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Comment: Re:Simple solution (Score 1) 397

by arth1 (#48896783) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?

I use a real computer (what's an "unreal" computer anyway?), and I paste using right-click -> "paste" or CTRL-V, or SHIFT-CTRL-V if it's in a terminal. What's wrong with that?

It requires cooperation from the program you paste into.
With X Window System where left-mouse-drag automatically copies and middle-mouse pastes into any program as if you had typed the text, you don't have to worry about whether paste is supported or not, or how it does it (Ever tried to paste from a web page into, say, Outlook, and you get an unwanted table around the paste because what you copied was in a table? Or got a font or text color you didn't want?)

With mark / paste on middle-mouse, you can be fairly certain that you only get the text you marked. And even more importantly to some of us, it works great with partially overlapping windows - just because you paste some text into a window doesn't make that window pop to the front and obscure what you really were interested in, most likely what you copied from.

Comment: Re:Interstellar missions... (Score 3, Insightful) 204

by arth1 (#48891273) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

This is why a desert can go from 100F to near freezing in a matter of hours when the Earth rotates and the desert is radiating heat out into space.

Deserts are not vacuums. Deserts cool down at night mainly through air convection. High altitude air on the planet's night side is less buoyant, and is replaced by warmer air from lower altitudes, and this process repeats all the way down to the surface. Katabatic winds are often a result, which the California "sundowner" winds is a good example of.
Needless to say, that isn't much of a concern for the microclimates of spacecraft.

Comment: Re:Interstellar missions... (Score 5, Informative) 204

by arth1 (#48890895) Attached to: At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

Deep space tends to be very cold

This is misleading at best.

Space in itself is a near vacuum, which (a) has no temperature of its own, and (b) is a wonderful insulator. Which is why a thermos uses vacuum for insulation.
Objects in space can become very cold over long time spans, as heat slowly radiates away without being replenished at the same rate. But space itself doesn't cool them down.

Voyager 1, which is the operative craft that's been in service the longest and receives the least amount of heat from the sun is, after most of the heaters have been turned off to conserve energy, running at around -80C temperatures. That's a veritable furnace compared to other older objects in space that have radiated away more heat over much longer time.

Also, you say "chemical batteries". Well, yes, it is, but this is a dry battery. The composition doesn't change with colder temperatures, unlike wet batteries where liquids freeze. Dry batteries don't have that problem, which is why it is interesting.

Comment: Re:Why lay fiber at all when you can gouge wireles (Score 1) 191

by arth1 (#48890259) Attached to: Verizon About To End Construction of Its Fiber Network

The free market strikes again!

Let's not forget the billions in tax breaks and incentives that the telcos got in return for a promise to make sure everyone got broadband, no matter where they lived.

But will they be punished? Well, look at campaign contributions and make up your own mind.

Comment: Re:Why not a full-on Linux environment? (Score 0) 165

by arth1 (#48890183) Attached to: Google Just Made It Easier To Run Linux On Your Chromebook

If they are making it easy to run "normal" Linux, why not install the appropriate libs and allow Linux apps to run side-by-side with Chrome apps?

What are Google's business models? Ads and tracking.
Installing anything that is going to make it easier to circumvent either is not likely to happen.

Comment: Re:Pedantic, but... (Score 2) 165

by arth1 (#48890147) Attached to: Google Just Made It Easier To Run Linux On Your Chromebook

You summoned him!
Apparently he doesn't have a /. account, but still is a reader.

He probably doesn't like the license for using the anonymous account, and I can't really blame him.

Anyhow, I think you're triggering a /. law here: As the mentioning of RMS in a Slashdot thread grows, the chance of Bruce Perens posting approaches unity.

Comment: Re:How to influence the innumerate with CS Ed stat (Score 1) 331

by arth1 (#48847987) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

Thank you for correcting spelling mistake. English is not my first language.

You're welcome. Nether is it mine. Nor is it my second language.
Buorre Beaivi!

Anything else that I can do for you?

Save cycles and don't use the g option when not needed. With sed not being my first scripting language, I propose: /^w/s/carri/a caree/1 ;)

Comment: Re:How to influence the innumerate with CS Ed stat (Score 4, Insightful) 331

by arth1 (#48843211) Attached to: Lies, Damn Lies, and Tech Diversity Statistics

The very best engineers, programmers and wizards are not school taught - they are autodidact.
To the point that many have a CS education, that is only pro-forma so they fulfill employment requirements.

Anyone who takes CS to learn CS is already behind. If you actually learned something you didn't already know, you probably didn't have much of an interest or a knack in the first place.

To get more [insert favorite minority] into STEM/CS, the members of [insert favorite minority] have to take an interest in it. Schools can't teach you the drive and curiosity that makes you worth keeping as an employee. They can only teach you what you can pick up in a fraction of the time by reading and playing around.

To expect to be a successful engineer because your parents sent you to UCB is as silly as expecting to be a successful musician because you took music classes. Without an inner drive and interest, it won't do much good.
And the problem is that women in general don't take a personal interest in maths, science, engineering or similar. That has to come first.

Comment: Re:iOS (Score 2) 63

by arth1 (#48838717) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Tablet and Software For a Partially Sighted Person?

Yep, this. iOS is second to none in terms of accessibility support.

I'm not too sure. Are there, for example, any Braille readers for iOS, like there is for both Windows and Linux? Or haptic mice? How about something as simple as bitmap fonts at large sizes instead of scalable fonts?
How about text-to-speech or speech recognition in other languages than the most common ones?
Or on-screen keyboards that understand more than one language at a time?

I'd say that Apple's accessibility support is superb as long as you belong to the 80% most common group. But their support of the remaining 20% is abysmal compared to the competition. The one-shoe-fits-all principle doesn't work well. With accessibility, it's better to add something that sucks but can be used than to nix it because it's not good enough. And that's unfortunately what Apple does.

Comment: Re:Terry Pratchett say... (Score 1) 578

by arth1 (#48813257) Attached to: What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

We see things through rose tinted glasses.
When we use a language where "Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo" is a valid sentence, you got to wonder.

English, as She is Spoken, also has a low information density, in part due to the vowel falloff. Most languages have far more vowels, and distinguish I and Y sounds, and O and deep O sounds, and also allow stress on more than one syllable, or intonation distinguishing between words.

In writing, well, I think English is losing because of IMspeak. We're degenerating into a written language that's more ambiguous than precise. Punctuation is being replaced by the universal punctuation symbol "lol", case is disappearing, and abbreviations (sorry, I mean "abbrevs") are more and more used, quite often incorrectly. I'm just waiting for newspapers to pick up with articles like"us sk8 ftw lol us >> finl& lol".

But as long as Hollywood can churn out movies, English, or at least the American version, will still be strong around the world.

Comment: Re:Not all of his ashes.. (Score 1) 108

by arth1 (#48799397) Attached to: NASA's New Horizons To Arrive At Pluto With Clyde Tombaugh's Ashes

Hell, personally, I'd have settled with just a plaque, but if a few grams of ash has more emotional value with some people, why not?

Because it's an endorsement of superstition, and sets precedents.

There is something after death: the lives of everybody who didn't die that day, and their descendants. The possibility that what you did in your life might have a positive impact on your survivors, that they might even remember you or your work, is the real life after death.

I partially agree. A positive impact on the future we don't get to see is a reason to live our lives well. Along with sowing our oats. But remembering me? I'd rather they spent the time on pursuing worthwhile endeavors, because no matter what people think of me, I won't know it, and it won't make a grain of difference.
Some cultures have a taboo against speaking of the dead, and I can't say I've read anything about that causing problems.

Comment: Re:Autonomous vehicles (Score 1) 162

by arth1 (#48796631) Attached to: What are you most interested in seeing out of CES?

Strange that the google car seems not to be able to detect pedestrians reliable (police officer waving was an example in the link)

When an autonomous car fails to obey a police officer waving it to the side or waving it on, that's the day when autonomous cars start dying.

I expect the first police protests to be there within days, and the first fatal shooting of people in an autonomous car to be within weeks.

But the final nail in the coffin will be when a senator is stuck in traffic and misses an important flight or meeting, and discover that the reason was an autonomous car that stopped for a shoe[*] and refused to drive over it or cross the double yellow line to get around it.

[*]: It's almost always the left shoe. But it could be a teapot.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...