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Comment Make it MORE important, not less. (Score 1) 518 518

Right now, CapsLock does one thing. You tap it, and toggle the state of the Caps Lock function. Why not make it do more than one thing, namely by giving it a different function when held down? Perhaps it can act something like AltGr. I personally a held-down CapsLock to generate small caps (via Unicode, so I can't demonstrate here) thanks to AutoHotkey.

I also have other overlapping assignments, such as the AppsKey (aka "Menu Key", which may or may not be what they're calling the "Right Mouse Button" in the article). Tap it and it does the usual. Hold it down and it generates lookalike characters if any exist for that key (otherwise it generates nothing, so you know you didn't get a lookalike), such as a Cyrillic a or capital letters from the Greek alphabet. Why? Because of wordfilters. I encountered one that liked to change all instances of "moot" to "cuck", but it did so with no regard to the characters around the string. Thus the word "smooth" became "scuckh". I dodge this by substituting Cyrillic o in place of one or both of the ones in the word. Another wordfilter I've encountered changes all instances of "wing" to "wang", including when it's part of the word "swing". Time to bust out the Byelorussian "i".

Another option is to map CapsLock to Ctrl (as many people do), or to Backspace (as is the norm in Colemak). I actually use it though, now that it has the additional Small Caps function. I tried the Backspace assignment, but found myself not using it, and now I have a duplicate Backspace to the left of the Left Shift.

Other funky double assignments: NumLock sends a Ctrl-Enter, but only in Skype, otherwise it behaves normally. My numeric keypad is also paired up differently and uses all five rows:

/, 7-PrtSc, 8-ScrLk, 9-Pause
*, 4-Ins, 5-Home, 6-PgUp
-, 1-Del, 2-End, 3-PgDn
+, 0-Ins, Up Arrow, .-Del
Ctrl, Left Arrow, Down Arrow, Right Arrow

You can take a look if you really want to.

Comment Re:Seriously! (Score 5, Informative) 147 147

In this case, the Windows version is irrelevant. They didn't attack Windows, they attacked the software running on top of it. Since the OS wasn't compromised, upgrading it would do one of two things: (1) break things, either a little or a lot OR (2) absolutely nothing.

"Even if the CompuSafe were running Windows 10, it wouldn't have changed the exploit that we will be demonstrating," Salazar said.

It's right in there. Of course that would require reading the article, and I'm sure I broke some unwritten rule by doing so.

Comment Re:Why not have mechanical security too? (Score 5, Informative) 147 147

It's basically an ATM in reverse, for stores. Put money in, and you're not SUPPOSED to be able to get it back out. Instead, it immediately shows up in your bank account. The bank will come around and empty the safe when it is convenient to them. If the power fails, they'll just have to come back some other time.

At least that's the plan. The exploit clearly shows that someone other than the bank or a Brinks employee CAN open the safe.

But of course, nobody reads the articles before complaining. This is /. after all.

Comment Re:i haven't bought a car in a while... (Score 1) 252 252

Speaking of maintenance, one nice benefit of having your own self-driving car will be that it can trot off to get its own oil changed, or a brake job, or a new set of tires, or (if it's not electric) fuel up. Right now, you have to carve time out of your own schedule to do this, or pay extra for someone to come to you and do it. (I was lucky enough to work at an office large enough that a mechanic came by weekly and worked on any cars that needed it, but that's certainly an exception and not a rule.)

I can also see the job of "gas pump attendant" come back, since empty self-driving cars need someone to fill them up.

Comment Re:War (Score 2) 82 82

It is of course well known that careless talk costs lives, but the full scale of the problem is not always appreciated.

For instance, at the very moment that an Earthman, Arthur Dent said "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle," a freak wormhole opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum and carried his words far far back in time across almost infinite reaches of space to a distant Galaxy where strange and warlike beings were poised on the brink of frightful interstellar battle.

The two opposing leaders were meeting for the last time.

A dreadful silence fell across the conference table as the commander of the Vl'hurgs, resplendent in his black jewelled battle shorts, gazed levelly at the G'Gugvuntt leader squatting opposite him in a cloud of green sweet-smelling steam, and, with a million sleek and horribly beweaponed star cruisers poised to unleash electric death at his single word of command, challenged the vile creature to take back what it had said about his mother.

The creature stirred in his sickly broiling vapor, and at that very moment the words I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle drifted across the conference table.

Unfortunately, in the Vl'hurg tongue this was the most dreadful insult imaginable, and there was nothing for it but to wage terrible war for centuries.

Eventually of course, after their Galaxy had been decimated over a few thousand years, it was realized that the whole thing had been a ghastly mistake, and so the two opposing battle fleets settled their few remaining differences in order to launch a joint attack on our own Galaxy- now positively identified as the source of the offending remark.

For thousands more years the mighty ships tore across the empty wastes of space and finally dived screaming on to the first planet they came across- which happened to be the Earth- where due to a terrible miscalculation of scale the entire battle fleet was accidentally swallowed by a small dog.

Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the history of the Universe say that this sort of thing is going on all the time, but that we are powerless to prevent it.

Comment Re:The ratchet effect of censorship (Score 1) 164 164

The swastikas and hate speech get modded down primarily because they're off-topic since /. generally doesn't deal in topics where "RACE THE JEWS, GAS WAR NOW" is a remotely logical response. (Yes I scrambled that on purpose. Rule of funny.) But if you browse at -1 as you're supposed to when moderating, you'll see that they do exist. It's much less than it used to be, just like the GNAA has ceased to be much of a concern here, but that isn't just down to the moderation system or the "culture". It's also related to the topics under discussion. If this were a politically-oriented site, there would be times when such posts would be unpleasant and (most likely) trolling, but still on-topic.

Comment Re:MOAH POPCORN (Score 1) 581 581

Jusers (spelling deliberate, pronounced like "juicers"). If pressed for what kind of juicers by someone who doesn't understand, SOCK juicers. They gain validation by forcing people to conform to their own view of how the world should be, and abuse it like the juice being referenced. And like many of the trolls they wish to silence, they drink up your salty, salty tears (as long as you are a shitlord).

Comment Re:Mars is 20 years away (Score 1) 99 99

Mars has always been 20 years away, provided the money is dumped into realizing it as soon as possible.

In the 60s, there was a Cold War fueled space race going on, but all manned missions got aimed at the moon. After that, there was very little incentive to dump the resources into it. It probably couldn't have been done in 20 years with 1960s technology anyhow, and naturally both sides wanted to pluck the low-hanging fruit first. Mars is hard. Going to the moon and back is a cakewalk by comparison.

Now it probably is possible to accomplish within 20 years given the current state of technology, and without dumping practically all the discretionary funding into the program, but it still needs large quantities of money -- and a stomach for risk and possible failure, something most government types are averse to. (They'll blow money, but when people start dying, it's all over.)

The reason it's always 20 years away is totally different than the reason for fusion. Fusion throws up roadblocks all its own, no matter how badly we want it or how much time and money we throw at it. Mars hasn't changed substantially in the last couple billion years, let alone the last 5 decades.

It's all down to the money.

Comment Re:Monster Business School (Score 1) 288 288

RCA connectors flex very little, and where they flex is not the same as where they make contact. The tiny contacts in, say, an HDMI or SATA cable flex a great deal. Flakes of metal would be a very bad thing there. Even USB has enough spring loading for this to become an issue, but that spring loading is on the device side, not the cable side, so nickel-plated USB male plugs would probably be fine. You're going to have to pick something else for the female end though, because of that spring-loading. Similarly, a headphone plug doesn't flex significantly because it is the jack that is spring-loaded, and nickel does just fine here.

Nickel plating is very sturdy when there are no tension changes in the underlying metal, but it utterly falls apart when there are. There are many nickel-plated musical instruments upwards of 100 years old that look wonderful (much better than silver, generally better than lacquer, and up there with untouched gold even though they are hardly untouched), so long as they have avoided taking mechanical damage. Once dented and repaired, the finish starts to fail in long, peeling strips and in smallish (1 mm scale) chips.

Nickel also has the drawback (as a musical instrument finish) of feeling "slick" or "wet", and of causing skin irritation in considerably more people than do silver or gold. Of course neither of these is a significant problem in a cable, but it does explain why nickel never really became a dominant brass instrument plating despite its durability (outside of drum and bugle corps, where they should be wearing gloves anyhow).

Comment Re:Monster Business School (Score 2) 288 288

Nickel plating peels under mechanical stress. Gold and silver do not. They wear through because they are soft, but they don't flake or peel. Electrical contacts are spring-loaded to retain a good interface, and nickel is about the last thing you would want to use there.

Comment Re:If it sounds too good to be true (Score 2) 243 243


It also works on NiMH batteries (1.2V.)

Excellent. I like Eneloop NiMH quite a bit, but my camera doesn't. It's very voltage-picky. In fact, its voltage requirement for the adapter is 3.7V, even though it's a 2xAA device. Needless to say, it reports "low battery" from the very first moment with NiMH -- and then runs for many hours flashing that warning. The problem is that I get no warning when it really is about to keel over, and that this happens only about 50% of the way through the charge.

The reason we use Alkaline batteries is for the long shelf life, not the use life.

Eneloops again. They'll hold most of their charge for months, and are shipped ready to use. Now with this fixing the voltage disparity, there's even less reason to avoid rechargables.

Comment Re:Is it new youth or longer old age. (Score 1) 692 692

I think you're underestimating your own shelf life there. I know from personal experience that most people in their 60s are capable drivers (provided they were capable drivers to start with -- age doesn't imply competence). What they have lost in reaction time and processing ability (which is not as much as previous generations at the same age), they are able to compensate with experience. Just by handling less information through better front-end filters, they solve the problem just fine. At some point the two curves will cross, at which point it does become time to hand over the keys, but for healthy people this is probably going to be north of 70, and possibly even north of 80. By then, you might not even need to do the driving.

Even in my grandmother's generation (I'm about the same age you are), she didn't actually become a rolling hazard until she was pushing 80, and that was largely because she made navigation errors and then did stupid things to attempt to correct for them. The basic mechanics of driving and not hitting things still operated passably, although she really had no business being on the road. Fortunately, her circle of travel shrunk with her abilities.

Comment Re:Why have children? (Score 1) 692 692

The rich having extra children is not a problem. In fact, it's part of the solution to wealth inequality.

First, more kids means cutting the pie into more pieces. If that means more education costs, that's fine: we get more educated people, and through much of history, people from the privileged classes were the only ones getting higher education at all. We still managed to make some headway then, so this isn't a show stopper. It's far from ideal, but it's not going to destroy society, especially if it just means the proportions remain skewed toward the upper class rather than being entirely made up of them.

Second, when the parents finally do die, the fortune will be distributed among more children. This has historically been shown to break up empires.

Third, even if the top 1% has ten kids apiece (which they won't), while everyone else has just two, that results in them becoming the top 5%. This will increase the population far less than the other 99% finding ways to cheat, even if the 99% cheats less often per capita.

Fourth, this is a treatment of aging, which could arguably be classified as a disease in its own right. It is not immortality. If that means productive and high-quality life span is greatly increased, but total lifespan is still limited by other factors, then all we have to lose is the concept of societally funded retirement -- a notion some of us already see as impossible for ourselves, and that in many places never caught on in the first place.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"