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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Programmers: What size monitors do you guys prefer? on: June 24, 2014, 03:27:54 AM
I'm still trying to figure out the best way to handle the dual-monitor setup.

Mostly driven by life circumstances, I have moved away from the dual monitor setup in favor of that incredibly under-rated type of software called Desktop Splitters, and my signature one I use is from that obscure one from here called TranDesk *Not a Nany* but actually from some kind of C+ test.

The point is, the big gain of a dual monitor is how you get a second field of view. But what if you an have *four* views, just a click away!? The fourth one I use for low level utilities like the Task Manager and the master archive of Stickies and a couple other things. So that leaves three. But I am bit prone lately to info overload. So what if you have seven sets of browser windows with five tabs each, and a couple other things going, then you want to start fresh? Just click to a new desktop split!

All that important stuff from tab 1 is saved, then you get a fresh slate to work on. And then when you overload that one, you get a third.

To me all it takes is one good monitor. I am currently on a (dying) 24" but it's a bit of a push that 27" could be better, sure, once you get used to it.

I am just suggesting that for fellas who don't have the money to get whole new hardware, those desktops splitters are incredibly under-rated.

52  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: June 24, 2014, 03:18:26 AM
No, the the trouble I had with DELL was finding a human being in DELL and getting support for the laptops.

I heard and can partially vouch for that Dell gives Biz customers way better support. I think my old company made some sort of "gold team" and every time I called Dell, they basically solved whatever problems we had.

53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Rant Thread! on: June 23, 2014, 06:04:54 PM

New Rant:

Why is it that generic search engines on "Advanced Search" (Important!!) always (often)  beat out the local site search for whatever you are looking for?

I am re-watching an episode of the TV show "The Listener". I picked it because I remembered the character "Magnus Elphrenson". So I go to IMDB ... and it tanks. I go to Startpage Advanced and it's in my top few results.

54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Rant Thread! on: June 23, 2014, 06:02:59 PM
My experience with H&R has taught me they are a big ripoff.  Some fresh out of high school gal (that I knew) that didn't know a tax code from a computer code.  All she did was input information into the computer with no knowledge of how any of it actually worked.  Ask a question about a deductible and it's off to the help files to try to find the answers, which usually turned up nothing.  Wound up getting $40 back and had to pay H&R $55......
  And when they quote you a price for their services, it's ONLY for the 1040.  Any additional forms will cost you extra, and it's not cheap either.

With any of those chains, there *are* some powerhouses preparers, but there's a bit of an inside knowledge game to find them. My early senior trainer was *incredible*. So at worst if you got me in those old days, I had the humility to say I needed to check on something, and in the end it would be right.

But some chains run it really fast and loose, playing the money odds vs customer satisfaction. Esp the individual franchises might be short on top talent. So then it gets dicey including for the well meaning preparers esp facing a state return you've never even seen that has a weird inside trick that just cannot possibly be guessed.

55  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Blog Essay: The Indie (Game) Bubble Is Popping on: June 22, 2014, 01:47:42 AM
Do you know of a nice term/phrase to describe this sort of process?  I've been looking for such a thing -- hoping for something as nice as the phrase ...).

Ya know, I felt obliged to remove a certain proper noun inspired term here because the topics are fantastically different, so much so as to poke a stick at that sleeping dog called logical fallacies! (Heh and no I won't get dragged into trying to nail down which one! Let's say if it's not a Red Herring, maybe it's a nice Red Striped Bass with a lemon butter sauce!)  Cool

This is right down the alley of various economic and/or psychological and or philosophical fields. So I'm darn sure there's several related themes that could be honorably applied here with the seriousness the original post implicitly requests.

I'll file your request as a "sleeper" topic on my desk with a printout because it might take me a while before my intuitive but eclectic slow research style comes up with clues. So it might take me a while. But when I do I think I'll have at least 1 cent to contribute on the theory side.

Ewemoa and gang,
I got around to looking at this today, though it started to wear me out and I only got close.

Per my quick hunch earlier, I went looking at some of the economic wiki pages. Try looking at some of these to find the phrases you like best. Supply and Demand curves, elasticity, and shifts in curves and related themes.

Those of you with sharper minds than I might be able to find the best phrases.

56  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Good bye. (originally About buying books, etc., especially at amazon's) on: June 20, 2014, 12:16:41 PM

Peter, you are clearly quite bright. Few of us are used to your detailed style of posts. But per another thread, I gave you one of my "Mouser Bucks" because I recognized you have a lot to offer the forum.

Your language style reminds me of some older British writers such as Edward Gibbon. In that style, honed for a different age, there are a lot of subordinate sentences underneath the "headline" points.

So it looks like something began to drift wrong in this and maybe other threads. I certainly say a fair number of things! But an easy fix is to chop up your posts so that people can pick and choose which sections drift into their own lengthy discussions, and the others are quietly read and pondered. So just hit "post" several times, and there's even a thread where we like to notice "When Peter S hits his 100th post" (because we like fun numbers)!

57  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Ludum Dare topic for other games on: June 19, 2014, 08:07:38 AM
I had/have to deal with Yahoo Customer Support's multi-hour holds, so I thought I would peek at Ludum Dare again.

Here's a "Post Mortem" writeup on Undermined.

There's some insightful notes here. It may be close to a Kobyashi Maru where the point of the game is that is indeed is really tight and you can't help everyone. But maybe I am a bit of a sap and I like it when a game is slightly easier and it is in fact possible without a 1/100 dice draw.

"On any given turn, you’ll never be able to help everybody, and it actually feels really stressful to decide who needs the most help. Having to make this choice every turn gets particularly intense near the end of the game, where you have to start making the difficult decision of declaring certain characters as being beyond help."

That's not really my type of game though, I like at least a narrow way to a full victory.

(Edit) I'm starting to do a detailed commentary.

"Something else that I’m really happy with is the way that you have to actually remember which members of your party prefer which methods of comfort. I was initially a little hesitant to include a challenge in my game that was based on just pure memory, but it ended up working really well. I like that they player actually needs to pay attention to what their miners tell them and familiarize themselves with the preferences of the crew if they want to get anywhere. It’s such a simple little mechanic, but it adds an extremely personal level to the game and I feel that it gets the player actually invested a little bit more in their crew."

I got this pretty early on. After a couple of runs with sticky pads, I eventually made a spreadsheet to keep track of stuff. Fine by me!

"The first big flaw is that the game feels to heavily dependent on luck. You can be doing everything right, making the most strategically viable decisions, and you can still get screwed by a bad roll of the dice."

Yeah, I began to see this and in my previous notes here, I began to advise to just ditch bad runs because the "near-win ratio" is really tight and won't stand for like 3 bad dice rolls in a run. I got a 4 Miner win a ways back but that's getting hard to do and I killed some thirty bad draws to get it.

58  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: New Here on: June 19, 2014, 07:54:22 AM
Many minds make for greater shared wisdom.


Eventually, yes.

But this "Wisdom" thing is a really tricky thing. You need a whole lot of minds before that Wisdom thang kicks in. So there's some 40 of you DC regulars and 250 Slashdot regulars, and from all that, I almost know what the basic issues in the tech world are!

Whew! That's a lot of minds to grant me a little bit of wisdom!
59  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "English" <> "German" translations on: June 18, 2014, 02:39:47 PM

How sounds "initial startup" for step 4-7?        smiley

Yeah, that sounds pretty good to me, if you really want to have two terms. I can also see that because there is both the main controller app and the device app modules, you have two configuration phases.

60  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "English" <> "German" translations on: June 18, 2014, 12:30:55 PM
What does the app do? I think there could be one more twist here, using the word "customizing" or related words. Possibly even "designing the environment". The example I am thinking of is back at my old job, unlike just "installing and configuring" something simple like a web browser, we changed accounting packages and procedures, so while the software itself happily sat there installed and even maybe "configured", if you change your accounting coding, you have to decide a certain type of financial data strategy.

So then when pulling data such as previously produced construction estimate files, you have to prepare the data to be imported etc.

61  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: June 18, 2014, 08:44:30 AM
@TaoPhoenix: Well, the shirt is one thing - and it makes a pretty definite statement in its own right - but the "champion for the downtrodden" is a little different, because it is something that stems from the context of the American legal system and incentivisation to litigation, which itself is arguably a form of pestilence deliberately unleashed by the Americans.
Thus, to say "...that could change the world..." could arguably really be to say "that could rectify the gross injustices permitted and promulgated by the American legal-political system and inflicting Americans and often people from other nations alike."

Hmm, okay, so maybe I slightly overstated the phrasing, but one cool new thing about the net is we're seeing stories about other countries' legal systems that would have been almost impossible to learn about before. I think I recall you're in New Zealand, right? Just maybe I might have known that a lot of movies are filmed there, but there's no way old time newspapers would have carried a story about anyone like Kim Dotcom and related ministerial problems over there. But with the "echo-ripple" effect of viral news, there's thirty or more big blogs, so once one finds a story, everyone else spins it and then it all builds up until any four of your favorites has the story.

62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: June 18, 2014, 02:37:07 AM


I've remarked a few times that if one of the anonymous billionaires really wants to do some good for charity etc, they can be the silent bankroll partner for a good lawyer like this one. So it's not clear if that's the setup here, aka who can take on companies like Philip Morris cold, but part of all our grumpy bickering is there are far too few teams of good-guy lawyers for hire for the little guys.

It's a bit funny - lawyers aren't "with a party" like politicians tend to be. So just suppose as a thought experiment, imagine a team of *one hundred lawyers* (aka scary capacity) powered by about five of those 79 year old billionaires who have nothing to lose - that could change the world because all the two bit sharks know they can't just send a nasty letter and watch their charge roll over.

63  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: New Here on: June 18, 2014, 02:25:21 AM
Hi, everyone! I am Yong from China. And I am working in a software company too. It is very nice to join you. I will try my best to help solve problems!

Good for you! Welcome to DC!
64  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Stuff We Feel Like Bitching About on: June 17, 2014, 08:20:19 PM
Nobody using Ghostery for blocking ads? Although the source of this browser plug-in (all the main ones, except IE) might be considered questionable, I am using it to my satisfaction. it's the only blocker in my browser (FF) and even on the more...adult sites, it blocks beyond belief.

Wow. I've known about Ghostery for years. I have it, but I must have turned it off in some kind of test and forgot. I knew it blocked a lot of the "trackers", but most of them I wasn't that concerned about, but it seems to help with some of the sliders too. And it also looks like it greatly slows down the "pings".

Without getting all exhaustive, nice tip!

Now what then springs to mind is why does this have to be Ghostery, and AdBlock doesn't do that?

Also, a subset of the bitch-rant is that a lot of these things aren't in fact ads, they're native site content that just seems to want to slide stuff everywhere, like Sharing or Menus. So each of these sites wants to run like twelve scripts, of which seven are vital where the content doesn't even load without them, and the other five are the ones I hate. I don't have the energy to wade through that each time for forty sites, so I just hack my way around it all.

65  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: June 17, 2014, 12:56:55 AM
The world's luckiest unlucky man:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZyUWLW7kEI" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZyUWLW7kEI</a>

That's epic Edvard!

66  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Stuff We Feel Like Bitching About on: June 17, 2014, 12:50:15 AM
I just hit another one.


It's ping.chartbeat.net and edge.simplereach.com

And here is your example of a Slider.

67  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Stuff We Feel Like Bitching About on: June 17, 2014, 12:45:31 AM
You and StoicJoker are far more tolerant than I am. My default for a while now has been to block everything.

This was one of my original points Renny. I have AdBlock on permanently, but these random things show up anyway. I have a "JS-Nuke" button on my browser that I can toggle, but then part of the time the page doesn't even load because some dev decided to make the content script driven.

I was saying I don't bother with things like NoScript and specific site prefs because I will only view something like the Kansas Star three times based on a Slashdot article. I have no energy to try to make a custom profile out of that. And even if I wanted to, I don't know how to allow the script that loads the page, but disallow the timed one that slides over and screams HEY RENNY! YOU'RE MY HERO! YOU'RE A MINOR DEITY! NOW READ THIS NEW ARTICLE YOU DIDN'T KNOW WE HAD!!

68  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: TrueCrypt is Now Abandonware?! on: June 17, 2014, 12:38:40 AM
One cool thing about DC is we have fewer but longer threads here. I get a lot of the early news from Slashdot but I never go back more than a day or two for older threads. Instead, here, however Mouser did it, we don't have nearly as many trolls, so longer threads get to develop and mature.

I have just given out a couple more of my Mouser Bucks recently. Slowly but steadily, DC is overtaking /. as my favorite site to visit! : )

69  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: June 17, 2014, 12:32:32 AM
Nice to see that Dan McCall's parody T-shirts have been allowed by the establishment, though not without a fight, it seems.
I think they are rather clever and make their point well.
It’s OK to parody the NSA | Ars Technica
Man who beat NSA in T-shirt parody case wins against Ready for Hillary | Ars Technica

That NSA one is the only one I'd consider wearing. "Oligarchy" is too tame. It's been various oligarchies in different sectors for a hundred years.

But that NSA one, that's one fighting shirt! But will we hear stories about 81 of the 100 customers mysteriously experience problems!?

70  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: TrueCrypt is Now Abandonware?! on: June 16, 2014, 03:19:25 PM
This however may also be a clearer proof there's such a hidden message than otherwise. Very few people bother to learn real Latin these days. And most of what does get presented as a Latin phrase is really just English run through Google trans.


...That's kinda where I was headed with it...and I really wanted to be wrong.

We're starting to get into meta territory where I smell a court case brewing. The strange part of that whole "neither ... *nor deny*" phrase is ... well... I deny getting a national security letter at my home!

But what people such as users want to know is the Confirm part that the recipient is not easily supposed to do. But sending these coded signals ... is (presumably) confirming it! So I don't get that if these agencies go to all this trouble to deliver these nasty letters, and the recipient sends a canary message, maybe the govt *can't* sue the recipient because that would confirm the letter!

Also, "The first rule of the NSA Letter Club is not to talk about the NSA Letter Club", does interesting things to the legendary court phrase "Truth, Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth". What do you even do? "I swear to tell as much of the Truth as I am legally allowed to"?!

71  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Stuff We Feel Like Bitching About on: June 16, 2014, 02:58:58 PM
So I'm currently debating on changing my fairness policy.

Google mostly got ads right with little text thingies.

For anyone wanting to be "fair", that's about the best compromise.

But two new categories are making me grumpy.

Besides those "sliders", some sites have a "share" button that when you mouse-over it, drops this huge sized list of the big five-ish media sites. Facebook, Twitter, and whatever. And it seems really hard to get rid of, more than 1 click elsewhere, more like six.

The other is a live continuing script where it spends all day hitting "ping.chartbeat.com" and whatever that other one is, measuring parts of how long you are on the page. Yep, a page view is not enough, now it wants a durational timer!

An honorable mention is that some admittedly NSFW sites have a script that spawns new windows that the pop-up blocker doesn't see.

So in a sense readers are losing the inflation race. "An article is always an article", but it's like the site landlords are raising the rent or whatever on what ads they want to hold the writer hostage with.

72  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: TrueCrypt alternative on: June 12, 2014, 09:41:55 PM
I would like to see a report on the still-ongoing project to audit TrueCrypt (which project website apparently also holds a full copy of all the software and code) before pronouncing it as "dead".
Presumably it was not for nothing that Amazon Web Services some time back mandated the use of only TrueCrypt for its encryption, if you wanted to use their secure storage services. That mandate would presumably have been made for solid business reasons, and they would not have entered into it lightly. That alone could spell more for TrueCrypt's longevity than any recent unexplained closure of the TrueCrypt website.
The best alternative to TrueCrypt could yet well be TrueCrypt.

Others more cynical than I might suggest that, if the TrueCrypt takedown was the result of being nobbled by the NSA (e.g., like the two encrypted email services over the last 12 months), then the TrueCrypt developers may have been left little option but to shut down, rather than be obliged to leave TrueCrypt fitted full of NSA backdoors like Symantec and Microsoft encryption have been rumoured to be.
It's all a matter of trust.

Another fascinating comment. I guess what's confusing me is to my knowledge encryption is "just an algorithm" so I'd think if you took "Iain B rulez!" it might spit out weflhjegehwgewig or whatever. But I'd think you ran the same process twice in exactly the same way (maybe even including timestamps), you're get the *same* gobledy gook, right?

So you'd think Amazon wouldn't mess around, and maybe at some conference they sent a rep to, he'd get to comparing notes and Google sez "Hey, your output in your test case is different from mine. What's up with that?"

So even if the NSA is putting back doors in there, aren't we back to that famous discussion of "security via obscurity"? That the NSA is gambling that the back doors it's putting in there can't be found by anyone else?

And I'm still not happy with "the devs got tired and bored so they dumped their product." How would you normally end-of-life a security encryption suite? I'd think Bruce Schneier's alarm bells and maybe connections must be as good as anyone else's, so I'm sure he's been reviewing TrueCrypt forever, so maybe prior versions *used* to be good and only a *new* NSA letter threatens future editions. And I'm also amazed how no one can "find" the developers to hear their side. With how tricky the non-reveal clauses are, if someone called the devs and gets hung up on, "no words are many words" just like the did to the website.

And then the community - let's say a backdoor is in there, I'd think they would be pissed that their entire collective study and review of the program would miss them.

73  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: NIX: KDE anyone? First thoughts. on: June 12, 2014, 09:19:08 PM
It's been to long for me to remember any of this, but what I vaguely recall was just that it was just different enough from Good ol' Win XP that it was annoying me. Specifically the right click menu options felt strange. Prob MS has some kind of patent on what 12 commands can be in a menu or whatever, but it slowed me down. It would possibly be like trying to learn driving in Britain - lots of people do their thing quite nicely, but darn I'm not good enough of a driver to have THAT reflex messed with!

And because I was only just dabbling with a cheap box from best buy, I never really got going with any of the apps. Then one day uBuntu dropped a key driver between editions that hosed the box for all future Ubuntu distros up to however far I got. I did find a sub-sub distro with the driver back, but around then I was just growing tired of it all.

74  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: WinXP is officially dead! on: June 11, 2014, 01:31:37 PM

For a small indy developer, I think it comes down to accepting XP is now an orphan which will remain running until the inevitable major malware attack finally renders it unsafe to use under any circumstances. ...

...it's not a good idea to appear to be working at cross purposes to Microsoft. You could get taken off distribution for all the inside info (i.e the type of detail you usually need an invite and a signed non-disclosure agreement to get access to) that big devs rely on for their own product development efforts. If Microsoft says XP is over - then it's over as far as these guys are concerned.

And I daresay I am part of the problem who will continue to use XP even after major malware attacks! Just because I think this is a special time in computing history. The OS gang seems to want to flip their OS's really fast - MS catching up to Apple and Linux in that respect. Other than that I am a laggard, the basic run of XP feels about right to me - nice and steady. This "We'll stop supporting an OS after about four or fewer years" really makes me nervous!

This comment surprised me, and it's why I gave out one of my MouserBucks to 40hz just now. I get it if devs are just playing simple economics; while it doesn't make me happy, at least chapter 3 of the economics text explains it. And a few of the devs of my favorite apps at least promise to try to support it for a couple more years.

It's a whole other level of sinister if MS decides to get vicious and start playing "leverage games". Fine, stop supporting the OS for your own reasons, but don't turn around and start pressuring the devs of apps with information access blackmail!!

75  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: WinXP registry hack enables further security updates on: June 11, 2014, 01:19:12 PM
Yeah I just found those too, and they made me nervous compared to the prev updates as discussed in that original sensational article.

"Security Updates for XP" from the first set has a way different sound than "Update for Wepos and POSready 2009".

So I turned Auto Update totally off for now. And per my initial comment, that original article was all news of the week, but it's much harder to find info on what these new ones are doing for people who took that initial suggestion!

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