How to Get Huntercoins for Free


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Bitcoin, Money, Uncategorized | Posted on 12-02-2014

Tags: , ,

Huntercoin-logoMy original title for this post was “Stop Begging for Huntercoins You Lazy Piece of Shit!” However, I figured that was a bit too direct. But either way, you can still get Huntercoins (HUC) for free if you follow a few simple steps below. Some will require that you do a bit of work or reading. If you want Huntercoins, and don’t want to do that, well, you’re a lazy piece of shit. Stop reading and go back to your pathetic life of grovelling at the feet of others. Those of you that have a bit of self-respect, read on!

  1. Mine Dogecoins (or some other crypto currency)
  2. Sell coins for BTC
  3. Buy HUC
  4. Play Huntercoin and make truckloads more coins!

It’s that simple. Not very hard. Yet there are countless people out there begging like pathetic worms for HUC.

For more information on mining… just search for it. It’s not that hard.

Now, there are giveaways in the Namecoin forums here:

And you can get some free HUC there for as long as the giveaways last.

But for the love of Pete, don’t just spam everywhere asking for HUC. Stick to the begging and giveaway threads. I’ve given out hundreds of dollars of coins already. And I still have people begging for more. Give me a break! Give everyone a break!

Get some HUC. Kick ass in the games. But please, don’t grovel everywhere.




Why You Need to Take Dogecoin Seriously…


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 17-01-2014

dogeYeah… I get it… Dogecoin is a joke. Ha. Ha. It’s funny. The maturity level is low. But you need to take it seriously.

Check Dogecoin has:

  1. The 6th largest marketcap there (at the moment)
  2. The largest number of transactions of any crypto by a factor of almost 2
  3. The second largest scrypt hashrate
  4. The widest dispersal of funds according to the top 100 richest addresses

Now, check out this poll:

first crypto poll

People are being introduced to crypto currency (and Bitcoin!) by a doge! The poll has further to go, but 22% is a big deal. Dogecoin is getting people on board the crypto train.

The market demand for Dogecoin is there. People love it. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s different. It’s loyal. It’s furry. It’s happy. It’s glad to see you. It’s right there licking your face telling you that it loves you.

Dogecoin is here. And it’s here to stay.

The fundamentals don’t matter. The coin design is irrelevant. People love it.

It’s the #1 crypto currency in social media. You can tip people with Dogecoin on Reddit, Twitter, 4chan, and I’m sure more are coming.

Whether or not Dogecoin makes it mainstream isn’t particularly relevant. It’s being used widely by a lot of people. People are flinging pennies, nickels, and dimes at each other as small tips to say “thank you”.

Dogecoin is not about fundamentals. Those have already been covered by other coins and programmers.

Dogecoin is about social interaction and acceptance.

You don’t need to love Dogecoin. But you do need to see what is happening with it right now. We have a social phenomenon going on, and even if it fails, we will learn a lesson or two from it.



Foreign Policy’s Power Map


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Awake, Banking, Money, Politics, Rant, Uncategorized | Posted on 05-05-2013

It is far from rare to see total BS in the media, but the following is a spectacularly skewed list.

For the sake of ease, here’s an Excel file that you can sort to have a deeper and easier look into the FUD:

Foreign policy top 500 powerful people

In there you’ll find all manner of insanity and disinformation. But, then again you only need to look at how they compiled the list:

Is it possible to identify the 500 most powerful individuals on the planet — one in 14 million? That’s what we tried to do with the inaugural FP Power Map, our inventory of the people who control the commanding heights of the industries that run the world, from politics to high finance, media to energy, warfare to religion. Think of it as a list of all the most important other lists. Here’s how they stack up — and why (sorry, declinists!) Americans are still No. 1 in pretty much everything that matters. For now.

Sources and Methods: Where possible, we took a “list of lists” approach, consulting the authoritative rankings for a given industry and substituting judgment where quantitative assessments do not exist. Among our sources: Box Office Mojo Yearly Box Office, by Thomas Brinkoff, Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women, Forbes World’s Most Powerful People, Global Finance World’s 50 Biggest Banks, Fortune Global 500, Global Journal Top 100 NGOs, Institute of Media and Communications Policy International Media Corporations, Pensions & Investments/Towers Watson World 500, PFC Energy 50, SIPRI Military Expenditure Database and SIPRI Top 100 companies, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Fund Rankings, Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Thomson Reuters, Vanity Fair New Establishment List, Wall Street Journal MarketWatch World’s Largest Mutual Funds.

So, we’re relying on sources like banks? Really? Well, by some measures, that would certainly be correct. After all, who owns the world governments? (Hint: It isn’t the people.) But look at how they categorise people and just think about it for a few moments…

Here are a few highlights…


Of the 38 intelligent people in the world, 27 are from the US of A. Notably, the 1 nuclear scientist on the list isn’t intelligent… He’s just “evil”.

Interestingly, the “brains” list is dominated by CEOs, corporate presidents, chairpersons, company founders, etc. etc.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? This is what they call brains? If you ever needed a reason to believe in the doom & gloom that so many predict, this is it. Money = Brains.

And then somehow Barack Obama manages to get into the “brains” category. WTF!?! Well, if you think it’s smart to continue endless wars against abstract nouns and phantoms, then perhaps.

Britain 4
China 1
Japan 4
Russia 1
South Korea 1
USA 27

It’s simply stunning that “brain power” is dominated the way it is in the list. Stever Ballmer? Really? These are the most powerful brains on the planet?


As you might expect, the only opinions in the world that matter are from the US of A. Of the 79 people whose voices matter, 35 are from the US.

As you might expect, executives from many media organisations make the cut here, as do many politicians and several religious leaders.

– (Dali Lama) 1
Argentina 1
Brazil 1
Britain 6
Burma 1
Canada 3
China 3
Egypt 2
France 3
Germany 3
India 2
Israel 3
Japan 3
Mexico 1
Nigeria 1
Qatar 2
Russia 1
Saudi Arabia 1
South Korea 1
Sweden 1
Turkey 3
USA 35
Vatican City 1


Of the 78 people who wield a great deal of force in the world, it would be irresponsible to list the US with a monopoly there. After all, who would you have to blame as an enemy for your next war?

Speaking of, the Orwellian named “Defense minister/secretary” takes 16 spots there.

Now… ready to crap your pants? Private citizens also make the list. Yep. Not politicians. Those include executives from Raytheon, BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Dynamics. Those are 5 of the most dangerous people on the planet according to Foreign Policy.

The rest of the list is mostly rounded out by other military and intelligence service chiefs.

Afghanistan 1
Australia 3
Brazil 2
Britain 5
Canada 3
China 5
Colombia 1
Denmark 1
Egypt 1
France 4
Germany 3
India 3
Indonesia 1
Iran 3
Israel 3
Japan 2
Jordan 1
Lebanon 1
Mexico 1
Netherlands 1
North Korea 1
Pakistan 2
Russia 6
Saudi Arabia 2
South Africa 1
South Korea 3
Spain 1
Turkey 2
USA 12
West Bank 1


Of the 40 forces of good in the world, over half come from the US. Perhaps strangely, while the Dali Lama managed to nag a “Bully Pulpit” position, he didn’t manage to get credit for being a force for good in the world.

Bangladesh 1
Britain 3
China 1
France 2
Gambia 1
Germany 1
India 2
Japan 1
New Zealand 1
Portugal 1
South Africa 2
South Korea 1
Switzerland 1
USA 22

Somehow Ban Ki-moon managed to make the list. Really? The fellow who heads up the UN? The UN is one of the most corrupt, evil organizations on the planet. If you don’t think so, you really need to have a deeper look into what the UN actually does, because you are woefully ignorant about the UN. Look up Agenda 21 and understand the implications of it. (Hint: If they get their way, you’ll be living in a shoebox with a prescribed diet that includes <0.01% of the vitamin D your body needs (I’m being generous there).

Even more Orwellian, the president of the World Bank manages to get on the “good” list. Seriously? It gets worse… Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director, is on the “good” list. But then again, so do Bill & Melinda Gates…


Well, you can expect all the usual suspect on the “evil” list. No real surprises if you swallow the MSM “us vs. them” BS. Well, a few surprises, like Obama not making the list…

Afghanistan 2
Algeria 1
Egypt 1
Iran 3
Iraq 1
Lebanon 1
Mexico 3
North Korea 1
Pakistan 1
Russia 1
Sudan 1
Syria 1
West Bank 1
Yemen 1


Money is what makes the banksters stick their hands down their pants, but they’re not alone. Of the 216 names on the list, the US gobbled up a full third.

Argentina 1
Australia 2
Austria 1
Brazil 4
Britain 9
Canada 3
China 16
Colombia 1
Finland 1
France 13
Germany 12
Hong Kong 6
India 3
Indonesia 1
Iran 1
Italy 6
Japan 12
Kuwait 1
Mexico 5
Netherlands 2
Nigeria 1
Norway 3
Qatar 1
Russia 14
Saudi Arabia 6
Singapore 2
South Africa 3
South Korea 2
Spain 2
Sweden 1
Switzerland 2
Taiwan 1
Thailand 1
Turkey 1
USA 73
Ukraine 1
Venezuela 1


And, then we have the politics…  That was a far more diverse list with 118 names on it, but 62 countries represented with the US only taking 16 spots.

Afghanistan 1
Algeria 1
Argentina 3
Australia 3
Belgium 1
Brazil 5
Britain 6
Burma 2
Canada 3
China 9
Egypt 2
Ethiopia 1
France 5
Germany 4
India 6
Indonesia 4
Israel 1
Italy 2
Japan 7
Lebanon 1
Mexico 5
Nigeria 1
Pakistan 1
Philippines 1
Poland 2
Portugal 1
Qatar 1
Russia 4
Saudi Arabia 3
South Africa 2
South Korea 4
Sweden 1
Turkey 4
USA 16
Vietnam 1
West Bank 1

I’ve gone over just a few points, but you can filter through the list with the Excel file and have a look at just who Foreign Policy says are the top 500 most powerful people in the world.

But it should be pretty obvious that Foreign Policy is touting banksters, corrupt politicians, corporatists, and war mongers as the “top 500” kinds of people that we should all aspire to be. Sickening.

Is Barack Obama one of the most powerful? Certainly. But he, along with most of the other people on the list, should also be labeled as a force of evil on the planet.

Litecoin Mining on Mac OS X – Solving Library Errors


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-04-2013

Tags: , ,

I have FINALLY managed to get an LTC miner running on my Mac. The basic problem was that unless you do a lot of development on a Mac, you’re unlikely to have your machine set up properly for mining, and you’ll get missing library errors from the miner –  libidn.11.dylib and libssl.1.0.0.dylib.

(I generally find that OS X is simply a shiny version of Unix that’s harder to use. Getting a miner running was further confirmation that anyone who is considering a Mac should just get some blazing fast hardware and slap on some Linux distro. But I digress… On to mining Litecoin on a Mac!)

First, upgrade OS X to 10.8 or whatever. Apple never supports anything older than from last week, so might as well get up to date.

Next, install the most recent version of Xcode, which is 4.6.1 at the moment. Why do you need to install development tools to mine litecoin? Because it’s a Mac. That’s why.

Once you’ve got that installed, install MacPorts. You’ll need to install some other things before installing that, but MacPorts walks you through it quite well.

Once you’ve got that done, you’ll need to make certain that you have the right libraries available for the miner. Open a terminal and run the following:

sudo port selfupdate

sudo port clean wget
sudo port install wget

sudo port clean openssl
sudo port install openssl

Otherwise you may end up with errors about missing libraries: libidn.11.dylib and libssl.1.0.0.dylib.

You’re then ready for the miner:

Download the Mac OS X binary, unzip it, then follow the directions in the readme file, and you should be up and running real quick.

Hope that helps someone get started with the silver of digital crypto-currencies, LITECOIN!



Pulling a Fellow from a Burning Wreck


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Australia, Awake, Melbourne, Uncategorized | Posted on 18-12-2012

I need to get some thoughts down while they’re still fresh enough for me to remember.

The other night I was working on some material for Samsung’s Family Story service when I heard some loud, dull thudding noises. I figured that maybe a car in the parking lot adjacent to where we live had hit a tree or something. A moment later, the power flickered and my computer went off.

I put on my shoes, grabbed my cigarettes, and went outside on the porch then hopped over the railing and climbed down. I lit up my cigarette and began walking up the driveway towards the road where I could see other people turning left. I began to run up the driveway to follow and see what had happened.

Turning west on Malvern Road, I could see a fire off a bit over a hundred meters or so. I ran towards it. As I got closer, I could see a large crowd had gathered near an accident scene.

A telephone pole had been broken clear off at the base, but I couldn’t rightly see where the telephone pole had originally come from. It had fallen over by a compact car and tree. Between the tree and brick wall beside it was a mangled white sedan (I couldn’t tell the make or model) that was on fire.

As I arrived at the scene, I walked closer figuring that with the large crowd there, and me arriving what I thought to be rather late, that everyone in the accident had already gotten out of the cars and were somewhere around. I looked around, but couldn’t tell as it was quite dark. The power had been knocked out by the telephone pole being snapped at the base, so there were no street lamps, and tree cover only added to the darkness. The only light was the blazing wreckage of a totaled car.

I then heard a voice screaming, “Help! Help!” A couple people were near the burning wreck at this point. Other voices I could hear were a woman screaming to not step on the tram tracks (the telephone pole had electrical wires cut and on the ground), and perhaps the same woman screaming that the car was going to explode.

I thought to myself, “Hold on, am I really going to just stand by here and watch a person burn to death?” My head quickly filled with numerous thoughts.

“What if you try to help, but get sued for it? You can’t afford a lawsuit.”

“What if the car blows up and you get hurt or killed? Your daughter will have no father, or your wife will have to take care of you and your daughter.”

I tried to push those thoughts out. They were all terrifying, but the immediate situation was far more real and very much right in front of me.

“Cars only blow up in Hollywood. Gasoline needs a 1:9 mixture with air to be explosive. So as long as the fire is in the engine and not at the gas tank, it doesn’t matter…”

It was hardly much consolation. Doubts and fears continued to race through my head.

It’s surprising how many thoughts can run through your head in such a short time. I ran over to the car and began to try to pry the twisted front passenger door open to get at the driver.

The thoughts and fears continued racing. But somebody was certainly going to burn to death. The flames were only getting higher.

The door was twisted between the tree and wreck. A man’s hand stuck out through a gap between the car door and where it should normally be shut – the car frame. I tried the rear passenger door to no avail. It was similarly twisted into a fixed position and wouldn’t open.

Some other people were there. Two or three. I’m not sure as I didn’t glance around to look at anything else. I remember seeing out of the corner of my eye that a man had a large piece of wood (likely from a smashed picket fence), and was hammering on the rear passenger window, again to no avail. (I’d gone back to trying to get the front door open.)

It was frustrating. The doors wouldn’t open. The windows wouldn’t break. The people alongside me must have been feeling the same sense of hopelessness. I thought that this was it. He was going to burn to death.

To make matters worse, while we were trying to get through to this guy, some woman was screaming, “Get away! It’s going to explode.” Great. Just what I wanted to hear. It’s not like I didn’t already have those worries and doubts. I really needed to have them reiterated for me. I told myself the flames weren’t that bad as they were still in the front of the car, and not the back where the gas tank was. It wasn’t going to blow up. That’s just Hollywood. This is real life.

I stepped back thinking that I needed to find something hard and heavy to smash the window. Wood wouldn’t cut it. It was then that my foot brushed up against something. I could feel the weight as my foot pushed it. I couldn’t see as it was dark and the only light was the fire from the engine. I was again frustrated that my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be. (I now wear glasses.) I couldn’t help but think that 10 years ago, seeing in this kind of light wouldn’t have been a problem, again with all the same numerous thoughts and more racing through my head.

“I hope it doesn’t explode. I’d better be right about explosions only happening in Hollywood…”

“I need a rock. Something hard and heavy…”

“He’s only got a little time left. The flames are getting higher and higher.”

“If I don’t find something quick, I’m going to have to leave, and then I’ll have to helplessly watch this fellow burn to death.”

I got down on my hand and knees and began to sweep for what I’d hit with my foot. Half a brick. Good enough.

I stepped up to the front passenger window and began beating it with the half-brick that I’d found. The first hit did nothing. A few more hits and nothing. The flames were still getting higher and the fumes and smoke were thick. I continued hitting the window when it began to give way. A couple more hits and I’d made a hole.

Thankfully, though car windows are strong, they’re also made to shatter without the sharp edges that you get with normal glass. The hole sent cracks through the entire window, so I quickly began to pull out the shattered glass.

The fellow’s hand was still between the door and car frame. I yelled for him to give me his hand as I pulled out the last of the glass from the window frame. He wasn’t in any condition to do much at all.

I pulled his hand around and through the front passenger window. I heard some people yelling something behind me, but was too focused on what I was doing to know exactly what they were saying.

I began to pull on his arm and yell for him to give me his other arm, but he really was in bad shape. It was hard to see through the flames and smoke, which is why I’d yelled for him to give me his other arm, but I managed to see through the wafts of smoke and grabbed his other arm.

Someone beside me quickly grabbed his second arm and we began to pull him out, but as he was about half way out through the window, his legs got stuck on something. I’m not sure what it was as I couldn’t see well enough through the smoke.

I reached into the car to grab his waist and pull him up and out. Someone else might have grabbed the arm I had. As I pulled his waist up and out, he suddenly came free and out of the car. I fell back, lost my footing, fell to the ground, then got back up and grabbed his left wrist again to drag him away. Some other people were helping, but I was too fixated on the fellow there to look at them or pay attention to anything else. I just knew that we were getting him out and away.

We dragged him to the other side of the road and let him down. I could hear sirens and looking down the road, I could see what appeared to be several emergency vehicles approaching. It looked like a fire truck and a police car. I couldn’t make out an ambulance there, but figured that one must not be too far behind.

The flames on the car were even higher now, but other thoughts began racing through my head. I was out of breath and coughing horribly as I’d gotten a good deal of fumes and smoke in my face.

I looked down at the fellow and saw his left arm had been ripped open in the accident. I’ll skip the grizzly details as it’s something I’d rather forget. He was thin and appeared to be rather tall. His clothes were soaked in blood.

I’d cut my knuckles while flicking something dry at the sink earlier that day, as I’d accidentally hit the tap. I’d just not been paying much attention – trying to do a few things at the same time. I looked at my hands closely and saw that they were covered in blood, particularly my right hand where I’d smashed my knuckles against the tap. I began to worry about blood-borne diseases. I couldn’t have that. What would it do to my wife?

I knew that there was nothing more that I could do for the fellow laying on the ground. His injuries were pretty severe, and I’m no trauma surgeon. The ambulance wouldn’t be too far behind, and he was out of the car, safely away from it. I’d done what I could do, so I began to walk away, thinking about cleaning off the blood.

A fellow approached me saying, “Well done!” I don’t remember exactly what he said as I was coughing too hard, out of breath, and couldn’t speak. I dipped my hands in a puddle at the side of the road to wash off the blood, and couldn’t help but think about how disgusting that was. I then made my way back home to wash off the blood more.

I got in, still coughing, made my way to the bathroom sink and began washing my hands. I noticed then that I was bleeding fairly badly from my knuckles. I figured it was just a minor cut, and simply bleeding as it was on my thumb knuckles. I must have cut myself smashing the car window.

My wife came into the bathroom asking what she could do. I sputtered out, “Thieves soap in kitchen.” She came back in with it so I began to wash more. Still out of breath and horribly thirsty, I grabbed a couple glasses of water.

I told Yen that, “He’s pretty fucked up,” and gulped down the water as Yen helped me put on a few bandages.

Curious as to what was happening, I went back to the scene. An ambulance had arrived, and I didn’t see the fellow on the road. While I was there, the fire department was putting the fire out of the burning wreckage.

I spoke briefly with a police officer, then a talked with a few other people, including a couple people who had helped with getting the fellow out of the car.

I was still coughing pretty badly, and noticed that my hand was still bleeding more than I’d thought.

Figuring that I’d better take care of my hand, I went back home. I was in a fair bit of pain by this time, and seeing how my cuts were, I figured I’d better make a call to tell a client that I might not make the morning deadline. Just as I was pulling up an email with his phone number in it, the power company shut off all the power so that they could work on the lines and the snapped telephone pole. So much for that. Luckily the client was quite understanding with the situation, and extended my deadline.

Well, time for candles. My wife and I lit some candles, put them around the house, then pulled off the bandages, put some hydrogen peroxide on the cuts. They were fairly deep compared to what I’d thought before, and I figured that I’d need stitches, especially as they wouldn’t stop bleeding. I also figured that I’d need to get a blood test, and that was what I was most worried about as it would affect my family much more.

So, I drove off 1-handed to the hospital. And yet again, I was thankful for the driving knob I have on the steering wheel. it makes turning the wheel very fast and easy, and makes sharp turns possible that you couldn’t do otherwise.

I drove to The Alfred Hospital as it’s the closest one. The nurse and doctor were very nice. At one point the doctor that was taking care of the fellow we pulled from the burning wreck came in and thanked me. It was very nice of him.

I gave some blood to be tested, had a couple x-rays (chest for smoke inhalation, and hand for embedded glass), and got 5 stitches. It’s all healing quite nicely. I figure the small scars will make a good story someday. They’re not all that bad. Here’s a picture that my wife took:

My hand 5 stitches

I didn’t know before, but as I was about to leave the hospital, I saw a poster that detailed some about how The Alfred Hospital is equipped for racing car accidents. There’s an annual race in Melbourne that’s nearby, so a trauma unit that can handle accidents from it is needed. The fellow we pulled out there is quite lucky in some ways to have had that particular hospital nearby. Apparently he’s stable now.

The next day, I spoke with a couple neighbours that saw the wreckage that previous night. One showed me a video that she took on her phone just after we’d pulled the fellow out of the car. The video showed the car engulfed in flames. She said that if we’d not gotten the fellow out of the car, he certainly would have died in the fire. I’d take her at her word for it as she’s a nurse and has a good deal of experience with these kinds of things. She’d stepped in to help the fellow just as I was first leaving the scene. Apparently he was conscious, could still talk, and was saying his name.

My other neighbour told me that while it was brave, it was also stupid. He had a good point in noting that I have a daughter and wife to take care of. I had no obligation there, and if I’d been injured, what would happen to my family?

I just couldn’t get that question out of my mind at the time: Are you really going to just stand by and watch this fellow burn to death as he screams for help?

Update: I found some videos.

How You Are Being Indoctrinated for NFC


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Awake, Logic, Money, Philosophy, Security, Uncategorized | Posted on 10-05-2012

Every time you turn on the TV, read a newspaper, listen to the radio, or watch a movie, you are being psychologically conditioned to accept planned changes for society.

This is effectively stealing your free will.

It’s called “predictive programming” and is an extremely widely used technique is virtually all mainstream media.

In the following video I show you how you are being conditioned to accept Near Field Communications, or NFC. Below that I explain exactly what NFC is, and the implications behind it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Idiotic Government Waste


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Awake, Politics, Uncategorized, Web Sites | Posted on 09-05-2012

Waste and government seems to go hand in hand, but sometimes the level and scope can be simply baffling.

I recently found a beautiful site with some interesting information for new dads – 24 Hr Cribside Assistance:

The site is extremely well done. It has 36 videos that range in length from about 40 seconds to about 4 minutes long. The videos have excellent production value. The web site itself is beautiful and has some good information. However… that’s not the interesting part…
Read the rest of this entry »

SOPA & PIPA are Anti-Free Speech


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.




Capital Hits in Travian


Posted by Cynic | Posted in Logic, Travian, Uncategorized | Posted on 28-12-2011

Capital hits in the online massively multiplayer online browser game (MMOBG) Travian aren’t to be taken lightly. Players always defend their capitals because they are very expensive to build. They’re expensive in terms of the time you need to invest, the resources in the game that you need to build them, and actual real money that you need to help build them.

Now, hitting the capital of a small player is simple, but that’s boring. Here, I’ll go over a few elements of strategy to hit a capital of a large player. If you’re not familiar with Travian, this won’t make any sense to you, so, this is primarily for those that play the game.

First, don’t hit the capital. That’s right. Don’t hit it. It’s suicide. Your hammer takes a long time to build, so you don’t want to waste it.

Instead, hit another village. And hit it hard.

The core strategy is to create confusion and panic. The player will freak out, do stupid things, and you’ll laugh as you destroy his villages. The strategy can be summarized as, “Fake everywhere, and hit where they don’t expect it. Rinse. Repeat. Check on the capital.”

To do this most effectively, set up attacks to land in several of your target’s villages. Let’s just say 6 villages for the sake of argument.

4 or 5 of the attacks you set up should be fakes (19 of a cheap unit + 1 catapult). Each of those attacks should have the same number of waves as your real attack. As of Travian v4, the Rally Point lets you determine if an attack is fake if there are fewer troops being sent than the Rally Point level. So, by sending 20 units, you are equal to the Rally Point level and they cannot see if it is a real attack or a fake one. This is critical. If you know the Rally Point level for a village, then you can send that many troops. However, I’d recommend adding 1 or 2 units to whatever the Rally point level is, up to 20 total.

So, if you’re zero popping a village, you need to set up 20 attacks. i.e. 18 crop fields + 21 buildings = 39 catapult targets. Divide 39 by 2 (for a level 20 Rally Point) to get 20 (rounded up). That translates into 1520 infantry and 80 catapults for faking 4 villages. Ouch. A bit steep. If you have a very large hammer, this isn’t a problem, but for most people, it’s better to not try a massive fake like this at a zero pop hit. i.e. If you have a very large hammer, go for it. If not, don’t.

Instead, consider croplocking villages. It’s much cheaper in terms of fakes and highly effective in stopping a player.

For a typical 6c village, you need 5 or 6 waves to croplock a village:

  1. Marketplace + Granary
  2. Granary + Main Building
  3. Crop + Crop
  4. Crop + Crop
  5. Crop + Crop
  6. Warehouse + Rally Point (optional wave)

That’s a pretty normal croplock attack. You can of course tweak the order and a few things, but you must hit all Croplands, the Marketplace, and 2 Granaries. Why 2 Granaries? because that’s what any experienced player will have in every village – at least 2 granaries, but usually 2. The Main Building is a good target to hit because it prevents them from building anything up quickly. If the player isn’t using Gold, then they are completely hosed. The Warehouse and Rally Point are just good targets to hit to stop them from building and stop them from controlling troops in that village. If you want to farm them, then don’t hit the Warehouse. However, if you want to destroy the player, hit it. You’ll even stop them from raiding their own village to get those resources, and they’ll all be wasted, which is good for you, and bad for them.

So, that brings the number of troops for fakes down to 456 infantry and 24 catapults for faking 4 villages, which is much more manageable. It’s less than a day of production.

The rest of your hammer goes into your real attack.

1 of your fakes MUST be their capital. They will defend there. They will also likely try to reinforce other villages, but the bulk of reinforcements will go to their capital. This is a VERY good thing. If other players are helping to reinforce him, they need to spend time sending troops to the capital. Changing where they reinforce takes a long time then as they need to recall their troops and resend them to a new village.

Timing is important. If at all possible, make all attacks and fakes on all villages land at the same time to the second. If you can’t manage that for some reason, e.g. work, sleep, life, etc., then simply try to get as many of the attacks/fakes hitting as close together as possible. You can even have 1 fake purposefully hit at a different time when everything else is coordinated. You can use that “pattern” then to mess with your victim’s head later on.

Once your first hit goes through, they’re basically down by 1 village. Congrats. They’re now confused and scared. You just screwed with their head and they’ll be second guessing from now on.

The next phase is a “rinse & repeat” phase. You simply repeat the above fakes and real attacks but choose different targets. If you’re in a war, you can even choose another player entirely.

After each set of attacks/fakes, scout his villages and his capital. This is important because it tells you what you can hit easily. Also, at some point other villages may be reinforced or troops may be pulled out of the capital, which tells you that it’s time to strike!

Iterate through that at least 2x to take out 2 of his villages. If you can do more, great. If not, oh well. Move on.

When you’ve finished your iterated attacks from above, it’s time to hit the capital. However, you must be prepared. That means that before you send your real attack on his capital, you must scout it as mentioned above. Hopefully, you’ve created the idea in your victim that you are after all of his other villages, and that may prompt them to pull defense out of the capital, signaling to you that it’s time to hit your victim’s capital.

This strategy works particularly well in a war. The main point there is that you never hit anywhere that is defended, and you constantly draw defense to a player who calls for it. Once defense is deployed with a player, you then shift your attacks to another player, causing further problems for your victims.

However, in a war it’s best to coordinate with other players for fakes and reals. Seeing 10 players bearing down on you all with attacks landing inside of a few seconds is a terrifying thing. Using coordinated fakes is an important strategy to use because it tells your victims that they will never know if you are really attacking or not. It will create complete confusion with them.

Now, that all may seem a bit over the top, and a bit difficult, but that’s how you go about attacking experienced players. If you’re attacking newbs, well, who cares. They’re pretty easy to run over. Chaotic fakes are more than enough to sew complete chaos and confusion in the ranks of the inexperienced. The experienced players though will not be fooled so easily.

Hopefully that helps explain a bit about how coordinated fakes can help destroy players. There is a lot more to know, and I’ve only scratched the surface, but it should be enough to help even inexperienced players get up to speed on some advanced psychological warfare techniques in Travian.




Opening Up OpenCandy


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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 <>.

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:


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


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:


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