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Comment Re:Delicate electronics (Score 2) 840 840

The problem isn't around knowledge, but that it requires equipment not expected to be in a normal home. A house can have tools available to fix large mechanical objects, but not extremely delicate electronics that require an electron scanning microscope to properly fix.

Best thread summary of the year (OK, so the year is still young...)

Seriously though, most houses will have a toolbox with sufficient "stuff" to at least make a stab at fixing mechanical parts (Hammer, screwdriver, awl, pliers). For electrical items, a bit more "stuff" is needed (soldering iron, multimeter), but still there are enough people interested that it can in the house.

Electronics, now is basically "when it breaks, it's trash" (although there are groups of people who are dedicated to restoring 1990s vintage computers - probably the last generation where a steady hand with a soldering iron could still work, and the motherboards weren't multi-layer)

Comment Re:But is it false? (Score 1) 268 268

I know that defamation suits can be filed (and sometimes even won) even if the information being published is true... but it's my understanding that in the case where the published information is true, the onus is on the person who is suing to show that the *intent* of the publishers was to actually defame them... which of course is quite difficult to do in court. They would have to, using factual evidence, show how it was somehow considerably more probable that there was actually any malicious intent on the publisher's part than any claim the publisher the might make to contrary being true.

Or, in short, to prove defamation, [citation needed]

Comment Re:Spreadsheets - best and worst thing there is (Score 1) 422 422

Yup, naming ranges has dug me out of a (self-inflicted) debugging hole on more than one occasion.

I find that another good rule of thumb is "do stuff (functions, documentation, formulae) so you can understand it in 6 months' time"

It's when someone asks me "can you just add a few bits on to this one you created?" for something I did literally years ago. That's when a good structured basis saves so much time.

Of course, sometimes I wonder "What was I thinking, when I did that?"...

Comment Spreadsheets - best and worst thing there is (Score 3, Funny) 422 422

Spreadsheets are like a blank piece of paper with grid squares. Which means you can put anything down, tied together with some formulae, and it's brilliant.

Which is also why it's complete pants - the "anything goes" really does mean that.

(That, and it will tend to break when you most rely on it)

Comment Re:That's totally how it works (Score 2) 343 343

"I wonder how many CEOs actually believe in this drivel..."

Too many, because they themselves run on high-octane fuel all day

Except, of course, that they don't run high-octane, as they have delegated everything down to the workforce.

The best bosses are the ones who know that they have delegated stuff, and (even better) avoid the "presenteesim" culture by deliberately knocking off work at sensible times (meaning the workforce can do likewise).

The worst are the ones who really think that they doing all the work (like it was back when they were in charge of a tiny operation), rather than realising that they are now part of a large organisation and have grown the company in order to delegate the workload.

Comment Re:can only speak for myself, but.. (Score 4, Interesting) 343 343

"off task probably half the day"
Which means that you are "on task" around half the day.

Wow! You rock!

Seriously, on a project management course some years ago, it was pointed out that the best individuals within an organisation can devote about 50% of their time to a task. The rest is taken up with (non-task) phone calls, meetings with others, summaries to your boss, and "personal needs breaks" (and lunch!), and so forth.

The "average" worker can be expected to devote 33% of their time to the task, as they also have to contend with IT issues, "other worker" issues and sheer "I need some downtime" type stuff.

So, if the article suggests "12 doing the work of 10" then that's an unrealistic 80% "on task".

Now, if it was "12 doing the work of 3", then there would be a case.

Comment Re:It's a pity (Score 1) 161 161

Until they shut down or start holding your data for ransom...

This story is a perfect example of why I will never trust cloud storage.

True enough - I use it as a means for people to view stuff of mine, without having to send them a large email. But I retain the originals on my own machine.

(And currently migrating a number of club newsletters from UbuntuOne to Dropbox. If Dropbox dies, then I still have the originals)

Comment Re:This. Exactly this. (Score 1) 237 237

And more this.

OK, so maybe displaying the UID "takes up too much space" - except that the large font (is there a way of changing it without changing it in your browser?) means there is already "too much space" - except this is wasted.

Not defaulting the parent posts's subject is an annoyance (but might encourage some "maybe my reply should have a different title" - except that breaks the thought flow when wanting a quick reply).

And all wasted space was in "beta-classic" view - the headlines only is too little info, while the tiles means even less information on screen.

How about looking at the BBC News website (and mobile version), to see how you can have a lot of information (on a non-mobile), and have a reasonable slew of clickable/movable icons for the mobile version. This comes across as the worst aspects of a desktop and a mobile site... The Windows 8 of blog sites, even

Comment Re:I'm thought about trying to reply from the beta (Score 4, Interesting) 463 463

I looked at the beta, and thought "I'll give it a go"

And then found the large default font, the lack of auto-copying the OP subject and the general "messiness" of it all too painful.

Just as well I had the classic in another tab...

Comment One answer (Score 1) 171 171

Since the requirement was pushed for by politicians (the "won't someone think of the children" view), then the websites of all political parties should be blocked under the same filters until they realise that automated blacklist/whitelist filtering will never work 100% of the way it is expected.

Comment Replacing? No. Supplanting? Yes (Score 1) 211 211

Many of the comments are of the "I need a real machine to do..." kind.

However, there are roughly 2,900,000 Slashdot IDs out there, and, even if 100% of them required the "heavy lifting" of a "real" machine (which they don't...), then the sales figures ( show that, in computing terms, Slashdotters are part of the 1%, and hence, despite the vociferous arguments, you (we) are a tiny minority.

Worldwide smartphone sales to end users reached 250.2 million units, up 45.8 percent from the third quarter of 2012

Nearly 90 times the /. list (which took years to build up) created in the last 3 months?

Face it, the PC is dying, not because it's not being used (in the areas that always used to use it), but because it's being overtaken by the "not a PC" uses

Comment Re:On inappropriate expectations (Score 2) 113 113

It's not just tablets, organisations everywhere have for years been deploying new technology that brings with it the promise of improved productivity. In reality it often does not... You take old hardware and old software that works just fine, and spend a fortune replacing it with new faster hardware running new slower software.

(should be +5 insightful right there)
There have been many companies *cough* Microsoft *cough* whose stock answer since the early 1990s has been "throw more hardware at the problem" (because of the implicit "our new software soaks up so much more system resources than the old stuff, that you'll need it").
It's only in the last few years that the hardware has overtaken the software so much that people forget how bad the "new stuff isn't any faster than the old stuff" had got.

instead of the software supporting the business, the business has to adapt to the way the software works.

A previous boss of mine (company director) stated "the needs of the business dictate the IT required. Not the other way round" Unfortunately, there are so many instances of the IT tail wagging the business dog that it really isn't funny any more (as if it ever was). Sharepoint, I'm looking at you, here (amongst many others on the wall of shame)

Comment Re:On inappropriate expectations (Score 1) 113 113

I'm noticing, and not just in the public service, that hardware like tablets, don't appear to be solving anything or improving productivity, it mostly appears like as if they're shoehorning them in because people want them or they want to appear like they're keeping up with the times.

Reminds me of when PCs were first being introduced in Government offices back in the early 1990s.

Back then, they "didn't appear to be solving anything, or improving productivity" for many offices. For some, though, there was someone who either could see the potential, or could make something out of it all.

So, it was a long term goal that (ultimately) paid off

If you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it.