Is Surfing The Net At Work A Good Thing?

A story I read today by the AAP got me thinking. A recent study out of Melbourne University has found that people who surf the net at work are more productive than those who don’t.

The survey group of 300 employees found that 70 percent browsed the Internet at work. Those who did so were more nine percent more productive than those who didn’t surf. The reason being that people cannot concentrate for huge lengths of time, therefore they need breaks, which reinvigorates them, according to study head Professor Brent Coker.

Being in the tech industry, and an employer, I can see both sides of the story. Having an informed staff is a good thing, and if they are surfing the net looking at related products and services that can help a company, then that is also beneficial.

Unfortunately, with my employer’s hat on, there have been occasions where staff have spent an inordinate amount on the net on social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo. So, my question is, how do you measure the rights and wrongs of surfing the net during company time? And who has control over the amount of time spent? These are questions that individual employer’s have to answer. What do you think?

Freeview Passes First Test But With A Few Hiccups

New digital TV service, Freeview, has both its critics and its champions, and last weekend it had its first big test with the running of the Formula 1 Grand Prix out of Melbourne. According to Channel 10 it was a rousing success, with their new HD Sports channel coming through with flying colours. Yet, not all viewers were happy, especially those who live outside of the main centres not being able to get adequate coverage. There were also some hints that the signal dropped out on occasion.

So what is Freeview and what does it mean to you? The new service will encompass the five free-to-air channels having three digital channels each. This means the end of the old analogue service, but not your analogue television. In order to access the service you will have to do one of the following: purchase an HD set-top box to work with analogue televisions; buy an integrated HD digital television; or get hold of an HD PVR/DVR. Be aware that some of the old PVRs, like the Foxtel IQ, are not HD so will not pick up the signal.

The service comes as both Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) and will be rolled out over the states within the next couple of years. Overnight your free-to-air viewing options will triple. However, there are concerns that the quality of the content might be diluted – are there enough programmes of sufficient quality to fill 15 channels? And with the current economic climate, will the channels be able to afford the content?

Tell us your thoughts? Were you happy with the coverage? Are you ready for Freeview?

Nintendo DSi Aims For Mum Market

With the likes of Olivia Newton-John, Nicole Kidman and Liv Tyler being the face of Nintendo DS and DS Lite, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Nintendo has been heading towards a market that has arguably being left untapped by console manufacturers.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are plenty of women gamers out there – in fact a recent survey carried out using the Everquest II online game found that women were a lot more dedicated than men to those games – but Nintendo seem to be the only console gaming company that has had dedicated advertising aimed at women. This seems to be reinforced with the soon-to-be released Nintendo DSi.

Now, Nintendo will never come out and say this, after all, it has its male base to pander too, yet with women-friendly features such as photo journal, two cameras and a calendar – plus a game or two specifically aimed at females – it’s not hard to see where they are heading with this one.

Nintendo have been kicking PS3 and Xbox 360 butts in the sales charts with the Wii for some time, and with the new Dsi launchnig this week will bring a new console to the portable market. How consumers react and compare it to the PlayStation Portable will be interesting to see.