In the beginning, there were people copying software from their friends and any public computer they came across.

Then there were more elaborate serial number schemes, must-have-floppy/CD-in-drive, bit copy apps, dongles, outcries, putting so much extra stuff on the CD that it was worth buying the app for the extras alone, even more outcries about how piracy kills software development, giving away 'lite' versions on cover CDs, online activation with draconian detection mechanisms, software bundles where for a few dollars you can grab a whole bunch of apps (both pay-what-you-want and otherwise)...

... and now there's another new way of getting your app in front of people: a service called 'Setapp'. It seems to work a little like the Humble Bundle Monthly: you pay $10 a month, and you get an as yet unspecified amount of apps.

This is not a scheme to rent software (looking at you Adobe, whose products I will never again buy because you cannot buy them anymore and which I shall not rent because I like my software to work offline), but more of an auto-subscription to a bundle.

Right now, it's in beta, and the app is a bit rough but perfectly usable. (I've just filed a lengthy report.)

On the positive side, it's in open beta, and you can - as long as you have a Mac - sign up on, and see whether this is a service you'd be interested in. Personally, I find that I own about half of the apps already (bundles), but there are some interesting ones in the lot. They seem to be a mixture of productivity (Aeon timeline), Utilities, special interest, and simply odd things. There's two mindmaps, for instance, and several markdown editors and snippet managers.

For me, the effort has been worth it: I discovered Sip, which lets you sample any pixel and gives you not just the CSS value, but any number of ways to translate a colour into Swift.

Given how busy Apple's Appstore is, and how bad the interface and search facilities are, I am not surprised that developers are looking for new ways of reaching customers. One of my decluttering tasks at the moment is logging all of the software I have acquired from bundles. Most of it I have not used; sometimes I find a gem that becomes surprisingly useful, but mainly, they're just sitting on a backup drive (because there are too many to keep them on my smallish drive).

There's not a single developer that has lost out through the bundles - I would not have bought any of those apps at full price if I hadn't managed to snag them in a bundle - but there are some developers that have gained, because I am now upgrading or buying other apps from them, and recommending their apps to my friends.

I suspect that my experience is far from unique. The existence of this new service seems to support that.
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
([personal profile] sineala Dec. 7th, 2016 02:29 pm)
What I Just Finished Reading

Still nothing.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday. I guess it's kind of a Waid week.

Avengers #2, Champions #3, Scarlet Witch #13 )

What I'm Reading Next

At some point I would like to read a book ever again but I still have ten days to write these two stories. Of course, Yuletide just accidentally deleted all our assignments. But I should probably try to finish this one first anyway.
Fannish/Geeky Things

"(Almost) Every SFF Adaptation Coming to Television and Movie Theaters!" [] (Not news that both Newsflesh and October Daye are on the list, and there's no real info on Newsflesh, but I, at least, was unaware that the writer adapting Toby for TV is Margaret Dunlap, who's worked on The Middleman and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.)

"Yuri!!! on Ice Anime Casts Pro Skater Nobunari Oda as Himself". [ANN]

"Announcement: official Mass Effect novels coming from Titan Books in 2017!" Authors include N.K. Jemisin and Catherine M. Valente.


"The Continent, Carve the Mark, and the Trope of the Dark Skinned Aggressor". [Justina Ireland]

"John Scalzi: Writing For Audio Made Me A Better Writer, Period".

Merriam-Webster discusses "What is 'World-Building'? And how do you spell it?"

"The Progress and Pitfalls of Television’s Treatment of Rape". [Variety]


"Cat Can’t Breathe? Feline Asthma: What You Need To Know".

Via [ profile] newredshoes, "Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment". [Feminist Frequency]

Social Justice

"‘Please, I am out of options’: inside the murky world of DIY abortions: As Donald Trump promises new restrictions on abortion, emails reveal the desperation of women who have no place to go to end unwanted pregnancies". [The Guardian]

"What Was the Nerd? The myth of the bullied white outcast loner is helping fuel a fascist resurgence".

"'All my life suddenly made sense': how it feels to be diagnosed with autism late in life".

"Why My Online Relationships With Fat Women Have Been The Most Important Ones Of My Life".

At The Establishment:

--"Why The Publishing Industry Can’t Get Disability Right".

--"How To Help The Cause When You Need Help Yourself". [Content warning: suicidal ideation]

--"You Don't Have To Like Me--You Just Have To Believe I'm A Human Being". "Here’s the thing. You either believe in justice and equality or you don’t. You either believe that people of color are human beings deserving of full rights or you don’t. There are no preconditions to that. There are no exceptions to that. You believe in my humanity or you don’t."

Cute Stuff

"Dog wears camera that takes photo when he gets excited".

"15 Cats Who Think They Are Hiding From The Vet".

"Rescue Goat With Anxiety Only Calms Down In Her Duck Costume".

"Before-and-After Photos of Dogs and Their Humans Growing Up Together".

Via [ profile] jimhines, "17 Dogs Who Are Carefully Bending Their Human’s Rules". [Buzzfeed]

Via [ profile] disobey_gravity, a short video of a kitty tackling a climbing wall. [1 min., 10 seconds]
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
([personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach Dec. 7th, 2016 10:05 am)
Click here for Week 49 )
vass: Icon of Saint Ignatius being eaten by lions (eaten by lions)
([personal profile] vass Dec. 8th, 2016 12:21 am)
1. The Victorian Liberals are why we can't have nice things. Like our correct gender on official documentation. :(

2. Last night Beatrice was lolling on her side, and Dorian approached her and put his mouth up near the back of her head. I thought "aww, he's going to wash her ears like she washes his!" Then Dorian bit down on the scruff of Beatrice's neck and started humping her. They grow up so fast. :/ (Beatrice was not having any of it, and explained this with much volume, force, and velocity.) (The last time Beatrice lived for an extended period with another cat, it was [personal profile] nomnivore's cat Jerry, and he was so much more of a gentleman. I would ask Dorian who brought him up to behave like that, but this would reflect badly on a) me, and b) the Inquisitor.)

3. I am having difficulty with Twitter. Not just the constant stream of bad news, but also the constant stream of "you must inform yourself about [issue]" each one a different issue, each an urgent imperative that I read something if I care about other people/the planet/being a good person. I know I'm allowed to take a breath for my own mental health, to draw boundaries, but I find that hard to do without working myself into a state of callous uncaring, which obviously I don't want to do. The more vulnerable I'm feeling, the harder it is.

4. I made the very bad mistake of buying and downloading Civ III. Why? I don't know. It sounded like a good distraction? In the same way that heroin is a good analgesic? Tonight I had a communiqué from Montezuma, in which he politely (the game stipulated that his tone was polite, and indeed I do see worse on both Twitter and Tumblr all the time) told me "Xerxes, the Aztec Swordsmen thirst for your blood. Give us what we want or perish!" What he wanted was all the money in my treasury. I told him lol no, and he politely backed off again.
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn Dec. 7th, 2016 05:24 am)

"People keep saying to me, 'as a comedian, aren't you just a little bit happy that Trump won?' And I gotta say, that makes me want to stab those peope in the eye with a fondue fork." -- Stephen Colbert, on the CBS television program The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, 2016-11-30 (during his "Midnight Confessions" bit)

mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
([personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach Dec. 7th, 2016 12:05 am)
Click here )
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - not a pessimist (kasmir))
([personal profile] umadoshi Dec. 7th, 2016 12:12 am)
Sure, I said I was taking the day off today, but I admit I imagined I'd be conscious for more of it. >.< I think I managed to actually get out of bed at 11:30 AM or so (admittedly, I woke up somewhat before that and had been up even later than usual, so if it was more than eight hours of sleep, it wasn't by much). A whole three hours later I sat on the sofa and Jinksy hopped up on my lap, and next thing I knew it was 5:30 and [ profile] scruloose had come home and finished putting up the outdoor lights etc. (I did wake up briefly when he first got in, but dozed off again as soon as he headed outside.)

On the upside, after supper we got quite a lot of tidying done on the main floor (we have a very open-concept living room/dining room/kitchen), plus a bit more indoor decorating, which feels like a weight lifting. We're very prone to having stuff of all sorts accumulate on every flat surface, and alas, I tend to switch quickly from "meh, I wish this were tidier, and we should tackle it soon" to feeling twitchy and boxed in. Fortunately, that usually eases off if we get a reasonable amount of tidying done, rather than translating into needing everything to be perfectly sorted right now.

(The boxed-in feeling is something I'm prone to in general, when my brain weasels are acting up. Sometimes it's weirdly specific [and deeply frustrating]; there are times when doing dishes and having the clean dishes take up too much vertical space in the dish drainer beside me while I'm working [which can happen quickly even with just a few things, if one is washing things like pots or cookie sheets] makes me skin-crawlingly twitchy. :/ SO ANNOYING.)

So that was my day off, and tomorrow it's time to get cracking on the next Yona of the Dawn volume. What a fantastic series. *^^*
umadoshi: (Agent Carter - illuminated (asthenie_vd))
([personal profile] umadoshi Dec. 6th, 2016 11:44 pm)
Taking Action 1 link )

Essays, Op-Eds, Contemplations, "How the Hell Did We Get Here?", Personal Responses, etc. 6 links )

News 3 links )

Comfort/Amusement 2 links )
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
([personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach Dec. 6th, 2016 10:30 am)
Click here )
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn Dec. 6th, 2016 05:24 am)

"Unusual for his time, Nicholas became a saint because of the quality of his life, not the nature of his death, as he was not martyred, as were most saints of that era." -- Carol Myers, quoted in "Why St. Nicholas puts candy in boots and stole our hearts" by Sertan Sanderson, 2015-12-04

"Some might say that we have lost the saintly seriousness of the season, that we have made it too lighthearted and silly and forgotten the real meaning of things. But it is good for us to laugh, and to laugh at ourselves, be a little silly and ridiculous, and even a little childish." -- Professor Adam English, ibid

Today is:
Gregorian: 2016 December 06 -- Saint Nicholas' Day
Julian: 2016 November 23
Hebew: 5777 Kislev 06
Islamic: 1438 Rabi`al-Awwal 06
Persian: 1395 Azar 16
Indian: 1938 Agrahayana 15
Coptic: 1733 Hathor 27

Advice about seasonal greeting cards from a friend of nwhyte who is a postal worker:

[this is specifically UK oriented, but most of it will apply in any country where end-of-year greeting cards and gifts are a big deal]

Okay, now that the Christmas card season is underway, allow me to offer some first-hand tips aimed at stopping your cards getting lost or damaged in the massive crush the Royal Mail endures at this time of year. Every day I see the stack of damaged cards in the mail centre, and I try not to think about the wasted effort, and possibly even heartbreak that it represents. It's easily avoided.

The less expensive cards have awful gum on the envelopes. Make sure the card is correctly sealed, and don't be afraid to use tape if you have to.

Never, and I mean NEVER send cash money through the post. We have all sorts of casuals in during the festive season, and they can't all be thoroughly vetted. It's easy to spot a letter with a banknote in it. Really.

Identify your letter simply and easily with your surname and postcode on the back. That's enough to track you down if something bad happens. That's a good tip for all mail anyway.

Try and post all of your cards at once, and stick a rubber band around them. Everyone concerned in the handling process will bless you, and it makes them easy to handle and process, and prevents random damage occurring to them in the early stages of handling. If you have no rubber bands, accost your postman. I guarantee he will have access to thousands.

ALWAYS take them to a post office if you can. The rubbish in mailboxes is dreadful during the party season. Just today I pulled a half-drunk can of Red Bull from a box full of mail, and of course, some of it was soaked. You see worse things too. Ghastly.

If you HAVE to use a post box, bear the following in mind: Don't post mail in the rain or snow. I have scooped many tragic handfuls of mail from boxes, posted by people who should really have known better. Post boxes are not waterproof. The older ones are better. The boxes in supermarkets are great too, as the mail goes straight into a bag, avoiding much scraping and pulling.

Here's one you might not have been able to work out for yourself: If you are using a post box at this time of year, leave it as close to the collection time as you can. REALLY don't post too early in the day. Why? Well, imagine a big metal tube full of letters, with the removal window at the bottom. Imagine all the weight on top of the bottom cards, the ones which have to be removed first. Perhaps ones with a "budget" flimsy envelope. The ones which have to be pulled through the opening guarded by a rusty, fifty year old wire frame. Do I have to complete the picture? The ones posted late are usually OK, because they don't have so many on top.

Despite this, please keep sending cards. This is a great time of year for us. I'm working 12 hour days at the moment, but everyone I meet is smiling, and chatting, and wishing me a happy Christmas. I'd love to think that folks were doing all they can to make sure all of their cards arrive at their correct destinations, and everyone has as happy a festive season as possible.

On behalf of all my colleagues at Royal Mail, have a very Merry Christmas, and, of course, a Happy New Year.
azurelunatic: Prayer to the Bastard from Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls (Default)
([personal profile] azurelunatic Dec. 6th, 2016 02:02 am)
My brain has been acting up on me, and last night was not the greatest of nights. (I was, in fact, reminded of 1999.)

Then I went off to dinner with Purple, who gently observed that I seemed to be about half-speed, then held my hand while we complained about politics. He had a touching level of faith in the unwillingness of Indiana parents to not ask for their children to be tortured in the name of Getting Straight. And I provided some thoughts on the torture facilities euphemistically known as "wilderness survival camps" and their ilk.

And I got back home, and found that my sweetie's dating site profiles very cheerfully mention a primary partner. Me. I am touched beyond belief.

So a mixed bag, but getting better.

green_knight: (Anglerfish)
([personal profile] green_knight Dec. 6th, 2016 09:25 am)
Since there's more than one programmer on my list: Packt (whose titles I've generally found pretty decent) is giving away a book a day until December 26th.

It's going to be a complete grab bag, but worth checking.
The brutal workweek we were expecting turned into a very light day of work today and...that's it. Because that's how things go sometimes.

(Okay, no, even for Casual Job that's a pretty drastic reversal. C'est la vie. [Which I can't ever say without hearing Minako {Sailor Venus}'s voice in my head. *g* And these days I guess I have to specify her {Japanese} voice from the original anime, not Crystal, which I still haven't seen other than the very first episode.])

Going in today means I used Word 2016 for the first time, since it got installed on everyone's systems since I was in a couple of weeks ago. It took about thirty seconds to discover that the cursor is doing something that my eyes (brain???) really don't like, but I didn't use it enough overall to be sure how to explain it. (Ginny took a look, but at least in her quick glance at the start of the day, she didn't see--literally didn't see, I mean--what was bothering me so much.) The cursor just...moves oddly? Kind of...not flickery, I don't think, but something in that vein. :/ Like it's not just sitting on the leading edge of the letter I'm typing at that moment, but moving along somehow, not just being pushed along...?

I poked around in Word's settings but couldn't find anything resembling a way to turn it off (assuming it's meant to be a feature of some kind). And at least on one day's use, it sort of gives me the visual equivalent of the sound of nails on a chalkboard. ;_; (Except for the physical discomfort part of my reaction to that sound, which mostly hits me in the spine.)

I'll have to look around online (if I can figure out effective search terms) and see if other people are having the same problem, but it seems like the sort of thing that's probably just part of the package. If so, I really, really hope I adjust when I'm back to the office in a few months.

Anyway, given the weekend's combination of getting psyched up for the not-happening brutal workweek and working my ass off to meet today's freelance deadline, I'm taking tomorrow off.

Musical side note: right now I'm listening to Tori's "Sucker" for the first time ever; it's on the disc of B-sides etc. that's part of the remastered Boys For Pele release, and it's one of a couple songs--the other being "To the Fair Motormaids of Japan"--that people knew existed but (AFAIK) no one had ever heard (unless they were on a more obscure bootleg than I ever had access to, but they've never had an official release before). And "Motormaids" was the one I always heard people mention, so I kinda forgot "Sucker" existed, and...the weird thing is that Tori's A Piano collection included a couple of different unreleased-until-then (2006) tracks, including "Walk to Dublin (Sucker reprise)".

I never put any thought into the "Sucker reprise" part of that title. But hearing "Sucker" now, I wonder what the hell the creative process was there; the two songs share a core melody, but the feel of them is very different ("Sucker" is piano and harpsichord and "Dublin" is piano with additional percussion) and the lyrics (as far as I can tell at first listen) are completely different. did she wind up with two songs rooted together that grew into such different things, and then not give either of them even a B-side release, rather than tucking them into nooks of remasters and collections?