Goodies to Go! Newsletter #391

By Vince Barnes

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                      Goodies to Go (tm)
               May 30, 2006 -- Newsletter # 391

     This newsletter is part of the internet.com network.
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          Please visit http://www.htmlgoodies.com
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Featured this week: a

*   Goodies Thoughts - Staying Up To Date
*   Q & A Goodies
*   Discussion Goodies
*   News Goodies
*   Feedback Goodies
*   Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
*   And Remember This...

Staying Up To Date

We all have to work constantly to have a hope of keeping our systems secure. The moment you think you have a secure system, you haven't.  The process of securing a system includes a constant monitoring for discovered security holes and vulnerabilities.  The objective, of course, is to find out about the newly unearthed flaw, obtain a patch and implement it before any maliciously minded individual discovers your unpatched system. 

Those who are in the best position to discover flaws and holes in an operating system are those who know it best; namely, its authors.  There are mechanisms for security conscious system administrators to notify each other of holes, including NTBugTraq. Details of NTBugTraq can be found at www.ntbugtraq.com. As the author of the Windows family of operating systems, Microsoft, among other things, keeps a close eye on NTBugtraq.  It is only the team at Microsoft who are in the position to create patches for these holes, since only they have all the operating system source code.  It is therefore they who are in the best position to notify you when both a vulnerability is identified and its patch is available.  To this end, Microsoft came up with Windows Automatic Updates.

Automatic Updates can be found in the control panel in Windows 2000 and as a tab of System Properties in XP and 2003.  There are four options available.  It can be turned off, which is probably only really a reasonable option on a machine that is never connected to the Internet.  When on, it can be set to notify you before downloading updates, to notify after downloading updates or to simply download updates and install them on a specified schedule.

The use of Windows Automatic Update to notify you of security patches is an excellent mechanism.  My personal preference is to have automatic updates turned on and have them downloaded ready for me to apply.  I also like to monitor for updates by subscribing to Microsoft's Product Security Notification Service (see  http://register.microsoft.com/regsys/pic.asp ).  I believe that the best time to apply a patch is now or sooner -- later is just not a good idea.

As the number of threats increases all the time, it is becoming more and more critical that hotfixes be applied in a timely manner.  The same holds true for service packs.  It can be a risky business to allow time to go by before patching your system.  Remember that the maliciously intended also subscribe to the NTBugTraq and MS Notification services.  To them, these services provide a list of new things to look for and try.  If your system is already patched when they come looking, they'll just have to move on to the next one.

Keep vigilant and stay safe (at least, safer!!)


Thanks for reading!

- Vince Barnes

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


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We have had a number of people indicate that their email client programs are interpreting code examples in this newsletter as actual HTML code instead of text.  To overcome this problem and to enable everyone to read the newsletter, there is a period after the "<" in each tag.  If you cut and paste to try out code examples, please remember to remove the periods.  Wherever we intend you to use "<." in your code, the example will show "<..".  In this way, you will be safely able to use a global edit to change "<." to "<".  Thanks to all of you for your patience with this; if this technique creates an undue problem for you however, please let us know via our feedback address (see Feedback, below).


*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
    
Q. I'm trying to implement Joe Burns' shopping cart onto my webpage and it's working great so far. However, instead of having an 'Add This Item To My Total', and then a 'You Have Ordered This Many Of This Item:', I'd like to have a dropdown menu listing various numerical choices and then an 'Add This Amount To My Total' button. I'm trying to figure it out, but I'm not getting very far. How do I go about doing this?

A. It sounds like you want to fill in the number with an option list, and find another way to store the value. I'm not familiar with that cart, but it sounds like a serious reworking of it. It might be a lot easier to find a shopping cart that works the way you want rather than trying to rework this one, though you would learn a bunch of JavaScript in the process. Replacing the text box containing the total with an option list is easy. The user sets it instead of the function setting it. However,
the function that fills that box in Joe's script also stores the variable, and you need to find another way to do that. That's the part that's a serious rewrite.
[As an option, check out http://www.JavaScriptSource.com -- as search on "shopping cart reveals some interesting options.  Also check out Bob Conley's suggestion, below.  - Ed.]


*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers

Q. I am starting to design web-pages and wanted to know what would I need to start a small e-commerce site.   I want it to be database driven.

A. First you need to know if your server supports database driven sites and if so, what type. If your host uses a UNIX server then it should support PHP and PERL. If your server is a Windows server then it supports ASP. Once you figure which one, you can then look for a shopping cart that will work on your particular server. Your host may even offer a cart for you to use. Ask them first. The next is to start testing cart available on the internet. Do a search on Google and then test drive them. Make a list of what you might want in a cart and see which ones offer what you need.
If you do not want host your own shopping cart, you can look into something like Paypal (http://www.paypal.com ). HTMLGoodies has a tutorail about Paypal here: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/paypal.html
They do all of the shopping cart work for you. You add some code to your site to use thier cart. They do get a percentage of the sale but I am not sure how much.

*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
    
Q. I want to add a link on my pages that would allow my visitors to go back to the last page they were looking at, no matter which page it was (like the "Back" button, but a hyperlink).  How do I code this?

A. You can use a piece of javascript that works just like the browsers back button. Code it like so:
<a href="javascript:history.go(-1)">Go Back</a>


*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
    
Q. Do you use href to open a link in a new window?

A. Yes you do. You add the target="blank" for a new window. Code it like so:
<a href="http://www.somewhere.com" target="_blank">Somewhere</a>


*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
    
Q. My server supports CGI, PERL, PHP & MySQL, but not ASP.  What is the easiest way to add a shopping cart capability with credit card processing capability?

A. You can buy a shopping cart that will run on what your host supports. First check with your host to make sure that they allow uploading a shopping cart. Then take a look at this site: http://php.resourceindex.com/Complete_Scripts/Shopping_Carts/
It has a lot of pre-built carts that will run on a server that supports PHP. They seem fairly inexpensive. Before you buy one, make sure it has everything you are looking for and if possible, see if they offer a demo for you to try.


*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community.
    The answer was provided by one of our Mentor Volunteers
    
Q. I'd like to do is create a template (basically a header and footer) so that I can update the top and bottom of all my webpages by only altering one file for each.

A. You can use SSI to include a page at the top and a page at the bottom, if your server supports this.  Take a look at this tutorial: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/asp.html
About half way down the page it explains SSI and include pages.

Discussion Goodies
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Have you seen the discussion forums on the HTML Goodies website?  It's a great place to get help from others who, just like you, are developing web pages.  Many different topics appear in the forum, and a new one will appear if you create it!  Here's a sample of recent topics:

changing properties of browser after opening:
http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=108302

General questions about building travel site:
http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=108226

working with offline sql server data in excel:
http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=108301

News Goodies
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Broadband Numbers Changing Face of Web
[May 30, 2006] The increase in broadband use is driving the creation of more of Web 2.0's user-generated content. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/stats/article.php/3609916


Firefox 2.0 Bakes in Anti-Phish Antidote
[May 30, 2006] The latest development build of next-gen browser gets some Google input.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3609816


CA Delays Q4 Earnings Report Again
[May 30, 2006] This time the delay is attributed to calculations on sales commission expense and income taxes.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3609761


McDowell Lands FCC Spot
[May 30, 2006] Senate action brings Republican majority back to regulatory agency.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3609736


Symphony's $465M Hummingbird Buy
[May 30, 2006] The purchase will bring cash to shareholders in a space marked by consolidation. 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3609636


Microsoft Looking For Contestants
[May 30, 2006] Design a nifty app around the WinCE video functionality and win an Xbox 360 setup.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article.php/3609671


Microsoft Hopes for Smoother Vista Sailing
[May 29, 2006] Analysis: Microsoft can't afford many further delays to Vista's long-awaited release.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3609566


Symantec Patches Antivirus Vulnerability
[May 30, 2006] Firm closes potential backdoor to malicious hackers.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/security/article.php/3609846


EFF, Bloggers Win Appeal In Apple Case
[May 26, 2006] Take that, Apple! 
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3609556


Is 'Ya-bay' Gunning for Google?
[May 26, 2006] Analysts and investors cheer the joint Yahoo/eBay venture.
Read the article:
http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3609251


 
 
 
Feedback Goodies
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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:

We already receive a lot of email every day.  This address helps 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.  Please don't send your questions to this address.  They should be sent to our mentors: see http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors/

Thanks for all your feedback!


Windows Tech Goodie of the Week 
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Implementing Active Directory Services in ASP.NET 2.0

With the introduction of ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005, many of the security tasks required to connect an application's authentication and authorization mechanisms to Active Directory have been dramatically simplified. This article shows how to perform both Active Directory (LDAP:\\) and local member server (WinNT:\\) tasks.


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Checking All CheckBoxes in a GridView

This article, by Scott Mitchell, examines how to use both server-side and client-side code to, with the click of a button, check or uncheck all checkboxes in a GridView.


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Database Record Highlight Sample Code

Sometimes when you're looking through a lot of data, it can get difficult to follow those little lines all the way across a table.
Alternating row colors can help to some extent, but what if we had a virtual highlighter that lit up an entire row when you moused over it? Well now we do...

And Remember This ...
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On this day in...

1678 Lady Godiva rode naked through the city of Coventry, England in protest of taxes; 1837 the fanciest hotel in the US, the Astor, opened for business (it later became the Waldorf-Astoria); 1879 Madison Square Garden in New York City opened for business;  1884 Dr. John Harvey Kellog received the patent for flaked cereal; 1889 2,209 died in the Johnstown flood in Pennsylvania; 1891 work began on the Trans-Siberian Railway; 1907 Taxis began service in New York City; 1927 the last "Tin Lizzie" rolled off the Ford Motor Company's production line (was replaced by the Model A); 1955 the US Supreme Court ordered school integration "with all deliberate speed"; 1969 John & Yoko Lennon recorded "Give Peace a Chance" and Stevie Wonder released "My Cherie Amour"; 1977 the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline was completed; 1979 Zimbabwe proclaimed independence; 1991 the oldest bride on record, Minnie Munro, 102, married Dudley Reid, 83, in Australia (cradle snatcher!);

Born today were: in 1819 poet Walt Whitman; 1872 English illustrator/cartoonist William Heath Robinson; 1888 actor Jack Holt; 1908 actor Don Ameche; 1912 actress Barbara Pepper; 1916 actress Judy Campbell; 1922 English actor Denholm Elliot; 1923 Prince of Monaco Clint Rainier III; 1930 actor Clint Eastwood; 1934 actor Jim Hutton; 1938 musician Peter Yarrow (with Paul & Mary); 1948 musician John "Bonzo" Bonham (Led Zeppelin); 1948 actress Rhea Perlman; 1950 actor Gregory Harrison; 1950 actor Tom Berrenger; 1960 actor/comedian Chris Elliot; 1961 English comedian Harry Enfield; 1961 actress Lea Thompson; 1962 Canadian singer Cory Hart; 1965 model/actress Brooke Shields;


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