DIY laptop wrist rests...

hacks

Elecom's dimp gel laptop / notebook wrist rests I love the Dimp Gel laptop / notebook wrist rests (left) made by the Japanese company Elecom (model number: WTM-DMP03). These have greatly improved my ability to type for extended periods.

At one time, you could buy these things through Shinza.com but now they only seem to be selling the larger mouse-only model (model number: WTM-DMP02) and the only other model I've seen for sale is the the full-size keyboard model (model number: WTM-DMP01). Methinks that Elecom has ceased to manufacture these babies. Damn.

I recently had my pair disappear. I don't know where they are now... and I can't buy new ones without learning Japanese or until Shinza decides to stock them again. Actually, amazon.dk seems to have them in Orange, but they do not ship outside of Germany or Austria.

So, what to do? Make our own! Michelle, my gorgeous, industrious and oh-so-patient girlfriend, figured out she could quickly make something similar to the dimp gel laptop pads out of bubble-wrap and tissue:

michelle making laptop wrist rests out of bubble wrap and tissues

I actually wore out the tissue within a day... so the next model, which seems to be working great, used paper towels instead of tissue:

the paper-towel based laptop wrist rests in action on my laptop

I hesitate to even give instructions, but in case you're really dense: Cut a strip of bubble-wrap about 3-4 inches wide and 10 or so inches long. Roll it up from the long end and test them out on your laptop to see if it is the right thickness (they will settle a bit). Then wrap in a paper towel and cut off excess paper. Tape it closed and get back to work!

Jeez...

wtf?

Here's what I want to know: Why does Terri Schiavo have to starve/dehydrate to death? Couldn't we also help her out Kevorkian-style?

(Last Saturday, I had a significant family member die. There was a point at which they could have called an ambulance, but chose not to as this would only prolong this person's death.)

McCormack Hit Job Video on VVPAT

elections, reform, news, problems, policy

So, it appears that the Registrar-Recorder of LA County, Conny McCormack, sweet-talked her husband, Austin McCormack of GEO Corporation, into doing a hit-job video on the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (which I've started to call the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail).

Here is a link to the video hosted by VerifiedVoting.org: "First Roll-Out of VVPAT Equipped Electronic Voting in a Major Election".

In the rest of this post, I'll post my transcription of the video:

Full story »

Cognitive Disabilities and Voting

elections, accessibility, reform, standards, research, policy, usability, legal

As a voting technology policy researcher, I know that we spend much of our time thinking about how to accomodate persons with physical disabilities, but we might also start thinking about cognitive disabilities. In that spirit, here's a fascinating article on exactly this:

Addressing the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Raised by Voting by Persons With Dementia

Jason H. Karlawish, MD, Richard J. Bonnie, JD, Paul S. Appelbaum, MD, Constantine Lyketsos, MD, Bryan James, MBioethics, David Knopman, MD, Christopher Patusky, JD, Rosalie A. Kane, PhD, Pamela S. Karlan, JD

This article addresses an emerging policy problem in the United States: participation in the electoral process by citizens with dementia. At present, health care professionals, family caregivers, and long-term care staff lack adequate guidance to decide whether individuals with dementia should be precluded from or assisted in casting a ballot. Voting by persons with dementia raises a series of important questions about the autonomy of individuals with dementia, the integrity of the electoral process, and the prevention of fraud. Three subsidiary issues warrant special attention: development of a method to assess capacity to vote; identification of appropriate kinds of assistance to enable persons with cognitive impairment to vote; and formulation of uniform and workable policies for voting in long-term care settings. In some instances, extrapolation from existing policies and research permits reasonable recommendations to guide policy and practice. However, in other instances, additional research is necessary.

Don Jon

copyright, hacks, DRM, legal

Link: http://www.corante.com/copyfight/archives/2005/03/17/johansen_creates_drmfree_interface_to_itunes.php

Diggity-Donna says Jon Johanseen is at it again ("Johansen Creates DRM-Free Interface to iTunes")... this time with an iTunes-free interface to the iTunes Music Store (PyMusique). He never seems to have enough bandwidth, though... although the title seems to indicate that it is written in python. Yay!

I wonder how long it will take Apple to shut him out... probably measured in hours.

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