Microsoft Cripples Internet Explorer

Now that I’m done , I can talk about today’s news. One of Microsoft’s security updates for this month has been causing problems for Internet Explorer users, of both versions (6 and 7). Users have been reporting that IE either won’t start or crashes when trying to load certain sites. Microsoft is reportedly looking into the issue. It doesn’t happen on all machines. My computer’s perfectly fine. Admittedly, I use Firefox for everything but my school website, but at least I don’t have trouble starting the browser. As long as Microsoft is only messing up their own browser, I’m happy.…

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Opera Files Antitrust Suit Against Microsoft

OK, I swear I won’t take anything else verbatim from my source article other than the title. Kudos to James Niccolai for coming up with such a hot headline! That said, I’ll get down to business. Opera Software, the Norwegian maker of the alternative Opera browser, has filed an antitrust suit against Microsoft in the European Union. The suit accuses Microsoft of stifling competition by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows and not following accepted industry standards within that browser. As my friend i80and pointed out earlier today, something similar happened with Netscape about five years ago. Microsoft ended up paying…

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IE7’s Blocking of prompt()

I haven’t experienced the supposed goodness that is IE7 first-hand as of yet, but I have heard plenty about its shortcomings and annoyances. Another I just read about today is the default settings that blocks websites from using the built-in prompt() method in JavaScript. It wouldn’t be super annoying if Microsoft handled user permission intelligently, though. As it is, IE7 displays the by-now familiar Information Bar (introduced in IE6 with Windows XP’s Service Pack 2) and the user can allow “scripted windows” on the page. Unfortunately, the scripting engine simply ignores the prompt and moves on through the rest of…

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XKCD Roundup: My Favorite XKCD Comics

I’ve selected a few exceptionally good xkcd comic strips and embedded them here. I find them all particularly amusing, over and above the normal strips. The tooltips have been preserved as well. I advise you to read them; the comics sometimes don’t make sense without. If the pics are too small for you, just click them (Ctrl+click or Shift+click would be better, actually; new tab, new window) to get the full-size version. And you can fix the annoying title truncation in Firefox using this nice extension. Centrifugal Force This is one of those things that just hits my funny bone…

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Cool Stuff: XsX Alpha-Blended Cursors for Windows XP and Vista

A little idea got to me through Google Reader today. About an hour ago, I installed the XsX alpha-blended cursors on my computer and already I’m loving them. It’s neat because almost all the cursors are the same shape, just with different colors. They’re bigger than the default Windows set, and they look almost Mac-like, which is generally a plus. I suggest you try them, if you’re on a PC. There’s an “untested” pre-XP instruction set for those willing to experiment. I highly recommend them. You can find instructions and the self-extracting download at Tiensivu.com.

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IE7 Bashed by Users and Developers Alike

I’ve definitely made my share of complaints about Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, versions 6 and 7. Apparently, I’m not the only one who doesn’t like IE. Lots of people turned out to bash various aspects of the browser and the development practices behind it in the comments on an official blog post celebrating the one-year anniversary, as it were, of the browser’s release. OK, so I knew I wasn’t the only IE hater in the world, but the turnout was so significant, PC World published an article about it. Well, Computerworld did, but you know what I mean. Posters complained about…

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Acquisition Practices: Microsoft vs. Google

Another day, another acquisition, but this time it’s not Google. Microsoft has acquired a service called WebFives, which provides file-sharing for mobile video, photos, audio, and blogs via a Web-based service. The technologies, trademarks, patents (including pending patents), and all other intellectual property of the company, named Vizrea when it was started, will be integrated into Microsoft’s Windows Live offerings. This is no different from what Google does when they acquire a company, except there’s one niggling little difference. Microsoft has granted WebFives a “license” to continue their services through the end of the month. After December 31, 2007, the…

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Times Square Display Crashes

For some reason, I really like putting equations in my titles… Anyway, by way of Zoli Erdos, here’s a nice high-profile crash for you: Yep, that’s Adobe Flash on Windows XP, just after it “encountered a problem and needs to close.” I love it when stuff like this happens. Here’s a nice closeup of the error dialog: Who knew Windows was so funny? I know I’m linking to Zoli a lot lately, but seriously, where else would I get these amusing little gems now that This Is Broken has gone the way of the Dodo Bird? [Photos taken by Andrew…

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Apple Discontinuing Boot Camp

If you use Apple Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) with or without Boot Camp, be warned. Apple will be discontinuing support, updates, and new downloads of the dual-boot software on December 31. The installation software will no longer function, though existing users will continue to be able to use their Windows partitions. Apple made the announcement yesterday, saying that they “hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to preview an exciting new feature of Mac OS X Leopard.” The announcement comes as an apparent marketing move to push users to the OS X 10.5 upgrade, which offers built-in Boot Camp. I call…

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XP Faster Than Vista?

Ah, more evidence that Vista’s a flop. The same testers that benchmarked Vista SP1 beta performed the same set of tests on XP SP3 beta and came up with some astonishing results. First, SP3 is about 10% faster than SP2, a nice bonus for a bugfix rollup. But XP SP3 is also about twice as fast as Vista SP1. Twice as fast. Wow! More reason for me to stick with XP, I think. Microsoft’s losing their touch.

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