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5876  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Steve Jobs is dead. on: October 06, 2011, 06:33:47 PM
I also do not feel the need to make lite of his passage.

How refreshing!  smiley  Thmbsup

5877  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Recommendations For PHP 5.3 Shared Web Host Please? on: October 06, 2011, 06:30:14 PM
I have a client that selected GoDaddy (I know, I know!) primarily because they offered up to PHP 5.3.6 on their Linux hosting accounts.

Can't say too much about GD in general. My client really likes them. I'll probably give GD a try with a small project I'm working on since I've heard so much (mostly positive) about them. They're certainly affordable. And it looks like you can pay month to month so it shouldn't be a problem bailing if I decide they're not for me.

Luck! Thmbsup

5878  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Server for my online files on: October 06, 2011, 06:09:56 PM
Who is your host and what is your website about?


  • you process payments
  • deal with sensitive political, social, or religious topics
  • host what might be called "adult" material in some jurisdiction somewhere
  • do anything involving minors (games, clubs, etc.)
  • allow users to post files or photos
  • keep any  personal information or records in a private directory on your host's servers

...then only deal with a well-known reputable host provider. They have the infrastructure and security assets to help keep you out of preventable trouble.

If it's just a personal website or blog that doesn't have heavy traffic, or get spiked on a regular basis, it shouldn't matter. Take a look at your traffic logs. That should tell you if you need to move up to dedicated or virtual hosting from shared.

As Shades pointed out, the decision to get a dedicated server is more of a traffic and uptime issue than a security one.

The ultimate quality of your site's security is determined by your host. You can be just as vulnerable with a dedicated server as you can with a shared if your host isn't overly concerned about security. The other part of the formula is YOU. If you're sloppy and careless with your passwords (or configuration settings on a dedicated server), the most secure host service in the world won't be able to protect you.

To recap: if you're concerned about security - get a different host. If you're concerned about traffic, uptime, or quality of web experience - consider a dedicated server.

P.S. Welcome to DonationCoder! smiley
5879  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NAS Recommendations? on: October 06, 2011, 05:36:45 PM
I found RND4000 to be well designed and built, and delivers what I ask from it (storage size >= 8TB, SMB write speed >= 25MB/s, quiet operations).

For me it qualifies as a great NAS.

Read reviews from end-users here:

Hmm.. 28 out of 80 gave it 5 stars. 22 out of 80 gave it 1. So about 27%, (or a little better than 1 out of 4 buyers) weren't crazy about it. And the complaints all center around hardware failures or software/firmware issues right out of the box - along with complaints about horrendous tech support.

That maps out pretty much to what my experience with Netgear has been.

Again, if you don't have a serious problem right out of the box, or within three months, these gadgets plug along like little champs. It's when you get one of their clunkers that it becomes a headache to deal with.

My biggest complaint about Netgear is their support. I deal with networks and servers for a living. I don't expect a company to not make engineering mistakes. What I do expect is for them to take responsibility and make good on them when they do.

I don't feel Netgear has that ethic.

Just my personal opinion. Your mileage may vary. smiley

5880  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NAS Recommendations? on: October 06, 2011, 01:03:38 PM
FWIW I've been a little leery of Netgear after several problems getting them to honor legitimate warranty claims, generally not very good experiences with their tech support, and numerous cases of "lost" rebate submissions.

Then there's product quality. I've experienced problems with every category of product I have ever bought from Netgear: switches, routers, NAS devices, and adapters. Which is a real shame because some of their product designs are extremely innovative.

My biggest problem is when you get the occasional lemon from them. Most times, their stuff runs reliably. But when there's a problem, getting a fix (or especially a replacement under warranty) is a royal pain.

My experience has taught me to view their products as disposables. Maybe they're that inexpensive up front for a reason? Because whenever a Netgear device breaks (and they do with regularity around the three or so year mark for me) I've learned your best bet is to just scrap them and get something else.

Maybe they've gotten better recently?



Note: I don't know much about the RND4000 since I've never worked with that particular unit. But I was not particularly wild about the software that shipped with the boxes I have worked with. There were some very clunky aspects to the implementation along with some maddening limitations and gotchas. To be fair, I know that's not something that's unique to Netgear. But I'd strongly suggest downloading a user manual if one is available before making a purchase. (Hmm...that's good pre-purchase advice for any device come to think of it. mrgreen)

5881  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NAS Recommendations? on: October 06, 2011, 10:45:19 AM
^Guess it depends on where you are.  I just bought a 1TB (not on sale) for $99 USD. Maybe not as cheap as the big drives. But not really all that much more expensive in total dollars either. I'd also rather have two or three smaller drives right now than one of those 3TB monsters for no other reason than not wanting too much kept in one basket. Even with RAID or good backups. at least not until some real-world long-term reliability stats become available.
5882  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NAS Recommendations? on: October 06, 2011, 10:30:39 AM
@Ren- Dont really need to be "super up" on hardware anymore. Grin Most of what's out there is good stuff. So all that remains is getting a solution you can work with. FWIW I'm currently in favor of using 2.5" laptop-type drives for small personal servers. They're really rugged since they're designed to be moved around and they use a lot less power. take them out if a cramped laptop case and their thermal characteristics also improve drastically. There's some manufacturers (forget which and can't do a search since I'm at a client site) that have put together some really sweet multibay swappable enclosures for these little guys.

And +1 about power too. My electric bill really is obscene too. Getting my e-footprint smaller is a big priority for me next year.  Thmbsup
5883  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NAS Recommendations? on: October 06, 2011, 10:08:43 AM
^It provides NAS functionalities. Plug any USB drive (or drive bay) into the USB and you're on your way. And you can also mount the Tonido hosted drive on another machine if you want to.
5884  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: NAS Recommendations? on: October 06, 2011, 10:00:26 AM
How about Tonido?

I've done a few of these for small clients who want to set up a quick project collaboration server and they fit the bill quite nicely. Price is right too!

It's more than you're looking for, but you do get remote access (plus a whole lot more) as part of the deal. And if you spring for their inexpensive and optional TonidoPlug as your server it's green too!

Note: They have new "plug" (Tonido2) coming out soon and it looks like the old one is no longer being offered so you may have to wait (or shop around) if you want one.
5885  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Steve Jobs is dead. on: October 06, 2011, 07:23:31 AM
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

                             - Wm. Shakespeare

Dear Steve:

Well... it's certainly been one merry dance you've led us on!

For better or for worse, I doubt we'll see another quite like it.

So good-bye for now. Safe journeys.

I wish you well.

I wish you peace.

5886  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Need Partner, Help Me Make PC Gaming Better! on: October 05, 2011, 02:44:49 PM
I only asked because I think the fact you have prototype code and a SourceForge presence goes a long way towards establishing credibility for your project. Don't downplay it. Many projects never get beyond the "bright promise for the future" speeches. If yours has - let people know. smiley Thmbsup
5887  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Life-Changing $20 Rightward-Facing Cow on: October 05, 2011, 12:25:01 PM
Love it! Absolutely love it!!  Grin

5888  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Hoping for a Patent Bloodbath XD on: October 05, 2011, 11:33:27 AM
Maybe we should come up with an official Battle-of-the-Century logo for this fight. That way it'll be easier to know where to go place bets on the outcome as the game plays out.

I'm thinking two cannibals eating eachother alive ... Sound good?

Perfect. That or two flesh-eating Zombies! (I like to keep it trendy! Grin )

5889  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Berkeley scientists make pictures from brainwaves on: October 05, 2011, 11:20:31 AM
Wouldn't it be easier to just show a very fuzzy photo of a naked woman?

That would accurately reflect about 90% of all male brainwaves roughly 90% of the time. tongue

5890  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Serious pushback - ACTA characterized as violating fundamental human rights on: October 05, 2011, 11:14:33 AM
Anybody with a brain in their head who has looked into it can see ACTA as a serious threat to both generally accepted civil liberties and due legal process.

Unfortunately, the arguments against it have tended to veer towards the emotional rather than the carefully reasoned.

Looks like that's just changed with the release of a 90-page and somewhat ponderously titled OPINION on the compatibility of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) with the European Convention on Human Rights & the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

It's written by Douwe Korff, Professor of International Law at London Metropolitan University; and Ian Brown, a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute of the University of Oxford.

from the introduction:

About this Opinion:

This Opinion was prepared at the request of the Greens/European Free Alliance group in the
European Parliament. It follows a request by Jan Albrecht, Green/EFA MEP, to the EP Legal
Affairs Committee to find out “if the final Version of ACTA and its foreseen legislative procedure is
in line with the Treaties of the European Union and which legal possibilities there are for the
European Parliament to challenge this in front of the European Court of Justice.” It seeks to provide
part of the answer to that question (only), in that incompatibility of ACTA with the European
Convention on Human Rights and/or the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights would make adoption
and implementation of the Agreement illegal under EU law. The Opinion sets out the views of the
authors that there is indeed such an incompatibility, with the underlying arguments.

I just finished working my way through it, and it's a valuable read.

The Greens|European Free Alliance website has posted a good summary of the conclusions of the paper if you're not up for reading through the entire thing:

ACTA anti-counterfeiting agreement
New study underlines rights concerns with ACTA, strengthens calls for deal to be scrapped

A new study on the compatibility of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) with the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, commissioned by the Greens/EFA group, was presented in the European Parliament today. The study underlines concerns that the ACTA agreement violates fundamental rights, strengthening the arguments of the Greens and others that are calling for the agreement to be scrapped. Speaking at the launch, Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht said:

"This study shows clearer than ever that the ACTA agreement violates binding fundamental rights. As such, the EU and its member states cannot ratify the agreement and have a duty to scrap the ACTA agreement as it stands.

"As the study points out, encouraging the 'cooperation' between internet providers and the content industry amounts to privatised policing, violating the rule of law and the right to fair judicial process. ACTA also allows for the monitoring of internet users without initial suspicion, the handing over of their personal data to rights holders on the basis of mere claims and the transfer of this data even to countries without adequate data protection, all of which is in clear conflict with legal guarantees of fundamental rights in the EU. The agreement does not contain 'fair use' clauses or exceptions for trivial or minimal infringements. It therefore tilts the balance - both in terms of substance and of process - unfairly in favour of rights holders and against users and citizens.

"Given the clear fundamental rights concerns with this agreement, the European Parliament should not consent to its ratification. As a first step to this end, the EP should refer ACTA to the European Court of Justice for a final legal opinion (2), before it proceeds with any consent vote, and the Greens will push for this referral to take place later this year."

They've also provided link to the press conference video and a link to download the paper itself.

Be sure to check it out.  ACTA is something that will affect all of us in alarming ways if it's allowed to stand unchallenged and remain unchanged from its present form. ohmy

5891  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Hoping for a Patent Bloodbath XD on: October 05, 2011, 08:21:55 AM
I'd like to hope the fracas will get so ridiculous that the international legal system will rise up in revulsion and get the whole stupid IP/patent situation resolved once and for all.

Unfortunately, the dream of "a war to end all wars" only leads to bigger and worse conflicts down the road. At least if human history is anything to go by.

One thing for certain. This is going to get a whole lot worse before there's even the slimmest of chances it will get better.

5892  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Need Partner, Help Me Make PC Gaming Better! on: October 05, 2011, 01:46:41 AM
Just out of curiosity, would this project you're talking about be the "Aurora" thing found here and here?

5893  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: You're only as free and private as the network YOU control on: October 04, 2011, 08:22:00 PM
@app103 - you're my kind of techno-wonk (as in "been there" and prudent)  Thmbsup
5894  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: You're only as free and private as the network YOU control on: October 04, 2011, 04:35:55 PM
^Could well be a regional thing as you mentioned. Can't vouch for actual POTs use, but at least half the ADSL I see around here comes in via a local phone company plug. Cablevision was doing well for a while. But that last hurricane that knocked out power for 3-5 days took the blush off the rose for a lot of VoIP users I've talked to.
5895  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: You're only as free and private as the network YOU control on: October 04, 2011, 03:20:32 PM
The downside being, who uses PSTNs anymore??

Um...how about most residential and SMB customers in the United States last I heard?

They've got billions and billions tied up in old infrastructure. Think they're gonna scrap all that just because there's better and more efficient ways to get the job done while there's still some chance of kludging even a semi-solution together with stuff they've already got? There's still places in the US where you can't get broadband or cellular signals. And they're not all out in the boondocks either. If you go down towards the beach in one of the most exclusive areas in the town I live in, you're lucky if you can get EDGE (let alone 3G) on your smartphone. Sometimes you'll even hit NO SERVICE if you drive around too much. And this is only 45 miles outside of New York City in one of the most densely settled areas of the USA.

I'm not even sure you can get straight DSL/SDSL for a residence in most places around where I live. It's pretty address dependent. ADSL over a POTS line (self-installed) is more the norm. undecided

5896  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: You're only as free and private as the network YOU control on: October 04, 2011, 02:45:49 PM
What options does that leave for Fido, and the BBSs if the internet's TCP/IP v? gets perverted into (Uber regulated) Cable Pay Channels?

Mesh radio networks. Self-strung community copper or glass. Modems (remember them?) and standard analog phonelines. (That's all Fidonet used originally.) Point-to-point wifi and IR laser. ULF pirate radio relay...there's tons of options. Probably be better if they got off of other people's wires and networks altogether anyway.

Note: this is more geared for ensuring the free flow of data and information - not so much for gaming, media streaming or other "entertainment" type functions although that's not to say that wouldn't be possible at some point. Having a method to relay some blocked video footage or images such that they could be distributed (even if only via USB key) is important since a picture is worth a thousand words. Look at the impact of the "Officer Pepperspray" video on showing how being a peaceful demonstrator is no protection from officially sanctioned violence when the udders of sacred cows are being squeezed.

5897  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Hoping for a Patent Bloodbath XD on: October 04, 2011, 02:34:20 PM

We can dream, can't we? They haven't taken that away from us yet.
The forthcoming Apple dream tax is a core strategy!

Yes indeed. See Patent#24536487756453839 - On a method for generating eidetic mental images through the use of unconscious and semi-conscious non-ambulatory rest periods.
Kidding...just kidding... Wink

5898  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Cross-platform mobile apps development: MonoTouch/MonoDroid, Marmalade, etc. on: October 04, 2011, 02:22:55 PM
You might want to take a look at a product called Illumination by Radical Breeze Software. It's a cross-platform code-generator type RAD tool that runs under Windows, OS X, or Linux and outputs native source code for: Windows, OSX, Linux, Android, iOS, Maemo, and Flex/Flash. HTML5 was just added and is a free upgrade.

I bought a copy ($50) a few days ago and (so far) it looks very promising.

It is primarily designed to handle user interface and basic program functions although it's pretty robust in that regard. The really nice thing about it is that it generates decent stand-alone royalty-free code which does not require a custom runtime or library in order for it to work. The produced code can also be edited, re-purposed, or incorporated into a more traditionally developed project - or where the project requirements exceed the scope of what Illumination was designed for. Very cool.

The visual design methodology will likely draw sneers from a lot of coders. But having coded both ways, I have to admit that putting something together or starting with this tool is a major timesaver.

The code it generates can also be studied. I found some of its approaches to doing things quite interesting since Illumination's coding approach and style is often very different from my own.

Illumination is the brainchild of Linux Action Show co-host Bryan Lunduke. Smart guy with some interesting things to say about open software, coding, and Linux. There's a good intro video up on YouTube (58 mins!) where Bryan demos and talks about Illumination, the design philosophy behind it, how it works, and then does some Q&A with the audience. Well worth a watch if you're at all interested in this product or what it does. I decided to buy a copy after watching the video because I got so curious about it.

WARNING: The recorded audio quality is pretty bad, as Bryan warns at the beginning of the vid. IMO it's really not that bad (ok...it is). But it's worth putting up with since the talk is quite interesting. Especially where Bryan gets into what the design goals were for Illumination - and how they were ("mostly" by his own admission) accomplished.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_6Hu3FoO08" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_6Hu3FoO08</a>

If the sound really drives you nuts, there's an older formal presentation that covers pretty much the same ground. Just be aware that the version in this video is version 1.0beta4. The current version is 4.0 so it's since gone a ways beyond the limitations of the version shown in this video.

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

Disclaimer: 40hz's only relation to Radical Breeze is that he bought a copy of Illumination. And with his own money too!

5899  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / You're only as free and private as the network YOU control on: October 04, 2011, 01:19:14 PM
I've become increasingly concerned about all the intrusions and monitoring that goes on in our increasingly corporate and government controlled Internet.

I'm not so completely concerned that I'd unquestioningly condone things like Anonymous - or even give Wikileaks blanket approval in many instances.

But I think the battle for privacy, and possibly even legal checks and balances, is a battle already lost. Much like the first printing presses (and later radio broadcasting) there are now massive attempts to regulate the Internet far beyond what is necessary to make it safe for individuals. Because it is now deemed necessary, and far more important, to protect corporate and political interests as well.  

There used to be an old joke that said the United States government only offers constitutional protection for unfettered free speech if it can't be heard beyond the range of a man speaking in a very loud voice. Not much of a joke really, since shouting can get you arrested if you do it in public, or if your next door neighbour complains. And if you add any technology to the mix (a bullhorn, a recording, a radio or TV broadcast, a digital camera, an e-mail account, a weblink to a blog, etc.) such that your voice actually might get heard by enough people that it could matter, then out comes the legal droids to show how communicating your thoughts with anything other than your vocal-cords is not really speech - but somehow...in some way...something else.

And that "something else" is not protected by constitutional guarantees because it is not "speech." QED.

Seems those already in power are rapidly showing just how open to the notion of general public "empowerment" they really are.

But some people tend not to accept as unalterable what's been handed them by a (mostly) benign government and their (sometimes) benevolent corporate backers. Enter those who propose alternative networks to supplement or replace the Internet.

There's an interesting article on The Chronical of Higher Education's website that documents some of the efforts of what's been dubbed the "free-network movement." Well worth reading and thinking about. Link to full article here with thanks to OSNews.com for the find.

Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets
College 2.0: Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets

By Jeffrey R. Young

Yana Paskova for The Chronicle

Eben Moglen, a law professor at Columbia U., is developing the Freedom Box, a personal server that makes data harder to intercept. "The Net we have is increasingly monitored, measured, and surveilled everywhere by everybody all the time," he says. "Our Net has been turned against us."

Computer networks proved their organizing power during the recent uprisings in the Middle East, in which Facebook pages amplified street protests that toppled dictators. But those same networks showed their weaknesses as well, such as when the Egyptian government walled off most of its citizens from the Internet in an attempt to silence protesters.

That has led scholars and activists increasingly to consider the Internet's wiring as a disputed political frontier.

For example, one weekend each month, a small group of computer programmers gathers at a residence here to build a homemade Internet—named Project Byzantium—that could go online if parts of the current global Internet becomes blocked by a repressive government.

Using an approach called a "mesh network," the system would set up an informal wireless network connecting users with other nearby computers, which in turn would pass along the signals. The mesh network could tie back into the Internet if one of the users found a way to plug into an unblocked route. The developers recently tested an early version of their software at George Washington University (though without the official involvement of campus officials).

The leader of the effort, who goes by the alias TheDoctor but who would not give his name, out of concern that his employer would object to the project, says he fears that some day repressive measures could be put into place in the United States.

So what do you think? Do you see something like a modern cousin of Fidonet in your future?


5900  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Hoping for a Patent Bloodbath XD on: October 04, 2011, 12:50:28 PM
Ah Renegade!

It's good to have a dream.  Grin

And it could get so dull around here without you.  Thmbsup

Thanks for the giggle.  smiley
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