Development

Strange bug

The other day I was called by a client to figure out why they couldn't open a spreadsheet on their computer.

The error:

'2009.xlsx’ cannot be accessed.

The file may be read only, or you may be trying to access a read-only location. Or, the server the document is stored on may not be
responding.

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How Microsoft could win the tablet war, if they hurry

Microsoft has a history of playing catch-up in the marketplace. Because of their need to "get it right" rather than "get it fast" (for a variety of business, technical, and legal reasons which I won't expound on here), they have often shipped bad products when the opportunity existed and then later shipped good versions of the products but after the window of opportunity had closed. Some of the highlights (lowlights?) of this process are: Windows Mobile, TabletPC, Zune, and Bing.

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Biometrics is *not* security

There has been a raging debate about the value of biometrics. On the one side are manufacturers and businesses selling technology they hope will make them rich. On the other side are the theorists and analysts saying they are not providing what they are advertized to provide. In the middle, Hollywood and "common knowledge" have been making the technology out to be something from Fantasyland.

Finally, a mainstream reporting source has an article about the actual shortcomings of biometrics in layman's terms:

Self-Driving Cars

It has long been my belief that the only way to make roads safer is to take the human element out of the equation. While I believe technology is not the end-all cure to our woes, in the cases where human behave aggressively or emotionally, technology can provide an alternate solution to mitigate the non-rational element of humanity.

Now Google is working on cars that drive themselves:

How do I avoid email spam? How do I know whether it's OK to click?

I get asked a lot about how to keep spam under control and how to tell if an email is legitimate. Here's a good answer to the first and the second questions.

Basically it comes down to being judicious in where you share your email address and knowledgable of the tools you're using and how they actually work.

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Comparisons of Social Networking Sites by Overall Usage

Social networking sites come and go, and measuring the current success of any particular system is difficult. However, here's an attempt to graphically represent the relative use of the major sites around the world by total volume of traffic per day on each. Click on the map to see it in full resolution:

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