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Comment: Re:Where can I buy a good trackball? (Score 2) 374

by Aryeh Goretsky (#48896291) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Where Can You Get a Good 3-Button Mouse Today?


A couple of "large" trackball vendors:

BigTrack -
Kensington -

You can also try visiting and looking around at the various offerings there. I've never bought from them, so no specific feedback to give (or, in other words, caveat emptor).


Aryeh Goretsky

Comment: Re:Not a fan (Score 1) 282

by Bob9113 (#48894453) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Your car is broken. And that's a piss-poor reason to be against automated driving aids.

It came from the dealership that way. It is not a good reason to be against the theory, which I am not. It is, however, an excellent reason to be against their ubiquitous deployment as currently practiced. A point made exceedingly clear in the last paragraph of my post.

Comment: Re:Not a fan (Score 4, Interesting) 282

by Bob9113 (#48892565) Attached to: Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

Real world example: My car has traction control. It also is relatively light, has front wheel drive, and has an anti-roll bar on the rear suspension.

So here's what happens; when I go into a long left hander (like a freeway interchange), the weight transfers to the right and the body rolls. The outside (right) rear wheel suspension compresses, and the anti-roll bar lifts the left rear wheel off the ground. It is a stable driving configuration, they just overbuilt the anti-roll bar for the vehicle weight. The inside rear wheel would be unweighted and providing negligible traction even if it were touching the ground, so it is not a risk.

But here's what happens next: The inside wheel is not being driven, nor is it touching the ground. Air friction slows the wheel, and the traction control system kicks in. It sees that I have three wheels going 60 MPH and one wheel going 20 MPH, and assumes that I am in an aggressive spin. It brakes the three fast wheels; aggressively. And the vehicles bucks like a horse that just saw a rattlesnake. That does cause a very real risk of losing control.

Sensor-based driving assist is a fine option. It's great for people who want the freedom to text while driving, because it keeps them from killing me. Making it the norm may reduce accidents overall, and we may reach a day when it is superior to any human. But we have not yet reached the point where economy-priced driving assist is less dangerous than an attentive and skilled driver.

+ - A State-By-State Guide To Restrictive Community Broadband Laws

Submitted by blottsie
blottsie (3618811) writes "On Tuesday, Obama will unveil a dramatic push to improve broadband Internet service for people around the country through community-built municipal broadband networks. Problem is, state legislatures around the country have passed laws making it considerably more difficult for these public Internet projects to get off the ground. In some states, building municipal broadband is prohibited altogether. This piece dives into the state laws standing between us and more competitive Internet service markets."

Comment: Re:Understand your rights!! (Score 1) 291

by m.ducharme (#48842377) Attached to: Innocent Adults Are Easy To Convince They Committed a Serious Crime

It's not just people happy to talk. the interrogators are trained to catch certain signs that the interviewee is telling the truth. But if the cops miss those signs or choose to ignore them, the interrogation can go on for hours and hours, plenty long enough for people to be "brainwashed" into remembering crimes they never committed in great detail. It's kinda scary how far they can take someone with stress, sleep deprivation and hunger, in only a relatively few hours.

Later Reid courses actually show a tape of an interrogation where someone rewrote their own memories.

Comment: Re:Wait, What? (Score 1) 219

by Bob9113 (#48839425) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

I hope governments heard me condemning the attacks to my dog so I don't get raided.

I'm sorry, but condemning the attacks to your dog is not considered sufficiently patriotic. You must find at least three people who practice Islam and condemn the attacks to them. For example, "Hey, Muslim guy, apparently you don't know this; terrorism is wrong." Then just ask him if he is planning any terrorist attacks, take down the details if he is, and have him sign your patriotism verification form.

Comment: Wait, What? (Score 3, Informative) 219

by Bob9113 (#48838647) Attached to: European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

France is also charging forward with attempts to expand government powers to monitor threats -- and to punish those who praise or do not readily condemn terrorism.

WTF? R'ing TFA... not a whole lot, but here's a bit more from the article:

France is also charging forward with attempts to expand government powers to monitor threats -- and to punish those who praise or do not readily condemn terrorism. Leaders this week called for new legislation to significantly bolster domestic intelligence agencies.

Another law, a fast-track judicial process for accusations related to terrorism, was on the books as of November but had not been widely used before the Paris attacks. In recent days, however, prosecutors have filled the dockets with more than 100 cases that are speeding through courtrooms. People who have expressed support for the attacks have been sentenced to as much as 15 months in prison.

A top French opposition politician, Eric Ciotti, said this week that the government should withhold social benefits from the parents of children who failed to observe moments of silence in schools.

Comment: Re: Minor setback (Score 1) 213

by ScrewMaster (#48787733) Attached to: SpaceX Rocket Launch Succeeds, But Landing Test Doesn't
Reading between the lines, I think this is a company that specializes in greasing palms/pulling levers in Congress and the Senate, as well as constructing sophisticated internet campaigns that include releases to key susceptible news outlets/columnists and hiring fake posters to post on certain widely read comment boards.

So, highly-paid, professional astroturfers.

+ - French Premier Declares 'War' on Radical Islam 1

Submitted by (3830033) writes "The NYT reports that Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared that France is at war with radical Islam after the harrowing sieges that led to the deaths of three gunmen and four hostages. “It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity,” says Valls. The French government said it would put 500 additional troops on the streets over the weekend amid preparations for a giant unity rally in Paris expected to draw over 1,000,000 people. A number of European officials say they will attend, including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, the most prominent Muslim leader scheduled to be there, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. "This will be an extraordinary demonstration ... which must show the power and the dignity of the French people who are going to proclaim their love of freedom and tolerance," says Valls. The crisis and its aftermath presented a major challenge to President François Hollande and his government, which are facing deep religious and cultural rifts in a nation with a rapidly growing Muslim population while simultaneously coping with the security threats stemming from Islamic extremists. Large numbers of French citizens have been traveling to Syria and Iraq to fight with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. Hollande, appealing for unity, has warned against seeing Muslims as the enemy. "These madmen, fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim religion," says Hollande."

Comment: Broken Windows Theory (Score 5, Interesting) 219

by Bob9113 (#48781155) Attached to: LAPD Orders Body Cams That Will Start Recording When Police Use Tasers

it might invite over-managing minor policy violations.

Have you heard of the broken windows theory? It may not be appropriate when applied to citizens, who are supposed to be presumed to be the masters of government, not its servants. However, when a person is acting in a public service position that has extraordinary authority and hence extraordinary responsibility, broken windows is far more appropriate.

LEOs are supposed to get in trouble for minor policy violations, and major policy violations should be virtually unheard of. Were we not on the wrong side of that balance, we would not have to implement solutions like this. The few bad cops did this to you. They are the worst enemy of good cops. Go put those mutts in jail, make that the new normal; then we'll talk about easing up on the surveillance.

Comment: Higher? How Much? Worth it. (Score 1) 255

by Bob9113 (#48765337) Attached to: FCC Favors Net Neutrality

A related article suggests one side effect of the internet becoming a public utility will be higher costs for internet access.

OK, first, I'm dubious. But suppose it does go up. How much is it worth to have access to all the Internet offers? At $50/mo, we're hardly pushing the limits of what this stuff is worth. If we just have to pay a little more to get broader access, no content restriction by privateers, and competition for higher speed networks, I'll do the dance of joy.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.