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Comment Oh noes! They changed Gnome! (Score 2) 315

The hatred for all things new in the FLOSS community never ceases to surprise me. When they change Facebook, all my nontech friends all winge for days about it.

You'd think it'd be different around here, but it's not.

I can't speak to how well Gnome 3 works on typical large-screen multi-monitor setup, but my home laptop with a 14" screen, it works exactly the way I've always wished Gnome would. It's well put together, well designed and while there aren't a lot of native config tools for it yet (3.2 aside--haven't tried it), I'm sure that's all in the works (and if it's not, people/distros will create them).

the idea of Mint's polish on top of Gnome 3 sounds just about perfect to me--exactly the desktop I'd like to use.

Comment Re:Lack of pivot chart support (Score 1) 242

I can't disagree with your overall point--in fact, I think you sum it up nicely with:

There's nothing there of "commercial quality", by your standards, but it's standard kit that would keep millions of people happy on their personal machines and millions of small businesses running just fine.

In fact, I don't know that I've ever made a pivot chart at home, and didn't even know what they were still I started working in business (ugh).

In the business world, though, I've needed a lot of the obscure bells and whistles that MS Office has, the same way a professional graphic designer couldn't get by with GIMP without a lot of heartache.

The problem I see is that people tout programs like LibreOffice and GIMP as complete replacements for the outlandishly expensive proprietary versions without understanding that, while more than adequate for the average user, power users regularly find them inadequate, which in turn making us in the FLOSS community look ridiculous, like we don't understand our audience.

Comment Lack of pivot chart support (Score 0) 242

Until LibreOffice develops strong pivot chart support in their spreadsheet product and better mail merge support in their word processor, it's still only an ugly toy, not a true replacement for what you'd really use a spreadsheet for.

LibreOffice is to MS Office as GIMP is to Photoshop. Which is to say, "a great replacement for the casual user, but 100% inadequate in vital ways to someone who uses the software to get work done.

Which is a dang shame because I'd love to dump anything with M$'s or Adobe's name on it.

Comment Re:Phirst phoast (Score 1) 520

The problem I run into is that my primary venues for listening to music and podcasts (both of which I enjoy very much) are not particularly conducive to doing so: either in the office, where I have to keep the music low or in the car, where tire/road noise eats 50% of the sound.

With that in mind 128 kbps IS perfectly acceptable--even with flac, I CAN'T turn it up loud enough to hear ANYTHING distinctly, so there's no sense in wasting disk space on quality I'll never hear.

I don't enjoy my musical predicament nor think it's a good way to "listen" to music, but it's where I'm at right now and I'm guessing it's not particularly uncommon.


Submission + - Study Released: How Students Use Wikipedia ( 1

crazybilly writes: First Monday recently released a study about how college students actually use Wikipedia. Not surprisingly, they found, "Overall, college students use Wikipedia. But, they do so knowing its limitation. They use Wikipedia just as most of us do — because it is a quick way to get started and it has some, but not deep, credibility." The study offers some initial data to help settle the often heated controversy over Wikipedia's usefulness as a research tool and how it affects students research.

Comment Re:not for long (Score 1) 198

Agreed. I find the spinning cube particularly useful, if only because it provides some immediate, positive reinforcement for using multiple desktops. I'm getting to the point now where I remember to use them all the time, but as a new Linux user, I often forgot about them. Till I started using the cube and found out how much fun it was to spin the dang thing.

Fun + cube = greater productivity.

Comment Re:Did She Create Something New? (Score 1) 449

I think that it's possible for a book composed entirely of excerpts to be an excellent, creative, and original work. The key question for me is whether the author stole someone's novel and changed some bits, or genuinely pasted together pieces from a body of work in order to create something new.

Having not read the book, and seen no real analysis of its content, I can't comment on whether this was achieved, but if it was I don't think it flies in the face of copyright (especially as applied to literature).

This hits the nail on the head. Excellent sampling takes a bit of an old work, and while referencing it, creates something new out of it. Does this book create something new? or does it simply parrot the old? Is the 'sampling' (or plagarism) a purposefully act, and is it done for a justifiable literary reason? What does referencing, or perhaps more accurately, replaying Strobo (or whatever the original work was) mean within the new work?

The answer to those questions determines whether she's a dirty, lazy plagarist or a Girl Talk-esque genius. Without reading the book, I'd have a lot of troubles making that judgement call.

(All that said, I think not immediately giving credit where credit is due up front is ridiculous and unethical no matter what she's doing. Whether or not it is (or rather should be) illegal is different story.)

Comment Re:The first is still the best (Score 1) 474

Well said. I do think that Episode I feels substantially different (note how shiny the ship is vs. the decroded Mellinuium Falcon), but those are pretty purposeful thematic choices (even if they're not as cool).

The best way to address this lack of perspective is from a quote from Episode IV that threatens to ruin the movie with its overwhelming lameness almost as much as Jar-Jar did Episode I:

You came in that? You're braver than I thought!"

Don't forget to feign incredulity.

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