Goodies to Go (tm)
November 25, 2002-- Newsletter #208

By Vince Barnes



Goodies to Go (tm)
November 25, 2002--Newsletter #208

This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
http://www.internet.com
 


Featured this week:

* Goodies Thoughts  - Pop-Up -- Pop Outta Here!!
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Feedback Goodies  
* And Remember This...

 


 

Goodies Announcement

Just in case you missed it before, the new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!

 

Go beyond the basics and learn how the pros add and use dynamic HTML features and advanced JavaScript techniques. Beyond HTML Goodies demonstrates dozens of new and different features readers can add to their existing Web pages using HTML and JavaScript. The book starts with simple text and image tips, such as adding a clock to a Web page or causing text to appear when the mouse moves over an image. It gradually builds to more complex tricks, including manipulating forms or working with cookies behind the scenes. Throughout the book, readers enjoy Joe's snappy style and "to the point" discussion of each "goody" in the book.

 

http://books.internet.com/books/0789727803

 

 

Goodies Thoughts - Pop-Up -- Pop Outta Here!!

I hate 'em! I'm sure you hate 'em! Yes, it's those annoying pop-up ads that I'm talking about. They're the latest scourge on the Internet. There's the pop-up which opens in addition to the page you expect when you browse to an address. There's the pop-under, which hides itself behind what you're looking up and lurks there until you close your window and there it is. There's even the new "Messenger Service" type of ad that appears out of nowhere. Often you get more than one window opening - did you ever mistype an address and wind up on a porn site, only to find that as you close your window, two or three (or more) other porn sites open up, each of which opens even more when you close them too. It can take forever to get them all closed -- to the point where you sometimes want to just switch off the computer to stop them. Then there's the history -- you've told the kids they're not to go to those sites but when they look in the history they find that you have been there yourself! Explain that one away!

I have been asked how to make these pop-up ads. Well here's my answer: forget about it! I have no intention of contributing to this kind of annoyance on the Internet and I hope you don't either. As a reader of HTML Goodies and Goodies To Go you are, I am sure, one of the web's civilized citizens and a proponent of user-friendliness. As such, pop-ups, pop-unders and all related forms are something you fastidiously avoid; of this I am pretty much certain!

On the other side of the coin there is the defense against these evils. How can you protect yourself from becoming a victim of the ad barrage? I have a life-preserver to throw out to you, but before I do, let me also mention one more insidious net demon.

There are certain pieces of software that are being offered on the internet, ostensibly to help you fight off undesirables, that are themselves the very devils you wish to excise. For example, there is a website called http://www.PurityScan.com  that offers to help you scan your computer for "inappropriate" pornographic files that can "make their way onto your computer when you surf the Internet". When you accept their offer and download and use their software they install a pop up ad server into your computer that you will have a nightmare of a time trying to remove. This server will deliver pop-ups to you regardless of what you are doing on the net! Unbelievable? Here are a couple of extracts from their "Terms" (which, of course, you always read before you install any company's software -- NOT!): "PurityScan will make the following changes to your Internet Browser"; "Several PROMOTIONAL CONSOLES (daughter console/interstitial) may be launched for the duration of time you spend online"; "these changes cannot be reversed"; "If you try to change the items above manually, your changes will be lost when you reboot or turn off your computer". I'll bet you don't like the sound of that now, do you! Even that "inappropriate" porn doesn't seem so bad. Wait though; you haven't heard the worst yet!

Try this on for size:
"Our site's registration form requires users to give contact and demographic information such as name, e-mail address, age, gender, zip code and country of residence. We may use customer contact information from the registration form to send the user information about our company and promotional material from some of our partners. The customer's contact information may also be used to contact the visitor when necessary and shared with other companies who may want to contact our visitors. Demographic and profile information may also be used to tailor the visitor's experience at our site, showing them content that we think might interest them. We may disclose information you enter during the join process to third parties."

You will be giving them all your personal information, allowing them to send targeted ads to you, allowing them to track what you do on the internet and allowing them to share this information with (i.e., sell it to) whomever they please! All this in the name of "Purity" and to help you rid yourself of files that can make their own way onto your computer (which they can't unless you go and get them!) If you find all this hard to believe, read their full terms for yourself; they're on their website. I recommend that you don't download anything from them, though!!

I mentioned a life-preserver before, and here it is. You may be familiar with the capabilities of browsers such as Opera to block pop-ups, but even they won't get them all. Matina Fresenius heads up a company in the North West corner of the US called Panicware, inc. Her company has some terrific software for you to use. They have focused their efforts on solving these annoyances and on preserving the privacy of web surfers. While there are some other offerings you may have received in bulk email (another net scourge), Matina's company is the only company with this specialization, with a technical support group and with legitimate credentials that I have found. If there is another such out there, I apologize, but I was not able to find them. Panicware's line of products includes a free version of Pop-Up Stopper, a Pro version with additional intelligent features and the top-of-the-line Companion version which prevents the ads, selectively removes cookies and prevents Internet use tracking. The Companion is only $39.95 and buys you peace as well as peace of mind! They also have (and it's free!) a program called Pop-Up Scanner which is specifically designed to heal you from the harms of PurityScan and other such programs. If you are concerned about your privacy with regard to your computer, also check out "Don't Panic!" and "SpyCop". The reference to Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe" is a very nice touch! Go on over to http://www.panicware.com and get yourself covered. By the way, while you're there, read their privacy policy. It's reads like a privacy policy should; it's about privacy, not publicity.
 


Thanks for Reading!
- Vince Barnes

Top

Q & A Goodies

Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/.



 

Q. I have a webpage that has a navigation bar on the left, and want that navigation bar to always be visible no matter how far a user scrolls down the page. Do I need a frame, or do I need JavaScript?

A. Take a look at this site:
http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex1/index.html 
They have many navigation menus you can use. Just keep in mind that not all of the menus will work with all of the browsers. Choose one that says it will work with all of them unless you have a captured audience and know that they all use a particular browser.



Q. Do you know of any commands that will not display the password as you type it, or put in a series of asterisks, while still keeping the data so that it can be compared to the values in a database?

A. HTML has a password form field that displays asterisks.
<input type="password" name="var name" size="40" maxlength="80" value="default value">




Q. I have some experience with HTML and JavaScript, but I recently visited a site that had a bunch of applet windows that popped up and disappeared. I would love to know how to get that.

A. What you were looking at was actually a Java Applet. This is very different from JavaScript - they are barely even related (except that they can both be used on the web). A Java Applet is like a program and JavaScript is what it's name implies, a scripting language. The only way to get something like that is to see if the developer at that site would be willing to share it with you.




Q.
I would like to make a word a clickable link to to another word...... such as 1st Th 5:17 clickable to the scripture.

A. You can set an anchor that will bring up a certain part of the page where the word is.
< A name="1st_th517"> is placed by the word.
<a href="#1st_th517">Th 5:17</a> is placed as the link




Q.
I've been using the <BASE FONT=3> command within the head tags thinking that would "fix" the page fonts at a certain size, but it doesn't. Is there any way to "fix" font size to the way I need it for my designs to work?

A. I don't use it but it does have to be used correctly. This element can be used only within the BODY element or the HEAD element. BASEFONT should appear before any displayed text in the body of the document. It can be overridden using the FONT tag within the document. Maybe this is what is happening:
No BASEFONT size specified yet.
<BASEFONT SIZE=4> Set the BASEFONT size.
<FONT SIZE=2> Temporarily override the BASEFONT size.</FONT>
Resume the BASEFONT size. End of example.
Did you try using a Cascading Style Sheet? You can manipulate the style of the font using it.
<HEAD>
<TITLE>CSS Example</TITLE>
<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
H1 { font-size: x-large; color: red }
H2 { font-size: large; color: blue }
</STYLE>
</HEAD>
The above style sheet tells the browser to show level-one headings in an extra-large, red font, and to show level-two headings in a large, blue font.
 


 

 

Top

News Goodies


Volunteers Wanted For IT National Guard
[November 25, 2002] Looking to volunteer on behalf of your country's (the USA's) safety? The NET Guard bill is an effort to corral cutting edge tech assistance for the nation's emergency workers.

Click here to read the article



Macromedia Readies Director Upgrade
[November 25, 2002] The firm makes improvements to its workhorse product (including support for the new Apple OS) to help developers build multimedia content for CD/DVD-ROMs, kiosks and the Web.

Click here to read the article



Dell Delivers on Blade Server Promise

[November 25, 2002] After a bit of delay, Dell is ready to rock and roll with its first ever blade servers; meet the PowerEdge 1655MC.

Click here to read the article
 



Verizon Unwires Businesses
[November 22, 2002] Following up on selling Wi-Fi equipment to its broadband customers, the company is launching a wireless local area network solutions program for small businesses, starting in the Boston area.

Click here to read the article




MPEG-4 Becoming Louder, Clearer?
[November 22, 2002] FEATURE: A new component that halves the size of digital audio files is up for adoption the MPEG-4 standard but questions about licensing prices and DRM shortcomings still linger.

Click here to read the article

 



UnitedLinux Takes Aim At Microsoft, Sun, Red Hat
[November 19, 2002] SCO and SuSE work to lure customers away from Linux 'wanna-bes' with new distributions based on United Linux 1.0.

Click here to read the article

 

 

 


Top

Feedback Goodies



Did you ever wish your newsletter was an easy two way communications medium? Ploof! It now is!
If you would like to comment on the newsletter or expand/improve on something you have seen in here, you can now send your input to:

mailto:nlfeedback@htmlgoodies.com


We already receive a lot of email every day. This address will help us sort out those relating specifically to this newsletter from all the rest. When you send email to this address it may wind up being included in this section of the newsletter, to be shared with your fellow readers.


Thanks for those who pointed out that the link in last weeks newsletter should have been to http://www.FlashKit.com not to http://www.FlaskKit.com  Just for fun, try these two!

Thanks also to Tres London for providing this additional tip:
I noticed the #207 newsletter some advice was featured regarding this question:
"Q. I want to change the background color of a cell containing a link, but only when the mouse is on that link. Then it should go back to the original color."
Actually, I have accomplished this very easily, and it works in Mozilla and Internet Explorer. Here is the code: <td onMouseOver="this.style.backgroundColor='#3A3A3A'"
onMouseOut="this.style.backgroundColor='gray'">

Also, some of you last week received either a black newsletter with red fonts or some similar, difficult to read, combination of colors. Please know that this was not planned! There was an example in one of the Q&A pieces that certain email clients actually interpreted as code. Notably, AOL had a hard time with it. Outlook and Outlook Express did not misinterpret the example. Eudora Pro (the version I tried) changed the colors of links. We'll try to make sure that examples are included in such a way that these client programs interpret them only as text. It might be a bit tough on some clients, though.

 

 

 

Top
And Remember This . . .


On this day in...


1996: Excite Buys Webcrawler
America Online announced that Excite would buy its Webcrawler search engine for $20 million worth of Excite stock, giving AOL a 20% holding in Excite. Excite was created in 1996 by six college grads (Stanford) who borrowed $15,000 from their parents and created it in a garage. In 1999 Excite was sold to the cable company At Home Corp for $6.7 billion. By my calculations that means those guys made about $890 million each. That's more than I made over the past three years -- how about you?


1952 The Mousetrap opens in London
Written by the famous murder mystery playwright and author Agatha Christie, The Mousetrap opened on November 25th 1952 at the Ambassador Theatre in London's West End to an audience of 423. It is the longest continuously running play in history, with a total of more than 20,000 performances. It is still running at the St. Martin's Theatre, where it moved in 1974. More than 10 million people have seen the play. When it opened, Sir Winston Churchill was Prime Minister of England, Josef Stalin headed the USSR and Dwight D. Eisenhower was President-Elect of the US.

And born today were:
1835 Andrew Carnegie; 1914 Joltin' Joe DiMaggio; 1920 Ricardo Montalban; 1960 John F. Kennedy Jr.; 1971 Christina Applegate



Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!

 




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