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1  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Sticky Password - 40% Discount on Lifetime Premium License on: December 20, 2014, 05:23:57 PM
Thanks! Any information on how long that discount will be valid?
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Some unknown webpage opens itself after starting my PC! on: December 16, 2014, 04:30:56 PM
I'd try running Malwarebytes to see if it identifies any unwanted programs.

Note that you don't always have to install programs to get malware - sketchy sites often try to take advantage of hole in browsers to perform 'drive-by' installs of malware or to modify browser settings (such as start up pages).  Note that the sketchy sites don't have to be ones that you explicitly visited - advertising servers have been known to pass malware in the advertisements many websites use.
3  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Free until Dec 24: Softmaker FreeOffice (Win&Linux) and Office Mobile (Android) on: December 08, 2014, 06:05:42 PM
I got the following in an email today.  I haven't yet downloaded anything, so I don't know what the quality level (or whether the software is laden with ads or not), but the fact they commit to a small donation to charity for each download seems worthwhile:

Free Office. Download it now for free for Windows, Linux, and Android, and SoftMaker donates money to charity projects worldwide.

Christmas comes early this year!

>From now until December 24, you can download FreeOffice for Windows and
Linux and the full version of SoftMaker Office Mobile 2012 for Android
- and help needy people at the same time: For every download, SoftMaker donates 10 Euro cents to aid and charity projects around the world.

Spread the word! Tell friends and co-workers about our Load and Help campaign. We want to set a new record for donations this year!

Visit the Load and Help campaign page:

Here are this year's free downloads ...

1. SoftMaker FreeOffice

A full-featured office suite for Windows and Linux that is based on SoftMaker Office and may be used at home and for business alike.

If you already use SoftMaker Office 2012, you do not need FreeOffice.
But we encourage you to tell your friends and colleagues about our Load and Help campaign where they can do good by accepting a gift.

2. SoftMaker Office Mobile for Android

Do you want to work on your Office documents with your Android smartphone or tablet? SoftMaker Office Mobile 2012 for Android offers full-fidelity viewing and editing of Microsoft and SoftMaker Office documents on your mobile companion. It is now a free download.

If you already own SoftMaker Office Mobile, you don't need this download.
Stay with the version you purchased; we will offer extra features for paying customers next year.

But please tell your friends about this great campaign, so that we can surpass last year's donations.

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: NIX: Douane - An application aware personal firewall on: December 08, 2014, 01:24:02 PM
Keep in mind that the auto-recompile done by the DKMS system uses the same source file that was already compiled for the kernel you were using - so the auto-recompile won't introduce any malicious code that wasn't already there.

Trusting the kernel module in the first place is a different story; at least the source is available for audit.  It's a single C file, but it would still probably take a fair bit of study to audit.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: antivirus and web defense on: December 08, 2014, 06:00:02 AM
Two BSOD's and still considering it?  You're more patient that I am.

Webroot might be the solution with the $50 or so for a year for multiple puters.

If you're still considering Webroot after all that, the link that I put in my previous post should get you the 1 year for $30.
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: antivirus and web defense on: December 07, 2014, 08:53:23 PM
I've been happy with the Webroot Secure Anywhere software I've been using since about March.

Not free, but this affiliate link (not mine - just one I found on Google) gives a decent discount.  For $30 you get 1 year for 5 machines:

  - http://www.webroot.com/us...en/home/affiliates/wsc-29
7  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: A couple games to giveaway: Insurgency (Steam) and Witcher 2 (gog) on: December 04, 2014, 11:22:28 PM
Actually, I gave my Insurgency key to the newcomer.  There didn't seem to be much interest here or on another site I posted, so I didn't really think twice about being taken advantage of.

The key was going to go to waste anyway, and InvaderWiz seemed genuinely happy and appreciative so I think it's a win even if we never see him participate on DC again.
8  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Gog Winter Sale on - Age of Wonders being given away on: December 04, 2014, 09:22:32 AM
http://www.gog.com/ - go about halfway down the page for the giveaway.
9  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / A couple games to giveaway: Insurgency (Steam) and Witcher 2 (gog) on: December 03, 2014, 01:51:44 AM
I have a couple keys to give away for some games:

  - Insurgency (Steam): I don't know much about this game - got some keys in a Humble Bundle that I'm supposed to give away

  - Witcher 2 (gog): I got a free key in their recent sale's giveaway, and I already have the game in my library. I imagine that almost anyone who might be interested in the game has one already (since they were being given away quite recently), but I figure there might be someone who missed out for whatever reason.

PM me if you're interested in either or both.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: VMWare Player 7.0 Released on: December 02, 2014, 11:22:13 PM
Gouging pricing is $250 for a new license, $150 for an upgrade from WS 9 or 10.

Keep in mind that VMware Player is free for personal, non-commercial use.  For commercial use, it's considerably cheaper than Workstation (but still not what I'd call cheap).  I think its feature set covers most people's needs. Most Workstation features that aren't supported in Player Pro seem pretty 'Enterprisey' to me.  See the Player Pro FAQ and the comparison page for details.  The features that are missing that I think might be more commonly needed are:

  - snapshots
  - Virtual Network Editor

If you don't find yourself needing those things, then Player Pro (or the free non-Pro) might be the way to go. Player Pro is also on sale right now for 30% off: $105 or $56 for an upgrade.
11  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals on: December 01, 2014, 07:51:34 PM
I don't have much experience with these tools, but people here might be interested, so...

SmartGit: 50%  off until 8 December 2014: http://www.syntevo.com/blog/?p=4044

Cloudberry Drive Desktop: 50% off ($15) today only: http://sites.fastspring.c...uct/drive?coupon=CBMN2014

  - info on Cloudberry Drive: http://www.cloudberrylab....ge-online-hard-drive.aspx

And I'll add another plug for XYplorer Pro Lifetime (50% off): http://www.xyplorer.com/index.php  (ends on Cyber Monday: December 1st, 2014, 23:59 SST)

I'm not sure what "SST" is. According to Google it's literally all over the map: Swedish Summer Time, Singapore Standard Time, Samoa Standard Time, or South Sumatran Time
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ebay snipping on: November 26, 2014, 03:57:20 PM
I have used auctionsniper.com and been happy with it.  Yes, at first it didn't feel safe that I had to give them my eBay credentials, but it makes sense that they need them.

So far I haven't noticed any funny business.  I'm not a heavy eBay user though - I probably average buying 5 or 6 items a year, and most of those are "Buy It Now" to boot.

For me, the sniping service isn't so much about winning auctions - it's about psychological benefits when I lose an auction. When I manually bid and lose, I will either feel that my bid was just used as something for others to chip away at (in the case where I just set my max bid with eBay) or that I - or my machine - wasn't quick enough in the case of a manual snipe.  If I lose with a snipe set by a service, I feel like I lost the auction because it legitimately got priced beyond what I wanted to pay.

So when I use the sniping tool, I don't feel any regret over lost auctions.
13  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / XYplorer 2014 Cyber Monday sale: Lifetime Pro licenses %50 off on: November 26, 2014, 02:37:19 PM
XYplorer 2014 Cyber Monday sale: Lifetime Pro licenses %50 off through Cyber Monday: December 1st, 2014, 23:59 GMT

US$ 79.95 39.95        EUR 59.95 29.95


I purchased my first XY license many years ago, and it has been one of the best values of my software purchases.  DonL is a machine that keeps making it better.

User-based licensing and a lifetime license on quality software that is continually improved and shows no signs of slowing down - good stuff.
14  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".
15  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.
16  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/
17  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.
18  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.
19  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.
20  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?
21  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.
22  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.
23  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.
24  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.

25  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".
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