Lifehacker reader Sean installed a new glass-topped desk for himself, only to find his laser mouse immediately stopped working. The solution wasn't a clumsy mouse pad, but a cheap roll of automotive window tint.
Sean went with a $US10 roll of 5 percent tint, which is less reflective than the other tints at the auto parts store but fits this purpose just fine. After cutting off a test section, he tried mousing over it and was pleasantly surprised at the results.
One somewhat hard to explain caveat, though:
... To be fair, it only worked with my Bluetooth Mighty Mouse. My USB version didn't work at all, but that's OK with me. The great part is that I only used a small square of the tint, and when the one I stuck on my desk starts to get scratched or peels off, I've got about 15 square feet of the stuff left, so I can just cut a new piece and slap it on.
That's in addition to having a mousing surface that stays in place on its own, and can be cut to any size, even irregular polygons.
Got your own optical mouse work-around for a shiny desk surface? Tell us about it in the comments.