...Almost (see my previous entry on Cosmonaut day).
50 years ago today, Yuri Gagarin successfully orbited the Earth, paving the way towards the stars.
But disappointingly all we've done in the last 40 years is orbit the Earth. It's time human space flight was properly funded.
As some of have may have noticed over the last few days, there's been a little addition to the sidebar on my blog. Inviting you to download the Paul Smith's Blog application for Windows Phone 7.
What's the deal? Well late last year I started looking at mobile applications for Gamercast, after messing about with the Visual Studio as I always do and copying and pasting various bits of sample code together, I decided to give up. If I did manage to get it working, there was no offline reading, no ability to view comments on entries etc.
So I started looking at other solutions, like AppMakr but didn't like what they had to offer for Windows Phone 7. Then I came across FollowMyFeed who had a much better hub style interface.
After putting together a sample application, and sticking it in the emulator and running it, I could tell this was pretty much what I was looking for.
With Internet Explorer 9 Microsoft have made some changes to how it renders which end-users may find noticable. Previously in Internet Explorer 7 and 8 it didn't matter, nor was detectable to an end-user if IE was rendering a page in quirks mode or in standards mode.
Internet Explorer 9 however has removed the 2 pixel border that previously versions of Internet Explorer had.
On the left IE9 is rendering a page as IE8 would. As such the border is included to maintain compatibility. However on the right we can see IE9 rendering a page by default, with no border.
Web developers can control how Internet Explorer renders a page using the Doctype and also the X-UA-Compatible tag.
The Doctype is probably the most common way. No DocType, Internet Explorer will render a page as IE6 would, dubbed quirks mode. This will result in the 2 pixel border around your website.
Using a Doctype such as the new HTML5 one <!DOCTYPE html>, or one of the XHTML or HTML ones should work fine.
Alternatively you can also use the X-UA-Compatible tag in the page's header. This has the added advantage of removing the compatibility button. If you're confident a webpage will be correctly displayed to a visitor, why pollute thier screen with an option that isn't needed.
You can use <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=9" /> to remove the button. IE7, 8 and 9 will all render the page as close to standards as they can. However if IE10 was released, it would switch to compatibility mode for IE9. You can get around this by specifying "edge" instead of a version number.
The press seem to be on a roll with anti-Xbox Live stories as of late. A few weeks ago it was the kid caught cheating with a modified profile, and as a result had his gamerscore reset and his zone changed to "cheater". His mum complained and demanded his achievements back and the "cheater" removed from his gamer tile, after Microsoft refused she went to the press. In the end we found out the kid had cheated, despite his mum protesting his innocence. The kid cheated, end of story.
Well this week we've got something a bit different now the Daily Mail are featuring a story about an 11 year old boy spending £1000 on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Right off the bat I would like to quote the Xbox Live Terms and Conditions:
The Service is not intended for use by children under 13, except together with a parent or other adult supervision
With that out of the way...
A desperate mother has condemned Microsoft after her 11-year-old son racked up a £1,000 debt on her debit card - through his Xbox. Brendan Jordan racked up a bill of £1,082.52 on his Xbox without realising all the purchases were being charged to his mum Dawn Matthews' card.
She entered her debit card details into the family Xbox to pay for Brendan's subscription to his favourite game. However, Brendan repeatedly clicked on additions and extensions - racking up a £1082.52 debt to her account over six months.
Oh so in other words, you let your kid spend the money. And now you want it back? Tough you got the stuff you paid for, as it clearly states "there are no refunds for this item". NO REFUNDS.
Microsoft make it perfectly clear what's going on, they'll show two or three screens when you're buying Microsoft Points, making it clear this will debit your account, it mentions the amount and the fact it'll take it from a credit card. Your 11 year old kid is taking you for a ride if you think he didn't know what was going on.
It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done.
You're quite right and the fact of the matter is Microsoft do check.
When you would have set up your son's account it would have asked for an age. Under 18 and he'd get a child account. With all the parental controls anybody would need, and by default would prevent any purchases from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
So either they lied about his age when setting up his account, or the mother enabled purchases on her son's account.
In addition to that it took six months before his mother realised he was spending all this money. Surely she would have noticed the dozens if not hundreds of MICROSOFT *XBOX LIVE transactions on her statement? Or you know check their e-mail where receipts would be sent? Apparently not.
Stop trying to blame others for your own bad parenting.
With Microsoft about to unveil the release candidate of Internet Explorer 9, I thought I should take some time to cover probably the only regression that will impact a lot of people. Before I start, I'd like to make myself clear that this regression is worth the massive improvements that Internet Explorer 9 brings across the board.
As you may have guessed from the title, it surrounds subscribing to RSS feeds. With the new slimmed down, and to the point IE, the RSS subscription button is no longer displayed by default. It's hidden in the optional command bar.
In many cases this isn't a problem, click on a link to the RSS feed on a webpage and Internet Explorer will open it in feed view, where you can easily subscribe to it anyway.
The problem comes from websites that don't actually give you a link to their RSS feeds on the page. Typically they would expect you to click on a web browsers feed button to view it, with it no longer displayed in IE9, that may be a tad annoying.
The other problem comes from websites that use services like Feedburner, when they detect a web browser, rather than a feed client display it in a "friendly" view, which makes IE9, and other browsers think it is actually a website, and hence does not enable feed view mode.
There are two quick and simple workarounds for this.
The fastest in my opinion is to hit ALT to open the traditional style menu, click Tools and make your way down to Feed discovery, accessing any feed listed there will display it in feed mode.
Alternatively you can turn on the command bar, which can be done by right-clicking on an empty area of IE9's user interface, an empty area next to a tab for example, and choosing Command bar from the menu. That'll turn the command bar, with the Home, Feed, Print, Page, Tools options that IE has had for the last two versions.