December 14th, 2012

beartato phd

(no subject)

Experienced a really weird behavior where the middle button on my laptop wasn't opening new tabs reliably. Like, 95% of the time it would work, and every now and then --- maddeningly, it seemed the more I paid attention to what I was doing --- it would just do nothing.

At last I figured out that it worked when I clicked it quickly, and not when I did it slowly.

Ran xev, saw that it wasn't generating mousedown or mouseup events if I did a slow click-and-hold-and-release, but it did generate both of them --- at the time of mouseup --- if I did it fast.

Hunting around on the internet eventually revealed there was some sort of scroll wheel emulation turned on by default, whereby you can click and hold the middle button and meanwhile move the trackpoint and get scrollwheel behavior.
beartato phd

(no subject)

Recently finished "The Big Short". More of the same Michael Lewis that I enjoy: oddball characters who beat the odds, with dealmaking and correct valuation being the critical, center-stage skills that determine who wins the game in question. Kind of scary in that much more was at stake than in "Moneyball", and that the scary fragility of the whole mess was sitting around being scary for the preceding 20 years, and is probably still present in unknown ways. (7/10)