Jul 032013
 

Some people and firms simply don’t have a clue of how the Internet works, and of simple concepts like freedom of speech/expression. Here’s a little gem I got in my inbox earlier today: (I’m replacing the name/URL of the company in question with BlahBlah, to avoid further ‘legal’ excrement in my inbox)

Dear Webmaster:

I write to notify you of unauthorized linking on your website.
[BlahBlah] is the owner of the exclusive rights protected under copyright law and other intellectual property rights. The following links are specific examples of URLs that link to http://blah.blah without authorization:

http://evert.meulie.net/2010/04/20/chatroulette-and-its-alternatives/

http://evert.meulie.net/tag/shuffle-people/

http://evert.meulie.net/tag/anochat/

http://evert.meulie.net/tag/zupyo/

http://evert.meulie.net/tag/chatroulette/

[BlahBlah] hereby notifies you that the following constitute or incorporate links to http://blah.blah which were placed without prior permission and are therefore unauthorized.

[BlahBlah] requests that you act expeditiously to remove or disable access to all unauthorized links to http://blah.blah on your website. We also ask that you provide us with written assurance of this fact within 3 business days from the date of this letter.

The undersigned has good faith belief that use of the material in the manner described herein is not authorized by [BlahBlah] or its agents. Under penalty of perjury, the undersigned is authorized to act on behalf of [BlahBlah] with respect to this matter.

If these links are not removed within 3 business days, we will have no choice but to file a formal complaint with your hosting company and domain registrar. If this happens they will notify you to take down the offending links or risk having your website shut down or domain name inactivated.

Sincerely,

Blah Blah
Legal Department
[BlahBlah]

First of all (before you ask): Yes, I did remove the requested link, and provided them with written assurance of this fact within 3 business days:

Hi,

Clearly you don’t have a clue of how the Internet works.
But since I neither have the time nor the will to educate you on the matter, I have removed the link (which were in no way negative towards [BlahBlah], and therefore nothing but free advertising!) you mentioned.

Evert

I’m sure that organizations like the ACLU & the EFF eat ‘legal’ notices like these for breakfast, but I’m not going to waste any more time on it. :cool:
But if you do get a notice like this one as well, and have the time to fight it, please do! I seriously doubt they have any legal grounds to stand on…

Mar 202013
 

Just spent 30 minutes on the phone with Microsoft support to figure out how one migrates (a crappy term to begin with. It suggests moving from one place to another. In reality it’s more of a 1-way sync) email accounts from an Exchange server to the mailboxes that come with Office 365 Small Business.

As you can see there’s no mention of Exchange or Migration when you sign in:
Office_365_Small_Business_1

The trick is as follows:
* Click on Outlook, thereby starting the Outlook Web App (OWA).
Office_365_Small_Business_2

* Edit the URL. Remove the part that starts with /owa and replace it with /ecp. Example: https://pod12345.outlook.com/owa/[something] becomes https://pod12345.outlook.com/ecp.
Office_365_Small_Business_3

* Press ‘Enter’ and… voilà! There’s your Exchange admin center, with the option to create migration batches.
Office_365_Small_Business_4

Why hide it like this? Who knows…? Microsoft Moves in a Mysterious Way

Update: It appears Microsoft has changed their URL-scheme. You still first go to the Outlook Web App, but from there you can go to https://outlook.office365.com/ecp/ to access the Exchange Control Panel for Office 365.

Dec 042012
 

As a fan of the ‘latest’ gadgets I’ve been scouring Interwebs to see if there are any thermometers out there which use WiFi to report their findings. There are quite a few square/rectangle boxes out there, but I was looking for something that was aesthetically pleasing as well.
EL-WiFi-THThe search brought me to Lascar Electronics, a UK/US company, and their EL-WiFi-TH product. This combined temperature/humidity datalogger has, according to the Lascar site, the following features:

  • WiFi capability and integrated display
  • Wireless connectivity to PC via WiFi
  • View and analyse multiple sensors using the PC application, including immediate graphing of historic data
  • Measurement range from -20 to +60°C (-4 to +140°F)
  • Rechargeable internal lithium polymer battery, said to last > 1 year on a charge with ‘typical use’.

Let’s look at these selling points with a critical mind:

  • Wifi capability: Yes, but apparantly only IEEE 802.11b-1999 compliant. Since my WiFi network currently only supports 802.11g & 802.11n it would mean I have to enable some ‘legacy’ settings to re-enable 802.11b
  • Wireless connectivity to PC via WiFi: It says ‘PC’, but what they really mean is: a computer running Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7 (no mention of Windows 8 yet), so if you use OS X or Linux, you’re outta luck…
    (It may work under Wine on Linux. Worth checking out)
  • Measurement range: Hmm… Perhaps a good range for other parts of the world but here (in Norway) it means I can’t use the unit for outdoor measurements during the winter months, when the temperatures some times drop (quite a bit) below -20C/-4F. I think -40 to +40°C would be a more interesting range.

I have nothing critical/negative to say about the display nor the battery. Both are good! :-)

Despite a few less-than-perfect points above I decided to order a unit anyway. It ‘arrived’ (the postal service in this country is a joke. Hardly anything larger than regular envelopes really arrives at your door. The rest you have to go and pick up at the post office…) last weekend, but I didn’t get around to the unboxing until last evening.

Since the quickguide in the box mentioned that the unit was partially charged but needs at least 24 hours of charging before actual use, all I could do was plug it into a USB-port and wait…
In the mean time I downloaded/installed the required (Windows only) software, which I obtained via the link at the bottom of the el-wifi datalogger page, on my Win7/x64 box.

The download link to the software reveals another interesting aspect: When it comes to these units Lascar Electronics apparently is a reseller/partner. The sensors are manufactuered by Corintech (Contract Electronics Manufacturing Services UK).
It’s a good idea to also drop by the page with firmware updates. In my case I found out that I can update my sensor (firmware 2.46) to firmware 2.50, and get ‘Battery Life Improvements’.
(For those who wonder, on Larasian.com I found the connection: Larasian is a holding company based at Burgate. Owned by Glynis and Brian Currie, Larasian owns 100% of Lascar Electronics and is the majority shareholder of CorinTech)

Day 2:
The EL-WiFi-TH (couldn’t they pick something more pronouncable?) is fully charged, and hooked up to my PC via USB. The configuration program is pretty straight-forward: You select the WiFi network the unit should connect to, give it a name, set the measuring & reporting intervals and set any alarms (optionally). Then you disconnect the USB cable and put the sensor at the measuring point, in my case a pantry.

Day 3:
Here are the first 12 hours or so of readings, with 10 seconds interval. As you can see a nice and stable temperature (3C. We’re talking basement pantry in the southeast of Norway here…).
Tonight I have to hook it up to the PC once more to apply that above-mentioned firmware update, but after that I plan to keep it in the pantry for the days/weeks/months to come.

More to follow

Jun 072012
 

Time for some Microsoft bashing… err… promoting! Yup, I don’t do that too often, for obvious reasons, in my opinion.

There are plenty of apps out there which let Android users automate tasks, performing their pre-defined actions when specific conditions are met. Microsoft thinks it can do one better than that, though, and has plans for a whole scripting system based on giving its users a large degree of control over just how their phones behave, without requiring lots of custom apps for every given situation.

Called on{X}, Microsoft is first debuting the system for Android, where it uses JavaScript to interpret end-user instructions. In order to make it accessible (despite its rather technical underpinnings), Microsoft breaks the relevant chunks of JavaScript code into triggers and actions, all configurable through a convenient GUI. By stringing together these bits, users create on{X} rules, which can then be shared with others online.

For instance, one on{X} rule might contain the triggers for the time being 8 a.m. and the local weather forecast mentioning rain, with the action that an alert should be displayed on the phone advising you to grab an umbrella. Others might contain triggers that detect when you’re out on a jog and a text message from a friend arrives, letting your phone automatically text back that you’ll respond when you’re done with your workout.

This certainly sounds like a system with great potential, and a lot of flexibility. However, its success or failure could lie with the strength of its development community, and just how appealing the pre-configured rules it shares with other users are.

While on{X} hits Android first, Microsoft hopes to bring it to other mobile platforms in the future. Yes, you read that correctly. on{X} is not supported on Windows Phone!
Hmm, a perfect place to quote Alanis Morissette:

And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think
A little too ironic…and, yeah, I really do think…

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