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201  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal on: October 17, 2011, 07:36:44 PM
Or, optimistically speaking, the editors will go freelance or have editing companies of their own, the outdated and unnecessary dead tree publishers will die over the next 15 years, and we'll be left with a leaner, meaner system that's just as good at creating quality work but is also higher bandwidth. Mass voting and review output from readers will decide what succeeds. Yes, this means absolute bullshit could well be the most popular and make the most money. That's just down to the nature of modern society, possibly even human nature, but the underlying systems are - in my opinion - still better. Potential for less restriction, less bureaucracy, etc, etc. Then again it could all go to crap. Wink

- Oshyan
202 Software / Find And Run Robot / Re: FARR not a commonly downloaded program? on: October 16, 2011, 12:32:22 PM
I wonder if certificate signing really is the solution, do we have any definitive knowledge that it is? If so, I understand the intention, but really don't agree with the methodology. As the recent rash of compromised CAs has shown, this is hardly an effective security measure. What good is "trust" when the trusted parties don't care enough to implement proper security on their trust-granting systems?!

The idea of offering certification assistance to freeware authors who host their stuff here is interesting and worth further consideration I think.

Btw wraith, I do think they flag exes specifically with this, so your downloads probably weren't triggered precisely because they're zips. This is not an antivirus scan being run by IE, it's pattern matching, with exe as a likely component that increases risk assessment. Scanning inside ZIPs probably isn't done. That job is really up to your antivirus.

Edit: Ran some tests, interesting results. A download of one of Skwire's programs from here in ZIP format did not show the same message. A download of Terragen in MSI (installable) form from also did *not* trigger the message. To the best of my knowledge the Terragen installer is not signed, but it's also not an EXE. It may also be more popular than FARR, though that's debatable.

- Oshyan
203  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: ScraperWiki on: October 13, 2011, 03:40:27 PM
I haven't had a chance to look closely at this but the quoted description sounds quite promising, similar to something I was looking for a while back. Thanks for posting, I'll check it out!

- Oshyan
204  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Real life version of a Half Life 2 map on: October 13, 2011, 03:13:08 PM
FTFY (Fixed That For You) is quite common on Slashdot and I'm familiar with it as a result. Same use as IFYP.

- Oshyan
205  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Real life version of a Half Life 2 map on: October 13, 2011, 01:32:42 AM
I started feeling hungry half-way through. What's wrong with me? cheesy

Seriously though, crazy stuff. I don't get why he's stepping next to the holes in the concrete, I would be stepping on the metal sides at those parts. Oh well, he survived...

- Oshyan
206  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Wow: Google insider explains why Big G may lose the Internet wars on: October 12, 2011, 10:15:54 PM
This is a really amazing post by a Google employee, supposedly intended originally for a private Google audience but "accidentally" posted publicly and now, apparently, allowed to remain public. Read it while it lasts!
Some choice quotes:
I was at Amazon for about six and a half years, and now I've been at Google for that long. One thing that struck me immediately about the two companies -- an impression that has been reinforced almost daily -- is that Amazon does everything wrong, and Google does everything right... But there's one thing [Amazon] do really really well that pretty much makes up for ALL of their political, philosophical and technical screw-ups.
That one last thing that Google doesn't do well is Platforms. We don't understand platforms. We don't "get" platforms. Some of you do, but you are the minority. This has become painfully clear to me over the past six years. I was kind of hoping that competitive pressure from Microsoft and Amazon and more recently Facebook would make us wake up collectively and start doing universal services. Not in some sort of ad-hoc, half-assed way, but in more or less the same way Amazon did it: all at once, for real, no cheating, and treating it as our top priority from now on. But no. No, it's like our tenth or eleventh priority. Or fifteenth, I don't know. It's pretty low.

It's a long write-up but well worth reading all of it. Please do!

I don't really have much to add except to say that I've never really understood this issue as clearly as he states it here. I've had some sense of it, but the way he lays it out makes it blindingly obvious. I hope Google learns from this because I like their products and the general way they do things, but it's true that they are slowly losing the platform wars. I honestly thought G+ must have had a strong platform vision internally that was slowly being exposed to the outside world, but it sounds like maybe that's not the case. Eek!

- Oshyan
207  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Multiple printer defs under W7. Anyone have the key to this? on: October 11, 2011, 01:58:39 AM
Does your printer driver not have a built-in preset or setting memory management function? Or do you just want to make it a little quicker to access something like that?

- Oshyan
208  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: App vendors discover a new way to abuse Windows on: October 09, 2011, 02:31:04 AM
Silent updates and EULA changes are separate issues. A new EULA should always notify the user, regardless of whether the app it applies to updates silently. Keep in mind a EULA can be updated without the software being updated and - probably much more the norm anyway - software can be updated without the EULA changing.

- Oshyan
209  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Buying a fast new PC, anyone have a favorite US system builder? on: October 09, 2011, 01:54:04 AM
Looks like I'll be going with Puget Systems for this one. I'll be sure to let you all know how my post-purchase experience goes, but so far the pre-purchase service has been great.

Can't wait to play with this thing. Anyone else looking forward to Battlefield 3? cheesy

- Oshyan
210  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: App vendors discover a new way to abuse Windows on: October 07, 2011, 08:21:12 PM
Chrome did it not because of not wanting admin rights for *install*, but so it could support their silent auto-update feature, something which a lot of Chrome users actually appreciate (some even though they don't know it, hehe). It made me uncomfortable when I found that out, kind of like installing an app accidentally into My Documents or something (which I've done before long ago). Very messy. I do wish there was a better way to achieve what Google is trying to do with Chrome though. If they could sort out a way to establish "trust" for a given exe and then positively determine if a request to change that exe *originated from the exe itself* (or a process spawned by the exe), as in the case of an update, then it could auto-trust that perhaps. Yeah, probably an exploitable security risk. I don't know what the solution is but I think there will be a consistent push to have apps that keep themselves updated more easily and I'm more or less in favor of that.

- Oshyan
211  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Need Partner, Help Me Make PC Gaming Better! on: October 07, 2011, 07:08:52 PM
Excellent. Added to my RSS!

- Oshyan
212  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Buying a fast new PC, anyone have a favorite US system builder? on: October 07, 2011, 03:41:39 PM
Thanks for the input guys. I'm guessing people here tend to either build their own fancy machines, or just get something a bit more stock/standard from a more major vendor. My primary interest was in finding out about people's preferred system builders, but I think I've got a decent handle on my options at this point. Puget is courting me pretty well still, there's a few hundred dollar price premium, but their OC offering combined with incredible ratings and good customer service vs. the major cheap competition of CyberPower and iBuyPower probably means they'll get my business.

I'll be sure to come back and post details of what I actually end up with, especially in terms of the from-the-factory overclock. They promise 30-45% which could be up to 4.9Ghz on the i7 2600k. Sweet!

- Oshyan
213  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Recommendations For PHP 5.3 Shared Web Host Please? on: October 07, 2011, 02:22:22 AM
I've heard surprisingly good things about Host Monster in the past. Supports PostgreSQL, but not sure of PHP 5.x version.

- Oshyan
214  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Life-Changing $20 Rightward-Facing Cow on: October 07, 2011, 02:09:16 AM
Fascinating! I'm quite interested in the philosophy behind, yet totally repulsed by the reality of addictive, mindless gaming a la Facebook and Zynga. I'm curious to see what Bogost makes of all this after some more thought.

- Oshyan
215  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Need Partner, Help Me Make PC Gaming Better! on: October 07, 2011, 01:42:56 AM
Interesting idea(s), promising that you've already got some code put down. Unfortunately I have no spare time to contribute, but I'll be watching the progress with great interest.

- Oshyan
216  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Macrium Reflect Free 5 is out on: October 07, 2011, 12:41:17 AM
5.0 now supports disk-to-disk cloning which is a very nice addition.

- Oshyan
217  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Buying a fast new PC, anyone have a favorite US system builder? on: October 06, 2011, 05:45:19 PM
Thanks nudone. The OCZ seemed like a slightly better option, but much less available at the system builders I've seen. The difference from the Intel 510 didn't seem huge in real world benchmarks, though in synthetic benches it was more noticeable.

Interesting that they'll OC to that level on air cooling, that's roughly 30%. You sure it won't have to be noisy? As for foam padding, yeah that's an option at some places, I'll definitely do that if available.

- Oshyan
218  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Buying a fast new PC, anyone have a favorite US system builder? on: October 06, 2011, 04:50:33 PM
I've decided to buy a kick ass new gaming and 3D render box. I've got most of the parts picked out but, while in the past I would have built it myself, I'm not going to bother this time. One reason for that is I am hoping to get it overclocked from the system builder. I've never really messed with overclocking seriously and I'd rather have it arrive at my door in a known-working overclocked state.

I'll get to my parts list in a minute, which I'd welcome feedback on. But since I'm going to have the thing built for me, my biggest decision at the moment is what system builder to go with. I have a number of options I've found mostly through looking at Reseller Ratings' top rated businesses but would appreciate some more personal recommendations from DC-ers. Remember I'm hoping to have it overclocked by the system builder so they'll need to be experienced with that. They'll also need to carry the critical components of my build, of course. Finally, they should be US-based and ideally not located in California (for tax reasons).

Here are the retailers in current consideration, in no particular order. All have an 8 out of 10 or above on and at least 20 reviews each:

  • AVADirect
  • Puget Systems
  • Digital Storm
  • Main Gear
  • Stealth Machines
  • CyberPowerPC
  • Origin PC

Parts List:
  • High quality case, good cooling, preferably no side windows or front door (cases available depend on system builder)
  • 700W+ PSU with 80+ cert (Antec, Enermax, Silverstone, PC Power and Cooling, Thermaltake, Coolermaster)
  • Decent, reasonably priced socket 1155 motherboard with USB3 and eSATA (ASUS, Gigabyte, etc. - not too particular about this)
  • Core i7 2600k overclocked 20-50% (promised overclocking level available depends on system builder)
  • Liquid or high-end quiet air cooling (noise is a definite factor)
  • 16GB RAM (4x4GB, preferably 1600Mhz)
  • 120GB or larger SSD (probably Intel 510, though possibly OCZ Vertex 3, Crucial M4, or Kingston HyperX)
  • 2-3TB 7200RPM SATA HD (Western Digital Caviar Black or Seagate Barracuda XT, the latter being available in 3TB so preferable)
  • Geforce GTX 570
  • Basic SATA CD/DVD-RW
  • Onboard audio
  • Built-in memory card reader supporting SD and Compact Flash

As I said, noise is a consideration, so whenever possible I'm adding quieter case fans, fan gaskets, etc.

So far Puget is looking pretty strong. They have an excellent rep, great customer service (one of their reps contacted me directly via email after I saved a quote on their site to see if I had any questions and he was able to bring down my build cost a few hundred with some intelligent suggested changes), and while they're more expensive than some other options, they're definitely not out of the park on that. They also offer 30-45% overclocking, among the highest available that I've seen so far. Cyberpower is less well rated, but definitely comes in with the best price and options, including superclocked graphics card and some other freebie extras.

Edit: Any info on the imminent release of new hardware that may affect price or ideal components in this price/performance bracket is also useful. I know the i7 2700k is coming soon but from what I hear it will not slightly more expensive than the 2600k and as a result won't necessarily affect the latter's price. The 2600k has a known OC capability and I don't see it worth taking a risk nor waiting for the 2700k in that regard.

I also know AMD's new Bulldozer is coming out in just a week or so. From what I can see the fastest available version initially will be 3.6Ghz and will be a little bit cheaper than the 2600k. But judging by preliminary benchmarks I don't think it will reliably topple the 2600k, especially when the latter is overclocked. It does have an interesting "all cores turbo" feature that's sort of like built-in overclocking, but I haven't seen much as far as detail or performance on that. Also new AMD/ATI graphics card, the 7000 series, but I don't know much about it...

All feedback is welcome!


219  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Question to Everyone: Setting aside the technical meaning, does Donationware... on: September 26, 2011, 04:34:17 PM
As others, I can only offer my opinion. I'm glad you asked the question actually because my answers were a bit of a surprise - or at least not already known - to me.

What I realized is that, for me, "donate" gives me the psychological impression of a "weaker" and somehow less appealing offer (vs. "pay what you want"), regardless of the product in question. This is what I think is going on in my head.

Donating to me is associated with non-profits and, less commonly but as a greater extreme, the street performer or anyone else looking for a "hand out". If DC were a registered non-profit with tax decuctable status maybe my feelings would shift but since it's not, it *feels* like any other commercial enterprise asking for donations, i.e. not as "justified" as non-profits. Now I don't see mouser and donationware authors in general as actually looking for a "hand out", they produce real work in exchange, yet somehow the impression is not so different when the word "donation" is used. It has somehow a slightly negative, almost "pathetic", connotation. Let me be clear, I do not like that feeling on my part, I express it solely because it is true and it is interesting and hopefully it helps inform those who are seeking to find equitabl, non-traditional compensation models for their work.

On the other side, "pay what you want" has a rather impishly enjoyable, flippant quality to it, a casualness that perhaps obscures the true underlying similarity in the request ("support me"). Perhaps I should say more about it, but I think that captures my *impression* fairly accurately. Essentially, that there is a "heavyness" to "donation" and a "lightness" to "pay what you want". One is guilt, the other is freedom.

What I can't say for sure is which actually motivates me to donate more. Is it more compelling to feel guilty about not donating, or to feel like it's truly my choice and I am free either way? Honestly I lean toward the latter intellectually, but practically I have no actual evidence to base such a conclusion on.

Interesting topic, good question.

- Oshyan
220  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone seeing problems with MS Security Essentials recently? on: September 26, 2011, 04:19:14 PM
I haven't really noticed any problems with MSE myself, but I'm always curious to try new things. Though I'm not a big fan of PCMag, their recent freeware antivirus comparison brought Lavasoft's freeware solution to my attention. I'm currently testing it on my laptop, so far memory use seems a bit higher than MSE, but otherwise fine. Let's see how it does in long-term use...

- Oshyan
221  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Social Media's Hidden Truth on: September 26, 2011, 04:12:25 PM
Change the motivational to any social platform you want; G+ is no exception except it doesn't have corporations (yet). But it will eventually.

Except, er, Google, the biggest stats collector and web advertising company around. Sure there are no ads yet, but you can bet Google is watching usage closely. cheesy

- Oshyan
222  Special User Sections / The Getting Organized Experiment of 2009 / Re: Why Trying to be Productive is a Huge Waste of Time on: September 23, 2011, 04:12:52 PM
Interestingly, I've noticed how often productivity experts are authors by trade. Which in turn makes me wonder if most productivity systems are intrinsically better (or possibly best) adapted to the tasks surrounding a professional writer (deadlines, milestones, meetings, submissions, tracking, etc.) or related "wordsmith" careers than most other occupations.

Or maybe it's more like those people who write "get rich quick" schemes - the only one that actually works is writing and selling the schemes. Wink

- Oshyan
223  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The False Positive and Improperly Rated Site Epidemic on: September 23, 2011, 04:11:05 PM
Yes, I agree. That's why I said I hope this effort can develop toward that. This is a good way to start, getting people to post their experiences and getting pledges from devs/publishers for support of the idea.

- Oshyan
224  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: The False Positive and Improperly Rated Site Epidemic on: September 23, 2011, 04:03:24 PM
It's great to see someone finally tackling this. I hope the effort is successful. It sounds like you have some connections that will help. I'll do what I can to spread the word, though my networks are not necessarily large.

I also wanted to mention that I still think mouser's idea of a test and badge system rewarding good (low false positive) software/software publishers has a lot of potential. I think a combination of shaming the bad and rewarding the good could be most effective. Hopefully this effort can develop toward that long-term. But you have a good place to start.

- Oshyan
225  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: A unified solution for note taking and task management on: September 21, 2011, 03:12:07 PM
I'm liking Springpad fairly well so far. Its not super capable in any single area, but it has a great combination of features and is available on web and as a mobile app. It's got web clipping, basic rich text, tagging and sharing, notes as well as tasks, reminders and due dates, etc. And sometimes sheer ubiquity (available anywhere, anytime) can sometimes stand in for some amount of features in my case...

- Oshyan
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