Sunday, 26 April 2009

Rich - Poor gap shrinks

On a non-techy note, due to the recession, this had to be talked about. The rich are getting poorer. It's not just us poor people affected by the recession.

According to Philip Beresford who compiles the rich list, the number of billionaires has fallen from 75 to 43 with a total loss of £150bn.

On the up side, they are still rich and can afford their luxuries still. With all that is going on the gap between the rich and poor is finally dropping.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Conficker begins stealthy

Many of you may not know what Conficker is. This is a virus (worm) that runs on the Windows operating system (2000, XP, Vista and so on). Over the last few months this has been attacking many computers in industry.

Recent news about this is that it is updating. What's new in variant C is that it will take keystroke information and send this back to the attackers / creators. I would advise you to access secure data only if you are 100% clean of the virus.

Please have a read of the two articles from the BBC:
Conficker begins stealthy update
Q&A: Conficker protection

Windows Vista and Windows 7

I have recently read that Microsoft have given people the choice to downgrade Windows 7 to Windows Vista. Looking at the OS's I don't see why you would as personally I think Windows 7 is better and that we should bypass Vista.

This looks like Microsoft want more people to use Vista. Their excuse is that this will help to extend the lifetime of XP. I have seen that many businesses have moved the majority of computers to XP (from 2000) in 2007, only 6 years after XP came out. It's nice that Microsoft want us to move on, but a good OS stands the test of time. I would have to say XP is my favourite, but given 10 years, things move on.

I'm just glad that we have longer support for XP.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

IE8 and browser detection

Do you develop websites of your own? If so you may use browser detection methods to find out what the browser used and tweak your website to look nice in other browsers.

Finally moving to IE8 and bypassing version 7 I found that the browser is not detected using PHP. In IE 7 I could use the code:

if ( strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'MSIE 7') )
$browser = 'ie7';

This works for 6 and 7 by changing the number. However for in PHP IE8 reports:
Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; InfoPath.1; MSN OptimizedIE8;ENGB)

The work around in PHP I used was "OptimizedIE8". By tweaking my detection script, I added:

if ( strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'OptimizedIE8') )
$browser = 'ie8';

For those of you that like to avoid JavaScript and use PHP, I hope this helps. Others that use ASP, I'm sure you have something to combat this too.

If this still does not work on IE and my website then please let me know. Thanks.