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February 2006

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Usability, thy name is Ubuntu.

I'm sure if you're a geek you've heard of Ubuntu Linux. If you aren't a geek, hopefully some day you will hear about it. If you aren't a geek and continue reading this, well, that day will be today.

Ubuntu is so incredibly good that I find it hard to describe adequately. My last attempts at running Linux as my primary desktop OS included Fedora Core, SuSE, and Debian. They all pretty much suck at it, and suck pretty badly - it's possible to screw with Debian or Fedora to get it working well, but it's ultimately never worth it.

There's been this huge void that nobody could really fill, and I have to assume that's because coders typically value functionality much much more highly than usability.

But Ubuntu finally gets it right. You install it, and it works. Wireless, sound, bluetooth... it all works. A lot of the credit has to go to Gnome, which is finally getting good - but Ubuntu throws it all together in a great package that just gets everything right.

This is finally a Linux distribution I'd feel comfortable giving to my parents, but it's also one I enjoy using myself. There's a hell of a lot to be said for that.

Or "all I ever needed to know I learned in sexual harassment training."

Non-Verbal Sexual Harassment

Sexual gestures
Invading her body space

Visual Sexual Harassment

Suggestive movements
OH NO, don't expose yourself!
Take it to HR

When Does it Cross the Line?

You look nice today
You really look nice today.
"Mmm Mmm" - wait, you're fired!

Employee's Responsibility

Report to HR
Maintain documentation
But do not gossip

Employers Must...

Must be proactive
CEO mentality
Must take ownership

"Policy Against Harassment"

The company's rules
Prohibit this harassment
Provide discipline!

Intent is Irrelevant

It is no excuse
Intent is irrelevant
See ya later, chump.

KT Tunstall is a very unique sort of one-woman band - she has a moderately folksy/bluesy pop sound (think a less upbeat Sheryl Crow, perhaps), but the sound alone isn't what's so special. While her music taken on its own is very good, you'd never know how truly impressive she is unless you scrounged up some video.

The album's not here ("here" meaning "in the US") yet, but I heard an intriguing interview with this artist on NPR the other day. It's well worth a listen.