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Comment: Re:Two Problems (Score 1) 164

Indeed, if you read the Kickstarter, there is no mention of "Universal Access". Instead you're helping fund a private company to build a product they want to sell to kids and schools. Sure, they'll give away some free copies to some people. But there are over 98 thousand schools in the United States alone and they want to give away 1,500 copies to classrooms (not even schools) at the million dollar level. Their stretch goal is "free access" to 7,500 classrooms. How many classrooms are in a school?!
Joseph Elwell.

Comment: Rationale of the accused (Score 1) 427

From another article,
"Humphreys told the FCC he used the jammer to keep people from talking on their cellphones while driving. Talking on a cellphone while driving is legal in Florida, even without a hands-free kit, though texting while driving is banned. Using a cellphone jammer is illegal for everyone but federal law enforcement, regardless of intent, according to the FCC."

A moving jammer, that doesn't center on the phone caller seems more disruptive rather than less. If your call drops while in motion you're going to retry. This is more helpful to prevent calls in the first place - but even that means they go for their phone. It seems to me the talking isn't the distraction AS much as the dialing.
Joseph Elwell.

Comment: Horrible reactions to predictable problems. (Score 1) 465

For starters the main story is down, and no cache appears to be available. But from the other 3 viewpoints here's what I takeaway:
A person whose job it was to make the "story" aspect of the videos engaging asked a purposefully hurtful question to incite conflict (since conflict sells). Rather than consistently using that as a launching point into educating the masses (people who will be watching the videos - obviously the person asking has no need for education) the teams decided to SHUT DOWN. First they shut down by ignoring future incursions. Then they shutdown entirely. Seems like the guy was giving you a soap box for you to talk on.
Joseph Elwell.

Comment: Garage Smoke Detectors (Score 1) 253

by jelwell (#45747087) Attached to: Tesla Says Garage Fire Not Charger's Fault; Firemen Less Sure

I'm wiring up a smoke detector in my garage. Smoke detectors aren't often found in garages due to the false positives they sound off on - because of car exhausts. I have an Plug in Electric Hybrid, and this guy has a Tesla. Perfect for a Nest Protect. No exhaust to trigger false positives.
Joseph Elwell.

Comment: Most fireplaces also inefficient. (Score 2) 1143

by jelwell (#45380499) Attached to: EPA Makes Most Wood Stoves Illegal

In other news, most fireplaces are inefficient anyways.

Currently home builders have little incentive to put an efficient stove into their buildings. At least in my neck of the woods. This is just a step in that direction: Efficient wood burning devices that pollute less.
Joseph Elwell.

Comment: Re:Change is hard (Score 1) 331

by jelwell (#44758773) Attached to: Users Revolt Over Yahoo Groups Update

Perhaps everyone who needed Yahoo Groups to be different had already left.

In the groups I participate in, this is exactly what is happening. People are leaving. I can't imagine any successful business model that involves no new users, AND the current userbase shrinking.

By forcing current groups to change they didn't necessarily give them any new functionality that they wanted,

Inline attachments seems like a pretty big deal. You no longer have to mention, search the files for this picture that only relates to this post. This seems especially useful for email users (seemingly the core of users) - which I am not one of.

and might have taken away functionality that they did want.

There are only 2 features listed as having been removed. Everything else is implied to be bugs, I suppose that is the definition of "might", it might be a bug, it might be a feature removed.
Joseph Elwell.

Comment: Change is hard (Score 4, Interesting) 331

by jelwell (#44757851) Attached to: Users Revolt Over Yahoo Groups Update

Change is hard for a lot of people. Yahoo Groups, unfortunately is stuck running some really ancient "forum" software that really isn't designed to be a forum at all. It's designed to be an email list. I use Yahoo Groups daily, and it really needs to incorporate modern features. Neo brings a lot of basic forum features to Yahoo Groups, like inline attachments. The people asking for the old format back, change is hard, embrace it and move forward. Ask Yahoo to fix bugs you find in Neo, that will be much better for the community than to continue being stuck in the old ways.
Joseph Elwell.

Comment: Rule of Thumb (Score 1) 153

by jelwell (#41895429) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Become Informed In Judicial Elections?

Here's a good tip a friend of mine gave me.

In my county, usually their prior job titles are listed.

If you're "tough on crime" vote for the candidate who used to be a Prosecutor or District Attorney.

If you're for "fair trials" vote for the candidate who used to be a public defender.

Another way would be to say "tough on innocent victims", instead of "tough on crime". Or "weak on crime" instead of "fair trials", depending on which way you swing. ;) Maybe someone else can come up with labels that aren't as emotional.

The rationale behind this rule is that former prosecutors and district attorneys were motivated by guilty sentences (whether the person is guilty or not), while former defenders were motivated by innocent sentences (also unrelated to guilt).

Does this rule work all the time? No, does it work some of the time, I have no clue. But it's one rule I use when electing judges now.

Joseph Elwell.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer