Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Unchanging UIs? Not just for old people (Score 5, Insightful) 288 288

I agree completely. Too often we see change for the sake of change, for UI people to justify their jobs (or so it seems to me).

My father is in his 70's and has slowly been losing his ability to figure out how to accomplish new things. He can remember things he learned as little as 5 years ago, but new things stymy him. Changing UI's have caused him to eventually give up using the computer, even his web email interface changed enough he couldn't use it any more. We considered adding voice recognition software, e.g. Dragon Naturally Speaking, but even that was to much for him to learn. Sadly, he's had to give up using the computer all together.

I'd really like to see more software people come to realize that when something works well, to basically leave it alone. When software reaches that level of maturity, it's a good thing to leave it working. If that's boring for the developers, then go find a new software project and leave the mature product as is.

Comment Re:Need to be adjustable (Score 1) 340 340

I think that the adjustable standing desks are on over complicated solution to the problem. Use fixed standing desk with a drafting stool.

Close. If you're in a cube, raise the desk supports to the height that's correct for you; this may require an extra brace, just depending on how everything is supported. It's important that it be ergonomically the correctly height for *you*.

Others have said get a good mat; I think it's good advice.

Get a good chair that can be raised high enough to allow you to sit at the elevated desk. I had to order a "lab stool" off the internet (from Global Industrial, cost was ~$150). It's very adjustable, has a curved back and support for the legs, also has a ring to support the feet that's adjustable.

Then you can stand and sit. :) I tend to go back and forth, about an hour at a time in each position. I also have the same setup (with the same chair) at home. I like it a lot and I feel better. You can move slightly while "standing", that helps too.

If you don't have a cube that you can raise the surface, check out a product called "Varidesk"; if you have 2 monitors, you'll want the "plus" version. I bought 1 of these for my wife and she loves it.

Comment Re:McLoving Mickey (Score 3, Informative) 229 229

The only other internal company name I've come across that's more universal is ex G.E. employees referring to it as "Generous Electric".

When I worked at TI (Texas Instruments) in the 90's, it was pretty universally referred to as "Training Institute" because so many people would work there for a few years after college before going somewhere else. Some people also called it "Tiny Income". There's some truth to both. :)

Comment Re: bye (Score 1) 531 531

Maybe, but in almost every single browser topic here on /. there will be at least one thread going off about shitty Australis --- Which really puts into question the rest of their complaints. The Firefox Australis UI may look different than the previous traditional FF UI... but so what?! If you don't like it, its little more than some standard CSS to adjust the UI however the hell you want. Almost every single FF bitch about changes is little more than bullshit --- I have yet to see a FF change that can't be reverted with either CSS or an extension. If there really was some agenda to "destroy" Firefox, they certainly wouldn't leave in the ability to undo/revert these so-called horrible changes.

There are some changes that I'll agree with you on. I hate the Australis UI change, but the Classic Theme Restorer plugin does fix most of that. But I'll call BS on the rest.

There were a number of changes (say from v25-35 timeframe) where they removed the ability to turn things on and off by removing the controls from the about:config interface. Can't fix that with CSS or an extension if the code to do what you want is completely gone.

And don't get me started on the stupidity of the Chat/Loop/webrtc thing they just added as a core tech ... with no ability to remove it. If there was ever a candidate for doing something as a plugin, that seems like it to me, but they didn't do that. Sure, I can turn off the control with an about:config change, but I can't get rid of the bloat and potential for bugs and who knows what else it could bring when I'll never use it.

I don't believe there's a conspiracy to kill FF, but there's been so many stupid decisions lately by Mozilla that a conspiracy actually starts to look slightly believable.

Comment Re:Way too many humanities majors (Score 1) 397 397

I don't think we need to do anything at all, don't push STEM and don't try to eliminate Humanity majors.

In general, most people end up doing something that's fairly agreeable to them, which means they have an interest and somehow get the skills (thru classes and/or on the job training). Because we have a diversity of interests, we'll end up with a diversity of education/workers ... i.e. we'll have STEM majors and Humanity majors as people are naturally inclined.

Sure, there will always be bubbles as people try to jump on fads, but for the long run, this is not something to worry about and I'd just ignore the article.

Comment Re:General Boycott Is In Order. (Score 1) 106 106

I'm not a backer, I've never heard of this project before. But if I was a backer, I'd ask for my money back. Is that possible? That's a serious question, I really don't know if that's possible with kickstarter campaigns (in a case like this, it seems that you should be able to get your money back if they change the project you signed up for.

Comment Re:Make Yourself Known (Score 1) 65 65

I bought something there this last Christmas. The item (a variable height desk) was the same price no matter where I looked. It's the only thing I've ever bought there. It was fun to look in the catalog for the unusual items; it was always good for at least 1 chuckle for some goofy item and ususally several.

Comment Re:Only for the first year (Score 1) 570 570

True. And it's not that people prefer MSO over OpenOffice, it's just that they need to be able to interact with people using Office. And opening a Word document on OpenOffice usually ends up like a big mess. Same for Powerpoint or Excel. Interchangeability is just a mess right now.

Sure, interoperability is an issue for some people, but some of us do prefer MSO over OO. Yeah, I really wish we still had the menubar rather than the ribbon, but if I'm typing anything substantial, I really want MSWord because I can't find anything in OO (that's a bit of a training issue, but I really do have trouble finding options/commands in OO to the point that OO is very frustrating for me).

An even bigger issue for me is that only MSO has OneNote (or an equivalent). I don't care at all about Outlook because I use Thunderbird, and only a little about Powerpoint and Excel (my needs for these 2 tools is so limited OO works just fine). Until OO gets an equivalent to OneNote, only MSO can really meet my needs.

Comment Re:I find progressives annoying for computer work (Score 1) 464 464

I'm very similar. Progressives are great when generally doing life. However, when working at the computer, single vision lens are a must. Better yet, get you eye doctor to proscribe "office/computer" lens. The focal point for them are about 1 yard/meter, or about the length of your arm, which is where the computer screens should be sitting. Besides always having to move your head with progressives when reading the computer screen, when you do find the sweet focal spot, you'll find that you're having to tilt your head back slightly. After some time, you'll start having muscle aches in your neck ... not good. Go for 2 pairs of glasses, a bit of a hassle but well worth it. If your eye doctor gives you any hassle over this or doesn't seem familiar with computer lens, go somewhere else.

Comment Re:Yeah, sure, any day now... (Score 2) 65 65

I think the lines need to be built by and maintained by one company or by the municipality and the service provided by competition.

I totally agree with you. Of course, that means that we start to treat broadband like a utility and not a private business, which is fine by me.

There are good and bad points to excluding customers. It's ridiculous to run a 20 mile fiber to one person's house or even a group of five or six houses and charge them the same as everyone else. If they want cable- they should live with the rest of civilization.

I think you need to think that thru a little more. Going by that logic, you're saying that farmers (who grow your food) and others who just like small town life don't deserve high-speed internet. I'm not sure what word I want to apply to that, but you don't come out looking so nice there.

Now, if you want to say that those who live further out will need to pay a bit more because of their situation, I think most of us could agree to that. Of course, with the advent of putting access points on water towers and other high places and then a receiver/transmitter dish on the person's house so that lines don't have to be run to individual houses, even those of us not in "the big city" can get better speeds at mostly reasonable prices.

Comment Re:I'm even older. (Score 1) 241 241

I joined the profession just after PCs were moving into the coporate world. At that time where I worked, the really good stuff ran on expensive "workstations" I couldn't possibly afford, personally. Now days, the equipment is so affordable that the computer setup I have at home is better than my desktop setup at work. That creates it's own kind of stress, for me in having to use "lesser stuff" and for the IT department when I keep asking for something better ... not a problem we had in "the old days".

Comment Re:Defending software patents (Score 1) 92 92

Arguing from analogy is always fraught with peril, but I'll start there. Can you patent a specific ordering of words? No you can't; because that's copyright not patent. Software is the same way, it's an ordering of words that does the instructions of the programmer, for whatever is in his/her imagination. There is lots of creation, but little true innovation (to inspire true patents).

Also, software is one of those things that moves very fast and comes about by building on the works of others. If you start patents for software, you'll stiffle and kill the software industry. We can't wait 28 years for some idea that literally thousands of us could come up with to be freely usable. It would also be very hard to enforce that.

Comment We already have hypersonic missles... (Score 2) 322 322

We already have hypersonic missles -- really! Most of the air-to-air missles shot from 1 plane to another are hypersonic and we've had these for decades. This is public knowledge.

What the article is try to get banned is "long-range hypersonic missles", or if you prefer, the old ICBMs going a lot faster. If you could make a very small nuke and stick it in one of the existing missle cases; you could have a pretty awesome weapon if short distances are all you need (say in the 80-100 mile range from what I've read, definitely far enough the pilot wouldn't have to worry about getting caught in it). It'd be pretty easy to hit any coastal city from international air space that way.

Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. - Oscar Wilde