Saturday, August 26, 2006

I always wondered about that...

I always wondered why firefox/thunderbird would do a 3,2,1 countdown before installing an extension. I couldn't come up with a reasonable idea on my own - but now I see it is...

A security feature.

Neat. It has to do with tricksters that might get you to install an extension without realizing you did so. How many times have you been typing away when all of a sudden some application steals focus and you end up hitting enter in a dialog box you didn't realize you were in? My instant messenger - IM - (I use gaim - like it a lot) used to do that all of the time. I'd be happily typing away when all of a sudden some bit of SQL would get sent in response to an IM popping up (didn't realize that gaim took focus, accepted my end bit of SQL and hitting the enter key sent it). I've since always configured gaim to NOT pop up windows when I get a new message.

Now, if I can only figure out how to get gaim's buddy pounce to not steal focus - what usually ends up is I'm typing away, the buddy pounce shows up with an "OK" button, steals focus and eats the characters until I hit enter and then disappears. So I end up typing into the wrong application (having to re-type what I just misdirected) and I miss the buddy pounce dialog since I just dismissed it.

Stealing focus should be against the law :)

And I also learned what those annoying "enter the characters you see in this picture" are called from that page. Captcha - an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". I've been calling them something else (not fit for print). I'm glad google finally reviewed my blog and verified it is not a "splog" - something I just read about last week in Wired (will be online september 5th if you don't get the print version - http://www.wired.com/wired/)

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7 Comments:

Anonymous maol said....

You are not a touch typist, are you?
Just kidding - stealing focus is also a problem for me, when it happens a few characters before I hit enter. Otherwise it's just annoying.

Sun Aug 27, 02:40:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous SwitchBL8 said....

Stealing focus must be the worst (Windows)invention of the century. How often I accidentally gave wrong answers to installations, or cancelled stuff that wasn't supposed to be cancelled, is beyond counting. If there was a poll, I would vote that to be the most annoying "feature" of Windows.

Mon Aug 28, 05:44:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Check this out:
http://www.download.com/Spyware-Horror-Stories/1200-2023_4-5165282.html?tag=cnetfd.mt

Tue Aug 29, 11:04:00 PM EDT  

Blogger andyspeak said....

HI tom,
talking of IMs. You may want to checkout Trillian. An offering with the google bouquet.

Nice Blog.

Thu Aug 31, 02:19:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I've tried trillian.

It is a bit heavier than I want for a simple IM client. I like gaim for it's "weight" (light) and simple interface.

It just works, only thing I would change is the buddy pounce.

Thu Aug 31, 07:38:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

(oh and the cross platform ability of gaim is pretty crucial too)

Thu Aug 31, 07:38:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Have you ever considered the setting "Prevent applications from stealing focus" in the free Microsoft TweakUI?
(Navigation: General - Focus)
BR,
Martin
(welcome to vienna on 25th/26th Sep. - unfortunately i'll not have the chance to visit your course)

Tue Sep 05, 02:34:00 AM EDT  

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