Great news out of Microsoft

Great news out of Microsoft today* (am I really saying this? I shock myself sometimes...)! Microsoft has teamed up with Xensource to support Linux installations running as virtual machines on Xen virtualization software when it runs on top of a Windows server. I know that's a mouthful but it's significant in several important ways documented today on The Register.

Blue Chip websites, done the Right Way.

After I graduated, I worked on a hotel site for a certain large three letter US news company. Now, back in those days, a website was just seen as an extension to brochure advertising. And for the majority, nothing has really changed in the intervening decade.
One of the first things I've noticed is that when working for a Blue Chip, there is a very strong disincentive against doing things the Right Way. This is because the clients will ask for what they think they want. This is usually not what they really want, and is pretty much always miles away from what they need.

Password security, or Ease of Use?

Should a login system be case insensitive?
Short answer: Yes. But numbers/symbols should be required.
Long answer: One of the most common mistakes made when logging in is to have the caps lock key pressed. In studies, significant proportions of support calls are simple case-sensitivity issues with usernames or passwords.
Some login systems address this issue by detecting when the username and password are all uppercase, and displaying a message "you entered your username and password in all capitals."

Scott McNealy gets a clue

Scott McNealy, boss of mega-corporation Sun Microsystems and onetime nemesis of Bill Gates and Microsoft is well-renowned for having said "You have no privacy! Get over it!" This seemed not to bother him or his company very much until recently when he made an amazing about face on the issue.

Hey! There's a linux worm about!

I must admit I panicked a bit when I read this at The Reg as much of our code uses PHP or is linked to PHP apps in some way. Steeling myself for a long night's firewall tuning and fending off skiddiots, I was pleased to see that rather than "Mare-D" it should really be called "Linux Worms for Dummies" (and maybe released as a book!) as it relies on register_globals to be turned on.

So we finally got round to blogging...

We've been meaning to launch the ole corporate blogs for ages. So many things to do, places to go, code to write... Excuses, excuses I know but at long last here we are! The first blog on the MorganAlley site. The test site said: "OK, so it's a test site. But this is good as I can be even more acerbic than usual! Anyway, we can load up our content, test designs, learn this system, etc. without inflicting it on the wide world till we're ready. Nice!" until tonight. We're live and linked now so no more playing around.