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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

eric31415927 Forget their computer (294 comments)

You could pay about $100 per year to use Skype to call their telephone whenever you want.
Alternatives to Skype exist.
Calling cards are possible (I've had success buying from

You wouldn't be able to attach any photos, but they're not fun with dial up anyway.
You would have to call your parents when you are all awake, but calls are more personable than email.


High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

eric31415927 Re:999 (583 comments)

For the given purpose, 999 is a very large number.
What sort of firearm requires more than 999 different people to use it regularly?
A rifle for people learning to shoot might be used by thousands of people over its lifetime, but not all of these people need regular access to the firearm. When a person will never use such a farearm again (i.e. he or she passes a course), that person's fingerprints should be erased from the weapon's memory.
If a weapon could conceivable be used by more than 999 people on a regular basis (perhaps a backup weapon for a number of military units), perhaps it shouldn't be fingerprint locked in the first place.

3 days ago

Anti-Ebola Drug ZMapp Makes Clean Sweep: 18 of 18 Monkeys Survive Infection

eric31415927 Human Subjects (91 comments)

When the human testing starts, should it be old people first? afftected-continent people first? family-receives-high-payment people first?

I think they should be volunteers at the very least.

about three weeks ago

Microsoft Releases Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

eric31415927 Re:Other strange update issues.. (140 comments)

My experience somewhat mirriors yours:
On the 2nd Tuesday, I connected my Win7 box to the Internet to install the 2nd Tuesday patches.
After reading a Slashdot article, I uninstalled two patches on the bad-patch list.

Yesterday, I connected it to the Internet to install the August 27 patches.
This was a no go. Windows Update was broken and the Windows Update Troubleshooter was no use.
Only a rollback to a mid-July restore point got the machine going properly again.

My Windows box (which is not my main box) is generally off the Internet, so I don't know why I patched it so promptly.
In the future, I'll wait a few weeks longer before applying patches.

about three weeks ago

Chinese Researchers' 'Terror Cam' Could Scan Crowds, Looking for Stress

eric31415927 Pre-Crime Social Dangerousness (146 comments)

Stop the crime before it happens.
Someone should make a movie about this.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

eric31415927 TOR (427 comments)

I hear these onion routers are all the rage now.

about a month ago

My degree of colorblindness:

eric31415927 Re: Different colors (267 comments)

I pass the colour-blindness tests very quickly with each eye. However, colour intensity varies between my eyes. One eye sees a bright world. It's a more faded world with the other eye. I attribute the difference to ageing rods/cones/whatever. I didn't have this problem when I was younger.

about a month ago

How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

eric31415927 Re: Home-Built PVR (391 comments)

I use an external Silicon Dust Home Run, which picks up OTA signals.

about a month and a half ago

How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

eric31415927 Home-Built PVR (391 comments)

A simple PVR doesn't need the bells and whistles of newer computers. I recently purchased the components and assembled one.

about a month and a half ago

Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

eric31415927 Atari (701 comments)

In the game of go, calling Atari is encouraged among novice players.

about 2 months ago

New Digital Currency Bases Value On Reputation

eric31415927 Death (100 comments)

So what are the value of Bob bucks when Bob dies?

about 2 months ago

German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

eric31415927 Handwriting (244 comments)

Physician handwriting is as indecipherable as Navajo code talk.

about 2 months ago

The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

eric31415927 Re: Computer Chess (285 comments)

Chess algorithms are a measure of the budding ability of programers.

When you can write a chess algorithm that can beat yourself at chess, ...
(When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, ... [Kung Fu])

about 2 months ago

Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

eric31415927 Re:Countdown timers are only for pedestrians? (579 comments)

Drivers should use whatever information is out there to avoid accidents.

I have seen leadfoots speed up when the count was low. Bad driving (excessive speed) is rewarded with more tickets and accidents leading to higher insurance rates . In light of this story, perhaps not enough tickets are being issued.

I have seen bus drivers slow down in similar situations. Good driving benefits everyone.

about 3 months ago

Lego To Produce Three Box Sets Featuring Female Scientists

eric31415927 Re: Madame Curie (208 comments)

Marie SkÅodowska-Curie was Polish. Her friends and family called her Panni as opposed to Madame.

about 3 months ago

Mutant Registration vs. Vaccine Registration

eric31415927 Do you know when you had your last tetanus shot? (493 comments)

I cannot remember when I had my last tetanus shot, and my doctor's records don't show it. I, for one, would welcome a national registry that could keep better records than me and my doctor.

about 4 months ago



Poll Suggestion: How do you keep your software updated?

eric31415927 eric31415927 writes  |  about a year ago

eric31415927 (861917) writes "1) Automagically — no questions asked
2) Command line — old school
3) Simple graphical frontend — i.e. Aptitude
4) Full GUI — i.e. Google Play, Mac Store, Windows Update, Synaptic
5) Update schmupdate — I don't have time for updates!"


eric31415927 has no journal entries.

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