A DMXzone member spotted this: a report about a group of monks who are supporting their abbey - Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank - by selling cheap, high quality, laser printer cartridges with the kind of customer care that you'd hope for from a group of monks.
At DMXzone, we've launched our RSS feed. RSS stands for Rich Site Summary, and is a way of putting out content in a pre-defined way so that anyone else who wants to can take the text file and automatically import it into their own site. If you want lots of detail, here's the full specification, but in order to use someone else’s RSS feed in your own web site, all you really need to know is that an RSS feed is text, but the data in it is a small subset of XML. DON'T PANIC! (I always say that when someone sees the 'X' word). RSS isn't nicknamed Really Simple Syndication for nothing).
Most web developers write a script in their preferred scripting language that grabs the feed at a pre-defined interval (depending on how frequently it’s updated by its author) and then put it in their website using ASP/ PHP (or whatever). Because it’s just text, the typeface, colours etc are determined by the HTML or CSS of the site that is consuming the feed. (If you are running a PHP-driven site, Matt Machell has a very simple tutorial with all the code needed use someone’s RSS feed in your site.)
Microsoft have released a beta of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP to selected testers. It includes significant security enhancements including
- An improved version of Windows Firewall (formerly known as the Internet Connection Firewall). Windows Firewall will be turned on by default. Why wasn't it before?
- Blocking of accidental downloads and installations. Internet Explorer will help protect users from accidentally downloading and installing programs from potentially malicious Web sites by automatically blocking download requests. Users who decide to install a program can click on the download link that will automatically appear below the browser toolbar.
- Pop-up Manager. Internet Explorer will detect that a pop-up or pop-under window is unwanted if it doesn’t directly result from the user’s clicking on a link on a Web page.
- Better file attachment handling in Outlook Express and Windows Messenger. This means that attachments can open and execute with the fewest permissions possible.
- Increased customer control over downloads of external content in Outlook Express. Outlook Express will no longer download external content (such as graphics) in HTML mail by default.
In our newsletter last night, we reported Online advertising was up for the fourth quarter in a row, with the third quarter showing 20 percent growth compared to the same period last year, and IT spending to increase next year.
The Register today reports that strong consumer demand for laptop PCs, as well as an upsurge in demand from the public sector, has driven demand for a record 152 million PCs in 2003. This is 8.8 per cent higher than 2000, the previous highest year for PC shipments.