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Comment Re: Worst of both worlds (Score 4, Informative) 92 92

I seriously doubt that. I only have global sales number, not US specific, but there are many online retailers that are larger. Newegg had around $2.7 billion in revenue in 2013. The same year Amazon had $68 billion, Apple had $18 billion, Staples and Walmart both had around $10 billion in online sales. Sears (a company that every talks about as dieing) and QVC (yes the website for that crappy home marketing TV station) both had nearly $5 billion in revenue. Even among consumer electronics CDW and Best Buy had more online sales at over $3 billion each. And again, while these are global numbers, most of those companies are US based, with strong US sales.

Newegg is one of hundreds of online retailers of simular size. While it is a great company, it's adoption of bitcoin is by no means an indication that something has gone mainstream.


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

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.

Frankly, this is the first time I have had this problem. I've been posting on BBSs, IRC, Usenet, Compuserv and usually, the only thing I used to get dinged for is spelling. As spell checking has gotten better, I have been able to "see" the way the word written correctly looks like, and more often than not, notice that it is "wrong", but usually can't tell you why it is wrong.

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.

I haven't used computer based STT, but I am having good success with Android's version on both phones and tablets. I am going to have to see soon about getting some sort of STT running on Linux to see how good it is...I hope that I won't be forced to shift to Windows to get decent software....although in theory, the stuff Google is doing should be portable to Linux since, at it's base, Android is running on top of Linux. Android apps are really just like Java apps, as they run their own bytecode in a sandbox on top of something else, like the Linux kernel.

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.)

I used to use a Happy Hacking keyboard, but I switched to using a KVM between two machines, and thus needed to switch to a USB keyboard. I am currently using logitech wireless keyboard & mouse combo as I was forced for a while to work in a very limited space, but I now have enough space to maybe move back to the HH keyboard, or buy a new mechanical one, and switch back to using a trackball.

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.)

I actually play guitar, and have played for about 20+ years. I'm no Jimmy Page, Jeff Martin or Alex Lifeson but with practice I can play along with some of the songs they wrote. :-) I also play synthesizer, which is a bit different from just playing keyboards...playing a synth involves knowing more than just what keys are what notes, but understanding things like waveforms, envelopes, LFOs and all sorts of esoteric "analog programming" to produce unique and intersting sounds.

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.

As it is, when I turn off the light when I go to bed, I don't turn it on again if I need to hit the restroom, and thus navigate in the dark. It's not much, but it gives me a feeling for moving around without sight. Luckily, Macular Degeneration tends to just remove the sight in the middle of the eye, so you get sort of a "reverse tunnel vision" type of blindness, that is, you can, see around the outside of your field of vision, but not what you are looking at directly. So getting around is one of the few things that is not as bad as for those with total vision loss.

BTW, it has taken me over an hour to write and then edit this....hopefully it's not too bad. :-)

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.

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!!!!

Comment Re:Possible but rather unlikely I think (Score 1) 252 252

but also because autonomous cars are more likely to be shared and constantly in use, rather than sitting in your driveway 90% of the time.

I'm not convinced of this one either. Possible but hardly a certainty. A lot of people don't really like to share cars and nobody rides the bus because they like it. I can see automated cars getting abused rather badly. Trash, bodily fluids, etc. People don't tend to respect property that isn't theirs. I really don't look forward to the prospect of taxing an automated taxi that smells of urine or worse.

And it doesn't work for the borrowers either. If people make their cars available for use when they don't need them, then that will mean that most cars will only be available for use during times of low demand, and will be occupied during time of high demand. With that availability, shared cars will barely dent the existing taxi and public transportation systems.

I have seen a ton of articles lately pushing the idea that once automated cars are reality that no one will need/want to own cars. I'm sorry, but taxis have been around since before the car was invented and they still only fill a minor role in our transportation needs. There are reasons for this, and automated cars don't address any of those issues.

Comment Re:Who wrote the summary? (Score 4, Informative) 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.


Submission + - Uber Faces $410 Million Dollar Canadian Class Action Suit->

farrellj writes: A class action suite has been filed by the Taxi and Limo drivers and owners in the Province of Ontario in Canada against Uber, claiming $400 Million Canadian dollars in compensatory damages, $10 million in punitive damages. They claim that Uber is violation the Ontario Highway Traffic Act that covers taxis and limos, and have caused them to lost money. They also seek an injunction against Uber operating in Ontario.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:C'mon.... (Score 1) 627 627

Practically none would fit your scenario, but quite a few have good reasons to defer downloading and installing of updates for a short time. Like if you are on limited bandwidth, or want to finish some important work first. The new options don't allow that. They only give you a choice of when to reboot after updates are automatically downloaded and installed without your confirmation. And besides, simply having automatic updates the default takes care of the lowest common denominator. Removing the option all together only impacts people who know enough to change the option to begin with.

Comment Re:I believe it too, and also a pitch for Ghostery (Score 1) 327 327

I absolutely agree with using Ghostery (or something like it) for privacy reasons. That said Ghostery and AdBlock both use quite a bit of memory*, and IMHO slow things down as much as the ads they are blocking (apart from flash ads which FlashBlock or native click-to-play capability solves with much less overhead). Furthermore, I almost never see ads when running Ghostery, and conversely the EasyPrivacy filter list for AdBlock does much of the same thing that Ghostery does. So I would recommend trying them both out, and then sticking to just one rather than running both at once. Also, if you use Ghostery make sure it is configured to block new elements by default.

Lastly, if you (or someone you do tech support for) refuses to use Ghostery (or NoScript) because it sometimes break webpage functionality, Disconnect is a good option to look at. It doesn't block nearly as much as Ghostery, and isn't as informative about what it is (and isn't) blocking, but it is better than nothing. I have never had it break a website, and requires no config tweaking.

*Note, the memory usage issue may get better in a couple releases.

Comment Video Streaming is Huge (Score 1) 327 327

I'm surprised it's not more.

That was my first reaction too, then I remembered how much streaming has taken off. Globally, video streaming accounts for a bit more than 50% of all traffic. Excluding that means that at least 50% of non-video-streaming traffic is caused by ads.

You'd also expect that video streaming was higher among a younger demographic like a University. If removing ads decreased the video traffic by 40% and 25% of total traffic was ads, the non-ad video streaming accounted for up to 62% of the total traffic at the University (depending on what percentage of ads were video). By that number, ads account for at most 67% of non-video-streaming traffic. That number can go up more once you subtract out the 5-10% of traffic caused by Bittorent and music streaming. I was expecting to add in a factor for email, but even given the 80-90% of email that is spam, the total email traffic has been dwarfed by other traffic and is isn't worth including.

Based on all that you could expect ads to account for anywhere from 55-90% of web browsing traffic, which sounds more reasonable.

United Kingdom

More Supermassive Black Holes Than We Thought! 92 92

LeadSongDog writes: The Royal Astronomical Society reports five supermassive black holes (SMBHs) that were previously hidden by dust and gas have been uncovered. The discovery suggests there may be millions more supermassive black holes in the universe than were previously thought. George Lansbury, a postgraduate student in the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy, at Durham University, said: “For a long time we have known about supermassive black holes that are not obscured by dust and gas, but we suspected that many more were hidden from our view. Thanks to NuSTAR for the first time we have been able to clearly see these hidden monsters that are predicted to be there, but have previously been elusive because of their ‘buried’ state. Although we have only detected five of these hidden supermassive black holes, when we extrapolate our results across the whole Universe then the predicted numbers are huge and in agreement with what we would expect to see.”

Comment Products not organizations (Score 1) 23 23

This organization would just be responsible for verifying that software is secure, not than an organization is secure. Just like you can still electrocute yourself with a UL listed device if you insist on using it in an unsafe manner, it will be entirely possible for organizations to use CyberUL software in horribly insecure ways. The point of the listing is just to verify that the software can be used securely, if you keep it patched and use it correctly.

Kiss your keyboard goodbye!