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Node.js Application Monitoring with Prometheus and Grafana

Hi guys, we published this article on our blog (here) some time ago and I thought it could be interesting for node to read is as well, since we got some good feedback on it!

What is application monitoring and why is it necessary?

Application monitoring is a method that uses software tools to gain insights into your software deployments. This can be achieved by simple health checks to see if the server is available to more advanced setups where a monitoring library is integrated into your server that sends data to a dedicated monitoring service. It can even involve the client side of your application, offering more detailed insights into the user experience.
For every developer, monitoring should be a crucial part of the daily work, because you need to know how the software behaves in production. You can let your testers work with your system and try to mock interactions or high loads, but these techniques will never be the same as the real production workload.

What is Prometheus and how does it work?

Prometheus is an open-source monitoring system that was created in 2012 by Soundcloud. In 2016, Prometheus became the second project (following Kubernetes) to be hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
https://preview.redd.it/8kshgh0qpor51.png?width=1460&format=png&auto=webp&s=455c37b1b1b168d732e391a882598e165c42501a
The Prometheus server collects metrics from your servers and other monitoring targets by pulling their metric endpoints over HTTP at a predefined time interval. For ephemeral and batch jobs, for which metrics can't be scraped periodically due to their short-lived nature, Prometheus offers a Pushgateway. This is an intermediate server that monitoring targets can push their metrics before exiting. The data is retained there until the Prometheus server pulls it later.
The core data structure of Prometheus is the time series, which is essentially a list of timestamped values that are grouped by metric.
With PromQL (Prometheus Query Language), Prometheus provides a functional query language allowing for selection and aggregation of time series data in real-time. The result of a query can be viewed directly in the Prometheus web UI, or consumed by external systems such as Grafana via the HTTP API.

How to use prom-client to export metrics in Node.js for Prometheus?

prom-client is the most popular Prometheus client library for Node.js. It provides the building blocks to export metrics to Prometheus via the pull and push methods and supports all Prometheus metric types such as histogram, summaries, gauges and counters.

Setup sample Node.js project

Create a new directory and set up the Node.js project:
$ mkdir example-nodejs-app $ cd example-nodejs-app $ npm init -y 

Install prom-client

The prom-client npm module can be installed via:
$ npm install prom-client 

Exposing default metrics

Every Prometheus client library comes with predefined default metrics that are assumed to be good for all applications on the specific runtime. The prom-client library also follows this convention. The default metrics are useful for monitoring the usage of resources such as memory and CPU.
You can capture and expose the default metrics with following code snippet:
const http = require('http') const url = require('url') const client = require('prom-client') // Create a Registry which registers the metrics const register = new client.Registry() // Add a default label which is added to all metrics register.setDefaultLabels({ app: 'example-nodejs-app' }) // Enable the collection of default metrics client.collectDefaultMetrics({ register }) // Define the HTTP server const server = http.createServer(async (req, res) => { // Retrieve route from request object const route = url.parse(req.url).pathname if (route === '/metrics') { // Return all metrics the Prometheus exposition format res.setHeader('Content-Type', register.contentType) res.end(register.metrics()) } }) // Start the HTTP server which exposes the metrics on http://localhost:8080/metrics server.listen(8080) 

Exposing custom metrics

While default metrics are a good starting point, at some point, you’ll need to define custom metrics in order to stay on top of things.
Capturing and exposing a custom metric for HTTP request durations might look like this:
const http = require('http') const url = require('url') const client = require('prom-client') // Create a Registry which registers the metrics const register = new client.Registry() // Add a default label which is added to all metrics register.setDefaultLabels({ app: 'example-nodejs-app' }) // Enable the collection of default metrics client.collectDefaultMetrics({ register }) // Create a histogram metric const httpRequestDurationMicroseconds = new client.Histogram({ name: 'http_request_duration_seconds', help: 'Duration of HTTP requests in microseconds', labelNames: ['method', 'route', 'code'], buckets: [0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, 3, 5, 7, 10] }) // Register the histogram register.registerMetric(httpRequestDurationMicroseconds) // Define the HTTP server const server = http.createServer(async (req, res) => { // Start the timer const end = httpRequestDurationMicroseconds.startTimer() // Retrieve route from request object const route = url.parse(req.url).pathname if (route === '/metrics') { // Return all metrics the Prometheus exposition format res.setHeader('Content-Type', register.contentType) res.end(register.metrics()) } // End timer and add labels end({ route, code: res.statusCode, method: req.method }) }) // Start the HTTP server which exposes the metrics on http://localhost:8080/metrics server.listen(8080) 
Copy the above code into a file called server.jsand start the Node.js HTTP server with following command:
$ node server.js 
You should now be able to access the metrics via http://localhost:8080/metrics.

How to scrape metrics from Prometheus

Prometheus is available as Docker image and can be configured via a YAML file.
Create a configuration file called prometheus.ymlwith following content:
global: scrape_interval: 5s scrape_configs: - job_name: "example-nodejs-app" static_configs: - targets: ["docker.for.mac.host.internal:8080"] 
The config file tells Prometheus to scrape all targets every 5 seconds. The targets are defined under scrape_configs. On Mac, you need to use docker.for.mac.host.internal as host, so that the Prometheus Docker container can scrape the metrics of the local Node.js HTTP server. On Windows, use docker.for.win.localhost and for Linux use localhost.
Use the docker run command to start the Prometheus Docker container and mount the configuration file (prometheus.yml):
$ docker run --rm -p 9090:9090 \ -v `pwd`/prometheus.yml:/etc/prometheus/prometheus.yml \ prom/prometheus:v2.20.1 
Windows users need to replace pwd with the path to their current working directory.
You should now be able to access the Prometheus Web UI on http://localhost:9090

What is Grafana and how does it work?

Grafana is a web application that allows you to visualize data sources via graphs or charts. It comes with a variety of chart types, allowing you to choose whatever fits your monitoring data needs. Multiple charts are grouped into dashboards in Grafana, so that multiple metrics can be viewed at once.
https://preview.redd.it/vt8jwu8vpor51.png?width=3584&format=png&auto=webp&s=4101843c84cfc6293debcdfc3bdbe70811dab2e9
The metrics displayed in the Grafana charts come from data sources. Prometheus is one of the supported data sources for Grafana, but it can also use other systems, like AWS CloudWatch, or Azure Monitor.
Grafana also allows you to define alerts that will be triggered if certain issues arise, meaning you’ll receive an email notification if something goes wrong. For a more advanced alerting setup checkout the Grafana integration for Opsgenie.

Starting Grafana

Grafana is also available as Docker container. Grafana datasources can be configured via a configuration file.
Create a configuration file called datasources.ymlwith the following content:
apiVersion: 1 datasources: - name: Prometheus type: prometheus access: proxy orgId: 1 url: http://docker.for.mac.host.internal:9090 basicAuth: false isDefault: true editable: true 
The configuration file specifies Prometheus as a datasource for Grafana. Please note that on Mac, we need to use docker.for.mac.host.internal as host, so that Grafana can access Prometheus. On Windows, use docker.for.win.localhost and for Linux use localhost.
Use the following command to start a Grafana Docker container and to mount the configuration file of the datasources (datasources.yml). We also pass some environment variables to disable the login form and to allow anonymous access to Grafana:
$ docker run --rm -p 3000:3000 \ -e GF_AUTH_DISABLE_LOGIN_FORM=true \ -e GF_AUTH_ANONYMOUS_ENABLED=true \ -e GF_AUTH_ANONYMOUS_ORG_ROLE=Admin \ -v `pwd`/datasources.yml:/etc/grafana/provisioning/datasources/datasources.yml \ grafana/grafana:7.1.5 
Windows users need to replace pwd with the path to their current working directory.
You should now be able to access the Grafana Web UI on http://localhost:3000

Configuring a Grafana Dashboard

Once the metrics are available in Prometheus, we want to view them in Grafana. This requires creating a dashboard and adding panels to that dashboard:
  1. Go to the Grafana UI at http://localhost:3000, click the + button on the left, and select Dashboard.
  2. In the new dashboard, click on the Add new panel button.
  3. In the Edit panel view, you can select a metric and configure a chart for it.
  4. The Metrics drop-down on the bottom left allows you to choose from the available metrics. Let’s use one of the default metrics for this example.
  5. Type process_resident_memory_bytesinto the Metricsinput and {{app}}into the Legendinput.
  6. On the right panel, enter Memory Usage for the Panel title.
  7. As the unit of the metric is in bytes we need to select bytes(Metric)for the left y-axis in the Axes section, so that the chart is easy to read for humans.
You should now see a chart showing the memory usage of the Node.js HTTP server.
Press Apply to save the panel. Back on the dashboard, click the small "save" symbol at the top right, a pop-up will appear allowing you to save your newly created dashboard for later use.

Setting up alerts in Grafana

Since nobody wants to sit in front of Grafana all day watching and waiting to see if things go wrong, Grafana allows you to define alerts. These alerts regularly check whether a metric adheres to a specific rule, for example, whether the errors per second have exceeded a specific value.
Alerts can be set up for every panel in your dashboards.
  1. Go into the Grafana dashboard we just created.
  2. Click on a panel title and select edit.
  3. Once in the edit view, select "Alerts" from the middle tabs, and press the Create Alertbutton.
  4. In the Conditions section specify 42000000 after IS ABOVE. This tells Grafana to trigger an alert when the Node.js HTTP server consumes more than 42 MB Memory.
  5. Save the alert by pressing the Apply button in the top right.

Sample code repository

We created a code repository that contains a collection of Docker containers with Prometheus, Grafana, and a Node.js sample application. It also contains a Grafana dashboard, which follows the RED monitoring methodology.
Clone the repository:
$ git clone https://github.com/coder-society/nodejs-application-monitoring-with-prometheus-and-grafana.git 
The JavaScript code of the Node.js app is located in the /example-nodejs-app directory. All containers can be started conveniently with docker-compose. Run the following command in the project root directory:
$ docker-compose up -d 
After executing the command, a Node.js app, Grafana, and Prometheus will be running in the background. The charts of the gathered metrics can be accessed and viewed via the Grafana UI at http://localhost:3000/d/1DYaynomMk/example-service-dashboard.
To generate traffic for the Node.js app, we will use the ApacheBench command line tool, which allows sending requests from the command line.
On MacOS, it comes pre-installed by default. On Debian-based Linux distributions, ApacheBench can be installed with the following command:
$ apt-get install apache2-utils 
For Windows, you can download the binaries from Apache Lounge as a ZIP archive. ApacheBench will be named ab.exe in that archive.
This CLI command will run ApacheBench so that it sends 10,000 requests to the /order endpoint of the Node.js app:
$ ab -m POST -n 10000 -c 100 http://localhost:8080/order 
Depending on your hardware, running this command may take some time.
After running the ab command, you can access the Grafana dashboard via http://localhost:3000/d/1DYaynomMk/example-service-dashboard.

Summary

Prometheus is a powerful open-source tool for self-hosted monitoring. It’s a good option for cases in which you don’t want to build from scratch but also don’t want to invest in a SaaS solution.
With a community-supported client library for Node.js and numerous client libraries for other languages, the monitoring of all your systems can be bundled into one place.
Its integration is straightforward, involving just a few lines of code. It can be done directly for long-running services or with help of a push server for short-lived jobs and FaaS-based implementations.
Grafana is also an open-source tool that integrates well with Prometheus. Among the many benefits it offers are flexible configuration, dashboards that allow you to visualize any relevant metric, and alerts to notify of any anomalous behavior.
These two tools combined offer a straightforward way to get insights into your systems. Prometheus offers huge flexibility in terms of metrics gathered and Grafana offers many different graphs to display these metrics. Prometheus and Grafana also integrate so well with each other that it’s surprising they’re not part of one product.
You should now have a good understanding of Prometheus and Grafana and how to make use of them to monitor your Node.js projects in order to gain more insights and confidence in your software deployments.
submitted by matthevva to node [link] [comments]

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submitted by VFXALERT5 to u/VFXALERT5 [link] [comments]

MAME 0.221

MAME 0.221

Our fourth release of the year, MAME 0.221, is now ready. There are lots of interesting changes this time. We’ll start with some of the additions. There’s another load of TV games from JAKKS Pacific, Senario, Tech2Go and others. We’ve added another Panorama Screen Game & Watch title: this one features the lovable comic strip canine Snoopy. On the arcade side, we’ve got Great Bishi Bashi Champ and Anime Champ (both from Konami), Goori Goori (Unico), the prototype Galun.Pa! (Capcom CPS), a censored German version of Gun.Smoke, a Japanese location test version of DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou, and more bootlegs of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Final Fight, Galaxian, Pang! 3 and Warriors of Fate.
In computer emulation, we’re proud to present another working UNIX workstation: the MIPS R3000 version of Sony’s NEWS family. NEWS was never widespread outside Japan, so it’s very exciting to see this running. F.Ulivi has added support for the Swedish/Finnish and German versions of the HP 86B, and added two service ROMs to the software list. ICEknight contributed a cassette software list for the Timex NTSC variants of the Sinclair home computers. There are some nice emulation improvements for the Luxor ABC family of computers, with the ABC 802 now considered working.
Other additions include discrete audio emulation for Midway’s Gun Fight, voice output for Filetto, support for configurable Toshiba Pasopia PAC2 slot devices, more vgmplay features, and lots more Capcom CPS mappers implemented according to equations from dumped PALs. This release also cleans up and simplifies ROM loading. For the most part things should work as well as or better than they did before, but MAME will no longer find loose CHD files in top-level media directories. This is intentional – it’s unwieldy with the number of supported systems.
As usual, you can get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page. This will be the last month where we use this format for the release notes – with the increase in monthly development activity, it’s becoming impractical to keep up.

MAME Testers Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to emulation [link] [comments]

Major League Redditball Independent Demographics Survey: RESULTS

Hey y'all! As most of you know, I've been running a demographics survey over the last week or so. Time to reveal the results!
Of the 559 people currently on active MLR rosters, 139 filled out the survey, good for 24.86% participation. It's hard to draw any conclusions from only surveying about 1/4 of the league, but we'll do our best.
What year did you join the MLR?
Most people who put 2016 either didn't realize that you couldn't sign up as a player in 2016 or were fake submissions. I sorted through which ones were harmless mistakes and which were frauds, and came up with the following results. The leading answer was 2020, represented by 31.9% of submissions. 2019 came in second with 29.7%, followed by 2018 at 22.5% and 2017 at 15.9%.
How many MLR seasons have you participated in?
These answers followed those of the previous question, as the most common response was 1, which was the case for 33.1% of people who filled out the form. 27.3% said 2, 18.7% said 3, 14.4% said 4, and 6.5% has been around for all 5 seasons.
How old are you?
38.8% of those who completed the survey fall into the 18-22 age bracket. The next highest percentage belongs to the 23-27 bracket, which makes up 21.6% of the pie. 13.7% said 15-17, 8.6% said 27-30, 8.6% said 30-35, 2.9% said 12-14, 2.9% said 35-40, and 1.4% said that they were Older than 50.
What team do you play for?
The most common team that appeared on the survey was the Kansas City Royals, with 12 submissions. My Los Angeles Angels came in 2nd with 11. Other notable teams were the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets who had 9 a piece, as well as the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks, who each had 7. 28 of the 30 teams had at least 2 team members fill out the survey. Both the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians failed to have a single player fill out the survey. Finally, 1 of the 139 submissions came from a player who was Retired.
Do you live in the United States?
85.6% said that they do live in the United States, while 14.4% said that they live outside of the U.S.A.
If you live in the United States, what state do you live in?
The most common state that appeared on the survey was New York, which appeared 12 times. Illinois appeared 8 times, while Florida and Texas each had 7. Minnesota and California each had 6, and Connecticut followed right behind them with 6. Other states (abbreviated) that appeared included NJ, CO, NC, GA, OH, MI, MO, NM, DC, MA, WA, IN, SC, AL, MD, TN, PA, HI, WI, VA, KY, OR, NV, SD, NE, ND, and DE. 7 said that they Would rather not answer.
If you do not live in the United States, what country do you live in?
Of the 20 people who listed a non-American country of residence, 10 of them live in Canada. The United Kingdom has 3 representatives, while The Netherlands has 2. Other countries who were represented on the survey include Denmark, Singapore, Portugal, and Panama. One person also stated that they lived in Europe without stating a country.
Which of the following best describes you? (Position in life)
33.1% of those who filled out the survey said that they would describe themselves as a Full-Time Worker. 27.3% said that they are an Undergraduate College Student. 15.8% responded with High School Student, while 6.5% said they are an Undergraduate College Student w/ a Full-Time Job. 4.3% are a Part-Time Worker, 4.3% are a Graduate College Student, 2.9% are Unemployed, and 0.7% are in the Military. 1.4% said they Would rather not answer.
For those who chose an option that included a current Full-Time or Part-Time job, what line of work are you currently in?
I received quite a few different answers, and really there wasn't any answer that appeared more than 2 or 3 times. Quite a few people work in various STEM fields, including computer engineering, software development, mechanical engineering, and other related tech/math-based fields. A few people work in nursing/EMS, a few are in television/broadcasting, and a few even work in the Sports field, doing team sales or management. 4 people listed their occupation as Military. In terms of oddities, 1 person said they were a Fisherman, and 1 said that they are a full-time Actor. Also one person is a full-time bartender, so that seems like a fun Friday night hangout.
Which of the following best describes you? (Gender)
In the least predictable statistic to date, 95.0% said that they were Male. 2.2% said they were Female. 1.4% listed themselves as Non-Binary, 0.7% said Unsure, and 0.7% said they Would rather not answer.
Which of the following best describes you? (Race/Ethnicity)
80.6% listed themselves as White/Caucasian, which is 4/5 of those who filled out the survey. 5.8% listed themselves as Asian, 4.3% responded with Hispanic/Latino, and 3.6% said they were both White Caucasian and Asian. Only 1.4% responded with Black/African American, and only 0.7% responded with Asian/Pacific Islander.
What is your relationship status?
62.6% said they are Single. In terms of other common responses, 19.4% said they are In a closed relationship, 12.9% said they are Married, and 2.2% said they are In an open/polyamorous relationship.
How many hours per week do you spend playing, working, or contributing to Fake Baseball?
Surprisingly, 85.8% said that they spend 10 hours or less each week on Fake Baseball, meaning that 14.2% spend more than a full work day on our great game. 62.7% spend 5 hours or less on our game per week, while 27.0% spend 2 hours or less per week. On the other hand, 8.8% said they spend 20 hours or more per week on our game, and 3.2% said they spend 30 hours or more per week.
What month of the year were you born in?
The most common answer was May with 12.2%, followed by June with 10.8% and February with 10.8%. Other common answers included July with 9.4%, January with 8.6%, and March with 7.9%. The least common response was October with 4.3%.
What is your favorite brand of soda?
While 18.7% responded with the ol' N/A, the actual leading votegetter was Coke with 15.8%. Dr. Pepper followed close behind with 13.7%, and Sprite was next with 8.6%. Other common answers included Pepsi with 5.0%, and Barq's, Mountain Dew, "Root Beer", and Water each with 2.9%.
How many teams have you played for?
The vast majority of survey submissions (61.3%) said that they have only played on 1 team in their MLR career. 23.4% said they have played on 2 teams, 7.3% said 3, 5.8% said 4, and 2.2% have been on 5 teams. Just 1 submitter said they have been on More than 5 teams.
Have you ever received any awards from the MLR for your on-field accomplishments?
Just 24.5% said that they have received an award for their on-field accomplishments at some point in their career. Nearly 3/4 of those surveyed have NOT received an award, and 0.7% said they Would rather not answer.
Have you enjoyed your time in Major League Redditball?
82.7% said Yes, 15.8% said Kinda-sorta, and just 1.4% said No. I hope those 1.4% will someday find happiness and enjoyment around here. Or not. Whatever you want I suppose.
What is your favorite convenience store brand?
The Dallas-based 7-Eleven won with 24.5% (nearly a quarter) of the vote. 12.2% went with the Mid-Atlantic (and Florida)-based Wawa, followed by Circle K, which had 7.2%. Other notable responses included Sheetz (6.5%), QuikTrip (5.8%), Casey's (4.3%), Buc-ee's (3.6%), Speedway (3.6%), RaceTrac (3.6%), Kwik Trip (2.2%), Kum & Go (2.2%), Stewart's (1.4%), Cumberland Farms (1.4%), Kangaroo Express (1.4%), and Holiday (1.4%).
Do you watch actual, in-real-life baseball?
95.7% said Yes, 3.6% said No, and 0.7% said Would rather not answer.
That does it for the survey results! Thank you for reading through all of that. If you want to see specific charts, I'll be posting them on request in the Discord server. Lastly, if you want to join the IRL Meetup network, you still can! PM me your player name and region and I'll get you signed up!
submitted by bryceryals42 to fakebaseball [link] [comments]

MAME 0.221

MAME 0.221

Our fourth release of the year, MAME 0.221, is now ready. There are lots of interesting changes this time. We’ll start with some of the additions. There’s another load of TV games from JAKKS Pacific, Senario, Tech2Go and others. We’ve added another Panorama Screen Game & Watch title: this one features the lovable comic strip canine Snoopy. On the arcade side, we’ve got Great Bishi Bashi Champ and Anime Champ (both from Konami), Goori Goori (Unico), the prototype Galun.Pa! (Capcom CPS), a censored German version of Gun.Smoke, a Japanese location test version of DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou, and more bootlegs of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Final Fight, Galaxian, Pang! 3 and Warriors of Fate.
In computer emulation, we’re proud to present another working UNIX workstation: the MIPS R3000 version of Sony’s NEWS family. NEWS was never widespread outside Japan, so it’s very exciting to see this running. F.Ulivi has added support for the Swedish/Finnish and German versions of the HP 86B, and added two service ROMs to the software list. ICEknight contributed a cassette software list for the Timex NTSC variants of the Sinclair home computers. There are some nice emulation improvements for the Luxor ABC family of computers, with the ABC 802 now considered working.
Other additions include discrete audio emulation for Midway’s Gun Fight, voice output for Filetto, support for configurable Toshiba Pasopia PAC2 slot devices, more vgmplay features, and lots more Capcom CPS mappers implemented according to equations from dumped PALs. This release also cleans up and simplifies ROM loading. For the most part things should work as well as or better than they did before, but MAME will no longer find loose CHD files in top-level media directories. This is intentional – it’s unwieldy with the number of supported systems.
As usual, you can get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page. This will be the last month where we use this format for the release notes – with the increase in monthly development activity, it’s becoming impractical to keep up.

MAME Testers Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to MAME [link] [comments]

Binary Options Review; Best Binary Options Brokers

Binary Options Review; Best Binary Options Brokers

Binary Options Review; Best Binary Options Brokers
We have compared the best regulated binary options brokers and platforms in May 2020 and created this top list. Every binary options company here has been personally reviewed by us to help you find the best binary options platform for both beginners and experts. The broker comparison list below shows which binary trading sites came out on top based on different criteria.
You can put different trading signals into consideration such as using payout (maximum returns), minimum deposit, bonus offers, or if the operator is regulated or not. You can also read full reviews of each broker, helping you make the best choice. This review is to ensure traders don't lose money in their trading account.
How to Compare Brokers and Platforms
In order to trade binary options, you need to engage the services of a binary options broker that accepts clients from your country e.g. check US trade requirements if you are in the United States. Here at bitcoinbinaryoptionsreview.com, we have provided all the best comparison factors that will help you select which trading broker to open an account with. We have also looked at our most popular or frequently asked questions, and have noted that these are important factors when traders are comparing different brokers:
  1. What is the Minimum Deposit? (These range from $5 or $10 up to $250)
  2. Are they regulated or licensed, and with which regulator?
  3. Can I open a Demo Account?
  4. Is there a signals service, and is it free?
  5. Can I trade on my mobile phone and is there a mobile app?
  6. Is there a Bonus available for new trader accounts? What are the Terms and
  7. conditions?
  8. Who has the best binary trading platform? Do you need high detail charts with technical analysis indicators?
  9. Which broker has the best asset lists? Do they offer forex, cryptocurrency, commodities, indices, and stocks – and how many of each?
  10. Which broker has the largest range of expiry times (30 seconds, 60 seconds, end of the day, long term, etc?)
  11. How much is the minimum trade size or amount?
  12. What types of options are available? (Touch, Ladder, Boundary, Pairs, etc)
  13. Additional Tools – Like Early closure or Metatrader 4 (Mt4) plugin or integration
  14. Do they operate a Robot or offer automated trading software?
  15. What is Customer Service like? Do they offer telephone, email and live chat customer support – and in which countries? Do they list direct contact details?
  16. Who has the best payouts or maximum returns? Check the markets you will trade.
The Regulated Binary Brokers
Regulation and licensing is a key factor when judging the best broker. Unregulated brokers are not always scams, or untrustworthy, but it does mean a trader must do more ‘due diligence’ before trading with them. A regulated broker is the safest option.
Regulators - Leading regulatory bodies include:
  • CySec – The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (Cyprus and the EU)
  • FCA – Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
  • CFTC – Commodity Futures Trading Commission (US)
  • FSB – Financial Services Board (South Africa)
  • ASIC – Australia Securities and Investment Commission
There are other regulators in addition to the above, and in some cases, brokers will be regulated by more than one organization. This is becoming more common in Europe where binary options are coming under increased scrutiny. Reputable, premier brands will have regulation of some sort.
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Ambrosia and Registration

Now that Ambrosia is gone, new registrations are no longer possible, and due to their expiring codes, using legitimate license keys has become difficult. We may hope to see a few of their games revived in the future but at present, only the original releases are available. Perhaps this case study on Ambrosia's registration algorithms will be useful to some.

The Old System

In their earliest days, ASW didn't require registration, but they eventually began locking core features away behind codes. All of their classic titles use the original algorithm by Andrew Welch.
Given a licensee name, number of copies, and game name, the code generator runs through two loops. The first loop iterates over each letter of the capitalized licensee name, adding the ASCII representation of that letter with the number of copies and then rotating the resulting bits. The second loop repeats that operation, only using the game's name instead of the license holder's name.
Beginning with Mars Rising, later games added a step to these loops: XOR the current code with the common hex string $DEADBEEF. However, the rest of the algorithm remained essentially unchanged.
The resulting 32 bits are converted into a text registration code by adding the ASCII offset of $41 to each hex digit. This maps the 32-bit string into 8 characters, but due to the limit of a hex digit to only encode 16 values, codes only contain letters from the first 16 of the alphabet.
The following chart shows an example using a well-known hacked code for Slithereens.
 Iteration 1 ('A' in ANONYMOUS) Name: Anonymous Code = $0 + $41 Number: 100 (hex: $64) -> << 6 ... -> Code = $FD53 FFA0 Game: Slithereens + $64 ^ $DEAD BEEF >> 1 Add $41 to each digit: Registration -> $41 + $F = $50 = P -> Reverse string -> ------------ $41 + $D = $4E = N | AKPPDFNP | ... ------------ 
Here is a Python implementation of the v1 system: aswreg_v1.py
Once you have the bitstring module installed via sudo pip install bitstring, you can test the output yourself with python aswreg_v1.py "Anonymous" 100 "Slithereens".

The New System

As Ambrosia's Matt Slot explains, the old system continued to allow a lot of piracy, so in the early 2000's they decided to switch to a more challenging registration system. This new method was based on polynomial hashing and included a timestamp so that codes could be expired and renewed. Ambrosia now had better control over code distribution, but they assumed their renewal server would never be shut down...
They also took more aggressive steps to reduce key sharing. The registration app checks against a list of blacklisted codes, and if found to be using one, the number of licenses is internally perturbed so that subsequent calculations fail. To combat tampering, your own information can get locally blacklisted in a similar manner if too many failed attempts occur, at least until the license file is deleted. Furthermore, the app attempts to verify the system time via a remote time server to minimize registration by changing the computer's clock.
You can disable the internet connection, set the clock back, and enter codes. There's also a renewal bot for EV: Nova. But let us look at the algorithm more closely.

64-bit Codes

The first noticeable difference is that registration codes in v2 are now 12 digits, containing both letters and numbers. This is due to a move from a 32-bit internal code to a 64-bit one. Rather than add an ASCII offset to hex digits, every letter or number in a new registration code has a direct mapping to a chunk of 5 bits. Using 5 bits per digit supports up to 32 values, or almost all letters of the alphabet and digits up to 9 (O, I, 0, and 1 were excluded given their visual similarities).
The resulting 64 bits (really only 60 because the upper 4 are unused: 12 digits * 5 bits each = 60) are a combination of two other hashes XOR'd together. This is a notable change from v1 because it only used the registration code to verify against the hashing algorithm. Only the licensee name, number of copies, and game name were really used. In v2, the registration code is itself a hash which contains important information like a code's timestamp.

Two Hashes

To extract such information from the registration code, we must reverse the XOR operation and split out the two hashes which were combined. Fortunately, XOR is reversible, and we can compute one of the hashes. The first hash, which I'll call the userkey, is actually quite similar to v1's algorithm. It loops through the licensee name, adding the ASCII value, number of copies, and shifting bits. This is repeated with the game name. An important change is including multiplication by a factor based on the string size.
The second hash, which I'll call the basekey, is the secret sauce of v2; it's what you pay Ambrosia to generate when registering a product. It is not computed by the registration app, but there are several properties by which it must be validated.
The chart below visualizes the relationships among the various hashes, using the well-known "Barbara Kloeppel" code for EV: Nova.
 TEXTCODE: ------------------ | L4B5-9HJ5-P3NB | ------------------ HASH1 (userkey): | calculated from licensee name, | copies, and game name BINCODE: ---------------------- 5 bits per character, /-> | 0x0902f8932acce305 | plus factors & rotation / ---------------------- ---------------------- / | 0x0008ecc1c2ee5e00 | <-- XOR ---------------------- \ \ ---------------------- \-> | 0x090a1452e822bd05 | ---------------------- HASH2 (basekey): generated by Ambrosia, extracted via XOR 

The Basekey

The basekey is where we must handle timestamps and several validation checks. Consider the binary representation of the sample 0x090a1452e822bd05:
binary basekey (above) and indices for reference (below): 0000 1001 0000 1010 0001 0100 0101 0010 1110 1000 0010 0010 1011 1101 0000 0101 b0 b3 b7 b11 b15 b19 b23 b27 b31 b35 b39 b43 b47 b51 b55 b59 b63 

Timestamps

Timestamp are encoded as a single byte comprised of bits indexed at b56,51,42,37,28,23,14,9 from the basekey. In this example, the timestamp is 01100010 or 0x62 or 98.
The timestamp represents the number of fortnights that have passed since Christmas Day, 2000 Eastern time, modulo 256 to fit in one byte. For example, 98 fortnights places the code at approximately October 2004.
Stored as a single byte, there are 256 unique timestamps. This is 512 weeks or about 10 years. Yes, this means that a code's validity rotates approximately once every decade.
After the code's timestamp is read, it is subtracted from the current timestamp (generated from the system clock or network time server if available). The difference must be less than 2, so codes are valid for 4 weeks or about a month at a time.
Of note, Pillars of Garendall has a bug in which the modulo is not taken correctly, so the timestamp corresponding to 0xFF is valid without expiry.

Validity Check

The last three bits, b60-63, contain the sum of all other 3-bit chunks in the basekey, modulo 7. Without the correct number in these bits, the result will be considered invalid.
To this point, we have covered sufficient material to renew licenses. The timestamp can be changed, the last three bits updated, the result XOR'd with the userkey, and finally, the code converted from binary to text.

Factors for Basekey Generation

I was next curious about code generation. For the purposes of this write-up, I have not fully reverse engineered the basekey, only duplicated the aspects which are used for validation. This yields functional keys, just not genuine ones. If the authors of the EV: Nova renewal bot have fully reversed the algorithm, perhaps they will one day share the steps to genuine basekey creation.
One aspect validated by the registration app is that the licensee name, number, and game name can be modified to yield a set of base factors. These are then multiplied by some number and written into the basekey. We do not need the whole algorithm; we simply must check that the corresponding regions in the basekey are multiples of the appropriate factors.
The regions of note in the basekey are f1 = b5-9,47-51,33-37,19-23, f2 = b43-47,29-33,15-19,57-61, and f3 = b24-28,10-14,52-56,38-42. The top 5 bits and f3 are never actually checked, so they can be ignored.
Considering f1 and f2, the values in the sample basekey are 0x25DA and 0x1500, respectively. The base factors are 0x26 and 0x1C, which are multiples by 0xFF and 0xC0, respectively.
Rather than analyze the code in detail, I wrote a small script to translate over the disassembled PPC to Python wholesale. It is sufficient for generating keys to EV: Nova, using the perfectly-valid multiple of 1x, but I have found it fails for other v2 products.

Scripts

Here is a Python implementation for v2: aswreg_v2.py and aswreg_v2core.py
With bitstring installed, you can renew codes like python aswreg_v2.py renew "L4B5-9HJ5-P3NB" "Barbara Kloeppel" 1 "EV Nova" (just sample syntax, blacklisted codes will still fail in the app). There's also a function to check a code's timestamp with date or create a new license with generate.
As earlier cautioned, generating basekeys relies on code copied from disassembled PPC and will likely not work outside EV: Nova. In my tests with other v2 products, all essential parts of the algorithm remain the same, even the regions of the basekey which are checked as multiples of the factors. What differs is the actual calculation of base factors. Recall that these keys were created by Ambrosia outside the local registration system, so the only options are to copy the necessary chunks of code to make passable factors for each product or to fully reverse engineer the basekey algorithm. I've no doubt the factors are an easy computation once you know the algorithm, but code generation becomes less critical when renewal is an option for other games. I leave it to the authors of the Zeus renewal bot if they know how to find these factors more generally.
To renew codes for other games, keep in mind the name must be correct. For instance, Pillars of Garendall is called "Garendall" internally. You can find a game's name by typing a gibberish license in the registration app and seeing what file is created in Preferences. It should be of the form License.
Finally, a couple disclaimers: I have only tested with a handful of keys, so my interpretations and implementations may not be completely correct. YMMV. Furthermore, these code snippets are posted as an interesting case study about how a defunct company once chose to combat software piracy, not to promote piracy. Had Ambrosia remained operational, I'm sure we would have seen a v3 registration system or a move to online-based play as so many other games are doing today, but I hope this has been helpful for those who still wish to revisit their favorite Ambrosia classics.
submitted by asw_anon to evnova [link] [comments]

binary options trading

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MAME 0.221

MAME 0.221

Our fourth release of the year, MAME 0.221, is now ready. There are lots of interesting changes this time. We’ll start with some of the additions. There’s another load of TV games from JAKKS Pacific, Senario, Tech2Go and others. We’ve added another Panorama Screen Game & Watch title: this one features the lovable comic strip canine Snoopy. On the arcade side, we’ve got Great Bishi Bashi Champ and Anime Champ (both from Konami), Goori Goori (Unico), the prototype Galun.Pa! (Capcom CPS), a censored German version of Gun.Smoke, a Japanese location test version of DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou, and more bootlegs of Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Final Fight, Galaxian, Pang! 3 and Warriors of Fate.
In computer emulation, we’re proud to present another working UNIX workstation: the MIPS R3000 version of Sony’s NEWS family. NEWS was never widespread outside Japan, so it’s very exciting to see this running. F.Ulivi has added support for the Swedish/Finnish and German versions of the HP 86B, and added two service ROMs to the software list. ICEknight contributed a cassette software list for the Timex NTSC variants of the Sinclair home computers. There are some nice emulation improvements for the Luxor ABC family of computers, with the ABC 802 now considered working.
Other additions include discrete audio emulation for Midway’s Gun Fight, voice output for Filetto, support for configurable Toshiba Pasopia PAC2 slot devices, more vgmplay features, and lots more Capcom CPS mappers implemented according to equations from dumped PALs. This release also cleans up and simplifies ROM loading. For the most part things should work as well as or better than they did before, but MAME will no longer find loose CHD files in top-level media directories. This is intentional – it’s unwieldy with the number of supported systems.
As usual, you can get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page. This will be the last month where we use this format for the release notes – with the increase in monthly development activity, it’s becoming impractical to keep up.

MAME Testers Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to cade [link] [comments]

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