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

karlandtanya logitech mx dark field (429 comments)

I bought a logitech mx dark field mouse because i've got a glass-topped desk.
But it turns out it's got a little button in the middle behind the wheel; that's the third button.

about a week ago

Duke: No Mercy For CS 201 Cheaters Who Don't Turn Selves In By Wednesday

karlandtanya Re:yea no (320 comments)

If you're going to cheat then cheat. If you're going to be honest, then be honest. Mixing the two is a very bad idea.

Note that their promise of no leniency to those who don't confess is still fulfilled if they also grant no leniency to those who do.

about 3 months ago

Why America Won't Match Sweden's Cheap, Fast, Competitive Internet Services

karlandtanya you could be one of the first investors to cash in (346 comments)

Apparently Motley Fool is a Stock Pumping organization, and here I though they were just some folks that showed up on NPR once a week

OK, let's watch the video. Turn off the sound; it's a powerpoint anyhow...
Oh my fsm it's still going on will you get to the fscking point! Geez, I give up. Google for it. It's Sierra Wireless (SWIR).

Apparently they make those little yellow balls-on-a-stick that Howard Tayler puts on all the smart devices over at schlockmercenary.com
Oh, and when I try to leave the page, a script asks me "do you really want to...".

Holy crap this reeks of scam. Never again click on motleyfool.com

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?

karlandtanya nas4free, raidz2, primary/secondary server, rsync (268 comments)

2 servers are set up raidz2 with 4 disks per server. So about 6-7 TiB of actual storage space.
The servers do dns, mysql, and smb via plugins and a jail.
the primary backs up to the secondary every evening.

All the TVs in the house are really xbmc clients connecting to the SMB shares and mysql.

The most expensive part of it is the 8ea 4T HDDs.
Unless you have 10 people in your house watching different TVs at the same time, you can use real low end computers.
disks are $150 ($120 if you get externals on sale from huevonuevo & open the box). Excellent computer for this is a Dell poweredge T20 ($300).
These T20s have ECC RAM (you want this)
Anyhow 8*150 + 2*300 + a hundred bucks for misc. cables, bootable memory stick, maybe a switch...
Under 2 grand for the whole mess. Put one in your basement and one in your attic. Then you are protected from a flood or a tornado--but not both together.
If your house burns down, though, you're hosed ;).

Upgrade plan is to "destroy" (that's the command...) the zpool in the secondary then change it from raidz2 with 4 disks to raidz2 with 6 disks.
let rsync do its thing, then swap the usb keys with the embedded OS.
Repeat with the old primary which will now be the secondary.
Already tried this once; works no problem. At any given moment I'm tolerant to at least 2 disk failures.

about 5 months ago

Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

karlandtanya the hawks and the falcons are dropping like flies (521 comments)

Oh, give me a locus where the gravitons focus,
Where the three-body problem is solved.
Where microwaves play down at three degrees K
and the cold virus never evolved.

Home, Home on Lagrange
Where the space debris always collects
We possess, so it seems two of man's greatest dreams
Solar power and zero-gee sex ...

about 5 months ago

New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

karlandtanya Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (142 comments)

Integrating into the vehicle implies that the mfr puts it there--not that a really good installer did a beautiful install.
It has to first pass a bunch of quality, safety, and regulatory gates before the mfr will put it in there.

Those quality and regulatory gates may not be so high as some people would like, but at least you get some input as they're negotiated among mfr's, regulators, and users. It's (generally) going to be a lot safer than whatever Bubba & Earl's Car Audio and Bait Shop orders from amazon and installs on Tuesday after Bubba gets back from his day job.

about 6 months ago

US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics

karlandtanya Re:Humans Can Not (165 comments)

Killer robots are worse than landmines and should be banned and any country making them should be completely embargoed.

Landmines are killer robots. And we're inventing much better killer robots.

about 8 months ago

US Navy Wants Smart Robots With Morals, Ethics

karlandtanya Yes. That's the zeroth law (165 comments)

The problem is not putting morality into machines. The problem is letting these machines execute this "morality" in a complex environment with life-or-death stakes.

I program protective systems in factories. A guy opens a monitored gate and walks into a conveyor area. If the conveyor runs while he's in there, he will have a messy and painful death. The conveyor "knows" it's "wrong" to move under those conditions.
We don't use the word "morality", we say "safety". When auditing the software that lets the conveyor run I find a potential for exposure. Hang a lock and shut it down until it's fixed. The first law. In all except one case over 20 years I have received full support from production for similar decisions. That's precedence of the first law over the second law.

We know what's "right", and we try to teach that to the machines. Industrial safety operates with a very limited set of variables, and exception handling is simple--just STOP. Immediately stop moving and disconnect all power.

This idea that we can "program" morality and justice is not problematic. Of course we can; we write code for those things all the time. Heck, it's even called "code". Here's some. Here's some more. The execution engine for this code is a group of complex elements (people) from which emerges an even more complex "society". This "morality" execution engine constantly goes hideously and indefensibly wrong.

Now we want to create far simpler code and execute it with a far simpler machine. But with the same stakes and in the same environment. And the source of this simplified code and execution engine is the existing society, particularly the part of it most directly involved in many of the atrocities.

It's wise they're starting with autonomous "good" machine--search and rescue, first responder, etc. Maybe they'll learn something before humanity starts building autonomous "bad" robots. Thankfully, those exist only far into the future...

about 8 months ago

US Government To Study Bitcoin As Possible Terrorist Threat

karlandtanya They could be doing *anything* with that "money"! (210 comments)

The basic concepts of "freedom" and "privacy" are the perceived threats here.
The fundamental concept that anyone could be doing anything without first getting permission is the threat here.

about 9 months ago

Why the Sharing Economy Is About Desperation, Not Trust

karlandtanya Need motivates Fear inhibits Trust mitigates fear (331 comments)

Trust can never be the primary motivator; there is no intrinsic value to trust. Trust reduces the perceived risk; decisions influence by trust can result in better or worse outcome--depending on who we trust.

The inhibitor is emotionally fear, or rationally an expectation that doing something gives another person an opportunity to take action against me. Emotionaly, trust removes that inhibitor--or, again in a rational sense I know another person (or community, or machine) well enough that I can predict the behavior--and predict the person/people/machine or whatever will NOT take some action which will hurt me.

In order to replace a sensor I need to climb inside of a machine which can easily crush me. Where do I hang my lock? Do I trust that mechanical blocking device? Do I trust that software-based safety lockout system? The fact that I have a heavy steel blocking device that very reliably protects me from injury doesn't motivate me to go inside the machine.
I have very high trust I will not be injured if I go in the machine, but if I don't need to replace the sensor (or have some other business in there); I'm not going to do it.

The bleak tone of the headline suggests that not finding trust as a primary motivator implies that trust isn't present in the commons. If you look for trust as a primary motive, you wont' find it because that's not where trust lives. The conclusion that trust is not present or not important is an artifact of the observer's method--not a property of the commons.

about 9 months ago

How Japan Plans To Build Orbital Solar Power Stations

karlandtanya They should put it at L5 (230 comments)

Words: Bill Higgins and Barry Gehm c. 1978
Music: "Home on the Range"

Oh, give me a locus where the gravitons focus
And the three-body problem is solved,
Where the microwaves play down at three degrees K
And the cold virus never evolved.

CHORUS: Home, home on LaGrange,
Where the space debris always collects.
We possess, so it seems, two of man's greatest dreams:
Solar power and zero-gee sex.

We eat algae pie, our vacuum is high,
Our ball bearings are perfectly round.
Our horizon is curved, our warheads are MIRVed,
And a kilogram weighs half a pound. CHORUS

You don't need no oil, nor a tokamak coil,
Solar stations provide Earth with juice.
Power beams are sublime, so nobody will mind
If we cook an occasional goose.

INTERLUDE (to Oh, What A Beautiful Morning)
All the cattle are standing like statues.
All the cattle are standing like statues.
They smell of roast beef every time I ride by,
And the hawks and the falcons are dropping like flies...

I've been feeling quite blue since the crystals I grew
Became too big to fit through the door.
But from slices I sold, Hewlett-Packard, I'm told,
Made a chip that was seven foot four. CHORUS

If we run out of space for our burgeoning race
No more Lebensraum left for the Mensch,
When we're ready to start, we can take Mars apart
If we just find a big enough wrench. CHORUS

I'm sick of this place, it's just McDonald's in space
And living up here is a bore.
Tell the shiggies "Don't cry," they can kiss me goodby,
'Cause I'm moving next week to L4!

about 9 months ago

Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

karlandtanya You can't "inspect in" quality (235 comments)

If we take a less-than-good-enough-quality product and iteratively inspect and rework/repair each defect, we will produce a good-enough product. Intuition seems to suggest that this *should* work! Can't you polish a rough piece of metal until it shines? Heck, mythbusters proved you actually can polish a terd.

The manufacturing industry figured out a long time ago that you can't inspect in quailty. Your process has to produce a product-that-meets-customer-requirements, and if it doesn't you have to fix your process.

Oh, and the terd? It was shiny, but it still stank. And they don't last very long, anyhow.

about 9 months ago

Fifty Years Ago IBM 'Bet the Company' On the 360 Series Mainframe

karlandtanya When Harlie Played One (169 comments)

I learned this one at Genericon, but it's older than that:

Music: "The Children's Marching Song"
Robert Osband, c.1974
This machine, it played one.
It pushed start and program run.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played two.
Overloaded voltage to the CPU.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played three.
Designed its memory to 1 IC.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played four.
Changed its logic from AND to OR.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played five.
Memorized data from tape drive.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played six.
Told the CE what to fix.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played seven.
Printed out the road to Heaven.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played eight.
Shipped itself to Rome, Air Freight.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played nine.
Told the Pope it was divine.
It's an IBM 360/85;
This computer came alive.

This machine, it played ten.
To sing once more push start again.
It's an IBM 360/85;
We computers are alive.

about 10 months ago

Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

karlandtanya Re:God, Family, Country in that order for good rea (1255 comments)

Thank you very much--this is *precisely* the example I was hoping someone would feed me. Consider that you have a duty higher than that to family.

To be a silent witness to crime is to be an accomplice to it. In your example, your family member is the "worst criminal". Not someone whose "crime" you don't find to be particularly evil--"stealing" mp3s, or driving faster than the posted maximum speed. In your example, the crime to which you would be an accomplice is "the worst"--murder, rape, genocide--whatever it is, it's that thing that you find most morally repugnant.
There are many ways you can address the issue. Turn them in to the police. Remove from them the ability to commit their crime--perhaps by having them committed under a physician's authority. Kill them and then turn yourself in to the police. It's up to you how you handle it--or fail to. And you'll be held accountable for that, too.
There is a duty higher than that to family. Your duty here is very clear. It's just not *easy*.

You have moral priorities, whether you like it or not. When you can't please everybody, who do you please? The priorities I cited are fairly well known and quite successful at producing societies populated by generally happy people. But they're by no means the only ones. I can't comment on the priorities you proposed because you didn't propose any.

It's not really *that* complicated, and that, I believe is why you take issue. You know what you need to do; you just don't want to do it. It's a lot easier to debate away your duty with complicated BS than admit the simple truth that you *have* a duty. But if you must, take solace in the abundance of books, preachers, teachers, prophets, enablers, self-help gurus, lawyers, partners-in-crime, and a panorama of religions ready to convince you that whatever you want to do is the right thing to do.

about a year ago

Why One Woman Says Sending Your Kid To Private School Is Evil

karlandtanya God, Family, Country in that order for good reason (1255 comments)

It doesn't work if you put your country before your family or your family before God or your Country before your God.
Volunteer to help your community. Help the schools. Feed the sick. Wash the feet of the poor. Who's stopping you? Do those things AFTER you take care of your family's needs. Anyone who looks out for their community BEFORE their family is dangerous to his community and his family.

Whether I believe in your God or a God is not relevant; this is just the phrasing of the idiom.
This means "duty to self" to be morally correct--that is to say "maintaining myself as an instrument for good". Not as "looking out for number one"--(looking out for #1 is exactly the opposite!). It doesn't mean that I get to set myself up as a moral absolute and ignore everyone else's needs in order to satisfy my superiority. This comes first solely for the obvious practical reason that in order to do good, I must first be good or at least not particularly evil at that moment.

Once this instrument of good exists, the first I must serve is my family. This needs no further explanation.

A little thought tells me that I have a greater duty to those closer to than farther from me in this large community we call country. I cannot save the world. So I am responsible to do good where I can. I must help my neighbor before an arbitrary person on Earth (or off of it, I should be so lucky). That person has neighbors as well. In this area is of course Military Service, which also needs no explanation.
My community's schools fall under the rough grouping of Country, more specifically somewhere between "Neighbors" and "any other sophonts in the universe" or "All God's kids" if you prefer.

Way after Family.

These priorities are in that order for a simple practical reason: The results of screwing up the order suck:
History is full of examples: Good party members who rat out their family or neighbors for love of Country. A father who does things he knows are unethical in order to provide every luxury for his family. Nationalistically motivated genocide perpetrated by people who know *exactly* what "thou shalt not murder" means.

about a year ago

Huffington: Trolls Uglier Than Ever, So We're Cutting Off Anonymous Commenting

karlandtanya Freedom of expression is given... (582 comments)

'Freedom of expression is given to people who stand up for what they’re saying and not hiding behind anonymity,'

Fuck you. It's a human right. Happens to be protected by our constitution, but that's not where it comes from either.
You (Arianna Huffington) are a sanctimonious twit to sit there and dictate terms under which freedom of expression is "given".

about a year and a half ago

The Science of 12-Step Programs

karlandtanya Of courese AA's a religion; it's actually a cult (330 comments)

Yes, it is. There's lists of criteria that help you recognize cults--read the lists and then go to a couple of meetings.
Religion and cults are not bad per se. Just powerful social tools for making people do or be something other than what they are right now. Such tools can be used to do very, very bad things. But they can do good things, too.

So they're a cult. That's the point. I joined with full knowledge that these people are trying to brainwash me. Because that's what I wanted them to do. Help me reprogram my thinking because what I was doing wasn't working. I believed (yes, thats a "d' there) in it for the same reason anyone believes in anything. I chose to.

After a while, I didn't believe in it anymore. Character flaw I guess; after I'm around some BS for too long I can't believe in it anymore--even if I want to. Same thing happened when I tried a sales job. I kicked ass until it finally sunk in this was all cynical manipulation and made-up BS.

27 years later still clean and sober. AA helped me get that way. But when I was done believing I was done believing.

I go to a meeting from time to time; the fellowship is still there. But I don't believe the religion anymore. In life, if somebody asks for help, I'll share what I have experienced, and if I need help I'll ask for it. And if somebody wiser than me points out a character flaw I have, I'll take a look at it and maybe do something about it. I don't do this within AA because I don't hang out there. But I learned how to do these things in AA.

What's the point? None; I'm not trying to prove a point. Just thought somebody who'd actually been there should speak up.

about a year and a half ago


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