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Comment Keywords: Assistive Technology (AT) (Score 2) 100

There are many vendors who sell these devices, such as here: http://enablingdevices.com/cat...

For the specific need you mention, here's a start:

My wife has Cerebral Palsy, with very poor fine motor control of her hands. She has two of these joysticks, both paid for with grants found for her from our local United Cerebral Palsy center (http://www.ucpsdtechcenter.org/).

It is an analog joystick - the same type used on power wheelchairs: the further you push the stick, the faster the cursor travels in that direction. It has buttons dedicated to single-click, double-click, and drag. It has an axis lock-out button which toggles cursor movement between horizontal-only, vertical-only, and any direction. It has a button which toggles cursor speed from very, very slow to very fast. All these functions are independent of PC hardware and drivers. It also comes with a selection of handles: large rubber ball, T-handle, and small knob.

There is also a trackball version with the same features, other than a very large ball intead of the stick.

It's USB and works with any OS. She has used it with Windows (3.11 - Win7), OS/2, OSX, and currently Linux (Fedora) without need of any device-specific drivers.

We also have a couple of USB and PS2 keyboards with keyguards which were also paid for with grant money.

When looking for assistive tech (AT) for the PC, you can pretty much ignore anything mainstream-PC-ish. There is a huge industry dedicated to AT for most all types of computer and communication devices for the disabled.

[Note: the following assumes you are in the USA. Other countries may have similar programs]

While much of it is pretty expensive, some of it is covered by health insurance. And as I noted above, there is often grant money available from many philanthropic entities (e.g. MDA, UCP, Easter Seals, Rotary Club, Big Brothers, etc.). Funding may also be available from various government programs for the disabled (e.g. Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled, state Disabled Services, Dept. of Rehab, the VA, etc.). Also try checking your local colleges and universities for resources and referrals. Many of them have a Disabled Services office on campus.

Submission + - Web Admins Fight Back Against Surveillance (thedaywefightback.org)

jlb.think writes: Dear Internet Users and Slashdot horde:

In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. Today we face another critical threat, one that again undermines the Internet and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance.

In celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA two years ago, and in memory of one of its leaders, Aaron Swartz, we are planning a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.

Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action. Together, we will make it clear that such behavior is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight.

Comment Ironically, Slasdot Blocks Tor IP's (Score 1) 186

Unless there is some magic involved, many reading and/or posting to this story don't use Tor themselves while connecting to Slashdot.

When I enquired why, the response from a Slashdot spokeman was "We block Tor ips when we find them. We've just had too many problems with attacks and auto-posting trolls using Tor, sorry" (direct quote).

Comment To Quote Frank Zappa... (Score 2) 410

You will obey me while I lead you,
And eat the garbage that I feed you,
Until the day that we don't need you.
Don't call for help, no one will heed you.

Your mind is totally controlled,
It has been stuffed into our mold,
And you will Do As You Are Told,
Until the rights to you are sold.

                    - Frank Zappa


White House Correspondent Tweets His Heart Attack 77

Tommy Christopher, who writes for mediate.com, has reporting in his blood, so much so that he livetweeted every part of his recent heart attack. "I gotta be me. Livetweeting my heart attack. Beat that!" and "This is not like the movies. Most deadpan heart attack evar. Still hurts even after the morphine," were among his updates as he was rushed to the hospital. Christopher is now in stable condition after recovering from emergency surgery.

The Sun Unleashes Coronal Mass Ejection At Earth 220

astroengine writes "Yesterday morning, at 08:55 UT, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory detected a C3-class flare erupt inside a sunspot cluster. 100,000 kilometers away, deep within the solar atmosphere (the corona), an extended magnetic field filled with cool plasma forming a dark ribbon across the face of the sun (a feature known as a 'filament') erupted at the exact same time. It seems very likely that both eruptions were connected after a powerful shock wave produced by the flare destabilized the filament, causing the eruption. A second solar observatory, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, then spotted a huge coronal mass ejection blast into space, straight in the direction of Earth. Solar physicists have calculated that this magnetic bubble filled with energetic particles should hit Earth on August 3, so look out for some intense aurorae — a solar storm is coming."

KDE SC 4.7 May Use OpenGL 3 For Compositing 187

An anonymous reader writes "KDE SC 4.5 is about to be released and KDE SC 4.6 is being discussed. However, Martin Graesslin has revealed some details about what they are planning for KDE 4.7. According to Martin's blog post, they are looking at OpenGL 3.0 to provide the compositing effects in KDE SC 4.7. OpenGL 3.0 provides support for frame buffer objects, hardware instancing, vertex array objects, and sRGB framebuffers."

How a Key Enzyme Repairs Sun-Damaged DNA 97

BraveHeart writes "Researchers have long known that mammals, including humans, lack a key enzyme — one possessed by most of the animal kingdom and even plants — that reverses severe sun damage. For the first time, researchers have witnessed how this enzyme works at the atomic level to repair sun-damaged DNA. 'Normal sunscreen lotions convert UV light to heat, or reflect it away from our skin. A sunscreen containing photolyase could potentially heal some of the damage from UV rays that get through.'"

Sneak Preview For Coming KDE SC 4.5 249

omlx writes "KDE SC 4.5 is in feature freeze right now. Therefore, I decided to share some early screenshots with you. In general there are no major changes; it's all about polishing and fixing bugs. There are a lot of under-the-hood changes in libs, which as end users we cannot see. KDE SC will be released in August 2010." Note: you can also try out a beta of the release now, if you'd like.

Cheap Incubator Backpack Could Reduce Infant Deaths 76

Boy Wunda writes "In just one six-month period in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2006, 96 newborn babies who were in need of medical care died before they could get help. In many developing nations, these deaths could be prevented simply by providing better ways for medical responders to transport infants properly over rough terrain and keep them alive until they can reach hospitals and clinics. Now, a group of Colorado State University seniors has designed and filed a patent for a medically equipped incubator backpack unit that they believe can reduce baby deaths in medical emergencies both in the United States and in newly industrialized nations."

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