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

PsychoSlashDot Re: What's wrong with a scroll wheel? (429 comments)

Click mode or not, a scroll wheel is NOT A BUTTON. It is a shitty make-do.

Take apart a scroll mouse. Turns out that it uses literally the same microswitch that the other buttons do. Ergo, it IS A BUTTON.

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

PsychoSlashDot Re: What's wrong with a scroll wheel? (429 comments)

It's not just difficult or takes effort; it's IMPOSSIBLE. And I think your a liar if you say you can.

Weird. A decent mouse has detents so that there's a meaningful rotational force that has to be applied to cause scrolling. While accidental scrolling can happen, it's the exception, not the norm.

about a week ago
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Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

PsychoSlashDot Re:I want silent vehicles (820 comments)

If you mandate noise you will never get silence.

Good. That's an admirable goal. The greater the destructive potential of a vehicle, the more evident it should be. Making cars only evident in the visual spectrum is a poor choice, even at the cost of your evident need to sleep, rest, or otherwise concentrate while near a roadway.

Plus once you get enough cars close together you almost can't distinguish them anyway because it basically becomes white noise.

Not so. There's a reason why bells are more or less constantly rung in China on bicycles; it's not unlike echolocation. Riders advertise their presence for safety purposes.

Just because people have become accustomed to a certain amount of noise is not a credible argument for continuing to emit noise pollution needlessly.

Just because [reason that is not the reason for the argument]... [stuff]. It's not a question about what we are accustomed to. We shouldn't continue to have seat-belts in cars because we're accustomed to them. We should continue to have them because they're a bloody safety feature.

And no, I am not at all concerned about blind or inattentive pedestrians crossing the road in front of me. It's MY responsibility as a driver to drive carefully and watch out for possible road hazards. It is also their responsibility to watch out when crossing the road.

Excellent, let's reduce the bidirectional safety measures because you want to hear your whale-song tranquility CD better. There are situations - real situations - where line-of-sight is blocked but usefully sound is not. You can currently hear cars around a corner, or behind an obstruction, before you step out, peddle out, or potentially make a lane change. Yes, it is everyone's responsibility to "be safe", but audible motor vehicles is a tool that aids in that endeavor.

Hell, people get hit by trains while walking and they make a huge racket and are 100% avoidable by staying off the tracks.

People are occasionally killed in airplane crashes, which are very, very loud, and completely avoidable by walking everywhere instead of flying.

There is simply no good argument for allowing the removal of a useful side-effect, other than your personal tastes. Now, I admit there's a big difference between say, a Harley, or... um... my big-ass V8... and a typical car, in that there is such a thing as simply obnoxious. But silent cars? Bad idea.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Can I Trust Android Rooting Tools?

PsychoSlashDot What - exactly - are you worried about here? (184 comments)

On the PC, typically Odin is the only Windows executable involved with rooting an Android phone. Standard security best-practices should keep you "safe" here. Obtain Odin from trustworthy sites such as XDA. Use a bi-directional firewall package that tells you when your PC tries to make an outbound connection. Odin shouldn't.

On the phone, if you're just rooting, you're trusting the manufacturer of your phone, which isn't necessarily wise, but I see that's WHY you're rooting. So, you can get the XPosed Framework and XPrivacy, and set permissions for the various packages on your phone. Both are open-source.

If you don't actually read the code, then by definition you're trusting, period. So what's the issue?

about two weeks ago
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Google Glass Is Dead, Long Live Google Glass

PsychoSlashDot Re:Glass was doomed from the start (141 comments)

The Pebble does not use E Ink, it uses Sharp's Memory LCD crap. An E Ink display uses no power unless the display is refreshed. Memory LCD uses power constantly. I would have thought you'd know that as someone who "owns" a Pebble.

Five days of battery is terrible for a watch. A smartwatch with an E Ink display could last a lot longer.

I wrote some stuff responding to your attempt to rile me up, and it amused me intensely, at your expense, then I deleted it so you can't even reply to it. So thank you.

But I'm not going to stop trying to be helpful.

As it happens, the screen on the Pebble is a form of e-ink. It isn't the same oil-cell bubble technology used in many e-readers (including the one I "own") but it's marketed as e-paper because it's got many of the benefits of traditional e-ink while simultaneously not having most of the shortcomings of straight LCD. What, specifically, does that mean? Well, for instance it's fully transflective, meaning that it's perfectly viewable in daylight conditions (atypical for most LCDs).

Also, as designed, the display pulls very little power to maintain a given display. What pulls power is altering the display - as with traditional e-ink - but this too is addressed with admirable cleverness; it's designed so it doesn't refresh the entire screen, only horizontal lines that contain altering content. So with a watchface that isn't wasteful, you may only be redrawing a fraction of the screen at a time, leaving most of the display at maintenance pull. Traditional e-ink redraws the entire display each draw, and usually does so a total of three times; once to solid black, once to solid white, and once to draw the desired content, all to deal with the memory effect that traditional e-ink has. It's not actually a given than traditional oil-cell-based e-ink would actually net longer battery life.

Finally, the Pebble's screen is capable of a much higher refresh rate than traditional e-ink, so that non-watch applications can have smooth display. Admittedly, the vast majority of the time a user only redraws a portion of the screen once per second, but the capacity is there.

As for battery life, yes, five days is excrementally poor for a watch. Strangely, for a smartwatch it's not at all poor. I - an admittedly small sample of exactly one - find it no chore to find one night a week that I don't sleep with the Pebble on, so it can charge. Every other night of the week I wear it as usual, allowing it to wake me in the morning as my traditional digital watches have for the last... oh... nearly four decades. It also bears mentioning that the method the Pebble uses to get attention is vibration, not audible sound. At first I didn't know if I would like that, but in the end I've come to prefer it. Of course, physical movement is also battery-expensive, so that's another factor to keep in mind when comparing battery life to traditional watches; they just beep.

Dismiss the product if you will. Not everything is for everyone, but the Pebble is in a completely different category from every other smartwatch on the market in pretty much every way. Not expensive, not huge, waterproof, doesn't have a silly battery-intensive colour display. It's a very capable companion product that augments an existing device instead of trying to weirdly replace it.

about two weeks ago
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Google Glass Is Dead, Long Live Google Glass

PsychoSlashDot Re:Glass was doomed from the start (141 comments)

Smartwatches have the same problem as Glass. Pathetic battery life and useless functionality. Until someone makes a low cost E Ink smartwatch, they will never become common devices.

It depends on what you define as a smartwatch. I'm very happy with my Pebble because it's exactly what I see as the limit of usefulness; a notifier. It's not a web browser or Google Maps screen. It doesn't have GPS and I can't make phone calls on it. It has no speaker, so it's not an audio player. All it does (for me) is put my phone's notifications somewhere I can see them without fumbling for the phone itself.

Oh. Five to seven day battery life. Because... low-cost e-ink smartwatch.

But you posted AC so you'll likely never see this hopefully helpful reply.

about two weeks ago
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Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

PsychoSlashDot Re:Double nope (426 comments)

Dismissing it "just a hybrid" is no more accurate than calling it an electric car. It's runs as an electric car until the all-electric range is exhausted -- about thirty miles -- and then runs like a hybrid.

So... what you're saying here is that it's just a hybrid. Just because it can roll to the end of your driveway without using the gas motor doesn't change that to actually drive the car you're in hybrid mode.

Tangential Disclosure: I'm not the target market for these cars. I'm still at a point where I find driving entertaining, so my current car is a 410+ hp muscle car that seats five comfortably plus cargo space, with four doors and weighing in at about 4,400 lbs. I can 0-60 in about 5 seconds, but what really gets me looking at electric/hybrid vehicles askance is the range. I can happily cruise up to about 500 miles on a fill-up.

I can romp around when I want to, and I can pull nearly 30 MPG when I'm going somewhere. Until electric/hybrids have that kind of range, they're just kind of like bicycles with roofs; perfect if you don't have any real distance to travel (which yes, I realize describes some drivers' whole lives).

about three weeks ago
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US Lawmakers Push For a Permanent Ban On Internet Access Taxes

PsychoSlashDot Re:Meaningless drivel (100 comments)

Later law automagically overrides, so a law cannot make anything permanent.

All it'll take is a new law allowing/mandating internet access taxes to make this "permanent" ban vanish.

Thank you. It must totally rile you up that permanent magic marker can be removed with rubbing alcohol or the heat-death of the universe.

permanent

/prmnnt/
adjective
1. lasting or intended to last or remain unchanged indefinitely.

indefinite
/indef()nt/
adjective
lasting for an unknown or unstated length of time.

about three weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

PsychoSlashDot Re: Dupe (840 comments)

Charger R/T.

about a month ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

PsychoSlashDot Re: Dupe (840 comments)

There's your problem right there. Because you expect everything to be unfixable you assume replacing a bulb is beyond your capability. Fact is bulbs in cars are a darn sight easier to replace. ...

Incidentally... bullshit. I've got a modern (2008), Big Three car and to replace the headlight bulb, you literally have to remove the entire fascia from the car. Then you have to remove the headlight housing from the car. Then you have to excavate to extract the HID bulb from within the housing. This is nontrivial because you are working through a small hole to undo metal latches inside. Then you get to replace the actual bulb, which the oils on your skin can easily destroy. Finally, you reassemble the entire front-end of your car.

I've done it. But it's nowhere near as easy as my first car (a 1985 model, same manufacturer) was. That was trivial.

All of my corner lights and brake lights are trivial, but the headlights... nasty. This is simply because of all of the complex sculpted front-end structure. When cars were simple box shapes, it was easy.

about a month ago
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What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

PsychoSlashDot Re:Universal Translators? (578 comments)

What about universal translators? In 100 years time, won't they be good enough for general use? -> my bet is that the world will still speak lots of languages and use translators. :)

Because that isn't a total pain in the ass? Don't get me wrong... it's better than not being able to communicate, but having to listen for a translation in between every exchange will be annoying. And faulty. But mostly annoying. It's far more likely as the globe becomes smaller for language domination to take place even though a hundred years isn't long enough for anything like a single winner. Expansion = fragmentation, contraction = unification. Until we colonize planets introducing days of delay in communications we won't see language expansion again.

about a month ago
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New Canadian Copyright Laws Require ISPs To Retain, Share Illegal Download Info

PsychoSlashDot Re:CAN WE STOP PAYING THE MEDIAT TARIF! (161 comments)

For fuck sakes if we're going to go full on america up here can we get rid of the fucking tariff please

You're still buying CDRs? Because that's the only media the tariff applies to.

about a month ago
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Out With the Red-Light Cameras, In With the Speeding Cameras

PsychoSlashDot Re:Oh noes! (335 comments)

Oh no! Bad news is that speeding cameras are increasing. Now we'll actually catch people who are breaking the law. What will they do. Those poor souls.

Yes I'm trolling but I have an honest question for you. What makes you decide it's okay to break the law and then complain about the judicial system's ability to identify that you did? If you have something against the law in question then simply breaking it is unlikely to be the way to get it changed, and at worst quite silly if you complain about subsequently getting caught.

It's one of the few 100% voluntary taxes. You chose to pay it.

Bull. The moment you link income to victimless crimes, you create an adversarial relationship between the police and the public.

In this case in particular, you create a culture where it is tangibly to the police department's benefit to arrange that speed limits are set artificially low, where drivers will be likely to speed. In such a case, there's no safety benefit, only a cash benefit to the police.

Now, if these were mandated that they could only ever be used at spots where there were $RandomSensibleNum speed-related accidents a year, that might be different. Speed limits exist (purportedly) to encourage safety. Where they don't work, heftier solutions might be called for. Where there is no actual safety issue, there is no need for these cameras.

about 1 month ago
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Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

PsychoSlashDot Re:Blah (351 comments)

There's only about 190 pages. It's actually quicker for the average reader to read the whole of the hobbit than to watch all 3 films.

Just some numbers. The average person reads at between 250 and 300 words per minute. Let's call it 275.

Hobbit is 95,356 words long. That's 347 minutes of reading.

The first two Hobbit movies combined are 330 minutes long.

So basically an average reader will plow through the book in the time it takes to watch two of the movies plus some trailers before the third. Forget the extra 144 minutes of the actual movie!

about a month ago
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Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

PsychoSlashDot Re:But an unborn baby is not a person. Riiiiiight. (187 comments)

Law? How shortsighted! No; it's about what we value, and how we make choices about life and death, and what makes us human.

That woman opened up her body to her mate and that little person ended up there through no fault of its own. Mommy and daddy decided to ignore basic human physiology and now it is, in fact, the end of the story for that kid that ends up like it went through a blender. Your hand is a part of your body; ever tried to put your hand in a blender?

That's the way you see it and you're trying to present it as fact. It's not. It's interpretation.

Don't believe me? Have your appendix burst. Suddenly you'll see a very real circumstance where removal of a body part is trivial and not a matter for ethical consideration.

You've decided that "personhood" begins at conception. Well, other people don't see a single fertilized cell as a human being. This isn't a topic that can be defined in rigid blacks & whites. At the single-cell stage, what you've got is a non-viable life form.

Here's another way to look at it... if you take a full-functioning adult human, scoop out their brain and leave the rest on life support, do you have a person anymore? I'd hope we can agree the answer is no. Well then, at the single-cell stage, you don't have a brain, so you don't have a person. Somewhere along the line, cell-division starts to specialize and eventually there's a little bundle of brain cells. Say there's... a hundred specialized brain cells. Nothing that is capable of cogitation, so again, I'd think we can agree that we don't have a person. Somewhere along the line, things gather enough complexity to support personality, thought, self-awareness, and personhood. That may - or may not - be at 9 months/birth. To allege that a person exists much prior to birth is... questionable, not a given.

about a month ago
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Can Rep. John Culberson Save NASA's Space Exploration Program?

PsychoSlashDot Re:I don't care about NASA (156 comments)

As a government institution, they are doomed to be plague by inefficiencies that do not exist in the private sector. Elon Musk will take us to Mars and colonize the solar system. I wish my tax money went to SpaceX!

As a government institution, they are also blessed with a focus on exploration and learning that does not exist in the private sector. Elon Musk will take us to Mars and colonize the solar system as long as it is immediately and sustainably profitable.

I wish you could see that your money going to an independent organization - wasteful or not - that is permitted to operate at a fiscal loss in search of raw knowledge has a benefit. Not every discovery has an obvious cash-cow application yet can still prove useful.

There is room for the private sector to research profit-driven techniques while a publicly-funded tinkerer organization researches general curiosity concepts and releases their findings to everyone for the betterment of all.

about a month ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

PsychoSlashDot Re:Too much Fred Saberhagen (391 comments)

Those Berserker novels were okay, but not great.

I dunno. Once I caught on that they were mostly pointing out how horrible humans often are to one another, even when faced with a common enemy, I found them very enjoyable. They rang true.

about a month and a half ago
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The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

PsychoSlashDot Re:Figure Out Electricity (391 comments)

Then lets assumed complex life did evolve on a planet... what if it's a ocean planet and they're aquatic? They're never going to figure out electricity, they can't even experiment with it.

The superintelligent alien electric eel next to me has requested you amend your statement.

I get your point, and it's a decent one, but in this context it's the same as suggesting an octopus would figure out the printing press because it's good with ink.

about a month and a half ago
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Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

PsychoSlashDot Re:I am cynical (589 comments)

I have the feeling the reason the show was cancelled , was because the pre-release feedback was very negative, that it was a bad film, but with those threat they saw an opportunity, and now they are priming the US market for a massive "buy it to spite terrorrist !" direct to DVD.

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if beyond you being right, Sony has insurance that covers this situation. "Political turmoil preventing or delaying release of film." Could be a clause. They may actually make money by holding it back. Maybe.

about a month and a half ago
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Swedish Police Raid the Pirate Bay Again

PsychoSlashDot Re:I give it 24 hours (184 comments)

TPB doesn't stay down long. It's like the Hydra of piracy. Cut off all the heads you want but it won't stay dead.

It's fine to say that, but there's no particular reason to expect that's the truth. I mean, yeah, in the past it's always come back, but kind of by definition the number of places they can find refuge is diminishing each time. Doesn't it stand to reason eventually there won't be anyone willing to host them?

I'm pretty good about purchasing anything I consume - if it's any good - after any... grey-market downloads. I've got dozens of hardcover books that have never been opened because I first read them in ebook form. I've got unopened DVD and CD packages for much the same reason. Fact is that I wouldn't have bought nearly as much entertainment stuff if I hadn't sampled them first. Now I've got a bunch of authors, musicians, and the like who I buy their physical product on sight, unquestioned, because I originally found them at no risk, via... piracy. Yes, there are things I read/watched/listened-to that I will never pay for. But that's because frankly the stuff just didn't suit me. So hey. Live with it.

My meandering point is that I fear the day that piracy is no longer practical. It will be so much harder to find things I truly enjoy... and BUY.

about 2 months ago

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