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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 11, 2015, 12:40:19 AM
Well, it's back up. So my notes stand mostly as is.

Someone wanna check and report in on the "hack page"?

To me it looks indeed like it might just be silly graphics going all "whee whizzy!"
There's a few other things there, but it looks pretty light for a high powered hack engine.
--------

<link href="_layout/style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"/>
<script type="text/javascript" src="jquery-1.7.1.min.js"></script>
<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
<!--
var total = 31;
var iteration = 0;
var attempt = 0;
function showProgress()
{
   var url = document.location + '?ajaxRequest=true&total=' + total.toString() +
      '&iteration=' + iteration.toString() + '&attempt=' + attempt.toString();
   $.ajax({
      url: url,
      cache: false,
      dataType: "json",
      success: function(data)
      {
         updateProgress(data);
      }
   });
}

function updateProgress(data)
{
   attempt = data.attempt;
   $('#progressBar').width(data.percentComplete);
   $('#information').html(data.information);
   iteration++;
   if( iteration <= total )
   {
      timeOut = setTimeout(showProgress, 1000);
      updateCombinations();
   }
   else
   {
      $('#status').html('Status: <font color="green">Complete!</font>');
      $('#unlockcode').show();
   }
}

function updateCombinations()
{
   if( iteration <= total )
   {
      $('#attempt').html(attempt++);
      counter = setTimeout(updateCombinations, 1);
   }
}

function validateAuthCode()
{
   var url = document.location + '?validateAuthCode=' + $('#authCode').val();
   $.ajax({
      url: url,
      cache: false,
      success: function(data)
      {
         alert(data);
      }
   });
}
-->
</script>

---------------
52  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: It took 2 years to build this functioning word processor in Minecraft on: January 10, 2015, 07:26:56 PM
I'm gonna go even broader and call it "the power of 'just because I can'  " .

At its peak is the fundamental clash that created the renaissance!!


And, unchecked by any notion of humility or morality, also brought the human race an untold deal of pain and misery.

That's why I'm always somewhat grateful whenever I see somebody channelling their obsessions into a benign artistic endeavour.

Especially when you consider how the person who has the drive (and gluteal stamina) to program an entire working computer into a computer game - or build a miniature dollhouse within a miniature dollhouse, within a dollhouse - is surely capable of doing ever so much else besides.

 Grin

I see story material everywhere - it's like a genie offered him salvation. "Look. Your fate was destined for you to make a bomb with its own AI. Let's not do that. How about you play with Minecraft instead, and 4000 people get to keep their lives. Deal?"

tellme
53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re:Horses and Zebras on: January 10, 2015, 02:08:19 PM
It was indeed a truly brilliant response - that sounds oddly familiar. So either I've heard it before...or it just made perfect sense to me initially. Which - since no one else seems to have understood it - could be a very bad sign for both myself and eleman.. undecided

I feel "reverse confused", why this is apparently so hard.

To me, it's just Occam's Razor. Simplest Explanations First, and all that. Hoofbeats - eliminate the possibility of both horses AND zebras, before you discover someone is parading a camel to make a YouTube video! Or a Monty Python re-enactment! (Everything is possible in pursuit of a viral video!)

Cool

A couple of TV shows are fundamentally built on the "zebra" premise. House from the show even stated it point blank in an episode or two - I can't quite recall but he almost used the same language even! Something like "you see, I don't get the ordinary cases (except when Cuddy is being a bitch and making me do clinic duty.) So by the time it gets to me, the hoofbeats *aren't* horses because the other three doctors would have looked for that. So *our* intelligent place to start is with the zebras first."

54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: It took 2 years to build this functioning word processor in Minecraft on: January 10, 2015, 02:00:28 PM
I'm gonna go even broader and call it "the power of 'just because I can'  " .

At its peak is the fundamental clash that created the renaissance!! The cutting edge news of 1515 (to be funny about an arbitrary date) was that people were starting to get annoyed/tired of quoting Aristotle for millenia. People just did experiments "just to do stuff". And often enough for it all to be worthwhile, "pure research" does drive tech. A lot of overly efficient "applied science" promoters try to "take shortcuts" by milking dry the lowest hanging results, leaving someone else stuck with the hard ones after they made their easy money, usually with a little smoke and misdirection thrown in.

Our sense of humor is why we put little funny spins on our pure research. So yes, why not a word processor in Minecraft? It's a subset of "functionality in a limited system".

Also, there are levels of projects you can just dabble at for a week and put away. It doesn't require a full onslaught to be interesting. For example, in Russia in parts of the 1800's, French was actually the aristocratic language. So I once bought five different translations of War and Peace to check how the English translator handled actual French phrases in the original.

55  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: What is the currently best Desktop Search software? on: January 10, 2015, 01:49:23 PM
I found another funny use for my odd search system.

I run a Directory and File reader and save as a text file. Then for reasons not wholly clear to me, searches in the text file come up a boatload faster than clunky windows search. But sometimes you can't remember the file name if it had some strange name. But sometimes you can remember where you saved it or maybe notes on it. (Like today I was looking at IRC clients, but later that could be hidden under projects/2015/irc clients/finalists).

So you can just search for the word IRC and it digs that up for you.

56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 09, 2015, 06:31:54 PM
I see you learned a few things about how websites work Tao.  Lot of people don't realize just how much info you can pick out of someone's web setup just by poking around at information that is already public in order to make everything run smoothly.

There's a good chance that the hack site went down because supporters of the original site are upset about what happened and either attacked it directly to try and kill it, or because you literally saw the transition taking place and they didn't do it right- it resulted in a period where the DNS was pointed to an IP that no longer had a server under it.

This whole situation is downright sad, and just a solid reminder that there are some really bad people out there.

... or some combo of all that. I still think it would be cool if Facebook helped and said so in a press release.

I learned a couple of things, but a good chunk of it I already knew, but wanted to try to just do some legwork and save people some time just to see where it was all going. I haven't seen that particular "scam engine" before, so that was educational.

"Something" is back up "and will launch soon", but I would still like that TV-Episode "closing monologue" to finish out the story.



57  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 09, 2015, 04:29:47 PM
Impressive journey, Tao.

Thank you!

For completeness it would be interesting to confirm if all/most of the offers "do not complete", which would just make make the "hack facebook" a dumb "chocolate cake lure" just to run the downloader ads.

But wait! More news is developing! They have earned themselves a Set 4!

4a.
http://www.hackfacebookpass.net/
"Cloudflare Ok. Website offline"!?

(A variant of) Whois produces:
https://www.whois.net/
hackfacebookpass.net

Whois Server Version 2.0

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

Domain Name: HACKFACEBOOKPASS.NET
Registrar: ENOM, INC.
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 48
Whois Server: whois.enom.com
Referral URL: http://www.enom.com
Name Server: KARA.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM
Name Server: NORM.NS.CLOUDFLARE.COM
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Updated Date: 10-dec-2014
Creation Date: 10-dec-2014
Expiration Date: 10-dec-2015

>>> Last update of whois database: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 22:30:46 GMT <<<

Which is like SEVEN MINUTES AGO. (Aka just now, limited only by my assembling this post!)

4b. So now I went back to the top to fill in a couple of gaps. (In particular I wanted to see how stupid the "hack" graphic script might have been.) Instead, FreewareBB is *down*!

This time the Whois looks a bit less helpful.

Whois Server Version 2.0

Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered
with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net
for detailed information.

Domain Name: FREEWAREBB.COM
Registrar: PDR LTD. D/B/A PUBLICDOMAINREGISTRY.COM
Whois Server: whois.PublicDomainRegistry.com
Referral URL: http://www.PublicDomainRegistry.com
Name Server: NS1.SOFTLAYER.COM
Name Server: NS2.SOFTLAYER.COM
Status: ok
Updated Date: 31-dec-2014
Creation Date: 26-sep-2007
Expiration Date: 26-sep-2016

>>> Last update of whois database: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 13:12:42 GMT <<<

So the guy must have basically just yanked the servers from the web and is thinking about what to do next.

4c.
"Cloudflare/other 'claims there is no cached version available' (at wherever)", but since all this is happening at a good clip today, here is a Google Cache copy of that page.
http://webcache.googleuse...=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

4d.
Google Cached versions do apparently keep certain links "live". The "click here to hack" link has a starting address of:
http://www.freewarebb.com...trong_is_my_password.html

That apparently also used to go to a (legit?) password security informational service, and they re-wrote that link as well to be the "hack script" link. Looking at Google Cache produces this older content that used to be there. (The new one from today is of course down with everything else when they yanked it.)
http://webcache.googleuse...=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

4e.
Just one of the previous DC threads on this, exactly two years ago in Jan 2013.
http://www.donationcoder..../index.php?topic=33786.10

4f.
It looks like the former owner was involved and helping!
https://www.facebook.com/freewarebb
"Freewarebb
2 hrs (ago)

Looks like it's 1-0 to me "

I wonder if he was clever enough to put any post-sale clauses in his sales contract, whereupon "using the site for a crime" might have invalidated the sale. Those "Windows Drivers" are "weasel-able", but "click here to break a Facebook password" is a whole other animal! Especially since (again, that facepalm-which brand of stupid was he), his *other* example of who to hack was ... wait for it ... Mark Zuckerberg!! So, maybe the RIAA is lazy, and Ms. Minogue didn't yet get a call from Joe at the police, but you better bet Mark Z's Friendly Borg Henchman Hugh (remember, the nice Borg? Mark Z gave him a nice new job to work on content!   smiley  ), who reported that a formerly rather obscure but honest site was now showcasing cheap Hack Facebook scripts... Mark Z though his chain of command said "Oh. That's bad news to hear about them. Boss? How would you like me to destroy this guy? Should I press the blue button with yellow spots, the turquoise button with green stripes, or just dump a tractor trailer of free pizzas in his yard and organize a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume party?"

I jest, gentle spoofing and all that. But it would be cool if Facebook occasionally lent a hand to help a little guy when someone is dumb enough to say "Hey look! A Hornet's nest! Maybe it's a pinyata and if I hit it hard enough with a bat, I can get candy!"

So ends Chapter 1, for now!!

Let's see what happens next! I expect a couple days of smoke and Like-able hornets to be involved for a few days!

58  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: This Robot Is the Best Limit Texas Hold'Em Player in the World on: January 09, 2015, 01:37:45 PM
Hmm, I don't play poker so I don't know how limit works. But if in that variant the math and "perfect basic strategy" is stronger than the bluff side, then it just reverts back to comps playing calculation-based games as well as they tend to do if they can get the "wide angle lens" mostly within their heuristics + search horizon. So while interesting, it doesn't really interest me. You can basically "automate" any of X class of games, and even invent new ones solely for that purpose.

Even at the meta level, tons of X classes of games are comp-bait, limited only by us not having access (yet!?) to a "bored millionaire" to hire someone to program an AI for them. So I am having a little trouble thinking of games that people such as me can "learn easily" but would be tough for a computer *disregarding Shrdlu traps*. (That means don't cop to the cheap excuse that the first 1000 lines of code are "hard". In this class of games, they're not "hard", they're just "tedious". Someone mentioned the mobile game Clash of Clans yesterday to me. I essentially "broke" the first phase of the game in about six hours, where it all resolves to "Yay, you got to level three and barely squeaked a level four base, now you get to sit there and stew for an entire week waiting for your resources to come back up, or you can spend money to keep playing at a sane non-abusive rate. Piece of cake conceptually.)

To me, an experiment I haven't seen (thoroughly?) tried is an "emotional tabulator". Where, let's say you "borrow" some human raw interpretation skills to get past the dumb Loebner Prize comp-breakers, like "which is bigger, Queen Elizabeth or the boat?", you start with "neutral evals" towards subjects, then for each piece of data that floats by, you just "form your opinion" and adjust your "opinion markers" on how you feel about it. Then when something in a similar category floats by later, you have partially built opinions you get to keep modifying.

We normally consider that "higher level intelligence", but I feel that once some "front end processing" is done, it's actually disturbingly easier than we might think.

Nany 2016 anyone?

59  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: For the writers... on: January 09, 2015, 12:26:32 PM

I'm a little off my writing game, but I can see that with some effort you could get a good story nugget in there.

60  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 09, 2015, 10:48:40 AM
So something with a big Y on it but labeled Angry Birds appears.
Now we visit France!

YappyZ seems to be one of those encapsulating Flash game sites.

[attachimg=#]

[attachthumb=#]

And somewhere under here is something at at least looks like Angry Birds:
[attachimg=#]

A portion of AngryBirds / DecentLookingClone
[attachimg=#]

So I played a game of Angry Birds. I have now played it four times in my life. No sign of a code though - it says "offer not completed".

So that's as far as I can take it. But at least y'all have the next steps of what all it wants to do. It's def sneaky, but still seems to be playing "by slippery rules" like accepting a Platypus as both a mammal and an egg laying animal.

61  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 09, 2015, 10:19:15 AM
Set 3
So going for Angry Birds goes here.
http://www.downloadpilot....p;aff_sub4=&aff_sub5=

I'm not sure what downloadpilot is, but it sounds "more legit" as a software tracked downloader, rather than anything this guy churned up himself. More pics:

[attachimg=#]

Okay, now we get this:
[attachimg=#]

So now we have a bit of a poker game going on. Is it a virus, or a tracked downloader?
On the theory that anything short of Cryptowall won't kill me, I have to push just a little further!

Next we get this. So okay, it's looking to install a bunch of junkware, but they look quasi familiar. Clicking "custom" doesn't always do everything, but let's try it.
[attachimg=#]

Okay, the next section is stuff you gang already know (sort of? Aka presuming it actually did X and not Y!). It tries to install stuff, I just clicked "skip". (Sometime later I'll have to check to see if it shadow installed, but let's just say for now.)

Here's a completion screen of some kind (with another type of shaky ad!)
[attachimg=#]
62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 09, 2015, 09:45:25 AM
Well, in the name of "Security Research", I decided to try getting us some more to work with.

And in the spirit of the Gemini twins of Confusion and Fair Game, the only "fair" Facebook address I could decide upon ... was themselves! (For varying definitions of "themselves".) Colored pills and rabbit holes, here we come!

(My numbering is a little arbitrary, I just think better when I can partition off stages of a project.)

Set 1
1a. Top level site:
http://www.freewarebb.com/
Formerly honorable site, now host to ... "stuff". This is a first attempt to look at what "stuff" is.

1b.
Then there's "this" graphic again. I have added a couple of notes.
[attachimg=#]

Notice that in the instructional address to copy, Ms M's name is mis-spelled ... in that classic conundrum "who is smart enough to get the "you're" abbreviation right, then mis-spell a name in an instructional graphic?

Also, the graphic calls for "http://" and facebook pages run (sorta?) secure at https://

1c. So we decide to "click here to start hacking". Like I mentioned cross category about the archive.org new game libraries, we have an "emblazon" problem. This isn't some weird site like hackfacebookpass.net, is it? Oh wait, sorry for the spoiler, yes it is.

But the front end is a "quietly" famous site. So what owner is either going to leave that there for more than a week, or maybe our law enforcement types don't care about open source software, but maybe with a memo from the RIAA, since the *signature example the scammer could think of was a musician*, you'd think they'd like to at least have a beat officer call Ms. Minogue and ask her to have coffee and check if things are okay. It's where you don't know which of three things to do a double-facepalm over.  

1d. So clicking on that gives you the following excerpt of a page:
[attachimg=#]

1e. So now we see that FreewareBB is now nothing but a 3-screen "jump page", likely to be discarded like a snake skin later. The "real" scam page is for now at http://www.hackfacebookpass.net/. So let's go over there.

Set 2. So what are the guts of this op?

2a. Putting in "themselves", we get this:
[attachimg=#]

2b. Okay, so now it's squawking about an Auth code. The first time you try to go get one, it yells at you for having Adblock on. So I turned it off for this.

2c. "Click here to get an Auth code" leads you to this:
http://href.li/?http://ossdonate.org/donate.html
.li is Lichtenstein. A somewhat newer player in the "country code for sale" business.
It resolves to this:
http://ossdonate.org/donate.html

2d. It brings up "complete an offer to get your code".
[attachimg=#]

I don't need gift cards. But I feel so sad and left out I have not played the authentic (maybe?!) Angry Birds more than three times. So I will try to do that offer. And I'll resume next post, because by now we see this rabbit hole has a few warrens (but not Diane Warren) and at least a couple of rabbits in it! (But not Eddie Rabbitt.)

63  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: I want to know about web hosting? on: January 09, 2015, 09:12:17 AM
And of course, you're right, I really should have posted a picture!

I expanded this pic because the first one I could find quickly was very small.

[attachimg=#]

My hyperbole was maybe slightly much, but the super features of this one are that it has "enough" buttons so you're not trying to toggle "Options" past five menu categories, the big screen relative to the entire layout, and a thermometer, for those handy convo starting / argument ending moments!

64  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: January 08, 2015, 11:30:49 PM

Supposing we let this brew into a "next generation", this might be a useful component for a fun (though slightly anachronistically mis-styled) project - "the computing helmet". (I know how Facebook did it, but how did Twitter overtake Johnny Mnemonic!?)

I haven't checked this year's CES, but the idea is that (maybe even coupled with the phone like the old days when arcades merged two entire separate computing sections for cutting edge power), if you have "computer goggles" that basically give you the computer screen in front of your eyes, then sound, let's say phone microphones, goggle-camera, and then you just have a wireless keyboard and mouse, you can wander into a cafe "typing into thin air". To me, why even have a laptop if you have a "quasi virtual" 24 inch screen size in your goggles?

As my early visual conceptions, I used a motorcycle helmet just because structurally you can brace all that stuff into a form factor that is sleek on the outside, aka you don't look like a Borg. Of course, you don't exactly want a Motorcycle helmet, they're designed for something else, but let's suggest for example a black Master Chief helmet.

So with one (or even a couple chained ones!?) of these compute sticks, wireless link to your phone in your pocket for the phone stuff, then it also gives you anchor room for decent headphones built in, in some alt universe I can forsee a new Starbucks crowd. Cops get grumpy about helmets, but I did manage to see an entire showing of the Watchmen in a theater wearing a motor helmet!

65  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 08, 2015, 11:26:22 PM
Someone is responsible for the site itself but doesn't own the url?  huh

Well, to me it sounded more like he retained a copy of the code, but someone bought the domain name, and now plans to shut the existing site and replace it with something scammy.

It sounds like it's brewing into a minor tragedy. :  (

66  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: ALERT! FreewareBB shutting down. And with a warning from Marko? on: January 08, 2015, 10:44:05 PM
Latest Update from the Facebook Page:

Quote
Freewarebb
14 hrs ago (09:58GMT) ·
Please be aware that FreewareBB has been sold and unfortunately it appears the intentions of the new owners are extremely devious and they intend on potentially using the good name of the site to trick and scam people. If you have any questions or concerns, please address them here because the site itself will likely be taken offline shortly. I can only apologise for any inconvenience caused but I never imaged the site being used in this way. Regards, Marko

I guess it's an important case example.

This is why they drag lawyers into things! I can see other sites getting sales contracts where the sold name/other can't be used in certain ways.

67  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: I want to know about web hosting? on: January 08, 2015, 10:05:59 PM
It's such an old ploy that I'm surprised anybody is still doing it. Wink

Definitely...last I heard all the scumbag companies that used this tactic moved on to planting shill accounts in forums, letting them be active in discussions for months/years, and then cranking up the sales pitch in order to make it look like 'normal', 'respected' members of the forums were making recommendations, but people caught onto that, too.

This one is really complicated, because those early posts could be legit contributions. Then it feels like a shame if an account "reveals" to be a Long Con.
Sad

Then you get people like me who don't have an agenda, but per my profile pic, I occasionally go on pro-company raves if a certain item just really strikes my fancy.

(Heh ask me about the Best Portable Alarm Clock of All Time from Radio Shack. I jest, but the design is so clean, and I got wise/grumpy about store retail cycles, that when it was out in the early 2000's, knowing I'd never see them again I bought about *ten* of them! I found a couple in storage, so I think I still have about half of them left! It very nearly is a lifetime supply not counting loss or damage!)

68  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: If Only Once, If Only For A Little While - Comic about loss on: January 08, 2015, 09:56:00 PM
But I think it's always more difficult for those left behind (or maybe not).

Well, that's grazing THAT question again. So I think a lot of people know what side of it I am on.
69  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Donating to EFF on: January 08, 2015, 01:24:20 PM
Speaking of donations, often when I check out at Publix they ask me if I wish to donate a dollar to help feed the homeless.  Sometimes I point out they could bypass the bureaucracy and just give me the money, since I am homeless.  The reaction is always pretty sour.  Never even a chuckle.  Sad

Ya know Miles, you've got a stub of a powerful little theme there. It could take a few tweaks to the script, but with "today's" modern "semi-costless" promotion techniques, if for example get a couple of college students to help out for free, then you slice it down to the Publix clerk "running the script" with the line "So, would you like to donate a dollar to help the homeless?", you reply with the short line "I'm homeless", and then capture the next seven seconds of response before they recover because you broke their manager's script in their head.

Then you edit about twenty of those ten second sets together with a couple extra capping words and you get a four minute viral piece. Besides the obvious shout out to the homeless, it also is a commentary on the mindless "4th person" charity questions at these big stores designed to make you feel guilty.

(Cynical) "Oh, sorry sir, we don't want to help a homeless *person*. We want to help "the homeless" ... you know, the *infrastructure*" (/Cynical)

Certain big companies have the correct accounting batch procedures to do the next level. "I'm homeless. Here's my dollar. Help us out." And then you get a big clout media journalist to help you, you "follow that dollar" and see where it goes. Watch only seven cents of it come back to a cup of soup after twelve "infrastructure people" get paid!

70  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: convert wordpress site to an app, seamless connection. on: January 08, 2015, 12:39:06 PM
I wanted to try this experiment...take an existing wordpress site and package it as an app.  And from there, the app and site are synced.  There is this program:
http://reactor.apppresser.com/

Seems to do it for a couple hundred bucks.  Any other recommendations?

It's a complicated sounding concept. How does the app on your phone know to pull updates and properly integrate the data?
71  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Donating to EFF on: January 08, 2015, 12:35:36 PM
Recently, I got some good business, and earned more than my usual fare. OK I thought, a good time to donate here and there. One of the donations I made was 5 (five, the one with Lincoln) dollars to EFF (Electronic Frontier Thingie). And today I got a (transatlantic) letter from them, thanking me for my generosity (since when 5 bucks is called generous?). Anyway... The stamp on the letter cost $1.15. Think of the time and effort spent to send the letter as well...

I'm not sure I'll donate to EFF anymore. It's kind of them to send a dead tree thank you letter, but really... for 5 bucks, I feel like it's really wasteful.

btw, before anyone asks; I didn't ask for a letter for tax purposes.

I'll spin it the other way, and borrow that you feel $5 is indeed cheap vs the response you got. (Compare it to the other software thread, where a bug that demolishes data didn't even get answered!)

But, you just saw "non cash intangible value" at work.

It gives you confidence that even for a little $5 contribution, you got a really warm reply. So let's say, one day you get an incredible bonus for the best closed contract/job/client of the year in your work, and you give them next time $100, because you remembered how well they treated you.

Then *later*, some dumb troll gets you in his sights, and you need their real services. You know they "dot i's and send Eleman thank you letters", so when you need a $400,000 defense (and they make sure it has extra value like a precedent), then you might be able to relax in the six month defense and maybe not get ill from a stress heart attack!

72  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: TreeDBNotes Pro - Christmas and New Year Discount: 50% on: January 08, 2015, 11:02:31 AM

As someone with some little experience of the outsourcing sites, I have *zero* respect for "black walls of silence". You can hire people for *$2 per hour* to just "say things" and do a "few other things". (Like copy and paste support questions into a file and give them back one of seven canned responses from their script). So even a "useless" reply would have at least sent the signal that someone was behind the wheel. Instead, we get the guy here who wants a new sale. *That's the disconnect*.

I don't disagree, but then I have bought programs that were entirely defunct. If a program does what I want, I will use it and if it is the only one that does it the way I want if, I will go with it. Obviously for anything critical that I will rely on, I want rock solid support (not sure where we can be sure of getting that now) or get out methods, alternatives and backups. And preferably all of them.

I like using TreeDB myself, but I do find it hard to recommend to anyone else given the opacity of the situation.

Fair! Good luck getting a companion program for 2015 and Beyyyoooooond! (Cartoon voice!)

 smiley
73  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: TreeDBNotes Pro - Christmas and New Year Discount: 50% on: January 08, 2015, 10:40:52 AM
Then the warning bells went off when they didn't just "freeze" the forum, but *nuked it* and replaced it with this blind suspicious form that doesn't get answered.

But this big switch to a form that basically goes nowhere, was beyond a ref flag, it was like dumping a bucket of red paint on the bull, because there might not be anyone at all doing support, and some cheap marketing outfit might have a legacy program and is trying to squeeze a few more nickels out of new ... uh ... people.

A lot of "mights"

So though I used to like them, if you then change owners and but the best plasma cannon Star Trek credits can buy and point it at your face, then ... well ... I have to pick a new program!

And an "if".

I've no idea what happened, or whether it has changed hands, and never really expected to see another update - but there have been a few.

My impression was that the forum was closed because of all the criticism about the lack of development. I've noticed a few authors do that. When the forum becomes toxic then it usually doesn't last unless they delete threads and/or ban particular posters.

It happened at the same time a number of similar programs seemed to go into meltdown, so I assume sales went through the floor and didn't justify further investment of time. Ultra Recall announced no further development, but then did get updated.

And my impression was that support was always a bit limited although there was a certain amount of responsiveness in the forum.

This is the key phrase I would like to borrow.

I understand if support is *limited*. Though it's hard to know what bug could be worse than destroying your entire note structure, but hey, the warning bell went off when my bug report went completely black and this thread has seen three other people get no replies either.

Incidentally, you're somewhat right about updates, since I posted that bug at that time, at a little later time I did see a new version appear ... with the same bug! That was the final push to complete my program switchover, since I had hoped the new version would have quietly fixed the bug.

As someone with some little experience of the outsourcing sites, I have *zero* respect for "black walls of silence". You can hire people for *$2 per hour* to just "say things" and do a "few other things". (Like copy and paste support questions into a file and give them back one of seven canned responses from their script). So even a "useless" reply would have at least sent the signal that someone was behind the wheel. Instead, we get the guy here who wants a new sale. *That's the disconnect*.

74  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: TreeDBNotes Pro - Christmas and New Year Discount: 50% on: January 08, 2015, 09:30:11 AM
Dormouse, I'm particularly interested in chatting with you a bit to see what it's doing for you, and I'm fascinated if you could peek at MyInfo because it became my "replacement winner" once TreeDB self destructed both structurally and with the forum. I found it to be surprisingly close and I think it could be a replacement for you, with a better overall experience if you, as you say, "just use it for writing".

Also the MyInfo dev also responds by email for specific questions, and according to my email, he just posted a new update on Dec 11. (Modest bugfix update, but apparently it can also now auto-lookup new versions...)

Hi,

I briefly trialled MyInfo some time ago (6.17) and didn't take to it. I'll have another look when 7 eventually comes out, but I don't think it is likely to offer an environment that is comfortable for me to work in. Features and functionality are good, but I find, for writing, that comfort in the "environment" makes the most difference to productivity.

What I like about TreeDBNotes for writing is the very full toolbar (I have all options open - and the styles at the bottom), the extensive right click menu, and the ability to write/edit in a pop out without all the PIM clutter. This gives it a strong multipurpose value for me.

I have a very extensive collection of programs I use for writing - on all platforms. None are remotely ideal, and I tend to use the one that is best suited to the task and situation at the time. And I don't see much development anywhere.

Completely fair. Some of all that was the reason why it won my personal survey in the first place. But re-phrased from elsewhere in the thread, I want to warn you that the bug I ran into, was that suppose you make a note element in your writing, then you decide to move some of them around. TreeDB wasn't keeping the moved new structure, and instead dropping semi-random nodes back where they started, so just when you thought you had a new structure, it ends up a garbled mess!

tellme

So upon thus being absolutely forced to get a new program, it came down to features in the replacement. I absolutely had to have a certain web export, that only MyInfo (currently) has. But I agree if that's not your particular thing, other programs could come closer to your comfort type finesses you need.

75  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: TreeDBNotes Pro - Christmas and New Year Discount: 50% on: January 08, 2015, 09:23:51 AM
I ran into a deadly bug that severely damaged the structure of the tree! [...] So I cannot recommend this program!
What was their response when you reported the bug?
None. [...]
Ugh.  That gives me no confidence in the program.  One for shelfware at best.  Are they a one-man-band on a hobby project that didn't generate enough income to warrant, or enable, support?

Well, I think unfortunately it's more complicated than that.

They *used to have* a decent forum that the dev (and users) could converse in, and the dev did answer questions with modest delays.

Then the warning bells went off when they didn't just "freeze" the forum, but *nuked it* and replaced it with this blind suspicious form that doesn't get answered.

See, you guys are programmers. If you were struggling with a project, you would have found any of several desperate ways to handle it, from "sorry, this forum is legacy and new updates will be very sparse", or in the form, "your bug note has been received, however, we have to cut back on our support resources" or something.

But this big switch to a form that basically goes nowhere, was beyond a ref flag, it was like dumping a bucket of red paint on the bull, because there might not be anyone at all doing support, and some cheap marketing outfit might have a legacy program and is trying to squeeze a few more nickels out of new ... uh ... people.

And it wasn't just an annoying little bug, it was a nuclear grade one that damaged the entire structure of the note tree!

tellme  Angry

So though I used to like them, if you then change owners and but the best plasma cannon Star Trek credits can buy and point it at your face, then ... well ... I have to pick a new program!

Let's try it this way:
This sad-rant started because Mr. Ennovy posted  "grade D ad" ... and never read the thread ever again.

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