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Messages - Joe Hone [ switch to compact view ]

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1
According to this security researcher, the executable installers for SoftMaker FlexiPDF suffer from a dll hijacking vulnerability:

https://packetstorms...F-DLL-Hijacking.html

2
General Software Discussion / Re: What's up with WinPatrol?
« on: August 26, 2015, 08:39 AM »
I've been trying the Slimjet version of Chrome for several months and it has no issues with WinPatrol or WinPrivacy downloads/updates.

3
Living Room / Re: The end of the hard disk
« on: June 28, 2015, 09:31 PM »
My impression has been that the failure characteristics of SSDs leaves something to be desired -- catastrophic loss of everything with no chance of recovering even a small amount seems unfortunately much more likely than common HDD failure scenarios (admittedly I have no numbers to point to). 

I have the same reservations but last fall when both of my business PCs failed at about the same time I took the plunge and went with mini PCs for replacements (Gigabyte Brix and Compulab Fit), using only SSD internally running Windows 7. With hundreds of hours of use and large amounts of data transferred, including dozens of different software programs, neither one has so much as burped. But I still backup daily (using Bvckup) to HDD external drives in the event of catastrophic SSD failure. Online computer stores have been blowing out storage like WD My Passport 2TB external drives for under $70 US. I figure with HDD external drives that cheap and Bvckup constantly updating them the benefit of SSD speeds is worth the risk.

4
I don't think this has been posted here. The Intercept reported Monday: "The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden." There is quite a list of potentially targeted antivirus programs. The article mentions how Kaspersky Lab was singled out by GCHQ and makes the ironic observation that Kaspersky has been a thorn in GCHQ and NSA's side by uncovering superviruses that appear to have been created by those agencies. It is a good read.

https://firstlook.or...-targeted-kaspersky/

5
General Software Discussion / Re: raffle/random choice software
« on: June 09, 2015, 10:12 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions, if random.org doesn't seem right I'll ask for a Coding Snack.

The awards are going to be given for a few years, and winning disqualifies the recipient from winning again for 36 months. I guess the foundation will track entrants to prevent multiple wins by an applicant during the disqualification period. 

6
General Software Discussion / raffle/random choice software
« on: June 08, 2015, 10:11 PM »
I thought I read about something like this here on DC before but the search engine is failing me. I'm working with a non-profit foundation that wants to award nominal amounts of cash to charitable groups in the USA on a random selection basis. These are small groups, often church ministries, providing localized services like special needs tutoring, food banks, cholesterol screening, etc. The non-profit doesn't want to use the words "chance" or "lottery" in the application notices, and it most definitely wants to use a software program to ensure the selection process is fair. It expects a hundred or more applications for about 20 awards. I've done web searches, but as always, DC will give me a better start than guessing what software works and what doesn't. Any input or advice?


7
Living Room / Re: Audio clipping in MP4 and MP3
« on: May 31, 2015, 09:55 PM »
Almost all the spectrum was cutted/flattened at its edges.

The cutted/flattened edges you mention are the visual waveforms that have been hardwall/brickwall limited. The "normalize" function Curt mentions is a preset limiter. When music is produced at that fine line just below clipping, any number of variables with your system might boost the signal just enough to exceed that line and cause audible clipping. As for your fix re the clipping, I produce for radio and have to leave about -5db headroom on the radio shows or else some stations run into problems with their download/playback/upload or broadcast systems boosting the signal and causing clipping. The -5db leaves plenty of room to compensate for that. You did the same by lowering the audio on the YTD audio - got it far enough away from clipping that Audacity could then manipulate the sound to your satisfaction. I think you'll only have clipping where the audio is been mastered at those extreme levels.

8
General Software Discussion / Re: why MS Word breaks format
« on: May 31, 2015, 09:18 PM »
In Windows 2010, under the "Home" tab you will see "paste" with a down arrow. If you click the arrow and then "paste special" you will have different paste options for whatever is on your clipboard. Trying the different options should get the result you are looking for.

9
Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Best Windows Giveaway Sites
« on: May 27, 2015, 03:47 PM »
I frequent Giveawayoftheday and Sharewareonsale, not so much Bitsdujour anymore. Here is another site that sometimes has something worthwhile: https://dailysoftwaregiveaway.com/

10
General Software Discussion / Re: WinPatrol going subscription
« on: March 23, 2015, 10:02 PM »
We may have our own preferences for freeware, shareware, etc. but that doesn’t help the developer pay the bills. I think we get spoiled by specific freeware that outperforms shareware (visit the world of audio plugins, there are some freeware programs that are unsurpassed for that function) but I have no problem paying for a program does what it is intended to do and does it well. WinPatrol was becoming a bit dated in my opinion and there is a concerted push right now to make it relevant again. So far I like what I see. I’d pay a renewing annual license for the program but since I have a lifetime family license (10 PCs) my entire family is taken care of.

11
To offer a contra opinion (and just because you asked. . .), I take my car to a mechanic who doesn't hesitate to tell me a repair is not needed, or not needed for another ____ miles, or most recently, that it was possible to fix but would never interfere with the car's operation and wasn't a safety concern, so why bother. I drove that car 2300 miles in 32 hours straight last week. I read recently about a lady who drove from Phoenix, Arizona to Riverside, California (350 miles) because the Riverside mechanic was honest, didn't overcharge and gave good maintenance advice. I think if you ask around you will find the same mechanic where you are.

12
iZotope RX4 will do this, but the learning curve is a bit steep. You might also try a free trial of Adobe Audition which has similar tools when working in spectral view. I've done similar things in Audition that aren't quite as pervasive as what you are describing. Audition is my daily workstation.

13
I use file search/word search programs every day. I write for a living and access archived topics, references, sources, or just prior drafts of certain documents, often by keyword searches alone. I have tried every search program that I have ever heard of, but my go-to programs, in the order I use them, are Everything, UltraFileSearch, Fileseek. If those don't work I can't find it. I have bought several search program licenses based on initial positive impressions - Listary is one - but I find myself falling back on these three for convenience of use and success rates.

14
I used to frequent FreewareBB but after a false alarm having to do with the site closing down I stopped. Freewaregenuis lurched toward stagnation in a similar fashion. It really is too bad because I found both sites to be valuable resources.

15
General Software Discussion / Re: antivirus and web defense
« on: December 12, 2014, 09:53 AM »
I have lifetime licenses to WinPatrol, Malwarebytes Pro and Outpost Security suite - all running on 3 PCs because all came with 3 PC licenses. Outpost is the most active in providing protection, routinely stops trojans Malwarebytes doesn't detect, and nearly 100% of the time when WinPatrol gives a warning Outpost has already alerted to the same issue. Because Outpost works so well I just turn on Malwarebytes from time to time to run sweeps as an added security precaution, but if I was going with just one, Outpost is the most complete, especially when considering its excellent firewall. I bought a new PC yesterday, activated my licenses to WinPatrol and Outpost before doing anything else and as I installed software I need Outpost notified me each time a program was communicating with a host for setup purposes, something you don't get with most antivirus programs. I'm pretty confident in it.

16
General Software Discussion / Re: antivirus and web defense
« on: December 07, 2014, 11:34 PM »
I followed a suggestion in another antivirus thread here on DC and went with Outpost Security Suite Pro in March of this year and I have been very pleased, both with the low CPU useage and with how responsive it has been to malware. Easy to set up, has a learning function to keep false positives to a minimum. And I like the fact that every so often I have to suspend it for 5 minutes to get something to properly download when sites appear suspicious.

17
Living Room / Re: Sci-fi novel now available from DC member kyrathaba!
« on: November 02, 2014, 07:32 PM »
I downloaded Amazon's kinder app for PC, bought the kinder version of Kyrathaba Rising and read it today. Nicely done! One more vote for Kyrathaba Waxing to come soon. I haven't read this entire thread so maybe this has been covered, but I was pleasantly surprised that "Byron Milner" didn't turn into a fictional William Bryan Miller - if you have inserted yourself into the story it feels like you spread yourself out among more than one character.

18
ArsTechnica occasionally has breaking tech news. I find the site to be more interesting than some of the others listed in this thread.

19
I use CutePDFWriter, #2 on the list in the screenshot above. I like it because it is small and captures any document as a PDF. It can also capture protected PDFs (i.e. no print function) from websites by right clicking the image, clicking print and selecting CutePDFWriter in the printer box. It has saved me big time when I need copies of regulations or codes for future reference but the government site doesn't allow for printing.

20
How does that check for fraudulent activity?

So they're going to check to see whether your credit rating has been accessed by people already authorised to access them?

Why bother, it's already too late to do anything about it.

I did a little research for these very questions. Your credit rating is tied to not only your payment history, but to how many credit cards you have, how many loans you have, how many you have applied for, etc. It can be lowered each time your credit gets run - that's why one is cautioned against activity that might result in it being run (i.e. don't allow a financial institution to check if you qualify for a loan you are not serious about applying for). In any event, the rationale behind the service being offered is that when someone steals your name/DOB/address and applies for a credit card or loan or something similar, both the running of your credit and the application for the loan/credit card shows up immediately and gets flagged as potential fraudulent activity. You get notified right away and can take the appropriate steps to undo the transaction.

My bank isn't pushing the service - they already have all my personal info anyway - which is why I posted here.

Having had some experience in military intelligence gathering I wouldn't give that much information to my mother  :-[

I agree, except for when I poked around the 3rd party sites they already had most of my info. Disturbing.

Unless you know for sure that you have been a victim of a data theft, there really is not too much need for this kind of service, and accepting a freebie from a 3rd party you don't know if you can trust could make you more likely to become a victim, not less likely.

And if you are ever the victim of such a data theft (such as something like this), wherever the breach took place, that company would likely pay for the service on your behalf for a number of years, and usually through a reputable monitoring company, just to cover their own legal butts.

The hospital contacted my daughter to inform her about this, told her exactly what data was on the hard drive, sent her a copy of the police report, and offered her 5 years of free credit monitoring through Experian (one of the Big Three credit bureaus).

Good info. This appears to be the same offering your daughter got, real-time monitoring through the big three credit bureaus, except it is a free service through my credit union and not offered as a result of fraudulent activity.

Thanks for all the input, I think I'll pass for now and do more research. I'll post here if I find out anything useful.

21
My credit union (for those of you not in the USA, a credit union is similar to a federally chartered bank but with slightly different rules) offers a free service that looks good in that it will check my credit score daily for potential fraudulent activity, and another free service will check daily for any of a host of interests running my name/address/credit (includes utility companies, government agencies, banking and credit companies, etc.). But both of these services are offered by 3rd parties, and I have to basically give them the exact info that I'm trying to protect - full name, DOB, SSN, bank and credit card account numbers. I get that they need to know who I am to run these checks, but I'm hesitant for obvious reasons. Do you have experience with any similar services? Any thoughts about giving "it" up in order to protect "it"?

22
Found Deals and Discounts / Re: SharewareOnSale newsletter
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:40 PM »
Stop promoting your crap site. Giveaway rogue site all user beware.

Interesting perspective but I'm curious to hear your objection to the site. I frequent dottech.org, have it bookmarked, find a lot of useful info there, and the site is run by Ashraf who also runs sharewareonsale. Over the past 6 months I have downloaded 2 or 3 useful free programs from sharewareonsale. Given my experience, your conclusionary dismissal of the site is meaningless. Do you care to share more?

23
Living Room / Re: What Are Your Favorite Science Blogs?
« on: July 07, 2014, 09:57 PM »
http://profmattstrassler.com/

The professor explains complex and esoteric science for non-science types. Quite informative.

24
Alex should start an announcement thread or something, but I've been beta testing for the past year and this is simply an excellent program. And for you coders who might not have been aware of the beta process, visit the bvckup forum (https://bvckup2.com/ - click on the support tab) for some enlightening reading. This was an input intensive development and I think the program is that much stronger because of it. Bvckup2 has been error free for me since early into the beta cycling, although others have had issues that have been addressed. I currently backup three hard drives daily - if I told you I'm an attorney you'd understand. ;D I also have a parallel life producing for radio and it handles 580mb files with ease. This quickly became an indispensable part of my daily routine.

25
I prefer wav because it is uncompressed. I also keep multiple copies of everything in portable hard drives and everything is uncompressed. Daily backups are made and copies are saved in the studio, in my office offsite and at home. And because this is DonationCoder, my backup program of choice is bvckup.  :) It does incremental backup but each audio filed is opened with a new name and is thus a unique file so bvckup doesn't touch the most recent saved file in the folder.

As far as the Yamaha speakers, they might be what was used in many studios but you can have the most current, most accurate studio monitors in your home audio system but you still aren't hearing what was recorded as it was heard in the studio because it has been processed to make it blend with everything else. If it wasn't processed like that it wouldn't be as pleasing to your ears. You can hear this in church/community/school performances that are recorded using just one or two mics which makes it difficult to give the different instruments/vocals individual space for playback.

As for ideal audio playback, stuff sounds good at all price ranges if the components compliment each other. For that you just have to go listen before you buy. A single do-it-all stereo can't sound as good as separate components due to shielding, power supply, etc. but you don't have to spend a lot of money to have great sound. I have a CD player here from the 90s hooked up to an amp and speakers so I can listen out of the control room for reference, it sounds great and I don't see any reason to upgrade to a higher end player.

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