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 We have just completed the development of a new web shop for Just Tickets at justtkts.com. The site will feature a modern and stylish design which is intended to appeal to a technical  sector of the theatre and leisure industry. The new site will be easy to modify so that on-going development costs are minimised.
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Blur Studio - A Gentlemen's Duel PDF Print
(4 votes)

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This one's been around for a while (2006) but it does not diminish the slickness, the comedy and the professionalism as well as the sheer fun embodied in this creative steampunk masterpiece. This steampunk duel between an animated Englishman and his comedy French counterpart over a delightfully well-endowed female is fought out using weapons from a deeply-steampunk creative mind. Blur Studios were a small player in the CGI field but recently have been growing apace having created all the space sequences in James Cameron's 2009 blockbuster film Avatar.

Enjoy the full animated film now, very entertaining indeed. Have fun!

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 December 2013 )
 
Ready At Dawn Studios present The Order: 1886 PDF Print
(2 votes)

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Another from the Steamanufactory, this time in the guise of a game on the PS4. The latest consoles boast hardware capabilities that exceed top end gaming PC by a suggested factor of between two and five, leading to some pretty good graphics. Here is an example of the sort of graphics that are coming out of the studios that are developing titles for the PS4 - The Order 1886.

Unlike most game trailers, the cinematics are generated from the game itself... The studio representative stated:

"Our game models and our cinematic models are one and the same, and everything is rendered real time in the engine as you play the game. The trailer we presented is a great example of that. What you saw is running in-engine, in-game with no gimmicks. These visuals are what you can expect of the final game when you play it.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 December 2013 )
 
Version 1.0.7 of the Steampunk Weather Widget is released PDF Print
(3 votes)

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In the latest Steampunk Weather Widget, version 1.0.7 the following changes have been made: main features are full Romanian(!) translation (as an example) the ability to add ICAO metar codes manually so if you know your own ICAO location just type in the code. You can increase the size of the widget, lots of bugs fixed, reskinned the location selection box, added many new graphical elements, reduced the overhead of running the widget, improved the code in general and documented it with full online help.


weather-gauge-metal.jpgNewest version,

// .07 location selection background - added cogs and wheels to the underside to make it more 'real'
// .07 corrected the help text on the glass cover
// .07 change the font on the location finder
// .07 moved the location menu from the top of the page (windows) to the top of the pushbutton
// .07 add method for handling language files that aren't handled by the YWE! by default
// .07 create language files for Romanian
// .07 create language files for English
// .07 added language option to preferences
// .07 improve the clarity of the numbers on the mini gauges
// .07 organise and sort the code, remove unwanted functions
// .07 fix the romanian translation bug on tooltips
// .07 sort the % on macs bunching, changed it to a popup
// .07 fix missing resizing of two elements
// .07 added the option to increase the size of the widget
// .07 sort the language text on the prefs
// .07 use an additional input box to select the alternative language file
// .07 sort the language text on the prefs
// .07 rejigged the main context menu to allow translation to occur
// .07 allow meta codes to be typed in directly
// .07 add slider switching from codes to locations
// .07 add final translations
// .07 images on the groups in the preferences
// .07 Added uppercasing to the ICAO code input
// .07 fix the double run of get-metar-data
// .07 add delay to preferences save and restart to help fix mac crash

  weather-gauge-help.png


There is full help for the widget here:
http://lightquick.co.uk/instructions-for-the-steampunk-weather-gauge.html  Visit this page first before asking questions on how to install it.

You can download the new version of the widget here:
http://rocketdock.com/addon/icons/45428

Please, if you like the new widget, leave a comment, it is really appreciated.

 

Instructions for uselocation_search_help.png

The weather indicators and controls of your widget are as shown above. The widget has a number of graphical controls. You can identify the function of each working component by hovering the mouse over each. A pop-up will show giving you a description.

Choosing the Metar data location

When you select to change your location a pop-up will appear giving you the option to type your location. Choose a location near to you that will be providing METAR weather data. For example in the South Coast of the UK you might choose Gatwick Airport. If you choose a local airport or aerodrome you are most likely to find a METAR weather feed.  If you know your nearest ICAO code then flick the location/ICAO switch to allow you to enter the four-letter code manually. Once you are done click the SET switch to close the location selector.

 


To view the widget in operation, click here:

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Z_IO5Q2RSs0)

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 December 2013 )
 
Why isn't Joomla as good a choice as it used to be? PDF Print
(4 votes)

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The problem with joomla development nowadays is that is in the hands of developers. Before Joomla, its predecessor CMS was named Mambo - and it was in the hands of a commercial organisation whose first aim was to create a usable CMS that they could sell, hence the friendly "look and feel" and big, kiddie-like back end icons. A newbie could simply dive into the back end without being put off by a scary GUI. It also had stability, ie. it didn't change much except for security releases.

folder-red-cross-300.pngWith Joomla 1.5 the back end tried to 'grow up' a little and throw off the shackles of its mambo past. New business-like icons, more corporate colours made it appear different from its mambo predecessor. At heart though, the Mambo legacy was still there in the way the CMS operated.

With j1.6/1.7++ there were some fundamental changes, mostly under the hood. Joomla 2.5 progressed even further with even more under-the-bonnet changes with regard to the underlying framework and with bootstrap as the new interface design. The trouble was that the new version of Joomla is both designed and built by devs - which is not always a good idea. To have a successful project you need to have a business case and a target audience that defines what the application will look and act like. Without it, the design will lack focus and be too complex and could please no-one. Joomla is now designed by the people that want to add code, they simply add what they are personally interested in. If you build software using this approach it will always lack a business focus. The latest version of Joomla - 3.5 - under development now seems a case in hand.

Idon't want to be too critical as I have a strong fondness for Joomla. In particular Mambo/Joomla 1.0, its stability and simplicity, the fact that you could accomplish a lot, that only simple programming skills were required, that it was lightweight and very quick to run, had lots of available extensions that simply accomplished what was required. With joomla 1.0 you could easily build a 'nice' site or a full-blown CMS.

Since then it seems a lot of change has occurred but not a whole lot of benefit for the end user. 'Framework' this and 'bootstrap' that, but honestly I have not ever received a single call for any of the stuff that has been recently introduced. Categories have been sorted and ACLs added but that's about it. OK, the categories needed sorting but on most of my sites ACLs are simply switched off. So what has all the change achieved? From my point of view the drive to keep up with other CMS has been at the expense of backward compatibility, a lack of platform stability due to frequent upgrade migrations. The result is an over-engineered product that does not seem to offer the normal end user much more that the original Joomla 1.0. It seems that the Joomla CMS is being targetted towards potential higher-end users whilst the day-to-day users that might have knocked up a 'site' have been forgotten.

My old J1.0 sites are as good and functional as many of the more recent Joomla sites but they are a darn sight quicker. All my recent Joomla sites are slow to operate, need faster servers and more resources but still aren't as fast. The clients complain and I start looking around for something lighter/faster/leaner.

What am I looking for? For me it is stability, performance and security all of which are so much more important than underlying frameworks and using the correct coding methodologies.

Due to the continual changes requiring migration upon migration from one version of Joomla to another I decided to maintain the J1.0 sites on PHP 5.3 and build only J1.5 until the direction for Joomla was decided upon and I saw some stability. With the devs in charge I've seen little in the way of stability and not enough to entice me onto the latest version. I've even released some recent joomla 1.0 extensions, can you believe that? I might upgrade them to J1.5 but to later versions of Joomla? Nope! the effort of recoding them to J1.6, J1.7, 2.5 and 3.5 is too great (as well as being boring!)

What about the security of having the latest and greatest version? - Pah! - All security issues I've ever encountered have been due to using the newest version of Joomla with security holes, my J1.0 sites do NOT get hacked.

Oh well. Rant over.
Last Updated ( Monday, 17 June 2013 )
 
Filezilla stores your passwords in plain text PDF Print
(3 votes)

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Avoid filezilla like the plague! Filezilla is an open source FTP tool that stores your passwords in plain text ready for hackers to harvest your website passwords. They will use this information to hack and deface your websites. I have raised this vulnerability multiple times on the filezilla forum and elsewhere. What follows below are some of the posts extracted and placed here for review. If you are thinking of downloading and installing filezilla then read the following before you make your decision. My posts are in orange.

ftp.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filezilla forum boco (dev) posted:

"Not possible. Simply do not store passwords.  If a virus manages to install on your PC, you have already lost. No encryption, obfuscation or master passwords will help against that. Viruses will install keyloggers that capture your passwords as you type them. And after entering a master password, normal passwords would have to be decrypted anyway. And, last but not least, unless your website hoster supports secure FTP/SFTP access (FTPS/FTPES/SFTP), your password is transmitted over the internet as clear text every time you log into the server"

Filezilla forum Posted: 2010-06-03 10:53

I do not agree. Each of my sites has a unique and impossible-to-remember password. I have 60 + sites and the filezilla site manager is the only place to store that information. You cannot expect a normal user of an ftp tool to understand that Windows should be more secure. It just isn't. I use Windows XP because it is practical. I am an VMS system manager so I understand the limitations of the o/s. As the majority of users use Windows, if you have a site manager tool it must encrypt the passwords so that they are not available in plain text. Other ftp clients have seen the sense in this.

Regardless of your opinion of the host o/s it is unacceptable that filezilla stores passwords in plain text by default. I have taken the trouble to warn other users of this fact on this and another forum.

My suggestion is that no Windows user should use use filezilla until the developer(s) accept that Windows is the major platform for this tool and that that password encryption functionality must be enabled by default. If you have filezilla on your Windows PC then my suggestion is that you remove it until you fully understand the implications of using it on an insecure system.

PS. Windows is crap in so many ways but raging against the storm is pointless, you have to go with the flow.


-oOo-

June 3, 2010, 3:19 am

I was subject to some malware which has just taken the plain text passwords from sitemanager.xml. I am dismayed, each of the sites has been hacked but luckily only those listed in filezillas’s sitemanager. I had recently planned to convert all my sites from wsftp to filezilla and only the difficulty of transferring 60 or so sites had prevented me. I am now so thankful that I did not start the job! I am appalled at finding that filezilla stores passwords in plain text.

I have now removed filezilla from all my machines and ws ftp is now my default ftp client. The attitude of the developers is all wrong. They seem to think that we should not be using windows…a daft and pompous attitude to take. Filezilla on Windows could be the norm if only it worked properly.

My advice: do NOT install Filezilla. If you have it installed, remove it now, the security of your websites is seriously at risk.


-oOo-

postbox.png

Filezilla forum BigBang Posted: 2012-04-22 20:54

Im a freelancer and get the money for my familly with this job. There is about 50 costumer who trust on me and on my services. They pay me for security and support. The day come as all my costumers call me and tell they was hacked! My world was going down. And i dindt understand what happend. Why alle my costumers on different servers with different Systems hacked on them i didnt conntect since years?

Google help me and i was really shocked about. Filezilla, one of the "best" FTP programm made me this gift. Thank you.
I got a Trojan on my system, s**t happens, this trojan send all my data stored on plaintext by Filezilla. Im ok with "this is not the Job of Filezilla to keep Trojans out" but getting ALL MY COSTUMERS ACCESS DATA cause Filezilla dont encypt the passwort you think ist ok? Other FTP programms DOES encrypt!

I am working now since 3 days without sleep to save my costumer reputation and put the sites online one by one. My poor daughter she dont understand what happend with daddy. Do the developper knows how many sites get hacket just why they dont change mind? It is so hard to encrypt the passwords? Windows isnt safe everybody know it. A second security barrier is needed with this kind of sensitive data.

I work behind Hardware Firewall, actual Antivirus Avast 7. Firefox updated, Windows7 updated. Nothing helped me to prevent this one. I found out there is a lot of professional who write: "do not use Filezilla" Google: Filezilla passwords plaintext / Filezilla trojan. If some admin delete my statement, i will find +10 blogs to post it, its a promise.

xeon posted : Are you sure you're in the right line of work? :roll:

boco posted : If you've got a trojan on your computer, no amount of password obfuscation will help. Instead, you need to prevent the infection in the first place.

Click here to view the rest of the article in full

Last Updated ( Thursday, 25 July 2013 )
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The reason I just deleted my Pinterest account... PDF Print
(3 votes)

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The reason I just deleted my Pinterest account was - first of all let me explain my reasons for using Pinterest in the first place. I have had a Deviantart account for a year or so now which I use to promote what I do, I won't call it art, but it has elements of art and compared to the contributions of many it certainly has an artistic flare. My 'Deviations' are digitally created Steampunk icons and widgets that sit on your desktop making it look pretty whilst also providing functionality over and above that provided by Windows or Mac OS/X. Trouble is if you put all your eggs in one basket then there is the possibility that if there is a problem with the host, technical or otherwise then you are potentially a tadge screwed...you are always certainly at risk.advert.png Recently, Deviantart made some fundamental changes to their submission process that turned a simple submission method into a complicated one. DA are trying to promote the use of their Stash product, an online storage tool where 2gb is provided for free but any extra space is chargeable, this has been done to help monetize what DA is offering. I suspect DA is not making much money at the moment. Unfortunately the new submission process was released to the general public in an alpha/beta stage and forced upon a massive and unwilling group of DA-ers to test and fault-find. This process took months from October to March the update was beta-tested live and may tens of thousands of unhappy artists were prevented from submitting to Deviantart.  I was very unhappy about being forced to test alpha-grade software (DA admins admitted the software was being rushed to the pass in alpha/beta state) so with that in mind I did a search for good alternatives for my 'stuff' where I can display it with ease and with a good visual impact. I found Pinterest a while back and was impressed by the ease of being able to post images to the gallery, it also looked good. Over a period of time, I posted close to 300 images to Pinterest, I was very selective, posting only my own images to promote my work. I was very happy with the result and my google rankings crept up. Unfortunately, and at the worst time all my Pinterest images turned to mush... All of a sudden all my transparent image thumbnails had the transparent part removed and replace by large black blobs, ruining the pictures in my gallery.

In the process of pinning Pinterest stores copies of your images in a cache, duplicates that link to the originals. Pinterest obviously have to store these images for a long period of time so storage for them must be a major issue.  I suspected that they had compacted the files to save space so I contacted support to explain the problem. Despite acknowledgint he problem support basically did nothing for over a month taking days at a time to respond to any query I raised.

scissors-200.pngIn the end I had to do the investigation myself and discovered that if you optimise PNG's you can damage the transparency. Pinterest had optimised the images in order to reduce the size taken by the originals and in the process they had ruined them. Grace from support suggested that I remove them all and resubmit the 300 pins manually - which was clearly not a practical solution as it would have destroyed the search engine links to each and every image. It was however, the only solution I was presented with. There is no method of redirecting an old PIN to a new one or modifying the pin's current image, a major drawback to Pinterest. So, the end result is that I had a gallery full of botched images that failed to display my 'art' correctly and that will give a negative impression on anyone that sees them. Either way, bad for my reputation.

There was no solution in the offing from Pinterest's engineering team either so the only thing I had left to do was to delete my Pinterest account altogether, images and all. I was loathe to do this as I thought I had found the perfect, easy to use gallery with great SEO potential but if they can't maintain your images then you can't trust them with what is in essence, your crown jewels. My advice, avoid pinterest like the plague. I will be pulling my Pinterest plugins, updating all my sites with the same advice and advising my friends to do the same.

Another reason for abandoning Pinterest, their Terms of Service - If you've read Pinterest's Terms of Service then it is wise to say that you really ought to try to avoid pinning other people's images as you are personally liable for any legal claims arising from the use of those images, you are also liable for Pinterest's legal costs if a case arises.This leaves you only being able to post your own images - but Pinterest strongly discourages you from doing that. All in all this is a bit rubbish and it is time to leave. BYE BYE Pinterest.

Note from Pinterest:

"We're sorry to see you go. Unfortunately, bugs happen. Our team does our best to fix major problems as soon as possible. Sometimes, other problems take longer to resolve. We deeply apologize if this has affected your reputation. I wish there was more I could do to help. As requested, I removed your information from this account.

Kind regards,

Grace Pinterest | Community Specialist | Pinterest.com/graceporter"

At least Grace was lovely and polite.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 24 March 2013 )
 
Dagenham - Steampunk Style PDF Print
(4 votes)

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"Dagenham is dead. This monstrous misplanned place
Must kill the best that's in the human race,
The town's a blot upon the River's side"
The traveller spoke, but yet I knew he lied.

Dead? When I have seen those bitter fights
Where bosses schemed, and craftsmen held their rights,
And welded with a sure and patient hand
Their doubting fellows in a solid band?

Where girls with shielded eyes and new-found skill
Beneath a blinding glare of sparkling showers,
Make white-hot metal streams obey their will
Creating joints that held tremendous power.

No! Dagenham lives, and spite of darkest night,
Will play its part in struggles for the right.
The ones who live amidst this sorry scheme
Will help to build the Britain of our dream.

                                                                   F.L. Ives

dagenham.jpg

Last Updated ( Sunday, 10 March 2013 )
 
Something wickedly funny this way comes PDF Print
(6 votes)

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A brief note to let you know of another Steampunk kinematographical creation that is coming your way in the fullness of time. Terry Jones of the Monty Python team has used his full and rather starnge imagination to come up with the idea of the British empire conquering the moon in 1884... his idea? I thought it had already happened. How strange. Anyhow, here it is,  '1884' Terry Gilliam presents '1884 Yesterdays Future'.



 The website for 1884 Yesterday's future can be found here:

 daily-empire-500.jpg

http://www.1884yesterdaysfuture.com/home_e.html

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 December 2013 )
 
Sir, You are being hunted! PDF Print
(7 votes)

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There is a new game on arriving in town that will tickle your steampunk fancies... it is called "Sir, You are being hunted!". It is set upon a small British island, think of a relatively unpopulated version of the Isle of Mull. The island has small hamlets with automatically generated names such as "Little Bumting" or "Much Canning in the Marsh". The game uses a BCG or British Countryside Generating engine to create realistically haunting backgrounds for you to hunt in complete with mists. In actual fact, it isn't really you that does any of the hunting, except to stay alive or obtain certain artifacts that you need to escape the island. Most of the hunting is performed by the AI in the form of non-player characters such as the unsurprisingly named "The Hunter". He is a tweed-wearing, pipe smoking, awfully polite but incredibly vicious robot that mimics the manners of a British country gentleman, minus the tea. He spends his time looking for you in the most realistic but peculiar manner and when he finds you, you are dead.

A lot of time has been spent in making sure the NPCs are firmly planted on the earth, they walk and move with a realism that has to be seen to be believed, just watch the video. The game has been crowd-funded and is still under development. "Sir, You are being hunted!"  has a character of its own and is unlike any other game that you will have encountered before. It deserves to succeed and with your attention and perhaps a little of your cash it probably will.

landscape.jpg

The game shows the eery and haunting landscape that the 'tweedbots' inhabit.  It looks familiar but unwelcoming. It reminds me of the opening scenes of the 1940s film "Great Expectations" where the main character Pip stumbles along the water's edge to the church in the marshes where he meets the escaped prisoner from the prison-hulks off-shore. If "Sir, You are being hunted!" generates just a portion of the fear inherent in the beginning of that old film, it will do well.

siryouarebeing.jpg

Find it here: Sir, You are being hunted!

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 December 2013 )
 
Latest Steampunk Resource Monitor Yahoo Widget PDF Print
(7 votes)

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We have just released the latest desktop widget which is our Steampunk Resource Monitor Yahoo Widget.  The widget is strongly steampunk in style which means it has a pseudo-electro-mechanical interface that allows you to interact with the widget on a more personal level. Modern computer interfaces are often designed by computer nerds that don't have a clue as to how alienating their interfaces have become. The truth is that you often have to know about computers before you can interact with one. The new generation of tablets deisgners have understood this and have taken the computer out of their interfaces replacing them with simple gesture based interaction. Recognising that people want the interface to work with them rather than against them is the first step. We may also want to customise the interface to our own requirements, these steampunk widgets allow you to do just that. The mechanical nature of the widgets gives the user a method of interacting with the computer that is familiar: a gauge; a valve; a mechanical toggle; push buttons and sliding controls. These items are not uniquely steampunk as they already exist on computer apps in one form or another, using Steampunk style they are just made more friendly to identify and use.

antique-dials-with-vdu.pngFor instance, each of the controls has a friendly tooltip so that when the mouse is hovered over each item a simple description will pop up. In addition a full help screen is provided.  The Widget is downloadable here:  

The  widget functionality is self-explanatory, tinker with it and you will soon get to grips with it. See the full instructions and diagram here for a fuller explanation

This is a Yahoo widget so it requires the YWE! engine which you can get here.

It will run on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and the new Windows o/s called Metro or something, oh yes, Windows 8...  one of the next versions will also run fully on Mac OS/X.

This widget has been tested on Windows XP Pro SP3, Vista Home 32bit, Windows 7 ultimate 64bit and Mac OS/X and it should work on these with no problems whatsoever.

 

Last Updated ( Sunday, 10 March 2013 )
 
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