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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What books are you reading? on: November 11, 2014, 06:14:22 PM
(Numbering might change in the future!)        : )
I'm starting to get back into my old Buddhist training.
Round 1A1's set is Zen.

1A1 - a: Book of Serenity - (The slightly less well known of the two famous collections) ... because on day 1 of my new beginner multicultural meditation class our teacher tossed out #9 Nanquan's cat. I both missed it having not read that tome, and missed any remotely interesting answer because of 20 years of rust!

But back in the day, in my good job, I built a pretty good private library (including Buddhism), so I found it pretty fast - I figured:
"Okay, I have two tomes of the famous koans. Either he picked one of those, and since I only glanced at a few out of 200, sure he could have found one I hadn't seen. Or, he could have found an ultra obscure one, at which point I get to ask him why that one?" But yes/no, it was there - Nanquan's Cat, Book of Serenity #9.

1A1 - b: Blue Cliff Record - The "slightly more well known of the two collections".

1A1 - c: Compass of Zen by Seung Sahn. A "more modern" take on the overlap of Indian classical Buddhism and zen, but with a few modern teachings that clarify some sticky points.

More sets to come later!

52  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Veteran's Day on: November 11, 2014, 06:06:19 PM

Yeah, thank you, even when govt services go down. After varying brief intervals of dismay at having wasted X hours prepping something, the thanks are far more important. At least for me, it's not like it was 1-day or bust ... there's always a bunch of other days.

53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Everything You Need To Start Making Webcomics For Free on: November 11, 2014, 06:03:54 PM
He's holding the pen wrong... >_<

Heh yeah, shouldn't that be rotated at least 30 degrees to the top right? : )

54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Call to arms on net neutrailty on: November 11, 2014, 06:00:47 PM

(Speed posted having not read the thread so bear with me!)
I saw a headline on a free paper on the floor at the subway here in NYC - headline "Prez wants stricter Net Neutrality".

That could mean "almost" anything, but at least it had the word "stricter" and not "looser" which NEVER goes the other way!

55  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Firefox begins its mass rollout of ads on new tab tiles on: November 11, 2014, 10:30:22 AM
As online business models go one can say lots of things of course but regarding Mozilla I wonder how long their Google relationship will last (I guess you all know how much of their income is Google based?) Tiles is probably the wrong way but if they are smart they have been looking beyond Google because even if it does last for a while longer it stopped being healthy once Chrome came along

Sure, there's a bit of a lag sometimes between the length of the original contract for revenue (marketing) and the rollout of a new software offering (tech).

So I agree, Mozilla needs to find something new to do ... but not ads! But I don't know where it is either.

56  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Firefox Developer Edition on: November 11, 2014, 05:36:07 AM
I used to use a portable version of Firefox, loaded up with nothing but dev tools, till the Aurora crap showed up. Then I replaced it with a portable Pale Moon, with the same dev tools.

I might use this Developer Edition, if/when it's available in a portable version, since there are some differences between how Pale Moon and the latest Firefox renders pages.

Check their pages - I don't know the release lag between reg and portable versions. Just to be fast to get some topics going, I downloaded the simple main release, but on their full page of versions somewhere they might already have the portable version. (Will that have ad-sponsor tiles even in Portable!? I don't know, the ramifications of all this start to get beyond me depending how they "push" ads into tiles.)

I do know this ... Web 2.5 (with the solidification of the big gun social media services) banked (unfortunately correctly) that "mass users are uneducated about a lot of tech". But we might also have a case of "In the Marketing Department, did the VP of Revenue get into a fight with the VP of Tech Development?" Because to release a *developer* version right on top of 'Look, they forgot to branch the codebase', developers are *the* smartest part of the browser user codebase. So then to simultaneously infest the "super-user" version of Firefox with the ad-tiles ... sounds like a fight that isn't going to end well!

57  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Firefox begins its mass rollout of ads on new tab tiles on: November 11, 2014, 05:25:56 AM
Now for the second half of "notice", I will pick either FF regular (and / or FF Developer!) and begin seeing what triggers an ad and how long it takes. (How bad are they blanketing the ads?) To do this I am turning Adblock off, "to give them their fastest shot at me", and then we can see what effect Adblock does with tiles if my turned off copy starts getting something and then other people don't. A bit loose for methodology, but the best I can do ad-hoc. What I most wanted to do was raise the topic. Normally I just turn tiles off altogether and someone on Slashdot says that also removes (most?) possibilities of tile-ads off.

Yeah, PS App I agree with you, but fortunately, by starting with open codebases, we aren't quite as trapped as back then, so those other FF-mod projects out there will be an alternative with (almost?) the same features as "brand FF". (And think, full circle, Mozilla was so feisty about their brand vs the Debian crew not budging, that's how IceWeasel showed up to begin with ... though I don't know what they'll do about this, if all they did was a logo change. Palemoon seems more active with direct code optimizations they feel are right.)

Edit: To best simulate a "normal user", I am also re-toggling "remember browser, search, and form history" back on, and not using any private browse pages. There's a small chance their ad-base is small and the ads may not show up for a while. But that's why the topic is here - DC is really good at having us "put stuff in the back of our minds", then waiting for updates in news.

Better yet, if anyone can stand it, let's do a mini faux award for "FF Ad Bingo"! The first one to get an ad tile wins! (Screen shot highly suggested so we can study it.)

Heh - it will be a little unnerving surfing the web "without a winter jacket" and the regular user tools!

Edit2: My tiles started off blank. I'm getting my first few "normal" ones in. PS I never realized how painful Youtube ads are without Adblock! 45 second ads for like 3 min of content! Start your percentage skeet shooter guns!

Edit: I just got a sponsored tile! (Oh dear, I'm excited to get an ad. But just the first one. It's hell from here on out!)

58  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Firefox begins its mass rollout of ads on new tab tiles on: November 11, 2014, 05:17:40 AM
I haven't noticed anything on my Firefox like this yet.
But as for your Firefox, nope, haven't noticed anything like you pointed out yet.
PS - I use AdBlock Plus and Ad Muncher.

Well, let's get into what variant of definition of "notice" you meant, and that's one reason I made the thread - because I didn't "notice" it either, for *both* variants of "notice".

1. Cruising along, (I'll get into Adblock soon), and happen to have tiles turned on, and then you make a new tab, and then suddenly one or more of those tiles makes you exclaim "Hey! I never visited any pages like that!?"

2. See this official announcement:
Slashdot's copy where I learned about it: http://news.slashdot.org/...duckduckgo-search-and-ads

Venturebeat article: http://venturebeat.com/20...ed-tiles-to-new-tab-page/

Key phrase that Slashdotters began discussing: (( Double Parens are mine))
In addition to ((the debut of the Firefox Developer Edition, Mozilla today announced new features for its main Firefox browser. The company is launching a new Forget button in Firefox to help keep your browsing history private, adding DuckDuckGo as a search option, )) and rolling out its directory tiles advertising experiment.


After experimenting with adding ads to Firefox Nightly in late August, Mozilla is now ready to start pushing its sponsored directory tiles to all Firefox users. Previously, Firefox’s new tab page would remain empty until you established a browsing history.

When you first launch Firefox now, a message on the new tab page will inform you what tiles are (with a link to a support page about how sponsored tiles work), promise that the feature abides by the Mozilla Privacy Policy, and remind you that you can simply turn tiles off. If you do turn them off, you’ll get a blank new tab page and will avoid Firefox’s ads completely.

Firefox users should “expect a lot more experimentation in advertising,” Mozilla Senior Engineering Manager Gavin Sharp told VentureBeat. That may not be what most want to hear, but Mozilla is eager to find new revenue streams, as long as it manages to keep the privacy of its users intact."

59  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Firefox begins its mass rollout of ads on new tab tiles on: November 10, 2014, 11:50:05 PM
Okay, Firefox just stabbed themselves in the foot with a fork again. (Less dangerous than shooting it! And if you keep stabbing it enough, it raises the bottom line! ... Uh... by treating the (slightly smarter than IE) userbase as ... idiots?!)

Now they have decided, after testing in the test channels, to roll out ad tiles in Firefox.

Fine, there's plenty of ads everywhere else, and we go through the big discussion of adblock vs whitelisting a very few sites.

But ads in the browser proper?! That just feels wrong on so many levels! That's just smelling like giving the FF mod editions a lead in the race. The first few Slashdot comments are up, and so far they're "restrained". (I used the new Firefox Forget button, and I now forget ... didn't Firefox lose their big Google revenue stream contract? So, did they hit a cash crunch that the CFO decided to fix with ads in the browser?) But more importantly, I'd half expect the other Big Companies to do this, but Mozilla?! They were (once?) "the cool kids". So how can they not know that some corners of their base won't be so ... restrained?!

So for y'all on Palemoon, I so hope they use this to further promote themselves.

Iceweasel came up, which is also a good option at least for Linux. Is there a Windows version of Iceweasel? I ignored long running performance problems because the rule is "assume incompetence before malice" ... but now they just added malice! That's enough to make me boycot them, and just use the derivative mod editions out there. So, besides a guess at iceweasel for Win, P-M I have, is there a third such mod edition out there so I can go back to my 3-copy set usage style I just started working on today?

60  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 09:34:27 PM
Per sort categories, do you know if it pulls the same games in the same order?

I believe so, but I haven't done anything to absolutely verify that to be the case.

Well, it's unclear this early, but LD has already flipped their rotator (it might be automated) because the new ones on page 1 are nothing I recognize. On the itch.io under All Games / Most Rated, there's a black circle logo called Close your eyes. So if that stays there, we have our answer. The small nuisance is that there's no "page #", more of a Tumblr Super-Scroll, but then that's something I can use one of my third copies of FF to do and park it on a less used virtual desktop splitter tab and then slowly drift through it bit by bit.
61  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Firefox Developer Edition on: November 10, 2014, 04:36:29 PM
Anyone had a chance to use this "for real" yet?

I just got a copy just to see what it's like, though I'm massively unqualified to use the actual tools!

However, it DOES change the UI - Aurora is gone!

It's back to some kind of one of the older square layouts, and yes, all the menus are back on top where they belong - none of this "let's hide everything under one button" junk!

I did have to put back in Classic Theme Restorer to fix some minor prefs of mine.
- Menu, Nav Toolbar, Tabs, in that order.
- I like the full quad of back, forward, stop, and reload buttons in that order on the left side. (Their original reload button is jammed way on the right of the address bar and I can't easily get rid of it, so I might have two reload buttons now. Who cares, that's nothing.)
- View/Toolbars/Customize is stripped pretty badly in the native version of most new Firefoxes, so CTR adds back a bunch of stuff you might have used. That's where I got those other buttons from - they weren't there to begin with in Customize.
- At some point a "Forget" button showed up in Customize, and I think it's from CTR, which should be interesting to try. For ex, when I get done with a LD marathon and I have 8 browser windows and 9 tabs each, my particular comp seems to make a big deal out of closing tabs ... it lags pretty badly for obscure reasons. So sometimes I go to Win Task Mgr, and just nuke the process... but on the days I was viewing 25 Youtube clips, sometimes the browser tries to "remember it all" and load them all back in at once. So "Forget" could be neat just to nuke all that stuff away, and then go back to more Ludum games er... real work!
- The usual tiny tweaks such as colors and spacing that CTR is known for.

So I always like to have "multi clones" of Firefox, it's actually a different process, so when I've got 25 Youtube clips open and Flash crashes, and I want to restart, at least I won't lose other open things such as email.

Now that I have a "third" clone of FF, I might even make it Email-Only, whereupon it leaves me two clones to "do rec things with", and then email can be sitting on another tab in my virtual desktop splitter, and still be open even if I close the other two. I'll think about that.

Looks like the Forget button was a new feature only just rolled out in "reg FF 33", but Dev Edition seems to be 35.0a2 from the Aurora channel.

62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Stephen Fry's eloquent response to Grammar Nazis on: November 10, 2014, 03:14:45 PM


I do get tiny internal cringes when I see store signs with "basic" grammar errors with the apostrophes and stuff. But maybe it's a good lesson to end the even momentary better-than-you attitude upon seeing them, and just move on to the actual point of the day's activity.

63  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 02:58:42 PM
I prefer to browse the entries through this portal:


This is interesting:
Per sort categories, do you know if it pulls the same games in the same order?

One discouraging thing about the LD site is that I'm pretty sure at x intervals, when you do "preview", it pulls different games for the "first page" etc on different days. So I was getting tired, but I'd bet a sandwich that after having gone through 16 of 106 pages, what's on today's page 1 is not the same page 1 I looked at yesterday! So it's tricky to mark your progress and be methodical!

And yes, the changeable icons make some difference. I'll have to find a way somehow to merge using both pages.

64  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 02:44:14 PM
Here's a non-LD game I'd like to see your opinion on. It's definitely Phoenix-Easy.


(Edit 3 - I messed up this post. Tagged to look at, etc. See below.)

65  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 05:05:13 AM
Okay, this post is for games that look pretty good, but are too hard for me!

So there's a couple reasons why a game could get here for being too hard. One is that something like the art is amazing but the overall game just makes you die too fast. Another is the info management is simply too complex for me to snap-grasp since I'm surveying pretty fast on look and feel. But I know some of you geniuses out there want stuff that's more challenging than half the reviews I post, so look here.

Managing connections in an emotion-energy power plant between some 50 planets and 10 fuse types each with a metal profile.
Hard: Info Complexity

Generation Ship
Another info management game of some kind, this time on a spaceship. The art is incredible looking!

66  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 04:45:13 AM
Monster Dude's World.

Another Phoenix Easy one, because I beat it in about a minute. You really have to blunder badly to die!


This is another one all about the art, and "stay simple and finish, rather than get complicated and run out of time".

67  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 04:26:40 AM
Dance Party

A truly silly one!
It says Chrome but I squeezed it to work in FF.

The art is so silly here, it's the point. It's a bit like HyperboleAndAHalf.

Rated Phoenix Med-Easy because you can get going a little after a couple tries to figure out the controls. But it does pick up, and starts getting harder after about the 2 min point.

68  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 03:47:27 AM
This is a funny little one, but kinda another one you only play once.

Many Ninjas

It's basically a resource building game, where you try to attract and train the most ninjas to your camp as possible.

It's Phoenix Easy because there's no lose condition. Then again, you only play it once because there's no win condition either. I decided that ___ e120 was enough to declare a "neo win".

69  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 12:43:27 AM
Apparently LD's version of Flappy Bird


70  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 10, 2014, 12:30:40 AM
Attack of the super ninja nazies from another dimension - juakob - 48 Hour Compo Entry

A funny little spoof of old Nintendo fighting games.
Punch the health bag to get hp back.

Beat up the Nazis just to get them out of the way (they spawn), then beat up the machine to win.

Tip: It's got the "Brokken flaw" of World Heroes 2 - your kicks are about 5 times stronger than your punches, and I didn't even need to jump. Just a little experience from some of those old fighting games helps you navigate the space - placement of the screen elements.

With that it is Phoenix Easy on the first level, though each time you win it seemed to spawn Nazis a little faster, though that's not clear.

71  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 09, 2014, 11:13:08 PM
Planet Hop

Planets circle each other, and you control a little red ball.

Press any key to hop back and forth. The key is you have to get the hang of the speed it takes before the planet gets to where it needs to be for you to hop. Like Nasa missions for five year olds!

Phoenix Medium.
If your hand-eye is good and you have a knack for the spatial timing, you'll do well. But if you don't, one missed connection hop and you lose. It's not my forte so I ended my tests after a best score of 8 in some 50 games.


72  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 09, 2014, 11:00:16 PM
Okay, a couple of these are for you guys who like minimal info!

Other Side - Raphy - Jam Entry

Single tip:
Travel to the right for about 30 seconds to find the stones, then wait for night. Then figure it out ... in 30 seconds once you get the concept!

73  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Ludum Dare 30: August 22-25, 2014 on: November 09, 2014, 08:59:51 PM
Okay, while hanging out in the chat room, it became another LD day!

First up:
Anima et Corpus

You are disembodied, having entered a tragic zombie-esque state, and you need to re-unite your physical and spirit states in the "scroll room". It's pretty simple per se - you need to move your body half and your ghost half into the room with the scroll, sometimes they need to touch or merge.

It's neat that the body half walks (spacebar jumps), and the spirit half floats with a delay like the ship in asteroids.

Using the "e" key, you toggle between your body state and your ghost state.

It really is Phoenix Easy, which I always find pleasant! But here's just a couple of tips just to help prevent minor frustrations to really get you going.

- There's no time limit, so for example on levels 3 and 6, take your time. If you trap yourself and get an impossible position, just reload the page. It's really generous letting you pick levels.

- As I write this "live" while I am playing, it goes really slowly introducing you to world elements, so you don't have to madly try to solve five things at once.

- The Body form has sorta "flying samurai" physics, and everything is pretty generous - I don't see much of the "pixel accuracy" that tends to sometimes push games into one of the hard categories. (Though Level 10 seems to have a little.)

Here's the start of Level 10:
74  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Ripple - When the Good comes back on: November 09, 2014, 07:14:04 PM

Darn. RIP Donna Summer!

And yay for our tech age under the cynicism - that's a pretty good video. I never really tracked each line of the lyrics before, but that video does a good job explaining the song. And Donna Summer was just a really solid singer!

75  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS on: November 09, 2014, 07:06:20 PM
^^ I'm beginning to get the impression that actually the Mac mini is just a piece of junk - a technological dead-end - and that it was that sort of a piece of junk before it came off the production line. It's possibly even the sort of junk that used to be called "a white elephant":
The thing seems to have been cynically turned out with all the old tricks for throw-away product obsolescence - including, for example, well-sealed units (difficult to maintain), lock-in, and little or no forwards or backwards design compatibility. ...
I say this after researching across the Internet for "uses for an old ...", where most commenters seemed hard-pressed to think of a use for the thing ...
iFix Old Macs
You know the ones I mean: those Power Macs, PowerBooks, iMacs, iBooks, Mac minis, etc. based on the PowerPC processor that Apple sold a few years ago. Sadly, support for them is dwindling, but the software is still out there that would enable their continued use.
- which absurd statement rather begs the question "...all it needs" for what? For making it "look like a new one"? Why? It's already obsolete. A Spinning Jenny was "a fine old machine" too.

The comparison with the White Elephant is interesting. I will try to separate out a couple things.

A. A lot of the "hatred for things Apple" is that the entire *company* likes to make varying shades of elephants (and put them in your room! Take that, triple joke!)

So I'm not sure if specifically the mini was designed to be quite so aggressive to users as that Sultan from the Wiki snip. I think that the mini is the result of some sales meeting where they drew a chart of specs on a board, some decently high but rather expensive, then said "and we need one with a lower price point. So let's hack it down here, here, here, and here". But I believe there are varying sweet-ish spots in tech, so they hacked it down below one of them, and then when time marches on, (see my post in Deozaan's thread on his game), then later you struggle to find uses for it.

The only non-insulting use for much older tech I've ever seen is people who put it separately monitoring some low level project they have, and just park it there, solely to "efficiently" free up their main computer from having to deal with even that minor processing load.

I've got two aging laptops, with one truly ancient, facing the same problem, except I don't do the right kind of projects to need them for stuff like that. (My third laptop is still aging too, but it's done "emergency backup" duty when something is wrong with my main comp.)

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