Task Manager may display a startup entry with a blank program icon and the name ‘Program’. What is this?
While this can look malicious or suspicious, typically it’s the result of a mistake. When a program registers itself as a startup program, it may not enclose one or more values in double quotes correctly. Thus, if a program path is supposed to be ‘C:\Program Files\Starcheat\starcheat.exe‘, the developer may have mistakenly not enclosed the path correctly. Windows will read a space as the end of the value, therefore it becomes C:\Program.
View Offending File Path
If you want to view the path causing this, simply right click on the header of the task manager startup entries and show the ‘Command line’ option. ‘Startup type’ is useful to show as well.
From here, you will now be able to see the broken path and navigate there yourself.
As you can see, in this instance the value is not enclosed correctly, leading to this error.
You can then potentially remove the startup entry entirely or laugh at the developer’s incompetence.
It’s 2022, and cryptocurrencies have hit something of an impasse. While assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum are firmly established in the public consciousness, many questions still remain about crypto security and long-term viability. Even now, in the age of wild NFT hype and rampant digitalization (of seemingly everything), there’s as much discussion about the safety of the various exchanges and wallets you’d use for digital dealings as there is about the actual marketplaces.
Amidst this uncertainty, cryptocurrencies are still being used primarily as investment assets, and haven’t made much of an impact on how we physically (or virtually) spend our money. Volatility in particular remains a big issue; vendors are reluctant to accept currencies with such wild value swings as some cryptos –– and by the same token, those with crypto assets may be loathe to spend them and risk potentially missing out on value gains.
All of this begs the question though: What opportunities remain for crypto to make the jump from being something to have into something to use? A few options with legitimate potential come to mind
El Salvador caused a storm in September of 2021 when the country itself started to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. With 1.4 million Salvadorans living and working in the U.S. and foreign remittance accounting for some $6 billion (or about 23% of El Salvador’s GDP), crypto’s speed and potentially lower cost compared to traditional money transfer methods make it an attractive proposition. Accused of pandering to rich currency speculators, President Nayib Bukele went to pains to show how crypto would benefit the average family with the launch of payment app Chivo, which Salvadorans can use to pay directly with Bitcoin at both local vendors and global chains such as McDonald’s and Starbucks in San Salvador.
This is, of course only one country’s journey with crypto. But we know that Panama, Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina at minimum are among the nations monitoring how El Salvador’s integration of crypto into daily life progresses. It appears possible that in the near future there may be countries and regions for which cryptocurrency will become a favored if not necessary option among travelers (not to mention entire local populations).
When Elon Musk announced in January that Tesla would accept Dogecoin for certain company-branded merchandise, the headlines were focused on the acceptance of what was once seen as a “joke” crypto. However, even when we look beyond Musk’s high profile, many retailers have been quietly accepting many cryptos for some years now.
Unsurprisingly, tech vendors were among the first to get on board, with Newegg having welcomed Bitcoin transactions since 2014, and added Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and Litecoin to its payment methods in 2021. Meanwhile, Chinese vendor FastTech ships worldwide and accepts 22 different cryptocurrencies as of this writing. And Home Depot has gone one step further; the biggest hardware chain in the U.S. has accepted Bitcoin for both website and in-store purchases since 2019.
Given that the internet is where cryptos are stored and traded, gaming seems like a natural outlet for spending. Accordingly, Microsoft accepts Bitcoin payments for both hardware and software, through users’ Microsoft accounts. The game streaming platform Twitch allows users to tip their favorite accounts using multiple cryptocurrencies. And in the emerging Decentraland metaverse, poker salons where players wager the in-house crypto MANA have become some of the most popular locations in the platform’s digital world.
Traditional poker sites have also been quick to capitalize on cryptocurrency being held by growing numbers of people. Indeed, with more than 100 million individuals now holding some form of crypto asset, the market has diversified well beyond “tech bros” and fund managers and now more closely mirrors the general public –– much of which plays poker online.
As this mainstream transition has occurred, it has also become clear that crypto in poker has numerous potential benefits. First and foremost, the security the blockchain offers means a safer (and more anonymous) way of depositing funds. Additionally, payouts can be actioned almost instantaneously. And as a sort of added bonus –– depending on how you look at it –– the volatility of cryptos adds potential perks to gambling, in that winnings can appreciate in value, and lost cryptocurrency might eventually become less valuable (though of course both of these perceived perks can also work the other way around). Because of these factors, we have already seen some adoption of crypto by poker sites, and it’s likely the trend will continue.
Dining and Entertainment
On the dining front, it sometimes goes overlooked that some major restaurants now accept crypto payments. Food at the countrywide Mastro’s steakhouse chain can be paid for with Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, for instance. The delivery app Menufy also accepts Bitcoin, as can the Takeaway app in Europe.
As for entertainment, there seem to be more examples with each passing month. Crypto advocate Mark Cuban has ensured fans can use Bitcoin and Dogecoin to buy tickets and merchandise connected to his NBA franchise (the Dallas Mavericks). AMC Theaters now accept various cryptos as payment methods for movie tickets as well. And these are just a few highlights in the entertainment sector.
It’s true that cryptocurrencies haven’t become as much a part of our daily lives as some acolytes have predicted over the years. Chances are they won’t until federal government regulations lay out formal structures for a safer ecosystem that more traditional companies can get on board with. At this point though, there are still plenty of ways to use crypto in day-to-day spending, and the use cases are only growing.
Cryptocurrency is often touted as the next monetary replacement, but we have a ways to go until the technology is fully ready or stable. Here’s the bitcoin bug that could have upset the entire market.
A few weeks ago, Coinbase.com awarded their largest ever bug bounty to “Tree of Alpha” (Twitter) for finding a huge exploit that would have allowed a malicious user to sell BTC or ANY other coin without even owning the asset.
At first, our friend ‘Tree’ was poking around the advanced order platform to see how the order API worked. He sent a normal request from the web ui, then captured the data that was sent. Notice the parameters “product_id”, “source_account_id”, and “target_account_id” near the bottom half of the image below.
This is the information sent to the server informing it which cryptocurrencies it should place an order for, and for tracking accounts. In the image above he had sent a test order of selling 0.02433012 Ethereum for a limit price of $3,000.
In the first step of testing, you want to break an application. Seeing where an application’s limits and boundaries are is a great way to see how to expand them.
Tree decided to change the ‘product_id’ to ‘BTC-USD’, a pair he did not own. However, he left the ‘source_account_id’ and ‘target_account_id’ the same.
He sends the modified the payload, and… it went through?
Tree was able to sell 0.02433012 Bitcoin with the same amount of ethereum without even owning any Bitcoin. Checking the live order fills and hoping it was a visual bug, his tests were confirmed. The fills corresponded with live, open orders.
Time for the last test. He listed 50 BTC in exchange for 9M SHIBA and asked if other users online saw it as well. They confirmed, and he contacted coinbase.
If this exploit had been abused in the wild, there’s no telling the damage it could have caused to the market. Coinbase is so influential, even prices off the site would have been affected. Additionally, many other public facing APIs use crypto prices from Coinbase. It could have caused a chain reaction sell off, but there’s no telling for sure as it was fixed before any harm was caused.
What does this tell us? Well, that crypto is nowhere near as stable as some make it out to be. Blockchain is an amazing technology (how the heck does it work exactly though?), but it’s not being utilized to the fullest yet.
Text tone indicators are a proposed solution and a step along the path to better online communication. It’s sometimes difficult to tell others’ use of tone on the internet, even with additional context such as emojis. 🙂
Generations already have their own slang, and texting without punctuation has quickly become a way to imitate ‘casual’ conversation. This has then evolved over time to include adding periods as a way to express anger, or sending a singular ‘k’ to express dismissal.
The next step in online communication then would be some way to communicate the intent or tone behind the words.
Enter: tone indicators.
Tone indicators are shorthand for words used to convey tone, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as “a quality in the voice that expresses the speaker’s feelings or thoughts”.
The same message can be joking, or serious. It could be teasing, or threatening. We don’t consciously acknowledge it, but you can also immediately tell if the speaker’s delivery was negative, positive, or neutral face to face. It can be sexually suggestive, or entirely friendly. Tone and delivery influences the meaning and implications of a sentence in every way.
Tone indicators are intended for use through text, as miscommunication is frequent in social media. Posts are often misinterpreted, and this looks to fill in some of the missing gaps of information that may otherwise supplement that interpretation.
In fact, in a study, UCLA professor of psychology Albert Mehrabian found that 93% of liking is from non-verbal cues. 38% is due to tone of voice, while an additional 55% is attributed to body language.
Of course, these cues are absent from text-based social medias.
/gen or /g
/pos or /pc
/neg or /nc
/l or /ly
a little upset
for when you’re vagueposting or venting, but it’s directed at nobody here (none of your followers)
/sx or /x
/nsx or /nx
/rh or /rt
Remember the ones you wish to use, Google if you see one you don’t know later. Simple.
When should you use these? When something you’re saying could be ambiguous online. The purpose of the creation of these is to better communicate and exchange ideals.
An example tone indicator, /j, means joking. To use, simply place at the beginning or end of a sentence.
“(/gen) Wow, you’re such a great friend.” Genuinely and earnestly saying you have a great friend.
“(/s) Wow, you’re such a great friend.” Sarcastically saying someone is a great friend.
“I hate you. /j“ Joking with a friend, don’t actually dislike.
“I hate you. /ly“ A song lyric you relate to, not aimed at someone.
“I hate you. /srs“ You’re being serious, and actually hate someone.
I don’t want to use these / Using /j ruins the joke
You don’t have to use them. This is an informational post on the existence of them and their usage.
Think about how you can go into a sitcom, knowing full well that its genre is comedy and its intent is to make you laugh, and still find it funny. If putting two characters at the end of your joke ruins the entire thing, maybe it wasn’t all that funny to begin with.
How many times have you misunderstood a post someone sent to you online, or thought your friend was mad at you through text? If adoption of text tones becomes more commonplace, this could be one such solution to those problems.
(/srs) You also don’t have to use them on every line. Text tones are meant for an easy way to quickly convey the intended attached non verbal data that would otherwise be exchanged in a face to face interaction.
With this script, you can automate the removal of a massive quantity of discord messages (everything back to a channel’s origin, if wanted), including in personal channels. I used it personally to delete a conversation with over a year of messages. There were no problems after the proper modifications.
Next, visit the delete discord messages repository. You will need to click the ‘userscript.js‘ file listed upon visiting the url. Copy everything (CTRL + A / CTRL + C) and install it. The script obviously does nothing malicious but you can also take this opportunity to verify for yourself.
To use, click the trash can icon in the channel or DM you want to delete and press “START”.
The script will try to respect Discord’s limits as much as possible, backing off as necessary when Discord errors. I cannot promise you will not be banned for selfbotting or something, but I have used it many times and my account is fine. Just to be safe you shouldn’t be doing anything else on your account while the script is deleting (it will also slow down and cause problems anyway). AFAIK this doesn’t violate anything in terms of service but use at your own risk, as always.
Methods of downloading YouTube videos have changed over the years. Here are two of my preferred methods for doing so in 2022.
Use a Youtube-Mp3 converter site, if you know how to Google then you’ve probably found one of these already.
tl;dr: is asked to fix printers:
Get the latest ‘youtube-dl’ fork like yt-dlp. Use ffmpeg to convert.
Yeah there’s really nothing else you need here
The Other Method
Get yt-dlp. Put it in a folder somewhere in C:\ like ‘youtubedownload’. Rename the .exe file to yt.exe.
Get ffmpeg. Put it in the same folder. You could rename this .exe file if you want as well, the names will be the commands used in the future.
Press the WINDOWS key, and type ‘path’. (INCOMING WALL OF PICTURES)
Choose ‘Enviroment Variables’
You can then add a new entry for the ‘path’ environment variable. The system uses this to allow the executing directory to be in any directory listed in the path. Meaning, when you run a command in CMD, the system will always check any directories in the ‘path’.
Click OK on all open windows after adding the directory the exes are in to the ‘path’.
Next type the name of the yt-dlp .exe followed by a space and the url. So if you renamed it ‘yt’ like stated previously, it would look like so: yt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIMdcJWOEFM Hitting enter will start downloading that video to the desktop directory you just launched the CMD window in. (Hint! If you want to use a Soundcloud URL like we have below, that will work too! Isn’t technology great?)
If you want to convert the resulting video to a proper audio file like .mp3, you have two options. First of all, you can use the quick solution right from yt-dl:
yt -x --audio-format mp3 [video_url]
Or, since ffmpeg is useful for other tasks (and you should have it anyway), you can use it directly. A simple syntax of an ffmpeg command that would convert to an mp3 would look like ffmpeg -i [input file name] [output file name].[output file extension]. But wait, we don’t want to type that long, ugly file name in that yt-dlp just spit out onto our desktop… luckily we have a trick for that.
Run ‘dir /x‘ in the open CMD window. This is an extremely helpful windows command that will show ‘short’ filenames for files, making working with longer file names a breeze. Windows is telling us in the screenshot above that we can refer to the video we just downloaded as ‘moving~3.web’. Now assuming no renaming of the ffmpeg .exe took place in the setup step, our command simply becomes:
ffmpeg -i moving~3.web output.mp3
And you’re done! You now have ‘output.mp3’ on your desktop saved as the song we were just playing on YouTube. I’ve combined this process with scripted metadata adding/titling for an offline library. And, with the right yt-dlp commands it can even become an efficient way to export entire playlists of music.
You should always verify any files you download/run from strangers on the internet.
Since .reg files are basically .txt files containing paths of where to insert registry entries, you can easily open any of the downloaded files in a text editor and verify the contents are benign for yourself.