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1522 5 Simple steps to secure TT-RSS reader
secure tt-rss, tt-rss security
5 Simple steps to secure TT-RSS reader
July 27, 2015 by Anand Leave a Comment
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We recently presented Tiny Tiny RSS to you as a great alternative to Google reader, which is one more way you can extend the functionality of your home server or your hosting space. Hopefully, you already exported your data from Google Reader. In this post, we will show you how to secure TT-RSS reader to prevent unauthorized access. Tiny Tiny RSS is an open source web-based news feed (RSS/Atom) reader and aggregator, designed to allow you to read news from any location, while feeling as close to a real desktop application as possible. As we previously explained, it makes an ideal candidate to replace Google Reader. While there are services like Feedly and Newsblur grabbing the crowd Google Reader, which some of you may prefer, there are a group of people who would like to run a RSS reader on their own server and keep things private. Assuming that you have already installed Tiny Tiny RSS on your alternative to Google reader or hosting space, we will now show you how to secure TT-RSS reader.
Secure TT-RSS Reader
One of the main reasons to move to an RSS aggregator like TT-RSS is maintaining your privacy. So if you do not secure TT-RSS reader well you are not only making your data available public but also making your system vulnerable to potential attacks. Choosing a strong username and password while setting your TT-RSS is the first basic thing that you can do to secure TT-RSS reader. Listed below are few more ways you can increase TT-RSS readerâ€™s security.
1. Rename TT-RSS Folder
One of the first lines of defense is to not use tt-rss in your URL to access your TT-RSS reader. To do this on your hosting account, use a folder name other than tt-rss while installing TT-RSS. On your Linux home server, edit /etc/tt-rss/apache.conf and change the first /tt-rss to something else. An example is shown below.
TT-RSS Rename URL
TT-RSS Rename URL
After making the change, restart your TT-RSS and Apache to apply the changes:
sudo service tt-rss restart
sudo serivce apache2 reload
Your TT-RSS reader is now available through the new URL (example: http://mydomain.com/myreader) only.
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2. Enable SSL
Accessing TT-RSS through http sends all information as unencrypted data. This could mean less privacy due to potential sniffing. The solution is to encrypt the data during transfer, which makes sniffing by hackers harder. To enable and enforce HTTPS access on Linux servers with Apache, install the following run-time libraries:
sudo apt-get install libssl0.9.8 libpam0g openssl
Restart your Apache server as shown above. You should now be able to access your TT-RSS reader with HTTPS. Note that you may have to have a SSL certificate generated. Refer to Apache documentation if you want to generate your own certificate. By default, the system will install self-signed certificates for you. These certificates are likely to raise warnings when you point your browser to the site.
3. Disable Single User Mode
By default the single user mode is already disabled (in /etc/tt-rss/config.php). Enabling single user mode will also disable TT-RSS login system. Therefore, keep the single user mode disabled.
Disable Single User Mode
Disable Single User Mode
A better way to make it a single user system is by limiting the number of registrations to 1 as described below. For whatever reason, you still want to enable single user mode, make sure you implement Apache Authentication method described below.
4. Self Registrations
Self registrations allow a visitor to register themselves, which could reduce TT-RSS security. If your TT-RSS will be for personal use only, then you may want to disable user registration by setting â€śENABLE_REGISTRATIONâ€ť to â€śfalseâ€ť.
TT-RSS Self Registrations
TT-RSS Self Registrations
To further secure TT-RSS Reader, uou may also want to change â€śREG_MAX_USERSâ€ť to â€ś1â€ť to make your account the only account on TT-RSS.
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5. Apache Authentication
Last but not the least, enable Authentication. This is even more important if you have enabled â€śSingle User Modeâ€ť describe above. Every time you access TT-RSS, you will be asked for a username and password as shown in the picture below:
Secure TT-RSS Reader
On your hosting account this equivalent to password protecting a directory, in this case the TT-RSS directory. To do this on your Ubuntu server, you will have to create a .htpasswd file. More information is available in Apache documentation. But the easiest way to achieve this is to use one of the htpasswd generators available online.
After you enter the username and password two code blocks will be generated. Copy the contents of the .htpasswd code block and save it to /etc/apache2/.htpasswd_ttrss. Next, copy the contents of the .htaccess code block and add it to /etc/tt-rss/apache.conf as shown below:
TT-RSS Apache Authentication
TT-RSS Apache Authentication
Save and exit. Restart both TT-RSS and Apache previous shown above. You should be prompted for a password every time you try to access TT-RSS. Some may think that this double authentication method is an extra inconvenience. But I would rather be safe than sorry.
Go ahead, secure Tiny Tiny RSS Reader and enjoy reading articles on your private secure RSS Reader.
1386 Retro Synth Ads: Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88, Keyboard 1982
Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR-88 drum machine 1-page advertisement from page 67 in Keyboard Magazine August 1982.
Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about this ad. There just seems to be a lot going on.
For example, am I supposed to know who "The Rhythm Section" is? The fact that they include themselves in an already long ad title suggests they must be some kind of a big deal. And then you find their name again in the bottom left-hand corner:
"The SR-88. Another innovative product from The Rhythm Section by Sound Master Distributed exclusively by JTG of Nashville."
So, let me get this straight. JTG of Nashville is the distributor of the SR-88 which was created by The Rhythm Section which is somehow owned or operated by Sound Master.
That is waaaaay to much information. Sounds like something political is going on there, and readers unfortunately get stuck in the middle of it.
There also seems to be a lot of ad-copy which actually doesn t give me much information. Reason #4 gives readers the most info including instant stop/start, variable tone and output switches, and a write/play mode indicator. The most I glean out of the four other reasons put together is: 16 rhythms, clock pulse and a price of under $200.
The actual specs that are probably most important to potential buyers are inexplicably shoved into the bottom right-hand corner.
Luckily for me, there are a few resources on the Web with more information about this beast. Unluckily for blog readers, as soon as I started looking for more info, I got swept up in a certain SR-88/Boss DR-55 controversy.
Comparing the SR-88 and Boss DR-55
One of the first Web sites I hit while looking for info on the SR-88 was Dubsounds.com. The site includes a great little write-up on the SR-88, but, more interesting was finding out about a little controversy about whether the SR-88 or the very similar Boss DR-55 came out first.
The two do seem mighty similar in functionality. For comparison purposes, I did a quick search on MATRIXSYNTH to find more photos. . A great photo of a gray SR-88 can be found in this December 2005 SR-88 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the less common, but definitely more cool, blue SR-88 can be seen in this January 2011 MATRIXSYNTH auction post.
Comparing the two to the Amdek RMK-100
Interestingly, it s not just these two machines that look and function similarly. In this May 2009 MATRIXSYNTH SR-88 auction post commenter "PAC" notices:
"Interesting. I have an Amdek RMK-100 (sold as kit), very similar!"
Never heard of it, so I Googled "Amdek RMK-100" to see just how similar it was to both the DR-55 and the SR-88. Turns out (according to the Internet) that Amdek products were made by Boss/Roland back in 80s, and, not only that, but that the RMK-100 is actually the kit version of the Boss DR-55. Makes sense on why it would also be similar to the SR-88.
I found an ebay auction for an Amdek RMK-100 going on right now with a great photo of the front panel (see below), and indeed it does share a lot with the DR-55 and SR-88 - but definitely not identical to either one.
For example, it looks like the Amdek and SR-88 share a similar filler function that as far as I can tell is not available on the DR-55. And the DR-55 and the RMK-100 share a similar accent function that I don t see on the SR-88.
Now where does the Electro Dynamics Corporation Programmable Rhythm SR-99 fit in?
I also came across another machine with similar features - the Programmable Rhythm SR-99. No - not manufactured by Sound Master, but by Electro Dynamics Corporation. And, it too resembles the others in functionality, and especially the SR-88 in design also.
I ve included a row of photos below to help make the comparison between the two. The SR-88 photo is from the 2005 MATRIXSYNTH auction post and the EDC SR-99 photo is from the excellent BigBlueWave.co.uk site. I ve also thrown in a photo from another recent E-bay listing that included both - plus boxes and manuals! Sick!
Obviously, Sound Master and EDC are somehow connected, although I can t find any info on the Internet concerning these two companies. I do know that they were both advertising separately in Keyboard Magazine in late 1983, making it unlikely that one of the companies changed their name to the other. Anyone know anything?
And then there is the Clef Master Rhythm...
Now, I m going to throw in a late entry. It s Sunday night, and I just came across this August 2010 MATRIXSYNTH auction post for the Clef Master Rhythm. It not only shares part of the name of one of the other units ("Master"), it too has many features of the other rhythm machines, and identical innards as the DR-55, but is expanded to include even more sounds:
"This is essentially a fully expanded Boss DR-55 feature-wise and tone-wise. The circuits are identical (schematically and tonally) to the Boss DR-55, but the Clef Master Rhythm gives you way more instruments than the Boss DR-55..."
Interestingly, according to the post, it pre-dates the Boss DR-55 - and also came in a kit form like the Amdek.
"The Clef Master Rhythm came out a little before the Boss DR-55 in late 1979/early 1980. It was sold in two versions and available in greater quantities in Europe than in the United States. One version was a kit that the user put together and another one was a prebuilt machine."
A photo from the MATRIXSYNTH post really helps show the similarities in functions with the others:
What does it all mean?
So, looking at all five machines, its almost like there was a rhythm machine salad bar of some sort in Japan, and each company stepped up to it and picked out which features they wanted to include in their product.
And that begs the question - since we know there was a kit form available and there are claims that the Clef Master even has the same circuits as the DR-55, could all five products (and probably others) have used the exact same internal parts - each company choosing which features to include and then customizing in their respective rhythm machine? And if so, were those parts supplied by Amdek, or did all five get their internal parts from some other manufacturer?
And if that is the case, then the question of whether the SR-88 or DR-55 came first doesn t really matter much, since it is likely that the kit components would have been available first. Plus, we have that one auction post with the claim that the Clef Master came out before the DR-55 - making it all even more confusing to figure out.
Or, am I totally off the mark on all this? Were they all created separately? Maybe I ve just been fixated on this a little too much...
I ll keep on looking for more info on these companies and any connection they might have, but if anyone want to buy all four and open them up to take a look - it would be muchly appreciated. :D
Posted by RetroSynthAds at 12:05 PM
Labels: 1982, amdek, clef master, dr-55, drum machine, electro dynamics corporation, keyboard magazine, rmk-100, Sound Master, sr-88, sr-99
Here s a funny thing - I seem to remember Clef in the early 1980s as a British company that made electronic pianos (touch-sensitive ones!) in kit form. Deep in the back of my mind I recall seeing them at a music fair in London with a couple of their pianos and some drum machines including a prototype drum/bass/chord sequencer called something like a "Band-Box". But it WAS a long time ago.
February 12, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Looks like (for once) my memory didn t fail me. Here is a 1982 ad for Clef Electronics showing all the products I mentioned, plus a natty-looking little monosynth! BTW, I owned an EDC SR99 drum machine in the mid-1980s, but replaced it with a Yamaha RX-21 a couple of years later.
February 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM
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1011 Atomic Synth Inspired By Buchla, Future Retro Revolution Â» Synthtopia
Synthesizer and electronic music news, synth and music software reviews and more!
Atomic is a 16 step sequencer composing tool with a built in synth that also has the ability to control other softsynths or even hardware via its MIDI out function.
The design is circular, inspired by step sequencers such as the Buchla Arbitrary Function Generator and Future Retro Revolution.
You can preview Atomic below:
Strange Atomics [ 0:46 ] Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download
16 step sequencer in a circular design with 3 rows: seminotes, velocity
BPM Rate with 5 modes including random.
Separate rhythm grid.
Advanced arpeggiator with separate rate, 5 modes with gate and octave controls.
Latch mode for continuous play.
MIDI Out for use in modular hosts which also includes LFOâ€™s and
step modulators to control external vstâ€™s or hardware.
2 Oscillators with 14 waveforms including additive partials.
Separate phase controls, detune and octave as well as harmonic tuning mode.
VCF with 4 filter types with velocity control.
2 dedicated envelope generators, one for amp and one for filter.
2 LFOs, Sub Oscillator, Step Modulator, Random Generator and Keyboard control
with zone and mod wheel assign which includes sequencer controls for step and
Comprehensive mod matrix.
X-Y delay with separate multimode filters which can be modulated via mod matrix.
Spacial stereo reverb
Phaser with wide sweeping range.
Master section with volume, pan and tuning
CC map for hardware MIDI knob controllers.
What an amazing instrument! The DSI Evolver has the signature "old school" timbre down pat as well as being able to provide digital timbres reminiscent of the Waldorf Q. There's certainly a "rougher" side available as well with all the feedback implementation and controled distortion. Being able to make PM type plucked and blown sounds is just icing on the cake. Dave Smith should be commended for a job well done. Just have a look at the Panel Layout to get a taste of what this beauty can dish out - the controls are pretty much laid out in the form of a signal path graphic. Be sure to visit Dave Smith's Website!
Evolver Sound Examples
There are a lot of demos of the Evolver on the web showcasing the gutsy harsh sounds of this beast so I decided to post demos of some of my own patches as examples of the "softer" more "vintage" side of the Evolver's timbre. I make no apologies for these unpolished recordings - these are merely sound samples ;)
Resonant Plucked Pad
This pad shows some of the rich resonant nature of the filter.
This is a simple analog brass lead patch.
A fun patch with lots of motion made using my "Audio-rate Filter FM" programming tip below.
A nice bland-vanilla pad ^_^
What can I say? I love pads...
For more MP3 demos showing the full gamut of sounds the Evolver and Polyevolver are capable of, please visit the excellent website of Stefan Trippler!
The Definitive Guide to Evolver
This rather in-depth guide to the Evolver goes places and does things a mere manual can't. This labor-of-love was crafted by Anu Kirk and with his kind permission, I am offering this fantastic resource right here in PDF format!
A much smaller version (400K) is here but it dosen't have internal hyperlinks.
Here's a fun repository of programming tips for the Evolver in all its incarnations. Please email me if you would like to add some.
Fingered Wave Sequence
Submitted by Dave Bryce. This brilliant technique has to be heard to be believed! Plus, its one of those cool things unique to the Evolver! This particular tip is so full of detailed information that it gets its own page!
Audio-rate Filter FM
Submitted by James Maier. Use the "Audio Mod" parameter in the Filter section to frequency-modulate the cutoff with the analog oscillator. Add resonance until the filter is just on the edge of oscillation then mod the cutoff with just a little triangle LFO set at a very slow speed. Amazing moving chorusing pad and lead sounds can be made this way.
Fatter Bass/Pad Sounds
Submitted by Mike Peake. Set the same sound in both channels (detuned saws, for instance). With the filters at the 24dB setting, increasing resonance cuts the passband as on the Moog filters. Set Envelope 3 to minimum attack, maximum decay and release, and sustain to maximum. This "creates" an offset, a continuous "on" signal while the keys are gated. Modulate one filters' resonance up (just one), or of the overall resonance level is high, us it to modulate one filters' resonance to its minimum. You get the resonant character plus the size of the non-resonant filter. Use Tri and Sine waves on that side too.
Submitted by James Maier. The Evolver can make many ultra-bright and buzzy sounds due to its extensive feedback and distortion stages but sometimes people miss the subtler side of the beast. For a warmer sound use little or no distortion, close the filter just a bit and turn off the feedback and delay lines. I've managed to get dead-on Prophet5 timbres this way.
Submitted by Mike Peake. Set the envelopes to linear, and use a Mod to modulate AmpEnv All by itself (lin through log responses with positive and negative self-modulation).
This is of course fun on the filter envelopes as well.
More Vintage Character
Submitted by Mike Peake. Oscillator Slop, set at 5, doesn't come close to the Moog and other old-timer movement, so add slight (1 or 2) LFO to pitch modulations, with individual LFOs per oscillator, and a touch of LFO to LFO rate modulation. A tad of Envelope 3 to pitch helps as well.
Don't miss out on the 12dB filter setting
Submitted by Mike Peake. The 24dB setting has much more resonance, but the 12dB setting can sound nice and plucky, and do nice slightly fuzzy pads etc.
DSI Evolver Waveshape Charts
Below are charts I've assembled of the digital waveforms and their spectra as currently used in the DSI Evolver synthesizers. Originally these waves were unique to the SCI ProphetVS vector synth.
I find these waveform/spectra graphics really usefull when programming sounds - maybe you will as well. Pay special attention to the spectra as this info is sometimes much more useful than waveshape in determining actual timbre - even before you hear what the waveform sounds like.
These are designed to be downloaded (right-click & "save target as"), and printed at 300dpi on 8.5" x 11" pages - don't resize these images before printing or you will lose useful detail. Use them as a handy refrence. This information was cobbled together from various scattered sources (with very special thanks to Achim Gratz!).
Any errors or omissions are my own. ^_^
As far as the origin of these waves is concerned, one of the original VS engineers, Chris Meyer, said:
"The original waves for the VS were created three ways - extracting single-cycles from sampled sounds, using a custom additive synthesis program, and using a program Josh (Josh Jeffe, another VS engineer) slapped together called "Hacker" where you could draw the waveshape. These were fed straight from the computer through the filter and VCA of a Pro-One to figure out what they might sound like in a patch. And by the way, no PPG waveforms appear inside the VS - we had access to them, but in the end our consciences got the better of us. We did steal some waveforms from the Korg DW6000, but only by looking at the harmonic drawings on the front panel and trying to imitate them in our additive synthesis program."
Modulation Matrix "Cheat Sheet"
This chart shows all the modulation routing available on the Evolver. This same info is available in the manual but this can be printed on a single sheet of paper as a handy refrence!
These I created just for fun and desktop "beautification" ;)
1280 X 1024
1024 X 768
800 X 600
767 The 5 types of programmers Â« Steven Benner's Blog
In my code journeys and programming adventures Iâ€™ve encountered many strange foes, and even stranger allies. Iâ€™ve identified at least five different kinds of code warriors, some make for wonderful comrades in arms, while others seem to foil my every plan.
However they all have their place in the pantheon of software development. Without a healthy mix of these different programming styles youâ€™ll probably find your projects either take too long to complete, are not stable enough or are too perfect for humans to look upon.
The code may not be pretty, but damnit, it works!
This guy is the foundation of your company. When something goes wrong he will fix it fast and in a way that wonâ€™t break again. Of course he doesnâ€™t care about how it looks, ease of use, or any of those other trivial concerns, but he will make it happen, without a bunch of talk or time-wasting nonsense. The best way to use this person is to point at a problem and walk away.
You want to do what to my code?
This guy doesnâ€™t care about your deadlines or budgets, those are insignificant when compared to the art form that is programming. When you do finally receive the finished product you will have no option but submit to the stunning glory and radiant beauty of perfectly formatted, no, perfectly beautiful code, that is so efficient that anything you would want to do to it would do nothing but defame a masterpiece. He is the only one qualified to work on his code.
Iâ€™m a programmer, damnit. I donâ€™t write code.
His world has one simple truth; writing code is bad. If you have to write something then youâ€™re doing it wrong. Someone else has already done the work so just use their code. He will tell you how much faster this development practice is, even though he takes as long or longer than the other programmers. But when you get the project it will only be 20 lines of actual code and will be very easy to read. It may not be very fast, efficient, or forward-compatible, but it will be done with the least effort required.
What do you want? It works doesnâ€™t it?
The guy who couldnâ€™t care less about quality, thatâ€™s someone elses job. He accomplishes the tasks that heâ€™s asked to do, quickly. You may not like his work, the other programmers hate it, but management and the clients love it. As much pain as he will cause you in the future, he is single-handedly keeping your deadlines so you canâ€™t scoff at it (no matter how much you want to).
Well, thatâ€™s a possibility, but in practice this might be a better alternative.
This guy is more interested the options than what should be done. He will spend 80% of his time staring blankly at his computer thinking up ways to accomplish a task, 15% of his time complaining about unreasonable deadlines, 4% of his time refining the options, and 1% of his time writing code. When you receive the final work it will always be accompanied by the phrase â€śif I had more time I could have done this the right wayâ€ť.
Personally, Iâ€™d have to classify myself as the perfectionist. So, which type of programmer are you? Or perhaps you know another programming archetype that is missing from my list? Post a comment below and Iâ€™ll add it to a new updated list.
746 40 Essential CSS Templates, Resources and Downloads | Speckyboy Design Magazine
Every web developer should have in their toolbox a collection of CSS tools and resources like the ones outlined in this article. A set of techniques that you rely on and that are always at the ready to cover any possible eventuality.
You will find not a selection of the latest innovative CSS techniques (there are some) in this article, merely a collection of tools, resources and downloads that can be used by web designers for solutions to everyday CSS design and coding solutions.
The resources below have been split into four categories: CSS Download Packages (all of the CSS resources offer multiple variations of each technique), Downloadable CSS Tools (the resources within this category offers specialized templates), Web, Mobile & Form Frameworks (+ tools and templates to help you get started with each); Feature-Rich and Outstanding Mobile & Web Templates and finally, a selection of tools to help with cross browser compatibility.
We donâ€™t presume that this is an ultimate collection, merely a selection of resources we have found to be indispensable. We are positive we have missed a few, and would love to hear about the tools and resources you rely upon.
713 40 Useful Online Generators For Web Designers - Noupe Design Blog
Generators can be a great way to save time in your web design projects. High-quality generators can create graphics or code or even layouts in a matter of seconds or minutes, things that might take an hour or more if done by hand. Below are some useful generators to help you speed up your web design process. Thereâ€™s everything from color scheme tools to complete layout generators included. If you know of other useful generators out there, please share in the comments!
701 How To Convince The Client That Your Design Is Perfect - Smashing Magazine
As designers who deal with clients, we all have to face one situation, no matter how difficult and uncomfortable, and that is guiding the client to accept that your design is perfect. Now, you already have the project, so this is not a matter of convincing them to pick you for the job. This is about getting them to see that your design satisfies their requirements and contains everything they want. We all have to take on this role of virtual tour guide and lead them through the projectâ€™s twists and turns, ensuring that the best interests of the client and website are served.
We have to be the lighthouse, guiding the clients to shore. (Image credit)
In the end, the final decision falls to the client, but there are times â€” and most of us have experienced them â€” when the clientâ€™s lack of expertise in the field affect the quality of the design. In such times, we have a responsibility to do everything in our power to convince the client that the design is perfect as it is, and that any further alteration would impair the websiteâ€™s ability to communicate everything it needs to. This confrontation is not welcome by either party, but it is certainly necessary.
Many designers want to avoid conflict and, as a result, cave to their clients at the slightest sign of disagreement, rather than spend time trying to convince them that they stand on the right side of the design decision. This is often a mistake and does not serve the design, which should be the paramount consideration. We owe it to our creative work to argue for whatever serves the design beyond all else, even though the client is footing the bill. We may end up having to give in to the client, but at least we tried.
Below is an overview of some tips and techniques you can employ when you find yourself butting heads with a client. These approaches might work individually or in combination, but they all at least offer a launching point to help you put your best foot forward and lead the client exactly where they need to go.
608 Stories In Flight | HTML5/CSS3 Cheatsheet
Here are some simple cut-and-paste examples of HTML5/CSS3 features that are currently (mid-2010) usable across a number of web browsers, chief among them Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Opera.
For many of the CSS3 examples, Internet Explorer is the lone holdout with a limited number of workarounds, however these features degrade gracefully and may still be useful on new projects as long as this limitation is kept in mind.
Please note: With the exception of SVGWeb, no Internet Explorer workarounds have been included on this page - most of the examples will therefore not work in IE6, IE7 or IE8.
And if you want to discuss any of the code below or leave a correction or suggestion, you can leave comments below and here is also The Web We Should Have on my blog. Thanks!
On this page:
Rounded Corners Redux: Circles
Canvas Text Rotate
Some more complex subjects are also discussed in these separate pages:
Multiple Background Images
HTML5 Audio Data API - Spectrum Visualizer
Google Font API and Font Loading Behavior
...and don't forget to leave some comments below!
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484 Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? Answered by Insiders
Why did so many successful entrepreneurs and startups come out of PayPal? I long have been fascinated by the extraordinary achievement from the ex-Paypal team and wonder about the reasons behind their success. In the past, mass media tried to answer this question several times but still couldnâ€™t give us a clear answer.
I once asked David Sacks the same question during an event in Los Angeles. He told me the secret is that Paypal has built a â€śscrappyâ€ť culture. No matter what problems they faced, they would find a way to solve them. I kind of got the idea, but was still confused about the execution details.
So when I saw some of the past Paypal employees answering this question on Quora, I was super excited! After all, they should be the only ones who can tell people the inside stories.
Below are some highlights of their answers. *If you want to check out the sources or leave your comments, please go to here and here.
On Talent Management
â€śPeter and Max assembled an unusual critical mass of entrepreneurial talent, primarily due to their ability to recognize young people with extraordinary ability (the median age of *execs* on the S1 filing was 30). But the poor economy allowed us to close an abnormal number of offers, as virtually nobody other than eBay and (in part) google was hiring in 2000-02.â€ť (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
â€śExtreme Focus (driven by Peter): Peter required that everyone be tasked with exactly one priority. He would refuse to discuss virtually anything else with you except what was currently assigned as your #1 initiative. Even our annual review forms in 2001 required each employee to identify their single most valuable contribution to the company.â€ť (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
â€śDedication to individual accomplishment: Teams were almost considered socialist institutions. Most great innovations at PayPal were driven by one person who then conscripted others to support, adopt, implement the new idea. If you identified the 8-12 most critical innovations at PayPal (or perhaps even the most important 25), almost every one had a single person inspire it (and often it drive it to implementation). As a result, David enforced an anti-meeting culture where any meeting that included more than 3-4 people was deemed suspect and subject to immediate adjournment if he gauged it inefficient. Our annual review forms in 2002 included a direction to rate the employee on â€śavoids imposing on othersâ€™ time, e.g. scheduling unnecessary meetings.â€ť (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
â€śRefusal to accept constraints, external or internal:We were expected to pursue our #1 priority with extreme dispatch (NOW) and vigor. To borrow an apt phrase, employees were expected to â€ścome to work every day willing to be fired, to circumvent any order aimed at stopping your dream.â€ť Jeremy Stoppelman has relayed elsewhere the story about an email he sent around criticizing management that he expected to get him fired and instead got him promoted. Peter did not accept no for answer: If you couldnâ€™t solve the problem, someone else would be soon assigned to do it.â€ť (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
â€śDriven problem solvers: PayPal had a strong bias toward hiring (and promoting / encouraging, as Keith mentions) smart, driven problem solvers, rather than subject matter experts. Very few of the top performers at the company had any prior experience with payments, and many of the best employees had little or no prior background building Internet products. I worked on the fraud analytics team at PayPal, and most of our best people had never before done anything related to fraud detection. If heâ€™d approached things â€śtraditionallyâ€ť, Max would have gone out and hired people who had been building logistic regression models for banks for 20 years but never innovated, and fraud losses would likely have swallowed the company.â€ť (by Mike Greenfield, former Sr. Fraud R&D Scientist of Paypal)
â€śSelf-sufficiency â€“ individuals and small teams were given fairly complex objectives and expected to figure out how to achieve them on their own. If you needed to integrate with an outside vendor, you picked up the phone yourself and called; you didnâ€™t wait for a BD person to become available. You did (the first version of) mockups and wireframes yourself; you didnâ€™t wait for a designer to become available. You wrote (the first draft of) site copy yourself; you didnâ€™t wait for a content writer.â€ť (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
On Culture & Ideology
â€śExtreme bias towards action â€“ early PayPal was simply a really *productive* workplace. This was partly driven by the culture of self-sufficiency. PayPal is and was, after all, a web service; and the company managed to ship prodigious amounts of relatively high-quality web software for a lot of years in a row early on. Yes, we had the usual politics between functional groups, but either individual heroes or small, high-trust teams more often than not found ways to deliver projects on-time.â€ť (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
â€śWillingness to try â€“ even in a data-driven culture, youâ€™ll always run in to folks who either donâ€™t believe you have collected the right supporting data for a given decision or who just arenâ€™t comfortable when data contradicts their gut feeling. In many companies, those individuals would be the death of decision-making. At PayPal, I felt like you could almost always get someone to give it a *try* and then let performance data tell us whether to maintain the decision or rollback.â€ť (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
â€śData-driven decision making â€“ PayPal was filled with smart, opinionated people who were often at logger-heads. The way to win arguments was to bring data to bear. So you never started a sentence like this â€śI feel like itâ€™s a problem that our users canâ€™t do Xâ€ť, instead youâ€™d do your homework first and then come to the table with â€ś35% of our [insert some key metric here] are caused by the lack of X functionalityâ€¦â€ť (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
â€śRadical transparency on metrics: All employees were expected to be facile with the metrics driving the business. Otherwise, how could one expect each employee to make rational calculations and decisions on their own every day? To enforce this norm, almost every all-hands meeting consisted of distributing a printed Excel spreadsheet to the assembled masses and Peter conducting a line by line review of our performance (this is only a modest exaggeration).â€ť (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
â€śVigorous debate, often via email: Almost every important issue had champions and critics. These were normally resolved not by official edict but by a vigorous debate that could be very intense. Being able to articulate and defend a strategy or product in a succinct, compelling manner with empirical analysis and withstand a withering critique was a key attribute of almost every key contributor. I still recall the trepidation I confronted when I was informed that I needed to defend the feasibility of my favorite â€śbabyâ€ť to Max for the first time.â€ť (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
â€śExtreme Pressure â€“ PayPal was a very difficult business with many major issues to solve. We were able to see our colleagues work under extreme pressure and hence we learned who we could rely on and trust.â€ť (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
481 50 Powerful Time-Savers For Web Designers - Smashing Magazine
Being a web designer is not easy. Not only do we need to have a good understanding about visual design, typography, information architecture, psychology and a plethora of other disciplines; in our work, we need to take care of so many details, so that our job becomes more and more time-consuming, requiring dozens of tools, attention span and an effective workflow for beautiful, timely and functional results.
And this is where small time-savers become handy. Be it a handy checklist, batch installer, dummy image generator or converter from Excel spreadsheet to HTML â€” all these things can save us a couple of minutes every day, making our work easier and more efficient. And this is why we keep collecting them for Smashing Magazineâ€™s readers. Whether you like lists or not: this one will probably help you find those little nuggets out there that will help you avoid headaches and stress. Below we present useful time-savers for web designers.
362 90+ Essential Social Media Resources
Check out our extensive list of social media, business, mobile and tech resources. No matter what you're into, you're sure to find it here!
Business Lists,Facebook Lists,Lists,Megalists,Mobile Lists,Social Media Lists,Twitter Lists,business,facebook,features,iPhone Resource Lists,social media,twitter,youtube
Now youâ€™ve gone and done it. Youâ€™ve come across a list so enormous, so useful, and so awesome, our futile attempts to describe it have been lost in the tubes of cyberspace.
Weâ€™ll just say this: No matter what youâ€™re into â€” Twitter, Facebook, Mobile Apps, Business Development, or good-old-fashioned YouTube hilarity â€” you will find it below.
So put down your barbeque, send out another huge thanks to our men and women in uniform, and limber up your scrolling finger â€” itâ€™s a big one.
If you dig the uber-list, be sure to send some comments our way down below!
Control knobs with metal inserts
When it comes to the choice of control knobs for a synthesizer or modular project, one can pick very different styles, from cheap plastic knobs to stylish and more expensive phenol knobs with classy spun metal inserts. For my own projects I did a little survey of the second kind of knobs. Below is the result of my researches. You can also find infos at Emulator Achive.
311 MATRIXSYNTH: synthorama
Be sure to see the Synthorama and AirbĂ¶urne labels below for more including video and shots of the Synthorama Synth Museum in Luterbach Switzerland.
284 MATRIXSYNTH: Alesis Andromeda A6 Tip
Alesis Andromeda A6 Tip
If you own an Andromeda, give this a try. Via this gearslutz thread where you'll find additional details, via mister bunty on AH:
"For those that asked, here's the thread on gearslutz that explains the waveshaping that happens above level 30.
I know it sounds crazy, but if you keep the levels pre-mix below 30 total (yes, total!) and then the filter/ringmod/postmix levels around 70 at sum, you'll hear a whole new definition.
I tried it on a crappy set of headphones and was amazed. Then, I listened through my bluesky monitors and a set of NS-10s, and couldn't believe the detail I had been missing.
For me, at least, the juice and "vintage-ness" of the Andy was discovered."
235 MATRIXSYNTH: Alesis Andromeda A6 Aurora Mod
This was a custom mod. I originally put a post up in August of 05 here. Anyone know the website where more info on this mod is hosted? I accidentally lost the link when mucking around with Blogger's settings a while back.
This image via Photobucket
Update: I found the original site but it is down. Some info and additional shots pulled from the Internet Archive Way Back Machine. You can find some thumbnails there, but most give you a 404 if you click on them for the larger shot. I pulled the large pics below before they are gone forever.
"Alesis made Synthesis History when they released their Alesis Andromeda A6, an analog polysynth bred with new technology and classic analog sound! Sixteen awesome voices with two types of filters, a vast modulation system, and enough bells and whistles to make the Andromeda A6 THE most highly featured analog polysynth in existence. If it only had a sloped panel...
* Take one Andromeda, lightly used (but out of warranty - very important!)
* Add one black on blue BETA Panel - because the pre-production beta panels were lacking the Pre- and Post-Filter Mix VIEW buttons, either the buttoncaps must be pulled off of the switches on the PCBs OR two holes need to be carefully drilled through the panel to accomodate. I drilled the holes after measuring about fifteen times each.
* Tilt that panel at approx. the same slope as the Korg MS-20. Requires the extending of a couple of ribbon cables inside, and some pop-rivetted braces. Not too hard.
* Custom wood endcheeks of nice Oak, plus a wood accent over the keyboard. I chose to go with thick, high quality wood to make Aurora more of a beast.
* Replace all green LEDs with red high-intensity ones. This also required changing some resistor values to increase the brightness.
* Replace the LCD with a Hantronix Blue-on-White display. Also, some resistor changes are needed.
* Have a very agreeable Alesis burn a custom Boot EPROM with the custom-designed bootup screen below.
* Build a custom top panel, complete with several additional controls (two joysticks, several switches and knobs) as well as a full 16-channel mixer with level and pan per channel, one for each of the 16 individual outs on the Andromeda.
* Add lots of careful, hard work and time, and PRESTO - you have the Aurora A6!
The Name: I went with Aurora for a couple of reasons.
1. Alliteration - AurorA - AndromedA - get it?
2. There is some legend/lore as to how the Alesis Andromeda got its name. Could be related to the Greek mythos. Could be related to the Andromeda galaxy. Could be darts thrown at dictionary pages :-) In any case, Aurora fits with the mythology bent because in Roman mythology, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn (Andromeda was rescued and married by Perseus in Greek mythos). Aurora also fits the 'celestial' thing as well, as the Aurora Borealis. Either way, it kept with what might have perhaps been Alesis' reasons for naming the Andromeda.
3. I just liked it.
4. The A6 is kept because this fits with Alesis' naming convention (QS8 = 81-key QuadraSynth, A6 = 61-key Analog). There is some rumor that A6 was a play on ASICs, the custom chips within Andromeda, but I'm assured this is just rumor :-) "
214 Best User Interface Design Resources: The Round-upÂ |Â Dzine Blog
If you strive to be a great designer (like most), then youâ€™re more than likely to know that a web application or websites success many times rely solely on how well designed the User Interface may be. As you scale the web and even read books, there can be an influx of misleading information pertaining to the way you should design your UI.
When in reality you should do what works best for you and your users. Below you will find a variety of excellent User Interface resources that will allow you to access, redefine, and create a well designed User Interface. You should use these resources first as inspiration, and second as somewhat of a guide as to what your users may need when they come face to face with your UI.
202 How Accessible is Your Website? 8 Tools to Analyze Your Websiteâ€™s Level of Accessibility | Spyre Studios
Designing a website that's as much successful as it is effective takes time, skills, and a lot of testing. Normally, when we're talking about web design and we hear the word testing, the first thing that comes to mind is usability, and that's fine, but when was the last time you sat down to analyze the level of accessibility of your website? Testing on other aspects of your website are important, however, a lot of us seem to neglect our websites accessibility. This can ultimately lead to the loss of a wide range of users and poor elements of design. But not to fear, below we've compiled a set of tools that will help you combat poor accessibility. Every tool is free to use and has been chosen because it's easy to use and offers quality testing.
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