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Comments

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The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:Key Feature... (176 comments)

That's only if you shut your kid in a dark room. *shudder* My parents left the hall light on with my/my brother's doors open; since we weren't trapped in the dark, we felt safe enough to relax in bed. After they went to bed several hours later, they usually turned the hall light off and put a strong night-light on in the hall bathroom to add to the ones we had in our bedrooms. As pre-teens, we each lost our fear of the dark, gained an interest in privacy (or reading under the covers)and thus began closing our doors on our own.

FWIW,I did/do have a serious sleep disorder from a brain abnormality -- I naturally "sleep" at a light doze for 4-5 hours, and wake up whenever my body wants to move. As a kid, being able to see the light helped me feel safe enough to relax in bed with my eyes closed when awake; I eventually also was given a clock-radio tuned to a local classical station I could listen to softly, then was taught to enjoy the time by imagining a dream. As an adult, I take medication (gabapentin), though I know parents of kids with the same condition that swear by giving the child a melatonin supplement before bed.

about 7 months ago
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The Connected Home's Battle of the Bulbs

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:As one-way as X10 (176 comments)

Or just put a lamp near the computer, so you can have enough light to work comfortably there without affecting the TV or anyone sitting nearby watching it. At least, that's what my family did with our new L-shaped living room when Iwas a teen in the early 90s; whoever wanted to use the desk turned its little lamp (maybe 450 lumens) on when they got there and off when they left.

about 7 months ago
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The 3D Economy — What Happens When Everyone Prints Their Own Shoes?

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:What do the cartridges cost? (400 comments)

The cartridges for Canon printers are designed so their chips are very easily reset by rebooting the printer while holding down certain buttons, thankfully. They reportedly don't use DRMon their chips to interfere with third-party companies, so the third-party prices aren't artificially high-priced. My last set of cartridges (12ml for each CMYK color separately, 12ml graphics black + 19ml text black) cost me a grand total of $8 with free shipping from a company offering a full-refund satisfaction guarantee, and the ink was actually a bit nicer than the OEMstuff the printer came with.

There's also the option of using a continuous ink system, which brings ink prices down dramatically. Idon't own one (my printer isn't shaped quite right for it)but since they're available on consumer models, I'm aiming for it with my next one.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:Options (266 comments)

OP seemed pretty clear that #2 isn't an option, and most disabled Americans' income is too limited for a case of beer or equivalent bribe.

I wouldn't consider it whining and moaning when somebody finds a bug that breaks disability accessibility to the point that they won't be able to use their OS without a struggle, politely posts to the bugtracker about it, waits for 3 months while it's ignored, then politely posts to Slashdot asking for suggestions on how to handle it. Instead, I'd say it's maturely pointing out a legit issue and requesting help -- not every mention of a problem qualifies as a whine/moan, especially such a critical problem.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:pay someone to do it (266 comments)

I'll repeat my response to someone else above:
Most disabled people in the US are living on Supplemental Security Income of $600-850/month, and have no other source of money. Even a group of them are unlikely to be able to pool enough to hire somebody to fix a bug in something like Xorg.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:RMS mentions a comparable situation (266 comments)

There's one major problem there: most disabled people in the US are living on Supplemental Security Income of $600-850/month, and have no other source of money. Even a group of them are unlikely to be able to pool enough to hire somebody to fix a bug in something like Xorg.

about 7 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:No (824 comments)

People who preach tolerance need to be tolerant ...

So by your logic, if I believed in white people 'tolerating' the presence of black people in the same schools, in the same restrooms, using the same parts of the bus, etc. then I automatically should've been equally "tolerant" of (that is, refrain from objecting to) the actions of the bigots that did their best to strip black people of that right? Or that anyone that felt physically disabled kids should be "tolerated" in regular classrooms would be hypocritical if they "tolerated" the efforts of non-disabled parents to force them into "special" schools rather than speaking out against them?

Besides that, most advocates realized years ago that "tolerance" isn't a good goal, as it still implies stereotyping & openly hating an entire group is peachy-keen, and that the group should have to hope others "let" them do things rather than having the same right to do them. That's when they switched over to showing gay people are just regular individuals, just as worthy/unworthy of respect & acceptance as the next human being -- and, once that idea started taking root, why they began pushing for equal civil rights.

So "tolerance" basically is a red herring at this point. I don't "tolerate" my longtime gay friend or lesbian cousin, I love them as the big brother I wish I'd had and the 'girl' I grew up playing with. They deserve the same rights & respect that I have simply by default -- including being able to go to work without having a leader that tried to make them second-class citizens. (Wanting to do it, or believing it should be the case, is one thing; actively trying to make it happen seems a whole lot more hostile.)

about 7 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

TheSeatOfMyPants Re: That logic totally holds up (824 comments)

If as an atheist you were hired to run a Christian college and it turned out that you were active in a major political campaign to reduce their religious freedom, I can pretty well guarantee you that you wouldn't merely be asked politely to step down...

about 7 months ago
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Firefox 29 Beta Arrives With UI Overhaul And CSS3 Variables

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:Close button on OS X (256 comments)

Most Linux distros have buttons on the right -- it's just Ubuntu (which isn't even the most popular anymore, and is slowly losing popularity) and a few close derivatives that don't follow suit.

about 7 months ago
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Firefox 29 Beta Arrives With UI Overhaul And CSS3 Variables

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:New UI? (256 comments)

"Complete" Themes change the icons as well, not just the backgrounds. It used to be that themes in general changed the icons & background, and the newer background-only customizations were called Personas -- but then Mozilla inexplicably decided to name both types "themes" and make "Personas"refer to some kind of account service.

about 7 months ago
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Firefox 29 Beta Arrives With UI Overhaul And CSS3 Variables

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:New UI? (256 comments)

The SeaMonkey site has an "extract to subdirectory &run" Linux release on the front page. I'm finding that quite a bit can be done to "update" the UIusing just themes & extensions over at "SeaMonkey Addons" like MonkeyFix and Sea Fox, but Iget the sense that a lot more can be done via about:config.

about 7 months ago
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Firefox Was the Most Attacked & Exploited Browser At Pwn2own 2014

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:Firefox is the most unstable program in common (207 comments)

Odd. I use YouTube relatively often, and always have AdBlock Plus &Flashblock enabled/installed. The biggest problem I've run into with the combo is that ABP thus far can't get rid of the smallish semi-collapsing ad that appears within the video and is sponsored by the account holder.

From what I recall, though, the main difference between Firefox and other browsers is that it's the only one that lets ABP block sites from even requesting a resource; on other browsers, all ABP can do is hide elements from view once they're downloaded. That might somehow tie into the problem you're having.

FWIW I'm using Firefox 22 (I dislike the changes made as of 23) in Mepis Linux, on an old 2GHz Centrino laptop with 1GB of RAM.

about 7 months ago
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Firefox Was the Most Attacked & Exploited Browser At Pwn2own 2014

TheSeatOfMyPants Re: Firefox is the most unstable program in common (207 comments)

Correction: 24/7 with Firefox almost always in use when I'm actively interacting with the system (6-12 hours/day, maybe). I didn't mean that there's always somebody using Firefox at all hours of day and night.

about 7 months ago
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Firefox Was the Most Attacked & Exploited Browser At Pwn2own 2014

TheSeatOfMyPants Re: Firefox is the most unstable program in common (207 comments)

What distro/environment? In Mepis, Debian, OpenSUSE, and Fedora, it has been rock-solid stable for me using KDE 4, GNOME2, KDE 3/Trinity. I usually only keep 4-10 tabs open and use the Too Many Tabs extension for the rest, and Iusually kill off the Flash plugin via htop an hour or two after watching a video. That's a nine-year-old 2GHz Centrino laptop with 1GB of RAM, running 24/7 with Firefox almost always in use, AdBlock Plus & FlashBlock installed.

OTOH it crashed or froze up fairly often when I was using Ubuntu (roughly May 2008-Jan 2010) on a very similar laptop.

about 7 months ago
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NASA-Funded Study Investigates Collapse of Industrial Civilization

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:Fly me to Mars or even to the Moon. (401 comments)

If NASA really was a matter of mankind "exploring strange new worlds" and "seek(ing) out new life and new civilizations"-- or if it had even just given us tangible improvements to the average person's quality-of-life that couldn't have been discovered on land or underwater -- then it wouldn't have eventually lost people's support. Effectively,you want to pour money into a dream based on an exciting science-fantasy TVshow that was as realistic about spaceflight/exploration as fantasy novels/shows are at depicting life in the middle ages.

Consider... What if your grandkids don't turn out to be any good at STEM work or at best could be minimum-wage codemonkeys, and thus land among the masses that make just enough to live paycheck-to-paycheck with few luxuries. Would you still feel it's a great idea to take money that could be spent on finding ways to make survival or employment easier and instead spend it on dreams conjured up by a TVshow from your youth? (Iagree with you about think tanks because they're directly tainted by politics, but the knowledge & research performed by high-end universities can very often predict the end-results of different paths.)

about 7 months ago
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Malaysian Flight Disappearance 'Deliberate'

TheSeatOfMyPants Re: Suicide By Jet Plane (436 comments)

For the past several years, most suicide bombers have been involuntary, as the terrorism org ran low on angry young men and switched over to strapping bombs to people that couldn't fight back or fully understand due to psychiatric illness, cognitive disability, or youth. The ones that do it voluntarily are typically angry young adults that see themselves as having no future and relatively easily convinced that they'd be respected &revered as a hero for their sacrifice -- the same sort of patriotic bullshit that was common in the US up through the Vietnam War, as songs like I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin-To-Die-Rag parodied.

about 7 months ago
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Why San Francisco Is the New Renaissance Florence

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:Having lived in Sausalito and Mill Valley, let (250 comments)

Thank you for making me choke on my soda with unexpected laughter -- I'm from the North Bay (Sonoma County), andmost of the longtimers are tired of both hearing how awesome SF & the wealthier parts of the South Bay are and with having outsiders assume that we share their belief. Insipid articles over-glorifying SF that use "Bay Area"as a synonym don't help.

about 7 months ago
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Former Red Hat COO Helps Health Care Providers Work Together (Video)

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:The new Slashdot sucks (74 comments)

Q: "What do you like the most about /. Beta?" A: "This Space Intentionally Left Blank"

about 9 months ago
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Former Red Hat COO Helps Health Care Providers Work Together (Video)

TheSeatOfMyPants Re:agree (74 comments)

I agree, but it's too easy to ignore email, so we should also all repost it to our journals with "publicize"checked (and be sure to vote for others doing the same); if enough of us do that, our angry complaints will fill the queue and hopefully part of the front page. That would be much harder for /. Admin & Dice to shrug off, especially as Idoubt advertisers will be happy at seeing the userbase openly planning to implode.

about 9 months ago
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Update on the March of Progress: How Slashdot's New Look Is Shaping Up

TheSeatOfMyPants F topics (237 comments)

Well, Usenet is slowly growing active again, and public servers for folks whose ISPs don't offer it still exist. (It's probably coming back because it's not controlled by a government or corporation, doesn't require 'real' names, the user controls what it looks like to them, stuff like that.)

I don't know which groups were used for discussing science/tech news articles in the past, though. :-/

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Banks push Congress to end credit unions' non-profit tax exemption

TheSeatOfMyPants TheSeatOfMyPants writes  |  about a year ago

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) writes "Banks in the USA angry at losing fed-up customers to credit unions are pressuring Congress to kill the tax exemption CUs need to survive as not-for-profit entities. According to the article, "the tax exemption is crucial to credit unions, which by law can't raise capital through public stock offerings the way banks can."

Based on figures in the article, the change would cost consumers $10B in fees/savings, and the government would only see a net gain of $0.1B in tax revenue. Credit unions are fighting the one way they can: asking Americans to contact their Congress reps via Don't Tax My Credit Union."

Journals

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And just as the industry goes gaga for flat UIs...

TheSeatOfMyPants TheSeatOfMyPants writes  |  about a year ago

After my fstabbing post a few days ago, I eventually solved the problem in the somewhat illogical manner of attempting a reinstall of M12 on top of M11's (much larger) old partition. For a short while, most of my drives started failing to auto-mount at bootup, but thankfully, this time around it turned out to be because my old fstab configuration references had led me to make a serious error: they advocated the use of umask to set base file permissions without mentioning that it's not an ext* option. Past versions of Linux had never really responded to it (that I noticed), but this one reacts by refusing to automount the drives.

After getting Mepis 12 Beta all installed, marveling over how much faster it boots up and runs on my old Thinkpad T43, I discovered something useful in "upgrading" my account to the new version of KDE... When a substantially new version of KDE opens an existing account for the first time, it resets most preferences to the default, as if the old prefs were incompatible...but if you log out and restore them from a backup, almost everything works & looks just as it did before.

After getting that straightened out I went into the desktop effects to see if there was anything new, and was very pleasantly surprised to discover that I can finally blur translucent backgrounds! Yeah, everyone else with newer computers has had ample time to become bored and eventually repelled with things like blurred translucency, but I've wanted this ever since I first saw how neat it made titlebars look -- especially since most window decorations & desktop themes for KDE4 are dull without translucency and near-unusable if translucent but not blurred. I find it funny that this happens just as everyone else moves on to thinking flat decor is awesome (and if I start seeing colorful decorations/themes/icons rather than monochrome up the arse, I'll agree), but I always have marched to the beat of a non-percussive instrument...

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fstabbing it to death

TheSeatOfMyPants TheSeatOfMyPants writes  |  about a year ago

When Linux is good, it's very, very good...but when it's bad...

I've been using Linux for 5 years now, and 99% of the time, I'm perfectly happy telling others how easy it is to use, about the stability, lack of need to rely on the console. The other 1% of the time, though, it manages to come up with problems out of left field that are a serious bitch to make sense of even with the console, let alone fix. You know, those fun ones where either there's no error filed or displayed, or it's in such an obscure place that your chances of finding it listed on the web are slim at best.

For example, my current issue: for seemingly no reason, my Mepis 11 install developed an old KDE bug where kworker randomly maxes out the CPU until the system is rebooted. So, last night kworker misbehaved yet again, I rebooted, and none of the partitions mounted other than root -- big problem considering /tmp, /home, and all customization stuff (icons, fonts, wallpaper, color schemes, etc.) are on separate partitions.

Fought with it, then reinstalled M11. This time, root could manually mount them from the console, but users were refused because the drive/partition *is* listed in fstab. Another reinstall produced a setup where, thanks to a wonky Mepis script, fstab was reset every boot to a default mounting all partitions (other than /) at /mnt/sd*#, and users still couldn't mount.

So, I reinstalled it again, and all fstab lines with /dev/[part] or LABEL were ignored (and of course, that's what I'd lazily used). I just booted a live session and re-edited the damned fstab to use UUID, so now I get to reboot yet again and see if that helped.

If it fails, well fuck it -- I'll install Mepis 12 beta and find out what *that* does to my system. Of course, this means dealing with GRUB2, aka the Metro/GNOME3 of system booting... *shudder* (If you're wondering why I'm not just installing 12B, it's because it's missing a number of KDE things I'd miss and, of course, uses GRUB2.)

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