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1  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2014 / Re: NANY 2014 Release: Blasteroids on: April 17, 2014, 07:34:43 PM
Another release:

  • Fixed blank name being used for high score and things.
  • [Android] Fixed hidden achievements not revealing themselves properly.
  • [Android] Fixed Google Play Games Services display delay.
2  Other Software / Developer's Corner / How NOT to Sort by Average Rating on: April 16, 2014, 04:58:53 PM
I came across an article today that explains some flaws in commonly used sorting methods, with examples of why they're wrong, and then proposes a nice solution for more accurately sorting the truly higher rated stuff on top.

PROBLEM: You are a web programmer. You have users. Your users rate stuff on your site. You want to put the highest-rated stuff at the top and lowest-rated at the bottom. You need some sort of "score" to sort by.

WRONG SOLUTION #1: Score = (Positive ratings) - (Negative ratings)

Why it is wrong: Suppose one item has 600 positive ratings and 400 negative ratings: 60% positive. Suppose item two has 5,500 positive ratings and 4,500 negative ratings: 55% positive. This algorithm puts item two (score = 1000, but only 55% positive) above item one (score = 200, and 60% positive). WRONG.

Sites that make this mistake: Urban Dictionary

WRONG SOLUTION #2: Score = Average rating = (Positive ratings) / (Total ratings)

Why it is wrong: Average rating works fine if you always have a ton of ratings, but suppose item 1 has 2 positive ratings and 0 negative ratings. Suppose item 2 has 100 positive ratings and 1 negative rating. This algorithm puts item two (tons of positive ratings) below item one (very few positive ratings). WRONG.

Sites that make this mistake: Amazon.com

The article goes on to propose a better method of sorting things by their rating. A method which has even been endorsed by Randall Munroe of xkcd fame, so you know it's good. (c:

Anyway, be sure to read the full article here:
3  Other Software / DC Gamer Club / Re: Rusty's Real Deal Baseball: Most Effed Up Game Ever on: April 15, 2014, 07:18:53 PM
Interesting how one of the reviews is glowingly positive with hardly a mention of any negative aspects of the game, while the other two indicate the game is disturbing in many ways, not fun in a few, and enjoyable in others.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: April 15, 2014, 07:10:29 PM

That's funny. But could be considered a photoshop fail. Look at the book's spine. (c:
5  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2014 / Re: NANY 2014 Release: Blasteroids on: April 15, 2014, 03:10:20 AM
I hope your hand recovers soon. Thmbsup

I still haven't graduated to the world of tweeting tongue

You don't actually need to tweet or have a Twitter account or even know what that Tweeterer thing on those newfangled interwebs is. The bot has its own account and it tweets stuff on its own. I've seen two tweets made about other people. Finally I have proof that other people play my games. (c:

(And by "other people" I mean people who don't give me feedback about it or let me know they're playing it. i.e. people who wouldn't otherwise interact with me.)

I often get the impression that the only time anybody plays the games I make is when I show it off to them (in person) or when I post about it here as part of NANY or whatever. But then when NANY is over I feel like nobody who was playing it is still playing it and also that nobody else is discovering it and playing it for the first time. So it's really cool for me to see that twitter bot make tweets about other people playing my games. (c:
6  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2014 / Re: NANY 2014 Release: Blasteroids on: April 14, 2014, 02:35:03 PM
I just released a new version of Blasteroids that fixes a couple of things, but also has a fun way to see what other players are doing. I made a Twitter bot that will tweet some basic stats about games being played, like how far someone got when they died, or a new high score, etc.


Of course, there's not much there since 1) not many people play my games in the first place and 2) most people who do play my games probably haven't updated to the version with the Twitter bot yet.

More details about this release (and downloads) can be found here: http://blog.deozaan.com/2...ids-v1-140412-3-released/
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 12, 2014, 12:38:37 PM
Missing link from Apps article above added here to encourage reading: What Happened When One Man Pinged the Whole Internet.

As best as I can tell, that article is almost a year old. And it says "In February last year" which would place the "personal census" he ran in February 2012. Why did he sit on that census for over a year before publishing his results?

Scary, either way.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 12, 2014, 02:29:12 AM
Reports coming in from unconfirmed sources that the NSA has been utilizing Heartbleed for years.

Of course, I have to say I totally saw this coming. This is the kind of massive security breach that would explain their uncanny ability to get into any system anywhere at any time. A simple exercise in spreading disinformation to seed people's trust in the affected library and cover up the flaw would allow them to preserve it for so many years unnoticed.

Which means that all those people concealing their activities using SSH, Tor, and proxies? Yeah. The NSA was way ahead of them.

And if they allowed this vulnerability to be revealed now, what even better trick do they have up their sleeves? ohmy

tongue Wink
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Are your websites secure? The heartbleed bug on: April 11, 2014, 03:00:42 PM
LastPass will check your passwords to see if they're potentially affected by the HeartBleed vulnerability.

Yesterday we informed our community of the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug. In our blog post, we explained how this security issue impacted our service and what our users should know about the situation. We also built a tool to help our users start checking to see if their sites and services had reissued their certificates, so that users would know if it was safe to start updating passwords for those sites: https://lastpass.com/heartbleed

To help our users take action and protect themselves in the wake of Heartbleed, we've added a feature to our Security Check tool. LastPass users can now run the LastPass Security Check to automatically see if any of their stored sites and services were 1) Affected by Heartbleed, and 2) Should update their passwords for those accounts at this time.

The LastPass Security Check can be run from the LastPass Icon menu. Click the LastPass icon in the browser toolbar, click the Tools menu, and select the Security Check.

In the Security Check results, we alert you to sites affected by Heartbleed:

10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: How is youtube tracking me? on: April 10, 2014, 04:08:00 PM
And make sure you're not logged into your Google/YouTube account when viewing videos.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Robotic Ball Controlled by Anroid/iPhone/iPad on: April 10, 2014, 04:06:33 PM
Put the ball into a hamster ball into a giant human-sized bubble ball thingy. cheesy
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: April 10, 2014, 04:04:57 PM
I like how the word for polar bears sounds like (and probably is) "icebear" Thmbsup
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Ubuntu One (cloud) file services ending soon on: April 10, 2014, 03:55:16 PM
Bad news when cloud services byte (Wink) the dust.

From an email I received earlier today:

from:    Ubuntu One noreply@one.ubuntu.com
date:    Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 1:32 PM
subject:    Ubuntu One file services


We are writing to you to notify you that we will be shutting down the Ubuntu One file services, effective 1 June 2014. This email gives information about the closure and what you should expect during the shutdown process.

As of today, it will no longer be possible to purchase storage or music from the Ubuntu One store. The Ubuntu One file services apps in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores will be updated appropriately.

As always, your content belongs to you.  You can simply download your files onto your PC or an external hard drive.  While the service will stop as of 1 June, you will have an additional two months (until 31 July 2014) to collect all of your content. After that date, all remaining content will be deleted.

If you have an active annual subscription, the unused portion of your fees will be refunded. The refund amount will be calculated from today's announcement.

We know you have come to rely on Ubuntu One, and we apologise for the inconvenience this closure may cause.  We've always been inspired by the support, feedback and enthusiasm of our users and want to thank you for the support you've shown for Ubuntu One. We hope that you'll continue to support us as together we bring a revolutionary experience to new devices.

The Ubuntu One team

Thank goodness for DRM-free storage. That's the one nice thing about all this. I never relied on Ubuntu One cloud storage for anything, and what I do have there (a single album I bought a couple years ago) can easily be retrieved and stored elsewhere before the deadline.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch) on: April 09, 2014, 02:10:50 PM
Still thinking about how to make it look like a kitten though.

Surely you can manage something so simple. You're an expert, right?
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 09, 2014, 02:08:38 PM
Turn off Automatic updates - there won't be any now since MS turned off the updates except for the malware/scareware nag screen.

The nag/notification was a part of Windows Update. It was separate from other updates. I think you should be able to just manually deselect it and hide it so that it never shows up in the list again, meanwhile other updates (such as MSE definition updates, etc.) will continue to download.
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch) on: April 08, 2014, 04:33:56 PM
Yes of course. A red, perpendicular link. But in a transparent font.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch) on: April 08, 2014, 04:27:15 PM
Hi phitsc,

Funny video. (c:

I believe you have the ability to remove it yourself. If not, you could at least update your post to link to the thread it was already posted in. (c:
18  DonationCoder.com Software / Skwire Empire / Re: Skwire Empire Problems? on: April 08, 2014, 04:25:43 PM
It's not just you.

19  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Is it possible to speed dial group of tabs in Firefox? on: April 08, 2014, 03:59:43 AM
Doesn't Firefox already have Tab groups as a built in feature? huh
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: April 08, 2014, 02:38:05 AM
Windows 7 is awesome. It's not perfect, but it's the best Windows experience I've ever had.

Sadly, my netbook doesn't run it (or XP) very well, so I've recently installed Linux Mint XFCE on it in place of XP.
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind on: April 08, 2014, 02:33:08 AM
That said, there have been times where I paid for quality, most recently when I bought my wife a Vita-Mix.  She was having health problems, and needed a good blender to make raw vegetable juices with.  I took their advertised health claims with a grain of salt and focused on the 2hp motor, the legendary durability, and the 7-year warranty.  THAT is what I paid for, but we got more in return.  We would have worn out 3 or more consumer-level blenders by now, and the results would have been mediocre in comparison.  This is a tangible, demonstratable fact, not a 'perception of value'.  
...Which is why I almost blew my stack when my son bought the most expensive tires available for his beater truck and said 'yes' to the extra 15 bucks for '(something)-izing' which is supposed to make the tires last longer and grip better.
Yep, sure.  You betcha.  huh

I got a Blend-tec blender a few years ago and experienced similar results. It was awesome.

The tire thing is called striping or siping or something like that. They cut slices into the tires which allows them to flex a bit and adds more surface area so they can get better traction. Or at least that's what I understood of how it was explained to me. I'm not sure I've ever heard them claim it makes the tires last longer (and I'm not sure how slicing a tire up would increase its durability).

This seems like it would fit well in this thread:

When news first broke of Neil Young's plans to serve up high-resolution listening to audiophiles last year, we wondered how he'd get folks to splurge for a $400 player and re-buy their existing libraries. Sure, six to 30 times the resolution of MP3s looks great on paper, but will we really be able to hear the difference? The rock icon says yes, and it's because there's nothing that's currently available that even comes close to Pono. Young says that existing audio formats are unable to adequately present a full range of tones, so he "decided to create an ecosystem that provided exactly what the artist created."

[ . . . ]

He's super clear about one detail: PonoMusic isn't offering a new file format or standard. What the repository will serve up is FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files that range from CD-quality 1,411 kbps (44.1 kHz/16 bit) up to 9,216 kbps (192 kHz/24-bit), depending on what's available from that album's master recordings. This means that listeners will have access to the highest-resolution version of an album that exists and the player needed to do them justice.

I'm a skeptic, that's for sure. Especially because it seems to contradict itself. In one sentence it says "existing audio formats are unable to adequately present a full range of tones" and shortly later it says "PonoMusic isn't offering a new file format or standard. What the repository will serve up is FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files."

I'm pretty sure that FLAC is an existing audio format. huh
22  Special User Sections / What's the Best? / Re: Best PC User Time Controller? on: April 07, 2014, 01:50:21 PM
I'm tempted to try the Kids PC Time Administrator that app mentioned above, looks like it could do a great job. What's missing is granular control over Internet sites.  In our house the kids could surf Youtube all day, it would be nice to have some capability to control the maximum Youtube time per day the same way it does computer time.

In that case, I'd look around for browser extensions. For example, on Chrome there's an extension called StayFocusd which will limit the time you can spend browsing, with a whitelist which allows unlimited time for certain sites.
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: send PNG by email but inserted into email instead of as an attachment on: April 07, 2014, 01:43:56 PM
This probably isn't that helpful to you since it's not about Outlook, but FWIW: Gmail automatically inserts attachments inside the emails these days. That is, you can simply click and drag a photo into your email that you're composing, and it will insert and display it inline (where you drop it) instead of listing it as a download at the top/bottom of the email.

P.S. You don't need to edit your post to notify you of replies. Just click the Notify button:

24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: LINUX: Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 201403 ISOs just released on: April 03, 2014, 07:59:00 PM
I think I figured it out... kind of.

Cinnamon seems to be based on KDE Plasma Desktop. Or at least it looks very similar.
MATE is based on Gnome 2, which I'm most familiar with due to usually choosing Gnome as my Ubuntu WM over the years.
XFCE is really lightweight, so would probably be great for an aging netbook. (But there's no Linux Mint Debian Edition that comes with XFCE.)

So for my netbook, which is currently running Windows XP (which is warning me that it's no longer supported by Microsoft), I'll probably switch it over to Linux Mint 16 XFCE.

25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: April 1, 2014 on: April 02, 2014, 02:52:46 PM
Yesterday I was uploading some photos of a hiking trip last summer to a Google+ album, and when I clicked the finish button it asked me to tag the faces of people in the photos. One of them was a celebrity. I was like, "How the smurf did we get an image of him anywhere in there?"

Google photobombed my photo as an April Fool's joke.

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