Banner Ad Dev Guide Ready

Been working on a Banner Ad Development Guide for Project Managers and Designers for a bit, and finally completed it this morning. It is not about design - It is banner development from the Developers perspective, but not for the Developer. Feel free to comment and share!


Mac OS Security hole using Versions (DocumentRevisions-V100)

You know that new feature of the Mac OS called Versions? Its the thing that automatically saves multiple version of whatever file you are working on in TextEdit, Pages, Numbers, and other Mac Apps so you can revert back at any time to any previous state of the file. It's great for things like writing screenplays or shopping lists, when you might want to see what you previously did, or accidentally deleted something. But I've discovered that there is a possible security hole.

Whenever the operating system saves a version, it puts the data into an invisible database on your harddrive called DocumentRevisions-V100. This database is not encrypted. Which means that if you have ever made a text file that contains passwords or bank information on it, this database has a copy.

Now any smart person wouldn't make such a text file without saving it onto an encrypted DNG file or something like that. However, even if on an encrypted disk image, Versions still makes copies of it into the unencrypted database. So even though it seems secure sitting on that disk image, you actually have unencrypted versions of it hanging around.

Now this is only technically a problem if you have FileVault turned off for your hard drive. If you have FileVault turned on, it's not "really" an issue because your entire hard drive is encrypted.

But say you take your encrypted DNG file and stick it on a memory stick. Safe right? But then say you are at the library (that uses Macs) or at a friends place, and decide you need a password. You stick it in, temporarily decrypt the DNG file to get at your password file, and then close the file and eject the disk. Sounds reasonable. The file is still safely encrypted on your memory stick. But Versions has now created a copy of it on your friends computer in the database. Even if your friend has no intention of hacking you, there is still a copy of your password file sitting unencrypted out there.

People could be passing their secure documents around without knowing. Any thief who gets a hold of a computer could easily just browse the database looking for unintentional saves.

One should be able to turn Versions off on particular documents if they desire, and/or the database should be encrypted.

Hopefully Apple addresses this. If you agree, send them a suggestion, and warn your friends: https://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html


Half Pixels

A little tip. Anytime the Art Director says "The image looks fuzzy" and it's set on lossless, or says "The text is jumping a bit" and it's just a straight tween, or says "it's not quite centred" and it looks fine in the IDE.... it's probably because the MovieClip is sitting on a half pixel. Click all the way into the deepest portion of the MovieClip, check your info panel, and make sure your x and y values do not have a decimal. Then go back into the parent clip, and make sure it is also on a full pixel. Go all the way back to the stage, making sure each item along the way is on a full pixel. That should fix you up.


CS5.5 hangs when exporting to Quicktime ("Recording Flash Content")

Recenly I had to export an FLA file to a Quicktime movie, and found that it just hung around saying "Recording Flash Content". I though this was due to the high res FLV I had embedded in the timeline. But afte waiting an hour, I realized something was wrong. I restarted the computer, tried reducing the rez on the FLV, but nothing helped. I realized that it was because there was a stop() frame on the main timeline, and the Quicktime was se to stop when the last frame was reached. Thus the last frame was never reached, and Flash went into a loop. Removing the stop() frame fixed the issue immediately


FLV player goes full screen when the projector is full screen.

No idea why, but when I published a full screen projector file with a small video player on the stage, the video player suddenly jumped to full screen as well. _flvPlayer.fullScreenTakeOver = false didn't work on it's own. It needed to be added to each and every instance the FLV was added to the stage. Not a big bug but haven't had a post in a while, so just wanted to share.


Flash CS5 Reverts Updated Images

I have yet to find a fix for this, but seemingly without reason, sometimes when I open an FLA file, I find that a few jpgs that were previously imported and then updated with another file, have reverted back to the original imported state.

If anyone else has had this happen, or has a fix, please let me know. I cannot find another instance of someone else experiencing this online, so it would be good to know I'm not the only one.


Arrow button KeyEvents and duplicate sounds

I've noticed recently that sometimes the arrow button KeyEvents are not firing, and that sounds place twice for no apparent reason. It only seems to happen in the beta Flash Player 10.2. Small rant here, but this far into the game, I would think that these sort of bugs would be fixed by now.


Ad sever's outdated clickTag code

Why does every ad server still state in their specs to write the clickTag code like this:

on(release) {
    getURL(_root.clickTAG,"_blank");
 }

Any developer worth more than $7/hr would only write code this way if they were working in Flash 6, and it was back in 2007. Writing directly on MovieClips is a horrible habit to get into, and makes it very difficult to find and edit code.

In the past, I have completely ignored this requirement, and just written it in my pseudo AS2 Document Class, or directly on the timeline if it's a simple enough banner to not require a Document Class. However, 50% of the time I would get pushback from some project manager at the ad server who knows nothing about code, saying that it was done wrong. I would then spend 2 or 3 hours going back and forth explaining why it is correct, and convincing them to just test it before they pass judgment.

Lately, I've just given in and done it the crappy old fashioned way, because I'm tired of having this argument with them.

So I'm writing here to Ad Servers as a last plea - PLEASE UPDATE YOUR SPECS TO ALLOW FOR PROPER CODING!


Flash CS5 finally working with FileVault on!

Thanks to an anonymous comment, I have found out that Adobe has released a hack to fix the "Error opening URL" error in CS5.

It was determined that FileVault was indeed causing this issue. Turning it off was the easy fix, but for those of us who can't do that, we were stuck without CS5. Adobe didn't release a patch, but did release a file to replace in the Commons folder. See link for instructions.

Seems to have worked for me, and that makes me somewhat happy.


Mantracker Episode Airs Monday Sept 25th at 6pm on OLN in Canada

Well finally, over a year after shooting, my episode is going to air on Monday! My brother Ryder and I saw a pre-release DVD yesterday, and were really happy with how it turned out!

For those who think reality TV is a sham, everything you see on the episode actually did happen. Of course a lot was cut out due to taking 2 days worth of film, and putting it into 45 minutes, but all the good parts are in there.

Hopefully everyone enjoys it!