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Topics - app103 [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / A Plethora of Open Source Games
« on: December 18, 2012, 02:17 AM »
There is a work in progress over on SourceForge, to build a comprehensive list of all of the games available on their site.


It's a page worth bookmarking and coming back to, from time to time. And if you happen to know of any sf hosted games that aren't listed yet, help them out and tell them about it. (or if you don't want to make an account, tell me and I'll add it)

Living Room / I need your help...
« on: November 20, 2012, 10:54 PM »
For those of you that don't know, my family has been going through a really rough patch lately. My husband has been out of work since July, when the company he gave the better part of his life to, over 25 years, shut down. Then he was hit by a car on Oct 4th, while looking for work.

He is currently unable to look for work while he is healing from his injuries, and I am having a lot of trouble finding work that I can physically do (I have my own share of health issues). We have no money for anything, not even the basic necessities of life like food and shelter.

We have been getting most of our food from church run emergency food pantries. The biggest problem with this is that my husband has Type 2 Diabetes and they don't give out much diabetes friendly food. Most of the stuff they give is very high in carbs and would be toxic to him. It has become difficult to find food to feed my husband.

This is where you can help. I have made an Amazon wishlist of some things we could use, most of which are things my husband can eat...meats, green vegetables, tomatoes, brown rice, eggs, etc. There are also a few things for the rest of the family, like ramen and spaghetti. And a bag of dry cat food at the top of the list because our cat needs to eat too, and we have less than a week's worth of cat food left, with no money to buy more.

If you can help us by buying an item from my wishlist, it would be most appreciated.

We are also $600 short for the rent money that is due on December 1st. I don't have anything of value left to sell...already sold everything, including my wedding band.  If you can help us with that, too, I'd sure appreciate it, as well. You can give DC credits or donate direct to my Paypal through my website's donate page.

What happens if you give a thousand Motorola Zoom tablet PCs to Ethiopian kids who have never even seen a printed word? Within five months, they'll start teaching themselves English while circumventing the security on your OS to customize settings and activate disabled hardware. Whoa.

The One Laptop Per Child project started as a way of delivering technology and resources to schools in countries with little or no education infrastructure, using inexpensive computers to improve traditional curricula. What the OLPC Project has realized over the last five or six years, though, is that teaching kids stuff is really not that valuable. Yes, knowing all your state capitols how to spell "neighborhood" properly and whatnot isn't a bad thing, but memorizing facts and procedures isn't going to inspire kids to go out and learn by teaching themselves, which is the key to a good education. Instead, OLPC is trying to figure out a way to teach kids to learn, which is what this experiment is all about.

Rather than give out laptops (they're actually Motorola Zoom tablets plus solar chargers running custom software) to kids in schools with teachers, the OLPC Project decided to try something completely different: it delivered some boxes of tablets to two villages in Ethiopia, taped shut, with no instructions whatsoever. Just like, "hey kids, here's this box, you can open it if you want, see ya!"

Just to give you a sense of what these villages in Ethiopia are like, the kids (and most of the adults) there have never seen a word. No books, no newspapers, no street signs, no labels on packaged foods or goods. Nothing. And these villages aren't unique in that respect; there are many of them in Africa where the literacy rate is close to zero. So you might think that if you're going to give out fancy tablet computers, it would be helpful to have someone along to show these people how to use them, right?

But that's not what OLPC did. They just left the boxes there, sealed up, containing one tablet for every kid in each of the villages (nearly a thousand tablets in total), pre-loaded with a custom English-language operating system and SD cards with tracking software on them to record how the tablets were used.

Living Room / Just for Fun - Cliché Movie Plots
« on: October 27, 2012, 01:45 AM »
Select a cliché and create a movie plot idea for it, interpreting it literally. If you need some help coming up with clichés, try here.

Example 1: "As tender as a mother's heart" would be a movie about a serial killer/up and coming super chef that enters a game show cook-off, needing an extra special "secret ingredient" for his dish, goes to local parks to find and murder mothers, which he then cooks their hearts to win the grand prize.

Example 2: "All hands on deck" would be a movie about a psycho killer running loose on a cruise ship, who chops off hands for trophies.

Yes, I do like horror movies. Why do you ask?

We Need Your Help!

This Halloween, the ADA and PopCap Games are redefining what a Halloween “treat” can be… by giving FUN instead of candy. We’re giving away Plants vs. Zombies™ download games as a sugar-free alternative, and you can join in the fun.

Ask if your local dentist has the limited-edition, collectible Plants vs. Zombies trading cards with the code for a free Plants vs. Zombies download game. Or, download printable free-game coupons here.

Now go out and give PvZ fun as a Halloween treat to kids of all ages. And thanks for helping Stop Zombie Mouth!

You can print as many of the coupons as you want, to give away to the kids in your neighborhood, your child's school, friends, family, or yourself.

Living Room / Social media icon set, including one for DC
« on: October 16, 2012, 11:21 AM »
I recently decided to build a few websites and found a need to have a set of social media icons to link to all of the related profiles for each site. Since some of them have associated profiles on more recently created social networks, I had to find a nice full set that included icons for sites like Google Plus and Pinterest.

Elegant Themes has a really nice set with a lot of different icons, including the more recent social networks. The set is GPL licensed, so you can use them in Wordpress themes and plugins, intended for distribution or sale. This set is now my default for using when building sites and blogs.


While building my portfolio site, I found the need to have an icon that matched that set, to link to my DC profile.

After editing the included Flickr icon, I now have a matching one with Cody, which I am now sharing with anyone that would like to use the set provided by Elegant Themes, and have a matching icon to link to their DC profiles.


N.A.N.Y. 2013 / NANY 2013 Withdrawn: Bead Designer
« on: October 12, 2012, 03:42 AM »
NANY 2013 Entry Information

Application Name Bead Designer
Version --
Short Description Lightweight application for designing Native American style beadwork designs
Supported OSes Windows
Web Page http://arussoproject...12/09/bead-designer/
Download Link --
System Requirements--
Version History--
Author app103

A simple application for designing patterns for Native American style loomed bead weaving, that actually looks like finished beadwork.



Screenshot - 9_16_2012 , 6_18_50 AM.png

I don't know if I am going to be able to pull this one off, but I will give it a try. Been having a lot of fun playing with it just as it currently is, but it is quite obvious that this is an unfinished project.

I have a project page up but this will not be the final location for it when it is finished. http://arussoproject...12/09/bead-designer/

An activist group called Civil Rights Defenders has developed a new Captcha system to keep spambots out and inform users of global civil rights issues.

Instead of visually decoding an image of distorted letters, the user has to take a stand regarding facts about human rights. Depending on whether the described situation is positively or negatively charged, the CAPTHA generates three random words from a database. These words describe positive and negative emotions. The user selects the word that best matches how they feel about the situation, and writes the word in the CAPTCHA. Only one answer is correct, the answer showing compassion and empathy.

An API and a PHP library are available.

Hunting season is now open on software patents, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Stack Exchange and Google are teaming up to make it easy for geeks to shoot down overbroad and ridiculous patents.

Thanks to a change in patent law that went into effect this month, third parties who think a patent application is flimsy or invalid due to previous art or obviousness can now file evidence and comments to the USPTO, starting Thursday morning. Previously, it was illegal for the USPTO to take outside parties comments into account when evaluating a patent application.

Making the process even easier, Stack Exchange, the popular Q&A site for coders, has teamed up with the Patent Office and Google to crowdsource analysis of patents before they are issued.

I need a good simple 5-star ratings plugin for Wordpress, to allow visitors to rate posts without requiring that they sign up, log in, leave a comment, etc.  Something that they can just click and go.

I used to have comments open on the blog but found that most visitors responded better to a simple star rating widget, requiring nothing more than a single click to leave feedback. After reviewing a few years worth of comments and finding that 95% of them were spam and the rest useless, I closed comments and hid all existing comments on posts.

I am currently using an old offsite 3rd party service (JS-Kit) to insert the ratings system into the posts. JS-Kit was sold and they no longer offer this service to new blogs. I don't have much faith that this service will continue in the future and I'd like to find a replacement for it, that doesn't rely on a 3rd party offsite service.

Do any of you have any experience with any of the many plugins available, to guide me in the right direction to a plugin that works well, is actively developed and supported, in which documentation, faq, bug reports, etc. are not hidden behind a paywall? Bonus points if I can manually set the initial ratings level individually for each post (about the only way I could possibly import existing ratings).

I was considering trying GD Star Rating, till I noticed that the developer deleted his site and the original free user forum with all the documentation for it and hid most of the content behind a "pay for support" forum, in which you can't even gain read-only access, without paying. From what I understand, it's a rather complex plugin and not documented very well, difficult to get working properly without having access to the additional material that used to be available for free on the developer's site. Sure, I could access some of the original content on's Wayback Machine, but there is no way of knowing if any of the info is outdated or still applies to the current version of the plugin. Also, any documentation of newer features would not be there. For this reason, I have low confidence for this plugin and will not consider it.

Living Room / How Blogging (or Coding) Can Rot Your Teeth
« on: August 09, 2012, 12:19 AM »
I know this isn't something that most computer users think about, but spending a lot of time at your computer can be harmful to your teeth. Fear not though...there are things you can do to prevent the damage.

Living Room / Are Creative Commons Licenses Even Enforceable?
« on: February 28, 2012, 10:51 AM »
A very well written article that raises a lot of questions about the enforceability of Creative Commons licenses. A good read and a lot to think about if you release works with a CC license or use CC licensed content.

Living Room / YouTube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music
« on: February 26, 2012, 11:42 PM »
Be careful when recording nature. Those birds may be singing copyrighted tunes.  :huh:

Living Room / IRLDD NYC - Martin and app103
« on: February 07, 2012, 11:18 PM »
I have known Martin for about 10 years, and today I finally got to meet him face to face for the very first time.

We had a lot of fun and a bit of an unplanned adventure.

Martin met me at the WTC PATH station and instead of going straight to lunch, we decided to find a place to have coffee and chat for awhile. And chat we did, for a lot longer than we had expected.

Martin in the coffee shop:

For whatever reason, I am not sure why, we created origami and gave each other some rather odd little souvenirs to take home. He made me a tiny little boat out of half of one of our coffee receipts, and I made him a paper cup/envelope out of the other half. (I also made something else he will post a photo of later.)

By the time we left the coffee shop, it wasn't lunch we were going to have, it was dinner.  ;D

Trying to find the place we had picked out [Koko Asian] wasn't easy. The street it was on ended at the PATH station and the numbers still weren't low enough, meaning the street had to continue elsewhere, probably beyond the train station. We chose to go around the station and turned right when we should have went left.

When you know where you are on your mental map but the map in your head is upside down, you end up walking in the opposite direction than you should. We spent quite awhile going around in circles till we finally found the restaurant, completely by accident.  :-[

The food was good, reasonably priced for NYC, and they gave you plenty of it. Martin's dream of coming to NYC and having "noodles in a box" was almost fulfilled, but rather than it being in a little white take-out box, it was served in a mini wok (we would have had to get it to go if we wanted the box part of the plan, and neither one of us was up to the task of finding somewhere outside, at night, to sit down and eat it.)

Martin at Koko:

Dinner of vegetable Lo Mein:

Got our waiter to take this photo of the 2 of us:

Martin was quite surprised that I had no difficulty understanding him. He thought his British accent might give me trouble. Before meeting him, I thought it might, too, but it turns out that even though he's a Brit, he really has much less of an accent than I would have expected. He sounds like what one would expect if he had lived in the US for the last 10 years. :huh:

at Game Giveaway of the Day today, Master Of Defense:


Home page of game:

Mouser's review of the game from 2006:



One very cool little robot!

Robot creator Masahiko Yamaguchi has demonstrated a robot which can balance, steer and correct itself while riding a fixed-gear bike.

"A feature of this robot is, it pedals the bike with its own feet, and keeps its balance just by using the handlebars. I think this is probably a world first."

"I'm interested in artificial intelligence, and in that context, I think intelligence and skills have equal value. So my purpose in creating this robot was to pursue intelligence from the skills side. While I was thinking of suitable topics, my local science museum demonstrated a cycling robot. So I decided to consider cycling as the skill, and build a bicycle robot."

N.A.N.Y. 2012 / NANY 2012 Release: GoogolBar
« on: December 19, 2011, 09:11 PM »
NANY 2012 Entry Information

Application Name GoogolBar
Version 1.0.9
Short DescriptionGoogolBar is my idea of a replacement for the Google Toolbar for Windows. It does not contain anything questionable, unethical, shady, sneaky, privacy invading, etc.
Supported OSes 32-bit versions of Windows: 98/ME/2K/XP with IE 5 or newer
Setup File
System RequirementsWindows 98/ME/2K/XP with IE 5 or newer
Author Info app103 - App's Apps | LaKraven - Reinvent The Wheel
DescriptionNice, clean, and simple. It is a deskbar that integrates with your taskbar to provide convenient searching of various Google services (20 in total) right from the desktop in your default browser.

It will work with all major browsers and most obscure ones, too. It will work with both horizontal and vertical taskbars.

It will not store a search history, not phone home, not report statistics, no automatic installation of updates without the user's knowledge or consent, no tracking of personally identifiable surfing activities, no tracking of "anonymous" statistics, no changes to your default search engine, no changes to your default "new tab" page, no changes to any web page you view, no collection and storage of personally identifiable information, no loading of dynamic content from the web, no advertising, no 3rd party bundled software, no BS.

And for those that really care about privacy, there is an option to search using Scroogle.
FeaturesServices supported: Web, Image, Maps, News, Groups, Shopping, Video, Mail, Books, Finance, Scholar, Blogs, Youtube. Calendar, Reader, Documents, Patents, Android market, G+, Scroogle
ScreenshotsAs displayed on a vertical taskbar:
Screenshot - 12_19_2011 , 10_06_05 PM.png
InstallationJust run the GoogolBarSetup.msi file by double clicking it.

After installing, right click your taskbar and on the menu, under Toolbars, select "GoogolBar". If you do not see it listed there, wait a few seconds and check again.
Using the applicationJust type in one or more search terms into the box, select the type of search you want to perform from the drop down list, and click the Search button. Your search will be opened in your default browser.
UninstallingClose the GoogolBar deskbar first by right clicking the toolbar and selecting "Close toolbar". Then restart your computer. Failure to skip this may cause uninstallation to fail.

It can then be removed from Add/Remove programs by finding and uninstalling the entry called "GoogolBar".
Known IssuesVista/Win7 x86:

Current version may not work but there will be a version that will, coming soon.

x64 versions of Windows:

Current version will not work but there will be a version that will, coming soon.

Internet Explorer:

This isn't meant to be an Internet Explorer toolbar, even though it does appear on the Internet Explorer toolbars menu.

I had to add it to that menu to get it to show up in the Explorer toolbars menu.

You can use it with Internet Explorer, but it will not open searches and pages in the open instance of Internet Explorer. It will open them in a new instance of your default browser, which in some cases might be a different browser than Internet Explorer.

It doesn't fully support Themes. It is still showing the wrong background color with some themes. (I am still working on full theme support and I am beginning to get the impression it might not be possible)

NOTE: This version contains a "Donate" button. I will also have a version without the "Donate" button uploaded within the next few days for anyone that supports the project. Just send me a private message and I'll give you a link to download it.

Living Room / You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do!
« on: December 14, 2011, 04:32 PM »
The 1973 BBC Radio broadcast of Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy is available on

The Foundation Trilogy concists of:
1. Foundations
2. Foundation and Empire
3. Second Foundation

The Foundation Trilogy is an epic science fiction series written over a span of forty-four years by Isaac Asimov. It consists of seven volumes that are closely linked to each other, although they can be read separately. The series is highly acclaimed, winning the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966.

The premise of the series is that mathematician Hari Seldon spent his life developing a branch of mathematics known as psychohistory, a concept devised by Asimov and his editor John W. Campbell. Using the law of mass action, it can predict the future, but only on a large scale; it is error-prone for anything smaller than a planet or an empire. It works on the principle that the behavior of a mass of people is predictable if the quantity of this mass is very large (equal to the population of the galaxy). The larger the mass, the more predictable is the future. Using these techniques, Seldon foresees the fall of the Galactic Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting thirty thousand years before a second great empire arises. To shorten the period of barbarism, he creates two Foundations, small, secluded havens of art, science, and other advanced knowledge, on opposite ends of the galaxy.

The focus of the trilogy is on the Foundation of the planet Terminus. The people living there are working on an all-encompassing Encyclopedia, and are unaware of Seldon's real intentions (for if they were, the variables would become too uncontrolled). The Encyclopedia serves to preserve knowledge of the physical sciences after the collapse. The Foundation's location is chosen so that it acts as the focal point for the next empire in another thousand years (rather than the projected thirty thousand).

Audio has 8 parts



Developer's Corner / Indie Game Dev Bundle from Envato
« on: December 05, 2011, 07:33 PM »
From the latest issue of Envato's newsletter:

Indie Game Dev Bundle — Get it Now!

3DOcean, GraphicRiver, ActiveDen and AudioJungle are proud to announce the release of the Indie Game Dev Bundle! Containing more than $500 of the best game development resources; 3D models, Unity game starter kits, textures, audio packs and more for only $20!

Limited Time Offer

This offer will only be available until 12pm on Monday the 12th of December, AEDT. So secure your copy of this unbeatable deal now and get your game on!

Living Room / The Life-Changing $20 Rightward-Facing Cow
« on: October 05, 2011, 12:05 PM »
The past year has been one of the strangest ever in the life of game designer, lecturer and author Ian Bogost. It started with the launch of the most successful game he's ever developed, and ended with him bringing it to a strange, cathartic end.

That game was Facebook title Cow Clicker, a now-infamous satire against social games. For its creator, though, it's been more complicated than that. As his friend, I confess to being a little relieved it's over with.

This is the story of a person whose joke project became more successful than the one on which he lavished love and intellect, the climate that caused that to happen and how ultimately he decided to learn from it instead of becoming upset.

Ian recently sent me an IM to share some correspondence with one of his users: "Hi Ian," writes one. "I've noticed that the Cowpocalypse has happened and users have to pay to see their cow. Do you have a goal or timeframe of when this will be set back to normal?"

"There's no way to pay to see your cow," replied the designer. "The cows got raptured."

Like any dissatisfied customer, the user said he'll no longer play, as Cow Clicker is "not a very fun game" any longer. Answers Bogost: "It wasn't very fun before :)"

Cow Clicker was never supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be silly, insultingly simple, a vacuous waste of time, and a manipulative joke at the expense of its players-–in other words, everything Bogost thought that Facebook games like the Zynga-made hit FarmVille are. In Cow Clicker, players get a cow, they click it, and then they must either pay to click it again or wait six hours; an embarrassing, joyless labor that to him represented the quintessential aspects of the games that were flourishing all over the social network.

Living Room / When Clippy got the axe (Funny videos from Microsoft)
« on: August 22, 2011, 04:59 PM »
A look back, for those that missed it or want to see it again.

In 2001, a Microsoft advertising campaign for Office XP included the (now defunct) website, which highlighted the disabling of Clippit in the software. It featured the animated adventures of Clippit (voiced by comedian Gilbert Gottfried, in an annoying voice) as he learned to cope with unemployment ("X...XP...As in, ex-paperclip?!") and parodied behaviors of the Office assistant.

Living Room / European security group issues warning on HTML5
« on: August 06, 2011, 02:42 AM »
ENISA look at 13 specifications within HTML5 and found 51 security issues. Some of the issues can be fixed by tweaking the specifications, while others are more risks based on the features that users should be alerted to, Hogben said. One of the features that concerns ENISA in the paper is termed "form tampering."

The HTML5 specification allows for the "submit" button for a Web-based form to be placed anywhere on a Web page. It means it would be possible for an attacker to inject other HTML onto the page, such as a different form button, and then cause the information in the form to be sent to the attacker rather than the legitimate website.

General Software Discussion / Sticky notes for Linux?
« on: June 29, 2011, 09:51 PM »
I would really like a sticky note app for Linux that is comparable to Notezilla on Windows.

Specifically, I'd like one where I can hide notes, arrange them on either multiple boards or in a tree, schedule repeating alarms (with snooze option), and the ability for them be scheduled to open urls.

Does anyone know of such an app?

Living Room / Scented USB Drives?
« on: June 17, 2011, 03:54 PM »
Your co-worker in the next cubicle had burritos for lunch and they didn't quite agree with him.

As they say, this is a good place for a stick-up but unfortunately, you don't have one. Nor do you have one of those Glade plug-in air fresheners.

But luckily you do have your scented USB drive and can plug that in, at least till your co-worker's digestive track stops spazzing. And while it might be better if it were pina colada scented, anything is better than smelling Bob's burritos.

WorkTimer is a free web application that allows you to track time spent on projects, with features such as reports, invoicing, data export, and an optional desktop app (Adobe Air).

Seems this might be great for some of the freelancers among us. Has anyone had any experiences using this?

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