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  • A few notes about the Brave browser

    Posted on November 30th, 2019 at 07:02 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I just started testing the Brave browser and I’m impressed.

    Built-in ad blocking. Tracker blocking (AskWoody still has some Twitter trackers, which I’m running down right now). Easy setup with the search engine of your choice. Chrome add-ons work. Much to like about this one.

    The ad block seems to work with all of the sites I visit normally. Ad blocking shouldn’t make any difference with AskWoody because we’re ad-free, but the ad-laden sites I’ve seen in the past couple of hours render correctly – and quickly.

    I’ll be setting up Brave Rewards shortly, so y’all can leave micro-tips, should you feel so inclined.

    Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

  • Gahan Wilson, R.I.P.

    Posted on November 22nd, 2019 at 16:01 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

  • Please say goodbye to my Sainted Aunt Martha

    Posted on November 16th, 2019 at 07:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Those of you who have been reading my stuff for a while no doubt recall my Sainted Aunt Martha. She’s the prototypical kind and gentle lady who doesn’t understand computers but wants to use them anyway, and needs to be protected in a no-interaction-required sort of way.

    I’m sure everybody has a Sainted Aunt Martha in their families.

    I’m very happy to announce that MY Sainted Aunt Martha just passed comps for her Ph.D. in CS. So I won’t be using her as a role model any more.

    I do, however, have an uncle who uses computers but doesn’t understand (or want to understand, or need to understand) them. Have to think of a name for him…. Suggestions?

  • Warren: Google’s experimental change to Chrome crashed the browser

    Posted on November 15th, 2019 at 06:50 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Lest you think Windows gets all the fun parts…

    Tom Warren at the Verge is reporting:

    Google left thousands of machines in businesses with broken Chrome browsers this week, following a silent experimental change. Business users accessing Chrome through virtual machine environments like Citrix kept seeing white screens on open Chrome tabs, blocking access to the browser and leaving it totally unresponsive.

    Ends up Google flipped a bit on some machines to enable a feature called WebContents Occlusion. Kaboom.

    I really like this quote from an admin who got hit:

    “Do you [Google] see the impact you created for thousands of us without any warning or explanation? We are not your test subjects. We are running professional services for multi million dollar programs.”

    Welcome to my world….

  • Our RSS feed isn’t working properly

    Posted on November 8th, 2019 at 14:40 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m getting lots and lots of messages from those of you who still rely on RSS feeders.

    (I do too!)

    Yep, our RSS stream is broken. “Blank line before XML declaration” The devs are working on it. Should have a fix soon.

  • Coming up: A new Subscriber Status widget

    Posted on November 7th, 2019 at 11:20 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Slowly, over the next few weeks, I’ll be rolling out a widget. It’ll sit over on the right hand side, where you now see the Plus Membership block.

    The widget shows you whether you’re a Plus Member and, if so:

    • When your Plus Membership subscription expires
    • Whether you’re signed up for the Newsletter.

    Here’s what’s going on behind the scenes….

    This blog (WordPress) and the Lounge (bbPress) work together remarkably well, but Plus subscription support and the Newsletters are handled by separate packages tacked on the side — three packages, three databases. They’re strung together fairly well, but juggling three databases leads to all sorts of interesting, uh, anomalies. If you’ve ever tried to keep three databases in sync, you know exactly what I’m up against.

    With this new widget you’ll be able to see exactly what data we have on file for you. The widget also makes it easier to become a Plus Member, extend your Membership, or Donate — and we can use all the financial help we can get.

    I expect the new widget will generate a deluge of inquiries, so I’ll be rolling it out slowly — just a few dozen users a day. And, yes, I’ll be handling the Customer Support personally, so please forgive me if there’s a delay.

    And awaaaaayyy we go!

  • 50 years ago today, the internet was born

    Posted on October 29th, 2019 at 07:23 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Fascinating story from Mark Sullivan at Fast Company:

    When I visited UCLA’s Boelter Hall last Wednesday, I took the stairs to the third floor, looking for Room 3420. And then I walked right by it. From the hallway, it’s a pretty unassuming place.

    But something monumental happened there 50 years ago today. A graduate student named Charley Kline sat at an ITT Teletype terminal and sent the first digital data transmission to Bill Duvall, a scientist who was sitting at another computer at the Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International) on the other side of California. It was the beginning of ARPANET, the small network of academic computers that was the precursor to the internet.

    I remember the first time I used ARPANET. I was a grad student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, early ’70s, and we had small PCs (HPs?) that were used to send email. The procedure, as I recall, was quite complex – but it worked, and it was thrilling to communicate with folks at other Universities.

    It took many years – and a trip through Compuserve, various bulletin boards and Microsoft’s fledgling MSN – before I returned to the Internet. We’ve come a long way in a very short time, eh?

    UPDATE: Ann Bednarz at NetworkWorld has a great, nostalgic look.

  • Patch Lady – am I out of touch?

    Posted on October 22nd, 2019 at 22:50 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    What’s up with “dark mode”?  Every app, every operating system, every geek thing that comes across my view is popping up with “dark mode”.  Clearly I am in the minority about dark mode because I find that it makes things harder to read, not easier.

    And while I’m on a grumpy “what’s up with that” mood…. things that annoy me when it comes to graphical user interfaces include….. I find it annoying that the Outlook icon is blue and somewhat close to matching the Word icon color and is no longer Yellow.  What’s up with that?  I find it annoying that the colors in Office are very washed and whited out.  All of these decisions are probably due to the fact that Microsoft is moving more things to the web and away from the desktop.  But until we’re all up on the web, I just wish there were more colors in my Office applications, that my Outlook icon was Yellow.

    Clearly I am getting old.