Boost productivity without stifling creativity

Careers: Bob Lewis helps one reader to find the balance between IT prudishness and permissiveness. The reader wants one set of tools that would make him productive while his colleagues are calling for other products, so there's a need to exercise some control without killing creativity. "I generally prefer to err on the side of test labs while avoiding the extreme of having no standards at all," Lewis advises. "I agree that "productivity" by itself isn't likely to pay for expensive functionality … but a lot of what I'm talking about isn't expensive at all, especially when you unitize it by employee."

Notes from the field: Robert X. Cringely received a press release that he just couldn't ignore. It was touting a new social network called Playboy U. "Stop salivating. Not only does the site prohibit nudity, it also discourages 'high schoolers, old dudes, and your mom' from joining," Cringe reports. Social networking without the staples. So what, prey tell, is it all about? "Apparently Playboy U is banking on droves of college students abandoning Facebook now that their parents can join."

Columnist's corner: While much of the IT vendor and user community is eyeing greener technologies these days, printer manufacturers are not -- particularly with ink cartridges. "Instead of letting you use the same nonbiodegradable plastic container, most would rather have you toss it out and buy a new one. It is time for printer manufacturers to stop this practice, even if we have to force their hand a bit," Ephraim Schwartz writes in this week's installment of Reality Check. "In the spirit of revolution, I recommend that consumers of the world rise up and unite against printer cartridge waste." Then report back to him and he'll post the worst offenders.

Podcasts: In this installment of Storage Sprawl, a true tale of ID theft. It happened to senior analyst Mario Apicella. The moral of this one is that companies need to act now to protect data and not just wait for the legal mandates that will eventually arrive. Tune in right here.


Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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