Insecure vs. Unsecured

A high school classmate of mine recently posted on Facebook: Message just popped up up my screen from Microsoft, I guess. “This site has insecure content.” Really? Is the content not feeling good about itself, or, perchance, did they mean “unsecured?” What the ever-lovin’ ****? I was intrigued, because it was an ambiguous message and…

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What does “size_is” mean in an IDL file?

My boss (who has spent a really long time working on RPC) and I got into a discussion the other day about the “size_is” IDL attribute (yeah, that’s what Microsoft developers chat about when they’re bored). For context, there are two related attributes which are applied to an array in IDL files.  size_is(xxx) and length_is(xxx). …

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Microsoft Office team deploys botnet for security research

Even though it’s posted on April 1st, this is actually not an April Fools prank. It turns out that the Office team runs a “botnet” internally that’s dedicated to file fuzzing.  Basically they have a tool that’s run on a bunch of machines that runs file fuzzing jobs in their spare time.  This really isn’t…

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Looking for new skillz (turning the blog around)…

Just for giggles, I went looking at the various job listings within Microsoft and outside Microsoft (no, I’m not going anywhere, I was just curious).  While looking, I realized that I had absolutely no marketable skills :).  Nobody seems to be hiring an OS developer these days. To repeat and be even more clear: I’m…

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I can make it arbitrarily fast if I don’t actually have to make it work.

Digging way back into my pre-Microsoft days, I was recently reminded of a story that I believe was told to me by Mary Shaw back when I took her Computer Optimization class at Carnegie-Mellon… During the class, Mary told an anecdote about a developer “Sue” who found a bug in another developer’s “Joe” code that…

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Fixing an accessibility bug with the trackbar common control

The trackbar common control is a strange beast.  The trackbar can be oriented either horizontally or vertically.  On LTR language machines, when the trackbar is horizontal, it works much as you’d expect it to: The minimum value of the trackbar is on the left, the maximum value is on the right (it’s reversed for RTL…

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When you do UX work, sometimes you have to worry about the strangest things…

I recently got a bug reported to me about the visuals in the sound control panel applet not being aligned properly (this is from the UI for a new Windows 7 feature): The problem as reported was that the microphone was aligned incorrectly w.r.t. the down arrow. – the microphone was too far to the…

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I get spam :)

I just received this spam message the other day: From: Microsoft [mailto:customerservice@microsoft.com] Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2008 11:13 PM To: Larry Osterman Subject: Security Update for OS Microsoft Windows Dear Microsoft Customer, Please notice that Microsoft company has recently issued a Security Update for OS Microsoft Windows. The update applies to the following OS versions:…

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THIS is what a Windows PC should look like…

We had a neighborhood picnic on Saturday at our neighbors house.  While we were chatting in the kitchen, I noticed their new computer. They had an HP TouchSmart computer, and I have to say that I was blown away by it.  I really liked the industrial design and the touch interface is really smooth.  …

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