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Comment Re:ASUS Transformer Infinity (Score 1) 359

Similar experience here. I'm really surprised with the almost universal backslash against touchscreens. My guess it that most people who are opposing touch screens haven't had one to play with for a long time.

I've had a laptop with a touchscreen for about two years. I didn't even know it had a touch screen for some time (linux - it wasn't auto-detected at the time, and one day I was wiping a dust off the screen and noticed the pointer had moved there:) )

It now has many input devices; a keyboard, a touchpad, an independent graphic tablet and a touchscreen.

I most of the time have my hands on the keyboard, to type and use keyboard shortcuts, and use the touchpad to point and click on small things (like when I want to select a specific sentence in a webpage). I use the graphic tablet when working with graphic programs, and I use the touchscreen when I want to click or move a large area. For instance to bring a window to front I often find it easier to quickly touch it rather than reaching for the touchpad, looking for the mouse pointer, moving it around and clicking, especially as my fingers are on the keyboard, the screen is no further away than the touchpad! To move a window I sometimes press alt with the left hand and move the window with the back of a finger (alt-click-drag moves a window on most linux window managers). When browsing an image folder touching the image I want to display is much easier than with the mouse, etc.

In practice I touch the screen maybe a couple of times per hour, and I share this experience that at work or at my parents' place (no touch screens there) I regularly find myself wanting a touch screen.

About smudges I use the back of my finger to touch the screen, it works just as well and leaves practically no marks.

*Clicks Preview with a finger*

Comment I've used a laptop with touch screen for two years (Score 1) 610

My datapoint contradicts that claim a bit:

I've had a laptop with a touch screen (hp pavillon dv3) for two years and a bit, and I use touchpad AND keyboard AND touch screen to interact. When I want to select a big button or activate a window I find it far more convenient to touch the screen (with the back of my finger so it doesn't leave greasy prints), than wiggling the mouse around so I can see where the pointer is, moving it to the right place and clicking. (I sometimes even first touch approximately the point I want to hit and then move the mouse for fine tuning).

I'd even add that I miss that at work and when I use another (touchless) laptop. All the time I just want to bring that window to front or move a window away (I'm on linux so when the alt key is pressed (with my left hand) I can move a window around with my right hand as easily and naturally as moving a piece of paper around on my desk.

I get pain in my wrists and fingers due to mouse and keyboard usage, not the occasional touch.

I'd HATE having to do everything by touch however. I want my mouse AND my touch screen.

Comment Re:Just to be pedantic (Score 5, Informative) 48

Indeed. Turing machines don't require infinite tapes, they require unbounded tapes. In particular the initial state of the tape must contain at most a finite number of non-blank cells. Working with a finite tape is therefore fine as long as you are ready to enlarge it when the head reaches the boundary (so that, to the machine, it appears infinite). In the same sense, a physical computer could act as a Turing machine if, when it runs out of memory, an operator could come and plug in an extra hard drive (and if memory addresses were made in a way that they can be arbitrarily large).

Comment Why always the same time of the year? (Score 1) 31

I'm wondering something: How come this happens always at the same time of the year? That cloud of debris can't just sit still (relative to the sun), doesn't it rotate around, or fall into, the sun, as years pass by? That should make the phenomenon happen at a different time each year... From my understanding, ignoring gravity due to Earth and other planets, something sitting motionless at this distance of the sun would fall into the sun in a matter of months? Unless there's a huge trail going straight away from the sun getting slowly eaten like a spaghetti, that somehow isn't disturbed by other planets, that gets crossed by the Earth once a year. *confused*

Comment Re:Telepathy? (Score 2) 287

I thought of exactly that! It reminded me of that very nice novel by Dan Simmons where he explores that exact theme. In his story, the brain evolved to block "brain waves" emitted by other people, but for some rare few, that doesn't work, and they could hear what other people were thinking. Maybe a bit far-fetched/not very realistic as the actual waves are probably far too faint and noisy, but a nice read all the same.

Comment Re:Missing menu bar? (Score 1) 266

It seems fashionable to remove all functionality from browsers and then put them back into websites. Now website designers have to add (necessarily non-standard) buttons in the web pages themselves to do things like "print", "go back", "change font size", "search in the page", "close", etc, that are all also provided by the browser, but that people no longer (know how to?) use...

Comment Re:MS is hurting (Score 1) 356

I still haven't found a player for my Mac (or Linux laptop) that can run songs/movies at double speed without making everyone sound like chipmunks.

Not developed by Apple, but vlc does that fine (at least on my Linux box, with VLC media player 1.0.6 Goldeneye).

Comment Re:So that's why the UW mail system went down (Score 2, Informative) 473

That's the approach Unix has used for a long, long time now. Installed programs on a Unix system are generally root-owned and sit in directories that are also root-owned. For a normal user, both the executable and the directory in which it is located is read-only.

System-wide programs are stored in directories not writable by normal users, but that doesn't prevent a user from downloading a trojan into his own directory and running it, which is what the parent was talking about.

Unix systems do offer the option to mount /home (and other mount points like /tmp where the user has write access) with -o noexec which would close that issue, but I've never seen a linux distribution that would do that by default, because users expect to be able to run programs they've downloaded without having to jump through hoops.

Comment Re:Google's Wave product was dead on arrival! (Score 1) 59

You're totally right on the missing bridge to email, but the invite system is good in that it permits controlling the load on the system, by only giving as many invites as the system can handle. If they had opened it to everybody right away, it would have been *really* unusable due to overload. (And also makes people with an invite feel special and therefore want to use the system)

Comment Re:Implement your own secure storage strategy (Score 1) 177

I agree the current situation is far from perfect (Ideally, the people at would build a unified centralised password access protocol like they did with dbus etc, so applications developers wouldn't have to implement all existing protocols every time) but having each application implement its own strategy is worse.

Three reasons:

First, the user either has to type as many master password as there are implementations (Now I have to type three passwords when logging in: the session password, the kwallet password, and the firefox password because firefox doesn't integrate with kwallet) or store them in cleartext (or in an easily decrypted format). If I had to type one master password for each program that needs passwords (IM, browser, email, irc, gpg, ssh, etc), that would mostly defeat the purpose of them.

Secondly, having a single storage space enables sharing passwords securely between applications. Now I need to save my passwords separately for firefox, konqueror, and chrome. You'll say "stick to a single browser then" but it shouldn't have to be like that.

Third, writing your own implementation increases the risk of having bugs that lead to security holes, compared to a single implementation that got polished over time.

I'm not sure your statement that most users don't use those is right but know too little a sample to support my opinion (I don't know that many linux users but all of them, and not only experts, do use gnome keyring, and I use kwallet).

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