Monday, May 1, 2017

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Is empathy the one skill we are not teaching?

This article argues that the education system is still geared for the industrial era and not the fourth industrial revolution. Data backs this up by showing an 48% decrease in empathic concern among American students. More people are so distracted by their phones that they cannot concentrate long enough to engage in conversations.

More companies and organisations are waking up to the value of making empathy one of the foundations of training at home and work. These initiatives recognise the fundamental shifts that society is undergoing and the need to prepare for the changes that are still to come.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Culture of Stupidity

Did you ever find yourself  working long hours on ‘boring’ and ‘pointless’ routine work? There are companies, believe it or not, that pride themselves on hiring the brightest and the best and fritter the assets by a corporate culture which encourages them to become 'yes' men or women and commends and positively encourages them not to use their intelligence. The full article by AndrĂ© Spicer which references the book, The Stupidity Paradox, which he wrote with Mats Alvesson: Article

Monday, January 4, 2016

CES 2016 - robots, drones, wearables and smart home


Here's a summary from BBC technology of CES in Las Vagas this year. I like the idea of the Fleye a drone that has protected rotors. The robots in the article are focussed on the traditional idea of a robot i.e. the kind of thing that was in 'Lost in Space'.

Anyway I think that soon we will just accept that drones are robots as they do fall into the description: "a machine capable of carrying out a complex series of actions automatically, especially one programmable by a computer".

Smart homes will continue to be developed. I am surprised frankly how slow the ideas are making progress. I do like the idea of the Amazon Trilby fridge speaker but I think the true genius will be when we have a production version of the speakers that are like a sheet of material - I am sure that there are inexhaustable uses.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Need to spot a liar?

This has been a conundrum since humans were able to communicate. Much recent press was given to looking for tell-tale signs in body language but some new results show that the conversation itself maybe a more fruitful way to get to the bottom of it.

In this article on the BBC Future website you will find that these steps can improve the likelihood of spotting a liar:

  • use open questions
  • employ the element of surprise:- ask an unanticipated question that might be slightly confusing; ask the person to report an event that might be backwards in time;
  • watch for small verifiable details;
  • observe changes in confidence;
  • use the art of persuasion, for example, start by asking 'how honest are you?'
And if you notice that something does not add up do not draw attention to it and let their confidence build. It is never pleasant to find out that someone has been lying to you, I'll be using these techniques in 2016 to try and reduce the risk of that happening.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Virtual Office and workers

It is noticable in a number of companies that there is a marked increase in the number of workers who are not regularly present in the company office. Some companies in Silicon Valley are assuming that up to 40% of the workforce will be telecommuters in the near future. 

There are sites devoted to the issues around telecommuting and teleworking, such as http://workingnowhere.com which also offer definitions and practical advice on running a home office and up to date information on developments including this info graphic.

A recent article on the BBC website also addresses the workplace of the future looking as far forward as 2025. Mark Heraghty, Managing Director of Virgin media Business forecasts a world where we will interact with co-workers who appear as holograms and be using interactive surfaces in the home to communicate ideas. 

It looks like there are enough statistics to demonstrate that telework and telecommuting are moving into the mainstream.The advantages are not just for emplyees, employers can expect to save around $4000 a year per employee. So it looks likely that telecommuting is entering the mainstream and is also here to stay.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nokia Fights Back

Nokia and MicroSoft today launch their new smart phone running Windows 8, called the Lumia 920 which has a shake-compensating camera lens and a cable-free charge.

The first Windows phones were launched last year by Nokia running Windows 7 which are effectively stuck with that release as they apparently may not upgrade to Windows 8. 4 million Lumia phones with Windows 7 were sold in the last quarter (cf  Apple approx 26 million).

The iconic Nokia phone for me was the 6310 for it's battery power, simplicity and sturdiness. After that the nearest equivalent was the E51 but around this time they started to lose direction and market share. The E71 with its qwerty keyboard did not cut mustard against the iphone and the rest is history.

Time will tell whether the 920 with its Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, large battery and local and Skydrive storage is able to complete.