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A glimpse inside the Mattel Electronics video game department by the Intellivision programmers.

There is a group of rappers that think they should, suing CNET for having listed Limewire on, along with review and tutorial content on how to use it.

CBS Interactive, CNET and Lime Wire have been named as defendants in a copyright infringement complaint filed this past Tuesday by a group of  fifteen people, a vast majority of whom are rappers. While Lime Wire is no stranger to copyright infringement claims, the current lawsuit must have certainly come as a surprise to the other defendants, who are being accused of distributing and profiting from “software applications used to infringe copyrights on a massive scale.”

DonationCoder has a Facebook fan page and I'd like to start adding some of our members' fan pages to our collection of favorite pages to help you gain more exposure. It's the least we can do for you on Facebook.

So, if you have a page for one of your apps (or websites) that you would like to share with the community, both here and on Facebook, please post a link here and let us know about it.

Pay special attention to the top center station. Cody makes his appearance, disguised in a wig.  ;D

I have volunteered to create a more organized all inclusive software directory for DC. This is going to be a big time consuming project and I'd like to start a discussion concerning what CMS I should use to do this.

The only CMS I am really familiar with using is Wordpress. I have done a directory using it before and I can easily use that for this, but if anyone can think of something better, please share.

I'd like to spend the bulk of my time on this project adding listings and not fussing around with writing buggy code (If I am forced to do that I might as well scrap the whole project, so don't recommend something like Drupal)

What I am looking for is something where I can have multiple editors that can add new software listings, without opening up registration to the general public.

I would like it to be a fill-in-the-form approach with custom fields to make it easier for us to add new entries.

Must be able to handle adding stuff to main categories, as well as handling individual tags separate from the main categories, basically giving 2 lists.

Individual RSS feeds for the whole thing as well as each main category.

An experiment being conducted by an alliance of journalists and computer scientists aims to combine the distributed human brainpower of Amazon's small-task outsourcing engine, Mechanical Turk, with a software boss pre-programmed with all the logic required to stitch myriad discrete human-accomplished tasks into something resembling the work of a single person.

The project is called My Boss is a Robot, and the boffins involved include the team of Niki Kittur, a Carnegie Mellon assistant professor of Human Computer Interaction, as well as freelance science and technology writers Jim Giles and MacGregor Campbell.

The idea is simple: computer scientists have already used Mechanical Turk to create a simple encyclopedia entry about New York City. The entire process was overseen by software, not humans, and included everything from asking Turkers (as the distributed workers on Mechanical Turk are called) to come up with the topic areas the entry should cover to having them fact-check the writing of previous workers to whom those topics had been assigned.

Based on this success, it seems logical that Turkers might be able to transform a research paper into a 500 word piece of original science journalism. There are a million reasons this might not work, admit Giles and Campbell, but the exercise is meant to generate insight and discussion, whether or not it succeeds.

Living Room / Divided Attention Disorder? Log off and read a book
« on: February 09, 2011, 03:58 PM »
If you work in an office it's quite possible that you suffer from a condition called DAD. Now don't panic it's not serious and nothing a good book or a long walk won't cure.
 My Internet browser has 24 tabs open. Among them are three separate attempts to reply to the same e-mail. My online banking session has timed out, and in the corner of my screen a Twitter feed is a never-ending scroll of news and links. Which I click. And click.
 What's wrong with me?
 What's wrong, is that I may have Divided Attention Disorder, or DAD. DAD encapsulates the growing phenomenon whereby the constant stream of online information could actually be changing the way our brains work.

In Japan robots are friendly helpers not Terminators.

So when they join the workforce, as they do often in factories, they are sometimes welcomed on their first day with Shinto religious ceremonies.

But whether the sick and elderly will be as welcoming to robot-like tech in their homes is a question that now vexes a Japanese care industry that is struggling with a massive manpower shortage.

Automated help in the home and hospitals, believe some, could be the answer. A rapidly ageing first world is also paying close attention to Japan's dalliance with automated care.

It wants to know whether it can construct the nursing-care and medical-care needed in a future with fewer younger people to take care of the elderly. Japan could show us how.


The country's biggest robot maker Tmsuk created a life-like one-metre tall robot six years ago, but has struggled to find interested clients.

Costing a cool $100,000 (£62,000) a piece, a rental programme was scrapped recently because of "failing to meet demands of consumers" and putting off patients at hospitals.

"We want humans caring for us, not machines," was one response.

General Software Discussion / Axialis License Key Frustrations
« on: February 04, 2011, 05:10 AM »
I am posting this because I know I am not going to be the only one to go through this. If anyone else has the same troubles, just follow what I did and it will work out just fine, I think. (step-by-step summary checklist at end of my post)

Axialis was very generous and donated a number of free licenses for their IconWorkshop product to DC, to be given away as prizes to members

I was one of the lucky winners (yay!).

I received an email with my license key and proceeded to their site to download and install the trial version.

After installing the trial, I hunted around in the software trying to figure out where I am supposed to enter my key. I could not find anywhere to do this. I clicked the option to register my product, thinking maybe that would have a place to enter my key. Nope! A dialog popped up essentially telling me that since the product was not registered, I can't register it.  :huh:

So I go back to the website and figure out where on their site that I can register it.

With the product now registered, I then go back to the software and try to find if there is a way to link what I have just done on their site to the copy installed on my computer. Nope!  :(

I go back to the website and log in, and in my list of registered products there is a link for them to send me a download link. I click that and they emailed me a link to download the setup file...another trial version, supposedly the same version I already have installed.

I install that over top of the version I already have, thinking maybe there is something slightly different about this one, and on first last I have a place to enter my license key.  ;)


Now if you think I am finished, I am not...

I go back to their site to download the full version of the object packs that I am entitled to. In order to do that you have to enter your license key for each one. I do that and it tells me it isn't enough characters...invalid key!  :huh:

The key listed on the site in my account, under registered products isn't quite the same as the key I was sent and entered into the software to unlock it. The one on the site has an extra character, somewhere. So I copy & paste THAT key into the box and download an icon pack...repeat, repeat, repeat till I have all the icon packs downloaded.

Then I install them and each one tells me that I have installed a Trial Package, and not the full version. (yes, I did install the full versions because those are the ones you need to submit your license key to get).


So, to register your product, unlock it, and get all the goodies:

  • Go here and register it with your license key.
  • Log into your account and request a download link for your product on the Download a Product page.
  • Install that and enter your key.
  • Go back to the site, log in, and copy the key shown on the Display My Product Keys page.
  • Use that key to get the object packs by clicking the green download buttons and entering that key.
  • Install the object packs and hope they really are the full packs and not the trials like it says.

NOTICE: I have canceled my account, so this offer is no longer available. Sorry.

I recently got a job doing customer service and tech support at In order to do my job well, I need to become a user of their product so I am familiar enough with it to help people that can't figure it out.

Since I do not plan on having a paid account, and free lite accounts are limited to non-commercial use, and I don't have a use for the service, personally, I figured I'd use my free account for something fun and DC related.

Therefore, anyone in the US (up to a max of 100 subscribers) can now receive text alerts from Baby Cody. This is free to you. You will not be charged by the service to receive these messages. All you have to do is send a text message to 41411 on your cell phone, with the keyword BABYCODY to subscribe. (The service does not work outside the US or with Google Voice)

After that, whenever Baby Cody moves from one location to another, you will receive an alert from him, giving you his destination or arrival status. You will receive at least one message per month (the minimum needed to keep the keyword from being deleted) regardless of Baby Cody's status. You may receive other alerts from him, from time to time, too, but I promise not to overwhelm you, these messages will be very infrequent, and I will try to make them fun.

If you change your mind at any point and wish to unsubscribe, just respond to any message sent by Baby Cody with LEAVE BABYCODY.

Currently, I have 7 days left on my free trial, afterward it will convert to an ad supported free lite account. Once the conversion goes through, there will be a short ad automatically tacked on to the end of all messages. I do not profit from these ads and the revenue they generate is used to offset the costs of providing the free service. UPDATE: The messages will remain ad-free, for as long as I work for the company.  :D

This offer is only valid to the first 100 subscribers in the US. Message and Data rates may apply. If you have any issues with signing up or leaving, contact me for help.

Screenshot - 1_24_2011 , 7_21_34 PM.png

Living Room / Perils and Pitfalls of Online Community Management
« on: January 22, 2011, 07:05 PM »
I came across an interesting post on Quora today, about the lifecycle of online communities. I am curious to know your thoughts and how what she says relates to our community. Are we perpetually locked into a stage somewhere between 1 and 2, without being adversely affected by most of the negative effects listed?

based on average daily traffic statistics as reported by Alexa...

If were a country, it would be larger than Marshall Islands

1 in every 27,624 internet users visit daily


Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, USA has a seating capacity of 65,000. A photo above is a good illustration of what a crowd of 62,771 daily visitors would look like if they all gathered in one place.


Developer's Corner / YQL: Using Web Content For Non-Programmers
« on: January 03, 2011, 02:14 AM »
Nice guide to using YQL...

Building a beautiful design is a great experience. Seeing the design break apart when people start putting in real content, though, is painful. That’s why testing it as soon as possible with real information to see how it fares is so important. To this end, Web services provide us with a lot of information with which to fill our products. In recent years, this has been a specialist’s job, but the sheer amount of information available and the number of systems to consume it makes it easier and easier to use Web services, even for people with not much development experience.

On Programmable Web1, you can find (to date) 2580 different application programming interfaces (or APIs). An API allows you to get access to an information provider’s data in a raw format and reformat it to suit your needs.

The Trouble With APIs

The problem with APIs is that access to them varies in simplicity, from just having to load data from a URL all the way up to having to authenticate with the server and give all kinds of information about the application you want to build before getting your first chunk of information.

Each API is based on a different idea of what information you need to provide, what format it should be in, what data it will give back and in what format. All this makes using third-party APIs in your products very time-consuming, and the pain multiplies with each one you use. If you want to get photos from Flickr and updates from Twitter and then show the geographical information in Twitter on a map, then you have quite a trek ahead.

Simplifying API Access

Yahoo uses APIs for nearly all of its products. Instead of accessing a database and displaying the information live on the screen, the front end calls an API, which in turn gets the information from the back end, which talks to databases. This gives Yahoo the benefit of being able to scale to millions of users and being able to change either the front or back end without disrupting the other.

Because the APIs have been built over 10 years, they all vary in format and the way in which you access them. This cost Yahoo too much time, which is why it built Yahoo Pipes2 — to ease the process.

Pipes is amazing. It is a visual way to mix and match information from the Web. However, as people used Pipes more, they ran into limitations. Versioning pipes was hard; to change the functionality of the pipe just slightly, you had to go back to the system, and it tended to slow down with very complex and large conversions. This is why Yahoo offers a new system for people’s needs that change a lot or get very complex.

YQL is both a service and a language (Yahoo Query Language). It makes consuming Web services and APIs dead simple, both in terms of access and format.

Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Movie Mode
« on: December 08, 2010, 01:48 PM »
Whenever my daughter and I watch movies on my PC (or I am playing a fullscreen game), I end up having to first close a bunch of applications I normally have running, because they either make sounds or have popup alerts that distract us and spoil our enjoyment of the movie.

It would be nice if I had utility that I could supply a list of the full paths to all the programs that interfere, that may or may not be running. It would go down the list and check if those apps are running; and if they are, add them to a relaunch list before closing them. Then when I am finished watching my movie, it could relaunch all the apps for me...but only the ones on the relaunch list. This way nothing that wasn't running before would end up getting launched, and I could provide a more extensive list of applications that interfere.

NOTE: At least one of the applications I need to close has to be relaunched with command line parameters.

Post New Requests Here / IDEA: Internet disconnection logger
« on: November 05, 2010, 04:40 AM »
I need a small application that can log my plethora of disconnections and their duration. I need it to check if I am connected about every 15 seconds (ping google?) and if I am not, log it with a time stamp (date/time) the first time it is unsuccessful, and the elapsed total time I wasn't connected once it can successfully ping google again...and then repeat.

I am getting tired of manually recording this data. It's ridiculous. I spent most of last night disconnected more than I was connected, and while I was connected it didn't last long enough to do anything at all. (almost 60 disconnections in a span of 10 hrs, some lasting as long as 20-30 mins).

I want to hit my ISP with this log the next time I call, so they can understand why I am screaming at them like a crazy lady.

I only hope my connection improves long enough to come back here to read and respond to any replies. You have no idea how hard it was for me to be able to post this. It makes me want to scream, cry, break stuff, and hurt people...all at the same time.

Usually $10, Getting Good with Git is free for the month of October.

So, you want to learn about Git, the fast version control system? Then you’ve come to the right place!

In this eBook (free for the month of October! Usually $10), I’ll be guiding you through the sometimes-confusing waters of using Git to manage your development projects. The eBook clocks in at a solid 104 pages.

All you have to do is create an Envato account and you will have access to all the monthly freebies, on all 8 of their sites....and that's a lot of goodies for commercial use and learning!

Living Room / I have a very hard announcement to make
« on: October 12, 2010, 09:52 PM »
This is probably one of the hardest and most heart breaking decisions I have ever had to make, and it is not one made in haste. I have been struggling with this for a long time.

I started coding in 2003 with the intention of teaching myself a skill that would lead to a steady income large enough to live off of. Seven years have passed and I still have not accomplished this. I do not have the skills necessary to earn a living coding for someone else (aka a "real" job) nor the skills necessary to run my own software company producing shareware that people would actually be willing to buy. I am not anywhere near close to it.

It has been a difficult road for me, full of obstacles I wouldn't have had if I had started out when I was much younger, had the money for a proper education, etc. etc. etc. But I persisted, because I felt it was a dream worth pursuing, one that represented a whole lot more than I care to explain here in public.

Now, looking at where I am and how long it took to get here, I can tell you that I still won't be where I wanted to be today, in another seven years time. This has become futile and I need to stop wasting my time and start focusing my energies on something more likely to give tangible income I can live on without moving to a 3rd world country. And my time is running out. My deadline is May, my daughter's 25th birthday, to have an income that will allow her to leave home and have a life of her own, without fear that her parents are going to end up homeless if she does. I need to set her free.

I don't know if or when I will be able to finish and release my NANY project, and it is likely to be the last thing I release, if I do. If by some miracle I do complete it, I will most likely release it as open source, with the intention of walking away from it.

Yes, I will be walking away from the rest of my projects, as well. As of today, they are officially abandonware.

My life has been more tears than smile lately, and I need to change that. I do not want to be burdened with supporting old poorly written software while I am trying to figure out what to do with my life.

Coding used to be fun but it's not any more. The last year or so I have found it very hard to work on anything. I am sorry, but when the sight of my IDE makes me cry, it's time to stop.

Thank you to all of you that have supported me along the way, with donations, encouraging words, help when I got stuck, etc. It was very much appreciated. You helped make a lot of great things possible for changed my life in ways I can't even begin to count.

Maybe some day, once I have figured out what to do with myself I can come back to it strictly as a hobby. Then I won't be putting so much pressure on myself to accomplish so much...and maybe then I can enjoy it again.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go cry myself to sleep.

Most of the time, trying to be productive is pointless. In fact, it’s a big, fat waste of time. It’s kind of lame when time management (productivity techniques & hacks) ends up killing your time, huh? Here’s why this happens…

For a long time I’ve thought about why people are so crazy about productivity. I’ve wondered why I am so concerned with accomplishing and completing. I mean, when you get to the point of looking for more time-efficient ways to fold underwear, you might have a problem.

So why does productivity matter, anyway? What’s so important about achieving?

The answer… not much.

The feeling of needing to accomplish something stems from dissatisfaction with the present. With this mindset, the whole idea of achieving is to become something. On the surface, it may seem like you’re doing something positive, but there’s a subtle undercurrent of rejection of what is. Rejection of yourself.

Remember this comical video?

Well, Google just moved a little closer to that being a reality by introducing Google PowerMeter.

If you are a customer of a limited number of power suppliers (only 3 in the world right now), then Google can now track your electricity usage and make suggestions to help you save energy. And they are making a game of it by awarding badges if you follow their suggestions, encouraging you to compete with your friends and family to see who can collect the most badges the fastest... all while providing them with your energy consumption data.

Living Room / Invalid Cast: Cool Member Blog
« on: August 11, 2010, 11:48 PM »
DC member Martin has a really nice blog about his thoughts, observations and findings from working within the software development industry.

An excerpt from his most recent post, Was Dave a Genius?:

Every company you work for always seems to have a horror story about something that happened before your arrival. Things like current production old legacy systems that used mode="SQLServer"  for session state and then stored a ton of database reads in session to cache them.

The one I remember is the story of Dave, who had recently discovered the power of document.write and took it a little too far. Why have the server do all the work when the client can do it instead? Dave decided to have the server response.write a metric ton of document.write statements which would then produce the page at runtime in the browser. It’s possible he may have been thinking too hard about what David Wheeler said about indirection.

Back when JavaScript in the browser made people as nervous as a small nun at a penguin shooting, this story was pretty funny. But with the advances of in-browser JavaScript since the days of DHTML and the widespread popularity of libraries like jQuery, perhaps (and I may be giving him too much credit here) Dave was just ahead of his time.

N.A.N.Y. 2011 / NANY 2011 Withdrawn: Crazy URL Thing (aka SAMSA)
« on: August 10, 2010, 07:32 PM »
NANY 2011 Entry Information

Application Name Crazy URL Thing
Version 0.0
Short Description Semi-Automated Mass Searching Assistant (SAMSA)
Supported OSes Win-all
Web Page (none yet)
Download Link (none yet)
System Requirements
  • a Windows based PC
  • a browser (your choice)
  • a bunch of keywords
  • a desire to do a lot of searches on a lot of stuff, or on a lot of sites.
Version History
  • nothing yet
Author app103

Allows the user to take a list of search terms, select a site, and keep clicking a button to pop open pages in their default browser, one page for each search term.

The idea evolved partly from this thread, and partly from 2 applications I had been working on, one was Stupid URL Thing, a small utility (just for myself) to make retrieving a list of the last 3000 tweets for the top 1000 twitter users faster and easier, and the other, SocBar, was focused on advanced searching of any and all social networking sites.


Planned Features
  • ability to either paste in your keyword list or load from file
  • ability to edit and save keyword lists
  • ability to print keyword lists
  • ability to use user generated category files, containing info on all the sites in that category (such as Category: Social would contain info for the application to launch searches for nothing but social sites, Category: Search Engines would contain nothing but general search engines, etc)

(Subject to change)

Screenshot - 8_10_2010 , 7_58_21 PM.png

Screenshot - 8_10_2010 , 8_01_24 PM.png

You can't install it yet.

Using the Application

You could use it with a single keyword and open searches on multiple sites, or with a list and search on a single or multiple sites.

For example: Let's say you wanted to search for the best price on a single item. You'd enter your search keywords in the small box, select Category: Shopping, select the first site you wanted to check, and then click the "Go" button to open a search in your browser for that site. Then switch to the next site and click the "Go" button again.

If you had a whole big list of things you wanted to buy and wanted to search, you'd either paste in your list (or load from file), select Category: Shopping, select, and click the button repeatedly to open up individual search pages for each of your keywords on Amazon's site.

The reason why it is semi-automated is because a lot of sites will block you if you perform too many searches in rapid succession, and it might not be practical to open 100's of pages at the same time, if you have a really long list.

Since it would be impossible for me to include every site on the internet that you could possibly want to search, I will include a starter set of category files and instructions for making your own, so you will be able to create, share, and trade category files with other users.

Since you can't install it yet, you also can't uninstall it.

Known Issues
It's not ready yet.

Living Room / Send me on a click adventure
« on: July 16, 2010, 02:39 AM »

Introduce me to one fantastic blog, off the beaten path, that you don't think many people know about.

Here is mine for you:

Shalampax Speaks is a humor blog, based on the daily happenings in the tiny mythical island country of Shalampax. (you might have to browse the main site to understand some of it)

Living Room / Sitepoint is giving away a free ebook
« on: July 08, 2010, 07:10 PM »
In honor of the World Cup, Sitepoint is running their own cup, letting the teams from the World Cup determine the prices of their books.

They have assigned teams a book, and offered discounts on those books, increasing the discounts as teams won and eliminating the books (return to regular price) as teams lost.

So right now you can either get a 83% discount on the last 2 remaining teams/books ($4.95 each), or you can wait to see who wins and take advantage of a one day only special by grabbing a free book.

It's down to Simply Javascript (Netherlands) vs jQuery (Spain).

Screenshot Captor / Tiny feature request
« on: July 06, 2010, 07:20 AM »
It would be nice if you could select all text in this box by triple clicking.

Screenshot - 7_6_2010 , 8_11_23 AM.png

Living Room / Diagnosis: Email Apnea?
« on: June 27, 2010, 03:52 AM »
I noticed this about myself a few months ago when I was trying to figure out why I get so sleepy when doing certain tasks on the computer. Now, rather than getting up and crawling into bed for a nap, I make a special effort to breathe more when doing them to avoid the problem.

I've just opened my email and there's nothing out of the ordinary there. It's the usual daily flood of schedule, project, travel, information, and junk mail. Then I notice. I'm holding my breath.

As the email spills onto my screen, as my mind races with thoughts of what I'll answer first, what can wait, who I should call, what should have been done two days ago; I've stopped the steady breathing I was doing only moments earlier in a morning meditation and now, I'm holding my breath.

And here's the deal: You're probably holding your breath, too.

I wanted to know -- how widespread is email apnea*? I observed others on computers and BlackBerries: in their offices, their homes, at cafes. The vast majority of people held their breath, or breathed very shallowly, especially when responding to email. I watched people on cell phones, talking and walking, and noticed that most were mouth-breathing and hyperventilating. Consider also, that for many, posture while seated at a computer can contribute to restricted breathing.

Does it matter? How was holding my breath affecting me?

*Email apnea - a temporary absence or suspension of breathing, or shallow breathing, while doing email

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