Geek Software of the Week: TidyUI

Are you a sloppy HTML coder? (Aren’t we all?) Well, no worries! Now you can clean up that HTML code with a UI (User Interface) to the WC3’s HTMLTidy libraries! Cool!

TidyUI Download Page

Just download the file, unzip it, and place the contents of the zip file somewhere that you know you can locate, like:

C:\Program Files\TidyUI

Then, create a shortcut to the “tidyui.exe” file. Click on the shortcut, and you have a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that will allow you to select your poor example of HTML coding, then click on “Tidy!” and “viola’!” You have clean, neat code! (Now, if I could just clean my house!)

Trekker, Mac-user, or both?

Survey results of Internet users demonstrate that Mac-users and Trekkers (Star Trek fans), are the primary listeners to podcasts! So, which are you? I will cop to being a huge Trekker, and I like Macs, but I don’t own one… so pretty close! I am probably unusual in that I listen to about 25 podcasts a week. Hummmm… maybe I am in my own category?

Podcasts popular in the holodeck

“Among those surveyed, 51.6 percent said they paid bills online, and 24.6 percent participated in online job hunting. E-mailing is still the most popular online activity at 92.7 percent, with news reading (71.5) and weather checking (63.9) in second and third place, respectively. Compared to those statistics, downloading podcasts is still a relatively unpopular activity. Overall, 6.6 percent of adults said they had downloaded audio podcasts within the last 30 days, and 4 percent had downloaded video podcasts. Since the question has only been recently added to the survey, according to the Nielsen/NetRatings spokeswoman, there is no data available for 2004 to allow for a growth comparison. (Blogging came in even lower at 4.8 percent.)”

Microsoft Fined by the EU for Defying the Law

M$ has been bad, and the EU is clamping down! They have been fined big time for refusing to give up details of their server code that would allow other companies to better design media software for Windows Server. M$ has acquiesced somewhat on its Media Player client, but they have been dragging their heals on the server side.

EU fines Microsoft 281 mln euros for defiance

“European Union regulators fined Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) 280.5 million euros ($357.3 million) on Wednesday for defying a 2004 antitrust ruling, and warned the company to comply or face bigger fines from next month. The tough new penalty is the first of its kind and comes on top of a record 497 million euro fine the Commission imposed in its landmark antitrust decision against Microsoft in March 2004.”

Microsoft Warns of 5 “Critical” Security Flaws

Get ready to get your security updates! M$ has found five BIG security flaws in Windows and Office that will allow someone to take over your computer!

Microsoft Warns of 5 “Critical” Security Flaws

“Microsoft Corp. (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday warned of five ‘critical’ security flaws in its Windows operating system and Office software that could allow attackers to take control of a computer. Microsoft, whose Windows operating system runs on 90 percent of the world’s computers, issued patches to fix the problems as part of its monthly security bulletin. The world’s biggest software maker defines a flaw as ‘critical’ when the vulnerability could allow a damaging Internet worm to replicate without the user doing anything to the machine.”

Firefox Web Browser Use in the U.S. Passes 15%!

Alright! The word is getting out! People are realizing that Internet Explorer is not safe! Firefox usage continues to grow! Life is good!

Firefox Use in the U.S. Passes 15%!

“Worldwide, Firefox now holds 12.93 percent of the market, up from 11.79 percent in May. The open source browser commands a 15.82 percent usage share in the United States, and a whopping 39.02 percent in Germany. Australians are also big Firefox users, with the browser holding 24.23 percent of the market down under. Internet Explorer use worldwide has fallen below 80 percent in the United States to 79.78 percent, according to OneStat, although IE still accounts for 83.05 percent of the browser market globally. British Web surfers are the biggest IE users, giving Microsoft’s browser 86.23 percent of the market.”

How E-Mail Relaying Works

Every so often I have to explain e-mail relaying to a client so that they can figure out how to set up their e-mail if they are hosting a domain with me. I thought the general information might be interesting enough that others might benefit as well, so here’s the explanation I sent out:


OK, here’s how it all works.

A user has an Internet Service Provider that provides the “wire” to their house. For clarity, we will call this company “” They are the ones that you pay for your DSL, or broadband, connection. In my case, for instance, I have a broadband connection provided by the Piedmont Triad Road Runner division of Time-Warner. So, provides service to you. You are in their “cloud” of domain security, and they, by default, “trust” you as “one of their own.â€? It is a cozy, happy relationship. As far as is concerned, your house, and your PC, are “on their network” and they allow you to “send and receive” pretty much whatever you want, to and from, them.

Now, outside of, there are other ISP’s, other companies, and other network services. These folks are “outside” the friendly confines of does NOT trust these other companies. And, sadly, they shouldn’t! There are too many bad guys out there to lower your guard! I have often said that the Internet is like the old “Wild West” days. You have to carry a six-shooter with you to protect yourself from the guys in black hats!

Now, you (a member of the community) contracts with an outside vendor to provide business e-mail (like me,) we with call this company “” has it’s own DNS, infrastructure, e-mail servers, firewalls, and, it, too, has a responsibility NOT to trust anyone outside of it’s “cloud” of influence. trusts YOU as a customer, but DOESN’T trust, and doesn’t trust Rather than being a bad thing, in computer and networking circles, this is “business as usual” since both companies know that the rules are; “If I can’t control it in my own datacenter, then it is NOT to be trusted.â€?

Mail servers have an ability called “relaying” that allows one trusted source to “relay” mail to another trusted source. “Relaying” is ONLY turned on WITHIN a network “owned” by the vendor that controls it. For instance, may have four servers sending mail BEHIND their firewall, and WITHIN their own datacenter. Among this “big, happy family,” these servers may be set to relay mail to each other all day long. But, would NEVER open a relay to, and would NEVER open a relay to On the Internet, these mail servers are called “Open Relays” and as soon as they are found, they are “blacklisted” as spamming servers, or, they are isolated in other ways to be sure that they do not become “carriers” of all the ills of the Internet like Viruses, Spam, Malware, etc. No one wants to be found out to be an “Open Relay” server. Aside from the fact that it is bad computer management, and opens up abuse problems, it is also just plain “dumb,” and other computer geeks think that the company that does this is clueless and should be sent back to Networking 101! (They also poke fun at them in dark, shady, corner Geek Bars and have a laugh at their expense!)

So, what is a customer to do? He (you, in this case) is “stuck” between two “Wild West gunslingersâ€? that don’t trust each other! However, trusts YOU as its customer, and trusts YOU as its customer! So, you can RECIEVE mail from, and you can SEND mail from! Therefore, you have to set up your mail client so that:

INCOMING mail is set to the e-mail server at
OUTGOING mail is set to the e-mail server at

In this way, you can both send mail OUT, because trusts you. You are in their network, after all. And you can receive mail sent IN to “insert-your-personal-domain-here”.com because trusts you as a customer and will gladly send your client e-mail destined to you.

So, now, let’s drop back to the “real world” at my house, as a real “for instance.” My ISP is Road Runner, so I would have my home e-mail set to SEND OUT via Road Runner. But I would have my RECIEVE server set to DrBillBailey.NET (since that is my personal domain.) So, my e-mail client would be set:

SMTP (or POP3) INCOMING server:

Now, since I am “within” the Road Runner “world” I don’t even need a password to “relay” off the “local-to-me” Road Runner e-mail server. However, I DO need a username and password to connect to my personal account at DrBillBailey.NET.

So, what you will need to do, is be sure that your e-mail client is pointing toward YOUR ISP’s SMTP server for OUTGOING SMTP traffic, and to the e-mail server at “insert-your-personal-domain-here”.com’s server (with your username and password) for the INCOMING mail. This SHOULD clear up any problems. Sorry for the long story, but I have found it helps to “get” the underlying concepts when setting these things up!

Dr. Bill’s “The Tirade Podcast” Edition #44

Dr. Bill Podcast – 44 – (07/08/06)
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An alliterative introduction – Podcast Number 44 – Dr. Bill discovers it is no longer 19**, but it is 2006! OK. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska is a dummy. (My opinion.) We hear the Senator explains why he voted against Net Neutrality… his staff sent him an entire Internet and it took a whole day to get to his inbox! Net Neutrality, is it an issue from “the left” or “the right?” Judge Wells tosses out most of evil SCO’s anti-Linux lawsuit against IBM. Microsoft hosted Office “Live” on a Linux/Apache server! Academics “break” the Great Firewall of China! Geek Software of the Week: Ykill, which allows you to kill “bad” Windows apps! How to add Adsense advertising to a WordPress blog. FreeDOS is not dead! A free, Open Source DOS operating system approaches it’s 1.0 release! Sophos, a large security firm, recommends that because of malware home users should switch to Macs! (You could also go to Linux!) Microsoft will support the OpenDocument format after all! A guy releases a bug for the major web browsers, one per day! He is calling it “MoBB” (Month of Browser Bugs)… this kind of help we don’t need! Apple has 70% of the personal digital media market so Microsoft is preparing to release an “Ipod Killer!” The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary now lists “google” as a verb! Cool!

Let Me “Google” That!

Well, it is official… “google,” with a small “g,” is now a verb! The 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary lists “google” as a new word!

“Google” Goes From Web to Webster’s

“The definition: ‘to use the Google search engine to obtain information … on the World Wide Web.’ As in, ‘Let me google that.’ Linguists said google entered the lexicon especially quickly. It reached the pages of the dictionary just five years after its first known public reference as a verb in a New York Post article. Usually, it takes 10 to 20 years for words to enter everyday use, if they make it at all. Google’s speed ‘is typical for words used on or about the Web,’ said John Morse, president and publisher of Merriam-Webster Inc. ‘Those are words that establish themselves in the language the quickest because of the power of the Web to propagate words.'”

Will Microsoft Produce an “Ipod-Killer?”

The Ipod from Apple has 70% of the personal digital media market locked up. Will a new offering from Microsoft make a dent in this market?

Microsoft Ipod-Killer?

Microsoft has the money and the “clout,” but will they pull it off? They plan on having an “iTunes-like” site to provide content for their new device as well.

“The new player, which Microsoft Corp. has been touting to record companies in the last few weeks, will let users download music and videos over the air, according to one source, a feature which would give it an edge over the iPod. Microsoft Corp. has also been showing a new media software, developing an application akin to Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod/iTunes integrated ecosystem, according to another source. Record companies are expected to be receiving prototypes to test in the coming weeks, said the first source. The sources said Microsoft will be throwing significant marketing dollars behind the launch.”

This Kind of “Help” We DON’T Need!

A “gentleman” has decided to release sample code at the rate of one-per-day for every major browser this month! Sigh. THIS we REALLY don’t need! I suppose he is trying to make a point… but you just KNOW that folks are going to impliment these exploits to make life even more painful than it already is on the net! There has to be a better way!

A Browser Flaw a Day Keeps Hackers at Play

“A well-known hacker has stockpiled browser exploits and plans to release one flaw a day for the month of July to highlight the types of vulnerabilities affecting the world’s most widely used Web browsers. HD Moore, co-founder of the Metasploit Framework, has launched a new project called MoBB (Month of Browser Bugs) with daily releases of proof-of-concept code for flaws in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Konqueror. ‘We will publish a new browser hack, every day, for the entire month of July. The hacks we publish are carefully chosen to demonstrate a concept without disclosing a direct path to remote code execution,’ Moore said in a blog entry announcing the project.”

Ack! A “Month of Browser Bugs,” indeed! In case you haven’t already read it, I would suggest my article on, “How be Be Safe on the Web!,” available at the link below:

Dr. Bill’s “How to Stay Safe on the Web”, or, “It is Good to be Paranoid!”

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