Category Archives: Workplace

Drones for Workaholics and Brain-Computer Interfaces

On this podcast, Cathi Bond talks about a surprising response to the problem of overwork in Japan: drones that chase employees out of the building by blasting annoying music (via New Atlas) Nora Young talks about this article in Technology Review. It looks at the potential for brain-computer interfaces in the future. A brain surgeon and speculative fiction author believes in a possible future of so-called "neural prosthetics" that would allow us to communicate with our computers, and each other, directly with our brains. Freaky! [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/6147413/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

Gig Economy Pushback and Still Using Word

Welcome back to the podcast! This time, Nora Young talks about this article over at Backchannel, and why some service-based startups are rejecting the 'Uber for X', gig economy model in favour of hiring actual employees. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond points to this Gizmodo article questioning why people still need to use Word. Cathi's been having her own frustrations, and wonders whether she should find an alternative. In the comments, Gizmodo's readers, however, seem to like Word. How about you? Is it still the industry standard where you work? If not, what do you use instead? [iframe style="border:none" src="//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5315801/height/100/width/480/thumbnail/no/render-playlist/no/theme/standard/tdest_id/237069" height="100" width="480" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen oallowfullscreen msallowfullscreen] Download MP3

The Sniffer, Oct 14, 2013: Trends in Creativity and Crowdfunding

This time around, Nora Young point to this Fast Company article on "art thinking". Building on the idea of design thinking, art thinking is about learning from artists' practices and bringing them to non-artistic workplaces. Given that it involves open-ended, seemingly "non-productive" exploration, it might be a tough sell in most businesses, but letting the mind go fallow and explore are necessary parts of creativity. Nora also refers to Kal Spelletich's praying robots. Cathi mentions this freaky video of the latest animal-like robot, the WildCat. Meanwhile, Cathi Bond has been poking around Indiegogo and is impressed by crowdfunding at the tipping point. Sure, it's been around for a while. We even talked about it back in 2008. As it becomes more and more mainstream to fund projects this way, though, how far can it go, and what other funding models might it replace? Nora mentions that Jack Cheng raised money to fund writing a novel this way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE3fmFTtP9g