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Topics - Deozaan [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / League of Legends: Free game based on Warcraft 3 DotA mod
« on: September 14, 2010, 06:32 PM »
If you've never played the Warcraft 3 mod called Defense of the Ancients (DotA, or DotA All-Stars), then you may be a little confused. In short, it's kind of like a team-based tower defense except you don't build towers. Instead, you control a Hero and attempt to destroy the opposing team's towers and base to ensure victory while defending your own towers and base to prevent defeat. Waves of little minions spawn for each team every several seconds and automatically make their way to attack the opponent's base, usually having a standoff somewhere in the middle.

The heroes are generally the ones who turn the tides of battle.

Anyway, some of the original creators of DotA have made an entirely new game called League of Legends, which is free to download and play with others online. Here are some videos and an image:

If this looks fun, sign up and download it yourself.

FULL DISCLOSURE: The above links to League of Legends (LoL) contain a referral code that will give me some sort of bonus for referring others. To be honest, I don't really care about the referral, I just want to play with others from DC, so if you want to sign up without giving me credit for telling you about this nifty game, follow this link.

DC Gamer Club / Looking for Playstation 3 players.
« on: September 04, 2010, 06:04 PM »
Hi folks,

I love playing multiplayer games, especially cooperative ones. However, I really do not like playing games online with strangers.

I recently got a PS3 and I've been longing to play some multiplayer games with people I know. Unfortunately, I only know three other people who own a PS3, and only I've only been able to coordinate playing games online with one of them (my brother).

I need a bigger friends list to increase the likelihood that I'll be online at the same time as someone else who also has some of the same games as I do.

I don't own many games, and I'm not that into FPS games, but my library is slowly growing over time. Some online multiplayer games I've recently enjoyed are:

Castle Crashers
Fat Princess
Burnout: Paradise City

If you click on my PSN profile below you can see the games I play (via trophies) and I think maybe you can send me a friend request. If your PSN ID is different from your DC username, please let me know who you are (or that you're from DC) since I'm not in the habit of accepting random friend requests from strangers.

I just discovered Readability, a bookmarklet that makes it easier to read content that is normally surrounded in clutter.

I'll be honest: I haven't used it yet and I don't have time to look into it and make a decent write up about it, but I thought the good folks here would find it interesting.

Here's a video for a quick introduction:

It has been mentioned here on DC before: Lower The Lights? Easier To Read Websites?

EDIT: ljbirns let us know that it's available as a Firefox extension.

General Software Discussion / Strange Google Chrome Problem
« on: July 20, 2010, 06:18 PM »
The past day or two I've been getting "plaintext web pages" instead of HTML. Often including javascript, CSS, and other stuff (like Apache server responses).

There seems to be an issue with the encoding. See image below for an example:


If I reload the page enough then it will sometimes show the HTML, but more often then not it just shows the same thing. Anyone know what might be causing this?

Living Room / Why does digital media cost so much?
« on: July 04, 2010, 05:50 PM »
Okay, so here's something I don't understand. In the early days, for an author to get a readership, hundreds of thousands (if not millions?) of dollars would need to be spent on equipment and paper and binding and shipping and all that stuff to get books into bookstores. It was a similar situation with video and music.

The "problem" with this distribution method was that the publishers got most of the money while the author/artist got diddly squat. Even though that sucks for the author, it actually made sense, since the publisher was the one who fronted practically all the costs involved in getting the author's works across the world.

But in this day and age of digital media, where publishing costs have been reduced to negligible amounts, why is it that authors still only get a pittance and digital downloads still cost nearly the same (if not the same) as the physical products? Why are eBooks for the Kindle $10? Why are music albums on iTunes $10?

Why isn't there a ubiquitous "self-publishing" platform out there that sells things for really cheap and only takes a small portion for the platform and gives most of the revenue to the artist?

Why doesn't someone create a new site that sells digital media for at most $5 (an album or book or video) but more often for $1-$3 with 75%+ of the revenue going to the artist?

There are enough open formats available to make the cost extremely low so that something like this could be profitable. You could use .ogg for audio/video formats. Not sure what you would use for eBooks. But even for distributing you could just use a distributed peer 2 peer network (torrent) to keep server costs to a minimum.

So why hasn't anybody done this yet? Or if they have, why did it fail to catch on? There's really no reason for digital copies to cost so much. I know a lot of music artists and authors have experimented with releasing digital downloads for free or pay-what-you-want or really cheap, but they're all doing it independently. Why isn't there a centralized platform for anybody to do this on?

Why isn't there a (digital + amazon) where people just know to go to in order to get their digital media on the cheap?

EDIT: Deal's Over

Hey all,

Yes this is another topic on a Steam sale.

FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage for $2 USD for about the next 14 hours. Deal's over!

FlatOut Ultimate Carnage lifts destruction racing to a whole new level of bone-breaking slaughter. FlatOut Ultimate Carnage is arcade destruction racing at its best and most extreme with real world physics, three different game modes and offering players a wide variety of online and offline multiplayer options.

I haven't played it yet (I'm downloading it) so I can't really recommend it, but the price is so good it would have to be really terrible to feel ripped off from this one. If you like racing game or know someone who does, this could be a nice unexpected gift for the amount of money you could probably find in your car or under your couch cushions. ;)

I've also been known to help people out who have difficulties purchasing through Steam. If that applies to you and you want this game, PM me for more info.

General Software Discussion / AVG Popup Ads
« on: June 26, 2010, 09:43 PM »
What's up with AVG (Free) popping up an advertisement every single day nagging me to upgrade to the paid version?

:down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down: :down:

I think it's about time to uninstall. Who needs an anti-virus program anyway?

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to remember the name of a website that lets you select a bunch of freeware applications and it will give you a link to a small downloader that will automatically download everything you selected and install it with the default settings, opting out of any extra toolbars and that other crap.

I believe it was app103 who started the thread, and I know the website changed its name when it came out of beta. I just can't for the life of me think of what it was called and I can't puzzle out useful search terms to help me find it.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Living Room / Help! Really strange WiFi problem.
« on: June 22, 2010, 01:43 PM »
Hi everyone,

I just started having an issue yesterday that I can't figure out.

Basically, I can use the internet just fine for about 10 seconds. A page will load, I can ping any servers and get a reply, etc. But then after I load a page or two I can no longer load any websites and I cannot ping any servers. But the strange thing is that my IM programs still connect and my download manager will still download. So I know I have a connection to the internet, but somehow all traffic to my browser (and ping, etc) is being blocked.

The other strange thing about it is that all the other computers on the network work fine and have no issues.

If I go to the command prompt and type "ipconfig /release" followed by "ipconfig /renew" then the process starts over. I can ping and visit a website or two but then suddenly all pings timeout and no websites can be loaded.

HALP! :'(

If the title sounds like something from a really bad horror movie, you must be thinking of Teeth (2007).

However, truth is often stranger than fiction. This condom has been in the making for 40 years.

The woman inserts the latex condom like a tampon. Jagged rows of teeth-like hooks line its inside and attach on a man's penis during penetration, Ehlers said.

Once it lodges, only a doctor can remove it -- a procedure Ehlers hopes will be done with authorities on standby to make an arrest.

They'd better be paying the (male) test subjects a lot of money!

General Software Discussion / SourceForge
« on: June 18, 2010, 01:43 AM »
<EDIT> I was able to get my download manager to work with SourceForge.</EDIT>

In long: Ah, good old open source applications! Nothing like some great free software to put on your PC. But what if you have connection issues and can't stay online long enough to complete that download?

Good thing you've got FreeDownloadManager(.org!)

But wait! What's this? SourceForge uses some trickery so that the download starts automatically in the browser.

Ah, no problem. Just cancel the download and copy the direct link they so kindly provide and paste it into FDM.

What the heck? 20kB? The file should be 40MB! Argh! The Direct link is just a link to a script that chooses a mirror and forwards you to the download!

In short: How the smurf do you use a download manager on SourceForge?

 >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

I've been playing around with Mercurial and the GUI provided by TortoiseHg and I've decided I don't like TortoiseHg that much. But I also don't like leaving the command prompt open all the time just for an occasional repository action. And I also don't like Win+R -> cmd -> [series of commands that navigate to the repo directory].

What I'd really like is some easy way to open a directory I'm in (from Windows Explorer) in the command prompt. Whether it's a shell extension so right click -> "Open dir in cmd" or if it's in the SendTo -> Cmd or even I guess a hotkey (though I'd rather not run a little hotkey app the whole time just for this one little use case scenario).

I thought I saw something like this already on DC but I can't find it. So if it already exists, please help point me to it. If not, please someone take up the cause and code it! :)

EDIT: Krishean made it super easy! (click the blue text below to quickly get to the download)

I took the liberty of compiling everything listed in the thread into one reg file (and one to reverse the changes)

works on windows 7 (should work the same on both x86 and x64) dunno if it does anything on xp, may or may not work on vista
works with rightclicking on a blank area of the directory
works with rightclicking on a drive or directory
shift+rightclicking adds the additional option of "Open administrator command window here"

DC Gamer Club / Dinosaurs Didn't Have Keyboards
« on: June 15, 2010, 11:14 PM »

If the screenshot makes you think of Dino Run then you wouldn't be the first to think so. However, the gameplay is completely different and in fact it's the controls themselves that make this game unique.

I don't want to spoil the surprise, so just play the game and see if your keyboard survives!

So I just clicked a link to view an article and when I loaded the webpage, Chrome popped up a little window asking me if I wanted to install that site's extension.

Chrome Extension Ads.png

I'm no security expert and I don't claim to know the inner workings of how this happens, but it seems to me it that it's not a stretch to imagine injecting this "advertisement" for an extension on any website and when the user installs it, it's actually some sort of malware.

For example: Is it possible for hackers to inject this code into (or make a fake extension for) and then when people visit the site they'll be invited to "install the new PayPal extension!" but it's really just some malware that steals their login details or something similar?

Am I the only one bothered by this?

Living Room / 10 Suicides at Apple factory this year.
« on: June 04, 2010, 02:37 AM »
It's gotten so bad they have installed a net to catch the jumpers!

Since January this year 10 young workers have killed themselves by jumping from the roof of the factory building at Foxconn in southern China.

Jobs today described the worker's deaths as 'troubling' but insisted that the factory 'is not a sweatshop'.

suicide net.jpg

Found Deals and Discounts / HDMI Cables: $0.60
« on: June 03, 2010, 10:01 PM »
I just came across these cables on

6 foot (1.8 meters) HDMI cables for $0.60 + $2.98 shipping (each).

MonoPrice is having a Deal of the Day on a 6.5 foot (2 meters) cable for $1.97, but it's hideously ugly (bright orange) and shipping is over $2.50 for one cable or $6.35+ for 2 or more. So definitely go for the cables available (from a 3rd party) on Amazon unless you're ordering 3 or more cables, then it might still be cheaper on MonoPrice.

DC Gamer Club / Altitude: Free Weekend (and 50% off) on Steam
« on: May 21, 2010, 04:11 PM »
Altitude, which has been briefly mentioned on DC in the RoboKill 2 thread, is a simplistic and fun 2D airplane combat game.

Best described as a cross between Teeworlds, Team Fortress 2, and an RPG, Altitude is a shockingly addictive online multiplayer game from indie studio Nimbly Games. Grab a plane and take to the skies as you compete (and co-operate) with other players and earn experience points bombing the enemy base and taking down foes with a variety of power-ups. As you gain levels you unlock new planes along with equippable "perks" that enhance and alter each vehicle. The instant action grabs you from the start while the nuanced gameplay and healthy serving of upgrades keep you in for the long haul.

Best of all, you can try the full version for free this weekend (right now!) on Steam (Windows or Mac), and if you like it, you can buy it for $5 USD until Monday. It is also available for Linux, but you'd either need to buy it on Steam and wait for the Linux version of Steam, or buy the Linux version direct from Nimbly Games.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am in no way affiliated with Nimbly Games, however, they do have a referral program that will get you in-game points with which to "buy" skins for your airplanes. The above link to Nimbly games will give me some of those points just by you clicking it. As far as I know, there is no way to get the referral bonus for referring you to the Steam version, so if you're feeling generous, click the link anyway. If you don't want me to benefit at all for sharing this cool game with you, then don't click that link, and you may still visit the site at:

Living Room / Google TV
« on: May 20, 2010, 11:59 PM »
Remember how Microsoft tried to integrate the internet on the television with that crappy WebTV (aka MSNTV) box? Well it seems that Google finally has figured out how to make such a move successful:

Google Inc. believes it has come up with the technology to unite Web surfing with channel surfing on televisions.

To reach the long-elusive goal, Google has joined forces with Sony Corp., Intel Corp. and Logitech International. The companies unveiled their much-anticipated plan for a "smart" TV on Thursday.


... Google was able to conduct a series of Internet searches in a drop-down box that appears at the top of television programs. The search results pointed to Internet videos and other content related to the television program on the screen.

A telecast of a sporting event can be shrunk into a small "picture-in-picture" box so a viewer can look at statistics or other material about the game on TV.

Viewers can also make search requests by speaking into a remote that runs on Google's Android operating system.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt described the potential of the Internet TVs as mind-boggling, although he acknowledged it might be difficult for some consumers to grasp at first. That's one reason he said Google decided to team up with Best Buy, which offers a "geek squad" to deal with complex technology.

"You have to actually see (the Internet TV) to get excited about it," Schmidt said at a news conference.

I guess that's why I'm not at all excited about it.

And like I'm really going to trust Geek Squad to help me out with anything.

Living Room / Google Search
« on: May 17, 2010, 01:34 PM »
Did you know that Google handles all searches as if they were performed with lower case letters? In other words, Google searches are case insensitive.

This means that searching for an editor called "StarED" gives results about staring, or being stared at. I can understand why Google would do this by default, but even their "Advanced Search" lacks the option to match case.

Okay, so I admit that I've been using the Google Search Engine for years and never had this issue affect me before, but... how the smurf can they not think this would be useful or even required in some cases?

How's that for a sensationalist headline/topic? I figured that with as well as my previous Apple-related thread has gone, I'd start this one up, too.

It’s pretty annoying to always have the iPad compared with Kindle and Nook and to hear all sorts of strange things -

iPad is the best-selling tablet – selling more than the Kindle tablet.

iPad is going to become the #1 eReader.

Kindle was the best tablet before the iPad came out.

There are two main ideas that are being propagated -
  • The iPad is an eReader and it takes on eReaders like the Kindle and Nook and Sony Reader.
  • The iPad is a Tablet and eReaders are tablets too.

It all makes sense when you dig deeper.

The real competitors the iPad is scared to be compared against

There are actually two categories that the iPad is much closer to than eReaders -
  • Netbooks.
  • Mobile Phones.

Of course, I don't expect this thread to be nearly as controversial as the other one, since generally the folks here at DC agree that Apple is all about marketing and hype. They're amazing at marketing, unfortunately what that really means is that they're really good at lying, and selling that lie for an exorbitant amount.

(thanks Allen for sharing this in your Google Reader feed)

Found Deals and Discounts / Steam Sale: 50% off Guild Wars Trilogy
« on: April 29, 2010, 09:57 PM »
Celebrate the Guild Wars 5th Anniversary with 50% off the entire Guild Wars series this week only.

If you don't know, Guild Wars is an MMORPG without a monthly subscription cost. Once you buy the game you're free to play it.

You can get the whole trilogy for $20 USD or if you already own one (or two) of the games you can buy them individually but at a higher total cost: Guild Wars: Game of the Year Edition is $10, while Factions and Nightfall are $15 each.

If you have it or get it, let me know. It would be fun to party up with some fellow DC members.

Anyone hear about this?

Police have seized computers and servers belonging to an editor of Gizmodo in an investigation that appears to stem from the gadget blog's purchase of a lost Apple iPhone prototype.


"When I got home, I noticed the garage door was half-open," according to an account by Chen. "And when I tried to open it, officers came out and said they had a warrant to search my house and any vehicles on the property 'in my control.' They then made me place my hands behind my head and searched me to make sure I had no weapons or sharp objects on me."


Dalglish said that the San Mateo County search warrant violated the federal Privacy Protection Act, which broadly immunizes news organizations from searches--unless, in some cases, the journalists themselves committed the crime. The 1980 federal law requires police to use subpoenas to obtain information instead of search warrants, she said.

Editors at Gizmodo, part of Gawker Media's blog network, last week said they paid $5,000 for what they believed to be a prototype of a future iPhone 4G. The story said the phone was accidentally left at a bar in Redwood City, Calif., last month by an Apple software engineer and found by someone who contacted Gizmodo, which had previously indicated that it was willing to pay significant sums for unreleased Apple products.

Every once in a while I will upload some files to the internet as a backup, and when I restore the files back to my computer, I realize that the file is corrupt because my internet connection freaked out during the FTP upload.

Is there any FTP client/server software that will perform a checksum on the remote files and compare them to the local files? Or perhaps a php/website script that could do something like this?

The reason why I'd prefer FTP is because my host provides a special FTP-only backup account (with no web-access to the files) and that's usually where I upload my backups to.

Living Room / File Size vs. Size on Disk: Why such a difference?
« on: April 07, 2010, 01:26 PM »
Last night I learned something new that the geek in me found interesting. I learned the difference between SI prefix names and IEC prefix names. The details are summarized on Ubuntu's Units Policy but really the only thing that has to do with this post is that it made me curious about the discrepancy I see when viewing a file's (or folder's) properties and it shows the size and size on disk to be sometimes quite different.

For example, I have several PortableApps on a 2GiB USB drive and I wanted to see how much space they took up. So viewing the PortableApps' folder properties, it shows:

Size: 602 MB (631,544,356 bytes)
Size on disk: 993 MB (1,041,301,504 bytes)

So my questions is: Can anyone explain to me why the files take up 40% more space on disk than their actual size? Are they retaining water? Wearing a girdle? Did they have plastic surgery?

General Software Discussion / Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx)
« on: March 21, 2010, 01:19 AM »
I'm officially starting the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx thread. I know it's about a month early, but I just found out that the Beta 1 is available for trial:

The Ubuntu developers are moving quickly to bring you the latest and greatest software the Open Source community has to offer. This is the first Ubuntu 10.04 beta release, which brings a host of exciting new features.

Note: This is a beta release. Do not install it on production machines. The final stable version will be released on April 29, 2010.

And here are a few changes in Lucid Lynx that I find interesting:

  • Mozilla Firefox's default search engine has been changed to Yahoo! The default Home Page will use either Google or Yahoo! depending on user setting.
  • Ubuntu One Music Store. Millions of songs are available for purchase from your Ubuntu desktop, integrated with the Rhythmbox Music Player and using Ubuntu One cloud storage for backup and easy sync. Watch for the public beta launch.
  • Ubuntu One File Synching. Select any folder in your home directory for sync, pick from your existing contacts when sharing folders. An updated preferences application has been added, with more features.
  • We now feature built-in integration with Twitter,, Facebook, and other social networks with the MeMenu in the panel, which is built upon the Gwibber project, which has a completely new, more reliable backend built on top of desktopcouch. Gwibber now also supports a multi-column view for monitoring multiple feeds simultaneously.
  • New default open source driver for nVidia hardware

For more information and download links:

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