Monthly Archives: May 2012

Firefox Mobile Beta: native UI at last!

The wait is finally over, no need to go through the daily Aurora upgrade process any more; Firefox Mobile 14 beta (available in the Google Play store) is out with all the improvements that were in the Aurora builds.

The main differences with the previous (non-Aurora) versions: Firefox on Android doesn’t use XUL (the Mozilla cross platform UI toolkit) any more, but switched to native Android UI elements. This (and other less visible changes) results in faster startup time, lower memory usage and better overall performance. There’s Flash in it as well, but with ‘tap to play’ option so the impact, I’m happy to report, is pretty limited. And the start-page is pretty nifty, with “Top Sites”, “Tabs from last time” and “Tabs on other computers” on one nice screen.

I must admit I was slightly worried at first, as I couldn’t get Sync to work at all (“could not connect to server” and similar error messages), but after uninstalling Aurora, Firefox Mobile Beta can sync just fine. All in all Firefox Mobile is an even greater browser than it was before.

As found on the web (May 16th)

generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
blog (feed #46)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)

Fix Samsung ICS Exchange connection errors

[Update 21-5-2012: Samsung released new firmware, version I9100XWLPD, which seems to fix the bug.]

Since updating my Samsung Galaxy  S II to Ice Cream Sandwich, I’ve regularly been experiencing the dreaded “connection error” in the mail client when trying to fetch mail from the corporate Exchange server. A colleague of mine, who agreed to have me upgrade his SGS2 after I promised  everything worked flawlessly, had the problem even more regularly.

Searching the web turned up this interesting thread on xda-developers, which had amongst others a fix for the adventurous, but also this eye-opening comment:

The messages in question are Read Receipts, Delivery Receipts and similar messages. Once there is one of those in your inbox, you’re stuck until you delete it. […] A better solution which has worked for me is to create a folder for your receipts. Then, on your PC, create a rule to move the receipts to the folder on arrival. This will obviously also work when your PC is off, as the rules are stored and executed on the server. You will have to create a rule which processes emails on arrival, matches a series of strings in either subject or body of the message and moves them to the folder.

And that’s exactly what I did; mails sent only to me with “Declined:” or “Accepted:” or “Tentative:” or “Read:” or “Not read:” in the subject line are automatically moved into a “tmp” folder. Your mileage may vary (apparently there are other conditions under which the Android/ Samsung mail client has problems downloading items form Exchange), but based on my limited experience up until now, this workaround gets most problematic items in my Inbox out of the way. Now let’s hope Samsung fixes this blatant error (and that it isn’t in the ICS-version on that beautiful Samsung Galaxy S III)!

30 jaar geleden; Adieu Gilles!

Ik heb al 30 jaar een zwak voor Formule 1. Dat lijkt misschien vreemd voor iemand met groene sympathieën, maar wie zichzelf niet tegenspreekt, censureert z’n onvolmaaktheid. Soit, schijn-wijsheden daar gelaten, ik was 13 en geabonneerd op het weekblad Kuifje, dat naar aanleiding van de Grote Prijs van België een special over Formule 1 had gemaakt. In het midden een poster van die prachtige bloedrode Ferrari 126 C2. Ferrari was na pionier Renault de 2de constructeur met een turbo-motor en maakte dat jaar met de virtuoze Gilles Villeneuve en de consistent snelle Didier Pironi serieus kans om de wereldkampioen te leveren. Ik was onmiddellijk fan.

Maar tijdens die GP van België liep het anders. Toen ik op zaterdag 8 mei 1982 terugkwam van een wandeling met m’n ouders en vrienden van de familie, hoorde ik op de radio dat Gilles Villeneuve zwaar gecrasht was tijdens de oefenritten. Een dom ongeluk, gevolg van een misverstand tussen 2 ervaren piloten. Het voorwiel van Villeneuve’s Ferrari raakte bij een inhaalmanoeuvre het achterwiel van Jochen Mass’s March, de Ferrari vloog daardoor de lucht in (het “ground effect” werd verbroken) en werd 100m ver gekatapulteerd, landde hard met de neus in de grond, maakte verschillende buitelingen waarbij Villeneuve z’n helm verloor en de wagen verder desintegreerde. De Canadees eindigde uiteindelijk met wat restte van de cockpit, zonder helm, in een vanghek en werd enkele uren later officieel dood verklaard.

Een held minder op de startgrid, maar teamgenoot Pironi leek enkele races later wel goed op weg om wereldkampioen te worden. Tot de GP van Duitsland, waar ook hij zwaar crashte. De Fransman overleefde de klap, maar zou nooit meer racen.

Gisteren reed zoon (en wereldkampioen F1 1997)  Jacques Villeneuve met de Ferrari T4 waarmee z’n vader in 1979 schitterde. Maar als het voor U hetzelfde is, kijk ik liever nog eens naar dit heroïsch duel dat Gilles in 1979 met René Arnoux uitvocht:

Arnoux Villeneuve 1979 Top Gear
Watch this video on YouTube.

Salut Gilles!

As found on the web (May 9th)

youtube (feed #51)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)
frank posted Visited.
youtube (feed #51)
frank liked 2 videos.
blog (feed #46)
generic (feed #49)
generic (feed #49)

DDOS’ed by 80legs.com spider?

Just got some heavy traffic from a friggin’ spider with this useragent:

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; 008/0.83; http://www.80legs.com/webcrawler.html) Gecko/2008032620

As changing robots.txt did not help immediately, more drastic measures were needed, so I added this tidbit to .htaccess to stop the fuckers:

SetEnvIfNoCase ^User-Agent$ .*(80legs) HTTP_SAFE_BADBOT
Deny from env=HTTP_SAFE_BADBOT

And now back to me just relaxing and having a bath! ;-)

Windows 7 does not (always) like IE9

A couple of days ago a neighbor asked if I could have a look at his slightly misbehaving PC; links in emails did not open correctly. He was on an all Microsoft setup, with Windows Seven, IE9 and Outlook. The error was as harsh as it was vague;

According to “wonderfully wise web” that problem is typically caused by a lack of a default browser in Windows 7, but given the fact that IE9 was the only browser installed, that did not make a lot of sense.

I was pretty confused, checking and re-applying settings while searching the web, but then I found a forum thread in which someone replied that the 64-bits version of IE9 just cannot be set as default browser, ever. Must be that Windows 7 does not really like 64-bits IE9? I did not find an easy way to switch to 32-bits IE9 and as the neighbor did not object, so I installed the most recent stable version of Firefox on his PC and set that as default browser and all was well. IE9 might not be a bad browser, but sometimes even Windows 7 wants you to install an alternative and who are we to disagree?