Microsoft and Privacy

Microsoft reportedly released results of a three-month phishing study conducted through an add-on to their Windows Live toolbar, the Phishing Detective. The software compared passwords used on various websites and reported URLs to Microsoft if the passwords for two sites matched. Admittedly, it is an interesting approach, and legitimate matches are easily weeded out, but it raises issues about how much Microsoft knows about you. Microsoft could theoretically profile all its toolbar users and keep track of what sites they have accounts at by what sites generate hits to the password-comparing program. Other companies like Google also collect the URLs…

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IE7 Available to All Windows Users

Microsoft has removed the Windows Genuine Advantage validation requirement to download Internet Explorer 7. The change came yesterday (Thursday), when the software giant changed its mind about IE7 from its being a “reward for being legal” to being “in users’ best interest.” Windows Update will be offering the upgrade as a high-priority update, or it can be downloaded immediately from Microsoft’s website. I agree with analyst statements that this is probably a play for market share. Popularity of Mozilla Firefox has been increasing since IE7’s release, and much of the market gains of the new browser have been at the…

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Looks Like IE7 is Finally Arriving, But Windows Vista Bites

Reviewing the site stats for this blog, I see a distinct prevalence of visits from IE7 users over IE6. Firefox still seems to dominate my hits, but Internet Explorer’s own little battle of the versions seems to be turning. A few months ago, not many people I knew used IE7; now I can see the trend clearly. It looks like the day may be coming when I can dump support for IE6 completely as regards my Web development and focus on IE7 fixes. Like the old IE5, version 6 of the venerable, annoying (to developers) browser may soon see its…

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Internet Explorer 7 Doesn’t Layer Properly

In the process of developing a new website I have, I discovered a major flaw in Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) that shows itself when a floated element has background-color: transparent set in the CSS properties. It appears that if the element is floated inside another element with an opaque background, that background becomes transparent also in the area under the transparent element, effectively showing the page background. I have tested this with tiled image backgrounds, however it may show up in colored backgrounds as well. I spent about two hours tonight alternately searching for solutions on Google and discussing the…

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It May Suck, and It May Explode the Internet

…but Micro$loth Suckernet Exploder (I mean Microsoft Internet Explorer, of course 😉 ) can finally work with my website! After applying a couple CSS tricks I found in various resources (books and the Internet), I managed to make the site work (almost) perfectly in IE 5.5 and up. Internet Explorer 7 is, of course, the best implementation, but IE 6 and IE 5.5 are close, with just a few pixels here and there off. There is a strange gap in the border between the content and the navigation, but that disappears in IE 7, so I won’t worry about it…

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Microsoft Dumbernet Explorer

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer program has never had good standards support. Not for CSS, at any rate. Now I find that the new version, IE7, has little better support than IE6, or even IE5. The cause? Badly written CSS parsers and just plain ignorance. Microsoft has had many opportunities to update IE with the new standards, but hasn’t. IE7 was years in the making, and its support is almost worse than IE6.A new website I am developing works perfectly in Mozilla Firefox versions 1.5 and 2.0, but breaks something horrible in IE 6 and 7. The code, validated by the W3C,…

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IE-only Videos?!

The teacher in one of my classes (taught in Moodle, but that’s for another post; maybe next week) uploaded a series of videos to his class that provide pretty useful information. They also don’t play if you’re using Mozilla Firefox, my primary browser. They might be ASF files, and Firefox knows how to open them, but Windows Media Player coughs. The browser must have to download something first, and Firefox doesn’t know that, and WMP spits the file back out like sour milk. This isn’t the first time my school has given Mozilla Firefox the Micro$haft, however indirectly. The way…

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Excuse Me?! This Sounds Like an M$ Strategy

OK, some people have finally lost it. Brought to my attention by the post at http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1307, trackback attached to this post, a small website called Explorer Destroyer is calling for discrimination against IE users. Bah, I say. If someone wants to switch to Firefox, they will. But blocking IE completely (this is Level 3 in the script) and forcing a Firefox download to view a site is crazy. And the site owner gets money for causing their visitors undue aggravation! One dollar for every referral. I smell conspiracy. Update (12/12/07): I’ve revisited this opinion in a .

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