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Comment: One option is an image processing co. (Score 1) 121

by OverZealous.com (#44829247) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Cloud Service On a Budget?

There are several companies out there who do nothing but handle image processing "in the cloud". They could be used as simple bulk file transfers, or they might help solve the real problem â" dealing with large, uncompressed images.

I know of two off the top of my head:

  • Cloudinary: They will handle everything for you, including the storage and file conversions on the fly or via a pre-defined script.
  • Transloadit: They don't handle the storage, but instead interact with an Amazon S3 bucket you provide. Image conversion requires creating a "script" in the web interface, but otherwise they are fairly similar.

In either case, your clients can upload the files directly to their servers, and the 3rd party company can begin converting immediately (if you choose).

Comment: Re:tt-rss (Score 1) 93

I ended up choosing TT-RSS as well, for one specific reason: you can add the Fever plugin and continue using Reeder on iOS. Sadly, the OS X and iPad versions of Reeder are not functional right now, but it works great on my iPhone.

A second, less critical but still useful feature, is the Google Starred import plugin. This makes TT-RSS one of the only feed readers that can maintain your list of starred items.

Plus, while I didn't mind paying someone to manage the server (I really don't need another thing to run), the fact that I both control the application and can modify it as I choose was hard to beat.

Comment: Re:Universal Remote (Score 2) 174

Wow look at the prices on those things. $199 for the Harmony One, and $349 for the Harmony 900. [...] overpriced pieces of plastic.

I have (and really like) a Harmony One. About 5 years ago, I still worked in the Custom A/V business, building and selling expensive systems for home theaters.

Even then we had the choice between physical button devices and touch-screen devices. Given how much better physical devices were, we'd only sell a touch-screen device if the owner was more concerned about showing off rather than actually using the system.

Devices like the Harmony One have dozens of buttons, and a minimal touch screen. You only need to use the touch screen for major system functions (e.g., activity switching) or for odd buttons (like Aspect Ratio). Otherwise, you can easily control everything without looking down at the remote, or blinding yourself when the screen flips on.

Dedicated control devices (instead of mobile phone applications) have the benefit of always being available — no need to screw around with your phone to mute or pause the TV when your phone rings. And, if you have more than one person in the house, you don't have to give up your phone to control the entertainment.

As for the price, these are specialty items, with a limited market. They are often built with longer life in mind than most smartphones, and with lots and lots of individual buttons. And they aren't subsidized by a wireless provider.

Comment: Re:Map view doesn't show the cut-through (Score 1) 50

The blog author provides the coordinates (and not a link) so you can view the formation on Google Earth not Google Maps. Google Earth has the timeline slider.

That being said, it's relatively easy to create a link to Google Earth. This should open the lake in Google Earth, if you have it installed.

Comment: Re:Blog author knows what they are talking about (Score 4, Insightful) 415

While I agree with those complaints, every single one of them except the jQuery window problems are design issues, not usability problems.

The two areas of expertise are independent yet often correlated because they frequently go hand-in-hand during the design of an interface. You can easily have ugly yet highly usable, or stylish and entirely unusable.

The all upper-case menu is actually a usability issue and a design issue. Not only does it look bad, but it also makes reading more difficult because humans process the shapes of whole words. All uppercase words are basically rectangles. It also makes distinguishing independent menu items more difficult (although proper negative space would help with that).

But that picture pop-up window thing is atrocious.

Comment: Re:FF12 - First breaking update in a while (Score 1) 411

Ain't that the way it is.

I can't really put that kind of time into this now. Screwing around with FF has already eaten up almost half a day for me, between the actual issues with FF12 and the time machine / reverting to FF11 issue.

I'll probably just try FF12 again in a week or so, when I feel like I have the time. Chances are, it will work fine then, because some other thing will have fixed it.

Comment: Re:FF12 - First breaking update in a while (Score 1) 411

I wasn't clear enough on this point, by new windows I meant opening a new window manually when no other windows are open.

I tried several different ways to get the window to open on the correct monitor, including my usual trick of: open new window, drag to correct monitor, and close. Open a new window again (which, usually, opens on the correct window, but never did under FF12), "maximize" the window on that screen, and close it again. After this, it usually continues to open where I want, at the size I want.

Reverting to FF11 fixed it immediately, going so far as to opening on the correct monitor when I started it back up. (Even the broken restore from Time Machine opened correctly.)

I actually had another problem caused by an issue between FF12 and the TreeStyleTab extension, so it was really the combination of problems that forced me to revert. With just one issue, I would have grudgingly put up with FF12, and waited for a fix. But FF is a development tool, as well as my primary browser, and I can't have a critical tool cause me daily frustration like that.

I really think it's a shame that it's easier to find downloads for FF3.6 than for any version from 4-11, including the long-term supported version 10.

Comment: FF12 - First breaking update in a while (Score 2) 411

I use FF on Mac OS X. It's been steadily becoming one of the worst browsers for the platform, performance-wise, but certain plugins still cause me to use it as my primary browser.

FF has always been shaky about remembering which monitor it should be on, but if I kept it there once I got it to open on the right monitor, it would at least always open where I left it. Well, in FF12, they have added this fantastic feature where all new windows open up on the primary monitor. Hooray! This should really increase my productivity. It might seem minor, but it's not minor to me.

Alright, that's annoying, but I decided to upgrade on day 0 of the release. My mistake assuming that they would stick with random interface changes, and not break lower-level functionality. I'll just roll back the browser. Fired up Time Machine, and I rolled back to the previous installation. Now, FF randomly hangs on various pages for up to a minute. Maybe the profile is hosed? Rolled that back, too. No, still hangs. Also tried starting in "safe" mode - it still hangs.

So, this isn't necessarily FF fault, maybe the rollback was corrupted. I'll just download FF11 and reinstall it. Except, since it's no longer the latest-and-greatest, it's not available. I couldn't find it without manually editing the FF12 link to point to 11.0.

Firefox, I don't know how much longer I can bother dragging your sorry carcass around with me. Your 3D transforms are so slow they are often unusable and the rapid update cycle is starting to cause real issues. Of course, I can't forget the random interface changes like removing favicons from the URL bar, because the interface is so terrible you can't tell the favicon from a security marker. I've now got almost as many interface hacks (via Stylish and plugins) as I do normal plugins.

I don't know what the solution is for FF, but I keep getting my hopes up, and keep getting more frustrated.

Note: I know that this might be only my computer. I don't have a lot of time or energy to set up another multi-monitor system, upgrade FF to FF12, and try it out. Since FF is one of the only applications I use that has multimon issues (besides a few random utilities), I have to assume it's something wrong with FF.

Comment: Re:why phase out DVI? (Score 1) 704

by OverZealous.com (#38765066) Attached to: VGA and DVI Ports To Be Phased Out Over Next 5 Years

You mean like this:

http://www.smarthome.com/81271/HDMI-Cable-with-Secure-Connection-Screw-in-Fastener-15-Feet/p.aspx

This is somewhat common in the A/V industry, especially on projectors. HDMI has gotten better, though, and don't fall out quite as easily. Still, DVI is better for overhead or hanging installation than HDMI.

Comment: Re:If using PHP5, change max_input_time (Score 1) 156

by OverZealous.com (#38531822) Attached to: Microsoft Issuing Unusual Out-of-Band Security Update

An easy solution to this was pointed out in that article: limit the number of input parameters.

And Apache Tomcat already has a release that does just this with a customizable property. The default is set to 10,000 parameters. If you use Tomcat as your servlet engine, then it should be resolved with 7.0.23 or 6.0.35.

A direct quote from the article:

The Ruby Security Team was very helpful in addressing this issue and both CRuby and JRuby provide updates for this issue with a randomized hash function (CRuby 1.8.7-p357, JRuby 1.6.5.1, CVE-2011-4815).

Oracle has decided there is nothing that needs to be fixed within Java itself, but will release an updated version of Glassfish in a future CPU (Oracle Security ticket S0104869).

Tomcat has released updates (7.0.23, 6.0.35) for this issue which limit the number of request parameters using a configuration parameter. The default value of 10.000 should provide sufficient protection.

Comment: Well, I feel lucky (Score 1) 434

by OverZealous.com (#38018464) Attached to: Valve Announces Massive Steam Server Intrusion

I won't have to worry about my credit card information being stolen, since my credit card has already been compromised since the last time I used Stream!

...

Twice.

Hooray for the credit card system! And the dependency on stupid companies to maintain this information!

(And no, I don't shop around on "suspicious" websites or anything. But, because they'll never tell me who compromised my information, I can't determine which merchants to no longer use.)

Comment: Re:If it's not as closed as iOS/(locked down)Andro (Score 1) 262

by OverZealous.com (#37758406) Attached to: RIM Unveils New OS Based On QNX

There's a bit more to it. Sure, if your app is trivial, then adding another platform is a simple formula of cost vs profit. But, for any app with any real complexity, each platform you write a native app for increases your design complexity in a non-linear fashion.

For example, if you have just one platform, adding a feature is a simple process of of writing that feature, testing (etc), and deploying.

Now, if you have two, you need to write the feature twice, test it twice, and coordinate deployment across multiple app stores while ensuring compatibility (if the platforms interact in some way). You've now more than doubled the workload for the second device, if nothing else, because of the deployment issues.

This also doesn't take into account the additional design costs if you are trying to builds a good, professional app that integrates with the device's OS. Or the fact that you may have to design to the lowest-common denominator for the two platforms, instead of focusing on what works best for that platform. Or that you now have to double your support efforts, which can be difficult for your support team unless you want different teams for each device, and may negatively affect the perception of your current platform.

Add a third, and the complexity ratchets up even faster.

Another key is a basic cost-benefit analysis: if you focus on one platform, you may be able to put the additional resources into improving that product at a faster rate. (Of course, this is only true if you have equally-capable resources.)

So, you've got to look at more than just a simple cost vs profit on a per-platform basis. It's total cost increase and potential negative effects against your current platform vs the new platform's potential profitability.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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