Lottery Post Journal

IE8 Release Candidate 1 is here!

Anyone can now install the first Release Candidate of Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.

"Release Candidate" means that it is 100% platform and feature complete, and may have only some minor glitches.

Frankly, the beta of IE8 was very good, so I expect this release to be relatively bug-free.  (I guess we'll see about that.)

Release Candidates are usually safe to install, and in this case Microsoft is even pledging to upgrade everyone who installs it to the "real" version via a simple Windows Update when it's released.

Lottery Post has worked well with IE8 for months now, and it better, because I've been using IE8 on my primary PC during that whole time.

Anyone who wants to install the Release Candidate of IE8 can do so here:

Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

What a fantastic resource I just came across!

If you're a programmer, this is a highly technical overview of critical mistakes that can lead to disaster.  They are the types of things I've had to be very aware of over the years when building Lottery Post, to ensure the security of each user's information, as well as the overall security of the site.

They are things that can turn a developer's hair white when they realize the back door's been open the whole time.

With many of the techniques that developers use, they are not even aware that they are building backdoors and major security openings into their software.

For example, many developers have no idea how to deal with passwords in their software -- both the paswords the software needs in order to access a database, or the passwords that users enter.  This document points out those kinds of errors.  It is extremely dense with information.

Study: Tetris wipes out bad memories, heals trauma

Could this be why so many people play it at work?

• • • • • • • •

One of the oldest toys in computing history, Tetris, has the power to heal trauma, according to new research by Oxford University psychologists.

To perform the study, Oxford researchers showed subjects graphic images of violence: accidents, crushed skulls, bloody entrails and so forth. Then they asked half the group to play Tetris. The Tetris players reported fewer bad memories of the ugly images than did those who did not play the game.

Naturally, the researchers are looking into how this may help people (certainly military vets) deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to Dr. Emily Holmes of Oxford's psychiatric department, the results are because Tetris helps blocks the mind from storing painful memories. The catch? You must play the game immediately after the traumatic experience. (Pack your emergency Gameboy, folks.)

More specifically, according to Holmes, Tetris has such an effect because the game, for which you must have intense concentration, competes for your brain's resources for sensory information, and interferes with the way sensory memories are laid down in the period after trauma. As a result, less flashbacks are experienced afterwards.

Updated old blog entries

Whew!  I just went through all my blog history, updating all the broken images I could find.

It really goes to show the importance of not linking to images posted on the Internet, and instead saving them and then uploading them to my personal web space on the LP server.  At a certain point I started doing that, and all the images after that point were visible (not broken).

It was also kind of fun to go through all those old entries to see what I was thinking at the time.  It was also amazing to see how many useful posts I had compiled, especially the computer programming tips and snippets.