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Topics - wraith808 [ switch to compact view ]

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DC Gamer Club / Update Origin Now
« on: April 18, 2019, 02:53 PM »
If you have Origin (EA's launcher/store) installed, update it now.   As in quit reading this and go update it.

Then you can read the long story here:


But strangely, a recent bug with its Origin game client might be one of the company’s most serious issues yet.

That’s because due to a security flaw in the Windows version of Origin, it was possible for hackers to essentially run or install any application on a user’s computer through something as innocuous as a hyperlink.

Discovered by Daley Bee and Dominik Penner of Underdog Security (via TechCrunch), the source of the flaw came from EA’s use of a custom URL protocol that allowed gamers to access a game’s web store from a browser instead of using the Origin client. Unfortunately, because those “origin://” links could also be tricked into launching malicious software, it essentially gave hackers free rein to install almost any program onto an end user’s machine.

According to Bee, by combining a malicious code with a cross-site scripting exploit, malware could be sent and automatically installed on vulnerable systems simply by clicking a link. And to prove the existence of the flaw, the team at Underdog security even created a demo exploit that opened up the Windows Calculator app instead of a link in Origin that appeared to be an EA sales offer.

Microsoft just released preview versions of its Chromium-powered Edge browser today. If you’ve downloaded it to test it, you’ve probably noticed it’s very stable and performs surprisingly well. It even performs better than Google’s own Chrome browser on Windows 10, despite being built on the same Chromium open-source project. While it’s early days for Microsoft’s new Edge, the company has revealed all of the Google services it has replaced or removed from its new Chromium-powered browser to optimize performance.

Microsoft has removed or replaced more than 50 of Google’s services that come as part of Chromium, including things like ad blocking, Google Now, Google Cloud Messaging, and Chrome OS-related services.

More at link: https://www.theverge...hromium-edge-browser

I'm actually looking forward to trying it out.  I haven't been able to get past the middle-click problem in Brave, and Vivaldi seems to be slower than it used to be, so I'm back to Chrome.

This is probably the most painful bug report I've ever read, describing in glorious technicolor the steps leading to Knight Capital's $465m trading loss due to a software bug that struck late last year, effectively bankrupting the company.

The tale has all the hallmarks of technical debt in a huge, unmaintained, bitrotten codebase (the bug itself due to code that hadn't been used for 8 years), and a really poor, undisciplined devops story.

Read more here.

Living Room / Raspberry Pi Display/Enclosure from printminion
« on: March 23, 2019, 09:43 AM »
Courtesy of @printminion on twitter:

inky-what display can be found on their site: https://shop.pimoron...riant=13590497624147

3d files can be found on thingiverse:

I'm thinking about tackling this.  Of course, I have so many projects in flight right now, not sure when that will be...  :huh: :-[

I'm having a problem in a production environment while performing a memory intensive operation, the process gets an OOM exception.  In the debugger, because my local machine is not under the same memory pressure and has access to the entire address space, I can't reproduce it.  I'm pretty sure it's concurrent processing when processing this large document in memory that's the problem, but I can't verify it.

Is there a utility or a way in visual studio where you can limit the memory that the debugger can access to simulate memory pressure on the system, so I can determine under what conditions the process runs out of memory?  Either external to VS or internal?

General Software Discussion /
« on: January 26, 2019, 09:44 PM » is a list of ethical(?), easy-to-use and privacy-conscious alternatives.  I (?) ethical because that seems to be biased to the views of the site when that estimation should be in the eyes of the beholder.  But there are quite a few alternatives on there that seem to be worth looking into that I'd not heard of before.

DC Gamer Club / Interesting Game Jam on
« on: January 02, 2019, 11:04 AM »
I just joined the Gaming Like it's 1923 Game Jam on  It will be my first, and I'll probably be doing an analog game (short RPG or something similar).

It's based on works released to the public domain on January 1st from those expiring from 1923.  Sounds like a cool idea for a Game Jam!

A source for works is

There's also a spreadsheet:

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / NANY 2019: Mass JSON Viewer
« on: December 28, 2018, 11:35 PM »
NANY 2019 Entry Information

Application NameMass JSON Viewer
Short DescriptionList, View, and Validate/Format JSON files in a directory
Supported OSesWindows
Web Page ---
Download Link
System Requirements
  • Tested on Windows 10
  • .NET 4.5.2

Mass JSON Viewer
In response to the thread on a G+ Takeaway viewer, and my own needs, I decided to write something that would do the same thing as the Mass HTML Viewer, but for JSON files.

This application is quite simple - you click on the little folder icon, and point it towards a directory, and it lists all files with a .json or .txt extension.  If you click on a file, it will load it to the right.  If you click on the validate button next to the folder icon, it will try to validate then format the JSON, and display it in the area below.

Planned Enhancements

  • Better reporting of errors in the JSON
  • The ability to combine files into one JSON file
  • Actually planning to make this a wider application, by including HTML, and XML formatted by an XSLT, as I have to do both of those regularly.
  • Enhance the UI to make it a bit friendlier

Mass JSON Viewer requires .NET 4.5.2.  If you have Windows 10, you probably already have it.  If not, you can get it from Microsoft.

After you download Mass JSON Viewer, unzip it where ever you want to run it from, and run MassJSONViewer.exe.

To uninstall, just delete the folder where you unzipped the archive.

As Mass JSON Viewer is intended to be rather simplistic, there's not much to using it.  Anytime you run it, the following screen will be shown.


From right to left, the toolbar at the top has the following functions:

  • Exit the application
  • About this Application
  • Launch the Help Screen
  • Validate loaded File
  • Choose Directory

License Terms

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to use the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use and copy the software package, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do the same. Distribution and publication shall be allowed also without direct cost to the user, other than reasonable costs of such distributions, such as for the media on which the software is published will also be also allowed after permission is granted based on terms of such payment being submitted for approval. In all cases shall the distribution of the software be subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software, and a link to the original site for the software ( shall be included in prominent view on any site where a download is hosted.


Note that if you paid money for this software, ask for it back!

Changelog Release

DC Gamer Club / Good Instructions for Offline Updates for PS4/XBONE
« on: December 23, 2018, 01:13 PM »
When Christmas Day hits, a bunch of people are going to open up brand-new Xbox or PlayStation consoles, plug them in, and wait for gigantic system updates to download and install. Depending on how many eager gamers sign on to Microsoft or Sony’s services to grab updates—or play brand-new games—this process might take longer than usual if either company’s servers are feeling strained.

Thankfully, you don’t have to download multi-gigabyte console updates at the same time as everyone else. You can actually download the latest version of the system software for Microsoft and Sony’s consoles right now.

More at link.

I just downloaded it to hopefully stave off needing to make an update on Christmas, and it's pretty straightforward.

Living Room / Surreal trip through the $175 B Amazon Marketplace
« on: December 19, 2018, 02:14 PM »
(courtesy of The Verge)

When you buy something on Amazon, the odds are, you aren’t buying it from Amazon at all. Plansky is one of 6 million sellers on Amazon Marketplace, the company’s third-party platform. They are largely hidden from customers, but behind any item for sale, there could be dozens of sellers, all competing for your click. This year, Marketplace sales were almost double those of Amazon retail itself, according to Marketplace Pulse, making the seller platform alone the largest e-commerce business in the world.

For sellers, Amazon is a quasi-state. They rely on its infrastructure — its warehouses, shipping network, financial systems, and portal to millions of customers — and pay taxes in the form of fees. They also live in terror of its rules, which often change and are harshly enforced. A cryptic email like the one Plansky received can send a seller’s business into bankruptcy, with few avenues for appeal.

Sellers are more worried about a case being opened on Amazon than in actual court, says Dave Bryant, an Amazon seller and blogger. Amazon’s judgment is swifter and less predictable, and now that the company controls nearly half of the online retail market in the US, its rulings can instantly determine the success or failure of your business, he says. “Amazon is the judge, the jury, and the executioner.”

That and more on the specific instance in the article that sounds Hellish and arbitrary at the Verge.

I purchase a lot off Amazon.  I did the vast majority of my Christmas shopping there.  I use Subscribe & Save, Prime Pantry, Prime Reload, Twitch Prime, and a lot of other Amazon programs.  I try to stay away from Kindle, but even have books there now, and excised Alexa in favor of Google Home (though it's really two devils in that case, rather than a devil and an angel).  But seeing these articles, it makes it hard to support them.  But so far, the convenience outweighs my conscience.  That, and knowing people who make a lot more money in that way than they ever were able to through Mail Order, eBay, and Brick and Mortar.

With the impending G+ doom, I've been looking at a lot of options: The FediVerse (Diaspora, HubZilla, etc), the Mastodon Federation, MeWe, OpenSocial, and more.

But I just came across the concept for SOLID. (Github)

From the page, the blurb is "Solid was created by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Its mission is to reshape the web as we know it. Solid will foster a new breed of applications with capabilities above and beyond anything that exists today."

It's based on data ownership and making your data yours.  The applications that you choose to give access to it do not store that data, they merely use it to deliver their functionality to you.  This location where you store your data is termed a POD, which can be hosted on a provider, or locally, or in any location of your choosing.  It seems a lot like Keybase in that manner, though a lot less techy.

Has anyone looked into this or heard about it?  I'm just exploring it a bit now, as there is an importer for all of the G+ information exported from Takeout.

Energy cost of 'mining' bitcoin more than twice that of copper or gold (via The Guardian)

Article based on the following research: Quantification of energy and carbon costs for mining cryptocurrencies (note: URL so long because of entitlements- if you remove part of the URL, you will only get a preview)

One dollar’s worth of bitcoin takes about 17 megajoules of energy to mine, according to researchers from the Oak Ridge Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, compared with four, five and seven megajoules for copper, gold and platinum.


I've been sort of on the fence in regards to this whole cryptocurrency movement, and haven't gotten involved out of mostly impetus to do so.  I've thought that the other arguments against it were spurious, however.  But this...  I don't see how you come back from this if true.  I didn't look deeply into the methodology behind the findings, however.

Any thoughts?

Living Room / Smart Tech people do some really stupid things
« on: November 04, 2018, 01:05 PM »
I saw this article today on Medium:

How I used a simple Google query to mine passwords from dozens of public Trello boards

A few days ago on 25th April, while researching, I found that a lot of individuals and companies are putting their sensitive information on their public Trello boards. Information like unfixed bugs and security vulnerabilities, the credentials of their social media accounts, email accounts, server and admin dashboards — you name it, is available on their public Trello Boards which are being indexed by all the search engines and anyone can easily find them.

With a simple google query, you can find this same info.  And this was a few days ago, and it still exists today.

Code: Text [Select]
  1. inurl: AND AND intext:password

in a simple google query turns up username and passwords for some company gmail accounts.

I was flabbergasted when I saw that they still exist!  There were other queries in there too for all sorts of simple information- stored in publicly accessible Trello boards.  The even worse thing about this, is that this article was written on May 9.

We know about the stupid things that people do.  Using password for their password or abcdef or 12345.  But this kind of stuff... I would still think that people at tech companies would take this into account.

I guess I was wrong.

Love him or hate him, I think that Lauren Weisman says some pretty compelling truths in this article.

Google is dying. It may be possible to save the patient, but it’s also quite possible that Google has already passed the point of no return, especially with the array of forces now attacking it from all sides and from within. Since this situation has been largely enabled by unforced errors committed by Google itself, the prognosis can only be described as bleak.

Unfortunately, I have strong doubts that Google is capable at this time of making the kinds of “lifestyle changes” that would be required to truly save themselves. I would love to have these doubts proven to be incorrect.

A company named Google and its parent Alphabet will continue to exist for the foreseeable future, but for all practical purposes the Google that we all know appears to be in a kind of terminal decline, even as the money continues rolling in for now.

more at https://lauren.vorte.../the-death-of-google


The most damning thing?

Google did not initially disclose a Google+ security bug when it first discovered it this spring because it feared regulatory scrutiny and reputational damage, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing documents and people briefed on the incident.


Google is shutting down Google+, a social media service it launched in 2011 that few people used. Google made the announcement the same day that the Wall Street Journal published a story about a bug in the unpopular social media service that allowed outside developers to access users private data. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google first learned about the breach in March of 2018, but quietly patched the bug and decided not to tell anyone for fear of a regulatory backlash.

(from https://motherboard....g-exposed-user-infoc)

Google's statement can be found on its blog at

G+ was actually the only social network that I used.  I liked the fact that even though I didn't trust Google, they didn't really require much to register.  My account used was a throwaway account, so the security breach didn't matter.  I also liked the fact that they were pretty open with communities, for those times that I really didn't feel like signing up for yet another forum to discuss another niche subject.
 Facebook requires you to sign up to see anything and requires your personal data, so I have a different feeling towards them.  As a result, I had several communities that I used on G+, but avoided any on Facebook.

I know that it never really caught on... did anyone else use G+?

Need to find the historical data for a site in regards to DNS records after they've already changed?  This site was a lifesaver!

Why would you need it?  A service that I was using went down unexpectedly.  I'd even anticipated it, as I asked them "How do you make money" and they never responded.  But I used it anyway, and my data was stuck after their domain expired.  I went there, looked up the domain, and found that their previous IP was still up- it was just that the Domain had expired.  I put the domain name in my hosts file with one of the old IPs and was able to get in and retrieve my data.  After that, I figured I'd post it here in case anyone else had a need for it in the future.

General Software Discussion / Vivaldi and Multiple User Profiles
« on: September 24, 2018, 01:25 PM »
So, I started trying to look for a viable alternative for Chrome (trying Vivaldi and Brave right now for the second time each).  Though I liked Brave, there was just a bit too much still missing for me right now, and for having an ad blocker built in, they sure do miss a lot.  So, I'm on Vivaldi again.  Initial impressions are good, though I'm surprised that there aren't multiple user profiles built in.  Did any Vivaldi users here use this feature in Chrome?  If so, how do you get around it?  I see several threads on it, but nothing solid, other than installing a completely new instance.

General Software Discussion / Humble Bundle for Xara tools
« on: September 11, 2018, 04:25 PM »
We'd been talking about Affinity Publisher vs Adobe Indesign, and now Humble Bundle comes along to throw another entry into the ring.


For $25, you get a lot of software- but I'm most interested in Xara Designer Pro X.  Has anyone used it?  I've looked at a couple of comparisons and reviews, but nothing beats that hands-on review from a non-reviewer.  At $25, it's hard to lose out getting it, but I was just wondering if anyone had experience with it.

Living Room / The Web is still a DARPA weapon
« on: August 28, 2018, 10:48 AM »
The Web is still a DARPA weapon (and other stuff)

A visualization of all of the root servers, and the countries that control them

I went into this admittedly skeptical.  I just saw the title, and it was a free article (the only kind I read on Medium) and decided to read it.  He makes a convincing case.  The title is only a part of the article; he goes into other parts of history and the problem until finally settling on his point at the end:

Seriously, WebAssembly is the worst idea since JavaScript in browsers.
Not only because it’s a binary blob served by foreign companies but run on your PC, under the law of your country, but because they know you, your relations, your interests, and will “customize” that blob.

Even if implemented perfectly, without a single security issue, it’s a weapon.

You might object that JavaScript is already a weapon ready to fire on every PC and every smartphone out there. A weapon that constitutes a threat to free speech even if we ignore the power of Google and friends.

And you would be right.
JavaScript is a dangerous weapon that should be disarmed.

I cannot really understand how European states let this happen.

I’d like to think they were bribed, but the sad truth is that they do not understand the matter. Not even a little bit.

But developers do!
It’s time for developers to fix this mess.

Though it seems somewhat that he was burying the lede, the information is actually really interesting, and the point well is taken, so I forgave the article for it.

from The Web is still a DARPA weapon on Medium.

General Software Discussion / Interesting Software
« on: July 31, 2018, 06:32 PM »
Sometimes, I come across software on the web that I want to let people know about.  I don't really want to make a new thread of each one, and so sometimes I just don't.  I figure that others might have the same dilemma, so just like our thread for Android apps, I figured that this could be a place to post about interesting software that others might like.

I just came across one on GHacks that I wanted to share.  The original article can be found here.

It's called RainWallpaper, and it's free and portable.  It's a dynamic wallpaper engine, and it seems to be worth looking into.  I am running it now, and it's very soothing to see the wallpaper animate.  It's using about 20-40% GPU, but it pauses automatically during full-screen activities (like games) and gives you the ability to pause it also.  It also includes authoring, and sounds (with the ability to mute it).  It looks well thought out.

The homepage is found at  It accesses a deviant art gallery from within it to download new wallpapers, and it seems like quite the active community from what has been posted.

Take a look, and post your little known software gems also!

Found Deals and Discounts / Mind Collected on BDJ 2018-07-13
« on: July 13, 2018, 10:09 AM »
Mind Collected on BDJ today 2018-07-13


Some people just work more efficiently when they operate on a visual basis. But databases just don’t seem to want to cater to the visually-minded – until now! Today’s discount software promotion is a powerful way to organize ideas and things visually, and it’s called Mind Collected.

Mind Collected lets you visually catalog ideas and things using photos, names, tags, notes, and interconnectivity. With Mind Collected, you’ll be able to automatically search and fetch images from the Internet that match what’s in your database, or use your own custom photos. Just input the things and concepts you want to catalog, make the connections to other things, and let your brain take over the rest!

The secret is this – by visually cataloging these things, you make them psychoactive, making your brain think about them more often without any additional effort. The result is a massive improvement in behavior that causes you to react more accordingly – recalling things better, making better food choices, the list is endless!


Has anyone used this?  It looks like an interesting concept.  Normally $49.99 - $19.98 today.

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