Seattle’s Mayor Mike McGinn just announced to the public that the City of Seattle will develop an ultra-fast broadband network. This is exciting news for both Seattle’s businesses and residents.
The City of Seattle has reached an agreement with broadband developer Gigabit Squared to develop and operate an ultra high-speed fiber-to-the-home/fiber-to-the-business broadband network. The plan will begin with a demonstration fiber project in twelve Seattle neighborhoods and includes wireless methods to deploy services more quickly to other areas in the city. The initiative, leveraging the City of Seattle’s excess fiber capacity, the expertise of Gigabit Squared, and the community leadership of The University of Washington, aims to stimulate business opportunities, spur advancements in health care, education, and public safety, and enhance quality of life for the residents and businesses of Seattle.
“This is a very promising proposal that can help bring 21st century infrastructure to Seattle,” said Mayor McGinn. “I’ve heard from residents and businesses that Seattle needs better broadband service, and this agreement lays the groundwork for building that network. I’m excited to work with the University of Washington and Gigabit Squared to provide new Internet service choices.”
Check out GigabitSeattle.com for more information.
How do you connect to the rest of the world when you are out on the sea in the middle of nowhere? Well, vessels at sea can now operate as remote offices and enjoy always-on, high-speed broadband connectivity used on land. iDirect is one company that offers a satellite-based IP communications technology to provide constant connectivity for voice, video and data applications in any environment.
iDirect’s IP-based approach to shared bandwidth using iDirect’s patented D-TDMA significantly reduces satellite bandwidth by dynamically allocating bandwidth to multiple ships based on a bandwidth pool, providing a more efficient and cost-effective option.
Coupled with iDirect’s award-winning advanced Group Quality of Service (GQoS), service providers can segment bandwidth across multiple ships — even across fleets — and prioritize allocation according to each ship’s dynamic requirements, all while protecting minimum CIR and QoS settings for high-priority traffic.
You can read more about Maritime Connectivity here.
Internet Explorer 8 (IE), which is the default browser in Windows 7, has been reported by the general public as one of the most problematic versions of browser in years. People are reporting that there are numerous Web sites that are not accessible in IE8. When they are able to access the sites, the content is not displayed right. Sometimes only part of the page is displayed. People who have multiple computers have success accessing the troubled sites in older versions on other operating systems (e.g. IE 7 on Vista or IE 6 on Windows XP).
Unfortunately, Windows 7 users are reporting that they are spending too much time troubleshooting the problem before they finally give up. Some get lucky and find a solution. Others, who must use IE8 for whatever reason, have no choice but to continue looking for solutions.
What’s the under lying cause of all this mayhem? Well, there are thousands of Web sites that are displayed improperly, or not displayed at all, when you use IE8 engine to surf the Web. In February 2009, Mary Jo Foley posted this article: Microsoft’s IE 8 Incompatibility List: 2,400 major sites (and counting). In her article she lists the incompatible Web sites, which include major Web sites such as:
A Compatibility View List is essentially a list of Web sites that are broken in IE8. In other words they are incompatible with IE8. Obviously, calling it an Incompatibility List won’t sound too good. Compatibility View List puts a very positive spin on a painful experience and makes it sound as if it were a preplanned “feature” of IE8.
Let’s take a closer look at the actual issue behind the scenes. Unlike previous versions, IE8 renders content in a standards-compliant way. That’s a good thing. Because the previous versions of IE were so messed up (for lack of a better word) and Microsoft has decided to offer a browser that is “standards-compliant”, now all these Web sites are inaccessible in IE8. It’s going to take a while before the Web designers fix all the mess because they wanted their Web sites to appear properly in previous versions of IE and as a result intentionally created sites that won’t follow the standards just so they would run properly using IE engine. To help the public, Microsoft now puts out a Compatibility View List which may make these Web sites accessible. However, I can tell you from personal experience that the Compatibility View will not fix the problem in all cases. Some times it works, some times it doesn’t.
Possible Solutions & Workarounds
There are several solutions and workarounds that work for some individuals. Here are a few examples. Keep in mind this is not a complete list by any means. Also, don’t be surprised if you still have problems accessing the inaccessible Web sites after you have tried all the tips that I’ve listed below because there are too many possibilities and I can’t possibly cover them all.
NOTE: You may have to first install another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, before you try these solutions because if you use IE8 you may not be able to go to Microsoft’s Web site and access the KB articles that I have listed below. Microsoft’s Web site is one of the thousands of Web sites that are reported as inaccessible in IE8.
1. Go to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab and click Restore advanced settings. I know, you are going to tell me that this means that you can’t configure IE8, but you want to surf the Internet don’t you?
2. Run the command prompt as an administrator and type “netsh winsock reset” without the quotes. Reboot the computer. This KB article 811259 has more details.
3. Try Resetting TCP/IP.
4. Uninstall all IE8 updates. Yes, it may make your computer less secure.
5. Disable all IE8 plug-ins and add them back one-by-one.
6. Your computer may be infected with a virus so go to Safe Mode and run a program that will clean the virus. I prefer AVG, which is free and includes anti-virus and anti-spyware components. You may not be able to access AVG’s Web site in IE8 that’s why I mentioned earlier that you may have to install another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox first so you can download the AVG software.
7. Disable Windows firewall. Yes, it may make your computer less secure.
8. Turn on Compatibility View, either for individual Web sites (Tools, Compatibility View) or for all sites (Tools, Compatibility View Settings, Display all websites in Compatibility View). To view the content of your active list you can type the following in the IE8 address bar:
9. If you are running more than one browser, make IE8 your default browser. For example, if you run Firefox as your default browser you need to make IE8 happy by making it your default browser. Just do that temporarily so the sites start to work. Then switch back to Firefox as your default browser. You’ll have to remember to keep doing this whenever IE8 starts to give you problems.
10. Use Mozilla Firefox. All the 2,400+ sites that are incompatible with IE8 are likely to work in Firefox.
My students are often looking for good technical resources and tools for troubleshooting. In general, here are my recommendations when it comes to looking for answers on the Web, especially if you are a network administrator or help desk support professional.
1. Use Bing search engine. Don’t be scared. Bing is a serious contender among search engines. It’s much improved and people have started to really like it.
2. Don’t just go to Google, instead use the special search engine for Microsoft resources that is offered by Google: http://www.google.com/microsoft. If you search a KB article on Microsoft’s site and can’t find it, go to google.com/microsoft and chances are you will find the KB article, which will point back to Microsoft’s own site.
3. Looks for answers on TechNet, Microsoft newsgroups and forums.
4. If you’ve tried other resources and can’t find an answer, go to an MVP’s Web site or blog. For example, for solutions to Outlook, find an Outlook MVP’s Web site or for SharePoint solutions look for a SharePoint MVP’s blog or Web site. The MVP blogs/sites are located at: http://www.mvps.org/links.html.
5. Go to kbalertz.com for knowledge base articles.
6. For event ID errors, go to eventid.net. The annual subscription is practically free (only $24/year).
You may have heard about Google’s new browser called Chrome. I thought about installing it so I can evaluate it. But then I thought about all the privacy violations that Google has been criticized by security experts over the years and decided to do a little research first. I have to admit, I am pretty hesitant when it comes to installing anything made by Google, whether it’s their toolbar, Web browser or anything else. I stumbled upon this article on TG Daily: Chrome is a security nightmare, indexes your bank accounts. In Google’s defense, I should point out that at the time the article was written, Chrome was still in beta. However, the article raises some interesting points and it’s the fact that Google is once again in the middle of a privacy controversy that caught my attention. Here are a few quotes from the article.
After playing around with Google’s brand new Chrome browser, we’ve discovered that its history search box will fetch all types of data – even text from HTTPS-protected financial sites like Washington Mutual and Capital One. With a few utterly simple keywords like balance, account and Sept., everything from balance information, account numbers and even how much you spent at Costco can be pulled up.
To see all of this in action, just open up Chrome and log in to your favorite financial website. Like most important sites, it should be protected with HTTPS/SSL encryption and that should be evident in the address bar of the browser. Do the stuff you would normally do like look at your balances and gawk at your latest transactions and then open up a new tab in Chrome by clicking the “+” symbol. In the right-hand history search box, enter a few keywords and see what they get you. Surprised? I bet you are. No luck? Then try something simple like oh Visa, Mastercard, balance and account. Also try out the names and abbreviations of months like September, Sept and Sep.
And on Guardian‘s Web site I read the following:
The history search feature means you can find all your financial, medical and other secrets from the browser without going anywhere near the secure site. Or someone else can. If you have a PC where someone else can access it — for example, in almost any office — then it’s a recipe for disaster.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a different concern. It says, according to CNet’s headline, We’re concerned about Google’s Omnibox. There’s a privacy issue because anything you type in gets sent back to the Google mothership, and it’s storing some of it. The ways to avoid that include (1) turn off auto-suggest; or (2) use a default search engine that isn’t Google; or (3) use porn mode. Any one will do.
Sorry, I forgot to include the (mercifully short) story of the day: you can crash Chrome by typing :% in the address bar. I expect someone will figure out how to crash it remotely, if they haven’t already done so….
According to Google their browser is supposed to “make the web faster, safer, and easier”. Safer? Really? Funny I just switched my default search engine from Google to Live Search as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post Goodbye Google, Hello Live Search!. And no I didn’t do it because of privacy concerns, I did it because I liked Live Search better.
Copyright © 2013 Zubair Alexander. All rights reserved.
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