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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 readerâs 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 âENABLE_REGISTRATIONâ to âfalseâ.
TT-RSS Self Registrations
TT-RSS Self Registrations
To further secure TT-RSS Reader, uou may also want to change âREG_MAX_USERSâ to â1â 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 âSingle User Modeâ 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.
1408 Âť Cut simple SMT Stencil from common aluminum flashing on your CNC Animodule.com
Cut simple SMT Stencil from common aluminum flashing on your CNC
Hereâs a quick photodoc of how I made a reusable SMT stencil from some aluminum siding I had laying around. Itâs very simple to assemble and works great. Dirt cheap too.
I had picked up a roll of aluminum flashing a few years ago to flash some chimneys I rebuilt/repointed and was curious to see how it would hold up as an SMT stencil.
To buy an SMT stencil frame is near $1000 so I didnât have much to lose if it didnât work out.
I cut the frame out of some birch plywood since I had some handy. Really any sturdy frame would do the trick. You could easily glue one together out of some 1x or trim board.
I put a thicker sheet of aluminum down underneath the flashing to give the CNC endmill something sturdy to cut against and clamped it down stretched and tight. My thought there was that If I cut straight on the MDF it might push on the flashing and bend it before it cut through.
A 1mm endmill did the trick. Each pass was .05mm deep.
I pulled the Flashing tight and stapled it to the frame. No rocket science here. I taped up the inside edges so no solderpaste could squeeze between the frame and the stencil.
I had some old screen print hinge boards so I just attached this frame the same way I would a screen print stencil.
The only fiddly part was aligning the first PCB. You have to push around a little and lift the stencil and fiddle with it a little bit. Once I get all the pads lined up correctly I hold it in place and trace around it with a thin tip sharpie marker.
Then you place the PCB in the outline. If you have the height adjusted correctly the stencil is sturdy enough to hold the PCB in place while you print the Solderpaste on it. just hold the stencil frame down and it pushes down on the PCB.
I used a flexible putty knife as a squeegee. It worked fine.
Cleanup was a breeze. Just scrape it off, unscrew the stencil frame from the hingeboard and stick it in the corner till you are ready to do another run.
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
1256 Sony | Vintage Electronics Have Soul â The Pocket Calculator Show Website
We owe much gratitude to Sony, for they were responsible for making the personal stereo cassette player a reality. For over 25 years, Sony has been bringing a personal, portable stereo music experience to our earsâcreativity and innovation have continued to make Walkman a useful product to everyone. Walkman has reached pop icon status and become a symbol of youth, individuality and freedom. In 1979 Sony warned, âRemember the name: Walkman.â How could we forget?
917 Sitting 101: Desk Ergonomics
I consider myself an active person and am definitely happier strolling about than sitting, but I sit for a large portion of the day. I blog â how could I avoid a chair? Like most things, there's a technique to sitting. A well-designed workstation
Sitting, 101, Desk, Ergonomics
897 Generic Synth Preset Storage and Conversion
For my synths with preset storage and the ability to dump & load presets via midi sysex, I wanted to be able to feed the sysex of a synth into a software program which can
display the sound parameters in a meaningful form, and
convert the sound into the sysex format of any of my other presets synths
The generic patch storage format must display meaningful values for the parameters (filter envelope amount = 1/2 octave, envelope 1 attack = 50ms, etc) and convert between these values and a given synth's sysex (as much as possible - resolution probably isn't good enough to get envelope attack to exactly 50ms on each and every synth, and envelope shapes vary between synths, etc). The storage format will also store the original parameters, using the "native" value range of each parameter (e.g. filter cutoff frequency between 0 and 127) as well as the original sysex program as an ASCII hex dump.
Since I didn't find any software which could do this, I began writing my own in Java. I am concentrating on converting basic analog components; any on-board effects are not used.
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
788 Setting Up Your Digital Camera For HDR Shooting
Youâve probably heard of High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography, itâs made quite an entrance into the world of digital photography.
If you havenât, the HDR process is accomplished by taking multiple exposures of a high contrast scene (usually a landscape or cityscape), at different levels of brightness, and then combining the best light from each exposure into one image.
The end result is a stunning image that very closely resembles how the human eye views a scene. This process of digital manipulation has caused a bit of controversy and debate in the world of photography, especially with images that are âover-cooked.â One thing is for sure though, HDR is here to stay. When done right, this unique and in depth processing technique can produce beautiful works of art that mimic the way we view and remember a landscape or scene.
The above image is an example of what HDR processing can produce. This image, taken from the Big Island of Hawaii, would not be possible without HDR processing. It was taken around noon, the harshest light of the day. The first image is the best image my camera could produce given the situation. While still beautiful, there are obvious problems. Get ready, this article is going to show you how to take your digital camera and turn it into an HDR shooting machine!
769 Snyderphonics Manta - Un nouveau controleur qui risque de faire du bruit
VoilĂÂ un nouveau controleur tactile qui pourrait bien concurrencer, ĂÂ terme, le 222e Buchla. Cela ressemble ĂÂ ĂÂ§a: et voici les caractĂÂŠristiques (en anglais): Citation:For instance, you could assign each sensor to a note in a musical scale, ...
767 The 5 types of programmers ÂŤ Steven Benner's Blog
In my code journeys and programming adventures Iâve encountered many strange foes, and even stranger allies. Iâve 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 youâll 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 wonât break again. Of course he doesnât 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 doesnât 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.
Iâm a programmer, damnit. I donât write code.
His world has one simple truth; writing code is bad. If you have to write something then youâre 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 doesnât it?
The guy who couldnât care less about quality, thatâs someone elses job. He accomplishes the tasks that heâs 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 canât scoff at it (no matter how much you want to).
Well, thatâs 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 âif I had more time I could have done this the right wayâ.
Personally, Iâd 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 Iâll add it to a new updated list.
711 50 Excellent Photography-Related Tutorials
This is a collection of 50 of the best tutorials and guides we could find for helping you capture better digital photos.
637 50 List of Free Online Photo Editing Tools | blueblots.com
Editing an image is very popular these days due to the innovation of graphic software programs that will allow us to create computer arts from scratch. However, we could also enhance, add some cool effects and customize the look of our images easily without having the need of these soft wares through the online photo editors. An online photo editor tool allows us to edit and manipulate a photo in the Web Browser. This is more advantageous compared to the softwares for editing an image as this could not consume much of the memory of your desktop and the processing is done faster by the server. With just a few clicks, we could now be able to customize our own photos, create funny photos from our pictures or even feature ourselves in a magazine cover like that of a celebrity. Here are the 50 List of Photo Editing Tools to Help You Edit Images and Photos Online for free. Try to check and get your best pick!
547 Din Sync: How to modify a Korg Monotron
So here's how to modify Korg's new Monotron analog ribbon synthesizer. Perhaps this is the first document of Monotron mods in Europe since it still hasn't been released here.
It's actually a very easy machine to modify because for whatever reason Korg decided to label all the interesting points on the bottom side of the PCB. This may well have been for testing units at the factory/service centers. Perhaps though it could have been that the designers anticipated this little machine would be hacked, much like the Gakken which pretty obviously inspired this piece. Incidentally in the magazine that comes with the Gakken there's a picture of them showing it to Korg, that was in 2008, go figure.
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 couldnât 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 âscrappyâ 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
âPeter 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 (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âExtreme 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 (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âDedication 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 âavoids imposing on othersâ time, e.g. scheduling unnecessary meetings.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âRefusal 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 âcome to work every day willing to be fired, to circumvent any order aimed at stopping your dream.â 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 couldnât solve the problem, someone else would be soon assigned to do it.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âDriven 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 heâd approached things âtraditionallyâ, 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 (by Mike Greenfield, former Sr. Fraud R&D Scientist of Paypal)
âSelf-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 didnât wait for a BD person to become available. You did (the first version of) mockups and wireframes yourself; you didnât wait for a designer to become available. You wrote (the first draft of) site copy yourself; you didnât wait for a content writer.â (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
On Culture & Ideology
âExtreme 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 (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âWillingness to try â even in a data-driven culture, youâll always run in to folks who either donât believe you have collected the right supporting data for a given decision or who just arenât 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 (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âData-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 âI feel like itâs a problem that our users canât do Xâ, instead youâd do your homework first and then come to the table with â35% of our [insert some key metric here] are caused by the lack of X functionalityâŚâ (by Yee Lee, former Product & BU GM of Paypal)
âRadical 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 (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âVigorous 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 âbabyâ to Max for the first time.â (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
âExtreme 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 (by Keith Rabois, former Executive Vice President of Paypal)
428 Alain Neffe and the Home-Taped Electronic Music Revolution
Alain Neffe launched his first tape label at home in Belgium in 1981. He called it Insane Music Contact and his first installment was called Insane Music for Insane People. Thus began a nearly thirty year foray into home-made, visionary and utterly unfashionable electronic music that has hardly made anyone involved a household name.
Insane Music released 55 titles in its most prolific years (1981-87). Five of these were vinyl records and the rest were cassettes tapes. Why cassettes tapes? Magnetic tape was the obvious solution to the problem facing many artists working without record contracts in those days. Cassettes could be recorded at home, produced at home, dubbed at home, and sold or traded by mail. No need for tasteless outside producers and marketing mojoâone needed only leave home to buy more tapes. Says Neffe, âI could copy the tapes on demand. Releasing an LP required that you print 500 copies and 1000 copies of the cover sleeve, and everything had to be paid up front âŚ if the buyer didnât like the music, he or she could wipe it out and record something else on it.â
Mr. Neffe was not the only one out there recording, selling and trading tapes by mail. On both sides of the Atlantic, home cassette technology was permitting the release of much groundbreaking and breathlessly beautiful work, as well as some noxious and otherwise self-indulgent wankingâthat coat of many colors we call the DIY (do-it-yourself) Revolution. As early as 1974, Albrecht/d. self-released a cassette entitled Amsterdam Op De Dam in Germany. In 1976, Throbbing Gristle was distributing tapes of their infamous live recordings, and in 1977, the French electro-industrial unit Die Form began releasing tapes on their own Bain Total label. 1980 saw the release of two monumental self-released cassettes, The Storm Bugsâ A Safe Substitute and Colin Potterâs The Ghost Office. In Japan, 1980 saw the release of Merzbowâs first two cassettes, Remblandt Assemblage and Fuckexercise. And in the USA, 1981 saw John Benderâs Plaster: The Prototypes, a laconic and mysterious series of tone and vocal poems. Home taping was not limited to electronic music. R. Stevie Moore, one of the elder living ancestors of the lo-fi rock aesthetic, began releasing distributing home-made tapes via the R. Stevie Moore Cassette Club sometime in the 1970s. And tapes of live punk shows from the era continue to trade hands.
Soon, cassettes were coming from everywhere: mysterious PO boxes in the Midwest, to which you sent a blank tape and three dollars and received the tape back with something on it. The Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine was a Fluxus-inspired subscription audio-journal dedicated to music as well as poetry and drama and other forms of audio-art. Zines like Factsheet Five and Unsound devoted entire columns to the material they received from bands on home-made cassette, and demo tapes began leaking to radio stations prior to official record release dates. It was a grassroots movement that marched in association with the self-publication of zines, comics, chapbooks, and other media. The medium had begun to become the message.
Insane Music for Insane People (which eventually reached 25 volumes) was a series compiling all home-made electronic music made by artists from across the globe. By including in the liner notes the contact address for each artist featured, Neffe helped pioneer a snail-mail network for those interested in more of what they heard. Artists from all over Europe and the USA, from Japan, New Zealand, and beyond contributed over the years. One could send a few dollars to Insane Music Contact, receive tapes in the mail, write to artists involved and receive more cassettes.
Insane Music Contact (now known as Insane Music) has always been a vehicle for Mr. Neffeâs own electronic music projects as well, many of which are periodically active to this day. Though he now makes liberal use of the CD format, Neffeâs artistic approach remains undiluted by years of underexposure. He expects very little acknowledgment of or remuneration for his efforts, which, for him, are emotional articulation, continued experimentation, and purity. It seems nothing but nothing could possibly catapult such heavily uncommercial sounds into the public consciousnessânot even this thirty-year retrospective box-set entitled The Insane Box released (ironically, on vinyl) by the venerable Frank Maier of Vinyl-on-Demand Records, an outfit devoted to preserving the precious gems of cassette culture before the evidence disintegrates.
For this retrospective (4 LPs + a 7â 45), Mr. Neffe has reached into dusty attic boxes, wherein lay unreleased (or hardly available) material by five projects of which he has been a part: BeNe GeSSeRiT, Human Flesh, Pseudo Code, I Scream and Subject. Each has a unique cerebral orientation and emotional vibe made possible by the combined efforts of invited guests; each runs the high fever of a man very much committed to a personal vision of artistic purity without virtuosity, and each is distinctly French.
BeNe GeSSeRiT was not the first of Mr. Neffeâs projects to be recorded and distributed, but is, to my understanding, the genesis of his approach to music as âtextsâ or âphotographsâ, or as he puts it, âpotlatch musicâ. On these early tracks we also detect a burgeoning interest in the endless expressive properties of the human voice, both explicitly human and as heavily-treated sound sculpture, both French and English At times, voices shout like besotted Celine parlor workers at each other from tenement windows; at other times a high-pitched female voice wails up and down like Catherine Ribeiro alone in her bathroom. In these tracks, one can also detect the half-digested influence of electro-rock luminaries Silver Apples, the avant-lashings a la Yoko Ono, and occasionally the thunder-beat of early Laibach. Primitive Casio electronics, stage whispers, delay echoes, tape loops, and a certain absurdist humor redolent of Erik Satie, neither dampen the fabric with melodrama, nor detract from the integrity of the grist, nor from the topical seriousness of the textâs subjects. BeNe GeSSeRiT is difficult music, even in the moments that risk elegy, yet it is still more accessible than some of the other Francophone avant-dada outfits of the day, such as DDAA and Ătant DonnĂŠs, or Nurse with Wound in the UK.
Human Flesh is decidedly more structurally cohesive and song-oriented than BeNe GeSSeRiT, and its predecessors and influences are less clear. Still there is a clear interest in the human voice, its textures and timbers when removed of sign value by backwards-masking, and the new textures that emerge when disassembled and reassembled. Even rock-oriented at times, Human Flesh chases a more delirious climax, for the hounds of the carnival are snapping at their heels as they run. This is also a project of varied angles and pursuits, sliding as it does into poetic electro-pop (the supple and Chicago-accented voice of the late Lydia Tomkiw, of Algebra Suicide, appears on two tracks), and moments of Half Japanese-style primitivism. The side-long track âLangsamâ is more reminiscent of Piper-era Pink Floyd and Brainticket, as well as other Krautrock, yet is still distinctly French. These early and rare tracks are, in contrast to the more ambitious Pseudo Code and the more intimate recordings by I Scream, more oblique for being a mix-down of materials sent to Neffe from artists around the globe. The track âSons of God?â is also notable for what is perhaps the first recorded sample of the American fire-and-brimstone preacher Ferrell Griswold, whose voice has appeared in music by Front 242, Phallus Dei, Pragha Khan, et cetera.
The cassette medium, for all its benefits to individual artistic expression and culture, is for the selfsame reasons impermanent. Magnetic tape has a thirty year lifespan if properly archived, which means both that preserving their contents in other formats is important, and that paying hundreds of dollars for the original artifacts is a questionable collectorsâ pursuit (nevertheless, you can watch it happen daily). With the advent of the mp3 and the efforts of Vinyl-on-Demand and other labels, Insane Musicâs CD-r reissue program included, some of this exquisite material has been rescued from oblivion.
423 MACBETH STUDIO SYSTEMS
Welcome to MacBeth Synthesizers!
LATEST NEWS: 20/07/09 please scroll down for infoOver the last year and half or so, more products have been developed. Work has gone into the design of a new modular
synthesizer system shared by two formats- the 3U format and the 5U format. The designs are relatively new but still
retain the inherant qualities of the M3X, M5 and M5N synthesizers. The system is called the X-Series Modular Synthesizer
after the popular M3X and its protĂŠgĂŠ keyboard synthesizer the X-Factor. This fully analogue keyboard is still under
serious development and there will be more information to follow on that one.
As a refreshing change from making the large scale semi modular M5 and M5N, I am now delving into the production of
smaller, free for all systems that will probably grow large! I'm taking into it all my experience of designing both large and
small analogue synthesizers as well as a few new ideas too. Please take the time to look around this website. In each
catagory there is product information, sounds, tracks and links to other related media on the internet.
Currently the 3U X-Series Dual Oscillator and 'Backend' Filter Combo are in production. I expect delivery of the
Dual Oscillator within the next two weeks- shortly after that the 'Backend' Filter Combo will roll out of production.
Please contact any of the Distributers listed to get your modules.
I intend to produce a short run of the 5U modules soon, so once again- stay tuned for that...
...anyway! I have uploaded quite a few demo sounds on here- maybe not to everyones taste- but at least they make
you think of what these modules could do in the right hands, i.e. you!
- after all- I'm an engineer, not a muscian as such!...Well you decide!
All MacBeth Products are built to exacting standards- from materials selection to the physical build.
The PCBs and Sheet Metalwork are fabricated by Zot Engineering from Musselburgh, Scotland http://www.zot.co.uk
and final assembly is performed by Diatron Assembly Systems from Norwich, England http://www.diatron.co.uk
Both companies also manufacture equipment for the medical, military and aerospace sectors of industrial engineering
340 7-things-to-stop-doing-now-on-facebook: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
Using a Weak Password
Avoid simple names or words you can find in a dictionary, even with numbers tacked on the end. Instead, mix upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. A password should have at least eight characters. One good technique is to insert numbers or symbols in the middle of a word, such as this variant on the word "houses": hO27usEs!
Leaving Your Full Birth Date in Your Profile
More from ConsumerReports.org:
â˘ Millions of Users Exposing Personal Information
â˘ Tested: 119 Laptops, Desktops, Netbooks and iPad
â˘ Electronics Reviews
It's an ideal target for identity thieves, who could use it to obtain more information about you and potentially gain access to your bank or credit card account. If you've already entered a birth date, go to your profile page and click on the Info tab, then on Edit Information. Under the Basic Information section, choose to show only the month and day or no birthday at all.
Overlooking Useful Privacy Controls
For almost everything in your Facebook profile, you can limit access to only your friends, friends of friends, or yourself. Restrict access to photos, birth date, religious views, and family information, among other things. You can give only certain people or groups access to items such as photos, or block particular people from seeing them. Consider leaving out contact info, such as phone number and address, since you probably don't want anyone to have access to that information anyway.
Popular Stories on Yahoo!:
â˘ 20 Best Cities to Ride Out the Recession
â˘ Wealth Ranking: You're Richer Than You Think
â˘ 7 Expenses You Can Ditch in Retirement
More from Yahoo! Finance
Posting Your Child's Name in a Caption
Don't use a child's name in photo tags or captions. If someone else does, delete it by clicking on Remove Tag. If your child isn't on Facebook and someone includes his or her name in a caption, ask that person to remove the name.
Mentioning That You'll Be Away From Home
That's like putting a "no one's home" sign on your door. Wait until you get home to tell everyone how awesome your vacation was and be vague about the date of any trip.
Letting Search Engines Find You
To help prevent strangers from accessing your page, go to the Search section of Facebook's privacy controls and select Only Friends for Facebook search results. Be sure the box for public search results isn't checked.
Permitting Youngsters to Use Facebook Unsupervised
Facebook limits its members to ages 13 and over, but children younger than that do use it. If you have a young child or teenager on Facebook, the best way to provide oversight is to become one of their online friends. Use your e-mail address as the contact for their account so that you receive their notifications and monitor their activities. "What they think is nothing can actually be pretty serious," says Charles Pavelites, a supervisory special agent at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. For example, a child who posts the comment "Mom will be home soon, I need to do the dishes" every day at the same time is revealing too much about the parents' regular comings and goings.
323 F.lux: software to make your life better
Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow?
Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen?
During the day, computer screens look goodâthey're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at the sun.
F.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.
It's even possible that you're staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.
300 YAMAHA CS-30 SYNTHESIZER
This page is dedicated to the Yamaha CS-30, the monophonic top-of-the-line of Yamahas CS-series synthesizers. This synthesizer series comprised of the CS-5, CS-10, CS-15 and the CS-30. These were all monophonic. The polyphonic series comprised of the CS-50, CS-60 and the classic CS-80, Later came the CS-30M and CS-40 monophonics as well as the CS-70 polyphonic with some patch saving capabilities and different design.
All the units of this series of vintage synthesizers are very nice and collectable, but the CS-30 was the largest and most flexible of the monophonic series. If Yamaha had ever decided to build a large modular system they could have done so using some of the designs of the CS-series.
In this page I will go through the features of the CS-30, for anyone interested.
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 :-) "
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