Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Odd Mouse Behavior

I did several Internet searches to try to find someone else experiencing the problem described below:
"two mousepointers"
"circle square mousepointer"
"odd mouse behavior"
"trapped mousepointer"

I tried some others that I can't remember now, but I never got a description like the one I'm about to provide.  Hopefully I've described it well enough that someone who has the same trouble and does a Google search will find my post.

Sometimes, while I'm using my laptop, the mouse pointer turns kind of invisible.  It's still in the same place, and as I move it, it shows up, and I can click on things and use the mouse just like always, but if I stop moving it, it disappears.

Actually, it doesn't really disappear.  It moves to the middle of a geometric shape about one inch to the right of the left edge of my screen, and about four inches below the top edge.  The shape is sometimes a circle, sometimes, a square, and sometimes a circle that pulses with circular shading, as if it is a pond into which a pebble was dropped (but the "waves" are much faster).  So if I don't move the mouse, it sits there in the middle of that shape.

Once I start moving the mouse, its position goes back to where it was last time I was moving it, and it appears in the old position and the new places into which I move it.

This mousepointer behavior is very annoying, but only because I can't see where the mouse is unless I'm moving it.  That is the only symptom I've found.

The shape that "holds" the mousepointer while I'm not using it is generally a solid white outline with a translucent white background, sitting on top of everything else.  If I move a window in such a way as to cover the shape, the window goes "under" the shape.  I found a few hits on the Internet about a mousepointer getting stuck in a box during some kind of remote access, so I just changed my password.

I did a scan with Malware Antibytes a few days ago, which found and quarantined something, but the mouse problem still occurred after that.

If you found this post by doing a google search, please let me know what you searched for.  I'd like to add to the list of search terms that people can use to find information about this peculiar behavior.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Illegal U-Turn

I would like to make (or see made) a video with the following as a basic script.  I want the interaction to be realistic.  Ideally, people who watch the video will not realize that it was created from a script.  Hopefully, this kind of thing will start happening in real life.


In a car, looking out the windshield heading toward a red left-turn arrow.  There is a cop car in the background.
There is no traffic.  The car makes a U-Turn ignoring the stoplight.  There is a siren in the background.  The car pulls to the side of the road.  The cop exits his vehicle and approaches the car, knocking on the window.  The view changes to look out the driver's window from the passenger's seat.  The Driver rolls down his window.
"Hi, How're you doing?" says the driver.
"Do you know why I pulled you over?" asks the cop.
"Uhh... Because you wanted to talk to me?"
"License and Registration, please."
"Oh, right.  Your job requires you to write me a ticket, right?"
"Yes sir.  License and Registration please."
"Right, you need my license and registration, I get it.  Like how long do I have to give it to you?"
"Excuse me?"
"I mean, are you in a rush?"
"No sir, you take as much time as you want."
"Ok, great.  You know, when I saw you behind me, I thought you wanted to get by.  Do you mind if I keep asking you questions?"
"Sir, I have a job to do.  I just need your license and registration to do it.  The law requires you to comply."
"Right, and if I don't comply, then you have to like arrest me or something, right?"
"Look sir, this doesn't have to be so complicated.  You just show me your license, and your registration, and then you'll be on your way."
"Ok, but do you mind if I ask you some more questions?"
"It's pretty simple sir.  What's the problem?"
"Well I don't want to make you worry about having to chase me or arrest me or whatever.  What's it called, 'escalation', right?"
"We don't want that now, do we?"
"Well of course not, but your job demands it, if I don't comply.  Ok, I see that I'm making you uncomfortable.   I just wanted to understand the possibilities better."
"Sir, I'm not uncomfortable at all.  If you want to sit here and talk about it for a while, that's fine with me.  I just need your license and registration."
"I understand.  But you have information I want.  Can you describe how the escalation might go if I am utterly non-compliant?"
"Trust me, sir, it's an area you don't want to know about, but you're awfully close to finding out.  Are you refusing?"
"I haven't refused and I don't intend to refuse.  I just wanted-"
"Then what's the problem?"
"I just wanted to understand what happens.  Can you walk me through it?"
"No sir, you'd have to refuse my request.  Are you refusing?"
"You said I can take all the time I want, didn't you?  So I'm using that time to understand you better."
"Sir, this isn't about me, it's about your failure to comply with the traffic laws.  If you are refusing to provide me with your license and registration, then I'll have to move on to the next stage, and neither of us wants that."
"Yeah, I think that stage dehumanizes both of us, doesn't it?"
"Is that what you want?"
"Like you said, we'd both like to avoid that.  Your method is to proceed with writing me a ticket, and my method is to have a conversation.  Maybe we'll end up doing both.  Your job requires that second stage, but only after I choose not to comply, which I probably won't- I mean, I will probably comply because I'm scared of you.  It sucks.  But I guess you have a quota or whatever, huh?"
"Sir, we don't have quotas here.  They are illegal."
"So what motivates you to stop people?"
"They break the traffic laws.  It's my job to enforce them."
"Well sure, but if they don't comply, then you have to dominate them.  Why not just avoid the whole problem... I mean, you could stop them, tell them 'Hey, you ran that light - be more careful.'  Or whatever, you know?  And then let them go.  No second stage, no domination, no feeling dehumanized for you or the other guy."
The driver continues after the cop says nothing for a few seconds.
"Doesn't it change you?  I mean, they hire you guys to dominate people, and doesn't it change how you view us?  Like we aren't equals any more, but more like enemies.  I mean, after you started giving people tickets, did you start to feel more isolated from them?"
"This isn't about me.  I'm going to need your license and registration."
"Dude, it's totally about you.  When you knocked on my window, I was like 'Whoa, this guy really hates having to dominate people.'  You didn't even wanna describe stage two.  I think you're doing it right now - trying to stop thinking of me as a fellow human being and looking at me as a ticket you need to write, some kind of pressure from your boss or whatever.  It's horrible, and I don't think it's right.  I wanna help.  I'm part of this group that's trying to improve working conditions for cops."  The driver hands the cop a business card.
The video shows a close-up of the card on which the following is written:
    Most cops start out as great guys.
    "We have to hurt innocent people."
    "Becoming a bully makes being a cop easier."
    Both the dominator and his victim become less human.
    There's no such thing as "humane enforcement."
    The PORP video: http://...
    Please don't chase me.  I'm trying to help.