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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

DJ Jones Re:PDFLib (132 comments)

TCPDF Open-source PDF-reader built in PHP
FPDF Combine with TCPDF above to create a PDF-writer using PHP
SetAssign Not open-source but this company offers both free and paid libraries that combine with the libraries above to allow PDF encryption / decryption using PHP.- The paid versions support more complex ciphers and I swear by them personally


Not sure if you meant desktop software or...

about 3 months ago
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A Router-Based Dev Board That Isn't a Router

DJ Jones A ton of BS (54 comments)

Exactly how does "two Ethernet ports" and "a USB port" translate into "a ton of I/O to connect anything"?

What is this, 1992? I can buy a 16-port gigabit router on eBay for $50 and flash it with whatever WRT variant I want.

- ZOMG LEDs, it must be awesome

about 3 months ago
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Book Review: Security Without Obscurity

DJ Jones Either Ben or Stapleton is missing something (51 comments)

"To date, no known flaws have been found against DES" : Er, differential calculus? Why do you think we created Triple-DES? Because we like things in threes? Supposedly the NSA made it more difficult to use differential calculus against DES by changing the S-Box permutations but it is still possible.

There was a time when the NSA had integrity....

about 4 months ago
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Goodbye, Ctrl-S

DJ Jones You missed the biggest downside (521 comments)

What if I don't want to save my changes?

"You can use the 'undo' command they say..."

Yes but the undo command isn't persistent between applications, much less a power failure.

You haven't solved anything, you've merely shifted the problem.

about 5 months ago
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EA Ending Online Support For Dozens of Games

DJ Jones Re: damn EA.. i hate you (329 comments)

Wait, what? This already exists, no? (custom mods aside). It's called Steam

about 5 months ago
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How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

DJ Jones Re:Flight recorder (491 comments)

You realize that up until roughly two years ago (in the US at least) the majority of people who identified themselves as "libertarians" were left-wing hippies from Vermont who embraced social contracts but wanted the government out of their personal affairs, pot gardens and gun racks? It wasn't until the "Tea Party" under right-wing funding and Carl Rove style propaganda was the term "libertarian" bastardized to enable right-wing nut jobs to hide under the guise of a small government agenda. I am a libertarian and I vote Democrat; not because they are equal but because if you go by historical facts and numbers, the Democrats have consistently been the party of fiscal responsibility since the 1960's. You're not crazy, the two groups are far more agreeable than you think. Is it off topic? I blame Microsoft.

about 6 months ago
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How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

DJ Jones Re:Flight recorder (491 comments)

You realize that up until roughly two years ago (in the US at least) the majority of people who identified themselves as "libertarians" were left-wing hippies from Vermont who embraced social contracts but wanted the government out of their personal affairs, pot gardens and gun racks? It wasn't until the "Tea Party" under right-wing funding and Carl Rove style propaganda was the term "libertarian" bastardized to enable right-wing nut jobs to hide under the guise of a small government agenda. I am a libertarian and I vote Democrat; not because they are equal but because if you go by historical facts and numbers, the Democrats have consistently been the party of fiscal responsibility since the 1960's.

You're not crazy, the two groups are far more agreeable than you think.

Is it off topic? I blame Microsoft.

about 6 months ago
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Researchers: Global Risk of Supervolcano Eruption Greater Than Previously Though

DJ Jones Re:Can eruptions like the be averted? (325 comments)

Probably not. Keep Hydrofracking! We need more money [cough] I mean jobs!

about 10 months ago
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How Are You Celebrating National Sysadmin Day?

DJ Jones Re:Same as every day (200 comments)

And what happens when I need to tweak the virtual host settings or tune the database to better meet the demands of my specific application? You want me to f-over every other application running on the production server?

about a year ago
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How Are You Celebrating National Sysadmin Day?

DJ Jones Re:Same as every day (200 comments)

Screw you, man. Just wack off a dedicated VPS chunk and put it behind whatever paranoid tin-foil hat firewall sandbox you want. I don't want to have to open a support ticket and wait two hours every time I need to check the logs on my application server.

- Senior Developer

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Automatically Sanitize PDF Email Attachments?

DJ Jones Re:Print to PDF (238 comments)

Sadly a lot of PDF printers will retain javascript code even if you print it and re-assemble it back into a PDF. The problem lies in the fact that Adobe allows javascript to be embedded inside image objects and compressed blocks of PDF binary. It's not as simple as opening the file and stripping out anything that starts with <script>. Code can be fired on almost any user event and it can be attached to almost any high-level object. It's not impossible to create a scrubber but it's a lot more complicated than you might think.

I spent the better part of a week attempting to create a PDF scrubber at my office for this same reason. We had become victim to highly targeted attacks from PDF sources. I wrote a scrubber in PHP using an open-source PDF parser and a series of regular expressions to strip out any javascript. At the end of the day, I came very close to a working solution but I ran into issues with encrypted PDF's.

The project was shelved in favor of making users open all external PDF's on a virtual server that was hardened and re-imaged every evening to prevent any malicious code from running rampant. That's the simplest solution.

about a year ago
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China Environment Ministry Calls Itself One of Four Worst Departments In World

DJ Jones Door was left wide open there (126 comments)

Slashdot's User Interface Design Department

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

DJ Jones Re:depends on what you're going into (656 comments)

Agreed. You may not always need a math background depending on what you decide to do. I have a CS and Applied math degree and I worked in finance for 5 years where the math background was an invaluable tool that helped me excel where my coworkers without it did not. For other jobs I've had developing apps and UI's for start-ups, it rarely came up; however, whether you use the math or not on the job there will always be fundamental math quizzes during technical job interviews and having a higher understanding of mathematics will always help you in that regard.

Also if you ever develop a large-scale database or system, mathematical optimization will always come into play in ways you never thought it would.

about a year ago
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New Smart Gun Company Hopes To Begin Production This Summer

DJ Jones Re:I won't be buying one... (632 comments)

"We've dedicated well over 10 years to come up with this solution. We have a lot of people in this company who've put a lot of blood sweat and tears into it and never gotten a penny out of it. If we were in it for the money, we would have been out of it a long time ago. "Our motto is ... if we save the life of one child, it's a miracle to that child and everyone that child touches."

If they were true to their motto they should have dropped the project and donated their funding to a children's hospital 10 years ago.

about a year and a half ago
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Taking the Pain Out of Debugging With Live Programming

DJ Jones Re:Visual Studio (254 comments)

Have you tried the new VS2012? They took a shotgun to the UI and the file menu is still screaming from the trauma.

about a year and a half ago
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Home Server Or VPS? One Family's Math

DJ Jones Re:Free Hardware (380 comments)

Correction: ISPs block *outbound* port 80

about a year and a half ago
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Home Server Or VPS? One Family's Math

DJ Jones Re:Free Hardware (380 comments)

Also exempt from the cost analysis is the ISP fee for unlocking inbound port 80. I know my ISP blocks it unless you pay for a business account which is nearly $80 more a month. You could try to route around it with dyndns but it's not fun and I don't think a dyndns account is free anymore. That alone puts you over the VPS budget which is why I use VPS hosting.

Been happy with www.vpsnoc.com

about a year and a half ago
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Leaked: Obama's Rules For Assassinating American Citizens

DJ Jones Re:Oh, the surprise. (800 comments)

I'm not supporting Obama's policy but I don't think this is as evil as everyone is making it out to be. Our country is theoretically "at war" with Al Quada as an organization (whether that makes any sense is a whole other tangent). During World War II, plenty of German-American citizens living in the US flue back to Germany and fought against American forces. We didn't need due process to kill them on the battlefield. Whether you're an American citizen or not, if you're on foreign territory and pose a threat to our armed forces, there's not a large legal barrier to killing you.

about a year and a half ago
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Windows Software Coming To Android Via Wine

DJ Jones Yo Dawg (107 comments)

Yo Dawg, I heard you like Windows, so I decided to put Windows inside yo' Android being emulated on yo' Windows.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Senate Committee Approves Stricter Email Privacy

DJ Jones DJ Jones writes  |  about 2 years ago

DJ Jones (997846) writes "The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would strengthen privacy protection for e-mails by requiring law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant from a judge in most cases before gaining access to messages in individual accounts stored electronically. The bill is not expected to make it through Congress this year and will be the subject of negotiations next year with the Republican-led House."
Link to Original Source
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Asexual organisms capable of absorbing genes

DJ Jones DJ Jones writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DJ Jones writes "The New York Times has an article on bdelloid rotifers — small asexual organisms that have recently been found to have unique reproductive abilities. Unlike most asexual organisms, scientists have discovered that these moss-dwelling organisms have the ability to absorb and use genetic material from their environment. This is a revolutionary discovery because it has long been believed that asexual organisms cannot survive in the long run due to their inability to mix and match genes and subsequently evolve as fast as sexual organisms. As the author suggests, "evolving asexuality isn't the hard part. The hard part is making an evolutionary success of it." These organisms seem to found a way around that."

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