Emerging Technology

More ‘unretired’… Name your price for magazine subscription… Printer rage… Female-friendly trains… Int?rn?t, I love you

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Unretired working people

More and more baby boomers are putting off fishing and lawn bowls, with a new survey revealing 55% of all people aged 55 to 64 had no plans to retire – up from 43% in 2006.

The Nielsen Panorama study shows an extra 200,000 older workers are rolling up their sleeves and joining the ranks of “the unretired”: the pool of labour prepared to step into Australia’s skills gap. The survey also found partial retirement was increasingly popular for ageing workers, with 44% intending to semi-retire, compared to 32% in 2006.

Employers who have written off the grey workforce should reassess their employment strategy, a Nielsen spokesperson says.

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Magazine costs whatever you want to pay

Earlier this year SmartCompany reported on the decision by rock band Radiohead to allow fans to choose how much they want to pay to download their latest album, In Rainbows. Now, according to Springwise , cool pop culture magazine Paste is doing the same thing.

For the next two weeks, anyone signing up for a new subscription or a renewal can name their own price for a year subscription to Paste , comprised of 11 issues plus 11 CDs. The only minimum requirement is that the subscribers pay a minimum price of $US1.

“We were curious to know what our customers thought we were worth. And what better way to find out, than to let them tell us?” Paste publisher Tim Regan-Porter told Springwise. “While it’s certainly a bit unconventional, we also see it as a chance to get our product in the hands of people who could become lifelong fans. It’s been our experience that once people become familiar with Paste , they turn into loyal readers.”

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Printers beware

Printers are copping it from stressed out employees. A Sydney-based printer repairer told The Australian Financial Review that workers are venting their frustrations on the one thing that can’t fight back – the printer.

And it’s an international issue, judging from this fed-up US soldier in Iraq.

Mark Gibson of Convergent Resources says workers expect computers to crash but the printer to be dependable. The smallest things can irk people, he says, with forgetting to turn the printer on the most common problem. Dealing with the manufacturer’s complaint’s department made clients more irate.

Anger directed at office machines is a sign of stress and a need for instant gratification, according to workplace psychologist Susan Nicholson. She says people don’t want to vent on customers or workmates, so they sock it to machines that can’t fight back. But she warns that people losing their temper could make it difficult for employees who prefer a calm workplace.

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Women-only train rides

Desperate times call for desperate measures. According to Trendhunter , the subway operator in the South Korean capital of Seoul has started reserving two train cars in each train for women only. The reason? Apparently South Korean men can’t keep their hands to themselves. Perhaps they should just make them walk…

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I love you, internet…

Nearly a quarter of people in the US believe the internet can provide some sort of substitute for a loving relationship, according to a 463 Communications poll of close to 10,000 people in the US reported by Marketing Charts .

Single people were the most likely to say the internet could help make up for the lack of a relationship for a short period of time, with 31% saying their healthy online life made up for a rather lacklustre romantic life.

The internet can also play a role in people’s spiritual lives, the survey found – 10% of respondents said the internet helped them get closer to god, while 6% said it made them feel more distant. The effect was more pronounced for people who consider themselves “born again”, with 20% saying said it made them closer, while 11% said it made them more distant from god.

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