Daily Archives: January 5, 2022

  • We listened, we listened!

    Here’s the thing. Susan and I get a lot of email (we do our best to answer everyone). We grin and light up when complimented; we grit our teeth and bear it when our correspondents are less kind. And we listen.

    Unexpectedly, one of the top complaints we’ve both received has to do with the MS-DEFCON banner images we changed back in May. At the time, we conformed the colors of the levels to the US military DEFCON system, with white (level 1) being the most dangerous condition and blue (5) the safest. I thought that made sense because the origin of this site’s MS-DEFCON system was, in fact, the military’s.

    The question we kept getting, almost daily, was which was worse, one or five, white or blue? It was politely explained to us that we should have used red and green. We thought this would die down, but the tea leaves were speaking to us – change it!

    So we did. We did not quite return to the original colors, which used a shade of green for both levels four and five. Instead, we used blue for level four. What we’ve adopted now is, in effect, the same set of colors used by the US Homeland Security Advisory System (aka terror alert levels). The new images are in effect now, everywhere. They’ll even be updated in older emails if you happen to have saved them.

    Now maybe our inboxes will settle down a bit.

  • Webb telescope – Secondary mirror fully deployed

    If you’ve been following the James Webb telescope saga, you’ll know that they are so far… so good.

    The sunshield has been deployed and now the secondary mirror deployment is completed.

    Too bad the Nasa folks can’t code up Windows updates, ‘eh?

  • A change to Alerts!

    Alert Logo

    Our MS-DEFCON system has proven extremely popular. It’s the reason the banner on our home page is so prominent.

    Early in 2021, we decided to post an abbreviated version of MS-DEFCON alert newsletters in our blog, reserving the full alert for Plus edition members. We’ve been pleased that this change met with general acceptance, but a review of our alerts for 2021 has shown that the difference between our blog post and the full alert is minimal. Therefore, I’ve decided to make a change.

    We publish two kinds of alerts, one for a changed MS-DEFCON level and one for other types of information. Henceforth, all MS-DEFCON alerts will be available to anyone visiting the site. Other alerts will continue as an exclusive benefit of Plus membership, as will emailed alerts and text message alerts.

    I’m happy to bring the MS-DEFCON coverage to a wider audience. It’s my contribution to promoting safe and sensible patching strategies.