Newsletter for September 24, 2011
"Fighting for Feathers"
1. Newsletter Editorial
DonationCoder is not a charity, but we've always tried to be good internet citizens -- lending our support to good ideas and encouraging our members to find projects to be actively involved in. We're a small site without financial resources, but we love talking to people about their new idea and cheering them on.
In this month's newsletter editorial I wanted to bring special attention to a few noteworthy items.
The first item concerns a battle we fought and largely won -- a battle against a particularly insidious new practice adopted by CNet's download site, to wrap all software hosted on their site with their own custom adware installer regardless of author's desires.
The second item I want to bring your attention to involves a problem we have been ranting about for years now -- the dreadful way antivirus companies handle false positives (cases where an antivirus program says that a program is infected when it isn't); due to laziness they frequently end up terrifying users based on nothing more than a guess, and are slow to correct their mistaken identifications. In the last week longtime DC forum member and skilled windows programmer Jeremy Collake from Bitsum Technologies has begun a new effort to address this problem -- and the related (and often more damaging) problem where entire websites are rated as "dangerous" (and sometimes even blocked) because of these false positives.
There are also a number of new DC member software releases that deserve special attention this month. DC member Tranglos as released an early beta version of his NANY 2012 entry, called Ethervane Echo, a new clipboard tool, and it's already getting lots of attention. DC member ATH also released a new version of his WinButtons tool and a number of DC members are reporting their success in using it with a small touchscreen device. And DC Member HamRadio released a new tool for portable document launching.
We also had a really interesting discussion on the forum with a programmer who has been working on "Fairware", an open source software-payment model similar to the one used by DonationCoder. Lot's of really interesting talk on that thread for those who are interested in donationware and other voluntary payment models.
Lastly, I'd like to draw your attention to a new open tool called ZUploader. I've been searching for an existing tool to integrate into my Screenshot Captor screenshot tool, which would make it easy for people to upload screenshots to different image hosting or ftp sites. When I found ZUploader I knew my search was over. It's a great tool that supports lots of services, like ftp, imageshack, imgur, flickr, photobucket, rapidshare, dropbox, and more. It's a pleasure to use and I can't recommend it enough. The author has also expressed his desire to hear feature requests, so if you can think of anything you'd like to see added to the program, don't be shy about asking. If you are a user of Screenshot Captor -- check out the screencast I posted showing the new ZUploader integration.
You'll find all of these items and many more in this edition of the DonationCoder newsletter..
2. User-to-User: Your Input Requested
We love nothing more than having interesting discussions on our forum -- and we love when new people participate in the discussions. In each newsletter we try to highlight a few topics we think might interest to casual readers and are good candidates for making your first post.
- Cnet's Download.com and the installer scam
- Fairware: an interesting experiment in getting paid for Open Source
- The False Positive and Improperly Rated Site Epidemic
- It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
- Screenshot Captor Auto Upload/ftp/imageshack/dropbox/etc using ZUploader
- In search of external video support for Laptop?
3. DC Community Mini Reviews
Mini-Reviews are a great way for people to quickly share their thoughts and opinions on software and hardware! - Why not post one of your own?
- Subjot - My New Twitter but It may Not be for You
- Quick Review: Ghostery - Best blocker I've used since JunkBuster
- Mini-review: DiviFile from Qnomad
4. Coding Snacks, and DC Member Software Threads
The coding snacks section is one of the things that people love the most about DonationCoder -- it's where anyone can post a request for a custom piece of software -- and often find the requests granted over night as one of the coders who inhabit our forum writes it as a free utility (lately DC member Skwire has been running circles around the rest of us, coding requests faster than lighting!)
- Looking for beta-testers for new program: Real World Paint
- URL Extractor
- Simulate keystrokes to scalable BPM
- Batch m3u8 creator - similar to createm3u
- SRTFilter: Simple Automatic Subtitle Editor & Renamer
- Simple Text Verifier (Autohotkey script)
- New Folder 2
5. Fun, Humor and Amusements on the Web
Well...We got this far into the newsletter, so let's have a break. Go make yourself a drink, and check out these fun websites and videos!
- Science is hot! or at least symphonic
- Transformer Owl: 3 Owls, in ONE Owl!
- Linux game devs pirate their own game
- Social Media's Hidden Truth
- 50 Typografical pieces of art
- Seriously, Youtube is becoming impossible!
- Donation gamer: Games to give
- When Clippy got the axe (Funny videos from Microsoft)
6. General Software Discussion
Almost half the posts on the DC forum take the form of general software discussions, questions, recommendations, etc. These posts wind up in the General Software Discussion section and make it one of the most active sections of the DC forum. This is a great resource if you're trying to solve a software or hardware-related problem. We get so much traffic on this board that we split the recent content into two sections in the newsletter - general software and specific software discussions.
- Good Free Windows Grammar Checker?
- Alternatives to imageshack image hosting service
- A light notetaker/word processor that autohides to the side of the screen
- Flexible List (data) Management - ListPro and the Alternatives
- How do you organize/access tiny portable utilities?
- Custom reminder?
- Software to write gamebooks ?
- A unified solution for note taking and task management
- Notetaker that uses the filesystem and has powerful search?
- Looking for 'self email' sender
7. Specific Software Discussion
This section of the newsletter draws attention to some of the standout discussions about specific programs that have been started since the last newsletter.
- PdfMasher, fair priced Open Source
- Comment Explorer 188.8.131.52
- Total Commander 8.00 beta released
- Start Menu X now in beta
- Swim Lanes: Interesting new topic at OutlinerSoftware.com
- Advice Needed: Fixing Pentium 4 PC with Conficker virus
- What Happened to Genie Backup Manager?
8. Developer's Corner
The title of this section shouldn't scare you off - there is definitely something of interest for everyone here! It's more than just a section for the discussion of software development, it's also where we discuss web design, entrepreneurial ideas, and general productivity issues. It's great to see that the section has been pretty active recently.
- 10 Steps To Make A Sale
- Codecademy: Interactive website to learn programming.
- Nice PDF Tutorial - Inside PDF
- Big Brands and Public API
- Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground?
- An experiment about static and dynamic type systems
- Any wordpress coders here available for hire?
- GIMPshop looking for coders and input
- Insightful post on gui design, and why it can be faster than the command line
9. Website Discoveries, Debates, and Discussions
What's new in cyberspace? What exciting new sites have been discovered by forum members? What's the current hot topic and debate? Read on to find out..
- Lifehacker: Best and Worst Places to Buy Anything When You Need a Good Return
- PCWorld recommends DonationCoder.com and says: "Give a Little, Get a Lot"
- HOWTO track down a Fake Invoice con-artist: A Story in 4 Parts and counting
- Finally! More game-based productivity tools
- Free-2-play or pay-2-win? the micro-transaction business
- Would you trust this ... mail2web
- Couldn't be more disappointed in Windows 8
- Linux kernel.org hacked
- Why 2012 may finally be The Year of the Linux Desktop (courtesy of Microsoft)
10. Announce your Projects
We encourage our members to tell us about their new software projects -- both free and commercial. Here are a few threads we thought you might be interested in checking out.
- Share your mouse and keyboard with multiple Mac or Windows computers
- Helpinator 3.5 - feedback required
- Text Expander for Medical Transcription and general purpose
- Interview with Adam Smith - Founder of Xobni
- FavesSoft Site Stream-lined
11. Donationcoder Software Updates
This month saw a few updates to the larger DC software programs hosted on our site. If you haven't tried Screenshot Captor yet this might be a good time to try it, since it has some nice improvements with the latest release
- Screenshot Captor v2.101 - Major Improvements
- Clipboard Help+Spell v2.06 - Performance improvement and bugfix
- New Screencast Videos - Featuring Screenshot Captor, Clipboard Help+Spell, and more
12. NANY 2012
At the very end of each year DonationCoder runs an event called NANY (New Apps for the New Year), where we invite the programmers who hang out on our site to release a brand new (free) application to the world. This month has seen some particularly interesting new early betas released, and there's still tons of time if you are a programmer or know one, to pledge to participate. Or just help test, volunteer your services, or suggest some new program ideas.
DC member Stephen66515 has even started a little contest to see who can come up with the most over the top video "trailers" for this year's NANY event. So if you have some video editing skills and want to have some fun -- why not submit something? We'll send some sort of prize to the best submissions.