Links for April 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Karen!!

International Development

Burundian Farmers Earn Quality Premiums for Specialty Coffee from DAI Success Stories

Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world, was plagued from 1994 until 2005 by a brutal civil war that devastated the countrys one major exportcoffee.

Even as the war ended and coffee production rebounded, the coffee cherries and beans continued to be carelessly harvested and processed in the state-run system, resulting in a product of unremarkable quality that brought low prices for the farmers, whose receipts were further diminished by the governments use of middlemenbrokers and wholesalersto bring the coffee beans to the market.

Meanwhile, buyers for the worlds burgeoning specialty coffee market, looking for hand-selected beans grown in favorable microclimates, were traveling to neighboring Rwanda and other east African countries, dealing directly with farmers, and paying a good price to bring choice product back to the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Burundis coffee industry is finally stepping up to meet international demand, as exemplified in the February 24, 2009 celebration at the Bwayi coffee washing station in Kayanza Province, where more than 3,000 farmers came to collect 21 million Burundian francs (US$17,605) in quality premiums for higher-grade coffee lots developed and sold directly to international buyers.


Must Reads from Michael Gannotti

Why IE8 will kill my SharePoint Development Experience from Furuknaps SharePoint corner by Bjørn Furuknap

Recently, Microsoft released IE8, which is probably great for some people. but not so much for me. You see, IE8 introduces several features which changes the way I must do development work on SharePoint. In short, IE8 kills my SharePoint development experience by forcing me to do a lot more to accomplish the same tasks that were easy before.

I’ve posted a YouTube video to demonstrate one such feature… \

10 New SharePoint Site Themes Available! from SharePoint Blank by John Anderson

Have you heard the news?  While I was away on vacation a few weeks ago, Microsoft announced that ten new SharePoint site themes were available.  As defined on the official download page, these are "a set of ten Visual Studio 2008 extensions for SharePoint projects containing designed themes for SharePoint."   Available for use on WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007, the new themes are available as a free download.

Before you rush to download them, however, might I suggest that you (or your Administrator, as the case may be) have a look at a post that my boss published over on the Bamboo Team Blog last night?  Included are some excellent and potentially time-saving tips and, from the standpoint of this blog, I can guarantee that I wouldn’t be writing this post today if not for Steve’s successful install of the new themes to our test site yesterday.

Thorny SharePoint Permissions Problems? May We Interest You in Item-Level Security? from SharePoint Blank by John Anderson

Given that today was day one of the European SharePoint Best Practices Conference, I thought that it was highly appropriate that the following best practices-related question arrived in my in-box:

I have a group of about 100 users to fill out their own Excel Spreadsheet. I want them to be able to edit and view only their own. Each division manager can view their group of end users worksheets. Would it be best practice to just assign the permissions on each worksheet or is there a way I can assign to one group but they only see their own. I am not even sure what to create to house these.

As is the case with the majority of best practices questions, my first step in answering this one was to refer to what I think of as the Best Practices Bible: Ben Curry and Bill English’s Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Best Practices.  There’s plenty of information on permissions-based best practices in the book, but my own feeling is that the key application in this particular case is found on page 242 under the Item-Level Security heading.  The authors state that, "Best practice dictates creating a security structure in SharePoint sites that will cover most security concerns automatically and minimize the number of exceptions that must be applied at lower levels."

SharePoint Designer and Expression Web – Separated at Birth from Woody Windischman – The Sanity Point

As part of Microsoft’s making SharePoint Designer available as a free download, they also announced a rough roadmap for its future, as well as that of another tool, Expression Web. You might wonder why Expression Web was designated a successor (from a licensing standpoint), when it doesn’t have any ability to modify SharePoint sites.

To help you understand, I’m going to give you a little bit of history of these two tools, in the form of a "bedtime story." Then I’ll talk about some of their similarities and differences, as well some of what I see as the ramifications of this change.

IT Security

Who’s at Risk on the Internet Today? We All Are. Act Accordingly… from Microsoft® Malware Protection Center

Here at the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC) we look for ways to share the valuable data, insights and expertise that we have with our customers on a regular basis. We just released the sixth volume of our Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (SIR). The SIR shares the conclusions drawn by our research team using data gathered from hundreds of millions of computers worldwide and some of the busiest services on the internet.


SQL Server 2008 SP1 Available Today from Server and Tools Business News Bytes blog

Today, Microsoft made available the  SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 via free download to current SQL Server 2008 customers. Microsoft recommends that customers currently running SQL Server 2008 should download SP1 via the SQL Server 2008 Web site to take advantage of these improvements.

New Microsoft Translator Add-in for Office 2003 & Office 2007 from The Road to Know Where

Microsoft Translator Add-in allows you to translate words, sentences or a full document using Microsoft Translator through the Research task pane for Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007.

RICHCOPY RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC!!! from joeware – never stop exploring… by joe

I have spoken about this tool before. The old version I have is hands down the best file copy app out there. I expect this newer version that is now publicly available is just as good… Thanks to Scott C for letting me know this was now out there.

Windows 7

How to Upgrade Windows 7 Beta to Windows 7 Release Canditate from The Road to Know Where

Microsoft’s Windows 7 Engineering Team has important information for Windows 7 Beta Users Upgrading to the (upcoming) Release Candidate.

Upgrading from Windows 7 Beta to the Release Candidate from Paul’s SuperSite blog

I’ve written in the past that Microsoft will support upgrading from the Beta version of Windows 7 to the upcoming release candidate (RC) version. And it’s true. But as Microsoft reveals in a typically long-winded Engineering Windows 7 blog post, it’s going to take a bit of work.

Project and Project Server 2007

Best Practices for Migrating to Project Server 2007 white paper now available from Christophe Fiessinger’s Blog

I am pleased to announce the release of a white paper written by QuantumPM entitled:  Best Practices for Migrating to Project Server 2007.


This paper provides guidance, references, and best practices to observe when migrating to Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 from Project Server 2003. The audiences for this guide are business application specialists, line-of-business specialists, IT generalists, program managers, and infrastructure specialists who want to migrate to Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 and want the required planning requirements, migration steps and helpful hints obtained from previous experience.

Newly Published Content! from Microsoft Enterprise Project Management Content Publishing News – After a short publishing hiatus, here is some content that we’ve been working on…


Configuring Nessus To Scan Through Firewalls from Tenable Network Security

A number of factors can inhibit a successful Nessus scan: busy systems, congested networks, hosts with large amounts of listening services and legacy systems with poor performance all contribute to scan failure(s). However, firewalls (or other types of filtering devices) are one of the major causes of slow or inaccurate scans. Firewalls are essential for an organization’s perimeter protection and internal network segregation. Host-based firewalls are now common on both Linux and Windows systems. Scanners can be placed on network segments behind a firewall to avoid these problems, but this may not be feasible in your network, create extra burden moving a scanner around and is ineffective against host-based firewalls. Even if you allow the scanner’s IP address through the firewall, connection tracking and stateful inspection can interfere with the scan. There are two strategies for dealing with firewalls when using Nessus to perform internal or external vulnerability scans…

Steve Mullen has been involved in information technology for over 35 years. He is also actively involved in the music program (voice and English hand bells) and Vestry of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Damascus, MD.

Posted in IE8, Internet Explorer8, IT Security, Microsoft, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Project 2007, MOSS, MOSS 2007, Nessus, NetFlix, Office 2007, Project Management, Project Server, Project Server 2007, Security, SharePoint, Windows, Windows 7, Word 2007

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