Monday, October 31, 2016

Arguments for local software (programs not run over the Internet)

Of course the worst security flaw is something that directly hurts you with identity theft or otherwise, but this is a great argument for just not doing things online.

Certainly some things can be done safely, but I paradoxically get less and less enamored with technology the more and more I learn about it.
"I don't think I'd want tools for manipulating local media tied even loosely to the uptime of a remote computer (or network connection)." (source)

Today's reason to love LibreOffice

The program can handle HUGE files with no weird crap happening to the formatting.  I've had some gigantic Word files just fall apart with some kind of formatting oddity.  I've never had that happen in the multiple years I've been working with 50+ page LibreOffice docs. (website)

Adware vs bundleware

Although we tend to avoid adware just because people hate it, strictly speaking I'm more concerned about bundleware.  If developers end up taking any route to make money off their work, adware is to usually the least bad.  Especially if it's for other, related software.

Some of this has to do with what ads developers have traditionally been putting in their applications.  If large, blinking, animated monstrosities start showing up, you might see me take a different view but that's just not what is happening.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Softpedia writers

Occasionally the templates that Softpedia employs as examples for it's writers appear in very clear terms.  My favorite and most recent example of this is GazeRecorder.

Here's text from what is obviously their "scientific entry" template:

While conducting various scientific experiments can be rewarding since you can make ground-breaking discoveries, running many of them would not be possible without appropriate tools.

However, thanks to the ever growing interest for technology, nowadays it is possible that you can choose from a wide palette of software solutions that can simplify your work.

You don't say!

I also love how the final paragraphs in Softpedia reviews all have variants on "As a conclusion".  Sigh.

As websites and journalism sources increasingly can't afford good writers, I've been seeing more and more awkward writing and badly-used templates like this.  I do love Softpedia but wish they'd forego their write-ups and reviews.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

On your keychain: Easy Screencast Recorder

Although I tend to recommend a number of other programs ahead of it, it's going to be a rare day where I don't have this program handy. This program has saved my bacon a few times when other tools hesitated.  Although by default the program saves to the low-quality, low-compression .ASF format, it's reliable and sometimes that's the crucial thing.

Easy Screencast Recorder homepage and on PFW

Recent Firefox additions

I've been really impressed by recent efforts to actively customize the browser including their Test Pilot effort.  This includes additional privacy mode, video, and broken web page updates.  Another recent add-on tries to disable keyboard tracking, which is also amazing.  I'm hoping more than a few of these end up in the default browser.