Firefox Recommendation – NoScript

Before I begin, I’d just like to point out the irony of my writing this post in Google Chrome…

I was listening to episode 221 of the Security Now podcast hosted by Steve Gibson and Leo LaPorte.  The episode dealt with JavaScript, a web programming language which has become pervasively prevalent in many web sites, especially with the high usage of Google Analytics.  The guest for the episode, John Graham-Cumming, had very little nice to say about JavaScript and, essentially, made the point that the technology should be disposed of as soon as possible as JavaScript is 14 years old and is a major security risk.  You can listen to the full episode here.

Near the end of the show, the discussion turned to an excellent Firefox add-on named NoScript.  NoScript basically turns off ANY JavaScript on a website.  You then have the option to allow only scripts from certain domains to run, either during that session or permanently.  The beauty of this is that you can keep scripts from domains outside of the site you’re visiting shut down, so, even if you enable scripts for a certain site, you’re only enabling scripts hosted by that site, significantly cutting down on the odds that a malicious script will cause you misery.  What’s also nice about NoScript (although it can be a little annoying since it happens so often) is that it is updated often, ensuring that the add-on is on top of keeping you safe.

Your best bet is to download and install NoScript, then keep it locked down tight, only permanently allowing sites which you visit on a regular basis.  Also, only allow scripts hosted on the site’s domain, even temporarily.   This should protect your computer considerably.

You can get NoScript here or from the Mozilla website.

70-272 Exam Prep Session

The prep session for the 70-272 Microsoft certification exam ran successfully this evening and is now available for download in video format.  You can also download an audio-only version of the session. The slide show is available via Google Docs.

178MB Video file (.flv format)

28MB Audio file (.mp3 format)

Slide Show on Google Docs

I recommend using the free and open source VLC Media Player to watch the video file.  The audio file will play in most standard audio players, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player.

VLC Media Player

Open Lecture Position, Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University

This was forwarded to me by Siri Terjesen, an assistant professor at Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business and a fellow graduate of Revere High School. If you’re interested, please follow the contact information in the announcement.

The Department of Management and Entrepreneurship of the Kelley School of Business is accepting applications for Lecturer positions. A Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree, a Masters of Science in Management (MS) degree, or a graduate degree in another related field from a nationally-reputed university is required. In addition, qualified candidates must provide evidence of outstanding teaching experience in strategic management, entrepreneurship, and/or international business. Teaching on-line courses in the aforementioned areas is a requirement of the positions, and evidence of such interest and proficiency will be favorably viewed.

Applicants should provide a letter of application and a current resume. Applications will be accepted beginning immediately. Applications received by November 6, 2009 will be assured consideration, but applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. Indiana University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer committed to excellence through diversity. The University actively encourages applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.

POSITION AVAILABLE: August 1, 2010

Resumes can be mailed or e-mailed to:

Lisa Castor
Administrative Assistant
Department of Management & Entrepreneurship
Kelley School of Business
1309 East 10th Street, BU 660
Bloomington, IN 47405-1701
mgmtrecr@indiana.edu

Why Wal-Mart Sucks

I have long had a love/hate relationship with Wal-Mart and suspect that many of you reading this may feel the same way. On the one hand, it’s hard to ignore the prices, pure and simple. My wife and I discovered that when we bought cat litter and house cleaning items about a month ago and saved a wad of cash. I even applaud their movement to “go green”, relying more and more on solar energy to power their stores. On the other hand, however, there is the old adage that you get what you pay for. Today, I rediscovered that lesson, but also learned that Wal-Mart can go out of it’s way to make sure people get much more than that, and not in a good way.

My story starts this morning. I was driving along I-271, on my way to start the work week, when I noticed a strange rumbling sound coming from my car. After pulling over at a rest area, I found that one of my tires was almost flat. I was close to the Richfield exit, so I figured I could make it to nearby gas station and fill up the tire with air, resulting in only a short delay on my journey. Alas, it was not to be.

I did make it to the gas station. I even filled up the tire with air – at least, to about 20 PSI. That’s when I started hearing the tire popping, followed by a loud BANG! as the tire gave way. My 10 minute stop just turned into a tire changing delay of 45 minutes.

The good news is that I was able to call a local auto service shop which I knew very well, Wheatley Auto Service. They took the car in, gave me a loaner car for the day, and arranged to replace the tire. The bad news is that the tire in question was one I bought at Wal-Mart. In June. It barely lasted 4 months before giving out.

Now, before I continue with my rant, I will admit that the tire IS under warranty. That’s not a lot of help, however, when you’re miles away from the nearest Wal-Mart and you have to be at work to teach a class in about 15 minutes with a 30 minute drive ahead of you, especially when you’re stuck with a spare tire that keeps you at 55 MPH, increasing the travel time. I’ve also had quality issues with other Wal-Mart products, so I wasn’t keen on the idea of replacing one crappy tire with another.

There’s the “you get what you pay for” part of the story. Now for the “Wal-Mart gives you more IN A BAD WAY” part.

I came across this story via a Twitter post a couple days ago. You can find the details in both the South Bend Tribune newspaper and The Consumerist blog. Here’s an excerpt from The Consumerist, however, to give you a taste of what pissed me off about the whole incident:

“Walmart can try to spin itself as being on the side of good all it wants, but if it ever suspects you of shoplifting, you may find that you’re powerless to fight back. In the case of a couple accused of shoplifting some Bic lighters in Niles, Michigan this past August, Walmart detained them, the police came and cuffed one of them, their two kids were taken to a security room, and—after a review of security footage proved the couple’s innocence—they were banned for life from all Walmarts. To top it off, Walmart’s legal team has sent the couple a letter asking to be reimbursed for 10 times the value of the lighters, even though the police determined no shoplifting had taken place.”

Oh, and the kicker to the story? The couple is a gay couple.

While I’m at it, let me add some more fuel to the fire – the children are developmentally disabled Romanian children adopted by the above gay couple.

I am hereby declaring a boycott of all things Wal-Mart. I am asking you to do the same. If you don’t have an option (ironically likely because Wal-Mart stifled competition in your area), I understand, but, in my case, there’s a nice Target down the road, plus many regional and local supermarkets. On top of that, I’ve got TONS of online shopping options. I just can’t see ANY reason to support a company who has shown such a demonic disregard for humanity at so many levels.

Oh, and if you work for Wal-Mart, please update your resume and get it out there. You deserve a better employer.

Microsoft Exam Prep Sessions

On Monday, November 9th, and Tuesday, November 10th, I will be holding online exam preparations for two Microsoft certification exams. These prep sessions are, first and foremost, for my National College students who will be taking their final exams for the classes I am teaching, but will also have plenty of knowledge for anybody wishing to better prepare for Microsoft exams 70-297 and/or 70-272.

The sessions will take place using the Livestream Procaster screencasting service and the Talkshoe audio conference call service. Both are free for participants. The conference call audio and the PowerPoint presentations will also be available for download via this site for future reference.

National College Exam Prep Sessions
Monday, November 9th and Tuesday, November 10th
8:00 PM Eastern
Talkshoe link – http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/69601

2009 DCA Finals Results

This page will be updated as scores are announced.  Please be sure to refresh.

Class A Results:

2009 DCA South Regional Champion – Sun Devils
High Brass – Govenaires
High Percussion – Vigilantes
High Visual – Govenaires
High Overall Effect – Govenaires
High Color Guard – Govenaires
Best Drum Major – John Mayer, Govenaires

4. 76.063 – Carolina Gold
3. 76.338 – Vigilantes
2. 80.425 – Kingston Grenadiers
1. 82.400 – Govenaires

Open Class Results:

DCA South Regional Open Class Champion – Alliance
High Brass – Reading Buccaneers
High Percussion – Reading Buccaneers
High Visual – Reading Buccaneers
High Overall Effect – Reading Buccaneers
High Color Guard – Connecticut Hurricanes
Best Honor Guard – Connecticut Hurricanes
Best Drum Major – Amanda Cambronne, Minnesota Brass, Inc.
Best Showmanship – Tenor line, Reading Buccaneers

10. 83.750 – CorpsVets
9. 88.963 – Bushwackers
8. 89.138 – Alliance
7. 89.225 – Brigadiers
6. 90.463 – Renegades
5. 94.238 – Hawthorne Caballeros
4. 95.838 – Connecticut Hurricanes
3. 96.200 – Empire Statesmen
2. 97.588 – Minnesota Brass, Inc.
1. 99.025 – Reading Buccaneers

2009 DCA Prelims Results

This page will update as scores are announced.

Class A (Top 4 advance to Finals):

11. Shenandoah Sound 55.113
10. Excelsior 56.575
9. Lakeshoremen 60.750
8. Sunrisers – 65.263
7. Sun Devils – 67.275
6. White Sabers – 68.313
5. Fusion Core – 73.188
—————————–
4. Vigilantes – 73.713
3. Carolina Gold – 73.838
2. Kingston Grenadiers – 77.375
1. Govenaires – 78.613

Open Class (Top 10 advance to Finals):

13. Rochester Crusaders – 75.475
12. Music City Legend – 80.038
11. Kilties – 81.563
—————————————–
10. CorpsVets – 82.025
9. Alliance – 85.113
8. Brigadiers – 88.088
7. Bushwackers – 88.025
6. Renegades – 89.825
5. Hawthorne Caballeros – 92.613
4. Empire Statesmen – 92.763
2. Connecticut Hurricanes – 94.875
2. Minnesota Brass – 94.875
1. Reading Buccaneers – 97.175

2009 DCI Mini Corps Results

12. 68.83 – Cincinnati Trasition
11. 73.67 – Generations
10. 75.33 – Gulf Coast Sound
9. 77.00 – Capital Brass
8. 82.00 – Sacramento Freelancers
7. 83.00 – Vigilantes
6. 85.67 – Skyliners Alumni
5. 92.00 – Minne Brass
4. 92.17 – Golden Eagles
3. 93.17 – Ghost Riders
2. 93.50 – Mass Brass / Music City Legend
1. 97.83 – Star United

2009 DCI World Class Results

Fan Network Fan Favorite – Carolina Crown
Jim Jones Leadership Award – Stephanie Lee, Santa Clara Vanguard
Best Color Guard – Blue Devils
Best Visual Performance – Blue Devils
Best Brass Performance – Carolina Crown
Best Percussion Performance – Blue Devils
Best Overall General Effect – Blue Devils

12. 85.1 – Troopers
11. 86.45 – Blue Knights
10. 87.75 – Glassmen
9. 89.9 – Phantom Regiment
8. 90.05 – Blue Stars
7. 90.7 – Boston Crusaders
6. 93.15 – Bluecoats
5. 95.65 – Santa Clara Vanguard
4. 96.15 – Cavaliers
3. 97.2 – Cadets
2. 97.5 – Carolina Crown
1. 99.05 – Blue Devils

Box Center Episode 2009-7

Listen to it now!!!

Theme – “The Monk of Funk” by Scott McLean
Background – “Magic Potion” by Dennis Janglov