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Posts categorised ‘Technology’

Link: “Was Julie Amero wrongly convicted?”

Original post found at: https://www.theregister.com/2007/02/14/julie_amero_case/

There are few things scarier than the intersection of technology and legal proceedings… and this case from the mid-2000s illustrates why. A substitute teacher was convicted of “impairing the morals of a child” because a mal­ware-­rid­den, non-updated school computer started spouting porn pop-ups during a seventh-grade English class 🤯 Apparently the defence was not allowed to point out that it was malware, either, because they missed some deadline for notifying the court that that was their defence. Then the prosecution bamboozled the jury with “expert witnesses” who had NFI what they were talking about. Worth noting that according to Wikipedia(external link), even once a higher court threw out her conviction, she was still pressured into taking a plea deal for “disorderly conduct” and required to give up her teaching licence…

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was waiting on new keycaps that would align properly even when I arranged them as per the Dvorak left-hand layout. Well, today they arrived! I’m pretty happy; they look good, and my hyphen key is no longer obnoxiously tall 😅 If anyone’s curious as to the details: I got them from YMDK(external link), and they’re XDA profile, dye-sub PBT, and the colour scheme seems to be called “9009”. I can really see why people might have fun customising their own mechanical keyboards, but I think this is where I’m likely to leave mine (…for now).

a keyboard seen top-down, keycaps largely shades of light grey, some pink and green accents the same keyboard seen in profile view; the tops of the keys all lie flush (relatively)

Link: “File Not Found”

Original post found at: https://www.theverge.com/22684730/students-file-folder-directory-structure-education-gen-z

An article about many computer science professors finding their undergraduates just don’t get the directory-based filesystem structure of computers 🙈

It does raise some interesting points. For example, maybe the students' mental models align better with how databases work? (Which may go on to explain why I find Hugo’s file-based structure more reassuring than a database – I like nested directories; I find that comforting.) But as the article notes, toolsets are going to change over time as programmers’ mental models change.

The Dvorak Left-Hand Keyboard Layout

As you may or may not know, I was born with a disability that gives me only limited use of my right hand. As such, I do pretty much 100% of my typing with my left.1 These days I just use the standard QWERTY layout, but there was a period of a few years – between about 2008 and 2016 – that I instead used this beauty:

The Dvorak left-hand keyboard layout
The Dvorak left-hand keyboard layout, as shown on Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

I …

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My First Few Days With Obsidian

I’ve only barely scratched the surface of what it can be made to do with plug-in extensions, but so far I’m really loving the note-taking software Obsidian(external link).

What I had been doing in my old notes app was creating a daily journal entry, adding random thoughts and bits and pieces over the day, and occasionally spinning out a thought into a separate note if it got …

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Thanks to the great influence of the Micro.blog community, I’ve now installed and am playing around with Obsidian(external link) (yet another note-taking app). I’m seeing a lot of potential in it for how I would use it, as it’d resolve all the bugbears I have with Standard Notes (e.g. no linking between notes; inability to save notes as plain markdown accessible from outside apps; lack of a calendar view to make it easy… or even feasible… to just browse old entries (there is rapid full-text search though, for finding specific things)). However, I still have vivid memories of how much of a pain in the ass it was to move to Standard Notes in the first place. After that, I thought I’d convinced myself for good that the marginal superiority of one note-taking app over another doesn’t actually make up for the gigantic hassle that is the export/import process. And yet…

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.