Category: Business

“Open office” floor plans decrease interaction, may lower productivity

Many companies have moved from individual offices or cubicles to open floor spaces, removing doors and presumed barriers to interaction. A study that tracked workers before conversion to open offices, and after the conversion, found that open offices dramatically reduced employee face to face interaction – in favor of instant messaging and email. The latter, however, have been shown to reduce productivity. Bottom line: open office layouts are failing to achieve improved interaction – and...

Microsoft urges regulation of face-recognizing tech

When face recognition is used to gain access to a secure location or function, what happens when one’s likeness is stolen and reproduced? What happens when the local police monitor all political rallies and use facial recognition to identify each individual in attendance? What if businesses scan your face upon entry and dynamically change prices based on their estimates of your income and wealth? Microsoft’s chief legal officer on Friday called for regulation of facial...

#Google’s #Android was developed first and foremost as a spying tool, may be sanctioned by the European Union

For Google, the consequences could prove vast. Packaging tools like search, and including them on Android devices, offers the company a way to capture data about users — and show them more ads. Eliminating that pathway for profits and insight could prompt Google to rethink the entire ecosystem for Android, which it licenses to device makers free in a bid to ensure its wide-scale adoption while warding off such competitors as Apple. Source: Google could...

Study finds VCs would get better returns investing in startups with age 45-50 year old entreprenuers 

A new study found the average founder of the fastest growing tech startups was about 45-years-old — and 50-year-old entrepreneurs were about twice as likely to have a runaway business success as their 30-year-old counterparts. The findings have implications for both older and younger entrepreneurs, who may gauge future success on industry biases, as well as for venture capitalists, whose propensity to invest younger may be having adverse affects on their returns.” Young people are...

Consumers said to want more #IoT devices for security, protection and willing to share that data with insurance companies

Specifically, consumers say they’d share more data with their insurance company in exchange for smoke, fire and water alarm systems (and presumably also theft) that send data to their insurance company. “Consumers appreciate the safety and security value propositions of smart home products” Source: Report: Nearly half of broadband internet households interested in IoT-based insurance | Insurance Business Everyone wants to be inside your bedroom now, from your smart phone, to your Amazon Alexa device,...

HP computers and data privacy and spying

I have an older HP desktop computer. I’ve long observed significant slow downs as various background tasks were underway and I had assumed it was just anti-virus software running in the background. But it was not – instead, the HP Support Assistance was frequently scanning the entire system, using 55% of the CPU and hogging the disk input/output, tremendously slowing down the system. I finally disabled the HP software as I had never seen any...

Britain may shut down plan to switch emergency service communications from radio to private 4G cellular network

Britain has been moving toward shutting down traditional radio communications systems and moving all emergency services to a private “4G Emergency Services Network”. While much more expensive than their existing emergency radio system, it would at least be less reliable than what they have now. (Not a joke.) They are also considering running both – radio system for voice and 4G for data (the first rule of government contracting is never do one when you...

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