When Captcha Goes Bad

I love CAPTCHA ... the little code boxes that help verify you are indeed a real human being when submitting a form. Obviously the idea is to scramble the letters and numbers just enough to make it nearly impossible for a computer to guess, but relatively easy for a person. So when filling out an online form today, I came across this gem. Man, what the heck?? Fortunately there was a convenient "re-seed" button, but I assure you it took a few times to get one I'd even attempt to decypher.

Ocean's Twelve Review

I loved the movie Ocean's Eleven (the remake) -- it didn't have any great cinematic quality, but what it did do is entertain. I must've seen this movie a dozen times on various movie channels, and I'm never bored while watching it. Because I rarely go to the movies, I was really excited to see Ocean's Twelve when it came out on DVD. Overall, it was decent. There were a number of things I didn't like about the movie [spoiler warning] and I figured I'd blog my ramblings. I doubt anyone will read this s... [More]

A Day In History: The Cross Join

Today marks a day in history: the first time I had a real and practical use for a SQL Cross Join. Why is this special? I _really_ thought I'd never use a cross join. I mean, I've used "WITH CUBE," Access CrossTabs, and more Case, Convert, Cursors, and Casts than I care to admit. But nary a cross join. The task? I recently saw that Netscape 8 was released; IE 7 is heating up on the internal circuit; and all the while Firefox has gained a lot of ground. I wanted a way to do my own site metrics; I have ... [More]

Microsoft Update Beta

Want to check out the next version of Windows Update? It's called Microsoft Update, and it incorporates the best of the different update engines into a single product. To check it out, visit this link: http://update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate The old Windows Update won't go away -- this will be a new service that includes everything Windows Update has, plus components for other software updates. For the next few weeks, this product is Beta (standard disclaimer about Beta software applies). If you... [More]

MyPopchecker Now Supports SSL

Recently I received a request from Jeremy, a MyPopchecker user, to allow MyPopchecker accounts to specify custom ports. This is useful if you have an SMTP or POP3 server running on a non-standard port. Initially I thought, "Hey, sure, no problem." Programatically the only challenge is adding the database field and tweaking the socket code. The more difficult part of this, as I came to discover, is that that some ISPs (like gmail) require SSL. Adding this functionality was a bit more of a roadblock, ... [More]

Content Publishing Seminar

Today I attended "Content Publishing Day," an event put on by Microsoft's Engineering Excellence Group. The conference isn't geared to developers, but I thought it would be interesting to attend because most of my group is involved with content publishing, and it's a good chance to hear about topics that I probably wouldn't attend otherwise. It's no secret that there's a lot of effort put into staying in touch with consumers -- that's what make blogging such a powerful medium. It's exciting to see how MS... [More]

WinHEC and the x64 Launch, Part Deux

The remaining days at WinHEC went really well. Monday evening was the x64 launch -- I conned Tom into letting me take a picture of him next to one of the x64 signs ... ha! I was supposed to pose next. It's a tad bit of unintentional humor that, among 64-bit networked machines running FarCry 64-bit and UT2004, we find a vintage Asteroids machine. At the bottom left is a picture of the x64 car to help promote the event. I attended a few sessions on Metro, and also sessions detailing implementations of UP... [More]

My Apps

Dark Skies Astrophotography Journal Vol 1 Explore The Moon
Mars Explorer Moons of Jupiter Messier Object Explorer
Brew Finder Earthquake Explorer Venus Explorer  

My Worldmap

Month List