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Thoughts on many things Posts

On vaguebooking and slacktivism

Note: This is a translated and re-worked version of a response I made to someone who was annoyed that someone else criticized  the posting of a heart without anything in the way of context to one’s facebook page, supposedly to “raise awareness about breast cancer”. The person made the claim that it had been going on for years, and that anyone and everyone should know what it meant, and that there was no possible way to criticize it. As you are about to learn, I disagree.

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Patreon: Patronage for the internet age

The practice of patronage – bestowing financial support on e.g. artists – is a time-honored tradition. In times gone by, patronage was both highly personal, and something reserved for the rich and very rich. One of the many things the internet has done, is to make such pursuits available to the crowds. My favorite example is found at Patreon. As a Patreon member, I am able to directly support content creators whose work I enjoy. Here are a few examples:

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Powershell: Exporting Active Directory Contacts

Some time ago, I needed to have a list of all Contacts registered in Active Directory. Knowing that there are a lot of them (numbering at least eighty), getting the data manually was not a viable alternative, particularly knowing that the same objective can be achieved through Powershell. I eventually came up with a solution. To make following it logically easier, I’m going to include commentary on each step:

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Find attachments opened in Outlook

Early this year, a user called in with a somewhat peculiar story. They had previewed a file attached to an email, and the subsequently deleted the email. It wasn’t important enough to be worth it to restore the entire mail file, and so they wondered if there was any other way to find the attachment. They noted that they had previously gotten into a folder which seemed to contain all previewed files, though they were unable to find it again when searching. The user had searched the web, to no avail, and so turned to me with two questions. First; could I help them find the folder, and second, why did it not show up in search.

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Something you might not know

In an old blog post, I wrote about podcasting and the podcasts I subscribed to. Since then, the list has changed a fair bit; some podcasts have ended, or my interest in them has waned, and others have been added to the list. One of those latter ones is “Tell me something I don’t know“, by Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner. Described as “live journalism wrapped in a game-show package”, I’ve found it highly enjoyable, and would’ve loved being on the show. As the show is taped in the US, the likelihood of that happening is very low indeed. Luckily for me, I’ve got my very own soapbox here, and can share my IDK with you all, and so I will.

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Threatsaurus: a free resource to understand IT threats

Depending on your perspective, threats against IT systems are either extremely rare, something that happens to other people, or a daily (or near-daily) occurrence. The former is generally from the perspective of the end user, whereas the latter will be the perspective of IT professionals. One of the challenges I’ve encountered in talking to end users about these threats, is to communicate what is happening to them in a way that is both accurate and at a level appropriate to them.

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Reviewed: Røde SmartLav+

It should be a well established truth that on-board camera microphones are bad to terrible, and on some cameras, for some applications, they are downright useless. A few months ago, I bought a Røde SmartLav+ to take more control over the sound quality of some of my videos. I record sound on my iPhone, and combine the footage with the audio in post production, an editing step that (given software that supports audio-based sync) takes very little time, and which helps solve the issue of poor audio quality.

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Remove the Edge tab button from Internet Explorer

Microsoft seems to have decided to phase out Internet Explorer, and replace it with Microsoft Edge. This has resulted in an option to open new tabs in Edge, rather than Internet Explorer, presumably on the assumption that if people just spend more time with Edge, they will find that it is the better option. Regardless of how you feel about that – or about Microsofts offerings in the browser market in general, for that matter – the button can be annoying to users who, for one reason or another, find themselves using Internet Explorer be it through company policy, or by their own choosing.

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HTTPS enabled, now forced

Sometime in late 2016, I enabled HTTPS on the site, to make sure that this option was available to those who wanted to use it. I didn’t really think much of it, but was planning on moving to enforce usage at some point. Then came this post from Troy Hunt, where I learned that a change is coming. Where sites served over HTTP were previously simply not labeled as secure, they will be labeled as not secure when entering data with Chrome v. 62 (which is to be released in October of 2017), and likely always labeled as not secure in some later version. (Incognito mode treats this slightly different, as shown in the below graphic).

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