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Author: Will Chatham

Will Chatham is the Security Assessment Engineer for Arbor Networks. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. He started as a web developer, moved into Linux system administration, and ultimately found his place as a security professional. Having most recently conquered the OSCP certification, Will continues to hack his way into various things in an effort to make them more secure.

Not a great start

The University of Louisville Cardinals haven’t gotten off to a great start with the first two games this basketball season. They beat the first team they played by a not-so-emphatic 10 points (and it was a division II team), and they lost to Iowa tonight. They seem to have a problem with Iowa, as they lost to them last year at the same time.

The consoling factor is that after last year’s Iowa loss, they won 16 straight, propelling to #2 in the nation. Then injuries plagued them for a fizzled-out NCAA tournament appearance.

The season is young, and things will get better, I am sure.

Updates

Just a quick update about life around here lately. Our house addition is finally in the home stretch. We spent all weekend painting, finishing up the hardwood floors, installing the beadboard ceiling in the kitchen, and adding a little molding. We are hoping that this effort gives the contractors a jump on what remains: installing the cabinets and appliances, finishing the deck, and doing the trim. Oh, and the plumbers need to set the bathroom fixtures and sink, and the electricians need to finish the lights and switches.

Our hope is that the bulk of this will be done by the end of the week so that we can prepare a nice turkey dinner for the dozen or so family members descending upon us for Thanksgiving.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Pictures of the progress will be up soon.

Irony

The brand spankin’ Firefox 1.0 gives you an option of setting your default Home page to a Firefox-branded Google search page calledFirefox Start Page. This is cool, and I have chosen to use it.

However, it seems ironic that Google chose to befriend Firefox users in this way and not create a valid html document out of this start page. What gives?

This would have been a perfect opportunity for Google to lead the way with Web Standards. Firefox supports standards, so why not use them? It would certainly give them a little more clout if they are worried about the new Microsoft MSN Search Engine, which is built with XHTML (albeit slightly invalid). Not to mention, it could even save them a little bandwidth.

C’mon Google – show us what ya got.

The Big Blue ‘e’

Today marks the official release of Firefox 1.0, the first full release of the web browser that has already started to “take back the web”. If you are a regular reader of this blog (of which there are, like, 3 of you), you know I am a staucnh supporter of Firefox and have written about it extensively.

As we have seen in recent weeks, Firefox has started encroaching upon the dominant web browser of today, Internet Explorer, taking away a small (but important) part of it’s marketshare. So far, the general consensus is that mostly the tech-savvy geeks such as myself are the ones that have been behind this push. The hope is that the trend will carry over to the ‘average’ internet user with the official release of Firefox 1.0.

However, I still see one big obstacle. The fact remains that no matter how much you try to inform users of the advantages of using Firefox over Internet Explorer (the security, the usability, the tools, the features), the average user is too used to clicking the Big Blue ‘e’.

To most people, “getting on the Internet” means clicking the Internet Explorer icon. It has become intrinsic over the last few years, and until the Big Blue ‘e’ disappears from desktops and quicklaunch toolbars, Firefox will face a hurdle.

So what can we do? Ideally, when one installed Firefox, all occurences of the Big Blue ‘e’ would be removed from a user’s desktop. Or, the shortcuts would be remapped to launch Firefox.

Unfortunately, there are probably legal implications to doing this that would keep it from ever happening. Maybe the Mozilla team could still look into it.

iAmageek

After months of research, reading reviews, observing price fluctuations, and dreaming, I found the opportune moment and took the plunge. I am now an iPod owner.

A 20GB fourth-generation iPod, to be exact. Needless to say, I have been in MP3 la-la land for the last few days. Te idea of being able to carry thousands of songs with me everywhere I go is still trying to sink in. I know I am way late getting onto this bandwagon, but I am happy I waited so long, for I have tasted the magical Kool Aid, and it is good.

I had narrowed down my MP3 player search to 3 choices: the iPod, the Dell DJ, and the Rio Karma. It was a tough choice, but in the end, I feel I made the right decision.

The ease-of-use, the configurability, and the marriage to iTunes make the iPod excellent. The only thing I was a wee bit disappointed about were the earbuds that it comes with, which don’t fit my ears very well. This was easily and inexpensively resolved though.

So look for me not paying attention to you, off in my own world, at a coffee shop near you 😉