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Comment I wish this one made it... (Score 2, Interesting) 202

I purchased a Logitech Trackman Marble FX a number of years ago for about $60. Logitech discontinued it a long time ago. Personally I think it's the best mouse I have ever used. When friends of mine use the computer though they don't like it. It does take getting used to but it's extremely comfortable. Great for first person shooters. Eventually playing Unreal Tournament killed the right mouse button. I went looking for a replacement online and found some on ebay priced at over $300. I guess I'm not the only one that thinks this mouse rocks, but I'm not about to fork over $300 for a mouse. To keep mine alive I took a button out of a $10 mouse and soldered it into the old one. Someday I hope Logitech will bring this design back in a wireless version. As a side note, I think console systems would be improved if the right analog joystick on the controller was replaced with a trackball. Aiming is next to impossible with a joystick.

Comment embrace, extend, and destroy (Score 1) 1

It doesn't matter that W3C hasn't approved Acid3. Most developers are aware of Acid3 and consider it an acceptable test. All Microsoft is doing is pissing off developers. Sooner or later, developers are going to ignore microsoft's crappy browser and start recommending people use a standards compliant browser to view their site because it's going to take too much work to make IE8 display the website properly. Remember the old "Designed for X browser" logos people used to put on their websites? If Microsoft keeps this up then it we'll probably start seeing these logos again. IE doesn't have the market share it used to have. The non technical people that Microsoft thrives on will start dumping IE when they can't use their favourite sites. The bottom line: The internet belongs to the public, not Microsoft. This will not change. Microsoft may be the 800 pound gorilla but the internet is akin to the 80,000 pound fire breathing dragon that nobody can control, except maybe slashdot.

Comment Re:Just throw it away (Score 1) 547

That won't work. If he shows up in court and say's, "I did not receive such a letter your honour.", then how the hell did he know to go to court. I've watched this happen in court before. The judge doesn't care how the document was served and will accuse you of playing games. If you don't show up in court, then you'll have a default judgement against you and a much harder uphill battle to get the order thrown out. In any case, it sounds like this is just a warning letter. It's not required to send a warning letter before taking legal action, just common courtesy. Just take a look at all the RIAA cases against unnamed defendants.

Comment Re:This is a real problem (Score 1) 1654

The linux community could be a little more sensitive to this by making the operating system and the programs installed with it considerably easier to use. I have seen incredible improvements over the past several years but it really does need to be more "Mac Like" if you want to target the moron market. The problem with this thinking is that it doesn't really resolve the problem, it just complicates issues.

The real issue is computer illiteracy. The more you dumb down the machine, the dumber the users get. The simpler the interface becomes to use, the less the user learns about the internal workings of a program. Then when a problem occurs, they don't have the capability to understand the problem and fix it.

I've done technical support for 10 years. When I fix a problem for a customer, I try to explain in laymans terms how the problem occurred and how to fix it themselves and how to prevent it in the future. I explain how they can learn more about a problem when they run into trouble. Some people get it and learn an incredible amount. They become quite proficient.

The key is educating users. We've seen this problem before when the printing press was invented. Only the well educated knew how to read. Computers are no different. They are a part of our everyday life. Like it or not we are dependent on them. We start our children reading at a very young age now. We should be doing the same with computers.

I was one of the fortunate few that did. When I was 5 my parents got a Commodore 64. My dad taught me how to write a program to print my name on the screen repeatedly. My fascination continued from there. In high school I had hard wired a CPU, some memory, a hexidecimal keypad and a digital display and programmed a clock. In university I designed a CPU. I have a pretty good understanding about how a computer works from the inside to the outside and am confident that I can fix any problem I run into with a computer - be it a hardware or software problem.

The basic concepts can be taught to children in their normal schooling. In kindergarden when children are learning numbers and how to add they should be taught other number systems as well such as binary or hexidecimal. In grade 1 when they are taught how to do simple arithmetic they should also be taught about AND and OR gates, etc. Children will make the connections. It will take a long time before enough people are educated enough that the illiteracy is no longer an issue. The educators need to be educated before they can teach. This would be an excellent project for a university. Computer science students, sociology students, psychology students, and students working on their teaching degree could work together to come up with system for teaching computer literacy through the entire school system (kindergarden - grade 12), and convince a local school board to test the waters. At each step of the way they will take a computer literacy test to determine the effectiveness of the program. Sure it will take a little over 12 years to run this type of a study, and even longer to implement it across the board if it's successful, but consider how long it's taken us to wipe out illiteracy since the printing press was invented.


Slashdot's Disagree Mail 167

I get a lot of mail from obviously unbalanced people. Enough in fact, that I've often wondered if there was a institution that allowed their patients to only read Slashdot. We've even had a few visits from some questionable individuals. A man who tried to bribe me with a car if I let him "reverse engineer" Rob Malda's Life comes to mind. He insisted on Rob being present for the process and couldn't explain to me what it entailed, so I suggested he leave. The personal visits are rare, however, compared to the amount of mail I get. Here are a few of my favorites; let's hope these people have started to take their medication. Read below and don't be worried if you don't understand all of it.

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Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.