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day permlink Sunday, 3 February 2002

permlink iMac screen makes life better?

Hmm... Finally, a No-Hassle, No-Strain Computer: The excellent new iMac cures our greatest ergonomic ill [BusinessWeek]
The patent-pending neck is the secret of the design. ... Rubenstein describes it as "a frictionless counter-balance." It rotates through 360 degrees horizontally and pivots 90 degrees vertically. The screen itself tilts about 30 degrees on the end of the arm. The entire display moves effortlessly, and some clever geometry keeps the screen's angle vertically constant as the neck pivots. The result is a display that you can position just about any way you want. It glides to exactly where you position it, without any bounce or sagging. The impact of this design on the ergonomics of using a computer is dramatic. The ability to put the screen where you want lets you work without hunching over, a common problem with laptops, or, even more uncomfortably, without craning your neck back to view a monitor that is mounted too high for your chair (or your bifocals). That's only the beginning. I found as I worked with the iMac that totally different positions worked best for different activities. For writing, I like the screen nearly vertical at eye level. But I found that reading and Web browsing were more comfortable with the screen lowered and tilted back, the way I might place a book. The iMac makes this sort of adjustment simple.
Having poked at one at a local Apple Store, I can vouch for the ease of positioning the screen exactly where you want with no movement once you let go of it. It's really something. I don't need one myself, but if you're looking for a new desktop machine, I'd say it's a real contender. permlink  

permlink Better Business Bureau link policy

The Council of Better Business Bureaus doesn't like for their site to be linked to except by very specific kinds of people or unless they 'consider and approve' one's 'link request', as outlined in their Web Use Terms & Conditions. This reminds me of KPMG's attitude towards people linking to its site (see Big Stink Over a Simple Link [Wired]). In both cases, the organizations simply fail to understand the fundamental nature of the web. No one's holding a gun to their head saying they have to have a website, and once the site is on the web, it's fair game to be linked to. If you want control over whether certain content within your site can be linked to, there are technical ways to make sure that anyone who follows a link to your site will be taken to your home page instead of to content deep inside your site. Technical fixes are cheap compared to legal fixes, and have the added advantage of working against everyone, not just against the one party you choose to sue. That works, for content other than your home page. But to say that only certain people can even link to your home page without a prior agreement? Pull the other one. Or get off the web. And for the Better Business Bureau to get this wrong is, frankly, sadder than some puffed-up consulting firm getting it wrong. They should know better. permlink  

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