Everything, Everything - March 2010

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IE9 Platform Preview
Wednesday 24th March, 2010 17:09
I'm fairly impressed with the IE9 preview. I'm most impressed that it's a standalone application so it won't affect your system; previously you had to install the IE8 (and IE7 etcc) betas over the top of your current version of IE, which usually meant your OS would crash (and IIRC occasionally bluescreen!). It didn't take me too long to break the preview though:

IE9 Crash

Most websites I've tried in IE9 Standards Mode seem to work pretty well, including my own (although I knew it would be fine).
Bad Apple
Friday 12th March, 2010 12:59
I'm surprised I haven't used that title sooner. I suspect a lot of other people have. Anyway, here's why Apple's bad:

Apple Tomcat 404

Firstly, it's bad security practice to return default error pages, especially ones that leak version information such as Tomcat 5.5.17.

Secondly, 5.5.17 is hideously old (1st December 2005). The latest version is 5.5.28 (that came out 19th June 2009). There are a number of security issues (look for CVEs in the changelog!) with older versions, although they mostly affect parts of Tomcat you can't normally access. There are also probably several performance issues with older versions.

PS This is what I was trying to reach, but SANS ISC had a broken link. Interestingly, if I follow the broken link again I must hit a differently configured load balanced server or something like that as I now see this:

Apple 404

Does that mean they have poor build standards too? I'm now getting:

Apple 504

Maybe I caught them at a bad time?
MSN Video Player
Thursday 11th March, 2010 12:13
Microsoft still uses the MSN brand for some parts of the web (the bits that no one generally looks at), such as its MSN Video Player. I was very interested to hear that the former iPlayer chief Ashley Highfield has helped Microsoft set this up, as I like the BBC's iPlayer (especially the HD stuff). I also kinda like 4oD (except when I sit through more than my fair share of adverts), but they don't do HD content, the streaming is a bit buggy, and the website isn't that user friendly.

The non-HD video quality at MSN Video Player (MSNVP?) looks reasonable, you can easily skip back and forth, and the interface looks okay (try clicking the Dim Lights link!). This is also the first time I've found a practical use for Silverlight on the web, I hope more people consider using it so I can abandon Adobe Flash. The HD video seems to work well too, the Smooth Streaming meant I didn't hit any issues even on a slow (2MB) connection as I watched the Tron Legacy trailer. That film looks pretty, I can't wait to see it.
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