"clumsy user", "clueless user", "semi-rational user", "a sign that the user doesn't know what he is doing",
If you have ever conducted user studies of browsing behavior, you would see that the tasks that Aza describes are exactly the ones users perform in the real world. Why do you think it's unexpected for a user to pause a current browsing session and look for something unrelated, and wish to keep that search session separate from the previous one?
No, simply a new window would not be sufficient, because pretty soon, you end up with several different windows, and not all of us have the luxury of 30" displays to arrange them on. Yes, this is a window manager built into the browser, because default window managers have been inadequate in coping with the number of browser windows and applications users have open. If they were adequate, tabs would never have been needed in the first place.
From initial design sketches, this does seem like it will contribute its fair share to helping with the information overload problem. The only way to confirm that this is indeed a usable solution is to run it by users in real-world studies. You'd be surprised how much the average user or the power user differs from engineers and developers.
+1 for Trepidity.
I'm a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. I have been fully funded all through my academic career here in the US at Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. The same is the case with many (but not 100%) students getting Masters and Ph.D.s in Computer Science that I know of. There usually are a few paid assistantship positions that require security clearance, but most basic and applied research is not confidential.
The funding isn't just a giveaway, of course -- I have to work for it and show results in return for the money from the NSF. As a symbiotic advantage, I get an advanced degree in the process.
Empirical evidence, though, and I don't know where I might find a citation for you.
American workers take a 25% haircut and become competitive again.
I chopped off my hair to 3/4th of its length, but that didn't help me be competitive.
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I did as you said; it landed with a thud and now it won't reboot.
The Shuttle is now going five times the sound of speed. -- Dan Rather, first landing of Columbia