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1  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Artificial intelligence bests humans at classic arcade games on: February 26, 2015, 01:03:16 PM
My enthusiasm for AI often exceeds my editing, but here's a couple of thoughts.

Certainly "Q or Reinforcement Learning" feels like a bit of partly complicating the obvious. So it seems that from what little I know of chess programming, they can't guarantee the best move, so they  "monte-carlo simulate it" - aka run scads of iterated tests and then the program "tends to notice that such a certain X move tends to lose or win". Sometimes the other side escapes, but it's that "tends" that matters.

So in Space Invaders, if you get stuck on the side, you "tend to get trapped" because you're missing half your movement range. In certain conceptual ways, that feels like "sorta easy" programming to me.

What I don't see is any interaction with "precursor tutorials" such as if your friend comes over and hangs out with pizza for an hour to show you stuff. You still have to play the game, but it sounds like the games tested were "easy to play with clever middle level tricks". So unlike hardcoded strategies, you make your friend's suggestions "a hypothesis" - that's how he always played, so the computer looks there first with at least a baseline. Then some of the friend's suggestions turn out to be sub-optimal. (I think that was called H:0 and H:A in statistics. Yes?) PacMan sounds like it would be a good test here.

Take a game where the human says "I don't know what I am doing" regarding gameplay and I bet the computer will get stuck.

2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Destroying your hard drive is the only way to stop this super-advanced malware on: February 26, 2015, 12:48:19 PM
Its like a rootkit

Seems like the countermeasure would need to be burned in code.  Like the only way to update your controller code would be to physically change out a chip.  I wonder if the military has some scheme already to get around the problem?

They probably do, but they like to play with a full deck of 52 cards and consumers only maybe the spades.

3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Why won't my laptop run Firefox? on: February 26, 2015, 12:45:55 PM
Or the other whole discussion of running Pale Moon or even the older Cometbird. So depending on exactly what you need "flagship" Firefox for, if anything, Pale Moon specifically was supposed to be recompiled to help boost a little bit of performance.

If those work, something may be sour with whatever new tweaks flagship FF is doing lately and then when you have "FF vs FF-clone", maybe that can shed some clues.

4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Internet Lynch Mobs on: February 23, 2015, 12:38:18 PM
This is the "all meets all" middlegame result of social media.

Semi-related: somewhere there is another story about Facebook working on auto-tagging people's names in photos based on photo recognition. So this same kind of thing then gets a new spin because you and your friend "just post a pic" and your friend is doing something silly, and then because it is auto-tagged, it starts winding up in searches which can harm people's job searches etc.

It also has a chilling effect - you become afraid to post certain kinds of otherwise harmless photos because of the viral effect - when it goes in your favor it's great, and when it goes the wrong way you end up in big trouble.

And of course there's the "effect of a certain singer" after some initial incident I think with a photo of her house.


5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Preloaded spyware, courtesy Lenovo on: February 21, 2015, 07:32:43 PM
I've almost always had custom built computers, but the "stock" ones that I've had have really sucked by comparison.

I think I stand by this. I am making my own problems with upgrade woes but my current comp is custom built that we did as a project and when it's your buddy building it you know generally there's no weird stuff (initially!) on there.

You don't have to de-construct it in labor-hours what you saved in build dollars.


6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The return of Clippy! Microsoft says more about their digital assistant Cortana on: February 12, 2015, 03:10:58 PM
Isn't FlightSim not only a technical achievement... but an investment?  Which is why it boggles me that they abandon the investment already made... not just from a technical perspective, but the sheer amount of data processed for the detail of the landscapes and such.

Something went down, that's for sure! I never once heard an explanation from anybody (including the "mothership" herself) why they axed that gem. And not just axed it either. They completely buried it as well. Inventory completely pulled from retail channels. No legacy copy for "download sale only." No tombstone freebie release to the public like they did with Money. Dunno...it just makes no sense based on anything they officially told us. And the rumors about "what really happened" haven't made much sense either.

And that's too bad. FlightSim would have been all they needed to keep me (and a lot of other people) customers of Microsoft forever.

Sometimes, with all of the cop shows going on, you'd want somehow for questions you always wanted answered to be crucial to some kind of terrorist sting bust. "We TRIED To keep the secret, but then it was found out that evil guys used it!"

MS does some strange things sometimes. Or a lot of times, in the music businesses.

Clippy was annoying, but to my knowledge it at least was "innocently annoying". Now everything that companies do has an ominous tone of collecting and doing things with info.

7  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Browser Hijackers on: February 09, 2015, 07:55:43 AM
One thing you may try to get more details is to use MozBackup or some other means of backing up a Firefox, then approve the AddOn install.  That should at least give some kind of name to search on.  I'm not sure how much damage a malicious FF AddOn can do so take suggestion with a grain of salt.  smiley

Well I blocked the addon, some of that comes native to new FF's, so just the start page was left, which I put back, and several articles mention you have to fix the shortcuts. But I couldn't easily find what might be hiding as a real program that some people hint can re-install itself, so I just threw it all into a "cupboard marked beware of the leopard".

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: #! CrunchBang Linux is no more. RIP on: February 09, 2015, 07:52:55 AM

Yeah, I remarked on this a bit on another thread.

I was saying that it's as if the fertile period when people made new projects in the late 90's / early 2000's is starting to fade as stuff gets consolidated into big players.


I have an ancient laptop which is "nearly unusable" that theoretically could have been a crunch-bang candidate, but I really lack any motivation to experiment in that direction with what would be a *fourth tier* machine.

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Url Pack on: February 09, 2015, 07:51:36 AM
The funny thing is I didn't try it out for the features.  But because it was another 32 bit FF derivative.  I wanted to see if I could get a fast FF that would scroll easily with HW accel. enabled.  So far it's working fine except for sites giving the "we don't support FF 11 anymore so upgrade" msg.  smiley

Maybe I'll try Cyberfox 32 bit.

I haven't heard of Cyberfox.

I'll try to look into it.

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Url Pack on: February 07, 2015, 05:48:34 PM
I use Cometbird

Funny.  I just ran across it today.  So far the only "bad" thing is it won't accept some of the Firefox AddOns.  But it seems to run fine.   Thmbsup

Edit:  It figures.  I start using it just as the developers decide to dump it.   huh


See this note:
"For those still using it we recommend switching to Firefox Browser"

Trying to draw a broader thread together, maybe we're seeing the end of "one of" the golden ages of free wheeling project making. Elsewhere the CrunchBang Linux developer said almost the same thing to the effect of "what once made it unique is no longer relevant so I'm ceasing development".

That's a subtle disturbing favor "sort of" in favor of the Big Guns who can afford to release certain things forever (but then look at Google's rate of introducing and dropping stuff!)

As time is marching on around me, in my slow computer learning, I really hadn't planned on end-of-life of projects. You/We picked "our solutions" to ... do things. Because Reasons. So then when our thing drops off into a dead end, we're stuck with things we *didn't* choose Because Other Reasons.

Computing gets hard! 
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: February 07, 2015, 04:49:18 AM
lol at the pope smiley

Doesn't he get his email from God?
(Basement Warning!)  : )

12  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Browser Hijackers on: February 06, 2015, 04:24:53 PM

I'll just have to chip away at this,

btw what OS version and bitness are you running?

32 Bit XP ... slightly weakened over time by age and stuff. : )

But a clue is that these attacked my "main Firefox" series of browsers, that for a long while I used for almost nothing, and just that day I went to look at something and "poof - attacked". All my heavy duty is on Pale Moon, and it's just fine.

I see conflicting reports on the web about it. One thought it could even collect user data like logins and passwords to sites. So I have currently just dumped the links in a folder marked "beware".

I tried downloading one "tool to remove it" but I stopped it before it was finished, after I wasn't sure if it was hung up.

The steps I saw varied, with one of the more complex involving downloading something like five anti-malware programs.

13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: February 05, 2015, 03:01:28 PM
Have you ever pranked someone by turning their wireless mouse 180 degrees around.

14  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Browser Hijackers on: February 05, 2015, 02:57:10 PM
Another possibility in culprit-hunting is to look for the date of the install of the browser hijacker and see what was installed that day.  The last time I ran into that type of situation, I used Everything and sorted the files on disk by creation date, a flat-view.

I'll use this note to reply to.

I poked at this today. But I can't find it in Add/Remove Programs. "Date Last Used" doesn't seem to help and nothing labeled "start" seems to be there by name per se, though I began reading a couple articles on this and it seems to be one of the nastier hijackers with a few re-install tricks.

I'll just have to chip away at this, though I'm more inclined again just to keep using FF-spinoffs since my PaleMoon is still clean. (For now! I still haven't upgraded.)

15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: February 04, 2015, 03:14:48 PM
Here's the meme-worthy head-bang:

16  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Browser Hijackers on: February 04, 2015, 01:27:50 AM

Good stuff guys, tagged with one of my note programs for one of those days I feel like dealing with that stuff. Meanwhile Miles yes, the start page was changed, but it also tried to install an add-on, which first catches your eye even before your page opens. At least it's good FF put in that thing a while back about "approving add-ons", so that was one step blocked!

17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: February 03, 2015, 11:09:26 AM

From another thread, posted here so not to drag that one into the mud!

"Adapt or die".

This just feels like it's made for one of those Meme Generators!

18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Browser Hijackers on: February 03, 2015, 11:05:36 AM


My copies of Firefox just got hijacked by something. But it's weird because I don't use them that often. Meanwhile Palemoon is my "heavy duty" browser and it's fine.

I could do some snooping and maybe figure it out, but that takes work.   mad

19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Rewriting little memory on: January 27, 2015, 08:06:28 AM

Okay, we are getting there!

I think a bunch of stuff is involved here!

First, try a little (luv how this word is almost impossible) mnemonics.

"Contro is the worst pupil in the world"
No. Contro is spelled with two o's and nothing else will do.
He spelled pupil right and who does that in their second/third language?

And stuff.

So with a few of those tricks out of the way, "what are you trying to do?"
If you're "just learning a language" we can do that in a couple other threads. We're trying to work out that you don't need more serious tech help.

I'm a funny dumb birdie. My language skills are incredible but my tech makes you want to cry in four languages including two you don't know yet!

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Rewriting little memory on: January 27, 2015, 07:10:29 AM

Dear ol' Contro,
English is certainly not your first language, but this time we need a lot more info to work with!

Try re-posting this again with a bunch of more lines, and we might be able to latch on to something to help with!

21  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: save & playback of Q&A session on: January 27, 2015, 07:02:37 AM
Yeah, let's get a link, because this is just itching for both the "organized" players here and hacks like me. I get grumpy with these sites that run tests "overkilled with too much scripting". So when a page "decides not to save", that's my cue to go all "hit it with a wrench until it saves".

Plus, in the spirit of helping out dear ol' DC Bit, I wanna know what page & designers are impudent enough to offend *us* : )

I like my low-tek hacks. "Fancy super-controlled javascript security" hmm? Click. Oops. I just killed your javascript, little page-y. And with *ScreenShot Captor* by *Mouser*, from *Donationcoder.com*, you think you are going to hide behind a little error of "page not saved"?! No.

(Insert smiley here. I confused myself which one to use.)      
: )

22  DonationCoder.com Software / Screenshot Captor / Re: LATEST VERSION INFO THREAD - ScreenshotCaptor - v4.9.3 - DEC 31, 2014 on: January 27, 2015, 06:56:26 AM
Holy cow, of course I forgot the limitless power of Mouser's settings pages. thanks Ath. You can even watermark all the images automatically.

Yeah, we politely cheer Mouser for the hard work he does in his apps, with a little light humor.

Mouser comes from the old school before Apple's i-stuff "simplified" things.

So somewhere in his apps is probably an analogue of this xkcd comic:

You know, Settings/Other/Recipes/Celery and Peanut Butter/Peanut Butter selection/

23  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: TreeDBNotes Pro - Christmas and New Year Discount: 50% on: January 26, 2015, 06:11:42 PM
I'm wondering whether at heart you'd prefer a single-pane outliner, if you could find one you liked?  Inspiration, perhaps?

I myself am having a little trouble even understanding what a single pane outliner *does*.

Sometimes once you have a paradigm in your head, you have trouble "un-learning it".

So, not counting the specifics of TreeDB, how do you not use two panes? (One for the outline and one for the data per node).

24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: January 22, 2015, 06:21:44 PM

Sometimes things with silly humor attached are cousins to "interesting stuff". But I'm putting it here for two funny DC-related topical spins.

Meet Daniel Browning Smith, contortionist.
(Sorry for those who can't get Youtube videos! I'm amnesiac so I keep forgetting but if someone knows a foolproof alt way to view these, dig me up!)
"If you allow him two inches for him to relax", the man fits himself into a box 18x18x18 inches.

Hilarity Ensuing:
1. Playing awesome jokes on various security agencies. The colleague would need to be near strongman level, but there's enough out there even that aren't actually competing, and "you only need one" for a stunt act.

2. Detective stories, especially the ones with the "gifted" star and the rest of the force is a little slow on the uptake. : )

3. On a good day, general saving on transport costs. Airports would be the toughest, but on trains and buses, you just wait until the conductor is all done, then he comes out.

25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: RightNote Revisited / Review (in lieu of a RN forum) on: January 22, 2015, 04:57:00 AM
Question:  I'm really curious why RightNote is free.

One generally thinks, "free", must not be so good.

However, RightNote seems to be a great outlining program.

Yes, there are the two charged-for versions, standard and pro.  But the free version is super as is.

Please explain.

Nicholas Kormanik

Well, I think half of the reason is that if I borrow your own phrasing a little, this is the right way to do "freemium".

If the free version is "super as is", then you can use it, and get comfortable with the basic and even whatever intermediate features are in the free version. You don't feel the pressure of "crippleware" to evaluate-or-die with a clock ticking at 30 days, or "oh look, you can customize a profile but you can't save it".

Then later on a relaxing day you look at the "upsell premium" features, and decide if there are any somewhat obscure but powerful features that are worth the upgrade price. That's how TreeDB became one of the only programs I ever spent money on - because it didn't feel like a pressure sell.

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