MG Siegler agreeing with this New York Times article:
Just in time for the Labor Day holiday in the United States, Clive Thompson dives into the thing that will ruin the holiday for so many:
Why would less email mean better productivity? Because, as Ms. Deal found in her research, endless email is an enabler. It often masks terrible management practices.
When employees shoot out a fusillade of miniature questions via email, or “cc” every team member about each niggling little decision, it’s because they don’t feel confident to make a decision on their own. Often, Ms. Deal found, they’re worried about getting in trouble or downsized if they mess up.
This seems exactly right. I’d venture to guess that most email that is sent in the work environment doesn’t need to be sent. But it is as a way to cover one’s own ass.
In my experience, this goes beyond email. This happens on a daily basis and in all form of office communications (IMs, meetings, etc.). Some employees have a bad habit of including everyone or someone who has authority on the loop to sidestep blame or to at least “reduce” the blame on them. They think they are off the hook by asking someone’s approval before making the decision. By doing so, they can say, “hey, didn’t I asked you about this?”
John Gruber speculating the next iPhone screens:
But after giving it much thought, and a lot of tinkering in a spreadsheet, here is what I think Apple is going to do:
- 4.7-inch display: 1334 × 750, 326 PPI @2x
- 5.5-inch display: 2208 × 1242, 461 PPI @3x
@2x means the same “double” retina resolution that we’ve seen on all iOS devices with retina displays to date, where each virtual point in the user interface is represented by two physical pixels on the display in each dimension, horizontally and vertical. @3x means a new “triple” retina resolution, where each user interface point is represented by three display pixels. A single @2x point is a 2 × 2 square of 4 pixels; an @3x point is a 3 × 3 square of 9 pixels.
It’s lengthy but if you geek out on this kind of thing, it’s worth the read.
Growing Android fragmentation — or device diversity if you prefer — has been visualized in a new report by crowdsourced cell phone signal startup OpenSignal, which has surveyed 682,000 devices to build its annual peek at Google’s mobile OS ecosystem.
I don’t know how Android apologists will spin this but if you don’t call this fragmentation, I don’t know what is.
Last week, The Verge had a controversial article about Slack:
Are people using Slack to replace workplace email wholesale?
Yes, for a lot of three-person teams, a lot of 10-persons teams, and a lot of 100-person teams. It’s all or nothing. If half of your team was not on it, then the whole team would stop using it pretty soon.
We’ve been using Slack since February this year (yes, really). Initially, I thought it was just another app in the crowded messaging space. Nonetheless, I was impressed by its UI so I gave it a shot. I asked my team to sign up and try it out. Our usage eventually dwindled because we are using Skype as our primary communication tool. Slack as a communication platform just cannot compete with Skype.
This goes on for a while until I discovered Slack’s true power: third-party integrations. Because of our recently-implemented code review process, I wanted to be notified whenever a developer commits a code. Incidentally, this is right up Slack’s alley. Slack has an impressive roster of third-party integration, including Bitbucket. For every repo that I want to be notified, I simply create a hook and pair it with a Slack channel. Viola! Instant commit reminder. Here’s another cool usage scenario that we recently adapted: we wanted to be notified whenever a file is dropped in a certain OneDrive folder. This is part of our internal backup process. Using a third-party app called Zapier, we were able to bridge Slack with OneDrive, which is pretty sweet.
Overall, Slack didn’t kill email in our office. At least not yet. In spite of that, we’re a happy camper. We are now obsessing on how we can integrate it further with our internal processes.
The hardest thing for me to do is sitting still, so when I have a chance to do so, I do. When planning my first (real & no-work, no-computer) vacation, I promised myself — I will learn to just sit still.
I feel his pain. Every time we plan for a vacation, the thought of getting off the grid would briefly play with my mind. Then my senses would come around and take it back.