In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Productivity Killers
2. Today's Top Story
- Microsoft SUS Users Finally Receive Patches
- Microsoft Sends Out Flash Alert
3. Breaking News
- HP Announces New AMD-Based Blade PC
- Sony Sued For Rootkit Copy Protection
- Google Gets Closer To Firefox
- Firefox Turns 1, Ratchets Up Marketing
- IBM, Microsoft Lead Group To Consolidate Linux Patents
- Cisco Reports Growth In Enterprise Spending
- 'Kill Bill's Browser' Site Aims To Cash In On Google's Bounty
- Study Says Workers Wasting More Time
- PC Containing Consumer Credit Data Stolen
- IBM Software Helps Companies Monitor Reputations Online
- $50 Million Gambit Pays Off, SAP CEO Says
- Global Mail Services Seen As New Frontier For RFID
- Finding More Juice For Power-Thirsty Devices
4. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
5. Voice Of Authority: Dell-AMD Partnership
6. White Papers: E-Mail Overload
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker
but of the manager." -- Peter Drucker
1. Editor's Note: Productivity Killers
A new study on the productivity of the white-collar workforce by training organization IBT-USA begs for commentary and further discussion. IBT-USA collected information over a five-year period on the work habits of more than 1,000 employees at 30 companies.
Some key findings and what they mean:
Time spent handling E-mail has increased 220% in the past
four years and now averages 8.8 hours per week. I wish I spent
8.8 hours a week handling E-mail. In my case, the figure is at
least 15 hours, possibly more. If I read every E-mail I got, it
would likely be 30 hours per week.
Working hours devoted to handling paper or snail mail is
down 35%, to 1.3 hours per week. Unless you're managing the
mailroom, an employee who spends nearly an hour and half per week
processing snail mail is low-hanging fruit when it comes to
Workers say their time spent attending ineffective meetings increased 300% to 2.1 hours per week. If you notice how hard it can be to schedule meetings
with people inside and outside your company--some of whom
apparently spend anywhere from 20 to 30 hours per week in
meetings--I'd guess the actual figure is a lot higher than two
hours per week. Rather than focus on the effectiveness or
ineffectiveness of the meetings themselves, I think the focus
should be on whether a given person needs to be in some meetings,
or whether there's some other revenue-producing activity he or
she can spend time on.
The amount of time people spend "being interrupted" is up
37% to 4.5 hours per week. There are two ways to look at this:
People get interrupted but could easily cut the interruptions
short and trim that figure by a couple hours. However, those
"interruptions" can also be viewed as personal interactions with
co-workers, which pay dividends over time in team-building,
collaboration, and camaraderie.
Time devoted to "looking for information" is up 13% to 1.7
hours per week. Weren't computers, networks, databases, business
intelligence, and other systems supposed to make this figure go
down, not up? We may have an IT problem there.
If you took a big chunk out of many unproductive functions
(working on backlog, three hours per week; planning work, 2.2
hours; attending ineffective meetings, 2.1 hours), the amount of
time spent "working overtime" (6.4 hours per week) could go away.
In a somewhat oxymoronic finding, the average worker spends
3.5 hours per week "delegating work." Can it really consume 9% of
the week having other people do work?
How do these data points map to your experiences in your company?
Are E-mail, unproductive meetings, and the search for information
dragging your productivity down? Please share your opinions by
commenting at my blog entry.
If you haven't noticed, we've gone multimedia with this
newsletter. You can access a podcast version every day from one place. Let
us know if our voices sound as good as our prose.
Following a day-and-a-half delay, users of Microsoft's Software
Update Services can now download this month's patches.
Related Stories: Microsoft Sends Out Flash Alert
Days after Macromedia posted fixes to its Flash player, Microsoft
posted a security advisory directing users of its Windows XP, XP
SP2, 95, 98, and Me to the third-party patches. This is
Microsoft's first security bulletin for a third-party product.
New hardware upgrades performance and reduces data-center space
required for virtual-desktop computing.
Sony Sued For Rootkit Copy Protection
Sony BMG Music Entertainment has been hit with at least one
class-action lawsuit over its rootkit-as-copy-protection
software. The lawsuit claims the software violates two anti-fraud
statutes, as well as a third law forbidding placement of spyware
in a computer.
Google Gets Closer To Firefox
Google is providing its ad publishers with a set of buttons that
Web site visitors can use to download Firefox with the Google
Study Says Workers Wasting More Time
With fewer people in the office to do the work, employees feel
the need to collaborate more but, in many cases, actually
accomplish less, according to a study from a training
$50 Million Gambit Pays Off, SAP CEO says
SAP CEO Henning Kagermann said a decision to increase R&D
spending by $50 million shortly after rival Oracle acquired
competitor PeopleSoft last year is paying off with significant
growth in market share.
Nominations For Blog-X Awards!
You determine the nominees and you choose the winner in TechWeb's
second annual Blog-X Awards. Nominate your favorite tech blog
now, and be sure to return when it's time to vote for the winner!
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Kodak's EasyShare Printer Dock Plus Series 3 features built-in
Bluetooth, infrared, optional Wi-Fi, a USB port, a USB dock, and
a Secure Digital card slot. This dye-transfer printer produces
lovely, full-color prints that are waterproof, stain resistant,
and will last a lifetime.
Review: Linksys CIT200 Wireless Phone
The Linksys CIT 200 Portable telephone is a wireless phone that
allows you to make and receive Skype calls without being tethered
to your computer. Does it work like a regular phone? Sort of.
Dell has been a stalwart, Intel-only customer, but recently the
company put AMD processors up for sale on its E-commerce Web
site. Darrell Dunn wonders what it means--is Dell just
seeing an opportunity to make a quick buck, or does it signal
some kind of strategic shift for Dell?
In lost productivity alone, industry research indicates that spam
costs companies $874 per employee, and, adding in IT costs, it
will drain a total of more than $10 billion. This paper analyzes
architectural and technology alternatives that businesses should
take to fight spam and recommends the most effective approaches.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.