Does Bard’s Jack of All Trades grant them greater initiative?

Bards get the ability “Jack of All Trades” which reads:

Starting at 2nd level, you can add half your proficiency bonus, rounded down, to any ability check you make that doesn’t already include your proficiency bonus.

Since your initiative roll is based purely on your dexterity, and it says “ability check” and not “skill check”, does that mean that a Bard, starting at 2nd level, will tend to have better initiative than others?

Will launchpad build my PPA projects one at a time in the order I send them?

I’m managing a large PPA with about 100 packages found in about 20 projects.

https://launchpad.net/~snapcpp/+archive/ubuntu/ppa

Whenever I want to rebuild a project, I send it and wait for it to be built, then send the next one.

There is a priority (a very specific order) for me to build each package since most packages depend on others. I have an SVG file that my build system generates showing me the priority (and changes pretty often these days):

enter image description here

What I’m wondering is whether I could send all the packages at once making sure that they get sent in the right order. Will launchpad build them one after the other? (i.e. if they were to decide to build them in parallel then it wouldn’t work.)

Does a Charmed person have to know who damaged them for the spell to end?

Spells like Suggestion and Charm Person have lines in their description that indicate the spell ends if you or your companions do anything harmful or damaging to the creature. For example, Suggestion has the following line:

If you or any of your companions damage the target, the spell ends.

And Charm Person says:

If it fails the saving throw, it is charmed by you until the spell ends or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it.

I’ve always taken this to mean that when you damage/harm the target the fact that you’re directly damaging them causes them to be brought to their senses that they’re under the effects of a spell by a hostile creature and so they ‘snap out of it’ so to speak. Essentially in my mind damaging the target triggers a ‘saving throw’ with so much advantage that they automatically beat the DC.

As such, my question is this: if the target isn’t aware that I’m the one damaging them, does the spell still end?

For example:
As a Sorcerer I cast Suggestion on an enemy and tell them to take off their plate armor, and then while they’re in the middle of taking off their armor I use Subtle Spell Metamagic to cast Fire Bolt at the same enemy.

Does my Suggestion spell then end even though there was no verbal or somatic indication that I was the one who cast it at them?

In my mind I don’t think it would as long as I can convince the target that the Fire Bolt came from something other than myself and would therefore not trigger the new ‘saving throw’ with an auto success, but I’m curious to see what other people think about the situation.

P.S. I’m aware it’s not actually a saving throw that’s triggered I just can’t think of a better way to describe it.

How do keyloggers tell it’s a password? (And how to fool them.)

This question also applies to clipboard monitoring.

Imagine you are planning to deploy 100,000 copies of a Windows trojan with keylogger functionality. (For the record, I’m not talking about myself here.) Your trojan is going to send you megabytes of user input every day, 99.999% of it irrelevant. How do you find passwords in this flood of text and what can your victims do to mitigate the threat?

I see but one possibility: You have to intercept only the text entered after a known bank/email/etc page became active in a browser. But to tell it did?

1a) Monitor the titles of browser windows for known pages.

Mitigation: Use a browser with bank mode that does not reveal page name in its window title.

1b) Break into the address space of a browser to see what it is actually working with.

Mitigation: Impossible apart from relying on your antivirus. However, this approach is highly sophisticated and used mostly in government-made malware in targeted attacks on political opponents. A simple guy like me is not likely to run into this.

2a) Monitor DNS requests for known domains with WinPcap and such.

Mitigation: Don’t have WinPcap installed.

2b) Monitor DNS requests with a custom firewall-type driver.

Mitigation: Same as 1b.


Overall, from the common user’s perspective a browser with bank mode plus the absence of WinPcap plus an antivirus for general safety seems to be a sufficient protection against keyloggers. Did I miss anything?

Best UX for loading several files and rename them

I have this screen where user uploads up to 10 files, each one of them needs to be renamed to describe what’s its content (fixed descriptions), I already rename the files as they are loaded, but is really tedious to open the file explorer 10 times. I tought a drag&drop would work better since you can split your windows and start moving files from folder to navigator, so 2 questions:

  1. Is there a better way than drag&drop each file?
  2. Is there a drag&dorp that lets you asign a name for each file loaded? (would be a list)

Will my company’s VPN work internationally, and will it alert them or display as a security threat?

I work remotely and have to go to Europe for a few weeks in order to deal with a family emergency. I don’t want to explain the situation to my company and I know it won’t affect my work productivity. Will I be able to log into the network/VPN from there, and if so, will it alert IT for a possible security threat? (There are no international branches, only based in the US).

15 Facebook Pages For Sale! Two of them with 8,5 and 5,7 million fans

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15 Facebook Pages For Sale! Two of them with 8,5 and 5,7 million fans