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Brandon Paddock BHpaddock
  • Introducing MSN Toolbar Suite - Silicon Valley team (and demo!)

    Shannon wrote:
    How does this compare to Copernic Desktop Search?
    Does it index music (file names and ID3 ifo)?
    Does it index images?
    Does it index videos?
    Does it index Firefox Internet cache and history? 
    IE Internet cache and history?  
    Can you configure the file types to index (locations or full text)? 
    Does index content of Word docs and PDF?
    Does it have a preview window for full-text searches?
    Does it highlight search terms in the preview window?


    So far, I've found that it does index media files (at least WMA, but I'm pretty sure others as well).  However it won't do so if you have shmedia.dll unloaded (as Explorer won't be able to access that information either).

    It also indexes Word documents.  And a user above said that Indexing Service plugins work, including one for PDF files.

    So I'd imagine it's quite customizeable at that level.

    As for browsing history, I don't think it does it yet.  But I'll keep looking.
  • Dan Appleman - Where are teenagers feeling computing pain?

    On cookies:

    Like Scoble said, your personal information isn't written to a cookie.  The cookie writes a text string which identifies you to the server.  The server then can look-up the information you provided when you last visited the site (because your information is stored alongside that text string on the server).

    The server can only store what information you give it... So many people, including my own grandmother (who was brainwashed by my "all-knowing" mac-evangelist uncle) think that simply by having cookies enabled, people can find her address and come to her house and steal all of her earthly possessions.

    At the same time, she had her iMac plugged directly into the cable modem (and it wasn't one of the new ones with built-in NAT). 

    Which, of course, I fixed for her.

    The other thing about cookies is that the ONLY site that can access a specific cookie is the one that created it in the first place.

    The only "abuse" of cookies that has become commonplace is that used by Ad companies. 

    Basically, countless web pages who use the same Ad service have an include that both pulls the advertisement from the Ad server, AND lets the ad server access its own cookie. 

    The way they use this is simple... When you click on an Ad, the Ad server registers that you clicked on a certain kind of ad... maybe one for a new computer system.

    Then the next time you go to a site that uses that particular Ad service, their include can check your cookie, look you up in their database, and say "hey, this guy (user 25234523423423423) clicked on an ad for Gateway in the past.  Let's show him an ad for Dell instead of the one for Coke."

    At no point does the ad service have your name, phone number, address, or anything else...  Even if you buy something from one of their clients.  Only their client should get your information.

    So they can track your tastes, or which of *their* websites you like to visit... but nothing more.
  • Dean Hachamovitch - Do you have the hottest seat at Microsoft?

    Personally, I am very very fond of Avant Browser (http://www.avantbrowser.com).  It's a completely free IE shell with several features that I've come to rely on.

    Here they are in no particular order:

    1) Pop-up blocking.  IE has this now, but didn't when I started using Avant.

    2) Ad blocking.  Can be done manually for IE by editing the HOSTS file, but that's not exactly user-friendly Smiley  Of course, this I think is the least likely to be added to IE... as Ads are in many cases a legitimate money maker for web sites.

    3) Tabs.  When I discovered that I could middle-click on a link and have it open up in a background tab, I fell in love with Avant.  Before Avant I would have to right-click, select "Open in new window," and then alt-tab back to the original page.
    Avant's tabbing system is especially useful for forum browsing and research.

    4) More menu customizeability.  My monitor's resolution is 1920x1200, and I like having my Back/Forward/Stop etc. toolbar at the upper left, with the File/Edit/etc. menus to the right of them, and the tab window MDI controls (maximize, minimize tabs, etc.) on the right.  ALL on the same line, though.  With the address and search bar on the second line, and my customized Links bar on the third.  I keep my tabs themselves at the bottom of the screen, just above the status bar.

    5) Inline search queries.  I can type "g robert scoble blog" into the address bar and get a google search for that string.  Or I can type "d combustification" to lookup that word on dictionary.com.

    And most recently, I've set it up so that I can type "kb 145629" to look up any KB article by its number in the MS knowledge base.  This has become a great way for me to look up the details of a particular hotfix.