Emerging Technology

Workers waste less time now… The electro photo frame… Video big online… M&A boom lessens litigation

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Workers waste time… but less than before

The average employee in the US spends 20% of each workday doing something other than work, according to the Salary.com 2007 Wasting Time Survey reported in Information Week.

According to the survey of 2000 employees in the US, the average US worker spends 1.7 hours of a typical 8.5-hour workday on activities unrelated to the job, down from 2.09 hours in 2005 and 1.86 hours in 2006.

Almost 35% of respondents said they spend time on mucking around on the internet for personal reasons, 20% said they waste time with co-workers, and 17% conduct personal business, the survey found.

And it seems wasting time is a young person’s game. Employees aged between 20 and 29 waste an average of 2.1 hours a day, compared to 1.9 hours for those aged 30 to 39 drops and 1.4 hours for those ages of 40 and 49. Yet another reason not to hire those pesky Gen-Ys.

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Electro photo frame

The new PhotoVu digital picture frame looms as the perfect real world complement to online photo sites such as Picasa Web Albums, flickr, iPhoto.

The 40 by 25 centimetre PhotoVu is effectively a super-high resolution flat screen monitor with built-in web connectivity, so you can stream your favourite digital photos straight onto it, according to Ohgizmo.

Makes perfect sense, although unlike conventional picture frames, this one always needs to be plugged in. Oh, and there is another difference – it costs a cool $US1199.

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Online video booming

Nearly 60% of adults online in the US have used the internet to watch or download video, and 19% do so on a typical day, according to new research by the Pew Internet and America Life Project.

Unsurprisingly, the survey of 2200 Americans found younger internet users were more likely to view online video content. Almost 80% of 18–29 year olds said they regularly watch online video, compared to 57% of 30–49 year olds and 46% for 50–64 year olds.

More than half of online video viewers (57%) share links to the video they find with others, and three in four (75%) say they receive links to watch video that others have sent to them.

News sites are the most common source of online video content: 37% say they watched news videos compared to 31% for comedy, 22% music or educational, 19% animation, 15% political. At the bottom of the list, an honest 6% admitted they had seen online videos with “adult” content.

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Mergers and acquisition boom causes litigation drought

Corporate litigation work for the big law firms is falling according to figures from the Federal Court of Australia and the New South Wales Court of Appeal, reports The Australian Financial Review. The number of corporate filings dropped by one third during 2006/07 from the previous year.

A boom in merger activity among Australia’s top companies, along with a blow-out in the cost of legal cases, are thought to be behind the trend. In the week ended 20 July 2007, the New South Wales Court of Appeal revealed measures aimed at cutting the amount parties must pay to produce documents. It is hoped those measures could lower the cost of litigation.

Michael Pryce, of Freehills, claims the “low-litigation approach” preferred by some regulators is also contributing to the downturn in “mega-litigation”. Only one of eight recent partnership appointments at Mallesons Stephen Jaques was a litigation specialist.

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SmartCompany Quote of the Day

 “Stop worrying. No one gets out of this world alive.”
Clive James

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