DOGE – An Insanely Fun New Alt Coin

5

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Bitcoin, Internet, Money | Posted on 09-12-2013

Tags: , , ,

I’ve been having an absolute BLAST with Dogecoins today. It’s a new alt coin (alternative crypto currency) and right from the get-go it barks up a happy storm. The official site is here:

http://dogecoin.com/

However, quite often the original Bitcointalk thread is where all the real information is for some crypto currencies:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=361813.0

DOGE

The thread itself is hilarious and full of people posting “in character”.

Now, I’m certainly not one to beg, but I couldn’t resist begging for DOGE. How could I resist? A dog-themed coin? Not beg? Inconceivable!

Begging for DOGE

The wallet itself is insanely fun as well:

DOGE wallet WOW

As you can see, the DOGE miners are very generous in giving out to those that beg.

And the “Much Receive” tab:

DOGE wallet Much Receive

Note that the mining tab is named “Dig”! So, just like a dog digging in the yard, you “dig” for DOGE bonez!

Much History? This is one seriously funny coin, and I think it will catch on with quite a few people because it’s just all that much fun!

There’s already a forum for the coin here:

http://doges.org/

And while there are several mining pools, here’s one that I’ve tried out:

http://doge.scryptpools.com/

I’m doing CPU mining with older machines, and it’s turning out pretty well. You don’t need massive GPUs to mine it, though it helps as you’ll mine a lot more. There are some seriously heavy-duty miners active on it right now with some serious setups. My 50 KH/s is dwarfed by the fellow at the top mining at 8,622 KH/s. So, while I’ll not be a DOGE millionaire, its fun.

For those that are more profit oriented, people are buying DOGE for 0.1 BTC per million DOGE. If you check how many hashes you need to mine DOGE, it’s extremely good. So, whether you mine for profit or for fun, check out DOGE.

Enjoy!

SOPA & PIPA are Anti-Free Speech

2

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Cynicism, Internet, Logic, Philosophy, Politics, Rant, Uncategorized | Posted on 20-01-2012

Tags: ,

Free Speech Crosshairs - SOPA - PIPALet’s get things straight. SOPA and PIPA are NOT about piracy. They are against suppressing free speech. They are tools for a totalitarian/authoritarian government to silence opposition. They are anything but what the mainstream is trying to push them as.

There are plenty of laws already in effect that target copyright infringement. So they are obviously not creating laws that are already in effect. Why would you have 2 laws that say the same thing?

No. SOPA and PIPA are new. They introduce extremely vague language that would effectively allow the government to snipe sites that express dissent.

This isn’t rocket science. These people aren’t totally incompetent. They are smart enough to come up with trojan horse legislation like this and they shouldn’t be underestimated.

Don’t oppose SOPA and PIPA just because you think that they will protect you from piracy. Oppose them because they will be used to silence dissent. Oppose them because they are the tools of dictators and fascists. Oppose them because you believe in freedom. Oppose them because you believe in free thought and freedom of expression. Oppose them because you have a conscience.

I make my living off of intellectual property like copyright. These bills are not there to protect me. These bills are there to silence me and people like me that don’t tow the party line.

Also, please make certain to vote against anyone running for office that has ever supported these bills. SOPA and PIPA are merely symptoms of the disease. The real disease are the people that introduced the bill, the people that supported the bill, and the system that allowed all of this to happen. Vote for people that are willing to stand up for principles and do what is right. Vote for people that have a conscience. Vote for people that believe in freedom. Vote for people that will fight for freedom.

Peace,

Ryan

 

THEN DO IT!

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Cynicism, Internet, Money, Philosophy, Politics | Posted on 20-01-2012

Tags: ,

Then do itHopefully you’ve been following the SOPA/PIPA debate… In a recent BBC article Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, talked about how little value Wikipedia was and how noticeable and dramatic it would be if “rights holders” had a black-out. From the article:

Echoing the statements of rights holders in the US, Richard Mollet, chairman of the Publishers Association, criticised the blacked-out websites for not engaging “constructively” in the piracy debate…

He argued that while Wikipedia was a valued resource, it would be more noticeable to the world if rights holders were to switch off their content for a day.

“Think what you would lose.

“If you walked around the streets of America or Britain with no creative content available to you, because rights holders had decided to shut up shop, you would be deprived of the BBC, cinemas, radio, bookstores and so on.

“What’s at stake when rogue internet sites are available to people and revenues are deprived is a great deal more than the excellent but nevertheless more limited Wikipedia.”

Well then, DO IT!

See how people react. There are many alternative media sources out there. Their shoes would be filled before the day was done.

Please click the graphic above – download it – share it. Let’s see if these guys have the balls to follow through.

Cheers,

Ryan

CNET and Installers: A Win-Win-Win-Win Scenario

2

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Business, Internet, Money, OpenCandy, Software | Posted on 09-12-2011

money grown on treesA while back Download.com (CNET) did some pretty shady stuff with installers. People screamed bloody murder, and CNET listened. They’re now in beta with the new version of their downloader/installer, and this is a very good thing. They’ve changed all the bad stuff (from what I can tell), and are now offering what looks like an excellent platform. (I’ve not done any indepth analysis of it, but on the surface, it looks good.)

But, as you can imagine, there are people that are still not happy with it. CNET is offering developers an opportunity to get paid for their work, and at the same time, they’re doing this in an open and voluntary way. This still seems unacceptable to some people who can’t get past the fact that the downloaders from CNET add in an advertising layer where they are shown an ad with an offer while their chosen software is downloading. They’ll surf web pages with trillions of ads and lots of tracking technology in them, but for some reason, if legitimate software comes with an ad, it’s evil. And allowing developers that opportunity to get paid for their work is somehow unacceptable.

Well… Let me quickly explain a bit about some important concerns that some people face…

The thing is that at the end of the day, people that develop software are people. People need to eat. Eating involves food. In order to get food, you need to have money to pay for it. In order to have money to pay for food to eat, you need to get some of that money stuff, which is normally called “getting paid”. In order to “get paid”, you need to work. If you’re one of those people that develops software, normally called a “developer”, you need “work” at “development” and get paid for that “development”.

I tried asking at the supermarket if they’d give me some food for free, but they said, “NO!” I was rather disappointed. After all, it seems like people expect me to work for free, so why shouldn’t I get other stuff for free?

Well, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, right?

So I went to fill up my car at the gas station. At the counter, I asked if I could get the gas for free. Again, the fellow said, “NO!”

By this point I was starting to get disillusioned and depressed. But, not one to be detered, I forged bravely on!

Development can be very expensive as you need all kinds of tools. So I thought maybe I can get some tools for free! (You see, I’m always thinking in new and creative ways!)

So, yet again, I forged bravely on to the local computer store.

I grabbed a hard drive off the shelf and went up to the cash register. Again I asked if I could have it for free. Y’know what? She said, “NO!”

Well, maybe it’s time I short of shift focus for a bit. Instead, I decided to see if I could get something related with Intellectual Property for free. After all, what I do is basically that, so maybe that’s got something to do with it.

So I went to a store, picked up a DVD and went up to the checkout. Sigh… You know what’s coming… “NO!”

At that point it clicked! I need to go online!

Well, I emailed the iTunes store to see if I could get some movies for free. Sigh… They didn’t even respond… I took that for a “NO!”

Then I found VODO.net and finally got a movie for free!

You can imagine how profoundly disappointed I was when I realised just how hungry I was and that I couldn’t eat the movie that I’d downloaded. Man… Was my wife going to be pissed with me! No food on the table even after I’d managed to get something for free… 😛

Then, as if a light shone down from Heaven, I heard someone say, “Yo! Dude! I can help you put food on the table. Work with me and I’ll pay you.”

WOW! Finally! There was hope! The next week would look promising as I dreamed of my wife not beating me into unconsciousness! 😀 RAPTURE! JOY~! 😀

Ok… Silly stories aside… I think it’s great that there are alternative ways for developers to get paid for their work. And, at the end of the day, these methods cost end users nothing except a few seconds of their time and perhaps a click to close a window. This looks like a win-win-win-win scenario to me.

Developers win because they get paid.

Users win because they get good software.

CNET wins because they have a business model that is profitable and that helps people.

CNET advertisers win because they get access to end users and can present them with an offer.

Nobody is losing in this scenario. Everyone is winning.

So why must some people find offense in this? CNET has a way to encourage software development. This can only be good for end users. They have nothing to lose.

I think that it’s disingenuous, arrogant, self-centered, selfish, and disrespectful for users to expect developers to work for free. Nobody else seems to think it’s ok for them to be expected to work for free. (Musicians/artists face much the same problem as software developers.) Ethical methods that allow developers to get paid can only be a good thing. Begrudging these opportunities to developers is simply mean spirited and selfish.

I also think it’s great to have free software out there. Free as in freeware and free as in freedom. Both are good.

I also appreciate commercial software that I have to pay for. I shudder to think how much I’ve spent on software, but am very glad that I have as it has helped me immensely.

The CNET solution now seems to have entered back into the realm of sanity. They are now approaching the topic with respect, much in the same way that OpenCandy operates. This is the way to go. Treat people well.

Cheers,

Ryan

1 Reason to Hate the Web

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Internet, Rant, Usability | Posted on 04-12-2011

Maybe 10 reasons would sound sexier, but I’ve just got 1 today.

Stupidly high memory usage.

That’s it. Just that. Here’s an example:

 

1 reason why the web sucks

All the highest memory consuming programs, are web pages… Opera has 60 tabs, but the other Chrome instances are single pages, as is the 1 tab in Firefox. Skype has a truckload of LONG conversations open (with 6 months of conversations opened in some), and 13 windows of it! And that takes less than 1 web page…

712,240 KB for 1 web page? Who thought that was a good idea?

As for any other reasons to hate the web, are any others needed?

The web is quick and easy. It’s the sloppy way to do things. Browsers are poor platforms to get things done. They simply don’t compare with applications that get things done in a “let’s not hog all the resources on the computer” way.

It’s not just the fault of the browsers though. Web developers suffer from some combination of 1 or more of these problems:

  • Being completely and totally mentally retarded
  • Being subservient to a project manager that is completely and totally mentally retarded
  • Being subservient to a project manager that is subservient to budgetary requirements that are completely and totally mentally retarded

Take your pick.

The problems manifest themselves in the most insane ways. For example, if you have gobs of memory available, but a simple news article web page won’t scroll down without a second long lag per mouse-wheel click, would you think that there’s a problem there? Perhaps it’s the 738 trillion ads, scripts, and Flash animations on the page?

The web could be so much better. Ditching JavaScript for a decent OO language would be a good start. The procedural nature of JavaScript makes it incredibly difficult to handle in complex systems because the JavaScript needs to be injected at the correct point in the document, and that isn’t necessarily at the same point where the script is going to run. But I digress.

Memory hogging web pages from Hell. I hate them. They suck. Badly. These are not the droids you are looking for…

Cheers,

Ryan

 

Getting Around Internet Censorship: Internet Freedom

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Internet, Police, Politics, Security, Solutions to Problems | Posted on 06-10-2011

Tags: , , , , ,

There is no better way to set me off into a mindless fury of profanity and obscenity than to censor me. I loathe censorship. It sets me off. So, here’s how to get around censorship in repressive police states like Belgium…

The Belgian Anti-Piracy Federation (BAF) has urged all Belgian ISPs to block Swedish freetard site The Pirate Bay after a higher Antwerp court ordered Belgian cable company Telenet and telco Belgacom to make the site inaccessible to their subscribers. (Source)

It is not the job of a supposedly free government to ban or block access to information. That is the job of the police state. The subject matter does not matter. Whether it’s about how to knit patterned sweaters, or how to build and deploy improvised explosive devices (IEDs), blocking access is blocking access. Censorship is censorship.

I previously posted about getting around censorship where I mentioned iPredator. I’d also posted this graphic: iPredator That still holds true. You can also use Privacy.io. One benefit to Privacy.io is that you can still send email via port 25, which is blocked with iPredator. Other than that, iPredator and Privacy.io are about the same. I should note that I have tried both, and have found that Privacy.io seems to be faster than iPredator. I could be wrong, but that’s what I’ve perceived anyways.

So, the difference between iPredator and Privacy.io is pretty much nothing as far as censorship goes. Only the name changes. Here’s that same diagram from above adjusted for Privacy.io:

Privacy.io and censorship

But I’d like to add one thing to the above method for getting around Internet Censorship though: DNS servers. Here’s an illustration of how you could still encounter problems if your ISP filters some sites via DNS filtering, and how you can solve that problem for a complete solution:

Privacy.io and DNS Server Solution to Censorship

So, you can also change your DNS servers to something else other than your ISP’s DNS servers. By doing this, and using a VPN, they won’t have the faintest clue what you are doing. You can surf the web freely and anonymously.

Some DNS services include Google’s free DNS resolution services or any other DNS service. Keep in mind though, that whoever is doing your DNS resolution knows what sites you are requesting DNS resolution for… So you might want to investigate that further, and look for a DNS resolution service that has a solid privacy policy and one that doesn’t keep logs.

Here’s how DNS filtering works…

You want to visit a site, like the Pirate Bay. But “thepiratebay.org” doesn’t mean anything to your computer. Only special numbers work. Those numbers are called “IP addresses”. DNS servers match human-friendly names, like “thepiratebay.org” to those numbers, IP addresses. When your computer sends a request to your ISP’s DNS servers, your ISP can look at your request and say, “Oh… he wants to visit a site that we don’t want him to… Let’s give him a fake DNS record (IP address) or nothing at all for that site so that he can’t visit it.”

So there you have it. How to get around censorship on the Internet.

And if your ISP blocks you before you can even make a connection to iPredator or Privacy.io, there are more VPN services out there that you can connect to. They can’t block them all.

Cheers, and happy FREEDOM surfing!

Ryan

Photo Resizer Hits #12 in Google

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Internet, Online Marketing, Robosoft, Super Simple | Posted on 23-07-2011

Well, I’ve not done anything since last posting about this (or before), but the Super Simple Photo Resizer has edged up a bit from #15 to #12 in Google. Just a little bit more and it will be in the top 10!

That’s a bit more vindication for my assertions that Robosoft really and truly rocks! Yay~! Now, for the nay-sayers…. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah~! =P

So, I’ve got a bit of work to do still for Photo Resizer, but unfortunately it’s been delayed by a short gig doing some contracting, and about to be delayed again by a larger project that I’m about to start and a proposal for another small gig.

However, here’s a quick preview of what you can expect in the next version:

  • Crop photos
  • Upload resized and cropped photos to various social networking services:
    • Facebook
    • Flickr
    • TwitPic / Twitter

It’s all actually finished, however, I still have the long process of “polish” to do. I’ll be streamlining things and working on making the user-experience (UX) as smooth and easy as possible. It’s supposed to be super simple, so it won’t get released until I’m happy that it meets a certain standard there. It won’t be perfect because nothing is, but it will most certainly be above average.

Cheers,

Ryan

 

Opening Up OpenCandy

5

Posted by Cynic | Posted in Internet, Logic, OpenCandy, Security, Software, Uncategorized | Posted on 03-04-2011

Tags: ,

open candy logoI’ve been involved in a discussion about OpenCandy over at DonationCoder. It’s kind of got a fair bit of fight in it as the topic is hot and the opposing sides are passionate about the issue. What’s the issue? Spyware.

A few people have accused OpenCandy of being spyware. In the above post I briefly outline the smoking guns that show that OpenCandy is NOT spyware. Here I’m going to show that again, but I’m also going to open it up for non-technical people with some additional explanation. There are technical details in here, but I explain them all in simple, straight forward English. Later on I won’t explain the same things again as there’s no sense in repeating myself too much.

First, I’m not going to cite a trillion different definitions of spyware because more often than not they include wishy-washy garbage and contradictions that make them pretty useless as definitions. Instead, here’s a simple definition of spyware that is clear and succinct.

Spyware: Software that sends personal or unique information about a computer or user to a third part over a communications connection such as a network connection, e.g. the Internet or a mobile phone connection.

There’s nothing controversial in there. It could be made better, but it’s good enough.

OpenCandy does not do that. What it does is to download a list of possible offers, then choose one of the offers and present it to a person during a software installation.

Using WireShark, I pulled this information out from the OpenCandy powered installer for Photo Resizer, my own software:

clientv=27&cltzone=600&language=en,en&method=get_offers&mstime=0.280
&os=WIN6.1-64&product_key=613b8aaa21ae201a2c054a63f3e87f8d&v=1.0&
signature=5b437627dd2fdb9897e0bbd47c2c3d58

That’s a query string sent to the OpenCandy offer server. I’ll break it down and explain each part. Please note that in some places I am making educated guesses based on a good amount of experience with networking and software.

If you aren’t familiar with what a query string is, it’s just a list of key/value pairs that contain some information for a server on the Internet to process. You can see this in the address bar when you visit different Internet sites. The part to the left of the equals sign (=) is the key, and the part to the right is the value. They are separated by an ampersand (&) in the query string as you can see above.

clientv=27

This key/value pair looks like an identifier for the OpenCandy version to use. It’s a necessary value in case OpenCandy decided to upgrade their software. By identifying the version, they can keep things working. This is exactly the same principle as you use every day in Microsoft Office with new file types being named differently. That tells Windows and Office what version of the file format they are looking at. e.g. DOC vs. DOCX.

cltzone=600

This key/value pair looks like “client zone”, which would lead me to believe that it is identifying the country. While I’m not certain, it looks about right. That information could also be gotten from the IP address though, so I could be mistaken. However, 3 characters, “600”, is not enough space to send back any kind of personally identifying information. It’s just too small, so this could not possibly be used to justify an accusation of OpenCandy being spyware.

language=en,en

This is obviously the language, which is obviously not any kind of a basis to accuse someone of distributing software. This value is present in all browser communications and is fundamental for proper communications. Some web sites use this value properly, although most do not. e.g. Google does not use this value properly, and instead of serving you the proper content in the language that you request, they send you information in the language based on your IP address.

method=get_offers

This is an instruction for the OpenCandy offer server to send a list of offers. It may have other values. This is not a basis to accuse a piece of software of being spyware. The string “get_offers” is obviously not personally identifying.

mstime=0.280

This looks like a kind of time stamp. My guess is that it is the time since the installer was run or the startup time for the installer or the OpenCandy DLL. That would be useful for diagnostics, but would not serve any other purpose. The field is too small to contain any sort of personal information.

os=WIN6.1-64

This is obviously the OS version of my computer, Windows 7 x64. Again, this is not a unique value. All browsers supply this information and more, so it’s only repeating information.

product_key=613b8aaa21ae201a2c054a63f3e87f8d

This is the unique product key for Photo Resizer. There’s nothing secret about it. You can decompile the installer or get this value during installation through WireShark. It identifies the program being installed, and not the computer or user.

v=1.0

I believe that this is the version of the Photo Resizer installer that has been submitted to OpenCandy for inspection and certification. But no matter, again 3 characters isn’t enough to send information about you or your computer.

signature=5b437627dd2fdb9897e0bbd47c2c3d58

The signature value looks like an authentication parameter to check to see that it is indeed Photo Resizer and not some rogue software. That is, it looks like a security measure to protect the integrity of the OpenCandy network from malicious users or attacks. Now, if I’m wrong, which I kind of doubt, the length of that value is still too small to contain any kind of personal information.

None of the fields are long enough to contain any information.

Now, for the XML itself… I’m not going to explain it all as that would simply take too long. Instead, I’m going to run my FL Studio update and find the OC information in there, post it, and the resultant XML from that.

So, when installing the OpenCandy powered installer for FL Studio 10, this is the OpenCandy GET request:

clientv=27&cltzone=600&language=en,en&method=get_offers
&mstime=0.219&os=WIN6.1-64
&product_key=aa0891b96e4cdc07b5c878e7de2316c0
&v=1.0&signature=df54629db8357026c13c68df288225b8

Again, it looks pretty much the same, with nothing alarming in there.

The FL Studio installer EULA contains this:

Recommendation software
This installer uses the OpenCandy network (or similar) to recommend other software you may find valuable during installation of this software. OpenCandy (or similar) may collect and use *NON personally identifiable* information about THIS installation and the recommendation process. Collection of this information by OpenCandy ONLY occurs during this installation and the recommendation process; in accordance OpenCandy’s Privacy Policy, available at <www.opencandy.com/privacy-policy>.

OpenCandy downloaded some XML. I’m not going to explain it in depth as it’s simply very long. However, here’s the short explanation…

XML is a container format that lets you easily transfer arbitrary information. The nice thing about XML is that you get to define everything yourself, unlike HTML which is already predefined.

Now, the XML for OpenCandy contains offer listings. Those include things like some text to display, the name of the program for an offer, the download location, the downloader that takes care of it all, a graphic to make things look nice, etc. etc. In short, it’s very similar to what you might see on a web site. There are some additional directives and parameters for the offers, but they aren’t related to the computer or user; they are related to the offer. Again, it’s got nothing to do with the user or computer and isn’t in any way, shape, or form personally identifying. It’s been downloaded from the server. It’s information FROM the server, and not from the user or computer.

For the XML, click here. If you examine it, you will see that there is nothing remotely like spyware.

I declined the offer from Uniblue as  I don’t need it.

Next, after I declined the offer, this request was sent:

accepted_ind=0&clientv=27&method=track_offer_result&mstime=606.626
&offer_id=790&offer_shown_secs=34157&opt_shown_count=1
&product_key=aa0891b96e4cdc07b5c878e7de2316c0
&session_key=94f78bd10c5abef3bf7f0b928cf5319a
&skipped_offer_ids=&v=1.0&signature=be82fca424013cff56f1e593b67842e0

Breaking that down gives this (a bit more readable):

accepted_ind=0
clientv=27
method=track_offer_result
mstime=606.626
offer_id=790
offer_shown_secs=34157
opt_shown_count=1
product_key=aa0891b96e4cdc07b5c878e7de2316c0
session_key=94f78bd10c5abef3bf7f0b928cf5319a
skipped_offer_ids=
v=1.0
signature=be82fca424013cff56f1e593b67842e0

Most are the same, but there are some new ones. What happens there is that the OpenCandy DLL simply tells the server that the offer was declined. Again, there is nothing personal or identifying in there.

In fact, if you look at the 2 from Photo Resizer and from FL Studio and compare values, you’ll see that they are different. If they were the same, then there might be some reason to suspect that my computer were uniquely identified. But there are no similarities. They are clearly not related.

I also found this in the packet analysis:

clientv=27&method=track_product_installed&mstime=1181.412
&product_key=aa0891b96e4cdc07b5c878e7de2316c0
&session_key=94f78bd10c5abef3bf7f0b928cf5319a
&v=1.0&signature=277e0b3a8b8577d3a79720310e55bb10

Which along with the 1 immediately above just finishes the FL Studio installation and alerts the OpenCandy server that the FL Studio installation completed. Again, nothing to worry about.

The long times there are because I was writing this as I was installing my FL Studio upgrade, and farting around with other things as well.

I hope that the above has sufficiently demonstrated that there is nothing at all in OpenCandy to remotely suggest that it is spyware.

Ad supported? Yes. OpenCandy enables software authors like me to support software by presenting people with offers to install other reputable, vetted software titles. So both Photo Resizer and FL Studio are supported by ads. That doesn’t make them spyware though. That’s an entirely false accusation that I’ve just gone on at length to prove isn’t true. You can replicate the experiment yourself with WireShark.

In related news, Eset, the makers of NOD32, have still not gotten back to me about this.

Man… I think those guys at OpenCandy should hire ME as an evangelist~! =D

Cheers,

Ryan

Download Site Problems

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in DynamicPAD, Internet, PAD, Robosoft, Software, Super Simple, Uncategorized | Posted on 31-03-2011

When you’re submitting to download sites, you can’t take much time except of a few good ones like Softpedia and CNET. Most you just need to get done and ignore any problems. Many won’t list you at all, while other will list you months down the road. And there are so many of them, that you simply can’t afford the time to mess around. While automatic submission gets most done, you’ll still want to get the others done as well in semi-automatic mode.

Why? Because other people won’t, and every little bit of juice you get will put you further ahead.

So you need to balance the value of the download site with your own time and get through them.

I’ve done more submissions that I could possibly count. Sometimes it is mind-numbingly boring. But the part I really hate is all the broken sites.

There are about a half-dozen different download site engines out there that run most of the sites you’ll see. The engines actually work (mostly), but individual sites running the engines don’t. What happens is that the engine requires some degree of customization and the people who buy the engine license and run the site just screw it up.

Some problems that you’ll see include:

  • Broken forms
  • Broken CAPTCHAs
  • Broken email servers (they don’t send confirmation emails)
  • Monkeyed-up UIs that are unreadable
  • Exposed PHP and SQL code
  • Bad validations
  • Bad database design
  • Bad site architecture (URL collisions)

There are other problems as well.

Here are a few examples to illustrate typical situations that you’ll see.

Sensitive PHP errors

Sensitive PHP errors

Errors are one thing, but code?

More Raw PHP code

More Raw PHP code

Many sites love Robosoft. Heck, most do.

Robosoft ad

Robosoft ad

But there’s one engine that doesn’t like DynamicPAD.

No DynamicPAD

No DynamicPAD

Backlinks are a big deal as well. But there’s no way that I’m going to link to most of these sites from my main product page. It’s nutty. They really don’t offer that much value to warrant a link. I won’t even link from the actual site. I will create an orphaned backlinks.htm page and link from there, but it won’t have any links to it from the real site. It’s an orphan page and will forever stay like that. If a site offered some real value, then sure. But they just don’t offer that much value. You’re already providing them with free high-quality content for their site. And they want more? Fsck that! =D

Forms that do not work

Forms that do not work

Like the above form, you’ll find that some do very bad validation and simply don’t work. This is a very common problem. It’s the sign of a very inexperienced programmer/designer that has used their very limited knowledge to try and validate data. The problem is that they simply don’t understand what a URL or URI are and they mess up. This happens very often with email addresses as well. Unless you are on a .com, .net or .org domain, things break. These kinds of things are pretty easy to do, but you need to know how to do them.

Here’s another example.

Backlink on same host

Backlink on same host

The validation there is particularly bad. The site isn’t even able to properly determine if two hosts are the same. This is extremely basic stuff. (A host is something like www.domain.com just in case you’re not familiar — these people should be.)

Broken CAPTCHA

Broken CAPTCHA

This happens often as well. CAPTCHAs that are broken. Well, it happens. Move on.

Wrong Product Collisions

Wrong Product Collisions

This last one requires some explanation. After submitting my software, I was shown that as my software.

First, I’m a much better writer than that! =P

But what’s happening there is that there’s a database problem or a URL collision. Again, it shows bad programming. While the design may be ok, and they did manage to get some ads in there, it’s still flat out bad programming.

Anyways, those are a few problems that you’ll encounter when submitting your software to different sites. When you do, just move on. For problems that are fixable, come back to them later. But don’t waste time.

MIME Type vs. Actual Type

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Internet, Logic, Solutions to Problems, Windows | Posted on 21-03-2011

A while back I posted Internet Explorer Download Problem: “Unable to open this Internet Site” about how Internet Explorer doesn’t behave properly if the MIME type is set properly. Shortly after I upgraded Firefox and discovered that they had changed the behaviour for Firefox and things broke.

I was serving up an EXE with a ZIP MIME type, “application/zip”, however, Firefox began renaming the file with a “.zip” file extension.

I reported it as a bug in the Mozilla bug tracker, which it technically is, but they will not change the behaviour and cite it as a security feature.

Matthias Versen (Matti) 2011-03-20 09:14:48 PDT

I think this report is invalid. Changing the extension is a security feature.
You can either use the user agent sniffing or use a unused content type like
application/x-ms-download.

[reply] [-] Comment 5 Boris Zbarsky (:bz) 2011-03-20 19:13:49 PDT

Yep.  On Windows, if the filename has a “dangerous” extension, we make sure the
extension matches the type it was served with.  Anything else would be really
bad security-wise.

It’s not really worth debating whether or not it should be fixed. It’s their software and they get to decide what gets fixed and what the “proper” behaviour is.

But it is interesting to look at.

File contents are not determined by their file extension. File extensions are by convention, with no necessary connection to the file content. The new Microsoft Office formats, e.g. XSLX, DOCX, PPTX, etc., are all ZIP files with a different file extension. Inside the zip container are the actual files that contain the MS Office documents.

MIME types should be correct though. The IE problem is just kind of wonky, though I can see their security issue, just as the Mozilla have their security issue. They just solve it differently.