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Topics - TheQwerty [ switch to compact view ]

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1
Found Deals and Discounts / O'Reilly Ebook Deal of the Day
« on: February 08, 2010, 11:35 AM »
O'Reilly has a daily deal on an ebook where they typically (always?) bring the price down to $9.99.
Not sure how long they've been doing this, but I just found out recently, and have already taken advantage twice.

There isn't an actual link to a page for the deals but there is a box on the ebooks section about the current one and here's a link to their daily deal RSS feed.

When you buy an ebooks thru oreilly.com you get lifetime access to the book, and whenever possible we provide it to you in four, DRM-free file formats — PDF, .epub, Kindle-compatible .mobi, and Android .apk ebook — that you can use on the devices of your choice. Our ebook files are fully searchable, and you can cut-and-paste and print them. We also alert you when we've updated the files with corrections and additions.

Some recent titles:
  • R in a Nutshell
  • Making Things Talk
  • Search Patterns
  • CSS Cookbook, Third Edition
  • Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Beautiful Testing
  • Make: Electronics
  • The Social Media Marketing Book
  • Using Drupal
  • Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition
  • The New How
  • Masterminds of Programming
  • The Sustainable Network
  • Your Body: The Missing Manual
  • Head First iPhone Development

2
I'm sure by now some of you have read this but...
20090813-2208_13_0906 -.png

Hold everything! They are going to use my computer for "searching the web" without explicitly asking for my permission? What exactly are they indexing, and how do I know they aren't accessing something illegal with my computer? Why are they trying to hide this in the first place?

To be fair, they do give you a way to disable this absurd nonsense—though they bury the setting behind a "Support Digsby" item on the menu, with no clear description on exactly what they are doing with it. It's clear they are abusing their users, but since they technically explain it in the TOS and let you disable the feature, they weasel out of any responsibility.

In other words, besides the many many pages of crapware they make you opt-out of during the normal install, the latest update also includes a client from Plura Processing, which is enabled by default. There's no mention of it in the installer or change log - just a brief blurb in the TOS:
15. USAGE OF COMPUTER RESOURCES.
You agree to permit the Software to use the processing power of your computer when it is idle to run downloaded algorithms (mathematical equations) and code within a process. You understand that when the Software uses your computer, it likewise uses your CPU, bandwidth, and electrical power. The Software will use your computer to solve distributed computing problems, such as but not limited to, accelerating medical research projects, analyzing the stock market, searching the web, and finding the largest known prime number. This functionality is completely optional and you may disable it at any time.

This client is a distributed computing piece, which crawls the internet.  According to a comment on Reddit most of the work their client is doing goes towards 80 Legs, which looks to mostly be about crawling, analyzing, and cataloging the internet.

What Plura Processing and 80 Legs are doing doesn't seem too bad, but the way Digsby has once again tried to sneak things onto their users' computers is despicable. When they were in a poll on Lifehacker.com for best IM client they had no problem messaging all their users about the poll and their need for votes, but even after they were caught doing this they have not added a message to their change log or installer, and I doubt they've sent out a message to the users who haven't already uninstalled their crap.


Personally, I'm hoping that Plura Processing views the mention in the TOS as insufficient and refuses payment to Digsby. The way I read their website
Plura® requires that all affiliates fully disclose and obtain permission for the utilization of such resources. This is important as we want such utilization to be completely transparent and voluntary.
makes it sound like they'd be perfectly within their rights to do so, since Digsby implemented it as an opt-out instead of opt-in.

3
Screenshot Captor / Stop creation of InstallInfo.dat in AppData?
« on: October 10, 2007, 11:23 AM »
I'm a new user of SC and I love what I see so far, but I was wondering if it's possible to get it to not create %AppData%\DonationCoder\Keys\DonationCoder_ScreenshotCaptor_InstallInfo.dat each time it is run?

I've tried updating the ConfigDir.ini file to force the use of the current directory but each time I start SC it recreates the file.

It's not a big deal but I prefer it if the portable applications I use are not writing to the host machine(s).

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