Google using Layout Tables???

2 07 2010

I just noticed that Google uses Layout Tables and no external CSS file on their homepage.. does anybody know why they’d do this?





Make FireFox 3.6 open tabs at the end

2 02 2010

All this while FireFox always opened new tabs at the end of the tab bar, however with the latest 3.6 version things changed and the default setting is to open it next to the current tab.

This is quite annoying !
Thankfully a small change in the config setting will set things right.

To change the tab sequence do the following:

  1. Type about:config in the address bar. Then, if needed click the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button.
  2. Next, in the filter box – type in: tabs.insertRelatedAfterCurrent

And you are now good to get back to work !!





A Better way to write Button Click actions in AS3

26 11 2009

If you ask me two of the most painful things while moving from as2 to as3 have been button actions and hyperlinking to a website.. and ironically those are the most common tasks for a flash designer/developer.

According to most of the blogs, forums and even the adobe site the way to code button actions with a hyperlink is like so

myButton_btn.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_OVER, mysite);
function mysite(event:MouseEvent) {
var req1:URLRequest=new URLRequest("http://www.mysite.com");
navigateToURL(req1,"_self");
}

While this works great for a button or two, but if you have say a navigation bar of buttons or say hot spots on a map you are going to have to copy paste that whole code multiple times and keep changing the function name and url for each of them, which is totally going against DRY

In such situations I usually prefer to create a single function and pass the site link as a parameter to the function. The new code could look something like this

function siteLink (myurl:String):Function{
return function():void{
var req1:URLRequest=new URLRequest(myurl);
navigateToURL(req1,"_self");
}}
myButton_btn.addEventListener("mouseDown",siteLink("www.mysite.com"));
yourButton_btn.addEventListener("mouseDown",siteLink("www.yoursite.com"));

You could have this function on the first keyframe on the root and reuse the same function for buttons that you’d have within movieclips , you’ll need to slightly modify the code to this

var myroot = root;
ourButton_btn.addEventListener("mouseDown",myroot.siteLink("www.oursite.com"));

and if you need to call a function on a Mouse Over then the code would look like this

ourButton_btn.addEventListener("mouseOver",siteLink("www.oursite.com"));

Hope this helps





Apache or IIS not starting on Windows

7 11 2009

This seems to be a very common problem with many of us..

While trying to restart IIS  you suddenly start to get this message  “Unexpected error 0×8ffe2740 occurred.” or  your Apache on Windows would fail to start..

In most probable cases the culprit would be Skpe, so check to see if Skype is running and turn it off.

Try starting your IIS or Apache hopefully it should start now.. and after you have your IIS or Apache running then start Skype.

The reason for this is.. Skype by default looks to see if port 80 is free and if it is.. it will use port 80 to run.. and since both IIS and Apache also look for port 80 they fail if Skype has taken it up.

On the contorary if Port 80 is being used by either IIS or Apache, Skype will conveniently use another port.





A technique to prevent Phishing

11 09 2009

When I come to think of it.. stealing a persons credentials through phishing sites is going to be one of the biggest and most dangerous threat on the Internet.

Websites need to do  more than merely display warning messages on their sites in order to prevent phishing or alteast bring down the instances.

I think the basic concept is for the website to authenticate itself before the user puts in his/her passwords.

A simple technique that I thought of is described below

The login screen first displays only the textbox for the username, once the username is entered, the site makes an AJAX call and fetches the persons name and displays a message saying ” Hi Vinci Rufus” or some other info from the person’s profile before he/she can put in the passwords.

Well this does add an additional step, but I think it would be worth that extra step than losing your Internet Identity forever.

I’ve put up a small example of the above technique at this url

www.vinznet.com/labs/phishing/first_step.php

username : user@user.com     [ you can also hit tab]
pass: user

username: admin@admin.com
pass: admin

This is surely not a foolproof method and if the user doesn’t bother to look up on the screen to see if the site managed to get the correct info then there is nothing that can be done about it, or if the username is very similar to the persons name then we’ll need to pick up some other info like the birthdate or something.

So let me have your thoughts and ideas on the comments area and we can have a discussion.

I’m also thinking of another solution involving flash/flex based hologram kind of a thing.. but I’ll talk about it in another post.





Sorting by Color in Excel 2007

1 09 2009

I think one of the many requested features for Excel 2007 was Sorting your data based on color, and thankfully the Excel team has obliged to it.

Here are the settings to sort your data based on colors, very simple …very sweet !!!

sortByColor

Incase you want to add multiple sort criteria then simply click on the add button on the top left corner of the sort window





Counting unique items in an Excel List

30 08 2009

This article has moved to a new location:

http://www.learnersdesk.com/index.php?id=62