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Comment Re:Huh? I use these all the time. (Score 1) 253

This gets down to something that used to be a common UI design principle before software became so feature-ful it became impractical: manifest interface.

The idea of a manifest interface (which also is a principle in language and API design) is that if the software has a capability you should be able to see it. You shouldn't have to root around to stumble upon it. Tabs follow this principle; there's enough visual and behavioral cues to suggest that you need to click on a tab. The little "x" in the tab also follows this principle.

But context menus you access by right-clicking break this rule, which means that there may be millions of people laboriously clicking on "x" after "x", unaware that they can make all the extraneous tabs in their browser disappear with just two clicks.

This, by the way, is why Macintoshes were designed with one button on the mouse. But even Mac UI designers couldn't get by with just single and double-click, so you have option-click too, bit by in large you could operate most programs without it.

Anyhow, to make sure people know about this kind of feature, your program is going to have to watch their behavior and suggest they try right clicking. But that way lies Clippy...

Comment Re:Conversely... (Score 1) 242

Yesterday I bought some 1 x 6 treated boards and sawed them to length.

Yeah, about that. Those boards might have been made of the Fast-Gro (a trademark of the Brawndo corporation) variety of southern pine, a protected plant variant. Furthermore, that treatment process is patented (the EPA outlawed the public domain one). If this ruling stands, one or both rights-holders can insist that you use only their equipment to cut those boards to length. If you don't, your gate gets confiscated along with your house, sold to pay the penalties.

Comment Re:I've noticed that, but something else interesti (Score 1) 156

Those aren't errors in the GPS, but the data it's working with.

I'm curious what you'd rank as an 'error in the GPS'. I completely glossed over other classes of 'error'; such as the GPS guessing which way you are facing on a road when you start a trip so you drive six feet and then it recalculates a new route based on the fact that you are going the other direction but that's just 'bad data too'. Or then there are the times its positional reckoning is off -- so it tells you to turn but you are actually a block away from where it thinks you are but that's just 'bad data' too.

Are those errors in the GPS, Or in the data its working from...it seems to be a distiction without a difference to me.

We validate what the GPS is telling us to do, but we don't ignore it's instructions and plan our own path. If one can't turn left, they pass the turn and wait for the GPS to figure things out.

As often as not, it simply reroutes you around the block back to the same intersection you couldn't use the first time. If you are lucky it'll at least have you approach it from a new angle so you can legally turn... i've been unlucky on many occasions. And if the road is simply closed for construction or something you are boned when it does that.

If you can't get in the correct lane in time, again, no panic, just keep driving until the GPS recalculates.

Yeah, that's usually where the GPS starts insisting you make illegal U-turns at major intersections, or emergency vehicle access roads, etc...

Comment Re:goodbye jiffy lube hello $60-$100 dealer oil ch (Score 3, Insightful) 242

My Toyota dealer charges $30. Comes with a pretty thorough inspection and a car wash. As far as I can tell, they haven't ever ripped me off. Didn't tell me my battery needed to be replaced until it was 8 years old and failed their load test. Offered to have a guy weld a hole in my exhaust for $200 rather than replacing the entire thing for 5-10x that much.
 
Not sure if all Toyota dealers are like this, or if I'm just lucky to have found a great one.

Comment Re:I've noticed that, but something else interesti (Score 1) 156

Anyone who has been navigated by gps system though knows they make mistakes all the time. from failing to be sufficiently clear, to directing you to make a left turn across a busy 9 lane highway, to sending you down a side-street with speedbumps instead of the main street one block over, to telling you to turn left at 3pm at an intersection that is only legal to turn left at after 6:30pm... to pulling a u-turn on a divided highway...etc etc.

I don't dispute you though... because people DO seem to turn their brains off, but it makes no sense because we KNOW the computer can screw up too and will.

Comment Re:Stealth Layoff (Score 3, Interesting) 297

When you're given about 5 months to move, *while* the economy is down, and cannot afford to wait more until it goes back up because you need the money right now to pay a premium for the new one in a place where you have to wait several months to get a contractor due to the huge influx of people (and pay more to those contractors than you would under normal conditions), things get way outside optimal. You're basically stepping from the 4th-sigma of the left tail of the Gaussian distribution directly to the 4th-sigma of the right tail. So, yeah, you lose money, the hope being you lose less than you would otherwise.

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