I guess there’s no such thing as a secure PDF

I was reading the SCORM 1.2 reference docs today. I wanted to copy a passage for my notes, but the PDF is password-protected and prevents anyone from copying text. (REALLY irritating, considering the ADL is a quasi-government organization and the docs should be open to all.) What to do? Well, turns out there are at least two super easy ways to bypass the password protection: Upload it to Google Drive or import it to Evernote. Google Drive The Google Drive site includes a built-in PDF reader; when I opened the PDF in the web viewer, I was able to copy …

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On Converting Flash to HTML

I received a question from Bob (no, really), who wrote: I have a question about the newest version of Flash and its HTML publishing option using CreateJS. What do you think of that approach going forward? I started to write an email response but figured I should probably post it here. I haven’t been paying much attention to Flash, so I don’t know what the ‘HTML export’ is capable of these days. In general, I’m very wary of converting Flash-based projects to HTML. When Adobe Captivate first released a “publish to HTML5” feature, all it did was convert the SWF …

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iTunes, TV Shows and Apple TV

iTunes vexes me. For better or for worse, we’re an Apple household and own an Apple TV, so I’m kind of stuck with iTunes for managing my media files.

My wife and I have also purchased a significant amount of DVDs over the years, which I ripped to iTunes using the trusty old Handbrake (love you, Handbrake!). These DVDs include a lot of TV shows, such as Doctor Who and Magnum PI.

My workflow has always been: rip via Handbrake, then import into iTunes by dragging the m4v files onto the iTunes window. By default, the TV shows don’t have any metadata (no proper titles, descriptions, episode numbers, or artwork), and iTunes automatically files them under Movies. This means they’ll show up in Apple TV with no description, no preview picture (such as DVD box art), and no sequence information.

Setting OS X Desktop Picture Based on Time of Day

I recently changed jobs (Hello, FireEye!) and was issued a new MacBook Air. I spend a lot of time looking at the screen and was getting bored with the supplied desktop pictures. I also start work very early most days (7am-ish), and thought it would be nice to have a desktop picture that matches the mellow-ness of such an early hour. Of course, this leads to daydreaming — “scope creep” in professional parlance — and next thing you know, I started thinking “well, maybe I could also set it to show a nice evening-themed picture at night”. Then “maybe I …

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Flash support is increasingly a minefield

Back in 2011, I mentioned that Microsoft was about to halt development of the Silverlight plugin, that Flash mobile was being discontinued, and that Adobe recommended HTML5 for enterprise RIA development instead of Flex, which was being open-sourced. My post was a little long-winded, but the short version was: whoa, the times-are-a-changin’, it’s getting dangerous to rely on browser plugins. Over the last year, the situation has evolved in an interesting way — browser support for plugins (especially Flash Player) has been considerably restricted by browser vendors due to repeated security vulnerabilities in Flash Player and Java. Automatically disabling Flash Player …

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The lower 48

While doing some online shopping, I received a notice that said Estimated Economy Delivery (delivered via USPS): 6 to 12 business days within the lower 48 United States. All P.O. Boxes, APO/FPO/DPO addresses and shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will ship via Economy Delivery. I always get peeved when I see people use the phrase “lower 48 states”. Why?  Well, having grown up in the State of Hawaii, I can tell you with certainty that the Hawaiian islands are farther south than any other state in the United States of America, even the southernmost point …

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Introducing SWFRightClick

Adobe Captivate currently ships with a 3rd-party JavaScript utility named RightClick.js, which enables the Captivate SWF to detect when a user right-clicks the SWF. While upgrading the Captivate publishing templates, I realized RightClick.js wasn’t built to work with SWFObject 2.x and suffered from a few shortcomings. I modified the Captivate template’s SWFObject code to get around the issue, but marked it down as something to revisit when I have the time. Now, I’m happy to report I’ve created a replacement for the RightClick.js utility, creatively named SWFRightClick. It uses the same approach to handling right-clicks, but does it with a …

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