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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: November 23, 2014, 11:02:20 PM


Hmm. I don't know how I feel about this "pay for an ad free web" thing.

2  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Installer Crapware Wrapper Detection DLL on: November 23, 2014, 09:11:48 PM
...That's what I meant Iain, today it didn't seem to be there.
Yes, I realised that. I was posting not so much to agree with you as to say that I thought it used to be there (until very recently).
By the way, I forgot to mention that, depending on the source one used to download Java/Flash from, it could make a difference as to whether it had a PUP installed.

Oh you're right, it def used to be there. It made one of my rants because it wasn't even a wrapper, it was "the official source" from Oracle, with stuff bundled into it. But today it seemed to be gone. (I say seem, because it didn't show me anything, and I don't see strange toolbars in my browsers, but you never know with Oracle! But one lil' ol' Angry Bird ... uh ... couldn't have been the only one screaming at them for bundling. )

3  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Installer Crapware Wrapper Detection DLL on: November 23, 2014, 03:40:49 PM
Not sure if this is true today but I think Oracle's Java and/or Adobe/Macromedia Flash Player installs used to (and may still do) come bundled with the Ask.com web browser search installer.
From memory, I recall that MBAM (Malwarebytes) is able to detect some candyware as PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) that it has recorded in its virus signature database. It detects the signature files for PUPs in software installers and I think (but am not sure) that it may even sometimes be able to isolate/remove the PUP components from the main software install, leaving the basic software installer intact.

I shall post a query for clarification about this in the MBAM support forum and drop the answer in this thread.

That's what I meant Iain, today it didn't seem to be there.


4  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Installer Crapware Wrapper Detection DLL on: November 23, 2014, 02:17:19 PM
Quote
I think the detection should certainly trigger before the wrapper does anything;

This is almost certainly not realistic/practical.
The wrapper is going to do its own thing, and then unpack and launch your original pristine installer after it has offered up its bundled adware, etc.

If you wanted to physically stop the wrappers from running, the only solution is to have some other software already running (like an antivirus) that detected it and stopped it.  And if you are the kind of person who would run such a tool constantly in the background, you are also the kind of person who won't get bit by these wrapped installers in the first place.



However, I believe that the solution with the dll preventing your program from installing from a wrapper and telling the user why will accomplish the same goals.

The most likely result of having this dll prevent the wrapper from completing its installation, is that it will never be wrapped in the first place.

First, it's quite likely that the automated wrapper creation tool will abandon trying to wrap your program, meaning you will stop this problem before it ever gets to the user.  Second, if it they do try to distribute your wrapped program, it won't be long before they get enough complaints from users that downloaded it that they will remove the wrapper and put back your original.

Maybe this is a double barreled problem. For example, with me as your test case, "Anti-Virus" programs do nothing about junk installers. So what if you just spread a second project dll/file that looks for the top twelve junkware installers and sorta acts like an Anti-Virus addon? Aka "No they're not viruses, exactly, but they're mean. You probably shouldn't be running that. So whatever cool little tool you just tried to download was scooped up. Try to find the original copy."

Twist - sometimes the wrapped copy is the only one left after a few years. Web volatility and all.

It's like I want this utility to "scan inside itself" to see whatever it will *eventually* install, then notice that's not the same as the wrapped mess, then do something. It sounds easy in concept logic, prob tricky to really do.

Edit: I just installed a new copy of Java. They used to have a nasty installer, but I forgot what was bundled with it. Today the new one "just did what apparently it was supposed to". (We'll see!!)


5  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Installer Crapware Wrapper Detection DLL on: November 23, 2014, 12:49:31 PM
By my way of thinking, it's not important if this detection happens before or after the wrapper tries to install any adware or bundled crap.  The point of this DLL is not to prevent the wrapper from running -- it's to let your installer detect this case and decide what to do.  Some coders may decide that the best thing to do is warn the user, exit, and send the user to the REAL program web page.  Other coders may decide that the best thing to do is let the install complete but warn the user.

Ideally just the use of this dll will be enough to trigger these websites automatic wrapping tool to give up and not wrap the program.


Something bothers me here. I think if we're going to be proactive enough to spread a tool, we might want to be more aggressive. I think the detection should certainly trigger before the wrapper does anything; trigger as fast as possible. Most people have no idea how nasty the wrappers are.

It's practically a game of Minefield to unclick all the junk the wrapper wants to do, and that's assuming it even plays quasi fairly. (I think I saw a few stories, some don't!)

6  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Android App on: November 22, 2014, 04:18:39 AM

I haven't looked at those apps, but a quick suggestion just occurred to me if it's not already in there - a reverse or "detriment bar" you try to keep down.

Now excuse me while I eat my 5 slices of pizza ... er ... I mean baked ham and cucumbers!
: )

7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Of Superheroes, Remakes, Flashbacks/Forwards/Sideways and more on: November 21, 2014, 08:42:06 PM

I think I am noticing the old series has more campy humor scenes.

8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: November 21, 2014, 05:43:45 PM
Speaking for the darkly humored and criminally insane ...
 cheesy

We have it! The new euphenism! From the people who brought you Vertically Challenged ...

"I'm not insane. I'm Darkly-Humored/Humoured!"

9  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Pros/Cons re Microsoft EMET (Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit)? on: November 21, 2014, 05:38:45 PM

EMET was annoying me too. The reasons are too complex for me to remember/fit into this margin.

(Shout out to Fermat!)

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google Contributor: A New (not so new) way to fund the web on: November 21, 2014, 07:33:14 AM
According to this:

http://www.wired.com/2014/11/google-contributor/

Quote
In exchange for your support, you’ll see “thank you” messages where ads used to be—at least on the websites that participate in the program.


So let me get this straight, Google is going to be pushing you to cover your site in their ads, and then give people a way to throw some pennies at you in order to turn the ads into thank you images, and they take a cut of the money in the process?

This seems like an extremely cynical way to corrupt more sites into getting onto the google ad serving bandwagon, and just another step further down the road of ensuring that everyone is monetizing everything.
"Want people to be able to support your site? First cover it in ads, then we'll talk."

You're on to something, only Google threatens to make it non-niche.
A. Blanket ads
B. Pay to remove ads

Until now it was little experiments. But Google has the money to threaten to make it "normal".

11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Of Superheroes, Remakes, Flashbacks/Forwards/Sideways and more on: November 20, 2014, 11:46:36 PM
The older one was not well done- we'd not entered into the time where writers on superhero shows/movies realized one important element.  They have to be good shows/movies with a good plot first.  There are some decent analyses of the episodes on avclub.com that deconstruct them and the underlying themes therein.  There are some (several) points I disagree with... but it does inspire conversation and thought.

I think this is a bit slippery - "we stand on the shoulders of who has come before".

I think the first version isn't the worst TV series ever to emerge in 1990 ... So 24 years later, sure it looks better ...

It's like we gave Star Trek a one-time-pass to look awful first time around, and few other series since. Not that I am a Flash fan, but just sayin', we don't give very many other shows that kind of second chance.

Back to the Flash theme, it's important to note the first version spent half its time trying to stay "domestic" without the "meta-human" side of things ... filling in gaps of normal (for then) police work. The new version gives the police its due and races to solve meta-human episodes.

12  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: More General Ludum Dare fun on: November 20, 2014, 09:46:35 PM
Hmm. With the site changes, it's getting harder to drill down and deep.

Remember for ex, there's 2500 games in the last few entries, and several hundred in the last ten+.

But I'm having trouble getting to a "brute access" list of the entries.

I think the fastest "hack" for us (quasi/otherwise) techie types is the hack like this:

Using the idea that deep pages never die, only the front ends do ...

http://ludumdare.com/comp...m-dare-22/?action=preview
This is the page for the compo for "Alone".

So we can just change that number to be ... Anything from 15 and up. (I don't yet know how to drill cleanly below that.)





13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Of Superheroes, Remakes, Flashbacks/Forwards/Sideways and more on: November 20, 2014, 09:37:18 PM
Where would you classify characters like the modern Batman and Iron Man? Wayne and Stark are both normal humans. Perhaps a lot more technologically sophisticated and wealthy than most people. But their 'super' powers derive mainly from the technology and powered bodysuits they employ. If they have any super power it's their high IQs.

I posted a video that has a funny... but relevant line in it to the silly humor thread.  Namely, Drax tells Batman you should be called normal man in a suit that looks vaguely like a bat. And in all truth, as much as I love the Batman as a character, his real superpower is the audience's suspension of disbelief, and a lot of cool.  Either that, or he actually does have powers.  Because he does a *lot* that a normal human, no matter how well trained, cannot do.

He's not a "normal" human. He's closer to a western version of a gifted natural martial arts talent from China etc.

So while his body could "almost make sense" to a doctor in a hospital if he overdoes it, he doesn't exactly have super-powers, not something that he can just whip out and pummel disbelief with. Instead, it's more like "a grown-up prodigy". (For ex, ever seen those types? You play a 3 minute piece of music four times and they can play it note perfect?)



Even a gifted natural martial arts talent could not do a fraction of what he does in all truth.  And the cross-section of all the things that he is incredibly gifted in- it's not just physical. 

Granted to you. I'll leave you expertise as the upper in this discussion! : )

14  Other Software / Developer's Corner / More General Ludum Dare fun on: November 20, 2014, 09:31:11 PM
Thread for more general Ludum Dare adventures.

A few fellas have asked about my LD enthusiasm. I like to say it's like 20 parallel universe copies of the 1980's! (Because the 2-3 day time limit counters the older hardware of the times.) Plus, they feel like there is no stress - enjoy, or not, the games as they are - they're not part of the Memes of the Times. No one cares that I got a four miner win in Undermined.

And they feel accessible. I don't have the concentration to mount a 300 hour campaign against a lot of A-list titles. So I can float around these, even "nostaligically" play a few that look like 1983 all over again, and four to seven hours later, go on with my life.

Here is some basic info about the full series of LD. (Heavily edited from the site.)
#0    Apr 2002    Indirect Interaction (Beta (24h))    
#1    Jul 2002    Guardian    
#2    Nov 2002    Construction/Destruction (Minor: Sheep)    
#3    Apr 2003    Preparation – Set it up, let it go    
#4    Apr 2004    Infection
#5    Oct 2004    Random    
#6    Apr 2005    Light and Darkness    
#7    Dec 2005    Growth    
#8    Apr 2006    Swarms    
#8.5 Jan 2007    Moon / Anti-text (24h)    
#9    Apr 2007    Build The Level You Play    
#10    Dec 2007    Chain Reaction    
#10.5 Feb 2008    Weird / Unexpected / Surprise    
#11    Apr 2008    Minimalist    
#12    Aug 2008    The Tower    
#13    Dec 2008    Roads    
#14    Apr 2009    Advancing Wall of Doom    
#15    Aug 2009    Caverns    
#16    Dec 2009    Exploration    
#17    Apr 2010    Islands
#18    Aug 2010    Enemies as Weapons
#19    Dec 2010    Discovery    
#20    Apr 2011    It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this!
#21    Aug 2011    Escape    
#22    Dec 2011    Alone    
#23    Apr 2012    Tiny World    
#24    Aug 2012    Evolution    
#25    Dec 2012    You are the Villain
#26    Apr 2013    Minimalism
#27    Aug 2013    10 Seconds
#28    Dec 2013    You Only Get One    



Meanwhile, the site guy is changing his layout. I have to look at it more to figure it out.


15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Of Superheroes, Remakes, Flashbacks/Forwards/Sideways and more on: November 20, 2014, 09:15:22 PM
Where would you classify characters like the modern Batman and Iron Man? Wayne and Stark are both normal humans. Perhaps a lot more technologically sophisticated and wealthy than most people. But their 'super' powers derive mainly from the technology and powered bodysuits they employ. If they have any super power it's their high IQs.

I posted a video that has a funny... but relevant line in it to the silly humor thread.  Namely, Drax tells Batman you should be called normal man in a suit that looks vaguely like a bat. And in all truth, as much as I love the Batman as a character, his real superpower is the audience's suspension of disbelief, and a lot of cool.  Either that, or he actually does have powers.  Because he does a *lot* that a normal human, no matter how well trained, cannot do.

He's not a "normal" human. He's closer to a western version of a gifted natural martial arts talent from China etc.

So while his body could "almost make sense" to a doctor in a hospital if he overdoes it, he doesn't exactly have super-powers, not something that he can just whip out and pummel disbelief with. Instead, it's more like "a grown-up prodigy". (For ex, ever seen those types? You play a 3 minute piece of music four times and they can play it note perfect?)

16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: November 20, 2014, 09:12:40 PM
Is DonationCoder getting the same amount of snow as Buffalo?

Mu.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Of Superheroes, Remakes, Flashbacks/Forwards/Sideways and more on: November 20, 2014, 09:11:37 PM
The people concepts tend to be pretty simple.

True...however...

Where would you classify characters like the modern Batman and Iron Man? Wayne and Stark are both normal humans. Perhaps a lot more technologically sophisticated and wealthy than most people. But their 'super' powers derive mainly from the technology and powered bodysuits they employ. If they have any super power it's their high IQs.

Or Doc Savage? His powers derive mainly from a physical and mental developmental training program that started when he was conceived. No super anything with Doc. The implication is he's just a more 'realized' human potential. And that what he is, you could be too.

Where do these characters fit into the general superhero continuum?

Batman and IronMan I would put in a different category, to be "addressed later". (I'm not really up on my Doc Savage lore.)

I meant this time around that for "simple-metahuman" heroes, except for Superman who (writer-wise) was struggling with being handed too many powers, nearly everyone else was pretty simple in concept.

Level of control matters. I credit Bryan Singer's Xmen for really refreshing what "fine control" can do. At the bare (non-Jean-Grey) limits of powers, Ian McKellan's Magneto really shows what mastery can do with an ability. (Yank the Cali Bridge off its moorings, or assemble 300k molecules of iron out of someone's blood.)

18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Of Superheroes, Remakes, Flashbacks/Forwards/Sideways and more on: November 20, 2014, 09:06:07 PM
Besides the tech, I think it's important to figure out the roles of the police when a superhero is around.

I'd think with billion dollar Homeland tech, a vigilante would have a far harder time now than 20+ years ago.

I think that changes things.

I'm not quite sure how.

The Homeland tech is largely irrelevant in this case, as it will - and is -  only used for targeting crime/criminals with high political (e.g. vote generating) value. This way they don't have to run the risk of exposing how thoroughly they spying on everyone by accidentally eliminating - or largely denting - crime in general - As that would be bad for "business"..

...

Complex notion there, and I slightly disagree with it. I think too many modern shows have become near-ads for Homeland Tech. Besides the CSI type shows, looks what happened in the Mentalist. CBI - a few desktops, a few DMV lookups, a few other things, then hit the streets. Then that season change recently, and suddenly it's the FBI that wants Jayne, and they play with the Big Toys. So while corrupting the actual practices, they made sure to keep in the "be scared of us" mentality.

19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Of Superheroes, Remakes, Flashbacks/Forwards/Sideways and more on: November 20, 2014, 02:34:33 PM

Besides the tech, I think it's important to figure out the roles of the police when a superhero is around.

I'd think with billion dollar Homeland tech, a vigilante would have a far harder time now than 20+ years ago.

I think that changes things.

I'm not quite sure how.

20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: November 20, 2014, 10:19:34 AM

Just a random comment:

What if there was a super-proofed show, your choice of genre, with virtually no horrible bloopers? It's okay if episodes took longer than a week. (Think movies - TV shows produce 13-25 hours, movies are only two?!)

Instead of wasting the $40 million on CGI, use it to pull/poll a ton of pundits, experts, and flaw-finders to make sure everything is darn near perfect. (Prob can't use Homeland Security because they purposefully corrupt the TV shows to make sure their real tech isn't precisely shown!!)

I'd even go for the British model of "6 episodes per season", but with American budgets, just to have a show smash the bounds of getting the little details right!
Thmbsup

You could prob do five of these, each in its own genre.

21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Of Superheroes, Remakes, Flashbacks/Forwards/Sideways and more on: November 20, 2014, 09:58:44 AM
In the realm of literature, superheroes occupy a funny place.

Except for your choice of X older precursors, the modern superhero genre is a 20th century phenomenon.

(Tangent: It's one reason I thought Warehouse 13 was brilliant in concept, because the people mostly stayed people, and it's the objects that wandered around and did strange (and usually dangerous) stuff. )

So a lot of superhero concepts are based on really simple concepts.

For the next day or two, I am comparing the original 1990 Flash TV series with the brand new remake. (We'll see if the new one lasts ... the old one got canceled after one season! I haven't yet looked up the reason why. Was it semi ahead of its time? Are we more attuned to superhero shows now?)

The people concepts tend to be pretty simple. Flash. Fast Man.  The fastest man alive. (Almost? "Oh look, it's someone faster than you are!")  End of power.

It's the surroundings that move. The 1990's series was based on the days when police were losing the battles vs gangs. The new one clearly has the police in control of gangs, and went straight for the super-villain angle. Gangs are a thing of the past, sorta. Now there's hints that the police are too strong, and dipping a bit into Orwell's Big Brother. How times have changed!!

And the Flash show is supposed to feature a crime-solving-partner with cutting edge tech ... trouble is, that's just really hard to portray even for good writers with decent scripts. You just have the context of the times. So the 1990's show had all these DOS boxes around, (with a few Hollywood blips and beeps!). The new one has more hi-res display stuff.

22  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: New EU VAT rules change the game for digital businesses on: November 20, 2014, 09:48:43 AM
Citation?  smiley

Advanced Search, We luv ya! *

http://wordsthatchangethe...ld.com/2014/eudigitalvat/




* When my standby Startpage Advanced missed this, I was forced to go to the Evil G. So per some of my other posts, I don't know what database they are pulling from, but this is yet another hole.

23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Still weird: The mouse is more accurate than a finger on: November 19, 2014, 10:11:22 AM
good points.
The more I think about it, the more impressed I am by the mouse.  Tough to say, but it's one of very few inventions that was basically perfect right from the start, what, over 50 years ago?  Pretty amazing feat.

i really have no idea what the next input device breakthrough will be, especially in relation to touchscreens.

I'm guessing a data glove of various kinds.

For example, if I turn my optical mouse upside down, because it doesn't need the old trackball-in-a-cage, the only "useful" part of the mouse is a 0.5 by 1 inch little visual window, and maybe the buttons. The rest is this big battery-and-mysterious-mouserey stuff that prob doesn't need to be there if they use smartphone miniturization (spelling?) level of tech.

So imagine a (pair?) of gloves where the sensor is under a finger. Then you just slide your finger around on the table/pad/armchair.

As for the mouse-typing switch, just figure out a way to toggle between data-finger and typing-finger for the keyboard.

Think for a moment how much movement is wasted to move the cursor to type a post, then back up top to close the tab, then somewhere else.

Question: Is it possible with current Win XP tech to create TWO mice pointers, color coded? Then you leave one up near the top for that stuff, the other does regular stuff? I'm guessing not, but then I wouldn't have guessed virtual desktops either! (Or any of a million other things!)



24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: NEMO UX - the shape of the desktop to come? on: November 18, 2014, 04:41:02 PM

I did have my phase when I really did want comps to look like that!!

Now it's just a bit tricky to imagine how you don't just have A "Windows-y/Apple/'Nix paradigm" (or command line).
Part of it is the strange new skills called for!

25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Latest Avast deleting Firefox add-ons on: November 18, 2014, 04:33:23 PM

I might be wrong because this is so long since then, but I wonder if the old Norton GoBack could have fixed this. I vaguely remember it could be set "hard" to recover darn near everything, certainly files. I had that on a Win2000 comp back in the day.

Then I think I recall that when I tried to put it on WinXP, MS's own "restore" function fought Norton, leaving the "grass of the comp" basically hosed when the elephants were done fighting. I think it almost failed to boot at all except I think I weaseled around it in safe mode.

I thought Anti-Virus programs were supposed to "quarantine" programs and you could restore them later. I don't recall ever using one that randomly deleted important stuff I had without issuing a report of "The following X files were tagged to take action. Do A, B, or C."

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