Archive for September, 2010

FCC “white space” spectrum release elicits visions of “super Wi-Fi”

Friday, September 24th, 2010

The following is an excerpt from the FCC regarding the release of airwaves formerly used for analog television signals, now made available for unlicensed use in the public sector:

——————————————————————

FCC FREES UP VACANT TV AIRWAVES FOR “SUPER WI-FI” TECHNOLOGIES
Washington, D.C. -- The Federal Communications Commission today took steps to free up vacant
airwaves between TV channels -- called “white spaces” -- to unleash a host of new technologies, such as
“super Wi-Fi,” and myriad other diverse applications. This is the first significant block of spectrum made
available for unlicensed use in more than 20 years.

TV white space spectrum is considered prime real estate because its signals travel well, making it ideally
suited for mobile wireless devices. Unlocking this valuable spectrum will open the doors for new
industries to arise, create American jobs, and fuel new investment and innovation. The National
Broadband Plan noted the importance of unlicensed spectrum in creating opportunities for new
technologies to blossom and recommended that the Commission complete the TV white spaces
proceeding as expeditiously as possible.

The Second Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second MO&O) adopted today resolves numerous legal
and technical issues. Notably, the Order eliminates the requirement that TV bands devices that
incorporate geo-location and database access must also include sensing technology to detect the signals of
TV stations and low-power auxiliary service stations (wireless microphones). It also requires wireless
microphone users who seek to register in the TV bands databases to certify that they will use all available
channels from 7 through 51 prior to requesting registration. Requests to register in the database will be
public, thus allowing interested parties to weigh in on any given request.

The Commission is also taking steps to ensure that incumbent services are protected from interference
from the use of white spaces in various ways. In particular, today’s Order reserves two vacant UHF
channels for wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary service devices in all areas of the
country. It also maintains a reasonable separation distance between TV White Space device and wireless
microphone usage permitted to be registered in the database

Action by the Commission September 23, 2010, by Second Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 10-
174). Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn, and Baker. Separate
Statements issued by Chairman Genachowski, and Commissioners Copps, McDowell, Clyburn and
Baker.

ET Docket Nos. 03-280 and 04-186.
----------------------------------------------

So what does this mean for us?  The phrase “super Wi-Fi” is certain to get people excited, as well it should.  The release of the unlicensed spectrum means the potential is now there for exponentially enhanced wireless network capabilities (some long-range experimental networks were already licensed by the FCC in anticipation of this spectrum release), but could give birth to other applications not even envisioned yet.

The last time the FCC released spectrum space, we were the beneficiaries of the baby monitor, cordless phones, today’s Wi-Fi, and a host of other conveniences.  Who knows where this will lead?  Mobile users are certainly poised to benefit the most from this development, but just how much and how soon remains to be seen.

 

Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts

Friday, September 24th, 2010

How to View and Explore Web Pages With Shortcut Keys

To view and explore Web pages with shortcut keys in Internet Explorer:

To do this                                Press this key
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Display Internet Explorer Help or to      F1
display context Help about an item in 
a dialog box

Toggle between full-screen and other      F11
views in the browser

Move forward through the items on a       TAB 
Web page, the Address box, or the 
Links box

Move through the items on a Web page,     SHIFT+TAB
the Address box, or the Links box

Go to your Home page                      ALT+HOME

Go to the next page                       ALT+RIGHT ARROW

Go to the previous page                   ALT+LEFT ARROW or BACKSPACE

Display a shortcut menu for a link        SHIFT+F10

Move forward between frames               CTRL+TAB or F6

Move back between frames                  SHIFT+CTRL+TAB

Scroll toward the beginning of a          UP ARROW
document 

Scroll toward the end of a document       DOWN ARROW

Scroll toward the beginning of a          PAGE UP
document in larger increments

Scroll toward the end of a document       PAGE DOWN
in larger increments

Move to the beginning of a document       HOME

Move to the end of a document             END

Find on this page                         CTRL+F

Refresh the current Web page              F5 or CTRL+R

Refresh the current Web page, even if     CTRL+F5
the time stamp for the Web version and 
your locally stored version are the same  

Stop downloading a page                   ESC

Go to a new location                      CTRL+O or CTRL+L

Open a new window                         CTRL+N

Close the current window                  CTRL+W

Save the current page                     CTRL+S

Print the current page or active frame    CTRL+P

Activate a selected link                  ENTER

Open the Search box                       CTRL+E

Open the Favorites box                    CTRL+I

Open the History box                      CTRL+H

In the History or Favorites boxes,        CTRL+click
open multiple folders

‘Here you have’ virus pandemic easily avoidable

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Common sense:  the best anti-virus

The ‘Here you have’ e-mail worm that recently victimized a number of Fortune 100 companies and government agencies – groups like P&G,  NASA, and similar entities you would think should be on another level when it comes to security – is but another in a long line of easily preventable problems, if only end users were properly educated.

You know those self-defense classes they have at local community centers for kids, women and seniors?  They don’t teach much about actual fighting; the majority of the course consists of common sense lessons designed to help at-risk folks acquire ‘street smarts’ so they can avoid getting into trouble in the first place.  Honestly,  your parents should have taught you those lessons years ago.  But it got us thinking:  Maybe they should have an equivalent course for internet self-defense and common sense….

And so, as a public service, we present:

Five lessons your mom already taught you that are applicable to Internet safety

Don’t talk to strangers: If you don’t know the person who e-mailed or IM’d you, or if you don’t see something in the subject line or message that leads you to believe they should be contacting you, just ignore them – and run and find an adult!  Or, you know, your IT department or consultant, whichever is closer….

Don’t take candy from strangers: Sometimes a communication can look reputable, as will the attachment it contains.  Resume.doc or Accounts.xls sound like harmless documents you might receive in the normal course of business, but could contain the code equivalent of razor blades ~ ouch ~

Don’t get into a car with a stranger: Again, sometimes a communication can look reputable, as will the link it contains.  But if you don’t know who’s ‘driving,’ you have no way of knowing where you may end up.  Maybe somewhere in Mexico or Russia – do you really want to risk that?  You don’t even speak the language…

Don’t touch the stove – it’s shiny, but it’s HOT: Yeah, we all want to see the new pictures of Cameron Diaz (according to McAfee, the celebrity rated most likely to give you a virus – we imagine they mean the computer kind) or find out the secret of never having to work again, but if you haphazardly click on every appealing link you come across while surfing, you will get burned eventually.  The ‘Here you have’ virus?  Guess what, it’s just a variant of an Anna Kournikova virus from several years ago.

The only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask: If you’re not sure who sent you an e-mail, whether an attachment is legit, whether you should be following a given link, if it’s safe to give your credit card information to Russian gangsters … just ask someone.  Every office has someone who is a little more technologically savvy than the rest of us, or an IT department, or even Gyver Networks, so call that guy/gal over and run it by them first.  Trust us, it’s infinitely preferable to having your PC decommissioned, your  identity stolen, etc.

BONUS LESSON – If you get into trouble, call mommy immediately: In this case, “mommy” is Gyver Networks.  Don’t be a hero and try to remove the virus yourself, or you can lose valuable data and system stability.  If your anti-virus solution can’t remove it, contact us right away; we’ll make it all better (Sesame Street bandaids not included)….

We can’t take credit for these tips; thank our collective moms.  These are the common sense precepts that will enable you to navigate the dark alleyways of the internet – and your inbox – in relative security.  The key word there is “relative,” though.  Crooks (i.e., malware and spam authors) will always be ahead of cops (i.e., anti-malware providers) because cops are forced to play catch-up and react, often learning lessons only in retrospect.  So remember, be careful out there, bring a jacket and mittens, and contact Gyver Networks if you get into any trouble.

 

 

Microsoft Internet Explorer script error troubleshooting

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

A Web page may not display or work correctly, and you may receive an error message that resembles the following error messages:

Problems with this Web page might prevent it from being displayed properly or functioning properly. In the future you can display this message by double-clicking the warning icon disp  layed in the Status Bar.

If you click Show Details, error details that resemble the following may appear:

Line: 4
Char: 1
Error: Object doesn’t support this property or method.
Code: 0
URL: http://Webserver/page.htm
A Runtime Error has occured.
Do you wish to Debug?
Line: 4
Error: Object doesn’t support this property or method.

 

The following warning message may also appear in the Microsoft Internet Explorer Status bar:

Done, but with errors on page.

Cause

This issue occurs because the HTML source code for the Web page does not work correctly with client-side script such as Microsoft JScript or Microsoft Visual Basic script. This problem may occur for one or more of the following reasons:
  • A problem in the HTML source code of the Web page.
  • Active scripting, ActiveX controls, or Java programs are blocked on your computer or on the network. Internet Explorer or another program, such as antivirus programs or firewalls, can be configured to block Active scripting, ActiveX controls, or Java programs.
  • Antivirus software is configured to scan your “Temporary Internet Files” or “Downloaded Program Files” folders.
  • The scripting engine on your computer is corrupted or outdated.
  • Internet-related folders on your computer are corrupted.
  • Your video card drivers are corrupted or outdated.
  • The DirectX component on your computer is corrupted or outdated.
Note Server-side scripts such as Visual Basic scripts in Active Server Pages (ASP) run on a Web server. Script errors that occur because of server-side script failures do not produce error messages in Internet Explorer but may also create a Web page that does not display or work correctly. The troubleshooting information in this article applies to client-side script errors. Contact the administrator of the Web server if you suspect a problem with a server-side script.

 

Resolution

This article offers five methods that you can try to resolve the issue, and also presents some advanced troubleshooting tips that you can try. Try each method in the order presented until you resolve the issue. If one method does not work, try the next.

This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user. You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.

Method 1: Disable script debugging

If the only sign of a problem is the error message, and Web sites are working, you can probably ignore the error. Also, if the problem only happens on one or two Web pages, it might be a problem with those pages. If you decide to ignore the errors, you can disable script debugging.

Note If this problem occurs on more than one or two sites, do not disable script debugging. Go to method 2 now.

To turn off the Scripting Debugger in Internet Explorer 6, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Advanced tab, click to select the Disable script debugging check box. and then click OK .

To turn off notification about every script error in Internet Explorer 7, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Advanced tab, click to clear the Display a notification about every script error check box, and then click OK.

Method 2: Test a Web page from another user account, another browser, and another computer

Use another user account, another browser, or another computer to view the Web pages that triggered a script error to determine whether the problem persists. If the script error persists, there may be a problem with the way the Web page is written. You can probably ignore the error and disable script debugging as described in method 1.

If the script error does not occur when you view the Web page from another user account, browser, or computer, the problem may be caused by files or by settings on your computer. Go to method 3 to continue to troubleshoot.

Method 3: Verify that Active Scripting, ActiveX, and Java are not being blocked by Internet Explorer

Active scripting, ActiveX, and Java are all involved in shaping the way information displays on a Web page. If these are blocked on your computer, it may disrupt the display of the Web page. Reset the Internet Explorer security settings to make sure these are not blocked. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab.
  4. Click Default Level.
  5. Click OK.

Note ActiveX controls and Java programs are turned off at the High security level in Internet Explorer.

Try to open a Web page where you previously received a scripting error. If you do not receive the error, the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, go to Method 4.

Method 4: Remove all the temporary Internet-related files

Every time that you open a browser to view a Web page, your computer stores a local copy of that Web page in a temporary file. If the size of the temporary Internet files folder becomes too large, some display problems may occur when you open Web pages. Periodically clearing the folder might help resolve the issue.

To remove all the temporary Internet-related files from your computer when you use Internet Explorer 6, follow these steps:

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. Click the General tab.
  4. Under Temporary Internet files, click Settings.
  5. Click Delete Files, and then click OK.
  6. Click Delete Cookies, and then click OK.
  7. Under History, click Clear History, and then click Yes.
  8. Click OK.

To remove all the temporary Internet-related files from your computer when you use Internet Explorer 7, follow these steps:

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. Click the General tab.
  4. Under Browsing History, click Delete, and when you are prompted, click Yes to confirm.
  5. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files, and when you are prompted, click Yes to confirm.
  6. Under Cookies, click Delete Cookies, and when you are prompted, click Yes to confirm.
  7. Under History, click Delete History, and when you are prompted, click Yes to confirm.
  8. Click Close, and then click OK to close the Internet Options dialog box.

Try to open a Web page where you previously received a scripting error. If you do not receive the error, the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, go to method 5.

Method 5: Install the latest service pack and software updates for Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8

If you do not have the latest service pack or software upgrades for Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8, download and install them. They may contain updates that can help resolve the issue.

 

Advanced Troubeshooting

This section is intended for more advanced computer users. Five methods are presented that might help resolve the issue. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, go to the “Next Steps” section.

Method 1: Verify that Active Scripting, ActiveX, and Java are not being blocked by an antivirus program or by a firewall

See the documentation for the firewall or antivirus program that you use to determine how to make sure that scripts, ActiveX controls, and Java programs are not being blocked. Scripts, ActiveX controls, and Java programs help shape the way a Web page is displayed. If they are blocked, it may disrupt the display of Web pages. Make any necessary changes, and try to open a Web page where you previously received a scripting error. If you do not receive the error, the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, go to advanced troubleshooting method 2.

Method 2: Verify that your antivirus program is not set to scan the Temporary Internet Files or the Downloaded Program Files folders

If an antivirus program interprets a script as a virus and prevents it from running, a script error may occur. To prevent this, make sure that the antivirus program is not scanning the Temporary Internet Files or the Downloaded Program Files folders.

See the documentation for the antivirus program that you use to determine how to prevent the program from scanning these folders. Make any necessary changes, and try to open a Web page where you previously received a scripting error. If you do not receive the error, the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, go to advanced troubleshooting method 3.

Method 3: Turn off Smooth Scrolling

If there is a video display problem, smooth scrolling could cause a script to be improperly timed, resulting in an error. To turn off the Smooth Scrolling feature when you use Internet Explorer 6, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Advanced tab, click to clear the Use Smooth Scrolling check box.
  3. Click OK, and then exit Internet Explorer.

To turn off the Smooth Scrolling feature when you use Internet Explorer 7, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  2. On the Advanced tab, under Browsing, click to clear the Use Smooth Scrolling check box.
  3. Click OK, and then exit Internet Explorer.

Note If this resolves the issue, check to see if there is an updated driver available for your video adapter. To obtain an updated driver, contact the manufacturer of your video adapter or of your computer.

Try to open a Web page where you previously received a scripting error. If you do not receive the error, the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, go to advanced troubleshooting method 4.

Method 4: Turn off hardware acceleration

Many applications use hardware acceleration to speed up computer processes, which can give computer users a more enjoyable experience. However, if hardware acceleration settings are set incorrectly, they can cause problems in how Web pages display. Turn off hardware acceleration to see whether this helps resolve the scripting errors. Select the appropriate set of steps for your operating system from the following:

To turn off hardware acceleration in Windows XP or in Windows Server 2003, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type desk.cpl in the Open box, and then press ENTER.
  2. Click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
  3. Click the Troubleshoot tab, and then move the Hardware Acceleration slider to None.
  4. Click OK two times.

To turn off hardware acceleration in Windows Vista, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Display item in Control Panel. To do this, click Start

    the Start button

    Type desk.cpl in the Start Search box, and then click desk.cpl in the Programs list.

  2. Click Display Settings, and then click Advanced Settings.

    User Access Control permission

    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow.

  3. Move the Hardware Acceleration slider to None.

Note If this resolves the issue, you may have to update the driver for your video adapter. For information about how to obtain an updated driver for your video adapter, contact the manufacturer of your video adapter or of your computer.

Try to open a Web page where you previously received a scripting error. If you do not receive the error, the issue is resolved. If the issue persists, go to advanced troubleshooting method 5.

Method 5: Install the current version of Microsoft DirectX

DirectX can improve the display of Web pages. For information about how to install the current version of Microsoft DirectX, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.mspx)

Adjust or disable Windows 7 UAC (User Account Control)

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Adjusting UAC settings in Windows 7

 

Windows Vista only offers you two types of UAC settings: on and off. In Windows 7, you have more settings to choose from.  To adjust the UAC settings in Windows 7:

1. Open User Account Control Settings, type UAC in the Start Search box, and then click Change User Account Control settings in the Control Panel window.

 

Open UAC

2. Move the slider to a desired notification setting, and then click OK.

  UAC levels

There are four UAC settings that you can choose from:

  1. Always notify

    Select this setting if you:

    • Always want to be notified when programs try to install software or make chanegs to your computer
    • Make changes to Windows settings.
  2. Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer

    Select this setting if you:

    • Want to be notified only when programs try to make changes to your computer.
    • Don’t want to be notified when you make changes to Windows settings.
  3. Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer (do not dim my desktop)

    Select this setting if you:

    • Want to be notified only when programs try to make changes to your computer without the desktop being dimmed.
    • Don’t want to be notified when you make changes to Windows settings.
  4. Never notify (Disable UAC)

    Select this setting if you:

    • Never want to be notified when programs try to install software or make changes to your computer.
    • Never want to be notified when you make changes to Windows settings.

Source:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/975787