Silk Road Judge Doxxed and MSM Lies About it (REDACTED)

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Anarchism / Voluntaryism, Awake, Bitcoin, Censorship, Web Sites | Posted on 19-11-2014

Tags: , ,

REDACTED: My hosting provider has stated that they do not want to host the kind of content to which the US Marshals Service has objected (dox). There is nothing illegal about the content, and they recognise that. However, they are a private company, and they do get to run their business how they wish to.

As such, I have made the original post private and out of reach of the public; it will remain private. However, in the interests of keeping my original point about Ars Technica lying, I am copying a redacted version of the post below.

Nothing in the redacted portions contains any kind of threat. The redacted portions only have information about the judge. All the evidence to show that Ars Technica is wildly exaggerating is available, though not with that 100% degree of transparency that I had originally intended. Since you can verify this for yourself, my point still stands: Ars Technica published demonstrably false information.

The original post is below with redactions to remove the content that was objected to.


A recent article in Ars Technica points out that the Silk Road judge has been doxxed, and also claims that there are death threats against her. Problem is, there are no death threats against her.

The federal judge overseeing the Silk Road case against Ross Ulbricht has been subject to a death threat, and apparently she had her private information exposed on a “Hidden Wiki” website accessible only via Tor-equipped browsers. The same information is available on the open web through at least one website that pulls information from the Tor network.

However, the original wiki article (.onion link) doesn’t support that. Here’s the text of the complete article without formatting or embedded links:

Dox – Katherine Bolan Forrest (Silk Road Judge)
Jump to: navigation, search

http://freeross.org/ – Please donate to the official legal defense fund of the Ulbricht family.
Who is Judge Katherine Forrest?
Judge Katherine Forrest

Katherine Bolan Forrest is the judge who is unfairly ruining Ross Ulbricht’s life and chance for a fair trail. In case you are unaware of her, she was the Judge who “Rejected Every Defense Argument In The Silk Road Trial” [ Clearnet link! ]

Can Ulbricht really be accused of running a drug-selling conspiracy when he (ALLEGEDLY) merely ran a website that made the narcotics sales possible? And can he be charged with money laundering when bitcoin doesn’t necessarily meet the requisite definition of money?’ According to Forrest’s latest ruling, yes and yes. She rejected every argument made in the defense’s motion, starting with the idea that Ulbricht had merely provided an innocent platform for hosting the Silk Road’s illicit e-commerce, just as eBay might occasionally host illegal content without its knowledge.

Justice is not being served, Ross Ulbricht is a hard working honest man who is now a fall guy that the US government decided to choose because he had a large amount of bitcoins, a currency they are doing everything in their power to make illegal.
Judge Katherine Forrest Dox

Without further ado, fuck this stupid bitch and I hope some drug cartel that lost a lot of money with the seizure of silk road will murder this lady and her entire family: http://doxbinzqkeoso6sl.onion/doxviewer.php?dox=Judge_Katherine_Forrest

Katherine Bolan Forrest

XXX: 000-00-0000
XXX: XXXXXXXX 00, 0000 (XXX 00 XX XX 0000)

000 00XX XX
XXXXXXXX, XX 00000
XXXXXX XXXXXX

XXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXXX, XXXXXXX XX XXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XX XXX XXXX
XXXXXXXX’X XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XX 0000 XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX
XXX XXXXXX XX 0000 XXXX XXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XX XXX

000 00XX XX XXXXXXXX, XX 00000
000 X 00XX XX XXX 00X XXX XXXX, XX 00000
000 X 00XX XX XXX 00X XXX XXXX, XX 00000
00 XXXXX XXXX XX XXX XXXXXXXXX, XX 00000
0000 XXXXXXXX # 0-000 XXX XXXX, XX 00000
0000 XXXXXXXX # 0-000 XXX XXXX, XX 00000
0000 XXXXXXXX # 0000 XXX XXXX, XX 00000
0000 XXXXXXXX # 00 XXX XXXX, XX 00000
000 XXXXXXX XX XXXXXXXXXX, XX 00000
000 XXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXXX, XX 00000
0000 XXXXXXXX, XXX 00-00 XXX XXXX, XX 00000

Links:
http://abovethelaw.com/tag/katherine-forrest/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_B._Forrest
http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/judge/Forrest

I can also get information on all of this lady’s relatives and maybe some of her close friends, so expect more releases over doxbin and this wiki. For right now just steal her identity and send her gifts in the mail 😉 Expect phone numbers and relatives SSNs and complete doxes in a future release.

Oh, and maybe someone should attempt a Swat [ Clearnet link! ] just to put this bitch in her place. Just please don’t be an idiot and fall for that “Tor SWATing Service” scam going around. Oh and Katherine, don’t be surprised when you and all your relatives get woken up in the middle of the night by a swat team with assault rifles pointed in your face and helicopters shining search lights into your windows. Or when someone close to you opens up a letter in the mail one day and it happens to contain anthrax 🙂

Just before the dox, this part:

Without further ado, fuck this stupid bitch and I hope some drug cartel that lost a lot of money with the seizure of silk road will murder this lady and her entire family: http://doxbinzqkeoso6sl.onion/doxviewer.php?dox=Judge_Katherine_Forrest

Certainly wishes her ill will, but it isn’t a death threat. Or, it’s about as much of a threat as, “I hope you get hit by a bus,” is a threat. i.e. It’s not.

At the bottom, the part about swatting isn’t a death threat, unless she believes that it is the job of SWAT teams to break into houses and murder people. Well, that actually does have some credibility, but no credibility in the legal arena, so I don’t think she could consider that a death threat.

The part about anthrax pertains to people close to her, so it isn’t a death threat against her. But obtaining weapons-grade anthrax is nearly impossible without stealing it from a bio-weapons lab. So, the anthrax wishes aren’t really credible. If it were ricin, that would be entirely credible.

Ars Technica isn’t merely distorting the truth – they are lying. And they even posted a screenshot of the page that anyone can check to see that they are lying.

Here’s a better screenshot. Click for a larger version.

REDACTED

If they wanted to lie about it, they should have left out the screenshot.

The brazen, bold-faced lies coming out of the MSM presstitute dino-media are really just over the top. They make it readily possible to verify that they are lying right in the same article.

Why?

Because 2 + 2 = 5 and 4 and 3 all at the same time in their twisted, Orwellian doublethink world.

UPDATE 1 (2014-11-19): Saturday November 15th Cynic.me was taken offline for this post (see here), but brought online again with this post being password protected. I’ve finally been able to talk to the manager who took the site offline and we’ve agreed to put the post back online until we can talk again after he consults with his legal department. He said will get back to me in a couple days. Cross your fingers for freedom of speech and transparency. Or bury your head in the sand and scream about how censorship and opacity makes us all “safe”…

UPDATE 2 (2014-11-19): I’ve received an email from the manager. It was much quicker than anticipated.

I have had my executives look at the case this afternoon. They have expressed their concerns and would like the content removed from the website. Regardless of whether or not its legal or freedom of speech they do not want to host this kind of material. We ask you that you kindly remove the content from the publicly facing website. Please reply to this case directly if you have questions or concerns and I can follow up with you directly.

As such, this post is now being made private again as I don’t want to be bothered with the hassles of moving web sites, etc.

Protected: Silk Road Judge Doxxed and MSM Lies About it

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Awake, Censorship, Police State, Politics, Web Sites | Posted on 24-10-2014

Tags: , , , ,

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Hacking Data from Web Sites

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Logic, Software, Web Sites | Posted on 10-11-2012

Tags: ,

Sometimes I hate “the cloud”, and other times I love it. One thing I really love about the cloud is that it is more often than not just storage with no actual computing. This makes it much nicer when web sites try to hide data from you, because they simply put the data in the cloud, and all you need to do it pluck it out from there.

I’ve come across this situation a few times in the last week or so. Some web site tries to hide information that I’m looking for. Rather than give me simple data, they fart around with it and put it in pretty Flash SWFs or in a graphic. Since I really do prefer the actual raw data so that I can look at it and manipulate it however I like, I need to hack through some of the most pathetic security you can imagine.

It’s pretty simple, and anyone can do it. You only need to know enough HTML to locate where the data is on the page, and then know enough to pick out a URL to the information that’s stored in the cloud or on a CDN (Content Delivery Network, e.g. Akamai).

Here’s how…

  1. Mouse over the data, or if it’s a Flash file, mouse over just below or above or to the side of it.
  2. Right-click and choose “Inspect source” or whatever they call it in your browser.
  3. In the source at the bottom of the page, mouse over the elements until the data portion is highlighted above in your browser window.
  4. Drill down through the elements by clicking the little triangles. Do this until you get to some kind of an anchor tag or an object tag.
  5. Copy the element into a simple text editor. One with syntax highlighting is nicer.
  6. Look for URLs with a different domain name. Often the look bizarre with apparently random characters in them.
  7. Copy the URL and then go paste it into a new tab in your browser. If you picked the right URL, then you’ll get the right data. If not, go back to step 4 and repeat until you get the data you want.

I’ve done this for XML files that held the raw data I wanted as well as video files (MP4s). Who in their right mind would choose to watch a video that they paid for in their browser when they can simply download the video and watch it in a decent video player?

Here’s an example of an XML file with data that I plucked out of a site:

The data was from a Flash file which made it useless to me as I actually want to manipulate the data so that I can look at it from different perspectives.

But, you can see the funky URL there. It’s probably an account number of something. Who knows? Who cares?

Here’s a screenshot of where I found the URL (click for a larger version):

You can see how the chart is highlighted there, and the URL is in the EMBED tag.

This works for a surprising number of sites. They seem to make it very hard to actually get the data in anything other than a format that they find pretty. Some sites do this to prevent you from uploading videos somewhere else. Some sites try to present the data in a formatted way, but probably don’t want you to do it, because then you’d be competition. So, stopping you from getting the data is the only way.

Anyways. That’s just a quick way to get data in a raw, more usable format.

Cheers,

Ryan

Robosoft for Beginners

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Online Marketing, OpenCandy, PAD, Robosoft, Software, Solutions to Problems, Super Simple, Web Sites | Posted on 29-09-2012

Software Marketing with Robosoft

For years RoboSoft has been the single most effective 1-stop way to promote software. If it isn’t already a part of your software marketing, it should be. If it is a part of your software marketing, there are most likely areas where you can squeeze quite a bit more juice out of it.

In this article I explain what it is, issues surrounding it, and how to use it to effectively promote your software.

This article is aimed at RoboSoft “beginners”, though there are some good tips for intermediate users as well. For highly advanced usage, you can refer to some of my previous articles on Robosoft here.

What It Is

RoboSoft lets you either automatically or semi-automatically submit your software to hundreds (or thousands) of download sites, news sites, and other software-related sites.

It works by having you enter information about your software, then automatically submitting that information to its large database of sites via web automation. Not all sites can be done automatically, so you can go back and submit to those sites that it “missed”.

For semi-automated submissions, RoboSoft automatically fills in all the forms with your software information, e.g. the product name, download URL, descriptions, etc.

What It Can Do For You

Used properly, RoboSoft can significantly boost your position in search engines, and consequently, increase your sales.

It’s that simple. RoboSoft increases sales. Period.

What It Costs

The cost of RoboSoft is insignificant compared to the value it delivers. A standard lifetime license is $99.00, while database updates are sold on a subscription basis starting at $8 / month. A full year of updates can be purchased for a discount.

About PAD

PAD stands for Portable Application Description. It is the industry standard way to communicate information about software, and is maintained by the Association for Software Professionals (ASP).

PAD files are simple XML files. Each bit of information is contained in a descriptive node. Nodes do not have any attributes.

RoboSoft, and most download sites, use the PAD standard to communicate your software information. You can either create your PAD file inside of RoboSoft, or you can use an external PAD authoring tool like PADGen to create your PAD file then import it into RoboSoft. See below for more information on this.

For more information about PAD, see the official PAD site here.

For more information about PADGen, the official ASP PAD file generator, see the official PADGen page here.

The Download Site Controversy and Why It Doesn’t Matter

Skimming through various developer forums, you will at some point encounter the download site debate, with many authors poo-pooing download sites. Don’t buy it.

The typical “controversy” goes on about how there are thousands of download sites, and how they have no value, and how submitting your software to them is a waste of time.

I beg to differ.

When digging deeper, it usually turns out that somebody submitted their software to a very small handful of sites (maybe 30) once then came to the conclusion that it’s a complete waste of time. Well, duh! That is a waste of time.

Follow the advice below, and you will not waste your time. You will see significant results.

But don’t throw a handful of sand on the beach then claim that you can’t make a sand castle with sand because you tried and it didn’t work.

The “Real Deal”

RoboSoft is an SEO tool.

Let me repeat that just in case…

RoboSoft is an SEO tool.

By submitting your software to a LARGE number of sites, you create backlinks to your site. This boosts your site in search engines even if you never get a single download from any of the sites. Even if you never get a single download directly from a download site (yes, I’m repeating that because it’s important), having your software listed and linked back to your site tells the search engines that the content on that page that links to your site is relevant to your site, and that translates into higher search engine rankings for you. Not all download sites post direct links to you, but they do post links to your software installer, which still translates into a link that search engines can follow.

So, your goal isn’t to get downloads from download sites. Your goal is to get better search engine placement, because the new download site is Google.

That means that you need to do some SEO work on your PAD file… Which is beyond the scope of this article. There’s lots of information available on SEO out there, and you can find an excellent article about on-page SEO here. Many of the same principles apply. Don’t worry about download sites out-ranking you. That may happen, but eventually it gets corrected.

In the past, I’ve had up to 95 out of the top 100 results in Google pointing to products that I was promoting, albeit 94 were on download sites. Still, that’s only room for 5 competitors inside of the top 100 results. Those days are done and gone though, but the tactics used still work to get your site up in the SERPs and are still very much worthwhile.

Entering Software Information

As space is short, we’ll forgoe the PAD SEO discussion, and get on to the simple mechanics of entering information…

If you have a PAD file, click “Import…” under “Company tasks” in RoboSoft to import your company information from your PAD file:

Import PAD info for Company

Follow the instructions and click the “Save and exit” button when you’re done:

Importing company info from PAD - save here

That will create your company info inside of RoboSoft. You will see your company info listed similar to as shown below:

Company is now listed in RoboSoft

Next, select your company as shown above, and do the same for your product information by clicking “Import…” under “Product tasks”:

Import product info from PAD

You may be prompted with the company info screen again; click the “Save and exit” button again to continue on to the product import screen:

Product import screen for RoboSoft

You can edit information in there, just as with the company import screen. However, make certain to click the “Save and exit” button to save your product into RoboSoft.

When prompted, make your imported product the selected/active one by clicking Yes:

Make product active

RoboSoft will now look something like this:

Product has been imported into RoboSoft

Before you submit, you must ensure that there are no errors. In the screenshot above, click the “Validate now” link, or in the Product tasks, click the “Validate…” link. This will check your software information for problems:

Validation errors

Walk through each error and correct them all. This may require uploading files, such as your PAD file, to your server and making certain that the information in RoboSoft accurately reflects the newly uploaded files.

You can resize the screen above to go about fixing the errors. If this is the first time you’ve used RoboSoft, you WILL have errors that must be corrected. This is perfectly normal as some fields are RoboSoft specific.

Correcting validation errors in RoboSoft

To correct the errors, click on the error then in the left pane, correct the error. Rinse. Repeat.

Correcting validation errors

!!! IMPORTANT !!! — For your contact and login information, do NOT use your normal email address, i.e. DO NOT use support@ or info@ or yourname@. Use addresses that are used ONLY for submissions. Use email addresses like pad@ or padsupport@ or padsubmit@. Your PAD submissions will generate a lot of email that is only relevant for your PAD submissions. You will also get automated PAD polling information from download sites to tell you that they’ve polled your software and that it has been added/listed or that there was a polling error (which is often because the download site PAD validation is not PAD compliant). So… To avoid filling up your inbox with all that, use another email address. Really. Trust me. I speak from experience. Lots of it.

When you’re done, click the “Save and exit” button.

!!! IMPORTANT !!! — Critical errors must be fixed, however, you can ignore some warnings. Try to fix everything that “makes sense” for your software, but don’t worry if something that is irrelevant to your software still throws a warning, e.g. Your PAD file may not have a press release in it, so you will get warnings there. (Press releases can be added through the press release PAD extension. See here for more information about PAD extensions and here for the PAD extensions repository.)

Before you continue, back in the main RoboSoft screen, double-click your newly imported software to edit it. Walk through each and every field and verify that it has been entered (if required), and is correct. There is a description of each field at the bottom of the screen when you click each field.

Enter or edit information directly in RoboSoft

That should take you several hours (or days) if you do it properly. Why? Because you should have a press release, and you should have site information, and it takes several hours at a minimum to write a draft-quality press release. Don’t overlook that. Remember, this is about SEO, and the more you submit, the better you will perform in the search engines. Take the time to do it properly. Don’t be lazy.

If you don’t have a PAD file, you can simply create a new company and product and enter the information exactly the same as in the screenshot above.

So… by this point you have taken the time to do things right, right? Good! It’s time to submit your software and open the floodgates of traffic!

Submitting Your Software

Before you start submitting, make sure that the database is up to date by clicking Site List > Update. Follow the directions.

Filter Sites That You Submit to

If you have an Excel utility, there is no point in submitting to games sites, and if you have a non-mobile game, there’s no point in submitting to mobile sites… So… Filter them.

Click the Sites tab. It should look something like this:

RoboSoft Sites tab

Click the “Site Rank” column header to sort by site rank. The ones at the top are the most important ones. You will want to do those sites semi-automatically, and not automatically.

In the lower right, check “Use filter” to enable the options there.

Filter the sites you submit to

For Category, uncheck any category that isn’t relevant. e.g. It’s unlikely that you’re a CAD developer, and more likely that your software may fit into the Multimedia category. Be honest. Checking them all is counter productive. If you don’t have a screensaver, don’t submit your software to screensaver sites. You will want to submit to news feed directories, search engines, press release sites, and web directories though.

For Language, you can submit to all of them. You don’t need to uncheck anything. Some non-English sites accept English software, while other non-English sites don’t. Cross that bridge when you get to it. However, if you want, you can check only one language and do your submissions by language, i.e. do multiple sets of submissions. That’s a solid tactic that can help you focus on specific language markets. It may or may not be applicable to you though.

The Flags options let you hide entire categories of sites. For example, some sites require that you pay to be listed, while other sites require that you link back to them. Show or hide the sites that you want to submit to.

HINT: For sites that require a link back, most of these will crawl your site to see if the link is on the home page, and if not, they will decline your submission. A small minority of sites will accept any page, even if it is not linked to anything in your site. I would recommend not bothering with these sites at all. You don’t want to link to them as it does not add enough value to your efforts to warrant it.

I would recommend hiding all sites that require payment or a link back.

For Status, leave that at ALL for the time being. Later on you will want to know where you have submitted, where you are listed, and where submissions failed or were skipped. Before you actually use those functions though, you should use the RoboSoft crawler to update the status by clicking Tools > Track Listings (Batch Search).

When you’ve finished filtering, click the “Apply” button. The status bar in the lower left will update to display something like this:

Filter results

You have now chosen the subset of sites that you will submit to. It’s time to get started…

Starting Submissions

To start submitting, click the “Auto…” button on the RoboSoft toolbar (or click Tools > Automatic submission…) and choose “Submit”:

Click autosubmit to start

RoboSoft will update the database:

Updating database

Once the database is updated, you must complete the automatic submission wizard:

Automatic submission wizard

Next, verify you have the right product that you want to submit:

step 2

RoboSoft then validates your software info:

PAD validation

Next, verify and test your SMTP settings as some submissions are done by email, and others require an account that RoboSoft can automatically create for you:

SMTP settings

Next, verify your site selections:

Verify site selections

Next, RoboSoft will check to see if your software is already listed:

Autosearch

In step 7, check or uncheck individual sites that you want to submit (or not submit) to. To change a category, press CTRL + click the category. If you need more categories to be available to choose from, click the “Edit possible categories” button and follow the direction in the dialog there. A green check mark means that the software is already listed at the site. Check these sites if you have an updated version. Also, make certain to check the account information in the Account tab on the right. If you don’t know what something is, mouse over the question marks (?) for more information.

Category and site selection

It is important to make sure that you get things right in step 7. Take a few minutes to go through the list and verify that everything is correct. Uncheck irrelevant sites and correct any category problems. Not all sites support all categories, so just try to get as close as possible. If you can’t get close, uncheck the site because it’s a waste of your time and a waste of the site owner’s time if your software isn’t relevant. e.g. You have a photo resizing application and the site is for network administration software.

In step 8, RoboSoft does all the submissions. Take special note that it has anti-CAPTCHA built in as you can see in the screenshot:

Submissions

The various panes in the submission window detail what sites are being submitted to, show a screenshot of the submission process, give real-time statistics on the submission process, and show CAPTCHAs being cracked.

The anti-CAPTCHA feature in RoboSoft is highly effective, but not 100% of the time. At the end of the submission process, you are given the option to go back and process those CAPTCHAs that RoboSoft missed:

Process CAPTCHAs

It’s a very simple and easy process, so just click the “Process CAPTCHAs” button.

Missed CAPTCHAs

Click in the Value column and type the CAPTCHA. You can see a screenshot of the actual web site in the lower right.

If you get one wrong, you’ll be promted again. Some CAPTCHAs are very difficult, while some sites are just broken. If you can’t get one, forget about it. The chances are that the site itself is broken.

Step 9 is the “YAY~!” stage:

Success rates for software submissions

RoboSoft keeps track of all the submissions for you, including success and failure rates. Don’t worry about failures though. It’s common for a site to go down, or for a site to have internal errors, especially when you submit to hundreds and hundreds of them. RoboSoft also keeps track of why there were errors, as you can see in the screenshot above. Just make certain that you aren’t the source of the errors through some silly oversight like bad account information.

Step 10… Hmmm… Step 10… How about I let my sadistic side take over. You know… Slide on over to the Dark Side… and leave step 10 as a mystery by not telling you what it is and not posting a screenshot. Muahahahaha~! You’re tortured now, aren’t you? It’s eating you up inside, gnawing at your very soul… You must know what step 10 is… And so… You must go out and get RoboSoft and do your own submissions to find out! (You’ll be very glad that you did.)

But You’re Not Finished Yet…

That’s just the automatic part. There’s still the manual part.

Go to the Sites tab and double-click on a site that you’ve not submitted to (or one that you want to resubmit to). That will open up the site on the Browser tab. There, click the “Submit” button and carry on your submissions semi-automatically. Each site is different, so you’ll need to just roll with it. However, many sites run off of the same download site engines, and after a while, you’ll begin to recognize them. That makes submissions faster for you as you’ll know what to expect within a few seconds of visiting a site.

The important things to know are:

  • RoboSoft will automatically fill in fields for you.
  • You can use the “Autofill” button to fill in fields if RoboSoft doesn’t.
  • You can right-click in an input and choose what information to enter from the context menu.
  • This is a very important part of submissions, and if you skip is, well, you might as well throw a handful of sand on the beach and then complain about not being able to build a sand castle.

If you are diligent and aggressive, the entire submission process should take you about 2 or 3 days. That assumes some learning curve. Once you know what you are doing better, submissions are much faster; plan on a set of submissions taking a day to complete. The manual/semi-automatic portion takes the longest, as you would expect.

Again, it bears repeating: Do not skip the semi-automatic submission process. It is critical to your success. There are some very good download sites that you’ve likely never heard of, and if you skip them, you are missing out on some valuable exposure. See my praise for Softoxi here.

After You Finish Submitting…

The process doesn’t end with submissions though. RoboSoft can keep track of what sites your software is listed at, so you should periodically go back and run the batch search: Tools > Track Listings (Batch Search).

You can add in new versions, submit, and keep track of it all.

DynamicPAD

DynamicPAD is how you can turn RoboSoft from a raging 800 lb gorilla, into a fire-breathing, 800-foot high, Tokyo-smashing Godzilla. (BTW – Your competition is Toyko.)

However, DynamicPAD is well beyond the beginner or intermediate scope of this article. If you want more information about turbo-charging RoboSoft with DynamicPAD, see my articles on that here (part 1, 2, 3, 4). It’s not for the faint-of-heart, but if you really want to get some fantastic results, try it out. The articles include source code that you can use as well.

NOTE

This article has been sitting around for almost a year, but is still as accurate as the day it was written. Originally, it was written for another company, but, they simply sat on it for too long, so, I’m publishing it. I know it will be useful for someone.

Cheers,

Ryan

 

Frackin’ Reserve Web Edition – A Fractional Reserve Banking Simulator

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in Awake, Banking, Logic, Money, Philosophy, Police State, Software, Web Sites | Posted on 17-05-2012

Tags: ,

Frackin’ Reserve Web Edition is a web port of Frackin’ Reserve, which is a desktop version of Frackin’ Reserve Web Edition. Hopefully that clears things up!

Frackin’ Reserve Web Edition lets you simulate the cycles and processes of fractional reserve banking and compound interest. It’s almost the same as the desktop version, but the range of parameters is more limited and some percentages are used instead of pure numbers. If you encounter limitations that you’d like to explore past, download Frackin’ Reserve here.

Instructions:

  1. Slide the sliders to adjust the parameters.
  2. Check the results in the results boxes.
  3. Try different parameters to see how they affect the money supply, i.e. Go to step 1.

Read the rest of this entry »

Idiotic Government Waste

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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:

http://www.newdadmanual.ca

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 »

The Licensing Experience with Infralution and DotNetNuke

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in .NET, C#, Databases, DotNetNuke, Online Marketing, Software, Solutions to Problems, Super Simple, Web Sites | Posted on 20-09-2011

Tags: ,

I don’t think that I’ve ever done a licensing or purchasing flow exactly the same way twice. Well, a couple times, but mostly I experiment with both major changes and minor tweaks.

This time around for the Super Simple Photo Resizer Social Edition, I’m doing things more or less right. There are a few things that still could be improved, and a few things that I’m not really all that happy with, but like my friend Nick Longo says, “Release at 80%.”

However, overall, I think the current functional set that I’ve got mapped out for Photo Resizer Social Edition are pretty good, and will deliver a solid user experience. My goals on the user-experience side are:

  1. Make it easy to purchase
  2. Make it easy to get and enter the license
  3. Make it easy to get a lost license back

Each of those has a real upside for users, and an upside for me as well (respectively):

  1. I make more money
  2. Fewer support emails
  3. Fewer support emails

But I also have some other goals.

  1. Cut down on piracy
  2. Cut down on piracy
  3. Cut down on piracy

For a little guy like me, piracy hurts. Badly. It also hurts users, because it removes the financial incentive to continue development. You’d be surprised at just how many people like to get paid for their work, and how much they enjoy having food on the table and paying their bills. 😉

I recently got an email from someone who purchased some other software that I write. This is part of that email:

I could have pirated the software if I wished as it is easy to crack which is something you need to work on, but I thought the software is so good that I would pay you the money for a genuine copy and support its future development.

I’m glad he bought a copy! It quite literally puts food on the table.

However, I don’t want to get into piracy here. Instead, I’d like to go over some of the things I’m doing with the new licensing scheme…

The flow looks something like this (click to zoom):

Super Simple Photo Resizer Social Edition Licensing Flow
Now, I’m leaving out a lot there because it would just be boring details, but that’s the basic flow.

The user gets 2 emails:

  1. PayPal receipt
  2. License email with account information

Now, in the past I’ve done licensing manually, which has been in many ways pretty easy, but it’s not been without its pain as well.

I’ve previously mentioned that I’m using the Infralution toolchain for licensing, but nothing is perfect “out of the box”, so I’ve done a good amount of customization. Having been burnt very badly in the past, I tend to purchase source code licenses whenever I can afford to. This leaves me the freedom to get down into things and tweak, fix, or just pimp-out stuff. Infralution offers source code along with their various products, which is another reason why I strongly recommend them to people whenever the topic of software licensing or payment integration arises.

I’ve also raved about how much I love DotNetNuke. It’s a fantastic CMS/portal written in ASP.NET (VB.NET in the past and now in C#), and comes with a BSDish license. However, I’ve been hesitant in the past to do much integration due to time constraints and other factors. However, this time around, I’m aiming to get things done more or less “right”.

Neither the Infralution ILS nor their IPN.NET integrate into DotNetNuke, so all of that is goodness that I need to take care of. Luckily, DotNetNuke is very well designed and integration isn’t really much of a problem. It’s really only a matter of getting it done and testing things out to make sure that they work. The trick is to try and make certain that I don’t step outside of the framework, and don’t create potential future issues for when I upgrade the DNN version. (Moving from DNN v2.1.2 to v3.x was a NIGHTMARE.)

ILS and IPN.NET take care of all the license generation and authentication, so the only thing needed is to get that into DNN. The relevant user-portion of the database is (click to zoom):

DotNetNuke Users Roles Database DiagramTo get ILS and IPN.NET working there, I needed to create 2 new entries in the database:

  • A Role for licensees
  • A ProfileProperty to store licenses

No new tables needed to be added, and no table modifications were needed. So, everything fits into DNN nice and cleanly.

A Note About the Database: When installing DNN, I would highly recommend using object qualifiers. These are prefixes for the database objects (tables, stored procedures, views), and will help to guarantee that well written modules that use them do not have conflicts. IPN.NET and ILS do not support object qualifiers, and have table names that could be used by other modules. As such, I’m very happy that I always stick with the wisdom of using object qualifiers because it’s made things much safer, and has allowed me the freedom to use the DNN database for the IPN.NET and ILS Authentication Server. Later on, this will let me create custom modules or do additional programming that let me access all user data in 1 place. The advantages here are never-ending.

When a user purchases a license through PayPal, PayPal then securely contacts my IPN.NET instance, and I then process the transaction by either updating the user’s existing profile, or creating a new user profile for the user and updating it with their new license information.

Since IPN.NET has no DNN integration, everything needs to work around that, and consequently, needs to be done at a low-level. Luckily, the DNN community is quite large, and there’s a lot of code out there to help with very low-level stuff like this.

The first step to integration is to create a user, and there’s some existing code out there that helped me get jump started:

Creating a DotNetNuke User via SQL

So starting from there, I’ve got a new account for the user and it has their license securely stored.

Next, there’s a password problem there… I certainly don’t want to use a known password, so that needs to change. Again, thanks to the DNN community, I’ve got the solution:

Updating a DotNetNuke User Password via SQL

However, what password do I create? What I wanted to do initially was to create a pass phrase instead of a password. However, being the grammar-Nazi that I am, and being constitutionally incapable of generating icky passphrases, I realized after some investigation that any decent passphrase generator would take me far longer than I was prepared to spend. So… Thank you again to the .NET community, I have a ready-made password generator that creates strong passwords of an arbitrary length:

Strong Passwords in C#

So that problem is also solved, in more detail that I’d care to bother with too! It creates passwords that look like these:

  • a+7P9A*rp6F&
  • So5={9WsM+g7
  • Ax8$+3JwD=a2
  • Ky8-i?H6Dw3&9%sS$rX54Q!f{2eLPp_7

The nice things about that password generator are that it

  • Leaves out ambiguous characters, e.g. I vs. | vs. l vs. 1 or 0 vs. o vs. O
  • Lets you choose the length of the password
  • Mixes in upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols

As far as being able to remember them? Bah! Not going to happen. Which is why I wanted to have a pass phrase generator, but, you do what you can with the time you have.

Now, code-wise, there are a few points where things need to get done:

  1. MS SQL Server stored procedures
  2. The IPN.NET project
    1. Default.aspx.cs
    2. Add in the RandomPassword.cs class
    3. Add in the “DnnLicenseIssuer.cs” class
    4. Modify the “Keys.htm” file

The MS SQL Server stored procedures won’t have any impact on DNN if done right. The prerequisite PropertyDefinitions and Roles need to be there, but that’s simple enough.

The RandomPassword.cs and DnnLicenseIssuer.cs classes won’t have any impact on the IPN.NET installation, so there’s a lot of freedom there.

However, changes to the Default.aspx.cs file will break across IPN.NET upgrades unless care is taken to migrate those changes to any new IPN.NET version. Luckily, everything that needs to be done can be done in this method:

private void ProcessPurchaseItem(PurchaseItem item, int quantity)

However, if you’ve actually sold a license, and the payment is successful, there’s only 1 spot that you need to modify, which will look something like this:

DnnLicenseIssuer dnnLi = new DnnLicenseIssuer(ipn, item, keys, false);
if (dnnLi.HasExistingAccount)
{
// Do stuff for license email
}
else
{
// Do stuff for license email
}

So you can easily minimize the impact there and make future upgrades very easily.

The “Do stuff” part contains customizations that I’ve written for the license email. If users have an existing account, then they get a different email than users that I’ve created an account for.

Of course it is possible to go further, and create users irrespective of whether the license payment succeeded or failed, and follow up later, however, it’s not one of my requirements at the moment.

The End Game

There’s a plan behind all this though. I’m not going to spill the beans quite yet, and it won’t get done for some time yet. However, all of this has a forward-looking purpose, and when I finally make it to that stage, I’ll post back on what I’m doing and the results.

Until then, check back at Super Simple over the next few weeks as the new Photo Resizer Social Edition is coming out very soon.

Cheers,

Ryan

Starting More DotNetNuke Development

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in C#, DotNetNuke, Software, Web Sites | Posted on 22-07-2011

Tags:

DNNWell, I had a bit of a false start. It’s been a long time since I’ve done much DNN module development, so I’ve gone back to basics for DNN 6, which was just released as final at 6.0.0 a couple days ago.

But, I’ve been watching these videos, and they didn’t line up with my development environment. Well, it turns out that I’d used an older template for DNN 3. Ouch. Oh well, back on track with the proper template and things are looking much better now.

 

DotNetNuke 6 is SEXY!

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Posted by Cynic | Posted in DotNetNuke, Software, Web Sites | Posted on 18-07-2011

Tags:

In a word, SEXY! The new DotNetNuke 6 is just flat out gorgeous. It sports a new skin, DarkKnight, that is simply beautiful. But that’s just the start.

DotNetNuke 6 default install

The new management interface is slick. Very slick. New “Manage” buttons are in the modules. You simply hover over them to see something like this:

DotNetNuke Manage UI

Edit an HTML module, and wow… Super-sexy-swinging stuff! A lightbox pops up with this:

Super Sexy Swinging Stuff Lightbox

Yummy! It’s gorgeous! But it’s more than just fluff. The RTE (Rich Text Editor) has some nice little tweaks like this for quickly adding links:

RTE add links easier

The default installation also comes with some default pages that you’ll likely end up using:

Default pages with demos

They’re fun as well. Here’s one of the fun parts:

MASSIVE RECALL, WE GOOFED

Well guys, last week the Bureau of Temporal Stability stopped by our offices. Unfortunately, it turns out that there are some legal restrictions when it comes to passing out time machines. Let me tell you, they were awfully angry about the results of our first few sales, though personally I have no problems with our new Dinosaur Overlords.

Good stuff!

Changing the default HTML editor is a snap too. No more farting around in web.config!

DNN HTML editor configuration

It couldn’t be simpler.

As you can see from the dropdown above, the default editor has changed, and there’s no option for FCK Editor, but oh well. It all still looks pretty good.

On a side note, I plan on checking out DNNCKEditor to see how it is with DNN. Even better yet, it looks like CKEditor is DNN 6 ready!

There’s more in there as well, but man… This is really looking good.

You’ll want to have .NET 4 running though, as some things require it. But that shouldn’t be a problem. Most likely you’re running .NET 4 already.

I’m very much looking forward to getting to work with some of this.

Cheers,

Ryan

 

 

Robosoft and DynamicPAD Results 12 Days In

1

Posted by Cynic | Posted in DynamicPAD, Google, Online Marketing, PAD, Robosoft, Super Simple, Web Sites | Posted on 10-04-2011

Tags: ,

So, Super Simple has been live for 12 days. It took about 2.5 days to submit, and since then I’ve only made some blog and forum posts. Results? Not too bad. Photo Resizer has moved from second click results to first click results, just as predicted. The Super Simple Photo Resizer even has a top 10 ranking now!

Google: First click results at #29.

Yahoo: First click results at #15.

Bing: First click results at #10. A TOP 10!

Now, that’s still a long way from being top 10 in Google, but only 19 away. Considering Super Simple wasn’t even on the search engine radar 2 weeks ago, I’d say those are some pretty decent results.

But, there’s still a very long way to go for Super Simple to really become more viable. For that, I will be releasing more uber-easy apps at Super Simple and following up here for you enjoyment! 🙂

For the moment, I know that this is still not the final nail in the coffin for the Robosoft/download site nay-sayers, but it’s a small victory, and hopefully I’ve managed to convince a few people.

Cheers,

Ryan