June 2005 Entries

Comments on blogs will disappear?

I know that Scoble has an impact on the Blogosphere, but the idea I've found on his blog today is not good for me.I don't know exactly what there's under the "secret new technology that makes the tech blogging world even flatter" but saying that comments will be unnecessary is a bad idea. Scoble says that in the future "all you need to do to leave a comment on my blog is to have a blog yourself and link to it",  because there will be systems that'll match up -- in minutes -- a main post and all the comments being made about...

posted @ Thursday, June 30, 2005 9:42 PM | Feedback (2)

Windows Desktop Search API out

No official announcements about it (why?) but Microsoft has released its Windows Desktop Search API. This new API will allow developers to integrate Desktop Search functionality into their applications (exactly like Google's one). Will be a powerful feature? I'm curious to see the first applications that will use it...

posted @ Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:19 PM | Feedback (0)

The dead of a big Community?

I think that all Bloggers know DotNetJunkies (DNJ), one of the biggest .NET-related communities on the web (my old home), and I'm always sad when I see people that are planning to leave the community. Reasons to abandon a big community could be a lot (stop blogging, moving on a new community, a decision to host the blog by yourself) but seeing that lots of bloggers are planning to leave the community only because it's terrible affected by spamming is incredible (and in the last days the migrations are growing more and more). Where are the administrators? I remember that Donny Mack was an active guy when...

posted @ Thursday, June 30, 2005 10:21 AM | Feedback (2)

Microsoft embraces AJAX

The news of the day (all the blogs are talking about this today) is that Microsoft has officially embraced the AJAX web technology and they're building a software (code-named Atlas) that will provide web developers with tools to build AJAX-style application in an easy way. All web developers today are so happy... But, what is AJAX? Is it a revolutionary technology or not? Certainly, I'm not a big expert on this field and I have a question: AJAX or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML is a term describing a web development technique for creating interactive web applications using a combination of: HTML (or XHTML)...

posted @ Wednesday, June 29, 2005 9:23 PM | Feedback (1)

Windows 2000: the last minute update package.

Minus one day to the end of mainstream support for Windows 2000 and (surprise!) Microsoft has released an update package with lots of security fixes that replaces the Service Pack 5. This update is available via Windows Update and it's rated as "high priority". It requires SP4 to be installed. If you're one of the (many) people that have servers that runs with Windows 2000, please update your server soon.

posted @ Wednesday, June 29, 2005 8:56 AM | Feedback (0)

We'll live in an RSS era?

At the last GnomeDex Microsoft has announced its plans to build a new platform totally centered around RSS. The first screenshots when've seen about IE7 are only a little curiosity about what will be a great project. All of us already known that IE7 will fully support RSS feeds integration but the power of what Microsoft has in mind is that RSS will be the key for a new "Windows RSS platform", where feeds list, sinchronizations, subscriptions etc. will be managed from the OS itself. We'll see a new way to share informations? What is sure is that we'll see a...

posted @ Saturday, June 25, 2005 3:01 PM | Feedback (1)

MultiThreading with Visual Studio .NET 2005

Maybe this could appear strange for someone, but every day I can see that lots of Windows Forms applications are built without taking the multithreading aspect in the right consideration. An application can have a good response time for the main part of its work, but under certain situations it could have a terrible decrease of performances and become blocked to wait the completion of a time-consuming operation. Sometimes I can see these aspects on data driven or computational application, where complex operations on the retrieved data must be performed: if the amount of retrieved data is high and the operation is...

posted @ Friday, June 24, 2005 9:16 AM | Feedback (0)

How to remote Windows Media Player

Eric Gunnerson (with the help of  Jonathan Dibble) has started a project on Remoting Windows Media Player in C#. The example provided demonstrates how to use the IWMPRemoteMediaServices to remote Windows Media Player (embed the Windows Media Player control in a C# program). This interesting because it's the first example that uses managed code... maybe I'll never do something like this on my applications, but now I know that something is possible.

posted @ Thursday, June 23, 2005 2:23 PM | Feedback (0)

It's the time to upgrade your server...

The end of this month (30 June 2005) is a critical date for all the Windows 2000 Servers that runs on the world... the Mainstream support will be retired for all the Windows 2000 family and from that time you're forced to go with the Extended support (under payment, except for security updates). I remember that the Microsoft Support lifecycle is summarized as follow: And now? The time to upgrade your server is arrived? My response is obviously YES but I think that everyone of us that is in contact with the real business world knows that the real situation is different. Server that...

posted @ Thursday, June 23, 2005 9:27 AM | Feedback (5)

The power of Web Deployment for Winforms

When I've to deploy a Windows Form application, usually 99% of the times I create a setup package by using Visual Studio .NET and its Setup Project: here you can create a single .msi package or multiple packages by using cabinets files (.cab) (useful if you want to deploy your application via multiple media).With .NET 2.0 you have the possibility to use the ClickOnce technology to deploy your application. ClickOnce basically allows you to deploy Windows-based applications to a desktop by placing the application files on a Web or file server accessible to the client and providing the user with an URL. When...

posted @ Tuesday, June 21, 2005 9:58 PM | Feedback (0)

Monad Beta 1 is here...

One of the interesting news on this weekend is that the next generation Microsoft's Command Shell (MSH, code named Monad) is out with Beta 1 release. As reported on Channel 9, to get MSH, first navigate to http://beta.microsoft.com and logon using Passport. Then, click where indicated just after the text "If you were issued a guest ID by Microsoft you can sign in" then enter the Guest ID of mshPDC (this is case sensitive!). You need to enter your details and you should get beta details back within a couple of days with site access to the MSH bits. Monad seems to be a...

posted @ Monday, June 20, 2005 10:38 AM | Feedback (0)

Trackback SpamBlocker for .Text

Trackbacks spamming is one of the last big noise on the blogosphere and who regularly reads my blog already knows this (I've talked a lot in the last days about countermeasure I've adopted to stop it).Brian Delahunty has developed an interesting Trackback SpamBlocker for .Text, a little modification to the engine that permits you to filter trackbacks spamming. The tool seems really good because it's really easy to install (it requires only a modification to the <configSections> section of the web.config file for your .Text and a replacement of the Dottext.Framework.dll file with the one provided) and it's totally customizable (you can add...

posted @ Sunday, June 19, 2005 8:27 PM | Feedback (3)

1 Byte more and 1 Round Trip less...

Andrea signals me this interesting blog about HTTP-related arguments, where an interesting tip appears: When you've to develop a web page and place an URL (an HREF tag), instead of writing something like this: <a HREF="/surveys">Go to My Survey</a>   it's better to write the URL with this form: <a HREF=/surveys/>Go to My Survey</a> That extra slash is going to save you a round trip because the Web server has to return a 301 redirect response and send the browser to /surveys/ when the non-full qualified URL is sent. This is a little thing that permits you to have a faster site response. A great tip to remember...  

posted @ Friday, June 17, 2005 2:18 PM | Feedback (0)

The best things I've found on Office 12

In these weeks lots of talking on forum and blogs was about the future Office 12 that Microsoft has in progress (Beta 1 was estimated to be in late August but September will be more appropriate). One of the coolest things was undoubtely the new XML file format (too much talked about this so I will not say more) but we'll have other great features in this new version of Office that maybe could not be so clear to all. Here a list of what I think it's so powerful and that I've learned from news on the air: Office 12...

posted @ Friday, June 17, 2005 12:29 PM | Feedback (3)

Sometimes Navision hurts me...

There are some things that I really hate when developing with Navision and this is one of this... Navision debugger is not one of the best and friendly debugger that you can see (if you are like me and you work a lot with VS.NET debugger, you'll find this terrible! ) and sometimes to check problems on my applications I love placing message box to evaluate variables and trace execution (often I do the same with Visual Studio). With Visual Studio .NET you've no problem by doing this... if you place a message box on a loop (maybe with lots of iterations) and you...

posted @ Friday, June 17, 2005 11:24 AM | Feedback (0)

Differencing Disks on Virtual PC

Differencing Disks is one of the coolest features on Virtual PC but sometimes it's not so visible at all. Differencing Disks is a foundamental tip if you use Virtual PC for development, because it permits you to have a standard OS installation (for example a machine with Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003) and from this machine you can derive other installations (the virtual machine with the OS will be the parent for the others). On Don's blog there's a clear explanation on how to use this feature. I recommend it because you'll save a lot of disk space. The key...

posted @ Friday, June 17, 2005 9:00 AM | Feedback (0)

A Microsoft's present for all VB.NET lovers :)

When I found a good and free e-book I'm always happy and I can't resist to download it, and the last Microsof's present is undoubtely a must to have: you can download for free a copy of Introducing Visual Basic 2005 for Developers, a good MS book about development with Visual Studio .NET 2005 and Visual Basic .NET. Thanks Microsoft, I hope that the e-book tradition will continue... Download and print in progress...

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2005 4:07 PM | Feedback (5)

SubText and its attention to spam

I'm glad to see that guys involved on the SubText project (a re-engineering of .Text blog engine) are thinking a lot to fight spam at 360°. The last discussion is centered around a problem present at the moment and that we've discussed a lot also on my blog: the CommentAPI. This API permits you to activate a service that allows your readers to make comments to your blog directly from their favorite RSS Aggregator, but this comfort has a big side-effect: by enabling the CommentAPI you will open a back door for spammers that can easily bypass your CAPTCHA filter and post comments. To have a flexible...

posted @ Wednesday, June 15, 2005 9:55 AM | Feedback (0)

Blog Spamming via Trackbacks: the end?

After 24 hours of observations, seems that I've found a final solution to the last spam attacks to my blog via trackbacks (I hope... ). My last SQL Trigger seems working good and during the last 24 hours I've not received trackbacks spamming. I don't want to post here the final solution (due to security reasons, I don't want to give an advantage to spammers ) but (obviously) if someone is interested and will suffer of these types of spam attacks I will be pleased to share the solution. However, the key seems to be checking the blog_content table for Post Type =...

posted @ Tuesday, June 14, 2005 5:34 PM | Feedback (1)

GPL License: someone hates it! :)

Nice to see that other people don't like the GPL License structure. In the past this argument was the cause of big discussions between me and some friends actively involved on the "Free Software Foundation" movement and the reasons are exactly these: the GPL License has too many side effects that could not be an advantage. There's a step on the GPL regulation that is terrible for me and this is an extract: "These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and...

posted @ Tuesday, June 14, 2005 2:39 PM | Feedback (0)

Fedora Core 4 embraces Virtualization

I'm not a big Linux user but as someone of you already know, Fedora distribution is on my heart. The last Release 4 (out today) has lots of nice features (Power PC support, OpenOffice 2.0, Integrated Clustering Technology etc.) but what is really wonderful is that this new Core 4 will include (for the first time) a virtualization software (called Xen) integrated into the system.  This is a virtual machine that can securely run multiple operating systems in their own sandboxed domains.This is really cool... Virtualization now is not only a toy for playing with different operating systems but it's...

posted @ Monday, June 13, 2005 11:26 PM | Feedback (2)

Trackbacks Spamming... again!

Bad news... seems that trackbacks spamming is not finished. My last remedy was good at the beginning but now seems that it's easily bypassed (and I don't know why...). Anyone that is observing this phenomenon on his blog? I need ideas on a new countermeasure... all this must be stopped! UPDATE: tryed with a new trigger version... we'll see what happens.

posted @ Monday, June 13, 2005 2:32 PM | Feedback (1)

Little Statistics for my Blog

Today I was curious to see some details about access to my domain and my Blog and I've run a SQL query on the blog database to extract some data about comments and posts. My idea was to monitor how the number of posts and the number of comments are distributed during the 24 hours a day. The SQL query that I've run on my database is this: SELECT DayHours,        AVG(CONVERT(decimal(5,0),PostCount)) as AvgPosts,        SUM(PostCount) as TotalComments,        COUNT(*) as BlogEntriesFROM  (SELECT DATEPART(hh, DateAdded) as DayHours,           (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM blog_content bc2            WHERE bc2.posttype = 3 AND bc2.blogid = 0 AND                ...

posted @ Sunday, June 12, 2005 11:43 PM | Feedback (0)

Start.com: inside its development

Today I was reading Steve Rider's Blog (he's one of the developers of Microsoft's Start.com, the Web-Based RSS Aggregator) and I've found an interesting post where he reveals some development plans and future strategies for the future product.Cool things are revealed on this post (lots of features and don't forget the full Firefox support ) but the sentence that attracts me is this:Our goal is still about aggregating the best of what you want on the web, like bookmarks, rss feeds, and news.  But it also means that you should be able to write your own modules that you can have with you whenever and...

posted @ Sunday, June 12, 2005 3:01 PM | Feedback (0)

Blog Spamming via Trackbacks: my first countermeasure!

I hate blog spamming and I will fight it with all my forces... My first countermeasure against the last trackbacks spamming (and I hope the last but I know that spam has no limits) was taken from an idea by Chrissy Le Mair: a SQL Trigger that acts as anti-referral spam filter. This is the quickest remedy that can interact well with my SQL antispam filter that I have from a long time.Firstly, I've totally cleaned the spam referrals urls with a simple SQL script launched via Enterprise Manager. The .Text tables that must be cleaned are the blog_URLs and blog_Referrals tables...

posted @ Thursday, June 09, 2005 11:12 PM | Feedback (1)

Blog Spamming: the last attack!

Blog spamming has no limits... As you already know, on my blog I'm using a two-way antispam filter: a CAPTCHA filter to prevent automatic posting and a SQL filter to automatically remove spam comments that could bypass the CAPTCHA (and also a rel=nofollow tag for links on posts).. These 2 ways together works really good, but today I've observed a strange thing: my trackbacks number was growing a lot (about +40 in a day), impossible!I've decided to check the trackbacks and, after logging to the administration section of my blog, a terrible discover appears on my eyes: lots of trackbacks with...

posted @ Thursday, June 09, 2005 9:58 PM | Feedback (2)

Web Services Performance comparison

When I talk about a benchmark (and expecially about a benchmark regarding performance comparison between different platforms) I'm always sceptic about the results. They could not be the reality, but sometimes they give some signs... Today I was reading a great Benchmark comparison about Web Services published by TheServerSide.NET and I've see some interesting things from the results given. This test was taken by using WSTest 1.1, a Microsoft implementation of WSTest 1.0 that mirrors the Sun implementation of the EchoVoid, EchoStruct and EchoList tests (where messages of different complexity are exchanged) and, in addition, it includes one new test called GetOrder that tests a...

posted @ Thursday, June 09, 2005 9:21 AM | Feedback (0)

SQL Server 2005 CTP June 2005

I think that all of us are happy to see that the new SQL Server 2005 Community Technology Preview June 2005 is available with full functionality. But where to donwload it? Here are the links to bookmark: Enterprise Edition Workgroup Edition Express Edition Express Manager Books Online

posted @ Wednesday, June 08, 2005 5:55 PM | Feedback (0)

SQL Server Migration Assistant from Oracle

If you are planning to migrate databases from Oracle to SQL Server, now you've this tool that can help you: SQL Server Migration Assistant from Oracle is a tool that automates the Oracle to SQL migration process. It provides comprehensive assessment reports; one-click conversion of all schema and data; one-click conversion of almost all db-resident business logic. The product consists of two components: a client tool that runs on the desktop and a server component that runs on the SQL Server machine. Bookmarked!

posted @ Wednesday, June 08, 2005 5:51 PM | Feedback (0)

Microsoft Business Solution Navision exam disappeared?

Is this a mistery or what? I've received a feedback from a partner that wants to take the Microsoft Navision Developer exam (if you are a Microsoft Certified Partner for Business Solutions this exam is a requirement to obtain the SPA License (Service Provider Agreement). The partner has failed the exam the first time and, when trying to re-schedule it again, a big surprise appeared to him: all Navision's exam targeted as "Worldwide" (W1) was disappeared (VUE is the center). This sounds a bit strange for me (I've passed this exam only 2 months ago and exams were all available) but when I've...

posted @ Wednesday, June 08, 2005 2:57 PM | Feedback (2)

Free little tools to improve your Visual Studio

This is a tool that I want to signal because it can help to increase productivity... DPack is a FREE collection of Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003 and 2005 tools, designed to greatly increase developer's productivity, automate repetitive processes and expand upon some of the Visual Studio features. DPack includes various browser tools that allow the developer to quickly narrow the search down to a particular class, method or assembly type, it includes greatly enhanced numbered bookmarks feature, various code navigation tools as well streamlined surround with feature, and much more. My favourites: Code Navigation: you can jump between code elements (methods or classes)...

posted @ Wednesday, June 08, 2005 11:36 AM | Feedback (0)

IE 7.0 will embrace the "Non Admin" philosophy

TechEd is always the source of good news and one of the last interesting news is that the upcoming Internet Explorer 7.0 will run natively with reduced privilege mode turned on by default.This is the first step to improve browser's security: IE7 will have new security feaures to protect the users (anti-spoofing and anti-phishing technologies, improved SSL, a built in antispyware) but if an attacker will bypass them, will be more difficult to install troian or compromise the system with a low privilege.In the days where Firefox resurrects 7-years old flaws, the new little IE is growing a lot...

posted @ Tuesday, June 07, 2005 8:49 PM | Feedback (0)

Visual Studio Tools for Office embraces Outlook

Integration of Office applications with Visual Studio is one of the coolest things at the moment and Microsoft seems to believe a lot on this integration (lots of conferences and keynotes are out in these days regarding these topics). Yesterday at TechEd 2005 Steve Ballmer has announced VSTO for Outlook 2003, a tool on the Visual Studio Tools for Office family that permits you to create managed add-ins for Outlook that will appear to Outlook as a COM add-in. Now the support to develop applications that will interact with Office is more complete.

posted @ Tuesday, June 07, 2005 8:46 AM | Feedback (6)

The Laptop revenge

I think this is an important fact for the IT era: for the first time Laptops outsell Desktops: market analysis says notebook sales accounted for 53 percent of the total personal computer market at the moment. I don't think that the main reason for this new revolution is only the fall down of laptop prices, but reasons are other and expecially: Actual IT users needs mobility Laptops are now good replacements for a desktop Laptops helps you to be connected everywhere The mobility needs are extremely important for this era in the IT world. We all need to travel for...

posted @ Monday, June 06, 2005 2:30 PM | Feedback (0)

New version for Microsoft Online RSS Aggregator

Do you remember the previous version of Start.com, the online RSS Aggregator that Microsoft has in beta?Now it has a new version with a new look and new features. There's a wonderful Start menu where you can organize your favourite feeds and choose a list of pre-selected feeds. When you open a feed, it is displayed on a new window really nice for the eyes (a wonderful thing for me was to see that the new version works good also with Firefox).Obviously, I think that some other work must be done in order to have a great product (for example when you...

posted @ Sunday, June 05, 2005 11:02 PM | Feedback (5)

XP Home to XP Pro with an hack?

The Register reports a curious hack: many of the features of Windows XP Pro, such as Remote Desktop, User Management and other advanced security features, can be enabled in Windows XP Home simply by changing two bytes in an installation data file.Seems that you need to copy the root directory and the i386 directory of the WindowsXP CD to your harddisk, extract the Bootsector of your WindowsXP CD and change only 2 bytes in i386\Setupreg.hiv by using Regedit. All you have to do is edit the binary key "default" and change "01" to "00" and "02" to "00" in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Homekey\ControlSet001\Services\setupdd.I can't say...

posted @ Sunday, June 05, 2005 2:39 PM | Feedback (0)

Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 revisited?

Today I was preparing a setup package for a customer (a setup for a Windows Form application written with .NET 1.1) and searching for a Language Pack and the SP1 for .NET Framework, I've found a curious thing that I didn't know: Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 seems to be updated! The page reports the date 5/31/2005 as last update and the difference on the pack's description from the previous version seems to be only that "SP1 also provides support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 to provide a safer, more reliable experience for customers using Windows XP." What is this? Why...

posted @ Friday, June 03, 2005 5:52 PM | Feedback (0)

RSSAutoDiscovery Toolbar for Internet Explorer

One of the most useful Powertoys I've installed on my Internet Explorer (for the few times I'm using it ) is certainly the RSSAutoDiscovery Toolbar, a little add-on that adds RSS auto-discovery support to Internet Explorer (just like the same feature that is built-in with Firefox). The toolbar detects HTML link elements that specify the location of RSS feeds, provides an indicator when feeds are discovered and enables the feeds to be viewed in Internet Explorer. Once detected, the links can be copied, dragged and dropped to another application or viewed within the current Internet Explorer session. What is new is that the...

posted @ Friday, June 03, 2005 3:10 PM | Feedback (0)

Thunderbird will add Podcasting features

In a recent post on Mozilla's blog about the next roadmap for Thunderbird development (the great Mozilla email client) a new feature is appeared: Thunderbird will have built-in Podcasting features. This sounds good for many Podcast fans but... Podcasting will be a real phenomenon? I don't believe a lot on Podcasting but maybe I'm wrong. Publishing sound files online that a user must download via RSS and listen is not an immediate way to have news and Podcasting can't substitute blogs. I think that reading is a more appropriate and quick way to have news. The next year will say us if...

posted @ Friday, June 03, 2005 8:57 AM | Feedback (0)

A Firefox Extension for PDF files

How many times you've clicked on a link to a PDF file to save it but you have forgotten to do a right click? I think a lot... usually I hate viewing a .pdf on a browser, but I love to download it and then open it with Acrobat.If you like this too and you're a Firefox user (like me), there's a new extension for Firefox called PDF Download. With this extension you can simply click the link to a PDF file and the browser now allows you to choose whether you want to view the PDF file inside the browser (as PDF or HTML) or...

posted @ Thursday, June 02, 2005 6:20 PM | Feedback (0)

Shell Extension for .NET Assemblies

Heath Stewart has published on CodeProject a little but really useful utility called Shell Extensions for .NET Assemblies.These shell extensions were written to help distinguish between .NET assemblies and Win32 libraries, as well as give extra information about the assemblies without having to drop to a command-prompt to use the SDK and CLR tools.Provided in this library are:Overlay icons for .NET assemblies (.dll) Column handlers to show the public key token and specific type of .NET assemblies. Automation object for getting the above information in your own applications and libraries.A nice work!

posted @ Thursday, June 02, 2005 3:04 PM | Feedback (0)