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5876  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DC going offline to protest SOPA on Jan 18 on: January 19, 2012, 09:58:51 AM

Says it all really - and in calm rational terms

@Carol - thanks for sharing that. Clay is one of the best on media topics. And that was yet another of his great presentations.

However, I still think we need to starve Big Media out of existence to eliminate their threat once and for all. But maybe that's because I'm a stepchild of the counterculture so I have limited patience with overly genteel protest seeing how badly it's worked in many other contexts.

Besides, writing or calling your representatives isn't very effective in societies where there is no real representation of the general public. Not to say you shouldn't. (Every bit helps.) But I still don't think it will be anywhere near enough.

So I still say "boycott."

But that's just me.  smiley
5877  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: January 19, 2012, 09:22:58 AM
^Usually plays her part live over a recorded backing sequence.

Although I could see her performing with someone like Thomas Dolby. Give him a modern sampling keyboard and a half hour to program it and he could easily fake an entire orchestra. I've seen him do it. Just throw in Dr. Didge on didgeridoo (or a good bull-roarer player) for authentic "wub-wub" and you'd be all set.

Doing the camera sweeps and locale changes live might be a problem however. Need a magician for that.  Grin

5878  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: DC Apps alternatives for LInux on: January 19, 2012, 06:34:14 AM

AHK? (not ironahk)

I have found much less need for AHK under *nix -- though have happily used some of Skwire's software (e.g. sWeather) via wine.  Out of curiosity what kind of AHK functionality are you looking for?

You could spend some time getting conversant with the Bourne Shell if you're looking for similar functionality. That's what they put it in there for. smiley Wink


And ignore those odd-looking people who will tell you anything you can possibly want to do can be done better and faster in EMACS.
It probably can. But you don't want to start hanging out with that crew. Grin

5879  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DC going offline to protest SOPA on Jan 18 on: January 19, 2012, 06:17:23 AM
And by the way it seems like the internet protests have had an effect: http://arstechnica.com/te...w-opponents-in-senate.ars

The write-up at ArsTechnica was interesting in that it's one of the few times I've seen a reporter 'named names' for a change.

Why we continue to report on US political parties as if they were single entities, rather than as collections of self-seeking and craven individuals (which they mostly are) never ceases to annoy me.

Unfortunately, the only thing I can conclude about the widespread flipping on the part of Republicans is that the Republican National Committee has a more savvy team of political strategists who have decided this topic isn't winnable at this point.

So what I think we're seeing here is another example of conservative realpolitik at work. Something they've demonstrated a distinct talent for. (Or did until the Tea Party came along and screwed it all up for them.  mrgreen)

SOPA and PIPA are not dead. They're just taking a break and resting up.

Unfortunately for us, next time SOPA and PIPA get reintroduced, they'll be 'attached' and buried deep in the middle of some other totally unrelated 5000-page bill.

This battle is far from over. The only difference is it will now become a covert war fought in the shadows and the back rooms of Congress and the Senate. And it has now become that much more difficult to stop the substance of these two bills because of that.

In the past, SOPA and PIPA were hung out where everybody could see and watch them. Next time it won't be anywhere near that easy.


Something to remember:

  • The people opposed to PIPA and SOPA are fighting for something they believe is right.
  • The people behind PIPA and SOPA (i.e. MPAA, RIAA, et al) think they are fighting for their livelihoods.

Care to place a wager on which group is more motivated and committed?  undecided

5880  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: DC going offline to protest SOPA on Jan 18 on: January 17, 2012, 06:45:42 PM
A day off for reflection, civil protest, and network maintenance is never a bad thing.  smiley

Let's get back together the day after to discuss.   Thmbsup
5881  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who's up for a DonationCoder talk show? on: January 17, 2012, 05:11:13 PM
She was Leeloo in The Fifth Element too!  Cool

Multipass anyone? Grin
5882  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Save the internet" on: January 17, 2012, 05:00:38 PM
^It says motifake.com on the bottom. Best check with them.  smiley

I've seen dozens of "demotivational" variants using that exact same image all over the web.  Good luck identifying who really owns it assuming anybody does.  Looks to me like somebody just photoshopped an old archived navy nuclear test photo.
5883  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who's up for a DonationCoder talk show? on: January 17, 2012, 03:43:38 PM
OH man, 40...you and your clips.  Love it!  She is stunning, to say the least.

Think so?  

 mrgreen mrgreen mrgreen mrgreen mrgreen naughty mrgreen mrgreen mrgreen mrgreen mrgreen
5884  Special User Sections / N.A.N.Y. 2012 / Re: NANY 2012 Release: Simple Software Licensing on: January 17, 2012, 02:47:04 PM
@josant - Very nice product.

I was wondering if you ever considered combining the validator part with a wrapper for a document file.

Ideally, the manager could be a simple utility to drop something like a PDF into it and create a one off license. Then the PDF could be combined with a locked launcher. The document could then only be unlocked and launched the first time by the buyer using the provided license key.

After that however, it would just display a splash screen with an "Exclusively licensed to: {name} call-out which you'd need to click through every time you opened the actual document.

Might be nice too if the file required a reapplication of its license key if it ever got transferred to a different PC.

That could be a real boon to people who produce and sell licensed instructional materials. Would go a long way towards cutting down on casual license violations.

5885  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Who's up for a DonationCoder talk show? on: January 17, 2012, 02:17:44 PM
--cursing IS allowed, this is not for kids
--Opinions are welcome, passionate statements are welcome...you can be offensive with your positions,


 tongue Grin
5886  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Save the internet" on: January 17, 2012, 02:04:49 PM
Can one of you Photo Gods re-do that Total Destruction picture into anti SOPA? That's the best pic I've seen yet.


5887  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: January 17, 2012, 12:29:39 PM

I think anime is the perfect word for that!  


Yup. The only thing missing was the loligirl 'sailor suit' or school uniform.

Mmmm....cute girls and violins!


...or cute girls with glasses...or cute girls with space suits...or cute girls with...
 Wink Thmbsup

5888  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Sansa Clip Zip: Wow! on: January 17, 2012, 12:10:22 PM
FWIW I've used a dirt cheap dual-plug Starlogic firewire card in a cardbus slot (tells you how old it is) without any bad surprises under Windows XP. Looks like this:


Bought it new at CompUSA (when they were still around) for about $35. I still have it. It still works, and probably will as long as that Compaq junker it's plugged into continues to boot.

My take is unless you have an immediate need for a 1394 plug, you'd do better with USB 3.0 since that's where most of this is going anyway. I don't know if the pro market is still in love with firewire. (Don't even see it used in Apple Mac shops that much any more.) But AFAIK, there's no longer a clear and compelling technical argument for it unless you have a device that either requires it, or only offers USB 1.0 as the alternative.
5889  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: January 17, 2012, 11:54:05 AM
Hmm..traditional step and hip-hop moves with world-beat fiddle playing?

Too soon to tell if it's really going to go anywhere. But it looks promising . And it's a cute performer, and a cute little video, either way.

So what's not to like?  smiley


And now, without further ado...Ms. Lindsey Stirling:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp63nbOfxgs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp63nbOfxgs</a>

Oh yeah...camera sweeps, anime haircut, and punk wardrobe aside, she can (and does) do all that 'stuff' live in case you're wondering. Plays violin too!  Grin
5890  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Save the internet" on: January 17, 2012, 06:41:40 AM
they probably won't attribute it to people voting with their feet - they are so self important they are bound to put it down to more piracy and demand even more draconian action.

No doubt they will.

All the more reason to hit hard, hit fast, and empty heir coffers as rapidly as possible.


Hard to buy political influence when you don't have the funds available for bribes campaign contributions.

Politicians will see which way the wind is blowing. And without a pot of gold to anchor their migrating loyalties to, they'll soon find new friends in new industries to bed down with. And demand request tribute contributions from.

5891  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Save the internet" on: January 17, 2012, 04:41:49 AM
Does this mean I was just ahead of the curve?  My family and I haven't had TV (well rabbit ears only that don't work 75% of the time) at all for about 4 or 5 years now.  We cut cable completely about 3 years (no phone, no TV) and get internet through "DSL" (Not really, but it is a fibreoptic feed from the phone company so it is referred to as that).  Working to scratch that too, but I don't see cellular vendors providing a reasonable cost or speed on their service yet, so DSL is the only reasonably priced alternative at this time.

I haven't watched network television for about 15 years now, so I can agree with where you're coming from. (I'm more the 'load a DVD' type.) Thmbsup


A short while ago, my GF cut her DirectTV subscription and got herself a Roku2 XS streaming player box. ($99. Supports HD - and includes a gratis copy of Angry Birds.) It connects via wifi to an inexpensive plain vanilla DSL connection from AT&T. She also has a Netflix account, which is what she bought the Roku for. (Guess she got tired of plugging in her laptop every time she wanted to watch a movie.)

The Roku works like a charm. None of the buffering timeouts you sometimes get watching movies on a laptop through a wifi connection. But what really turned out to be the 'big win' was discovering "channels" like Snagfilms, Openfilm, and other non-mainstream/non-studio video sites. Some pretty amazing stuff to be found out there.

The reason I mention this is to address Renegade's earlier points about how it is not really practical to completely eliminate the desire for video entertainment; and, just how good non-mainstream media can be.

Some math. Dropping her DirectTV account netted an approximate $170/mo. savings for a total of $2040 annually right off the top. Deduct $100 for the Roku and there's still almost $2000 left in her pocket.

In return she got: better picture quality, a much greater choice of programming, access to 'real' independent shows and video producers, 100% on-demand viewing - and a copy of Angry Birds.

She was debating getting a Hulu+ account to get access to regular TV programming. But so far she hasn't since she's happy with what she currently has. Even more interesting is how much her Netflix use has dropped off since she's discovered non-mainstream videos and movies.

So here's a good example of how you can (mostly) walk away from Hollywood and the networks, but still satisfy your TV jones. Maybe not as effective or dramatic as a total boycott of big media would be. But it's a step in the right direction. And enough to send the media cartel a message they're not the only game in town.

Even more important - it's doable for most people.

During the American Revolution, not every fighter was a full time member of the Continental Army. Many fought when necessary, or if called upon. But the rest of the time they took care of their family farms and businesses. You can revolt against big media the same way. It's not absolutely necessary for you to completely walk away from mainstream entertainment. Or totally boycott them.

All that's needed is for you to get extremely selective, and a bit more frugal, about how you spend your entertainment dollars.

With the bloated salaries and ridiculous budgets mainstream media operates under, it doesn't take much revenue loss before these people start to feel the pain. And get the message it's no longer business as usual.
5892  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Best USB/Bootable recovery and "utility" tools on: January 16, 2012, 04:50:17 PM
Oh yes...and let's not forget Darik's Boot & Nuke (DBAN) disk.

About DBAN

Darik's Boot and Nuke ("DBAN") is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

Although primarily designed to be a data wiping utility, I've found good use for it when you're recycling a hard drive and your current Windows installation refuses to partition or format it.

Running DBAN using the quick option for 10-15 minutes is usually enough to get rid of whatever gremlins are lurking in the boot sector or partition table that are preventing you from formatting it.

Just run DBAN for a short while, then create a new MBR on the drive, and then proceed to partition and format as you usually do. You can do this with either Windows or PartedMagic.

5893  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Best USB/Bootable recovery and "utility" tools on: January 16, 2012, 04:41:57 PM
If you're not afraid to roll up your sleeves (and maybe get a little bit outside your comfort zone) there are several good Linux based tools that are worth their weight in gold when dealing with persnickety Windows issues:

SystemRescueCd and Trinity Rescue Kit are bootable "live" Linux distros that contain a wealth of powerful tools for PC troubleshooting and repair work.

About SystemRescueCd

Description: SystemRescueCd is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the hard disk partitions. It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, ...) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It requires no installation. It can be used on linux servers, linux desktops or windows boxes. The kernel supports the important file systems (ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs, iso9660), as well as network filesystems (samba and nfs).

Trinity Rescue Kit or TRK is a free live Linux distribution that aims specifically at recovery and repair operations on Windows machines, but is equally usable for Linux recovery issues. Since version 3.4 it has an easy to use scrollable text menu that allows anyone who masters a keyboard and some English to perform maintenance and repair on a computer, ranging from password resetting over disk cleanup to virus scanning

It is possible to boot TRK in three different ways:

-as a bootable CD which you can burn yourself from a downloadable isofile or a self burning Windows executable

-from a USB stick/disk (optionally also a fixed disk), installable from Windows or from the bootable TRK cd (which is easier and safer)

-from network over PXE: you start 1 TRK from CD or USB and you run all other computers from that one over the network without modifying anything to you local network.

Ever since version 3.4, TRK has received an easy to use textmenu but has equally kept the commandline.

PartedMagic is a Swiss Army Knife disk partitioning utility with some additional bells & whistles you may not want to live without.

The Parted Magic OS employs core programs of GParted and Parted to handle partitioning tasks with ease, while featuring other useful software (e.g. Partimage, TestDisk, Truecrypt, Clonezilla, G4L, SuperGrubDisk, ddrescue, etc…) and an excellent set of info to benefit the user. An extensive collection of file system tools are also included, as Parted Magic supports the following: btrfs, ext2, ext3, ext4, fat16, fat32, hfs, hfs+, jfs, linux-swap, ntfs, reiserfs, and xfs. Parted Magic requires at least a i586 processor and 312MB of RAM to operate or 175MB in “Live” mode.


  • Format internal and external hard drives.
  •     Move, copy, create, delete, expand & shrink hard drive partitions.
  •     Clone your hard drive, to create a full backup.
  •     Test hard drives for impending failure.
  •     Test memory for bad sectors.
  •     Benchmark your computer for a performance rating.
  •     Securely erase your entire hard drive, wiping it clean from all data.
  •     Gives access to non-booting systems allowing you to rescue important data.
  •     Runs from the CD, no install required.

Has a real pretty GUI too! Grin



In general, it's not a bad idea to get some familiarity with Linux system utilities and tools.

They're powerful; sometimes succeed when Windows and DOS-based tools fail you; and help stretch your technical knowledge.

Besides, if Microsoft ends up going down the road with Metro/Windows 8 the way they seem to want to, half of us will be permanently switching over to Linux or BSD anyway. So now might be a good time to start gaining some experience.  Thmbsup

(Note: I'm only half joking here. Cool )
5894  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: 2012 Kingsoft Office Suite Professional, Giveaway of the Day on: January 16, 2012, 01:36:11 PM
FWIW the wordprocessor is very nice.  smiley
5895  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Save the internet" on: January 16, 2012, 08:46:50 AM
Actually it doesn't say nothing ...
What it says is 'we have already made up our mind and irrespective of what the US population and the rest of the world want you can go F*** yourselves -Walllywood is more important than everyone else in the world - they say so themselves so it must be true'

Which is why I keep saying the only way America is going to save its entertainment industry is to stop consuming American films, TV, and music. Starving the monster to death is the only way to stop the nonsense.  So stop giving it your money - and more importantly, your attention. Walk away from it completely. Its only a matter of time before it dies and a new industry is born from the ashes. Y

But it needs to start somewhere  And you can start very simply: Stop feeding the Troll! Cool Thmbsup  
5896  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: "Save the internet" on: January 16, 2012, 07:25:17 AM
From the folks at OSNews:

White House Uses 838 Words to Say Nothing About SOPA
Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 14th Jan 2012 20:57 UTC

The Obama administration has responded to two petitions regarding SOPA, but in true political fashion, the response is 838 words of absolutely nothing at all. Here's a link, but don't complain to me about losing 10 minutes of your life reading this empty drivel. How about taking a stand for once, eh?

Here's the official response in case you don't want to waste additional time chasing it down at the White House website:

OK...it's official. 1 picture is worth 838 words.



5897  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Of course you know, this means WAR Gentlemen!" Microsoft makes its move. on: January 16, 2012, 05:51:42 AM
gHacks recently did a short editorial piece entitled: What might a post-Windows world look like?

There was one interesting observation made:


Windows 8 is a big gamble though and if it fails then Microsoft will either have to backtrack with Windows 9, pull an immensely impressive rabbit out of their hat or face the consequences of poor decision-making.

I think this hits a very important point.

Microsoft is going in a radically different direction with their upcoming Windows 8. In many respects, the underlying message is very similar to the "Father knows best" attitude they took with Vista.

And Microsoft cannot afford another Vista debacle.

So now I'm more certain than ever that what we are seeing is an attempt on Microsoft's part to avoid that  risk by force-shifting the previously open hardware platform to a proprietary model like Apple's.

I was talking to a Mac-using client last week while attempting to sort out one of those "OSX things" I get every so often. She's owns a five person totally Mac-based company. I had asked this client if she really liked Apple and the Mac operating system all that much. My client responded it wasn't so much a matter of 'liking' Apple as it was reaching "an accommodation" with it. She said she was "generally ok" with how her Macs worked most times. But even if she weren't happy, she'd have to live with it, because she had tens of thousands invested in the Mac platform and related software. She went on to say it usually worked well enough for what she needed it for - and it wasn't like the software would run on anything else.

I think her answer has a lot of bearing on where Microsoft is attempting to go with Secure Boot. In order for Microsoft to minimize its risk, generally available open platform computing has to go away. And the only way it can be made to go away is if Microsoft can use its market share to get hardware manufacturers to 'voluntarily' abandon open hardware and queue up to produce Ballmer's walled-garden.

And Microsoft will need to make this happen while they're still controlling 85-88% of the currently deployed desktops. Because the longer they wait, the less likely they will be able to force the shift in hardware.

If Microsoft succeeds, it also garners dividends because it effectively pulls the rug out from under Linux and open software. Without a readily available and affordable hardware platform to run on, Linux will become completely marginalized and either become a VCIW ('voice-crying-in-the-wilderness') OS at best - or gradually become extinct as the 'antique' hardware it runs on wears out.

And because the US economic forecast isn't looking too rosy (either near or long-term) I don't think we can expect much intervention on the part of US government. Because any action on their part would only risk losing one of the very few market segments where the United States still holds virtual dominance: personal computing operating systems.

Which only leaves the consumers to lead a push back.

And considering the widespread acceptance and commercial success of things like the iPhone, iPad, Kindle, and Nook - I don't think the average buyer is all that concerned about proprietary lock-in.

Remember the little Linux kid?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7ozaFbqg00" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7ozaFbqg00</a>

Wanna know how he's gonna get "educated" going forward if Microsoft and Apple have anything to say about it?

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

Time to educate the masses. Before it's unequivocally too late. ohmy


Note: My apologies for the twit who disabled embedding and forces you to go to the YouTube site to see the THX1138 segment above. (Not that it's his media to begin with.) Brave new world indeed...
5898  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: "Of course you know, this means WAR Gentlemen!" Microsoft makes its move. on: January 15, 2012, 05:31:38 PM
Jail breaking only works in that key data is R/W enabled. Commit that to silicon and it becomes virtually impossible unless you can "wedge" around the boot sequence. And that introduces a whole new level of challenges. And there are dozens of tricks to prevent that too.

So it's not a question of what could be done. It's a matter of preventing a never ending battle to lock/unlock the boot sequence and OS.  We don't want to have to go there even if we, as a last resort, could.
5899  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Download Crew: Another site for freebies... on: January 15, 2012, 04:25:48 PM
Why not?  What's the scoop with betanews/fileforum?

Run a search in this forum. It's hardly worth repeating or starting another discussion about them.  smiley
5900  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Sorry, This Post Has Been Censored on: January 14, 2012, 01:32:10 PM

Can you say: 'backpedaling' and 'damage control'?

If they felt that strongly why don't they promise to veto these bills?

Dear Mr. President and all your hand-wringing White House Staff - please see #5 and #6 below:

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