A survey by the Center for Creative Leadership found that 60 percent of smartphone-using professionals kept in touch with work for a full 13.5 hours per day, and then spent another 5 hours juggling work email each weekend. As Mother Jones reports, “That’s 72 hours a week of job-related contact. Another survey of 1,000 workers by Good Technology, a mobile-software firm, found that 68 percent checked work email before 8 a.m., 50 percent checked it while in bed, and 38 percent “routinely” did so at the dinner table. Fully 44 percent of working adults surveyed by the American Psychological Association reported that they check work email daily while on vacation—about 1 in 10 checked it hourly. It only gets worse as you move up the ladder. According to the Pew Research Center, people who make more than $75,000 per year are more likely to fret that their phone makes it impossible for them to stop thinking about work.
“Over time, the creep of off-hours messages from our bosses and colleagues has led us to tolerate these intrusions as an inevitable part of the job, which is why it’s so startling when an employer is actually straightforward with his lunatic demands, as with the notorious email a Quinn Emanuel law partner sent to his underlings back in 2009: “Unless you have very good reason not to (for example when you are asleep, in court or in a tunnel), you should be checking your emails every hour.”
“Constant access may work out great for employers, since it continues to ratchet up the pressure for turning off-the-clock, away-from-the-desk hours into just another part of the workday. But any corresponding economic gains likely aren’t being passed on to workers: During the great internet-age boom in productivity, which is up 23 percent since 2000, the inflation-adjusted wages and benefits for college graduates climbed just 4 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Continue reading “Phone as leash”
The story is simple: BlackBerry has lost nearly half its users in the past year.
Research in Motion said on Thursday that it lost a million BlackBerry owners worldwide during the company’s last financial quarter. The New York Times reports that the company “has other bad news as well, a month before introducing its new BlackBerry 10 phones to the public. Revenue fell 48 percent in the company’s fiscal third quarter, ended Dec. 1, to $2.7 billion from $5.2 billion a year earlier. RIM reported net income of $9 million, down from $265 million last year. The company said that using nonstandard accounting methods to adjust for the tax gain and other pretax charges led to an adjusted net loss of $114 million for the third quarter, or 22 cents per share. Continue reading “Bye-bye Blackberry”
The recent closings of hundreds of ancient brothels in India, while something of an economic victory for prostitutes, may one day cost them, and many others, their lives. The decentralization of prostitution has done little to curb demands for such services, which now is met on an ad hoc basis by individual prostitutes using cell phones to connect with clients. As reported in the New York Times:
“Millions once bought sex in the narrow alleys of Kamathipura, a vast red-light district here. But prostitutes with inexpensive mobile phones are luring customers elsewhere, and that is endangering the astonishing progress India has made against AIDS.
Continue reading “Cell phones raising HIV risks in India”
Here is the scenario: An invisible menacing force is trying to get you, everywhere you go. A malevolent secret organization wants to take over the world by sneaking into your mind. Walk too near the wrong trash can or tree, and it could zap your brain. And by the way, it already has possessed loads of the people around you, even your most trusted friends.
“The world around you is not what it seems,” the promotion for Google’s new Ingress phone game says, “It’s happening all around you. They aren’t coming. They are already here.”
Game news website CNET describes Ingress like this: “Ingress begins with a series of training missions designed to orient new players. Quickly it introduces you to its quirky lexicon. Around town you will find various “portals”; the point of Ingress (at least so far) is to control them. To control portals you have to “hack” them, which is akin to a check-in on Facebook or Foursquare. Hacking portals rewards you with various items, the most important of which are portal keys and resonators. Portal keys allow you to link portals together; resonators power them up and can protect them from being stolen from your rivals. Linking three portals together creates a “field,” which is more powerful than a portal, and is apparently essential for world domination.
“The game takes the form of a free mobile app, now available on the Google Play store for Androiddevices. It is the second product from Niantic Labs, a startup accelerator within Google. Niantic is run by John Hanke, the former head of product management for Google’s “Geo” division, which includes Maps, Earth and Local, among other divisions. Niantic’s first project was Field Trip, an Android app for discovering the world around you. Released in September, Field Trip sends notifications to a smartphone whenever a person passes an area of possible interest — a landmark, a park, a highly rated restaurant. In my use, it’s been a fun way of exploring new cities and unfamiliar neighborhoods.