According to a McKinsey & Company study of US economic activity, "Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can't be automated is the next big performance challenge." The study argues that "as more companies come to specialize in core activities and outsource the rest, they have greater need for workers who can interact with co-workers, partners, and vendors," supported by highly personalized organizing and communication tools. 40 percent of labor activity, says McKinsey, comes not from making things or from traditional transactions but from what the consultancy calls the "Interaction Economy," which it … Read more
AT&T is still struggling to convey the fact that it is a seamless blend of two companies--the "old" AT&T with Cingular. Cingular was a brand sensation, having been created out of whole cloth and gaining massive market and mindshare in a very short amount of time. I remember the first time I saw an ad for it, in a subway station in San Francisco, and was struck by how fresh it was, from the name to the color to the lively logo. At the time I knew nothing of its provenance (a merger of … Read more
Whoever said geeks have no sense of humor was wrong--laughably so. Some of the funniest comics out there are Web comics (or those rendered for the Web,) written by techies, for the techies who love them. Here's a bushel of geeky favorites, in no particular order.
1. xkcd Randall Monroe, physicist, cartoonist, and at-heart romantic, is behind xkcd, a Web comic whose name curiously holds no mathematically obscure meaning. In his own words, Monroe's stick-figure style "occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)." See? Funny.… Read more
Steve Jobs certainly knows how to surprise and saturate. Along with other Applephiles, I was following the live coverage of the latest Apple/iPod/iPhone news via Gizmodo, which couldn't refresh fast enough!
So much to digest, but the main points:
(1) iPhone price drop!? The 8GB iPhone's price fell markedly with this announcement to $399. (Say buh-bye to the 4GB model). Boy, I sure could have used that $200 for the past two months, but it's an inherent risk of being an early adopter. So there is a $100 premium for the phone part of the … Read more
Adobe Photoshop is a fantastic software product. I use it at CNET every single day. However, I don't own a personal version at home, and I find that I don't miss it much for my own limited image editing and graphic design needs. For cropping snapshots, removing red-eye, resizing, or creating LOLcat images, I turn to the free image editors available at CNET Download.com.
The grandaddy of free design software is the GIMP (short for GNU Image Manipulation Program), which provides much of the functionality of Photoshop, with a very large and dedicated community that produces tons of valuable tutorials. However, the GIMP isn't the most user-friendly application. Newbies would be advised to try GIMPshop, which puts a Photoshop-like interface on top of the GIMP's core functionality.… Read more
When Power Downloader received an e-mail from an artist friend recently, he wondered what he could do to help. Though Power knows a lot about software, he never had the type of talent needed to create art. His artist friend told Power that his work was going great, but that he was at an impasse. He wanted to get into the world of advanced 3D drawing and animation, but all of the software in the category was too expensive. That's when Power Downloader knew his friend was asking the right person.… Read more
My friend Pat and some of my other friends have been asking me whether or not unlocking an iPhone is legal.
As a lawyer, I'd prefer the question to be stated in another way: Is it unlawful to unlock an iPhone? (Perhaps I'm channeling Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City, but the way the question is phrased in the law can make all the difference).
While the question can be asked more precisely, the answer, as you may have guessed, is anything but precise. But if an iPhone is unlocked, I'm pretty sure you've voided … Read more
In the midst of all the bleak news for the American car industry, there was a ray of hope of sorts. A recent survey on "retained value" (what percentage of retail price a car maintains on the used market) has the Hummer coming in the top 10. As Autoblog reports:
"[T]he new Power Information Network retained value rankings for the automakers came out, and while the top ten list is pretty much owned by imports, Hummer crashes the party, coming in at the #8 spot. Hummer vehicles retain 63% of their original value, an increase of … Read more
During a time when many car manufacturers are scaling down to offer smaller cars with improved fuel economy, the new 2008 Honda Accord is hitting the market with a "bigger is better" philosophy.
Besides having an obviously new look, the new Accord is larger in all interior and exterior dimensions. It's longer, wider, and taller on the outside, and roomier on the inside. In fact, the 3.3 cubic feet of additional interior space was enough to bump it into the EPAs "large car" category, although Honda says the car will still compete in the … Read more