters.

 

posted on Monday, 24 January 2005 15:07:26 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 22 January 2005

Looks like something broke when I updated the site to version 1.7. I am no longer able to post images using the MetaWeblog API even from SauceReader which worked beautifully before the update. Two things might be the source for the problem: Either I missed some folder security settings when I updated to version 1.7 or changes were made to the exposed posting API in version 1.7.

I started a thread on the new SourceForge site for dasBlog which you can follow if you have further interest in the issue. An answer will probably be forthcoming in a short while or so I hope.

posted on Saturday, 22 January 2005 17:41:45 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

So I found out what lies behind of the killer feature of SauceReader: The ability to post images using the webservices exposed by dasBlog. The answer is that SauceReader uses the MetaWeblog API which dasBlog supports apparently.

I learned today that BlogJet supports this API too so this post is a test for just that. Should this succeed BlogJet will officially be my favorite blog posting tool of all time.

IMG_6637-retouch

posted on Saturday, 22 January 2005 16:55:42 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 21 January 2005

For me the killer feature of dasBlog isn’t the anti spam function for comments or any of the technical stuff like improved performance. No for me it’s the fact that I’m now able to see referral statistics for past dates. Although I keep this blog for myself as place to put stuff which I will need later, I also get a thrill out of knowing that people do in fact read what I write here.

Let’s face it most people are attention whores and want some kind of recognition for the stuff that they do. Oh and when I type “they”, I really should type “me” :) In my opinion even more statistics are needed because it keeps me interested in doing this. It forces me to post the stuff I find useful which does two things: 1) Makes the stuff available for later use by myself, and more importantly 2) Makes the stuff available for other people.

Takes for example my post about Problems Connection To Hotmail Through Router. It was a pretty hard case to crack and stuff like that would for my part be forgotten once dealt with. I know of at least two people who benefited from me posting about my solution to the problem which really makes this stuff worth doing. Knowing that I helped two people dealing with a difficult hardware issue makes me want to add even more stuff here.

Helping other people makes me feel great, you can too.

posted on Friday, 21 January 2005 15:05:24 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Optimising web pages for the best possible page rank on Google is quite the black art. I really had no idea of how much time and effort that goes into this. It is of course understandable but a whole business has sprung up around it.

Not knowing where to start when I first needed to know something about the subject I of course consulted Google and got a couple of tidbits here and a couple tidbits there but never something I could call a true reference.

I wish I had known about SSW Rules to Better Google Rankings from the start. It’s a great resource with a completeness to it which I haven’t seen to date.

There are several other guides available on the site. I know I will be looking closely at a couple of them in the future :) Guides like Rules to successful projects, Rules to Better .NET projects, and Rules to Better code are sure to be of value to me.

posted on Friday, 21 January 2005 14:41:09 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I finally caved and bought BlogJet 1.5. Actually I was pretty happy with SauceReader which I have been plugging heavily in the past but the few annoyances it has finally made me pay for what seems to be a quality piece of software according to what I read on my various subscribed blogs.

The main reason why I chose to replace SauceReader with BlogJet is that I could never count on SauceReader to work. Frequently I would get weird errors with the final straw being a Javascript error. Also the speed of the application is something I’ve mentioned before, although it took a great step forward in that department with version 1.10 but it’s still not what I would call a super responsive app.

The only feature I know I will be missing from SauceReader is the ability to post images to my blog using the Movable Type API which SauceReader supports. Guess I’ll have to do some lobbying to get the BlogJet people to add that particular feature :)

posted on Friday, 21 January 2005 14:21:37 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Scott Hanselman and Shanine Omar both announced the availability of newtelligence dasBlog Community Edition 1.7.5016.1 today which among other things includes a CAPTCHA anti spam function. The upgrade to version 1.7 is not just XCOPY as we are used to instead you need to run an upgrade tool which upgrades the XML storage files in the /content folder. Anyway I went ahead and upgraded the site but some stuff is still kinda funky so please let me know if you come across any weirdness other than my writing on the site :)

Shanine mentions some of his favorite new features:

  • All the search bot referrals to your site are "pretty printed" in your logs
  • CAPTCHA for entering comments
  • MovableType Blacklist and Content based Blacklist for visitors to the site
  • <%referrallistfiltered()%>Macro that will shrink the number of referrals displayed in the Permalink and expose the rest using Javascript and css.
  • Performance
  • Lots of smart Caching
  • Trackbacks/Pingbacks work reliably.
posted on Friday, 21 January 2005 08:49:38 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, 17 January 2005

This is a post about a the Danish banks collecting a small fee for each transaction made with the national credit card even though they years ago made a promise to the consumers that no such fee would ever need to be collected.

Skal bankerne have lov til drive gæk med den almindelige dansker, igen!?
Mens de spinder guld på et helt igennem uretfærdigt og ubegrundet gebyr.
 
Siger du også NEJ! har du nu chancen for at blive en del af en fuldt ud lovlig og fredelig landsdækkende protestaktion, der skal få bankerne på bedre tanker.
 
Dankortet sparer bankerne for millioner af kundebetjeninger årligt, det er åbenbart ikke hvad de ønsker. Derfor skal vi alle gå i banken og hæve 88,75 kr, så tit vi kan.
 
Hvorfor 88,75 kr? Fordi det er en 25 øre, 50 øre, 1 kr, 2 kr, 5 kr, 10 kr, 20 kr og en halvtredser. Den absolut vanskeligste udbetaling og et maksimalt pres på deres kontantbeholdningen.
 
Torsdag d. 27. januar er en mærkedag i aktionen, her opfordres alle til at møde op i banken og hæve de famøse 88 kr og 75 øre.
 
Vær med i en aktion der vil skabe historie!
 
For at deltage i den landsdækkende protestaktion skal du altså blot gøre følgende:
 
1
.
     Så ofte som muligt gå i banken og hæv 88,75 kr.
2.      Alle der har mulighed for det går i banken og hæver 88,75 kr, torsdag d. 27. januar 2005.
3.
     Send denne mail til så mange folk som muligt på din kontaktliste.

posted on Monday, 17 January 2005 15:33:09 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [4] Trackback
# Friday, 07 January 2005

Microsoft just covered another one of the security bases with the acquisition of GIANT's anti spyware solution which is now available for free from the MS website.

I installed it and found it very nice, it even found a couple of spyware programs which Adware had missed. The one feature to rule them all is the background protection feature which is kind of like a firewall for spyware. This piece of software is going on my parent's computer ASAP :)

Download Microsoft Windows Antispyware.

posted on Friday, 07 January 2005 08:37:58 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Kathy Sierra makes some very interesting points about why we get bored during a lecture and why we are much better at keeping out concentration during a conversation. Good stuff to keep in mind especially if you're writing stuff for others :)

Oh yeah, happy new year!

posted on Friday, 07 January 2005 08:27:48 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback