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Comment Re:Who wrote the summary? (Score 1) 236 236

Thank you very much for your suggestions!

I read up on Dysgraphia, and that does seem to describe some of my problems. I have a very hard time writing things out in longhand, and although I can express my self well writing on a computer, with decent editing, such that I have actually sold articles and been Editor-in-Chief of an academic magazine, writing on forums like Slashdot is where I run into "Language Nazis", and get flamed. I am seeing my doctor in a couple of weeks for a regular checkup, I will ask him about testing.

Given how wide Slashdot's readers are, I suspect the reason why people are picky is because there's the expectation that a lot of people reading will be not native speakers--and having been a regular of IRC chatrooms where we were chatting in English purely because it was the sole language everybody knew, it was hard to miss sometimes that while people fluent in a language certainly can 'fix' missing words...this required fluency.

This did result in a few incidents where everybody whose English was fully fluent were confused as to why the less-fluent individuals were confused. This was particularly noticeable in the chats connected to translation projects, since those had some of the widest spreads of fluency levels, and likely helped ensure that nobody complained about the time some things spent stuck in editing.

But, really, what this means is that Slashdot ought to have some way to ensure decent (traditional) editing happens--maybe a way to flag things in Firehose as being in need of editorial attention before it leaves Firehose? Setting it up so people can do editing for good karma would make it painless enough for Slashdot's management that there'd be little reason not to at least try it.

In reference to typing, I can type usually in the 60 wpm and in bursts up to a hundred...but I still have problems getting my ideas out, and a good keyboard helps...most new laptop keyboards suck galactic muffins. That is why I have and older IBM/Lenovo laptop. And on devices like phones, I do tend to use the STT options, I started that since I was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, and I am slowly going I have go get used to doing things with limited sight. I also need to start learning to use a screen reader on the computer....

Thanks again for your suggestions!!!!

How well do modern STT options work? I was a selective mute because it took years to get it to where my speech could be understood--it was simply less frustrating to not even try to talk--so I'm very wary of attempting to get a computer to understand my speech.

When I'm trying to be careful as I type, I usually am stuck at 60 wpm but when I'm able to go back and edit I can and do go faster. Using shorthand is a valid trick there: as long as you use a unique string, you can use search-and-replace to turn it into good longhand and when I was transcribing bio and chem lectures I used it as a way to memorize the standard abbreviations.

As for keyboards, I've found that HP, ASUS, and Lenovo's laptop keyboards work well for me, enough so that I've actually worn out a couple laptop keyboards. I also keep a cheap USB old-style keyboard in my Bin O' Cables. (I am not going out to buy a new keyboard in the middle of the night, thank you.)

Incidentally: Choose a craft or musical instrument you enjoy that requires deft hands, the skills do transfer! This is a way to try to force your brain to expand the region associated with your hands, as well as increase manual dexterity, and the skills will transfer. (It won't help your handwriting, though; my handwriting is and remains dismal in English. I have reason to suspect that'd require having to relearn it entirely but have seen no sign that anybody's done the research here...yet.)

This might also help you when your eyesight gets worse, since being able to work by touch is amazingly useful when you're working in the dark or in conditions where you can't see (well). Personally, I think it's a useful skill for anybody to have; if nothing else, being able to change a lightbulb in the dark has its obvious applications.

Comment Re: Legal Obligations should make this obvious (Score 1) 446 446

The site operates from Canada. The law (Personal Information Privacy and Electronic Documents Act, aka PIPEDA) requires that all personal private information be deleted when the purpose for gathering it has passed. ALM web sites were not allowed to keep a copy and then charge money to permanently scrub data on closed accounts. Class action suit, anyone?

That'd require people with standing to come forward; there might be a few singles who lied about being married, or people in open marriages who had done it for reasons such as "Saves explanation headaches" (since presumably somebody on there expects you to be married already and has no problems with this).

(Also commenting to remove mismoderation.)

Comment Re:Who wrote the summary? (Score 1) 236 236

I have a great deal of respect for the English language, but as I suffer from both Dyslexia, and ADHD, it is amazing I can express myself at all in the written word. I can't write as fast as I think, so I accidentally drop words from sentences. If it wasn't for spell check, I would be functionally illiterate.

So go ahead and kick the cripple, it's easy and fun.


I have ADHD myself, although I have different communication disorders, which meant I spent my early childhood communicating by a system of pointing and physically relocating people. (My mother, however, is severely dyslexic...and attempted to teach me spelling...) Let me assure you, workarounds can and do exist..

So: to start with, if you can, get yourself tested for dysgraphia. "I can't write as fast as I think, so I accidentally drop words from sentences" is a pretty good match for some of the problems it causes, and it's commonly comorbid with both dyslexia and ADHD.

Even if you don't have it or don't want to go to the trouble, though, some of what I learned (since I do have dysgraphia) probably will help, particularly since mine expresses itself very much like you describe your typing issues as being.

First, find a good typing tutor of some kind and up your typing speed; speech-to-text programs might work for you, I'm the worst person to ask. Physical keyboards are a must still if you're going for 'fast enough to transcribe speech at-speed' (which is probably the speed you want to aim for) as in my experience virtual ones still aren't really up to handling somebody who types that fast--with a physical one, the screen will eventually catch up (just sit back for a little) but virtual ones just drop all the keystrokes once you've hit their limit into the bit bucket in a panic. Worry about grammar and spelling after you've got it all down, but do go back and check. A screen reader might be your best bet there, though having a friend look it over also works.

The last, however, would have been covered for by simply having the editors do what, traditionally, is their job.

Comment Re:Who makes these decisions? (Score 1) 627 627

I lucked out and never had a problem with an update. These are rare but do occasionally occur. Updates should be considered a normal and necessary process and if done right with QA SHOULDN'T be an issue.

The key word here is 'shouldn't.' The problem is that it is, and from the sound of it they're not even bringing back the option XP had that let me set it to actually run the updates at, say, 5AM Sunday every week.

If I'm having to worry about their QA, it shouldn't be my problem, and the last set of bad patches I got hit with they gave me the fix of 'uninstall manually (somehow)' as the primary fix--exactly how I was supposed to manage this when it'd managed to hose the boot was apparently Not Their Problem. (I reinstalled the OS and had to manually block Windows Update from installing the very same updates because apparently pulling them was also Not Their Problem, it seemed.)

Comment Re:Who makes these decisions? (Score 1) 627 627

Microsoft probably listened to the hoards of people screaming for automatic updates after great swathes of unprotected computers around the world get infected by botnets and wreak havoc upon the rest of us.

Home users are not administrators. They don't understand the importance of updates, and nor should they. Microsoft seems to be doing the right thing here - accepting that their users are not computer experts, and that there will be times updates will need to be pushed to the Windows machines as quickly as possible.

Without wishing to sound rude, it seems you are more out of touch than Microsoft, as the lack of mandatory, automatic updates for home users has been complained about ad nauseam since Windows Update first hit the scene.

My experience is that the complaint is not that they don't have mandatory, automatic updates--they've had that since XP and the default (and nag) is for it to be on right down to no-warning auto-rebooting. The complaint is that they do not test those updates before shoving them out, resulting in a feeling rather like it's being inserted rectally, and do not reserve it for vital, tested, and essential patchs.

That's why the options are essentially all-or-nothing for non-techie users, and if they were really paying attention to the users, we'd not have had Win8 & could opt for a 'stable' patch pipe with scheduling back. (Remember how XP let you schedule when it'd run the autoupdates? I do!)

Comment Re:Notepad + Windows Update (Score 1) 627 627

Good thing one of the settings mentioned in TFS is update then reboot manually.

If it's anything like that option for Win8/Win8.1, in Real Life the system will refuse to work properly until you reboot--which was a major reason why I have paid extra to have Win7 instead.

Comment Re:Who makes these decisions? (Score 1) 627 627

Not true. My phone has rebooted with Google Play updates many, many times without asking me.

Depends on how you set it up--I configured mine with an eye towards having things not auto-update unless I explicitly authorized it, which means that sometimes it won't do that even for the programs I want it to do that with and that until recently it was actually pretty bad about letting me know there was any updates of the type that require reboots available. (Since it picks the early AM to let me know, so far, it's usually resulted in a sleepy approval since it also gives me a relatively accurate ETA and anybody who'd call me during that time will be cussed out unless it's hospital-now level of emergency.)

Comment Re:Secure Boot (Score 1) 627 627

Yes, thank you. There is no reason whatever that my non-technical family members should be able to easily not update their computers. They don't have the technical knowledge to make an informed decision other than "yes, please".

I'd agree, if M$ made it possible to have the technical knowledge needed to identify a bad update without installing it, if they made it possible for me to outright refuse one they'd refused to pull for months (I hear they did eventually), and if those same family members didn't expect me to fix the hosed system for them for free.

If they only had the mandatory ones be for a 'stable' version--no patches which haven't already been pretty decently tested and out for a while--with a 'beta' track for people who are okay with a higher risk of a bad patch breaking their computer, this wouldn't be a problem, but M$ has not done that since automatic updates became possible & likely will set the system to nag you if you dare want to only have well-tested patches. Not really listening to the market is why they thought Win8 was a good idea in the first place, remember?

Comment Re:Secure Boot (Score 1) 627 627

This covers 9 out of 10 companies though. I have never worked anywhere in the last 30 years where the execs didn't screw stuff up in departments they didn't know anything about. People who insist on only working for sane companies may find themselves unemployed much of the time.

Face it, the company's leadership may be stupid, but they're also probably evil so don't feel bad about taking money from them in the form of a paycheck.

I don't know, you might have trouble finding the sane company to work for but the tradeoff seems likely to be that it will also be a more reliable job because the execs don't manage to destroy the company by a combination of being stupid and evil--or because of their stupidity and evilness get rid of said job, possibly replacing you with an H1-B worker.

Comment 'Clear and Immediate'='Obvious and Right Now' (Score 1) 265 265

It's up to 4 hours for a raving lunatic to "cool down".

The post I responded to specifically was about raving lunatics. Are you sure doctors can't already detain raving lunatics in the state this article is about?

The first response to that post denied that raving lunatics can be detained, and for proof it was stated that they can be detained. I pointed out the error of that post.

Now, you are just as blind in your reaction, making a statement you surely don't know the accuracy of, because of some personal bias that isn't my concern.

So, I will state again, for all you idiots out there: If a person is a raving lunatic,which implies being an immediate danger to themselves and others, the legal and medical systems already have laws/rules/procedures in place to handle the situation. Period. End of lecture.

The problem is that pretty much all states* require your 'raving lunatic' be a clear and immediate threat, and by 'clear and immediate' we're taking along the lines of 'waving a gun and shouting about shooting people right now' on clearness & immediacy--if you're just saying that you're thinking about doing it tomorrow, it's not quite immediate enough, never mind that you may be saying so in hopes that you will not be doing it because you're stuck in the mental health ward on the 24 hour hold. (They've got to get a judge to agree to hold you for anything more, in the most generous jurisdictions, and odds are that unless you're trying to kill the staff or yourself during that 24 hour hold, you will be tossed out on your ass once it expires regardless of what you want.)

If a 4 hour hold is enough to figure out if you're actually mentally ill or suffering from a medical emergency that just looks a hella lot like it--yes, there are times where it's hard to tell, neurological issues are a bitch--then it's probably best to have the police able to haul your ass to the ER without having to charge you with anything since that will haunt you.

So, think of it this way: Do you want to be arrested for breach of peace and left in a drunk tank 'til a judge can see you with a nice mark on your criminal record, or quickly taken to an ER where somebody whose ass is at least liable if not trained gets to make the call? Do you want to criminalize having mental health issues--at least effectively--or have 4 hours being watched by somebody who is if not trained at least liable if they screw up?

* By 'pretty much all' I mean 'probably all but not checking.' I'd have expected any exceptions to have gotten mentioned when covering the overall shitty set of options shrinks get when having to get somebody to where they can give proper, informed consent to (or refuse) treatment... Think of it as being like getting somebody too drunk to recognize their own name to give you their address so you can get them home: it ain't gonna be easy or fast.

Comment Re:Government knows best... (Score 1) 432 432

Complaining about some OSHA guy getting the details wrong doesn't make what OSHA itself is DOING wrong.

If you want to stick your hands in live wires with your feet on an OSHA-approved metal ladder, go right ahead. Just remember to make sure your funeral arrangements already made.

If you don't get it, this is a bit worse than getting details wrong, this is pretty much an adult failing Electricity for Preschoolers, and is an example of typical OSHA shenanigans. The rule of thumb I've learned from experience and from others in risky work is that, on the whole, OSHA is never there when you actually need them and often there when you don't--and don't expect them to be much help if your employer is violating OSHA regulations.

By having uniform standards of safety set by experts in those fields, we ensure that it's not a race to the bottom where safety is concerned.

Hillary also didn't say she wanted the gig economy to go under, she just said that classifying them as contractors and all sorts of other shenanigans is wrong.

If you're Uber or Lyft or AirBNB, you have to cover people who are providing your service as if they're employees. Because they are the people providing the work, they should be treated like employees.

Not necessarily--as mr_mischief notes, it's not a shenanigan for Uber, Lyft, or AirBNB to call them contractors--though it probably is a shenanigan for taxi drivers who work assigned schedules at company-fixed rates 'contractors.'

In fact, it might be best to push those businesses into functionally being brokering services that can be used by independent self-employed individuals to find customers & handle transactions for fee (flat or percentage)--if they're employees, the employer can expect them to work a given set of hours, and as I noted, part of the reasons gigs appeal to some is because the arrangement is flexible, right down to being able to call off work if necessary without penalty beyond those hours' potential earnings.

That said, I'm not really okay with how Uber, Lyft and traditional taxi services treat their drivers, but I'm not seeing any of this actually improving the situation for the drivers. As far as I can tell, the end result is going to benefit the established businesses, bureaucratic power-grabbing dreams, and any politicians they bring along.

Comment Re:Government knows best... (Score 1) 432 432

you know what's a terrible way to live? Not being sure if you're going to die at work tomorrow because your boss, or your boss's boss decides to skimp on safety gear because it's cheaper.

It's not your decision to work an incredibly hazardous job that's on the line or not, it's the decision for your employer not to give you decent protection from mishaps.

Actually, if the government gets out of this, I'll start being OK with having the union because this seems like precisely what ought to be the union's and not the government's job--particularly since sometimes it's necessary to get the union to go yell at the OSHA guy because what the OSHA guy thinks is scrimping on safety equipment is using the right equipment. When you've got the OSHA guy complaining because you're not using metal ladders when what you're doing is working on a live electrical system...maybe you're better off having the people doing the work having a large say in what the safety regulations are.

Some of us don't want the government making the rules because, really, we'd prefer to be empowered to do so in a more worker-centered way--and getting rid of 'gigs' entirely isn't going to work well, because for some workers this is a desirable, if not necessary, style of employment. If I need to be able to have a strong say in my hours, for reasons like school or being a primary caregiver, my choices right now are 'take gigs' or 'no job at all.' Gigs also have some appeal if your primary employer does not like giving you full hours, meaning you need something to fill in the gaps, as well as for those who feel that their free time is valuable enough that they see no reason to put in more hours working than absolutely necessary--something that would get you fired from a traditional job.

Comment Re:Free? Who said anything about free? (Score 1) 432 432

the US navy protects oil tankers at sea, they don't collect a dime from the oil companies for the escort service

can we get government escorts when we go grocery shopping?

Sure, just make sure you carry along around $2.8 million in valuables with you--according to a bit of poking around, that's the current value market of a full load of oil in a small crude oil tanker. (This was determined via checking Wikipedia for the number of barrels a small tanker holds and the lower of the two per-barrel values given at this time by

They also tend to pay taxes and there's a surprising number of people who for entirely non-economic reasons would rather not see the results of an oil tanker sinking or being blown up.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674 674

Interesting: they pick you up on a silly charge and let you go, but they can still do you for being upset about that? Depends a bit on how upset the guy was of course, but still...

They're examples of the kinds of charges that normally are tacked on at the end of the list, meaning that you've got to be a special sort to get yourself arrested for just that.

I am not a lawyer, but I listen to 'em: This is why you at least try to fake being a calm, reasonable human being who is willing to be cooperative so this gets sorted out faster, as it's a lot easier to make a bad arrest vanish from your records if they don't have you for perfectly valid Being A Twat charges.

Comment Re:Tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 674 674

Other businesses--particularly banks--chain the pen to their desk (if you haven't seen this, I'm being absolutely serious).

My bank doesn't do this: it has a huge supply of free pens with their name and logo on them at the desk where you stop to fill out your deposit ticket, and they encourage people to take them. Free advertising is worth a lot more (to a local place like a bank) than worrying about the cost of some $0.10 pens.

Mine doesn't, mostly because I think they came to the conclusion that making sure there is a pen at the desks for filling out paperwork before going up to the tellers was important--and people couldn't be relied upon to be polite enough to mention to the staff that they took the last pen. Given that people have gone to the trouble of stealing those tethered pens, I don't blame them...

Honestly, if the plugs are dangerous to electronics to use while the car's in motion, a sign warning people of that or better yet locking safety covers are the correct measures. Otherwise, just have it as a courtesy phone-charging station, and if somebody hogs it the other passengers will probably handle the problem quite well.

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!