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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Thoughts on "Piracy". on: Today at 01:23:16 AM

Good post 40hz. I want to drift this slightly sideways that the "college model" is under fire from all this. Typical "entry level" college semesters are jut batches of 40 lectures per course per year. For X thousands of dollars.

I've remarked here and there, just release the set of lectures, and the only "value" is about ten questions per semester.


2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: November 27, 2014, 11:33:50 PM
I just had a nice, demented conversation with Racter. The main problem with doing that is that it is a 16-bit DOS program. Does anyone here still have and can run Racter? I needed D-Fend-Reloaded-1.4.2 in order to do it. I never thought that there was a DOS program that Win XP didn't like. I guess it draws the line at 16-bit programs. Does anyone here know of any sites that run on a 16-bit DOS system?

I've vaguely seen lots of dos progs my comp doesn't like, but I don't have details. The age of 16 bit feels vaguely similar as well.

3  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The potential time/cost benefits of improved code efficiency. on: November 26, 2014, 02:18:48 PM
It's just a bit sad.

Part of my quasi-infamous Ludum Dare craze was because it harkened back to times when programming was about wresting every ounce of coolness out of ailing hardware. (Really, race the beam, and soul of a new machine!?)

Now we are going all biz-y about stuff. "Ho hum, let's just hire cheaper devs."

Sad
4  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Installer Crapware Wrapper Detection DLL on: November 26, 2014, 03:00:37 AM
Oh, and to pull this thread back on track:

Yes, please devise tooling to avoid Crapware and Installer-wrappers Thmbsup

I  agree with your objections and second your questions.
This feels like a lawsuit-avoidance tactic. "Starting with version ...
The above combination makes me really wonder why in earth's name a big multinational, like Oracle pretends to be, has to include crapware for some infamous minority like "Ask" Sad

We might BE on track.

In a great world, such a tool would notice junkware from official sources as well as raw "bundling".

This was one of those test cases I think is useful. "Why is Ask-anything involved with a Java upgrade?!"

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: K-Meleon anyone? on: November 26, 2014, 02:47:27 AM

If it were "just up to competition" this last couple of posts would work for me, but when you start getting quasi-forced ads vs the general sneakiness of Google (Chrome), I get a little upset that just doing "old style computing" is getting so hard! (You know, just do a command, and not have to out-think the weird-ware drifting by!)

Sad
6  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Installer Crapware Wrapper Detection DLL on: November 26, 2014, 02:35:27 AM
The offer to install the Search App by Ask was still there, and checked by default.
Oracle actually offers a solution for disabling those 'sponsor offers': https://www.java.com/en/d...ad/faq/disable_offers.xml

This feels like a lawsuit-avoidance tactic. "Starting with version ... and ..." - and it's buried at the bottom of control panel / java / advanced?! /I didn't even know that control panel existed!

See my Fake Nany post in the basement - disabling and wiggling out of these offers is like a bad version of minesweeper! "Look! It's a game! If you win you can install only the program you wanted! But if you lose, you get to spend hours removing junk from your system!"

7  DonationCoder.com Software / N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: Installer Crapware Wrapper Detection DLL on: November 26, 2014, 02:28:37 AM
I just had to make a Java update today.  The offer to install the Search App by Ask was still there, and checked by default. Sad

This confuses me because it *wasn't* there in my copy a few days ago!
Holy Schrodinger offers!
tellme
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: New square monitor (27" 1920x1920) on: November 24, 2014, 08:40:37 PM
Until it died, I had a "slightly more vertical" widescreen monitor, and I get the extra vertical room. But I'm far from sure a pure square layout is the answer either!!

I now have a "more wide" widescreen ... when you get birthday presents you just have to adapt ...

I vaguely think I miss the vertical room, but only about three apps I use really aggressively used the ratio. I wouldn't want a pure square.

If nothing else, on a horo monitor, you can "hide" windows in the last couple of inches. a square isn't so easy to do that with.

9  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.

10  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. )

11  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.


12  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!!)


13  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!)

14  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!
: )

15  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.

16  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!"

17  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!)

18  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".

19  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.

20  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.)





21  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! : )

22  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.


23  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?)

24  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.
25  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.)

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