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Monday, August 29, 2005
  online tips- quick short tips
Spammer turn interest to snowflaking

Spammers have become more sophisticated over time (as you've probably noticed). When they started sending messages in large volumes, they sent identically formed messages, which weren't all that difficult for larger organizations and ISPs -- with thousands of recipients -- to identify and block.

But then the spammers started making every message different -- sometimes radically different, using a technique called snowflaking. With snowflaking, the spammer automatically tweaks each message so that no two spam messages are exactly alike, just like -- you guessed it -- snowflakes. When every message is unique, centralized spam filters have a difficult time blocking large volumes of messages the way they used to.

All it takes to snowflake a batch of spam messages is a little extra programming. On the way through the assembly line, the spammer just needs to sprinkle a few hundred random words from a dictionary, or a few paragraphs from some cheap romance novel, into each message. Gag on this, spam filters!

Microsoft Windows: Finding a Window That's Off the Edge of the Screen

Even a window at the top of the pile can be nearly invisible. A window can be moved anywhere on the Windows Me desktop, including off the screen. In fact, you can inadvertently move 99 percent of a window off the screen, leaving just a tiny corner showing. Clicking on the window's name in the taskbar won't be much help in this case, unfortunately. The window's already on top, but it's still too far off the screen to be of any use.

* If you can see any part of the rogue window's title bar -- that thick strip along its top -- hold the mouse button down and drag the traveler back to the center of the screen.

* Sometimes, a window's title bar can be completely off the screen. How can you drag it back into view? Start by clicking on any part of the window that shows. Then hold down your Alt key and press the spacebar. A menu appears from nowhere. Select the word Move, and a mysterious four-headed arrow appears. Press your arrow keys until the window's border moves to a more manageable location and then press Enter. Whew! Don't let it stray that far again!

Sending a "Sorry, I'm Away" Message

Suppose you go away on a business trip or vacation and Quentin Tarantino sends you an e-mail message. The world-famous director wants you to be in his next movie. Snubbing the director and missing your big chance at movie fame is, of course, unthinkable. To keep that from happening, you can tell Yahoo! Mail to automatically reply to all who send you e-mail while you're away. Yahoo! calls this kind of response a vacation response.

Follow these steps to compose a vacation response and tell Yahoo! Mail how long to keep sending it:

1. Choose Mail, Options or click the Mail Options link to go to the Mail Options window.

2. Click the Vacation Response link (you may have to scroll down the window to find it).

3. In the Vacation Response window, write the response and declare how long to send it.

4. Click the Turn Auto-Response On button.

If you change your mind about responding, return to the Vacation Response window and click the Turn Auto-Response Off button.

Killing the Messenger

Many people think of Windows Messenger as an intrusive time sink, only marginally more annoying than having a swarm of killer bees take up residence on a motherboard. Bosses hate it because somewhere between 70 and 99 percent of all the Windows Messenger traffic on business computers consists of vapid personal time-wasting conversations.

This is a perfect lead in to one of the most frequently asked questions about Windows XP: How do you get rid of Windows Messenger, completely, so that it doesn't start itself automatically, announce to the world at large when you're online, and start going garururump at the most annoying times?

Although it's true that you can turn off most of Windows Messenger's most annoying attributes by choosing Tools, Options and deselecting most of the check boxes on the Preferences tab, many people want to get rid of Windows Messenger completely.

While you can't get rid of Windows Messenger entirely -- Windows XP keeps vestiges of it around no matter how hard you try -- it's easy to take the program off your Start menu and basically drive a stake through its heart:

1. Choose Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs. Then click the icon marked Add/Remove Windows Components. You see the Windows Component Wizard.

2. Deselect the Windows Messenger check box, and then click Next.

3. When the wizard is done, click Finish. All visible evidence of Windows Messenger should be well and truly gone.

If you change your mind and want Windows Messenger back, follow the same three steps, but in Step 2, select the Windows Messenger check box

Using CSS Versus Deprecated HTML

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) provide you with more flexibility and allow you to control alignment, color, line height, kerning, and so forth in ways that HTML never could. Using CSS also allows you to separate formatting from content and fosters cleaner markup, better maintainability, and easier troubleshooting. No two ways about it: CSS is better.

However, there is a slight catch. CSS support appeared in Web browsers in the late 1990s. By now, most users have upgraded to browsers that support CSS fully. However, studies show that about 10 percent of users have not upgraded and may not upgrade soon. That means that you must decide whether that 10 percent falls into your target audience. If so, plan accordingly.

For example, if you are creating an intranet site strictly for viewing by your co-workers, you can safely use CSS by requiring that all users use Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 or a newer version. However, if you're creating a site that will be accessible to the public at large, you can't control which browser your visitors use. A visitor who still uses IE 4.0, for example, can't view content that is controlled by CSS -- the text appears to run together without any visible formatting.

Therefore, the best way to accommodate both old and new browsers is by using a CSS style sheet and deprecated HTML formatting tags. The CSS style sheet overrides HTML formatting tags in newer browsers, so those deprecated tags work only when the browser doesn't recognize CSS. It's not an elegant solution, but it works!

-just some quick tips-

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