Monthly Archives: April 2013

TED Talk: Risking Redefinition

This is the first TED Talk I get to post because I know the speaker rather than just know of them. Rebeka was originally a new employee in training who really did not need it. Over the past few years we’ve followed each other through social media, so I was aware of the elements of this story. So I am glad she got the opportunity to put it all together through a venue like TEDx.

I look forward to seeing what she does in the future.

If the video below does not work, then try this link Risking Redefinition : Rebeka Geer at TEDxUGA.

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Do I Use Pinterest

A male friend asked if I use Pinterest. His wife laughed and laughed. She nearly dropped their daughter from all the laughter. It was if there was something humorous about two guys discussing a web site.

Well, I do use Pinterest some. I don’t spend massive amounts of time on it like I hear some of my female friends do. The only somewhat exemplary board I have is Teeshirts I Own. When people ask where I get any or all of my shirts, I can just point to the board. I use a browser bookmarklet to pin the shirts I buy to the board. The bookmarklet ensures a link to the web page source.

Curating a collection of digital stuff is where Pinterest excels. Well, that and sharing the board (aka the collection) with others.

Anyway, rumor is there are not many guys on the site. Before about a year ago, maybe 3 out of a hundred contacts I had were guys. I just did the math and out of 300 people I am following (304 following – 4 non-people), 43 are male. That is about 14 in a hundred male. A sample size of one is not very good, so don’t take that as the real population.

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Phish-ish Legit Email

Part of the problem of getting people not to succumb to phishing attempts is the poor practices used in legitimate emails.

Google sent me an email saying something was going to expire in a month because of inactivity. I needed to click on a link and verify my information. You know, exactly the same kind of things a phisher would wrote.

I spent half an hour looking at the HTML to verify the links and the headers to see if there was anything suspicious. Eventually, I decided it was legitimate. But even then I was still very careful. Few people I know would be this careful because they would not know how.

Sadly, in the many years where phishing attempts have become so common, few people care enough about changing their bad email practices that contribute to end users becoming victims.

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TED Talk: Jennings v Watson

Deep Blue versus Kasparov was an pivotal moment for me. At the time I was playing lots of chess on the computer. (And usually losing.) So the prospect the best player in the world cannot beat a computer was a depressing prospect.  Maybe it is a sign of how much I had matured (or immatured) to think a computer could beat someone better than me at trivia. Maybe it has something to do with routinely using computers to compile things for me in minutes that would take me days.

If you have not seen anything about IBM’s Watson, then start with NOVA’s Smartest Machine on Earth. Even better, here is Day 1 of Jeopardy.

If the below video does not play, then try Ken Jennings: Watson, Jeopardy and me, the obsolete know-it-all.

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TED Talk: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim

A few years ago a direction challenged friend asked me to go looking at houses with her.  She had a knack for getting lost in neighborhoods. My job was to provide a second opinion and help her get unlost. Only a couple times did I need to suggest to her how to get out of the place. Somehow, I don’t recall how, I started talking about how the money in political campaigns are bad for us. That it makes our politicians dependent on financiers not their constituents.

Fast forward to the past Friday. I had seen something about a local manufacturer in the weeks prior and stopped to say hi to the owners. Something that surprised me was that they have multiple sites around the state and how that hurts them. Of course, then it drifted into politics, how he likes the automatic spending cuts because Congress is incompetent. I made the mistake of trying to explain how it is in the best interest of Congress not to solve any of these issues. He was particularly offended that people like him who give so heavily to our house member could be thought of as “Kingmakers”. Even worse, I never really got to explain the Baha’i Faith’s elections, the style system I would replace US elections.

If the below video does not work, then try Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim.

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For Want of a Scrollbar

The start of an adventure usually starts when I tweeted an annoyance:

Who has two thumbs and regularly disables Sharepoint’s overflow: hidden CSS to re-enable the scrollbar? Me…

A coworker asked a good question, which is, “Any easy/lazy way to make it automatic-like?”

My response was a Greasemonkey script should do the trick. Okay, so, how to make it happen?

Pretty sure like me, my coworker uses Chrome. This is good, because in 2009 Chrome acquired native Greasemonkey script support. They are treated as Extensions. I like this because there is one place to look for the scripts rather than a separate queue like I am familiar in Firefox’s Greasemonkey plug-in.

So I found some pages on writing Greasemonkey scripts. What I wanted to do looked easy enough. Which, of course, meant I spent a few hours stumbling around the Internet confused why it did not work. In the end, I wrote this <filename>.users.js did the trick:

// ==UserScript==
// @name Sharepoint Scrollbar Fix
// @namespace http://sharepoint.oursite.com/
// @description Removes the overflow:hidden which is buggy in WebKit browsers
// @include https://sharepoint.oursite.com/*
// ==/UserScript==
document.body.style.overflow = “scroll”;

From my research WebKit browsers have an issue with overflow:hidden going back years. Chrome and Safari are WebKit browsers. (Guess I could have saved myself time just using Mozilla.) Using either overflow:scroll, overflow:auto, or even removing overflow brings out a second usable scrollbar.

Probably GM_addStyle is a better approach, but this one worked first.

Protocols matter. Most of the time I spent confused was solved by having http in the @include address when the Sharepoint site uses https.

Testing it was interesting as Google does not allow just downloading from anywhere on the Internet. So uploading it to my web site was not a good way to get it into the browser. Just open up Extensions and drag and drop the file in there. It prompts to make sure you are. In the end, it is much more efficient that way.

Conclusion: Pretty easy to create and test. Very lazy fix. The information online about making one is not great.

Any coworkers who want to use it, I added it to the Content area on my site.

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