Seriously, there's a major security hole in Internet Explorer that also opens up vulnerabilities in other browsers. Even if you rarely if ever use IE, you need to secure your system if you're running Windows. If you don't know how to, Yahoo! Tech has a handy guide. It's fairly major, several popular websites have been hijacked, one well known webcomic artist got infected while looking at his own comic. MS normally only patch at scheduled times, for them to rush something out this quickly is almost unheard of:
Acting with record speed, Microsoft has issued a patch for the just-announced security flaw that impacts all recent versions of Internet Explorer, from version 5 to the latest betas of IE 8. The next security update had not been due from the company until January 13, making this a very rare occurrence.
Most scary? Up until now, I had thought Opera was a pretty good browser, it's certainly nice to use. It appears though that Opera was subject to the same vulnerabilities as it uses the same XML renderer memory buffer as IE. No, I don't really understand that bit either. So Opera gets downgraded.

If you're still using Internet Explorer for your browsing, really, it's NOT SAFE. No browser is completely secure, but IE is part of the core operating system of Windows, and when there are unpatched exploits, the attack can get directly into Windows itself. By far the safest way to browse[1] is with Firefox, and it's probably tied after that between Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome. Opera remains a groundbreaking bit of software, but if the default behaviour is still to pretend to be IE and also open up vulnerabilities regardless, it isn't as good as it should be.

For the full security shield, Firefox has plugins such as Flashblock, Adblock and NoScript that really do push it to the top. At the very least, Flashblock stops system hogging flash from hijacking your browsing unless you want it to, it's the first thing I install after Fx on a new machine. Always.

Another part of this vulnerability involved Adobe's Acrobat Reader. PDFs are, unfortunately, now a part of life, and there are still many many idiots that put their PDFs online and think they've got a decent web presence. Given this, the PDF download plugin for Firefox is essential, and switching to a much faster and less system intensive reader (I use Foxit) for your default PDF setup is probably a good plan as well.
[1] I'm ignoring text only and other lite browsers such as Lynx here, just talking about normal, standard plays YouTube vids and looks normal browsers.
Righty ho, backing up my firefox profile again, so as usual all my current extensions, some of them are just pointless unfortunately, and I've still not got around to installing some of those recommended to me. Ah well, completely clean profile on the machine I'm migrating to, will pick and choose as per usual.
The usual long list )
Did I call it or what?
Mozilla has decided to try to set a world record for most software downloads in 24 hours when they release Fx3. Can their download network handle it? Anyone got any odds?
Well done guys, your servers can't handle the load. Nice well planned marketing stunt annoying your most committed users. Have some screenshots:
firefox downloadday firefox worldrecord
firefox downloadday
Screenshot from the download site—note it's Fx2 and the link to 'sneak preview' allows me to DL RC3
firefox worldrecord
The spreadfirefox worldrecord news page. Completely dead.

Isn't that nice? I can't get to the site. Or, if I get there, I go to an old version that won't let me DL. Lovely. Is it just me?
[Poll #1206456]
Completely unsorted unformatted list from my extension list dumper, I'll probably go back and edit this into something more coherent later but I need the data posted somewhere so here it is:
Complete dump of firefox extensions, for previous lists see the tag )Those marked disabled don't work (yet) with Firefox 3—hopefully they will when it comes out of beta.
Yesterday, I had two posts I was planning to make at some point. Then my shiny new work laptop arrived, but it wouldn't stay online for more than 5 minutes and fixing it took me ages. But in another attack of shared brain[1], [info]Debi's done very similar to what I meant to do, so go read:

The former is a linkdump of Firefox extensions redone, I need to do one anyway to transfer to my new laptop so that'll happen. The latter is a how-to on linkspamming sharing with delicious and crossposting them to your blog (works anywhere but LJ needs some extra tweaks), but also has a how-to on using and/or hiding LoudTwitter posts. I really like the utility of the latter and like reading them, and dislike it when people cut them as I can't just scan past, but I know others dislike them intensely so if you do you might find it useful.

Anyway, the rest can wait, I have some campaigning to go do. Go vote people, especially in London (and remember, the GLA list vote really matters, unfortunately).

[1] Debi has a habit of posting stuff as I'm thinking about the same thing, and we share a lot of "oh, cool trick" stuff anyway. Jennie, OTOH, has scary freaky same-as-me opinions on a lot of stuff, and we sometimes make the same comment at the same time in various places. So if you're missing my longer informed posts, I hope I'll get over the block that seems to mean I lack inspiration or inclination, but in the meantime reading [ profile] innerbrat, Jennie's [ profile] theyorkshergob or my old housemate and third "shared brain" unfortunate [ profile] paulatpingu wouldn't do you any harm.
Quickie: About a year ago there was a cool [ profile] lj_nifty[1] post about easily adding feeds to an LJ friends page using Firefox. I linkspammed it but the walkthrough I meant to write never happened. Today, [ profile] andrewducker has written such a walkthrough and made it seem even easier:
1) open a tab and type about:config in the address bar.
2) type ContentHandlers in the filter box.
3) Choose one of the feeds you don't use (Yahoo, for instance).
4) Replace the Title with "Livejournal"
5) Replace the uri with
6) Shut down Firefox and restart.
7) Done!
Combine that with the screenshot on the Nifty post and that, Firefox and a paid account is all you really need. This has of course prompted me to finally getting around to doing that in the config file for this laptop, really ought to start cataloguing all my little hacks and tricks for whenever I switch machines semi-permanently.

On that subject, can anyone remember what you change to turn off that annoying "taking too long to respond" error page and replace it with the pop-up error box that doesn't lose the content you have managed to load? (Our wireless is being a bit flaky on occasions, most annoying).
[1][ profile] lj_nifty is a fairly quiet comm for sharing little tricks and tweaks to make LJ work better, normally fairly user-friendly.
Well, see, the problem with constantly switching PCs is...

I'm spending most of this week on a different computer, but will want to be doing some web developement, so posted mostly for my reference, the addons that I've got installed on the work laptop (which I use for personal stuff when I'm travelling, etc as well):

Dumped list from Extension List Dumper )
Of the above, I continue to strongly recommend [ profile] ljaddons, programmed by a Russian, but now does everything LJ Hook does, plus some things other extensions do, plus some things I've not seen elsewhere, and very very customisable.
[ profile] innerbrat lists her favourite Firefox extensions, and asks:
How have you customised your Firefox? Which add-ons have you used, how have you altered them, and what couldn't you do without?
So I thought I'd do a follow up to my firefox extensions post and list all those not listed there by me that I'm currently losing. A fair few of these (especially Colorzilla and Submit to Tab) are great little tricks that you guys told me about int he comments, others I've just added as I go along. I now have FAR TOO MANY extensions, and am likely to dump some, and split others off into a separate profile full of development tools and not use them for geeral browsing. And, unfortunately, LJ Login clashes with [ profile] deepestsender currently, so given I rarely if ever use my other accounts I have it disabled.

List of firefox extensions )
As before, are to wherever the developer says they're based. If they don't link to a download page, blame them, not me, but you can search Mozdev by name to find em if you want them. Back to IB:
I want you guys to do the same with your Firefox.
OK, this is weird. Earlier today, [ profile] nhw linked to a news story about a lecture he was giving. The article was at Northern Ireland News. Nothing odd about any of that of course, it's the site itself that's odd. Why? The favicon. Here's a screenshot:

From the left: Gmail, my LJ friends page, NI news, a MySpace blog, a TypePad blog, Harry's Place and an LJ entry[1]. All in my nicely themed up Firefox. Now, note the favicon used for NI News. Yup, it's the Internet Explorer logo. Now, favicons are fairly new, IE itself only began supporting them properly with IE7. They require specific coding into a site, and normally you have to create a specific ICO file. So why have the web developers of NI news specifically programmed in the IE logo for their favicon? How daft is that?

Until recently, most people that would have seen it would have been non-IE users. And for those of you using IE, you might not quite understand how, well, insulting it is to see that damned logo in, quite frankly, better software. Weird. *goes to find an email address on their site*

ETA: The site has now been updated and the favicon removed, I've been asked not to give out the explanation I was given.

[1] Yes, I did specifically choose a nice spread of sites using favicons well, just to make the point, and correct, I rarely read Harry's Place, they just happen to have a good favicon and an article that caught my attention by David T.
K, I've had a few different but very similar conversations with people recently, along the lines of If you're using Firefox but not using any plugins, you might as well be using Opera, because, quite simply, while Fx is great for security, customisation and flexibility, Opera is as good on security, is probably better for usability, and is better out of the box but nowhere near as flexible.

So, for the benefits of those that want to see just why Firefox is good, I thought I'd use Extension List Dumper and, well, write it up. This'll also serve as a back up incase I need to install elsewhere quickly, etc. Multi-purpose posting FTW!

Oh, [ profile] nadriel? This post isn't specifically aimed at you, but just take it as being a scatter gun pointed very close to your general direction...
List plus links for all my Firefox extensions )

ETA: Follow up post with more here.

That's it, there is no more. Except, of course, there is. Notice the complete lack of adblock in the above list; I place adverts on sites, and I like that sites get payments just for me looking at them, so I don't block ads, but many like to. And there are doubtless many (many) extras out there it hasn't occurred to me to even try. All the links, by the way, are to wherever the developer says they're based. If they don't link to a download page, blame them, not me, but you can search Mozdev by name to find em if you want them.

Anyone got any favourites I've missed?

Life? Don't talk to me about life... )
K, in no particular order...
  • Scotland's interesting message to alien life

  • Miss Freddie is talking about dice and music:
  • Been reading about indeterminacy (think John Cage), and I just had a thought. Dice Music. Assign each note to number on a D12(?). Roll. A lot. Assign lengths of notes, dynamics, other markings, to different dice. Even assign the choosing of instruments to the dice. Brass, Woodwind, Strings, Voices? Then Trumpets, Trombones etc...

    What sort of dice can you get? D20s, D6... what else?
    Interesting comments thread there, with some daft suggestions as to where to go next.
  • [ profile] wpts has launched a Does my web site suck checklist, the bulk of which I agree with wholeheartedly (and some of you will have read the draft of my forthcoming rant about flash sites and navigation already - Vincent agrees)

  • [ profile] dm_of_the_rings has the most recent episode upDwarven Diplomacy. If Gimli is to be comic relief, at least he can be cool comic relief. And yes, that feed address is just for the comic, the full feed is [ profile] 20sidedtale, but I'm a little feeded out at the moment so I used my mighty Wordpress fu to just syndicate that category.
  • On the other hand, just reading the comic feed means missing out on stuff like this review of the Fate Diablo II clone:
  • Fate is one game where I think the “clone” moniker is deserved. Fate is more or less a straight-up Diablo clone. It duplicates the mechanics and play style of Diablo II right down to having the same windows with the same information that are opened with the same hotkeys.
    On the subject of Diablo: [ profile] play_diablo, set up by [ profile] theweaselking, I have every intention of joining in properly once I've gotten myself a decent connection speed.
  • [ profile] davidnm has decided to abandone pretence of being a serious scientists, and explains how we could be descended from alien colonists:
  • It goes like this. Suppose you want to colonise a planet, but you want to avoid either the War of the Worlds scenario (bumped off by native life) or the 'terraforming by accident' scenario (your intestinal flora or whatever outcompete everything else on the planet). Basically, you need to make your proposed colonists fit in with the local environment.

    So, you find some local dominant species to use as a template.
    OK, he's not being serious, but still...
  • Some official communities are starting to show ads. I have nothing further to add to that statement, but isn't it great that they started doing so just before the annual State of the Goat on [ profile] news?

  • Was going to write this up properly but I doubt I'll ever get around to it so, lj_nifty: Using Firefox 2 to quickly add RSS feeds to your LJ account:
  • Firefox 2 has a nifty feature for easily subscribing to RSS feeds
    Since discovering this feature hack, I've added over 50 new feeds to various filters. Hence me being a little feeded out; I keep meaning to cut down but, y'know, they're all so cool. I'm not sure if non-paid users can use it to discover new feeds, but if not, or if you want something set up, it's so easy to do I'm happy to oblige.

Phew, that was a longer one; question: Would people prefer I cut this sort of thing, or is having all the links there easily more preferable?
One of the best things about having Wordpress installed on a domain is actually the Planet Wordpress feed. There's always something there that's interesting. Today? Via PhotoMatt (that's the guy who made Wordpress) I followed a link to Firebug, a new Firefox extension from ParaKey.

So, you ask? Well, ParaKey is the company set up by the guy who started the Firefox project. Firebug is a bit like the Web Developer Toolbar combined with DreamWeaver. Which is sort of like saying a Porche is a bit like a Skoda with a decent paint job. I've been playing with it for the last half hour or so. I think I'm in love. With a Firefox extension.

I think I need to get out more. Oh, wait, that's what I'm moving to London for, right?
Have I mentioned on here how much I like my deputy at work? She's really cool. Also, she's 8 months pregnant, and when I get back from my holiday, she'll have gone on maternity leave, so I won't be in the office with her again for ages...

Anyway. Booking my tickets )All I need to do is get there two hours before check in opens, and the flight leaves at 4.30ish. So, the coach leaving at 7.30am (ouch) getting there at 2.20pm is perfect, right?

I mentioned Zoe was cool, right? Y'know why? Oops, nearly did it again... )

5.30am! This is me, damnit!

So, if I go to sleep tonight, there is a snowball's chance in hell of me waking up on time, even if I book a taxi and ask them to ring. So, um, I'm pulling an all-nighter. First cup of coffee already drunk. Expect random spam posts from me all evening, sorry about that. Luton Airport=shed )

Firefox 2.0, theming it up good

Right, so many people I know love Firefox simply because it's not IE, right? Now, I'll admit, that's a good reason to like Fx, but despite this, there are some out there, people who seem to know what they're talking about, that still use IE, and actually like it. I have got used to the idea that sane, rational, intelligent people sometimes have strange ideas. This does of course mean that my friends list, who aren't really that sane or that rational, will have even stranger ideas. But I still don't understand a preference for IE. Ah well, YMMV, competition is good for us anyway (does anyone out there think IE7 would have been anything but a POS maintenence release if not for Fx and Opera? If you do, go get a stronger brand of coffee, please?)...

Musings on the history of Firefox, Netscape and this old farts opinions... )
So, to me, Firefox isn't new. It's not about being better than, or different, to IE. Firefox is based on the original Netscape code. The Gecko rendering engine that runs it (and the now Seamonkey suite, and also the new Netscape) is based on the old Netscape source. Browser wars? Meh, this old fart likes to stick with what he knows. Firefox isn't new, it's just what I learnt the net on, with shiny add ons and a better logo.

ETA: a lot of cuts, co's this one is huge, sorry bout that, mebbe shoud've been two posts.
Oh yeah, forgot. Given that Shaks, Raks, Will, Beef and Jim can't organise a piss up in a brewery, anyone fancy going to Ottery tomorrow instead?

For some reason, I never went to it when I lived up there and, well, it looks so insanely stupid that I just have to see it at least once.  I mean, for once, I'm not even going to complain about the bloody awful burning effect on the website.  Bloody stupid frameset, yes, but, y'know, it hasn't been updated for 6 years...

So, anyone up for going?  Have car, will travel...

Also?  Firefox users?  Forget about bloody Semagic.  Deepest Sender, it's a plugin, you can integrate it into your context menu and toolbar, so you never need go to the update page again.  And the image insert function encourages good coding practice.  Yay!
First, via [ profile] grrliz, Viking Kittens!. It involved Led Zepp as well, which makes it double plus good, right?

Second, I am at my computer despite the fact that I have a new DVD delivered from's sale to watch. It's V for Vendetta. If I could get my PC to play DVDs in the DVD rom I'd be happy, but, well, screencaps can wait.

Third, for [ profile] freddiefraggle, Deepest Sender does give a tag list it seems, this is the first time I've actually tried to post with it, and it does seem pretty good. Can't get it to log into wordpress, but I'll assume that's my fault and I'm doing something wrong.

Fourth, MS auto update didn't actually manage to DL IE7 overnight, despite it trying to, so I give up. I'm stuck with Firefox. Right...

OK, DVD to go watch, anyone want a review later? No, thought not, everyone's seen it already, right?
[ profile] theweaselking here:
Windows XP: $100
Running IE7 through 5 years of development and 5 beta versions before releasing it: Billions of dollars and a full 15% of the browser market.
Finding a new critical security flaw less than 12 hours after its release: Priceless.

Some things, money can't buy. For everything else, there's Microsoft.

I DL'd it earlier, and haven't gone through attempting to install it yet. I was going to, but reading the linked article, I may delay a little. Anyone know:
  1. Do I need to have installed and run Genuine Advantage in order for IE7 to work?
  2. If so, and I try to install it without, will it kill my IE6?
  3. Is there a way to install it without Genuine Advantage
  4. Is GA still obnoxious peice o shit spyware that will auto connect to Redmond every day or have they fixed that?

I only want to run IE7 as a test copy, so I can see what sites look like with it &c, I have no intention of giving up on my plug-in laden FireFox just yet thankee, although Fx 2.0 isn't looking good at this stage for this end user...

In other news, I've not been well last few days. There may be a post on that later, but, well, not immediately.

Also, does anyone know where I can get a Driver for my DVD-Rom, or alternately what might be wrong with it? I want to run some DVDs through it, but both Real and WMP way that the DVD rom itself is sans driver, after they've DL'd the codecs they need. I've tried the ssytem install disks, and the fujitsu-siemens support pages, to no avail. All I want to do is make some screencaps damnit!

(yes, I may have watched a little too much Battlestar Galactica last few days, and yes, I do want umpteen Adama icons, but meh, it had to happen eventually, right?)
Tee hee:
[ profile] nadriel: I love arguing with philosophers, you can't lose.

[ profile] matgb: Well, you can lose.


[ profile] nadriel: You bastard.

[ profile] matgb: Some of us aren't playing.
Those confused by this conversation will find a link in my sidebar called "don't click this". It's been there for awhile now. [ profile] harlotqueen provided the url for me, very useful.

Also, despite being fully networked and connected via Mike's ADSL line, my dial up box pops up randomly. Especially true when streaming via youtube and similar, very annoying. OTOH, I now understand all the fuss surrounding Olberman and Colbert, very very cool.

Firefox 2.0 RC1 has been DLd, it has some good bits, some bad bits, and it's disabled all my favourite extensions, which will annoy when I get home, may go back to 1.5 for a bit. Not keen on the close tab red x now being in each tab, that's four years of mouse habits needing retraining there. Ah well, someone'll do an extension to change it within a few days of release as always.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Marvin-Computer-Hates-Me)

Layout woes

Sep. 5th, 2006 09:05 pm
Actually, the Expressive layout and theming options are very cool. I like them. A lot. In fact, my journal, although lacking a header image and some background stuff, now looks very nice indeed.

Small problem though; it doesn't work properly in IE. [ profile] burkesworks has confirmed that the profile column appears to overlap the main entry column, which it does for me as well when I check using it. As I haven't actually touched the column positioning myself, it means it's actually a problem their end, so I've opened a support request. In the meantime, my journal looks pretty good in Fx, OK in Safari, and both unreadable in parts and fugly in IE. Hopefully, we can deal with the unreadable bits, but the fugly bits? I'm using stuff from CSS3, which IE isn't implementing at all. I looks good my end.

Bah, who cares. The BBC is going to repeat Dangermouse having bought the rights. I mean, I can't watch it, but still, that's cool, it means a whole new generation of people encounter Penfold.

Oh, the signed Jasper Fforde book I mentioned I bought yesterday? It had a postcard custom made by him half way through, of one of his made up villages. Very very cool.
Being mostly for the benefit of [ profile] waka_laka and [ profile] springhazsprung, but also for all those taking an interest in the browser wars. PRetty good day for visitors on the 'blog, including a fair few from various bits of Ireland, which is cool. Browser of choice?
Cut for image and length and answer  ) Those of you still reading the web using the default, dated software and want to try the fresh, new, faster, better Firefox, could also help feed me by going to and clicking ont he little link to download it; I get paid money if you try it. Well, actually, I'll get money at some point once enough people have done so, nowhere near there yet, but the principle is the thing, right?

Work, being ill, wearing something not black )
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

Here's the legal text:
Printed by Dreamwidth LLC, Maryland, USA. Published and promoted by Mat Bowles (Liberal Democrat) of Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Popular Topics

Subscription Feeds

RSS Atom

Designed by

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios
Page generated Apr. 26th, 2019 02:25 pm