Friday, July 13, 2007

XML, ex-em-schmell!

I pulled up my rss feed in IE today, and got an error:
"Use of default namespace declaration attribute in DTD not supported."

Apparently, IE doesn't support the very valid code that specifies the document type in an xml feed.

So, while recommends specifying a doctype in every webpage, I had to pull my doctype specification in my RSS/XML feeds.

It should be working fine now. If not, drop me a line. I'll keep an eye on it over the next few days.

This is probably OK. The doctype I was using was XHTML, which XML should fit, but for example I can't guarantee that the code posted by my blog users will be strictly XHTML-only, which would break the doctype.

Lesson learned: even if you are writing valid, standardized, even recommended code, check first to make sure Microsoft decided to support it in IE. And periodically re-check your code to make sure Microsoft didn't decide to suddenly STOP supporting valid coding practices after the fact.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Resume material

So thismorning Freyja IM's me:

[Freyja]: heard on NPR that online video games such as WOW can help with future business careers
[Freyja]: something about learning how to work together, lead a team...pretty funny
[Freyja]: ;)
[Me]: hehe, nice

[Me]: So I can put it on a resume?

[Freyja]: lol!!

[Me]: "I make weekly runs with my guild through the underbog with my level 60+ draenei shaman! great leadership skills! can off-tank in a pinch!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Use "greylisting" to help eliminate spam

This article outlines another potential tool to stop spam.

This method claims to help your existing spam filter strategies to identify and eliminate 95% of spam from the most obvious spam filters.

The way this works is a combination of blacklisting and whitelisting, hence the name, greylisting.

When a message comes in to an email server with greylisting, the message is analyzed for the following three pieces of information:
- incoming IP address
- advertised sender email address
- intended destination email address

These three pieces of information uniquely identifies the message to the greylisting method. If this identifier has not been seen before, the email server simply sends an RFC 821 message back to the sending server that basically states, "sorry, the message wasn't received correctly, please retry sending after a short wait."

Since email is not designed to be 100% reliable, email servers are supposed to accept this sort of reply and shortly attempt to resend an email message when the "sorry" reply is received.

So if the sending email server sends the message again, with the same identifier, the greylisting email server will add the identifier to it's internal whitelist. If the message is never resent, the greylisting server can assume the sender was a "fire-and-ignore" spam source.

This strategy is great for eliminating spam in a number of ways.
- identified servers that don't respond can be blacklisted
- identified servers that DO respond can be processed by existing DNS-blacklist services

There is an added cost of the traffic necessary on the greylisting receiver's server, as well as the extra traffic to confirm messages to and from valid senders, but this does add to the processing cost for spammers as well. Hopefully the added cost to the spammer, if they bother to respond to greylisting at all, makes spamming unprofitable to them.

In the meantime, this is yet another way to try to identify and eliminate spam email (from the most oblivious spam sources) before it reaches your inbox.

Monday, February 26, 2007

D&D, the pathway to hell!

Someone was quoting a few lines from this great Dead Alewives skit, and I had to go find the video again.

I loved the intro and 8-bit goodness of this version. Here's the link for your enjoyment.

via YouTube, 8-bit D&D video

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Windows Vista is out

Today Microsoft Windows Vista went on sale. With all of their promises of improved security, I'm sure it will only be a matter of time until someone proves them wrong. Again.

I do have to say, I was impressed when Windows XP was released -- compared to Windows 98, even Windows 2000, it seemed a lot more stable of an OS. It takes a lot to invoke that infamous blue screen of death, but it is still possible.

If anyone has had experienced the new wonder child of Microsoft, feel free to leave comments here, or email me and I will post it here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Keeping safer passwords

Bruce Schneier from writes this article on how to pick a safer password -- and why some passwords are not as secure as you might think.