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Ernest Buffington
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[ Topic » BULLSHIT ] [ Subject » ]

Norton Security app now lately, every time I type < Ctrl-F > in Chrome or Word or Excel to execute a "find", or even type < Ctrl-F > in PaintShop, Norton pops up with "Norton Security Search Bar", which then fails and plays a ding sound everytime you hit the enter key. The Norton search message needs to be manually removed, and this happens every time I try to do a “Find” in any app. Frankly, I've had viruses that were less annoying than this.

If anyone’s heard of a recent Norton auto-update hijacking < Ctrl-F> from all apps, please let me know.


Posted by Ernest Buffington on Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:32 am

(Read More... Norton Security Grabbing Ctrl-F | Tech News | Score: 5)
423 Reads
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The Ghost's Website » Blogs

[ Topic » Assholes ] [ Subject » ]

I'm really in a pickle. I have been designing a Privatized network that adjusts automatically to resolution and DPI. I do this with a cookie that gets your monitor, TV or Cell Phone resolution and then I display the right size fonts and pages accordingly. I have spent over a decade writing the code and designing the network layout so that we all had a place to go when we moved on to higher resolution monitors and desktops. I have to write my code so that it supports all browsers and DOCTYPES.

FireFox has taken it upon themselves to change the zoom in your browser without your permission. What this means is that all the work I have done to create software that does this on the fly for everyone has been rendered useless because FireFox zooms your page automatically. It does not give you a choice or way to adjust it back. So when you visit my page in FireFox it thinks it is doing you a favor when in fact the software on my page already takes care of displaying things correctly on your monitor and resolution. So what you get is a page that is trashed!

We have standards and FireFox has done plenty of bitching about other browsers taking control away from the end user and then all the sudden they do it themselves and it's okay? It is an insult to the end user in many ways. Are we too stupid to change the zoom on a web page ourselves? No, we are not and they are breaking standards by forcing ZOOM on all of us. Not to mention we have always had the ability to do this by our own choice, the option has always been there in every single browser.

Netscape lost their audience by making some of the very same foolish mistakes. It soon became known as NUTSCRAPE and end users would refer to it as a piece of a shit browser that was not good for anything accept wiping your ass with it.
 


Posted by Ernest Buffington on Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:14 am

(Read More... FireFox decides to ZOOM internet pages against our will! | Tech News | Score: 5)
516 Reads
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The Ghost's Website » Blogs

[ Topic » Assholes ] [ Subject » ]

I suppose we will never really know who the real asshole involved in the cluster fuck creation of Microsoft Internet Explorer is!

Internet Explorer Is Bad For The Web And For You

I have had several recent conversations about why not to use Internet Explorer, and they prompted me to make a handy list so that I could refer people to it.

I use and recommend Chrome.

As technology is in a constant state of change and flux, certain proprietary software types can't, or won't, keep up. Because they don't acknowledge the malleability of the internet, they encounter problems when you try to use them.

So what are some concrete reasons behind my recommendation against Internet Explorer in general, and my not wanting to design for any version earlier than IE7? (And my reason for not wanting to design for future IE versions at all.)

Common Internet Standards Ignored

The internet works as a cohesive unit only because all makers of browsers and websites adhere to certain commonly accepted standards of design and use. Microsoft consistently ignores these standards in favor of being proprietary. this means they would rather everyone be forced to use their software model than change their model to meet fast changes and increasing demand for cross platform and cross browser compatibility.

This makes Internet Explorer the hardest browser to work with. If I design a web site and it isn't working in Chrome, FireFox or Safari, for example, the tweak to fix the error is small, because they both accept the same standard of design and use. If it doesn't work in IE, forget it. The tweak to make it happen in IE is massive and time-consuming. I already spent huge amounts of time designing the page and getting it to work in four common browsers, I don't want to spend additional days on end trying to make IE "see" it.

Chrome supports MP3, Wav, and Ogg formats when using the HTML 5 player, and Internet Explorer currently supports MP3 only, hence the possible invalid source error message people are always seeing.

Web developers are required to convert all their wav and ogg files to mp3 in order to support all browsers! This is pure and utter horse shit and it would take little effort for IE to support the other file types with extended mime support. The programmers are a bunch of baphoones! 

ActiveX Is The Devil

Safety is another huge issue with IE. Other browsers do not use or accept ActiveX and Active Scripting, two Microsoft applets that allow people to access your browser for various programs. These two programs allow someone else the possibility of controlling your computer and opens a huge barn door for viruses, adware, spy ware, malware, and phishers to come strolling leisurely through.

Go ahead and use your virus software and your firewall - as long as you also use IE, you may as well give it up. You will continue to get malware on a regular basis, clogging your computer's arteries, causing slowdown and crashes and possibly putting your data at risk. Of course, any virus or malware can still get on the machine of someone using one of the other browsers. The main difference is that the users of other browsers more often have to actually open a file or interact with it in some way to allow it in with them, and IE lets malware in for you.

Does Not Accept Extensions and Add-Ons

No software can accommodate the complete wishes of its user base. It's impossible. Other browsers, like Chrome, FireFox, and Safari, acknowledge this by allowing third party programmers to build extensions and add-ons that handle the missing features, making everyone happy. Internet Explorer demonstrates great hubris by not allowing their user base to create or add features that address issues with their software and its lack of compatibility with so many things.

I'm not the only one who thinks IE's hubris is damaging. There have been several suits filed in various places wanting IE to no longer be tied to Windows, and to be forced to be more compatible with web standards.

Ugly Web Spaces

Have you ever viewed a web page designed solely with IE in mind in another browser? They are hideous, nonfunctional, clunky pages in every case, on every other browser. Safari does the best job of "fixing" the looks of an IE page, but it can't do much to fix the way they work (or don't). Thinking the web has to be hard to use and ugly is just wrong. The moment you switch to any other browser, your mind will be opened to a beautiful looking, easy to use, functioning the web.

Overwrites

When you install IE, you allow it to overwrite your system DLL files. The files it installs are not 100% compatible in many cases, mainly because it not only refuses to be compatible with much of the web but with its own operating system as well. This can lead to system slow down and crashes. Add in the malware issues mentioned above and you have a real morass on your hands.

Java Issues

Did you know that Microsoft Java is not the same as the Java everyone else uses? I would be willing to bet you didn't. I'd also be willing to bet you've experienced the frustration of going to the page with Java applets on the recommendation of friends or colleagues who have been using it flawlessly in other browsers, only to find it doesn't work right for you.

this is just another example of IE refusing to comply with the standards everyone else uses. They want you to have to use Microsoft products and Windows, and they think shutting you off from most of the web's functionality will convince you that is necessary. It just isn't so. You can use FireFox and still use your Microsoft programs. Changing browsers won't blow up your computer - it will just open new doors to you online.

Linux Incompatibility

This makes no sense to the average web user, but Internet Explorer's continued incompatibility with Linux is an issue for a very tech-savvy sector of the online market.

There are so many reasons not to use Internet Explorer I had some difficulty putting them on a list. In fact, there are so many I keep thinking I forgot a few. Did I? Let me know if I did.


Posted by Ernest Buffington on Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:33 pm

(Read More... Who is the Asshole responsible for the design of Internet Explorer? | Tech News | Score: 5)
647 Reads
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The Ghost's Website » Blogs

[ Topic » REAL KNOWLEDGE ] [ Subject » ]

Why should you care about understanding DPI & Resolution?

Because if you are going to print something of quality or are ever tasked with optimizing images for the web, knowing a few basics will save you a lot of time and give you the best results.

On the other hand, if you ever hire someone to develop print materials or build a website for you, they’ll have requirements you may not understand and not everyone is good at explaining them.

Read on for a simple explanation of what you need to know.

It’s important to begin with a high-quality image which means the highest resolution and image dimensions you can get. When it comes to source images, bigger is better, because you can go down in size, but not up, without losing quality.

I use several online sources for free and paid images and take a lot of my own pictures. If you are looking to improve your own pictures take a look at Photo Nuts & Bolts.

Definitions (in layman’s terms):

DPI: Dot’s per inch. The number of dots in a printed inch. The more dot’s the higher the quality of the print (more sharpness and detail).

PPI: Pixels per inch. Most commonly used to describe the pixel density of a screen (computer monitor, smart phone, etc…) but can also refer to the pixel density of a digital image.

Resolution: Resolution is the measure of pixels in the display, usually expressed in measurements of width x height. For example a monitor that is 1920 x 1080 is 1920 pixels across and 1080 pixels down.

Higher resolution means more detail. Higher DPI means higher resolution. Resolution is not “size”, but it’s often confused with it because higher resolution images are often bigger, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Print: 300dpi is standard, sometimes 150 is acceptable but never lower, you may go higher for some situations.

Web/Digital: DPI doesn’t equate to digital it’s a print measure. It was commonly believed for a long that 72dpi was ideal for web. If you hear that it’s simply not the way things work. When talking digital, we’re concerned with the actual resolution. How that image prints is another matter.

For Example:

If you are creating images to use for print and the images are “too small” the odds are the resolution wasn’t high enough. The image might look huge on your computer but still print out quite small. To add to the confusion, your screen resolution will also determine how big the picture appears to you when viewing it on your computer.

A monitor set to 1024 x 768 will show an 1024 pixel wide by 800 pixel tall image as a full screen image. On a monitor that is 1920x 1080 the image will only take part of the screen. Long story short, the image will look much smaller on that screen even though the image is the same size because the screen has higher resolution.

Hopefully this has helped you get a little clearer on the differences between DPI, PPI, resolution and why if you have someone do something for you in print there will be different requirements than for the web. It’s also why that digital camera with higher megapixels takes better pictures than one with lower (lenses and other factors being equal), because it gives you more resolution to capture more detail.

Another important note about monitors, even though 72dpi is standard for the web, monitors have slightly different resolutions depending how you have the monitor set and how big the monitor is. For example, a 19″ monitor set to 1024×768 will show 70ppi (pixels per inch, monitors use pixels which are square not round but pixels and dots for the sake of this conversation are otherwise analogous). By comparison, a 19″ monitor set to 1280×1024 will have a resolution of 87ppx which means you fit more on the screen and get more detail, but everything looks smaller.

Side bar: image files with higher resolution (more dpi) will also have a bigger file size because they contain more data. Start with the biggest images you can but when putting images on the web they should be set to 72dpi, it’ll save you a ton of bandwidth and they’ll load faster. Yes, they’ll be smaller than the original but should in most cases be plenty big because of monitor resolution (ppi) sizes.

One last thing, don’t confuse “image size” with “file size.” Image size refers to the dimensions of the image while file size is how much space the image takes up on a hard drive (kilobytes or megabytes).


Posted by Ernest Buffington on Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:10 pm

(Read More... Why should you care about or understand DPI & Resolution? | Tech News | Score: 5)
233 Reads
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The Ghost's Website » Blogs

[ Topic » Microsoft Spying ] [ Subject » ]

There’s some good news for privacy-minded individuals who haven’t been fond of Microsoft’s data collection policy with Windows 10. When the upcoming Creators Update drops this spring, it will overhaul Microsoft’s data collection policies. Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group, has published a blog post with a list of the changes Microsoft will be making.

FirstMicrosoft has launched a new web-based privacy dashboard with the goal of giving people an easy, one-stop location for controlling how much data Microsoft collects. Your privacy dashboard has sections for BrowseSearch, Location, and Cortana’s Notebook, each covering a different category of data MS might have received from your hardware. Personally, I keep the Digital Assistant side of Cortana permanently deactivated and already set Telemetry to minimal, but if you haven’t taken those steps you can adjust how much data Microsoft keeps from this page.

SecondMicrosoft is condensing its Telemetry options. Currently, there are 4 options — SecurityBasicEnhanced, and Full. Most consumers only have access to 3 of these settings — BasicEnhanced, and Full. The 4thsecurity, is reserved for Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education. Here’s how Microsoft describes each category:

Security: Information that’s required to help keep Windows, Windows Server, and System Center secure, including data about the Connected User Experience and Telemetry component settings, the Malicious Software Removal Tool, and Windows Defender.

Basic: Basic device info, including: quality-related data, app compatibility, app usage data, and data from the Security level.

Enhanced: Additional insights, including: how Windows, Windows Server, System Center, and apps are used, how they perform, advanced reliability data, and data from both the Basic and the Security levels.

Full: All data necessary to identify and help to fix problems, plus data from the Security, Basic, and Enhanced levels.

That’s the old system. Going forward, Microsoft is collapsing the number of Telemetry levels to 2. Here’s how Myerson describes the new “Basic” level:

"We've further reduced the data collected at the Basic level. This includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows. We use this data to help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also includes basic error reporting back to Microsoft."

Windows 10 will also include an enhanced privacy section that will show during start-up and offer much better granularity over privacy settings. Currently, many of these controls are buried in various menus that you have to manually configure after installing the operating system.

Even better, Windows 10 will now inform you of the impact of changing these settings. As far as I’m personally concerned, the limitations listed when you turn these options to “Off” are advantages and features.

It’s nice that Microsoft is cutting back on Telemetry collection at the basic level. The problem is, as Ernest Buffington tells how, Microsoft is still collecting a heavy amount of information on “Full,” and it still defaults to sharing all this information with Cortana — which means Microsoft has data files on people it can be compelled to turn over by a warrant from an organization like the NSA or FBI. Given the recent expansion of the NSA’s powers, this information can now be shared with a variety of other agencies without filtering it first. And while Microsoft’s business model doesn’t directly depend on scraping and selling customer data the way Google does, the company is still gathering an unspecified amount of information. Full Telemetry, for example, may “unintentionally include parts of a document you were using when a problem occurred.

The problem with Microsoft’s disclosure is it mostly doesn’t disclose. Even Basic Telemetry is described as “includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows.” Okay. But what does that mean?

We're glad to see Microsoft taking steps towards restoring user privacy, but these are small steps that only modify policies around the edges. Until the company actually and meaningfully discloses what Telemetry is collected under Basic settings and precisely what Full settings do and don’t send in the way of personally identifying information, the company isn’t explaining anything so much as it’s using vague terms and PR in place of a disclosure policy.

As I noted above, I’d recommend turning Cortana (the assistant) off. If you don’t want to do that, you should regularly review the information MS has collected about you and delete any items you don’t want to be a part of the company’s permanent record.


Posted by Ernest Buffington on Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:18 am

(Read More... Upcoming Windows 10 update reduces spying ? | Tech News | Score: 5)
75 Reads
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