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Comment: Re:Another Case of Poe's Law? (Score 4, Informative) 399

by Xolotl (#45769259) Attached to: Justine Sacco, Internet Justice, and the Dangers of a Righteous Mob

Her apology pretty much says it right there: "a needless and careless tweet". If it was "darkly ironic" etc etc it wouldn't be "needless and careless".

She's (was) a PR exec - writing heartfelt apologies is part of her job description. Then again, so is not creating PR disasters for her employer (which this was, even if it was indeed meant as a deep commentary on the lot of poor South Africans), so YMMV I suppose. Anyway, I find it hard to believe this was anything deep and meaningful with a history like this:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenvesp/16-tweets-justine-sacco-regrets-hxg7

Comment: Offices .... (Score 1) 453

by Xolotl (#45599509) Attached to: The Desktop Is Dead, Long Live the Desktop!

This is silly. All this talk of work moving to tablets or smartphones, or laptops replacing desktops (a) misses the point of why we use desktops in the first place and (b) focuses on a relatively narrow selection of the workforce.

The advantages are not in processing power or framerates or whatever, that was largely solved years ago and portable devices get better every year. The advantages are in ergonomics, efficiency and maintenance:

Desktops have:
- an arbitrarily large screen (or mutliple screens)
- a screen which is adjustable in height above the desk as well as angle
- a screen which can be mounted on a wall or other convenient location away from the CPU and keyboard
- a separate keyboard and mouse which can (a) be placed arbitrarily on the desk relative to the screen and (b) can be cheaply and easily replaced when you spill coffee on it or when it gets dirty
- the box can be replaced independently of the monitor, which is good for maintenace if something breaks and good for costs in the upgrade cycle

Now some will argue that all the above can be solved by a docked laptop, and that is true (indeed I am typing this from a docked laptop). But for the vast majority of workers they neither need nor want to take their computer home with them (most office workers) nor should they (e.g. hospital workers). In that case it makes no sense at all for their employer to spend more money on a laptop and docking station when the laptop will never move anyway.

Mobile devices are good for managers, marketers, creative people who like to work in cafes etc, people who need to work in the field and people who take their work home.The vast majority of workers are not these people. They are secretaries, accountants, HR staff, middle management, shop workers, clerical staff, workers in healthcare, in retail, etc etc. People who use spreadsheets, full-screen forms, databases etc. These people have nothing at all to gain from mobility in the work place and everything to lose in terms of ergonomics, and their employers in terms of costs and maintenance.

Even for home use the ergonomics of a separet keyboard, mouse and monitor mean the desktop will often stay (kid spills juice on the keyboard? $10-$50. Spills juice on the laptop? $100-$500.)

That's why desktops are not going anywhere; developers, CAD users and the like are just the power user icing on the cake.

Comment: The study is about the effects of climate change (Score 5, Interesting) 640

by Xolotl (#45253005) Attached to: Nebraska Scientists Refuse To Carry Out Climate Change-Denying Study

No one has RTFA it seems ... (I know, I know, /.)

The scientists are being asked to study the effects of climate change on Nebraska, not climate change itself.

in that context restricting them to studying the effects of cyclical changes only is stupid, and the reason for their protest.

See also the longer article here http://www.omaha.com/article/20131024/NEWS/131029338/1707#state-climate-change-study-may-go-begging-for-scientists

Comment: Layout breaks on snap with a side panel (Score 1) 1191

by Xolotl (#45007487) Attached to: Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

With a wide monitor (1920px) I like my browser snapped to half the screen width, so I can do something useful in the other half (also the format is a nice comfortable-to-read portrait). With Unity or another side panel, though, the 'half-screen-width' browser is no longer 1920/2 = 960 pixels wide, it's more like 920 (excluding scroll bar). Which breaks the layout - the right bar doesn't appear, the story boxes spread out wide ...

Also, waaaaay too much whitespace.

Why do we need Metro-look anyway?

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