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Ask Slashdot: Tips For Getting Into Model Railroading? 149

An anonymous reader writes: A relative of mine has been hinting that he'd like me to take over his model railroad collection in the event of his death (or even before that, to make this a bit less morbid-sounding). I'm intrigued by the idea, because I've been interested in model railroads for years, but too commitment shy and too transient to actually start a collection. That's changed enough that I'd like to start planning a train system, and am looking for advice from people who have been at it for a while. A couple of parameters: 1) I'm only interested for now in HO-scale stuff, so I am not all that interested in the relative merits of the other kinds, cool as they might be. 2) Related, I am somewhat less interested in the rolling stock than I am in the construction and control of the track and surrounding landscape. Interested in learning from experienced model railroad enthusiasts what lessons you've learned over the years that would be useful for a newbie, especially if you've made some cool automation for your system, or have built extensive support structures. This includes negative lessons, too, if you've overloaded circuits or floorboards. I'd *like* to integrate some interesting sensors and control systems, and I see some interesting open source software for this. So: What advice would you give to a late-start railroader? For reference: this set-up may end up living in an unfinished suburban basement.

Comment Re:Teachers (Score 1) 240

Different AC here. ... P.P.S.: Fuck the last 5 years of UX "professionals" who think ... menu options should change depending on which options the software decides are more frequently used. Neither group knows anything of muscle memory because neither group has been in the industry long enough for it to matter.

Although, to be fair to UX "professionals" there is no muscle memory so powerful that it cannot be compromised with sufficient alcohol. Still getting 80wpm tonight. But somehow missed the post-anon button. Sometimes the UX "professional" doesn't have to move the clickbox. It's moving on my system, though!

Comment Re:Teachers (Score 1) 240

My touch typist teacher said RIGHT. Never considered the left.

Different AC here. Basic non-ergo Keytronic layout. I use left hand, not right hand, and I was taught touch typing (and can still do 100wpm) by a teacher who taught by the book that says "right-handed."

Even though the "6" is, properly speaking, in the "6/y/h/n" vertical row that "belongs" to the right hand, I just looked closely at my fingers on the actual physical keyboard on which I've typed for 10+ years, and its clones on which I've typed for at least 20+, it's because the "6" is closer to the left index finger than the right index finger. The pad of my hand (not the wrist, about halfway up the pad beneath my pinky finger) rests on the lower edge of my keyboard, and my thumbs rest so comfortably on the spacebar that the spacebar has a little worn spot on it.

Home exercise: Place fingers on home row. Touch right and left index fingers to "T", "Y", and "R". For my fingers and keyboard, "Y" is the most comfortable, almost dead-center. Repeat experiment with "5/6/7". For my fingers/keyboard, I can't reach "5" with right. I can't reach "7" with left, and "6" is reachable with either, but more easily reached with left finger. with left on "T" and right on "y" almost centered beneath "6", left is visually confirmed closer to "6."

(Side note: Both by size of wear spot and by observation while typing this post, I almost exclusively press the space bar with my *right* thumb. Maybe that contributes to using my left idex to hit th 6 key -- my left thumb is basically unused. I just typed this entire sentence with my left thumb crammed under the keyboard and it felt comfortable. Undoable with right thumb in equivalent positon.)

P.S; Our touch-typing teachers taught us the same way, but for me and my keyboard, we cheat on the "6". I've forgotten whether it's supposed to matter which thumb you use on the space bar, although I imagine I could have squeezed out a couple of extra wpm if I'd used both thumbs in high school.

P.P.S.: Fuck the last 5 years of UX "professionals" who think everything has to change every six months for the hell of it, or the last 15 years who think that menu options should change depending on which options the software decides are more frequently used. Neither group knows anything of muscle memory because neither group has been in the industry long enough for it to matter.

Comment Re:Yes and no, but mostly no. (Score 1) 83

One, the spec is positively Byzantine. It makes OpenPGP look like a marvel of clarity. It's a very hard spec to implement correctly, and for that reason I distrust most of the S/MIME out there.

Two, S/MIME has some hardwired dependencies on SHA-1. (So does OpenPGP; S/MIME has more of them.) SHA-1 isn't looking very healthy right now. OpenPGP is migrating away from SHA-1 and the working group is actively developing a new spec. The S/MIME community isn't.

Comment Re:Yes and no, but mostly no. (Score 1) 83

The biggest problem with OpenPGP is that it doesn't protect the metadata.

It's about to. :)

Daniel Kahn Gillmor had a novel idea for how to use PGP/MIME in a creative way to extend protection to virtually all the email header information. Enigmail is implementing this, as are a few other groups. Metadata protection is coming to OpenPGP -- and very soon!

Comment Re:Yes and no, but mostly no. (Score 2) 83

Comment Re:Yes and no, but mostly no. (Score 1) 83

Quoting myself:

And some people -- idiots who don't understand that optimizing one of these may necessarily mean pessimizing another -- smile and say, "Yes!"

You're one of those idiots: I get it. But so long as you're saying "improve everything!" I'm going to ignore you, because some of these things are incompatible.

Comment Yes and no, but mostly no. (Score 5, Insightful) 83

Yes and no, but mostly no. (ObDisclosure: I help out with Enigmail.)

  • Could we do better? Maybe. Probably. But first you'll have to define what "better" means. Some people say it means stronger crypto. Some say it means a simpler RFC. Some say it means a better user interface/user experience. And some people -- idiots who don't understand that optimizing one of these may necessarily mean pessimizing another -- smile and say, "Yes!" Honestly, when it comes to "we can do better" style criticism, my response is simple: I know we can do better -- but first you have to tell me what 'better' means.
  • But that doesn't matter. When it comes to communications security the world is divided into two camps. The first one doesn't need it right now and the second one does. If you don't need communications security right now, that gives you a great amount of luxury to sit on the sidelines and wait for something better to come along. If you do, though ... then GnuPG and Enigmail are pretty much the best thing going right now, at least when it comes to email.

  • Alternatives? What alternatives? The only alternative right now for email security is S/MIME, and that's far worse than OpenPGP. If you want to communicate using Silent Circle, go for it. Want to use OTR, be my guest. But if you need email security... "it's probably time to look into alternatives" is the kind of advice that sounds good only until you realize just how few alternatives there are, or how lousy they are.

I'll be the first to agree that GnuPG is a usability nightmare. Absolutely. If you like I'll point you towards several references in the peer-reviewed literature that show why it's so bad. But when people start talking about alternatives, I want to know which alternatives they're suggesting; when people start talking about doing it better, I want to know what better means.

Submission + - Malvertising ads infest websites with 100++ million visitors->

An anonymous reader writes: Angler exploit's SSL malvertising campaign source and details from MalwareBytes https://blog.malwarebytes.org/... infesting sites like:

weather.com 121M visits per month
drudgereport.com 61.8M visits per month
wunderground.com 49.9M visits per month
findagrave.com 6M visits per month
webmaila.juno.com 3.6M visits per month
my.netzero.net 3.2M visits per month
sltrib.com 1.8M visits per month

Link to Original Source

"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked." -- John Gall, _Systemantics_

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