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Businesses

Why Working Remotely Needs To Make a Comeback 455

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-commuting-sucks dept.
silentbrad writes sends this excerpt from a blog post about the history of working from home: "Remote working has existed for centuries. And now is the perfect time for its comeback. ... Prior to the Industrial Revolution, goods were manufactured by contracting individual craftsmen who worked out of their homes. The merchant would drum up sales, and would coordinate the production with at-home sub-contractors. ... This all changed with the Industrial Revolution: production was centralized in factories and cities. For merchant capitalists, this made sense: it was cheaper and more efficient to produce goods in one place, with machinery. ... We've been in the Information Age for at least 25 years. We've made huge leaps in technology. Many of us would describe ourselves as Knowledge Workers: we don't work in factories, we work at desks in front of glowing screens. We don't make goods with physical materials, but rather things made out of bits. The great thing about bits + the internet is that the materials and means needed for production aren't dependent on location. But here's the funny thing: the way work is organized hasn't changed. Despite all these advances, most of us still work in central offices. Employees leave their computer-equipped homes and drive long distances to work at computer-equipped offices. ... CEOs, like Yahoo's Marissa Mayer and Apple's Steve Jobs, think that a central office fosters more innovation and productivity. I think they're wrong. We're still early in the research, but recent studies seem to dispute their claim. ... Managers have developed centuries worth of habits based on the central workplace. The hallmarks of office work (meetings, cubicle workstations, colocation) need to be seen for what they are: traditions we've kept alive since the Industrial Revolution. We need to question these institutions: are they really more innovative and efficient?"
Media

+ - Napster Turns 10 Next Month->

Submitted by Edward Scissorhands
Edward Scissorhands (665444) writes "Over the next two weeks, The Globe and Mail presents The Download Decade, an in-depth five-part series examining the profound economic, social and legal changes that have occurred since Napster ushered in the digital revolution 10 years ago.
Reporters, editors, videographers and digital designers have put together a package that includes content from more than 30 interviews, more than a dozen of which have been boiled down into podcasts. There will be five documentary videos — one for each story in the series — and five Flash interactives. Interspersed with each story, readers will be able to read dozens of archived columns and news articles covering the events as they unfolded at the time.
The series will also include numerous live discussions at globeandmail.com/downloaddecade, featuring some of the interview subjects in the package, and will offer readers the chance to script copyright legislation of their own.
Start with Napster."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Stop coddling your little genius (Score 1) 1134

by Edward Scissorhands (#27212255) Attached to: Are Quirky Developers Brilliant Or Dangerous?
I'd mod you down. Did it ever occur to you that maybe the "rules" we apply to "normal" kids is what holds them back? That the bigger, more interesting sandbox we give to more intelligent kids is what helps them grow up to have positive impacts on society with their inventions and perspectives? You're the type of person who thinks that everyone should be treated the same, except you don't realise that not every person actually is the same.
Google

+ - Google Cripples iGoogle on iPhone->

Submitted by Edward Scissorhands
Edward Scissorhands (665444) writes "Users who have an iGoogle custom Google home page and who have an iPhone might have noticed today that Google had changed the behavior of the site by getting rid of the simple iPhone-specific interface. The custom interface is still viewable in a regular browser but when an iPhone tries to navigate to that page, they are redirected to an awkwardly generic mobile site. A Google employee named Paul has posted in the Google help forums that this was a deliberate change and not a bug. The questions now are whether or not Google made this change in an attempt to degrade the iPhone + iGoogle user experience deliberately, and whether or not they will listen to the chorus of unhappy users who, at the very least, want to choose which site format they view on their phones."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Ballmer Disparages Facebook and Its Tech->

Submitted by Edward Scissorhands
Edward Scissorhands (665444) writes "Steve Ballmer told the Times Online that Facebook was in danger of being a fad, even going so far as to compare it to Geocities. He also disparaged the technology behind Facebook, claiming that "There can't be any more deep technology in Facebook than what dozens of people could write in a couple of years.""
Link to Original Source
Biotech

+ - Happiness linked to Race 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "University of Virginia psychology professor Shigehiro Oishi has just completed a study on how people from East Asia and the United States respond to daily events in life and found that Koreans, Japanese, and Asian-Americans, are less happy in general, but recover their emotional equilibrium more readily after a setback than European-Americans. Oishi and his colleagues had more than 350 college students in Japan, Korea and the United States record their general state of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with life over a three-week period , as well as the number of positive and negative events they had during the course of each day. "We found that the more positive events a person has, the more they feel the effects of a negative event," Oishi said. "People seem to dwell on the negative thing when they have a large number of good events in their life." The researchers found that the European-Americans needed nearly two positive events (such as getting complimented or getting an A) to return to their normal level of happiness after each negative event, such as getting a parking ticket or a lower grade than expected. The Koreans, Japanese and Asian-Americans generally needed only one positive event to make up for each negative event. Oishi's research also provides a window into why very few people are very happy most of the time. Getting to "very happy" is like climbing an ever steeper mountain. Additional effort — positive events — doesn't gain you much by way of altitude. Slipping backward, on the other hand, is very easy. Oishi's advice: "Don't try to be happier.""
Software

+ - Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac (Beta) Leaked

Submitted by jan_mate
jan_mate (939823) writes "Well that didn't take long. Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac (Beta) leaked to torrent trackers, few months before they were officially released. It comes in at around 465 MB (universal binary) and can be found pretty much everywhere. At the core, many improvements have been made to the user interface, features and usability in comparison with Microsoft Office 2004."
Quickies

+ - Report: Greenland ice change means trouble

Submitted by
MollyB
MollyB writes "NewsDaily has said "Mini earthquakes and glacier acceleration on the Greenland ice cap are signs climate change is speeding up, scientists said.
The quakes are caused by giant chunks of ice breaking off the rock they have been frozen to for hundreds of years, Robert Corell, chairman of the international Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Greenland Friday."
The story continues, "Though small in magnitude, the earthquakes bolster concerns that the entire ice shelf could collapse, causing a catastrophic change in sea levels worldwide.
The speed at which Greenland's glaciers flow into the sea has also accelerated. The Ilulissat glacier is dumping ice chunks into the ocean at a rate of 2 meters per hour — more than three times faster than 10 years ago, the newspaper said."

Curiously, they switched the units of the upward revision of sea-level rise from "eight to 24 inches" to "over two meters" by the end of the century. Another oddity is the information that a group from different religions gathered to pray for Earth."

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