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

Wycliffe Re:Simple solution (397 comments)

Who puts three fingers on the surface of a mouse?

Everyone with the normal human number of digits, I would think.

I've always just used my pointer and middle finger with my middle finger operating the right button and my left finger operating both
the left button and the scroll wheel. It's feels very awkward for me to either operate the scroll with my middle finger or to operate
the right button with my ring finger.


Your Entire PC In a Mouse

Wycliffe Re:Now if I could just type... (163 comments)

Seems like it makes more sense to build the computer into the display or into something the size of a small portable hard disk drive, so that it can have USB ports or bluetooth for the keyboard and mouse, and could literally hang on the HDMI port on the TV like the "Amazon Fire TV Stick" works.

Inside the TV is not very portable. I don't like smart tvs either because they are a one size fit all, you're stuck with a single app.
Inside a usb/hdmi stick though makes a lot more sense. I could see you going to a friends house and just plugging your computer into their TV.
Going one step further, a "smart tv" that would be useful would be a tv that when multiple dongles were plugged in, they would allow you to
either toggle between them or even let you splitscreen the two mini-computers.

5 days ago

Regular Exercise Not Enough To Make Up For Sitting All Day

Wycliffe Re:GeekDesk! (348 comments)

My monitor is attached to this arm

Slightly off-topic but how sturdy is that arm? Could I attach a keyboard to it? Would it be stable enough to type on without jumping all around?

5 days ago

UK Computing Teachers Concerned That Pupils Know More Than Them

Wycliffe Re:Any experienced teacher already deals with this (388 comments)

This is another indication of how far out of whack our priorities are as a country. You make money based on how much money you make for someone else, or how hard your position is to fill. But we won't spend money just because something is important; like teachers or quality infrastructure or mitigating climate change or whatever.

The linked article talks about how hard it is to get good teachers for computing because anyone who's any good at it can make a lot more money elsewhere. Is anyone proposing paying a computing teacher $90,000 a year, or whatever is competitive, to compensate for that?

I had an excellent electronics teacher in HS who mentioned once that he took a 50% paycut when he switched from industry to teaching so I agree
with you completely but what system would you propose? Should we rank occupations and pay them what we value them? This might be possible
in a controlled economy but I'm not sure how you would do it in a free market. Do people who are more skilled at that occupation get paid more?
Even unions have a hard time with this, do you pay based on skill level or senority or something else?

Everyone seems to want to pay teachers less because they get summers off. Nobody wants to pay them more because for the vital function they serve in our society. Like I said, priorities out of whack.

Besides the other benefits of year round school, this might be an added benefit to help eliminate this excuse but it's not the complete fix for it as
police officers, etc.. are also underpaid and don't have that excuse.

Daycares have a similiar problem. In order to make day care affordable, they cannot afford to pay the staff hardly anything because it soon becomes
cost prohibitive. Where I live, daycare workers make about $8 per hour but it still costs $4 per hour to put your kid in daycare so if you have only 2 kids
you need to make over $8 per hour to even pay for the cost of the daycare.

The only semi-reasonable solution I can think of to the education problem would be conscription or some sort of co-op system where everyone reaching
the age of 40(or even 65) is required to teach a number of years. This would get the experienced people you want and you could even make it a condition
to receive social security like mandatory registration is for college aid. The biggest problem I see with this (besides the fact that conscription isn't ideal) is
that you are getting experienced teachers who are experienced in their field but not necessarily experienced at teaching.

Even this solution though only solves a fraction of the problem and doesn't do anything about the football player making millions while the other presumably
more important occupations like research or people making the world a better place make a fraction of that amount.

about two weeks ago

How To Hijack Your Own Windows System With Bundled Downloads

Wycliffe Not Surprising (324 comments)

Free software and free hosting has to make money some way. Even the more legitimate ones tend to bundle stuff like
adobe acrobat, google chrome, google toolbar, or some other random search engine toolbar that presumably gives them
a kickback. As long as people keep demanding free apps and free software then you will continue to see sneeky ways
to monitize their software. That being said, some of the worst offenders I've seen are PAID software like norton and

about two weeks ago

Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

Wycliffe Re:Makes sense. (629 comments)

Actually, one should write a worm that exploits vulnerabilities that Google won't patch which launches a DoS attack on Google servers. That might convince Google to pay more attention to standard product support issues...

It's not just google. Even if google release the patch, the handset manufacturers don't have to make it available to their customers (the carriers).
And even if google and the handset manufacturers release the patch, the carriers don't have to make it available to their customers.
The final customers don't seem to care so there is no incentive for anyone else up or down the chain to care. Also, noone in the chain has
any power to make the other people move. Android is mostly open source so google can't require the people downstream to release the patch.
Likewise, the handset carriers have too many competitors to force the carriers to update their phones, etc, etc... Until there is some incentive
for someone in the chain to act, it will probably remain this way.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Wycliffe Re:Sorta related... the teletype machine (790 comments)

In the trucking industry not only are faxes still relatively common but fax "mailing lists" are still common where people
sign up to receive daily faxes from other companies. Recent regulations have made signing up harder as they have
to get written permission to add you to their lists but this hasn't stopped people from using these lists.

Even more mind boggling is that we have people that have requested that we send them a blank template via fax
every day so that they can fill it out and fax it back.

about two weeks ago

Google Throws Microsoft Under Bus, Then Won't Patch Android Flaw

Wycliffe Re:Makes sense. (629 comments)

I've been wondering when people would start to take notice of this problem with Android.

930 million phones might be enough. Now we just need someone to write a worm that uses this to get noticed by taking
down the cellular network for a few days and then maybe someone will get smart enough to require phone manufacturers
to push updates for a reasonable amount of time (say 5 years after they stop selling the phone).
I've seen phones stop receiving updates before their 2 year contract is even up. This should be breach of contract.

about two weeks ago

LAPD Orders Body Cams That Will Start Recording When Police Use Tasers

Wycliffe Re:why start after the fact? (219 comments)

Also, the police don't go out on 24/7 shifts. They go out on 8 hour shifts.

Probably not even that. Just like other occupations, they take breaks. Even if the battery only lasted 2 hours,
a simple beep that tells them to return to their car and swap to a new battery would be sufficient.

The gopro advertises 2.5 hours with their regular battery and 5 hours with their extended battery: http://gopro.com/support/artic...
So using the extended battery and swapping out the battery halfway thru your shift would be sufficient even if they went with the gopro
but surely they could get one optimized to have a longer battery life as there is no reason a police body cam needs the same quality
as a gopro. Basically, the battery life is a non-issue.

about two weeks ago

Archive.org Adds Close To 2,400 DOS Games

Wycliffe Re: short (198 comments)

NES was huge in the USA. Everyone I knew owned a NES which came with mario and duck hunt. Some of the games
I remember were metal gear, double dragon, zelda, ninja turtles, tetris, and mario 1, 2, and 3.
c64 never really caught on with the non-geek crowd where I lived, they went straight from the atari to the NES to the IBM PC.
At home everyone had a NES and all the schools had some variation of the apple II. NES and the super nes remained
popular until ibm overtook the apple II at school which happened about the same time that wolfenstein, doom, and the
internet came out. We started getting ibms and internet connectivity at school in the mid to late 90s.

about three weeks ago

Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes

Wycliffe Re:Also.. (328 comments)

You know , you could always try being more careful and not treating the phone like a piece of junk. I've got a perfectly working phone from 2009 which I use every day.

It's not about being careful, it's about how much use it gets. My tablet stays safely in a drawer when not in use and is used maybe an hour or two a day
while my phone is used several hours a day and even when not in use is still being carried around almost 24/7. When my phone does break, it's not
from abuse but rather from either constant use (i.e. one of the buttons stops working) or from accidently slipping out of my hand when I try to answer it
and hitting the concrete. Tablets don't get used as much nor are carried around as much as cell phones.

about a month ago

The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

Wycliffe disruptive technology always starts out inferior (386 comments)

Disruptive technology always starts out inferior if measured using traditional metrics in that area.
Why would someone want an oily, messy car that breaks down when you can have a carriage pulled
by a nice, reliable horse? The driverless car will probably first hit early adopters and niches.
One niche I expect to see it first is the RV market. Even if it could only drive interstates, that would
be a major selling point for an RV. Once all the kinks are worked out and it takes off, it's too late
for established players to play catch up at that point and anyone who was waiting on the sidelines is
going to be left in the dust.

about a month ago

Is the Tablet Market In Outright Collapse? Data Suggests Yes

Wycliffe Re:Also.. (328 comments)

Why? What is wrong with a 4 year old smartphone that still works?

Nothing is wrong with a 4 year old smartphone but my smartphone takes alot more daily abuse than my computer or tablet so
it usually doesn't last as long as my other devices. I probably average 2 years with a smartphone. Some last over 4 years
but most tend to meet an untimely demise before then. I'm past the point where I replace them to keep up but rather replace
them only when they die.

about a month ago

Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

Wycliffe Re:Are you kidding me? (224 comments)

The only ones who deserve it are actual combat veterans. Filling out paperwork to order toilet paper does not count.

When you join the military (or are forced to quit college to join because you are drafted), you have no idea whether
you will be in logistics or on the frontline. You still made a huge sacrifice. Also, don't underestimate logistics.
WWII invented palletized freight which is what runs the modern economy. Without pallets and their larger brother
container freight, modern civilization like we know it wouldn't exist.

I don't think the women should have been kicked out but we've come a long way since the 1940s. That type of gender
prejudice is mostly a thing of the past.

about a month ago

Tech's Gender Gap Started At Stanford

Wycliffe Re:Are you kidding me? (224 comments)

"Dozens of women stayed in safe jobs, in or out of technology, while they watched their spouses or former lab partners take on ambitious quests."

Does anybody see what I see there?

Exactly. The gender gap in tech** didn't start at Stanford, it started about 10000+ years ago when women stayed home in relative safety while men went out on ambitious quests to hunt wild and dangerous beasts.

**or wall street or any other career that is all consuming.

about a month ago

Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Wycliffe Re:Does the job still get done? (688 comments)

Why would anyone volunteer to pay someone the same for 20 hours of work, that they were previously making working 40 hours

That's kindof my point. The only way to get hours to go up (and/or wages to go down) is to reduce the supply of labor. Currently improving
efficiency is increasing the supply of labor which is why wages are stagnant. If the supply of labor went down (via war, legislating reduced
hours, reducing work visas, etc..) then we would see more competition for workers and therefore higher wages.

At that point in time, the only thing of value will be raw material and truly subjective pleasures like artisanal food/wine, art/music.

Now that would be a shift that would fundamentally break supply/demand.

We're pretty much there in some industries. Injection molding and even things like computer cases after a certain quantity the cost is
almost entirely composed of raw material and transportation costs.

about a month ago

Seattle Police Held Hackathon To Redact Footage From Body Cameras

Wycliffe Re:Who will guard the guardians? (93 comments)

FOIA requests should not apply to police cams or 911 calls. The FOIA has a clear exemption
for where the privacy of the individual will be violated. Here is a good summary of how the
FOIA interacts with privacy laws: http://people.howstuffworks.co...

about a month ago

Seattle Police Held Hackathon To Redact Footage From Body Cameras

Wycliffe Re:Why dashcams? (93 comments)

All the cops in my town are required to be licensed as medical first responders (one step below emt).
Also, many times it's not in a public space as it's not uncommon for an officer to enter a private home.
If dashcams are considered public then instead of sponsoring hackathons they need to change the laws.
There are many situations where someone calls 911 for medical or other reasons where they would not
want the content of the call or a video of them to be public. Police officers many times enter
private residents and might accidently stumble upon situations like someone who fell in the shower,
opened the door in their bathrobe, someone who had just got raped, or dozens of other situations where
you just got victimized and are disclosing very personal infomation either over the phone to the 911
operator or to the police when they arrive that you don't want and don't expect to be public data.
Police cams should be treated the same way as 911 calls and neither should be public without consent
of at least one person present at the scene (or their next of kin if they died). Allowing only a single
consent (instead of everyone present) and allowing next of kin to give that consent should strike a
good balance between keeping most situations private but still allowing easy access to prevent abuse
of power to restrict access.

about a month ago

Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

Wycliffe Re:Study financed by (285 comments)

Exactly. Not only is a $100 ticket a much smaller percentage of a middle class person's income, a middle class
person can afford to pay a lawyer $500 to fight it or can afford to take off work to appear in court, etc....
To the working poor, a $100 fine can be devastating but trying to fight it would be even more costly so they have
no choice. Here is a decent article about that: http://www.slate.com/articles/...

about a month ago

Birds Fled Area Before Tornadoes Appeared

Wycliffe Re:6th sense (99 comments)

One animal acting strange (as in before an earth quake or whatever) is nothing, but a large number of animals in a specific area, could very possibly be a warning of impending danger. If there was a (well known) web site that you could report your animal acting "weird", or out of the ordinary to, you would have random reports from all over the place, but if you mapped results in real time and saw a lot of activity in a specific area, that could be an early warning. I don't see why it wouldn't work, assuming the "animals act weird before events" theory is correct.
  Anyway, if this works and saves lives, remember you heard it here first.

Requiring people to report it would probably be too slow. On the other hand, putting trackers on a couple hundred sparrows in
every town and running it into a large neural net and training it based on actual tornados might get some decent results.
It might be possible to create an actual "canary network" that could warn us much sooner in advance than we currently have
for tornados. If the "canary network" actually worked, we could always move to "phase 2" where we tried to match it to
pressure, inaudible sounds, etc... and create an electronic canary which would be easier to manage than live birds but
using live birds until we figured out exactly how they did it wouldn't be too difficult.

about a month ago



Ask Slashdot: Best software for image organization?

Wycliffe Wycliffe writes  |  about a month and a half ago

Wycliffe (116160) writes "Like many people, I am starting to get a huge collection of digital photos from family vacations, etc... I am looking for some software that allows me to rate/tag my own photos in a quick way. I really don't want to spend the time tagging a bunch of photos and then be locked into a single piece of software so what is the best software to help organize and tag photos so that I can quickly find highlights without being locked into that software for life. I would prefer open source to prevent lock-in and also prefer linux but could do windows if necessary."


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