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Tuesday September 15, 2015

Super-sized Newsletter for Sep 15, 2015 - Codename: Upgrading Everything

1. Newsletter Editorial

Greetings!  It's been 6 months since the last newsletter, and this edition of the newsletter isn't just super-sized -- it's the biggest newsletter we've ever put out.

I'm going to talk a little in this editorial about happenings on the website and forum.  So if that doesn't interest you, feel free to skip the remainder of the editorial and the first few sections of the newsletter and jump right to the roundup of the most interesting new posts on our forum.

In March we held a fundraiser to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the site, and raised $15,649 from 927 donors (an average donation of about $17).  For 10 years our software has remained free of adware, spyware, bundled toolbars, or other unwanted stuff -- all made possible by donations from ordinary users.  It was a rejuvenating experience to hear from so many people who have supported our site over the last decade.  

The fundraiser made it possible for us to finally spend a couple of months putting in place a major forum upgrade, which was unveiled on August 30th.  The forum upgrade brings lots of small improvements on the user interface side of things, and some major improvements in the back end that will make it easier for us to improve, maintain and secure the forum for the next ten years.

And with the successful forum upgrade behind us, we're not slowing down -- next up is a major site overhaul.  We're moving the entire website to a CMS which will allow us to more easily add more content from more users, and make it easier to keep the website content updated.  We should be ready to unveil that in November (section 2 has links with more details), so stay tuned -- your donations are hard at work.

Ok, onward to the newsletter!

-jesse (mouser)

Click here to read the full newsletter now..

posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 15, 2015, 09:51:00 AM
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Sunday September 13, 2015

What happens when a Kickstarter project fails to launch?

DC Member wraith808 writes:

I've posted a few other threads about failed kickstarters, but the articles behind those where no where as indepth as the treatment by the NY Times:

ZPM Espresso and the Rage of the Jilted Crowdfunder

One of the first quotes nails the whole thing, I think:

Kickstarter and its crowdfunding competitors have invented a new sort of economic relationship, and a corresponding frontier of Internet acrimony.

It's a very interesting read- and it's also interesting that even with the best of intent, things just fail.  How do you manage those expectations?  Especially when there's money involved from people that are not used to the market?

posted by wraith808 donate to wraith808 - September 13, 2015, 06:11:00 PM
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Monday September 07, 2015

Security: Seagate Wireless HDD Undocumented Accessible Telnet Services

Seagate wireless hard-drives provides undocumented Telnet services accessible by using the default credentials of 'root' as username and the default password.

via and http://www.theregist..._poisoned_purloined/

FWIW, other vulnerabilities surfaced too (see links).

IIUC, this type of device has been mentioned in a few threads over the years...hence the post.

posted by ewemoa donate to ewemoa - September 07, 2015, 07:36:00 PM
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Wednesday September 02, 2015


Hack font v.2

Christopher Simpkins and others' hack font, which I neither knew nor have used (obviously) has been renewed. It presents itself as 'a typeface designed for source code' and is open source. I'm trying it right now and it is actually the first font which I think could make me abandon Consolas.

Hack 9 is about the same height as Consolas 10, but a bit narrower (which is not a disadvantage at all).

That screenshot looks pretty nice!

Looking at the website you can see how much work has gone into publicizing the font.

Whenever we talk about programming fonts we also can't forget to mention the Dina programming font, created by DC member Jibz -- which is different because it's fixed width and suitable at very low font sizes:

Continue reading the rest of the entry and discuss..

posted by phitsc donate to phitsc - September 02, 2015, 02:01:00 AM
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Tuesday September 01, 2015

Screenshot - 8_1_2015 , 11_59_20 PM.png

Startups and the Big Lie

Often it feels to me like economic success is one big pyramid scheme... Here's an article about the central role lying plays in the startup model where companies raise billions based on a mirage of get-rich-quick success they create.

They have little choice. Funding is contingent on growth, but that growth can only happen if no one really understands the funding situation. Founders have to tell the lie – that everything is fine, that a feature is going to launch even though the engineer for that feature hasn’t been hired yet, that payroll will run even though the VC dollars are still nowhere on the horizon.

Lying is a requisite and daily part of being a founder, the grease that keeps the startup flywheel running.

posted by mouser donate to mouser - September 01, 2015, 03:26:00 PM
discovered on
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AWS security woes

I use AWS for backing up my web sites mostly, though I use it for other reasons sometimes.  I switched to 2-factor, even though it's annoying and I don't use it much.  After all, if I'm only using it for a few things, how much trouble could I get in?

I saw these articles, and realized that 2-factor was a very good idea.

How a bug in Visual Studio 2015 exposed my source code on GitHub and cost me $6,500 in a few hours

Developers, Check Your Amazon Bills For Bitcoin Miners

Amazon AWS Account Hacking and How to Avoid it

How my Amazon S3 account was hacked with 10,776$ in billing.

Check your S3 and secure it... even if you don't use it.  Basically, they login, and then create EC2 instances with bitcoin miners.  They make the money, and leave you with the bill.

Just figured I'd post this as I'd not seen this particular phenomenon before.

posted by wraith808 donate to wraith808 - September 01, 2015, 11:30:00 AM
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Screenshot - 9_1_2015 , 1_54_23 AM.png

AppSumo presents SitePoint Premium deal of a lifetime

DC Member App103 writes us today:

As some of you may know, I have been working for SitePoint/Learnable for a couple of years, now, so when I tell you that this deal is unprecedented, consider where it's coming from.*

AppSumo is presenting a deal for a LIFETIME membership to SitePoint Premium (formerly Learnable) for $49, and that comes with unlimited downloads of all our books and courses.

You pay $49, once, and you get access to all of our book and course that we have now and every book and course we will ever release in the future.

Annual memberships are currently worth $108 per year, so this is a serious unprecedented bargain on something we have never offered before...lifetime memberships. (if and when we do offer this plan for sale on our site, it's likely to be priced at $500 or more)

Now, this is a limited time offer, good for the first 5000 that manage to take advantage of it before they are all gone. So, if you want it, hop on it now and don't wait.


* Disclaimer: I work for SitePoint but they have not encouraged nor offered me any compensation to make this post.

posted by app103 donate to app103 - September 01, 2015, 09:50:00 AM
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Monday August 31, 2015

Forum Upgraded August 30, 2015

Hi all!

Thanks for your patience!
The forum upgrade has taken place -- tons of fixes, upgrades, and changes.

Hopefully there won't be too many problems -- but there are bound to be some.  Please report them here.

A big thanks to dc member Stephen for all the help testing.
And thanks also to hamradio for doing some work on the badges and icons.

And a HUGE thanks to everyone who has donated to the site, especially during the last fundraiser -- it's only because of your support that it's feasible to spend the time on this kind of thing.

Click to read more and discuss..

posted by mouser donate to mouser - August 31, 2015, 08:58:00 AM
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Thursday August 27, 2015

Screenshot - 8_27_2015 , 5_16_42 AM_thumb002.png roundup of ad blocking extensions

Nice roundup with lots of charts showing performance impacts of a variety of ad blockers, on memory, cpu, page loading times, etc.


posted by mouser donate to mouser - August 27, 2015, 05:20:00 AM
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Tuesday August 25, 2015

Forum Upgrade Will Occur September 1st, 2015

Best watched full screen:

posted by mouser donate to mouser - August 25, 2015, 04:23:00 PM
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Thursday August 20, 2015


How Much RAM? 4GB vs. 8GB vs. 16GB Performance - TechSpot

Is less memory better for your system? Techspot tries to find out.


Bottom line of the article seems to be that 8gb is the sweet spot and makes a real difference over 4gb, but that 16gb doesn't yield much of an advantage over 8.
posted by lanux128 donate to lanux128 - August 20, 2015, 06:57:00 AM
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Tuesday August 11, 2015

Trout (audio player) update v1.0.6

Application Name Trout
Short Description Small, simple audio player (Freeware)
Supported OSes 95/98/ME/2k/XP/Vista/7
Web Page None
Download Link Installer
Zip (portable)

My main audio player for many years has been, and will remain, foobar but there are some times when I just want a simple "load'n'play" type of player.  An application that comes very close is Billy.  It's a FANTASTIC little app that fits in with my preference in software...standard controls, no skins, etc.  However, it only supports MP3, WAV, OGG, & FLAC and it also doesn't display tags.  My audio collection comprises many more formats than that and I tag files religiously.  So, with that in mind, I've always wanted to write my own simple player.  A good friend and I have wrapped the BASS audio engine in AutoHotkey and I've written a player (in AutoHotkey as well) called Trout.

  • Supported audio formats (standard): AIFF, AIF, AIFC, MP1, MP2, MP3, OGA, OGG, WAV, MO3, XM, MOD, S3M, IT, MTM.
  • Supported audio formats (w/ plugins): FLAC, WMA, WMP, WMV, ASF, MID, MIDI, RMI, KAR, WV, WVC, AAC, MP4, M4A, M4B, M4P, APE, AC3, SPX, TTA, OFR, MPC, ALAC.
  • Basic freeDB support for audio CD track titles.
  • Support for internet radio streams.
  • Supported tag formats:
    ID3v1, ID3v2.2/3/4
    OGG/FLAC Vorbis comments
    APE, OFR, MPC, AAC (APE tags)
    MP4/ALAC/AAC (not available under 9x/ME)
  • WinampAPI support for external control and display.
  • Commandline parameters for external control (/play, /stop, /prev, /next, /mute).
  • Extremely customizable hotkey system.
  • Basic custom string formatting (see Options screenshot).
  • Basic album art support (folder.jpg)
  • Horizontal/vertical "minibar" controls (see main screenshot).
  • Toaster style popup.
  • Play modes (Play file, play list, repeat file, repeat list, random, shuffle).
  • Simple tag editing (not available under 9x/ME).
  • support.

Planned Features
  • Equalizer.
  • Playlist saving in .m3u and .wpl formats.  It currently reads these files just fine.
  • Lyrics support.
  • Auto updater.
  • More...

Main interface and some different looks.  Windows 9x/ME users will have regular slider controls for the seekbar and volume controls.
Minibar controls
Options dialogs
Toaster popup

posted by skwire donate to skwire - August 11, 2015, 01:56:00 PM
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