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Thursday September 24, 2015

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The business of web ads - fraudulent at its core

Long article about the business of web ads, the fraud involved, and the consequences:

“I can think of nothing that has done more harm to the Internet than ad tech,” says Bob Hoffman, a veteran ad executive, industry critic, and author of the blog the Ad Contrarian. “It interferes with everything we try to do on the Web. It has cheapened and debased advertising and spawned criminal empires... About 18 months ago, he set to figuring out how much of his inventory—ad spaces for sale—was fake. The answer mortified him: “Two-thirds was either fraud or suspicious,” he says.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 24, 2015, 02:44:00 PM
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Tuesday September 22, 2015


A history of World of Warcraft’s gold economy

Interesting read... economics in MMOs is a lot more complicated than most people think...


posted by wraith808 donate to wraith808 - September 22, 2015, 03:07:00 AM
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Sunday September 20, 2015

AVG Antivirus Plans to Collect & Sell Your Personal Data to Advertisers?

Didn't check in detail myself, but came across the following:

This new policy, which will come into effect on October 15, clearly explains that AVG will be allowed to collect and sell users' "non-personal data" in order to "make money from our free offerings so we can keep them free."

Here's the list of, what AVG calls, "non-personal data" the company claims to collect from its customers and sell to interested third-parties, specifically online advertisers:

 * Browsing History,
 * Search History,
 * Meta-data,
 * Advertising ID associated with your device,
 * Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Mobile Network you use to connect to AVG products,
 * Information regarding other apps you have on your device.

Previous policies allowed the firm to only collect:

 * Data on "the words you search",
 * Information about any malware on the users' machine.

via https://thehackernew...9/avg-antivirus.html

May be someone else can confirm?

Comment from Mouser:
I am a user of AVG and if this turns out to be true I will drop it like a hot potato.

As a rule I am much less concerned about privacy and data collection than most people, and generally don't worry about anonymous statistic gathering, but what's described here is absolutely outrageous -- so far beyond the pail that it is hardly conceivable.

Can this possibly be true, that AVG is about to flush its reputation down the toilet and start a mass exodus and loss of trust that they will never be able to regain?

For a security tool to do this.. I'm just speechless..

Surely this can't be right?

Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..

posted by ewemoa donate to ewemoa - September 20, 2015, 10:04:00 AM
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Friday September 18, 2015

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Malware uptick using WordPress Exploit

If you run a WordPress site, make sure it's updated and secure..

From ArsTechnica today:

Attackers have hijacked thousands of websites running the WordPress content management system and are using them to infect unsuspecting visitors with potent malware exploits, researchers said Thursday.

The campaign began 15 days ago, but over the past 48 hours the number of compromised sites has spiked, from about 1,000 per day on Tuesday to close to 6,000 on Thursday,


posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 18, 2015, 08:22:00 AM
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Confessions of a free-to-play games producer

Interesting article today talking about how free-to-play games morphed from making cool things to being all about collecting data and money.

Time passed, Free to Play became a thing. I went from company to company. Each time, every new project became less and less about how we can do cool things, and more about how we can track and target users to get the most whales possible, boost chart position and retain users to shove as many ads on them as possible.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 18, 2015, 08:21:00 AM
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Tuesday September 15, 2015

Super-sized Newsletter for Sep 15, 2015 - Codename: Upgrading Everything

1. Newsletter Editorial

Greetings!  It's been 6 months since the last newsletter, and this edition of the newsletter isn't just super-sized -- it's the biggest newsletter we've ever put out.

I'm going to talk a little in this editorial about happenings on the website and forum.  So if that doesn't interest you, feel free to skip the remainder of the editorial and the first few sections of the newsletter and jump right to the roundup of the most interesting new posts on our forum.

In March we held a fundraiser to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the site, and raised $15,649 from 927 donors (an average donation of about $17).  For 10 years our software has remained free of adware, spyware, bundled toolbars, or other unwanted stuff -- all made possible by donations from ordinary users.  It was a rejuvenating experience to hear from so many people who have supported our site over the last decade.  

The fundraiser made it possible for us to finally spend a couple of months putting in place a major forum upgrade, which was unveiled on August 30th.  The forum upgrade brings lots of small improvements on the user interface side of things, and some major improvements in the back end that will make it easier for us to improve, maintain and secure the forum for the next ten years.

And with the successful forum upgrade behind us, we're not slowing down -- next up is a major site overhaul.  We're moving the entire website to a CMS which will allow us to more easily add more content from more users, and make it easier to keep the website content updated.  We should be ready to unveil that in November (section 2 has links with more details), so stay tuned -- your donations are hard at work.

Ok, onward to the newsletter!

-jesse (mouser)

Click here to read the full newsletter now..

posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 15, 2015, 09:51:00 AM
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Sunday September 13, 2015

What happens when a Kickstarter project fails to launch?

DC Member wraith808 writes:

I've posted a few other threads about failed kickstarters, but the articles behind those where no where as indepth as the treatment by the NY Times:

ZPM Espresso and the Rage of the Jilted Crowdfunder

One of the first quotes nails the whole thing, I think:

Kickstarter and its crowdfunding competitors have invented a new sort of economic relationship, and a corresponding frontier of Internet acrimony.

It's a very interesting read- and it's also interesting that even with the best of intent, things just fail.  How do you manage those expectations?  Especially when there's money involved from people that are not used to the market?

posted by wraith808 donate to wraith808 - September 13, 2015, 06:11:00 PM
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Monday September 07, 2015

Security: Seagate Wireless HDD Undocumented Accessible Telnet Services

Seagate wireless hard-drives provides undocumented Telnet services accessible by using the default credentials of 'root' as username and the default password.

via and http://www.theregist..._poisoned_purloined/

FWIW, other vulnerabilities surfaced too (see links).

IIUC, this type of device has been mentioned in a few threads over the years...hence the post.

posted by ewemoa donate to ewemoa - September 07, 2015, 07:36:00 PM
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Wednesday September 02, 2015


Hack font v.2

Christopher Simpkins and others' hack font, which I neither knew nor have used (obviously) has been renewed. It presents itself as 'a typeface designed for source code' and is open source. I'm trying it right now and it is actually the first font which I think could make me abandon Consolas.

Hack 9 is about the same height as Consolas 10, but a bit narrower (which is not a disadvantage at all).

That screenshot looks pretty nice!

Looking at the website you can see how much work has gone into publicizing the font.

Whenever we talk about programming fonts we also can't forget to mention the Dina programming font, created by DC member Jibz -- which is different because it's fixed width and suitable at very low font sizes:

Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..

posted by phitsc donate to phitsc - September 02, 2015, 02:01:00 AM
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Tuesday September 01, 2015

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Startups and the Big Lie

Often it feels to me like economic success is one big pyramid scheme... Here's an article about the central role lying plays in the startup model where companies raise billions based on a mirage of get-rich-quick success they create.

They have little choice. Funding is contingent on growth, but that growth can only happen if no one really understands the funding situation. Founders have to tell the lie – that everything is fine, that a feature is going to launch even though the engineer for that feature hasn’t been hired yet, that payroll will run even though the VC dollars are still nowhere on the horizon.

Lying is a requisite and daily part of being a founder, the grease that keeps the startup flywheel running.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 01, 2015, 03:26:00 PM
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AWS security woes

I use AWS for backing up my web sites mostly, though I use it for other reasons sometimes.  I switched to 2-factor, even though it's annoying and I don't use it much.  After all, if I'm only using it for a few things, how much trouble could I get in?

I saw these articles, and realized that 2-factor was a very good idea.

How a bug in Visual Studio 2015 exposed my source code on GitHub and cost me $6,500 in a few hours

Developers, Check Your Amazon Bills For Bitcoin Miners

Amazon AWS Account Hacking and How to Avoid it

How my Amazon S3 account was hacked with 10,776$ in billing.

Check your S3 and secure it... even if you don't use it.  Basically, they login, and then create EC2 instances with bitcoin miners.  They make the money, and leave you with the bill.

Just figured I'd post this as I'd not seen this particular phenomenon before.

posted by wraith808 donate to wraith808 - September 01, 2015, 11:30:00 AM
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AppSumo presents SitePoint Premium deal of a lifetime

DC Member App103 writes us today:

As some of you may know, I have been working for SitePoint/Learnable for a couple of years, now, so when I tell you that this deal is unprecedented, consider where it's coming from.*

AppSumo is presenting a deal for a LIFETIME membership to SitePoint Premium (formerly Learnable) for $49, and that comes with unlimited downloads of all our books and courses.

You pay $49, once, and you get access to all of our book and course that we have now and every book and course we will ever release in the future.

Annual memberships are currently worth $108 per year, so this is a serious unprecedented bargain on something we have never offered before...lifetime memberships. (if and when we do offer this plan for sale on our site, it's likely to be priced at $500 or more)

Now, this is a limited time offer, good for the first 5000 that manage to take advantage of it before they are all gone. So, if you want it, hop on it now and don't wait.


* Disclaimer: I work for SitePoint but they have not encouraged nor offered me any compensation to make this post.

posted by app103 donate to app103 - September 01, 2015, 09:50:00 AM
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