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Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

Chelloveck Re:Where can I buy a good trackball? (416 comments)

A couple of "large" trackball vendors:

BigTrack - http://www.bigtrack.co.uk/
Kensington - http://www.kensington.com/

FWIW, I love my Kensington Expert Mouse. Despite the name it's actually a roughly billiard-ball sized trackball with four buttons and a scroll ring. Two caveats:

  1. I use it with a Mac, and I had to get a third-party driver to map the buttons.
  2. I made the mistake of registering the product. Now I get weekly spam from Kensington despite repeated attempts at unsubscribing. Kensington is permanently routed to my spam folder now.

I got it because I was developing RSI from use of a regular mouse with my right hand. I tried switching to my left, but had trouble training myself to use almost-but-not-quite the same mouse motions. The trackball has a completely different motion from the mouse, so I was able to easily train my left hand to use it. Now I use the left-handed trackball at work and the right-handed mouse at home and haven't had any more RSI issues. (Yeah, using the trackball right-handed probably would have had the same effect, since the motion is different. But at the time my right arm really hurt and it was more comfortable just to give it a rest and train my left to do it.)

yesterday
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Why Run Linux On Macs?

Chelloveck Re:To escape the walled garden (588 comments)

To install python libraries like scipy, matplotlib, etc. Apparently that is such a pain in MacOS, and there are so many half-assed distributions methods that you can really botch your system.

Huh? You do sudo easy_install scipy just like on any other Unix-y OS.

about a week ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

Chelloveck Re:Entitled much? (479 comments)

At my work we have an equal number of men's and women's restrooms, and those restrooms are sized to allow the same number of people (so if the men's room has 2 stalls and 2 urinals, the women's room has 4 stalls). This is despite the fact that we have 4x as many men as women working in our facility (it's not a hiring issue, we just don't get the applicants).

We had a similar issue. Way more men than women here, but equal toilet facilities: two four-person restrooms (one for each gender) on both of the floors in the office. Solution? Convert the 1st floor ladies' room into a men's room. Problem solved, right? Except that when interviewing, nothing tells a female applicant "You're not wanted here" like making her go down to the basement to piss.

Thankfully we've come to our corporate senses and restored the upstairs ladies' room.

The end result is that on average men can expect to wait 15-20 minutes before getting an open stall to use, while the women generally will not even see another person in the restroom unless they came in together.

Sounds like you just need more toilets, period. Even in the worst case here I've hardly ever been unable to find an open men's room stall in time of need. Yeah, sometimes I have to go to the one on other floor, but that's life.

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

Chelloveck Re:Qualifications (479 comments)

Before: "Hey, just got back from working the job fair. Here are 20 resumes, one of which is from a woman!"

After: "Hey, just got back from working the job fair. Here are 5 resumes, one of which is from a woman! Diversity!"

When I go to a job fair, I bring back resumes from all the qualified applicants. The only way I could meet a 20% quota would be to discard enough male candidates to make the ratio fit.

Hmm... You know, it's just a short step from there to a full-blown H1B conspiracy fantasy... "Last year we got 20 resumes from the job fair. This year we only got 5!" "Damn, you just can't find enough STEM workers these days. Fire up the lobbyists and make Washington know we need more cheap-- er, I mean foreign workers!"

about two weeks ago
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Fighting Tech's Diversity Issues Without Burning Down the System

Chelloveck Re:Entitled much? (479 comments)

I just don't get it. We're supposed to be hiring more women, but if you start off the interview with "So, do you have a vagina?" they stomp out and call the HR department on you. What, are we just supposed to know?

about two weeks ago
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Best current live-action TV show based on comics?

Chelloveck Re:Don't Watch TV (148 comments)

Not unlike this gentleman...

"Green has lived without television since 1989, when his then-girlfriend moved out and took her set with her. "

about two weeks ago
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PHP vs. Node.js: the Battle For Developer Mind Share

Chelloveck Re:Before reading TFA ... (245 comments)

No, of course not. You just need an x64 virtual machine running in your browser. What could be easier?

about two weeks ago
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How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

Chelloveck Re:No. Hell No. Bad Idea. (480 comments)

An overly-complex and ill-considered solution to a mostly non-problem. I was honestly surprised that the summary *didn't* end with "Read on to see what Bennett Hasselton has to say."

about two weeks ago
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Netflix Cracks Down On VPN and Proxy "Pirates"

Chelloveck Re:Cat and mouse... (437 comments)

Correction -- It wasn't stupid when distribution meant shipping physical items around the world to sell locally. In that case it makes perfect sense to license local distributors. It is stupid when you're shipping bits across a wire with no natural geographic boundaries. The proper solution is to change the distribution model, not to create artificial boundaries to shore up the old one.

about three weeks ago
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Why Aren't We Using SSH For Everything?

Chelloveck Re:Oh, wait, my bad! (203 comments)

I confused medium.com with the other site that is often the target of /. article links. Dammit now I am stuck, I can't remember it, it has a simple name as well, it is one with "scientific" topics but really crap content in a fancy css scrolling article...

Sounds like a perfect description of medium.com to me...

about three weeks ago
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The Open Office Is Destroying the Workplace

Chelloveck Re:middle ground: 2-3 people back-to-back (420 comments)

My sweet spot is 4-6 people in an office. A real office, with walls and a door. I've been in a cube sea, I've been in a private office, I've been in shared cubicles. For what I do and how I do it, the small shared office is the most comfortable. (Your mileage may vary, of course. It depends on work habits and the number of people you regularly collaborate with.)

It's kind of funny though, that we'll often have a discussion going on IRC when we're all in the same room and could, you know... just talk to each other.

about a month ago
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NSA Says They Have VPNs In a 'Vulcan Death Grip'

Chelloveck What a load of corbomite! (234 comments)

They really call it VULCANDEATHGRIP? As I recall (and Memory Alpha confirms) the "Vulcan death grip" does not exist, it was merely a ruse used to fool the Romulans. Given the code name I surmise that the ability to crack VPNs doesn't exist, the NSA just wants us to believe that it does.

Next they'll be telling us that if they go "by the book, hours will seem like days". We see through your clever wordplay, NSA!

P.S. Deal me in for the Tuesday night fizzbin game. I want a piece of that action!

about a month ago
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Slashdot Asks: The Beanies Return; Who Deserves Recognition for 2014?

Chelloveck Re:Anita Sarkeesian (299 comments)

She literally pisses on virtually everything as being demeaning to women.

She literally pisses on everything? What, like a cat? And you say there are videos of this? No, no, keep the URLs to yourself. That's not my kink.

about a month ago
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The Making of a 1980s Dungeons & Dragons Module

Chelloveck Re:How many virgins were involved? (59 comments)

Not sacrifice, just the 40 year old kind?

I realize you're making a funny, but back when I played, back in the ancient times when 1st edition was just called AD&D because there wasn't a 2nd edition yet, we had actual girls in my campaign. With real boobs and vaginas. Which I know for a fact 'cause I got nekkid with a couple of 'em from time to time. And this at a college with a 4:1 male:female ratio, even. I'm not sure how this "nerd == virgin" idea got started, but consenting nerds have been screwing each other at least as long as I've been old enough to join the fun, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't the first.

about a month ago
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Google and Apple Weaseling Out of "Do Not Track"

Chelloveck Re:No problem. (145 comments)

Looks interesting. I installed it and turned off Ad-Block Plus and Ghostery to let the badger do its thing. The first issue I see is that it requires a training period to identify what's tracking you. I'm not sure I can survive the sewer that is the unfiltered Internet long enough for it to identify trackers....

about a month ago
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MIT Unifies Web Development In Single, Speedy New Language

Chelloveck Anyone here qualified to comment? (194 comments)

I'd really like to hear from someone outside of academia who thinks this is useful. I've been programming in C-like languages ever since I graduated college 25 years ago, but my degree is in EE, not CS. The language definition is complete gibberish to me, containing solid pages of a mathematical notation that I've never before seen. Likewise, I have a very hard time following the demo code. I don't really feel qualified to evaluate it.

I do see some red flags, though. First, since the language spec is given in such an abstract notation I have a feeling that it's going to be very difficult for code monkeys like me to refer back to. I normally reach for the language spec or the official docs when I have a question, but neither are going to do me any good here. Similarly, the tutorial starts out by describing the similarities and differences between Ur and ML or Haskell. That'd be a lot more useful if I'd ever used either of those two languages. The tutorial is incomplete, and what's there never describes Ur on its own without comparing it to the other languages.

Second, the trivial demos look like some PHP variant, while the complicated demos are, well... Complicated. "Hello, World" simply returns a chunk of what appears to be free-form XML; some others return a chunk of XML with a few embedded Ur statements, similar to PHP. The SQL demos show embedded SQL statements. Are the XML and SQL chunks syntactically part of the Ur language thus checked for well-formedness, or are they just free-form text which get minimally processed to substitute variables before they're emitted? Or is there something else fundamental going on here that I'm missing completely due to my lack of familiarity with functional programming?

Third, the official web site looks like something out of 1995. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It is clean and functional, just really, really utilitarian. I assume the site is done in Ur/Web, and it's clear that the author of the language learned HTML back when Mosaic was the hot new browser. Is the utilitarian look just how the author or site designer does things, or is it baked into the language? How hard would it be to implement something that looks modern? In the same vein it looks like Ur/Web produces xhtml as its output, and it looks like Ur/Web pretty much relies on well-formed XML embedded in the Ur source code. Will it have access to any of the new goodies in HTML5? Or is it going to be obsolete before the first Dummies book can be written?

So if there's anyone here who does real-world web development and has the academic chops to evaluate Ur/Web for what it is, would you please post a summary for us code-troglodytes?

about 1 month ago
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MIT Unifies Web Development In Single, Speedy New Language

Chelloveck Re:Frames in 2014 (194 comments)

Frames loading xhtml, even.

about 1 month ago
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Sony: 'The Interview' Will Have a Limited Theatrical Release

Chelloveck Re:Limited Theatrical Release (176 comments)

"Wait a minute... If we don't do a theatrical release before the end of the year, this thing can't get nominated for an Oscar! Quick, call up some rinkydink art houses, let's get this nominated for 'Most courageous expression of free speech in the face of a terrorist threat'! Because God knows it's not going to get nominated for the writing or acting."

about a month ago
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Comcast's Lobbyists Hand Out VIP Cards To Skip the Customer Service Wait

Chelloveck Re:To hide the bad service regular people get? (131 comments)

He called and said "We've broken flash on both Macs and can't watch youtube videos now. I've installed it twice on your mom's Mac but it didn't help."

Could be a lot worse. I emailed my mom a screenshot and she replied, "How did you do that?" I wrote back saying, "I have a Mac and don't know how to do it on a PC like you have, but if you Google 'windows screenshot' you'll find something that will tell you." Two days later I get a call: "I did what you said and now my computer runs slow and has all these strange windows and icons everywhere and my email doesn't work." "What did you do, mom?" "I Googled what you said. Then one of those sites told me my computer had a virus and I clicked a button to clean it."

This was my mom so I helped her, but this is a good example of why I'd rather have burning bamboo shoved underneath my fingernails than work tier 1 tech support.

about a month ago

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