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1  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Contraption Maker is FREE this weekend! (23rd May 2015) on: May 23, 2015, 03:53:58 PM
They tell me 2 rules, tell me my password matches 2 of 3 rules, then tells me 4 rules must be met.

It said 2 of 3 character rules were met. The 4th is probably not a character rule.

Very likely these are the 4 rules:

  • at least 1 uppercase letter
  • at least 1 lowercase letter
  • at least 1 number
  • length (not sure what the requirement for this is)

While a password like Y0u would satisfy the first 3, it likely would not satisfy the 4th.

It looks like creating a password is a mini-game.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: uBlock ad blocker and unwanted behavior on: May 12, 2015, 05:45:18 PM
it was taken over by a young guy

The thread I read indicates that it was more or less dumped on that guy with no notice - gorhill (the original developer) posted a comment to some commit thread saying essentially, "I'm done with this, can you take over the repo?".  Also, it seems like the new maintainer has been very willing to rectify any mistakes or issues that have been pointed out.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: uBlock ad blocker and unwanted behavior on: May 09, 2015, 01:14:46 AM
I'm still confused, however.  I never installed ublock origin from what I remember.

The original developer of uBlock (gorhill) transferred control of the uBlock repo to the new project maintainer, but did not transfer the Chrome store version. See

As mentioned in that comment thread, gorhill intended from the start to fork uBlock, creating his own version which he would only work on for the few features he wanted.  Since he kept the Chrome store version, I assume that if that's where you installed your Chrome extension from, any updates gorhill made to it based on the uBlock Origin 'fork' would be installed into your browser whenever Chrome decided to pull the update from the store.

In other words:

  • gorhill published uBlock on the Chrome store
  • you installed uBlock from there
  • gorhill changed the software at that Chrome store extension site to be uBlock origin
  • your chrome browser updated your extension to uBlock origin
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Kickstarter Highlight: Onion Omega on: May 05, 2015, 01:00:29 PM
My personal take on it was that they had more than enough Kickstarter support without me, and they promised to open-source their hardware designs.  I figure if it turns into something successful, there will be plenty of opportunities to buy Onion Omega devices and add-ons.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Fax Software on: May 05, 2015, 12:01:08 PM
You might want to consider an email-to-FAX service.  I haven't used one myself (the last time I needed to FAX something, I was able to use the machine they still had at work, and the last time I bought/sold a home, we were able to do all document exchange via email or the web), but it seems like it might be a reasonable option to look into.

6  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: AdGuard Premium Lifetime on sale at on: May 05, 2015, 11:29:53 AM
Thing about these lifetime licenses is lifetime is how long the company will be in business and the length of time the product will be updated.  Look at AdMuncher, for instance. 

Yes that is true; that means when you purchase one of these you have to take into consideration the possibility that the company will cease to operate, renege on the deal, or even that you might decide to move on to some other software in the future.  $40 was small enough that I felt the risk was acceptable.

I did get some lifetime licenses on AdMuncher (on sale).  I'm not exactly sure if I got my 'money's worth', but I wouldn't say I'm upset.  I would be upset if they were still selling licenses, but devised some loophole such that my license wasn't eligible for updates.

On the whole, I'd say that across the set of lifetime licenses I've purchased, I'm happy with the value I've gotten.
7  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: AdGuard Premium Lifetime on sale at on: May 03, 2015, 03:54:59 PM
I just bit and bought in.

I pulled the trigger as well. Uninstalled AdMuncher, installed AdGuard and my first few youtube tests were ad free.  My browser feels a bit snappier, too, but I'm thinking that might just be my imagination.
8  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: AdGuard Premium Lifetime on sale at on: May 03, 2015, 11:51:11 AM
it intercepts HTTPS traffic.

This feature is particularly interesting as neither of my other two ad blockers (AdMuncher and AdBlock+) do this.  Youtube ads have become really annoying.

Right, but some people are concerned that it does this by replacing certificates so it can be a man-in-the-middle and that can be a security issue.  However, I think the bottom line is that if you want ads blocked in sites that use HTTPS, the blocker needs access to the stream, so that means either doing this or being a browser extension so it can have access after the stream is decrypted.  Either way you need to trust the blocking software with access to the https-protected data, so I think the remaining issue is whether or not the technique potentially opens the https-protected data to other entities (be it malware on your computer or something monitoring the network). I have no idea if that's the case with AdGuard.
9  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / AdGuard Premium Lifetime on sale at on: May 03, 2015, 03:10:13 AM
AdGuard ( is being sold on a 'deal' site I haven't heard of before - StackSocial - in some sort of partnership with BitsDuJour.

A lifetime license to AdGuard Premium for 2 PCs and 2 Android devices is being sold for $40:

  - https://bitsdujour.stacks...ium-lifetime-subscription

This license normally sells for $90 on the AdGuard site (the StackSocial page claims it normally sells for $120).  My recollection is that AdGuard sold these Premium licenses in a way that you had to choose whether the license would be used on a PC or an Android device - not on both concurrently.  AdGuard may have changed that (or I may have misunderstood). Anyway, this sale is being pitched as you can install on 2 PCs *and* 2 Android devices.

I myself have not used AdGuard on either device type, but it seems to be generally well received in the several posts I've read about it here and on Wilders, though some have concerns about the way it intercepts HTTPS traffic.

The sale lasts for another 2 days.
10  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Packt is giving away a free ebook each day until 17 May 2015 on: May 03, 2015, 02:57:19 AM
Both your points are correct.  The account is the same as you would set up if you purchased an ebook on their site.  Once purchased, the ebook is made available in your account for download.  You can also read the book online from the account in some sort of browser-based reader, but as far as I know all of their ebooks are available for DRM-free download in PDF and other formats (such as ePub - I'm not sure if all formats are available for all books).

And yes - you have to visit the site each day to find out what the book is. I believe the new book is made available (and the previous one unavailable) at 4:00 PM Pacific time.  Kind of a drag, but oh well.

11  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Packt is giving away a free ebook each day until 17 May 2015 on: May 02, 2015, 11:03:10 PM
Each day until 17 May 2015, Packt is giving away a free programming ebook.

I have found that the quality of Packt books varies greatly, but they sometimes cover stuff that no other publisher does (like using the Android NDK for native programs). And it's hard to argue with free - if the book is junk, then delete it.

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: MS-DOS Player for Win32-x64 on: April 30, 2015, 10:04:06 AM
And source is available!  Maybe one day I'll get to poke around in it.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft is releasing a cross-platform code editor on: April 29, 2015, 06:42:47 PM
I learned a new word:

I doubt that I'll ever use it (or probably ever see it again).  Why couldn't she have said, "In 1977 Dalenius stated that statistical databases should have the following property: ..."
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Microsoft is releasing a cross-platform code editor on: April 29, 2015, 02:30:55 PM
The spying comment was just joking. 

It looks like this is a stand-alone version of the javascript based "Monaco" online editor that MS has been using on various websites for a while.  Not that I know anything about Monaco.

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Microsoft is releasing a cross-platform code editor on: April 29, 2015, 01:23:05 PM
MS is releasing a cross-platform programming editor (in preview stage right now)


And to make it clear, they are spying on you:  “When this tool crashes, we automatically collect crash dumps so we can figure out what went wrong. If you don't want to send your crash dumps to Microsoft, don't install this tool.”

I haven't tried it out yet, but if it comes close to the editing capabilities in VS, it'll be interesting to me.

16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Automakers Want to Outlaw Gearheads From Working on Their Own Cars on: April 29, 2015, 12:19:24 PM
In that regard the cash for clunkers program really screwed me over. Thousands of perfectly good candidates that were the right age and while quite travelled still had plenty of useful life were collected and intentionally destroyed in the name of government subsidy. Since then the price of old cars has gone way up because an entire decade's worth of easily repaired used cars was lost.

I had never thought of that aspect of the cash for clunkers program.
17  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: XYplorer lifetime license PRO 50% off on: April 21, 2015, 05:07:06 PM
He really needs new customers, hm?

Don't know - I often encounter businesses that appear to have no problems with customers and which still have sales. So I'm not sure I'd infer that there's some sort of problem.

All I know is that Don is still churning out an amazing number of updates with new features on a regular basis.
18  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / XYplorer Lifetime Pro licenses %50 off on BDJ April 21, 2015 on: April 19, 2015, 07:01:45 PM
On Tuesday, April 21, 2015, XYplorer's Lifetime License Pro will be available on BitsDuJour with a 50% discount. You can save $40...
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Comodo Internet Security -- a cautionary tale? on: April 18, 2015, 12:49:17 PM
To throw in my 2 cents:

I wasn't happy with MSE - my wife's machine ended up with some difficult to remove garbage while using it.

We have been using Webroot for about a year now, and I've been happy with it.  I tested it against some of the installers that infected my wife's machine, and it performed admirably.  I did have some small bit of trouble with it blocking copy/paste between programs that I wanted to copy/paste between (it has some sort of module to prevent programs from stealing credit card numbers using the clipboard or something).  It was easy enough to configure the program to stop blocking those operations but it was a pain understanding what was going on since it just seemed like the clipboard was broken, and I had no idea it was Webroot.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Solved: Visual Studio Toolbox Blues on: April 11, 2015, 12:17:34 AM
this subscription shit gives me the willies

You don't have to deal with subscriptions for Visual Studio Pro - you can get that SKU for $300 (upgrade) or $500 (full, non-upgrade):

  - http://www.microsoftstore...-2013/productID.284832200

Also, the Community edition is essentially the Pro SKU - it's free for many uses. The main exception is that no more than 5 people in an organization can use Community edition (and if your organization is 'enterprise' sized, then Community can only be used for open source, academic or classrooms purposes): https://www.visualstudio....-studio-community-vs.aspx

For SKUs higher than Pro (Premium, Ultimate, etc), then you do need an MSDN subscription.  But if it makes you feel any better, you could consider it a purchase of Visual Studio that comes with a 1 year access to the MSDN downloads - the license allows you to continue using whatever software you downloaded from MSDN after the subscription expires.  You aren't required to renew unless you want continued access to the downloads and to any new download offerings.

21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programming/Coder humor on: March 31, 2015, 05:08:44 AM
Make the 8 a 10 and break down the 5 into 2 and 3, with the 2 going into the 8 to make 10, then add 3 to the 10 to get 13.

Who thinks like that?

I didn't watch the youtube, but I will admit that this is the kind of logic that my mind goes through for a lot of arithmetic.  It works for me, but I'm not sure I could explain it well to someone else. And I am certain that it's not a mechanism that works for everyone.

A possibly better example than solving 8+5 might be how would you solve 97*3 in your head?  I think that many people would juggle the numbers so that it's 100*3 - 3*3, which is easy to work out in your head (or mine at least) as 300-9 = 291.  I know that how I'd do it, and it's a similar transformation to 8+5 being the same as 8+2 + 3 = 10 + 3 = 13. It's just that the 8+5 problem is pretty simple by itself, so there's probably less need for the transformation 'trick'.

I think that there are different ways of approaching arithmetic, and that there's not 'one-true-method' that works for everyone.  Each person should find their own best way to working out basic arithmetic, and I think the best elementary math teachers are the ones who are able to somehow guide different students to the different ways that work for them.
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: SoftMaker (makers of SoftOffice) moving away from eM Client to Thunderbird on: March 18, 2015, 01:59:28 PM
Thanks for posting, Martin Kotulla.  I hope that this works out to benefit both SoftMaker and Thunderbird.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / SoftMaker (makers of SoftOffice) moving away from eM Client to Thunderbird on: March 16, 2015, 04:48:24 PM
SoftMaker has been bundling the eM Client software with some versions of SoftOffice to provide e-mail functionality.  They have apparently decided to end that arrangement and will be bundling a customized version of Thunderbird in future versions of SoftOffice:


As part of this they are also dedicating some development resources to Thunderbird and will be contributing fixes/enhancements to that project.

Seems like good news for Thunderbird. I'm not sure how I'd feel if I had gotten used to the eM Client.
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interested in doing my own car maintenance.. Advice? on: March 09, 2015, 04:10:31 PM
Some parts stores will rent you the "one time use" tool rather than making you buy it.

Yes - keep this in mind for those oddball tools that have a single, specialized purpose.  Some of the parts stores around here (Seattle area) will 'rent' these tools for nothing - essentially you pay for the tool then return it.  While this might sound like a scammy way to borrow a tool, it's the way the store has designed their loaner program.

And personally I like the Haynes brand of repair manuals, though I often combine using a Haynes book with the official technician's manual from the manufacturer if it's not too expensive.  I'm not really a mechanic, so I find it helpful to have a couple different perspectives on how something needs to be done.  But like you said, youtube makes this kind of thing a lot clearer than just going by books.
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Use a unique password for this site on: March 07, 2015, 12:55:54 AM
Not that anyone probably cares, but here's my basic website password security scheme:

  - sites that I deem important/sensitive, such as my banking sites, paypal, work, etc. get unique, strong passwords
  - sites that I consider to not be highly sensitive, ie., I won't lose money if someone gets into my account, such as DC, or, or whatever, gets a password that's mostly the same as every other similarly non-sensitive website.  I do change the starting letter of the password to match the site's domain name - that gives these passwords some very small measure of uniqueness.

This works well for me because I don't have to work at all to remember most website passwords.  Of course, I'd rather those accounts not get hacked, but I won't be seriously hurt if they do so I don't feel I have to put a lot of effort into password security for them.  However, those passwords are still generally different enough from one another that if one site gets hacked and a list of userids & passwords gets into the hands of hackers (such as with the Adobe breech), those hackers won't get into *all* of my website accounts.  And the few that they might get a match on will be more or less worthless to them - at least as far as bringing any kind of harm to me.  Getting one of those passwords does nothing to help them get a password for any of the sites I consider sensitive.

The key is that the "common" password I use has a mix of letters, letter case, numbers, a punctuation character, and a length that's long enough, but not too long.

This lets that password get through nearly every 'password strength requirement' filter out there, but still fits constraints that some sites have.  It probably doesn't happen too often anymore, but in the past I have come across web sites that don't allow password to be longer then 8 characters or don't allow characters like quotes or slashes.  So my common, base password doesn't violate those rules.  But it's still complex enough to make most sites happy.

Anyway, that's how I deal with password management.

Irritating password constraints trivia: I recall one website that wanted passwords to be no shorter than 6 characters, but no longer than 8 characters - what???

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