The browser war rages on and new versions are being released at a break-neck pace. Unfortunately, for Web developers at least, each new version seems to introduce multiple changes that not only affect how pages are displayed, but how and if various features in a site will even function. It's madness I tell 'ya.

Anyway, since I started using Safari as my primary browser I've been looking for another WYSIWYG editor for our members, because in Safari with TinyMCE set as your editor members couldn't use the Submit or Cancel buttons when attempting to submit articles, news, or events. Long story short I've found one, I'm using it right now, and I'm diggin' it so far.


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From teaching classes over the years I frequently hear that many agencies are using Photoshop 6 and 7, Paint, Photoshop Elements, Microsoft Picture It and other applications due to the lack of funds to purchase upgrades. There is nothing wrong using some of the older versions but there are several functions that the older versions do not support, like high bit depth processing, limited color space/model options and the lack of more sophisticated image processing algorithms (de-convolution, pattern removal using FFT).  I also understand that many agencies who would love to have PS CS3 Extended with all of the great plugins that have been developed will never get the funds to make these purchases.

One solution to the funding issue is Image J ( Image J is a free, open source application provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  I not only have used this application for case work but to learn more about digital image processing algorithms. Image J is a very robust image processing and analysis tool set that has been referred to on the FVA list serve and recently in the book written by George Reis. This write-up is not a tutorial about Image J, it is meant to provide information about the application that may assist some readers.

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Ladies and gentlemen I have a new favorite browser, and it's lightening fast. I downloaded Apple's Safari 3 Public BETA a week or so ago to troubleshoot a log-in issue one of our members was having, and next thing you know I've installed it on all of my PCs at home and the office. Safari 3 provides tabbed browsing similar to IE7 and Firefox 2, which is nice for those of us that have multiple pages/sites open simultaneously constantly. The first thing that impressed me was it's look and layout, but I quickly realized that it's primary advantage was its performance.

Apple is quick to point out on the homepage for Safari its performance advantages. They claim Safari can load pages up to 3 times faster than Opera, 2 times faster than IE7, and 1.7 times faster than Firefox. Pretty impressive numbers, but what browser doesn't claim to be the fastest? As you can imagine, some of's member services are bandwidth intensive, and others require multiple scripts to be loaded by your browser. I did a few rudimentary tests accessing various features of using Safari, IE7, and Firefox and was simply amazed at the difference in load times.

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For the last few weeks I have been absolutely innundated and just haven't been able to spend as much time as I'd like to further developing features and services.  The great thing about this community concept, however, is that its success does not rely on any one individual...and many others have stepped up to the plate.  At some point today I suspect we will exceed 200 active professional forensic media related members!

Recently one of our members pointed out that the Member Forum RSS Feed wasn't working, so just in case you experienced this issue I wanted to let you know it was resolved moments ago.  RSS aggregators provide a great way to stay abreast of our site content, with seperate feeds available for various content areas throughout the site. 

Thanks everybody for keeping things moving forward lately, and don't forget to tell your peers and colleagues to Sign-up, Sign-in, and Contribute!

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Another new feature has been added for members that I hope will further facilitate information sharing and member communication - the ability to add comments to all articles & newsflashes.  But wait, there's more..not only can you add comments, you can subscribe to comment threads via email or RSS feeds!  Wouldn't it be helpful though if you could also leave comments on files and programs added to our new document library?  Well today's your lucky day, 'cause I had way too much coffee and managed to get that working too.  Surprised

I've added two links to manage your comments and comment subscriptions, one to the main member menu and one to the quick menu (right-hand side of the page).  This is also where members will manage their favorites.  For each artcile, file, or program added to the site member's will notice the "Set as Favorite" link located at the bottom of the post; simply click the link to add that item to your favorites list.  A few other notable updates include...

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