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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A stoned guy renamed some of his favorite items while high... on: November 24, 2014, 08:04:46 PM
I think I'm going to start using some of these - I particularly like "cat puppies" and "sugar bagels".
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: NSA Backdoor Exploit in Windows 8 Uncovered on: November 24, 2014, 07:52:46 PM
(Disclaimer: my reading and quoting of the ZEIT ONLINE article was done using Google Translate, since I cannot read German nearly well enough on my own)

If you read the original article on ZEIT ONLINE, it doesn't say that a backdoor has been discovered. In fact, the article is mostly about the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) standard, which has been around for a a while now.  The ZEIT ONLINE article is addressing an upcoming 2.0 version of TPM which apparently will not let users disable the TPM functionality (or something).

TPM is a mechanism where the computer will boot and run code only if it has been signed by some authority.

The article does say this about the NSA backdoor:

In light of the revelations [by] Snowden it takes little imagination accordingly, to be regarded by 8 TPM 2.0 and Windows as a back door for the NSA, just waiting to be opened.

In other words, they can well imagine that the TPM 2.0 standard could harbor an NSA backdoor.  But one hasn't been discovered yet.

While TPM may be undesirable to end users (though if administration of TPM keys is allowed to end users, it could be a benefit to them), the NSA backdoor is simply speculation - one has not been discovered. 

Not to mention, if MS were going to provide (or has provided, if you like) a backdoor for the NSA, they wouldn't necessarily need TPM to do it.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: TrueCrypt alternative on: November 20, 2014, 05:11:46 PM
Like CipherShed (formerly truecrypt.ch or TCnext), VeraCrypt is a fork of TrueCrypt.  Apparently one difference in VeraCrypt is that the containers are not compatible with TC containers for some reason that I don't fully understand (something to do with the number of rounds of hashing that keys go through).

A blog posting on CipherShed indicates that there's some level of cooperation between CipherShed and VeraCrypt, but it's unclear to what degree:

  - https://truecrypt.ch/2014...ther-towards-common-goal/
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Can anyone advise this developer on commercial licensing? on: November 17, 2014, 06:00:49 PM
underestimated the various liabilities

Do you have any idea what various liabilities he means?

I would have guessed that a standard license agreement and/or purchase agreement would cover things pretty well.  I think that in most jurisdictions, your limit of liability is easily limited to the amount of the purchase.  In other words, I'd think that it should be easy to ensure that the worst case will be that you have refund the buyer's purchase cost.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Speed record by a rocket-bicycle on: November 16, 2014, 09:21:02 PM
Wile E. Coyote would be proud.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ESA Rosetta comet landing being streamed live 12-NOV-2014 @ 11:00AM EST on: November 13, 2014, 06:38:04 PM
I have no idea what I expected the comet to look like, but it doesn't look like what I would have expected.

Very neat pics.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: English Retail Sites Block Access from Quebec (self-censorship?) on: November 13, 2014, 05:32:20 PM
I don't know if I fully understand the issues, but the article indicates that under Quebec law the retailers who have a physical presence in Quebec must have a French-accessible website (or no website) in Quebec.

These retailers either haven't gotten around to doing that or have decided they don't want to spend the money to do it.  Sounds more like laziness than anything else to me. Maybe there's more to it?
8  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Announcing .NET 2015 - .NET as Open Source, .NET on Mac and Linux on: November 13, 2014, 12:49:12 PM
Regarding the "Microsoft Patent Promise": the way I read it (and I'm not a lawyer or any kind of intellectual property expert) is that

1) if you sue MS for patent infringement, then MS terminates it's promise not to sue you for patent infringement on the .NET patents
2) the personal promise essentially means that MS makes the promise for itself, not for any other entity. In other words, if someone else claims a patent on the .NET stuff, MS isn't necessarily protecting you from those claims, even if MS has a patent license from that party.

These seem reasonable to me, but I'm reading it as a normal human being, not as a shifty legal eagle.
9  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Announcing .NET 2015 - .NET as Open Source, .NET on Mac and Linux on: November 13, 2014, 01:06:55 AM
Wow - even just the news about VS Community is great.  They've already released VS Community 2013 (http://www.visualstudio.c...ual-studio-vs#d-community), and from piecing together information from a couple places, it's not just for students and open source developers.  See


Q: Who can use Visual Studio Community?
A: Here’s how individual developers can use Visual Studio Community:

    Any individual developer can use Visual Studio Community to create their own free or paid apps.

Here’s how Visual Studio Community can be used in organizations:

    An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects.
    For all other usage scenarios: In non-enterprise organizations, up to 5 users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with >250 PCs or > $1MM in annual revenue), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.

Q: How does Visual Studio Community 2013 compare to other Visual Studio editions?
A: Visual Studio Community 2013 includes all the great functionality of Visual Studio Professional 2013, designed and optimized for individual developers, students, open source contributors, and small teams.

I haven't tried it myself yet, but from the last answer there, it's essentially VS 2013 Pro with a license that limits use in organizations.  Individual developers and very small teams can use it however they want (including commercially).  Being VS 2013 Pro also means that extensions such as Visual Assist X and ReSharper will work with it.

As far as open sourcing the various .NET technologies, I think that's great news.  They're even using the MIT license (for some or all?) instead of some bastardized MS 'open ' license.  Awesome.  If nothing else, I look forward to ASP.NET web hosting that's as cheap as PHP web hosting.
10  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Big Fall sale on Gog on: November 12, 2014, 02:54:22 PM
I just noticed that after buying Witcher 2 for $3 on a flash sale.  Oh well.

Also, I was wrong about it being a 2 day sale - not sure what made me think that.
11  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Big Fall sale on Gog on: November 12, 2014, 02:44:46 PM
Sale ends Nov 25 - daily bundles, continual 'flash' sales.

Including for some period of time (I'm not sure how long) a free game, Mount & Blade about halfway down the main GOG page.

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Thoughts on the tech on the TV show Scorpion? on: November 07, 2014, 12:01:39 AM
That Knight Rider clip may have been unrealistic, but it was still awesome.  Scorpion had no "awesome".
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Thoughts on the tech on the TV show Scorpion? on: November 06, 2014, 01:43:00 AM
To wit: Baywatch lasted on the air for 11 seasons - that's 242 episodes!

Baywatch had other things besides making sense to keep your interest.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Unpleasant advertisements of the past on: November 04, 2014, 10:11:54 AM
Dr. Batty's Asthma Cigarettes:  "Not recommended for Children under 6"
15  News and Reviews / DonationCoder.com Newsletters / Re: Super-sized Newsletter for Oct 25, 2014 - Codename: NANY 2015 Preppers on: October 27, 2014, 01:25:15 AM
Is it because they leave spam links in their profile/signature?
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: DVCS ? (All about Git, Mercurial-Hg and the like...) on: October 20, 2014, 12:57:15 PM
It's been a while since I watched them, but I recall Scott Chacon's git videos as being pretty good.  A google should net you some that you can check out to see if his style works for you.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 20, 2014, 01:40:21 AM
I have half a thought of buying one just so I can return it because it doesn't work with the coffee 'pods' I have.  Companies shouldn't be  able to get away with this kind of crap, and that seems to be a concrete way to let them know.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Ad Muncher 5 will be free on: October 19, 2014, 04:39:22 PM
Looks like admuncher 4 has been releases as freeware now.


I hope this works out for them and users - whatever it is that's supposed to happen to make this a success.  But I honestly don't have a great deal of optimism.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The most stupid Windows error? on: October 19, 2014, 04:33:04 PM
But don't you want to hear that awesome logoff sound?
20  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: GamerGate: 'Press must tackle misogyny,' says developer on: October 16, 2014, 06:12:11 PM
21  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Service: Proof of Existence on: October 15, 2014, 09:14:36 PM
Even if it might not be acceptable in a legal proceeding today, things like this are important stepping stones to getting to that point.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 13, 2014, 05:54:00 PM
they come with a brew your own coffee basket that's basically just a reusable pod

The last time I tried to use the official Keurig reusable pod that I have (which wasn't included with the machine, but a separate purchase, if I recall correctly), it wouldn't fit because of some plastic 'tabs' that seemed to exist only to interfere with the reusable pod (which again is an official Keurig-branded pod).  It definitely worked in the first Keurig unit we had, but was inconvenient, so it didn't get much use.  When I tried to use it in a newer Keurig that we since bought, it won't fit in the machine at all anymore.

Anyway, it seems like they don't want you to use even their own reusable pods.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DRM in your coffee maker, to stop you from brewing unlicensed coffees on: October 13, 2014, 05:44:07 PM
I wonder what it could do to jinx up your coffee?

Make it taste like the sludge in my work's lunchroom?
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Delayed Write Failed" — on FIVE computers at a time? on: October 13, 2014, 12:17:34 PM
What a nightmare.  Glad you seem to have gotten it solved.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: October 09, 2014, 02:41:06 PM
Andreas Antonopolous is signing copies of his book "Mastering Bitcoin"...

I got a kick out of this disclaimer:

The author wants you to know that his handwriting is that of someone who has typed almost everything (including grocery lists) for the past 20 years. This means your message might be as legible as a prescription note from a doctor (not at all). Near illegibility serves as proof of authenticity!
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