Friday, February 24, 2012

From Video Mishaps to Hong Kong, Open Plan Offices, and Text Messaging Legal Woes

I had hoped to have a post today about the parade in Taiwan I mentioned here. However, I am having some bizarre problems creating the video. It looks completely fine in the edited preview, but in the final version some sections get stuck rapidly alternating between just a few frames. Other sections are fine, though. I will give it a whirl again this weekend. If all goes well I will put up the post on Monday. Otherwise, maybe I can just add some techno music to the video, and it will go viral.

For now I will do something I have not done in a while -- a quick review of some random links I had been holding onto for potential deeper commentary. Since I may never get to them, here are a few in no particular order (previous post of assorted links here):

1. I have previously discussed (herehere, here, and here) the barriers mainland Chinese face visiting Macau and Hong Kong. Bo Gu of NBC News describes her own first visit to Hong Kong. Her story about how she obtained the necessary permit highlights both some of the challenges in obtaining a permit and provides a taste of how "official processes" can work in China.

2. An article by Julian Treasure on The Sound Agency website discusses research indicating that open plan offices can hurt work productivity, even when they have been designed in the hope they can promote "creative thinking and better problem solving". I have not yet had a chance to review the original research papers, so I do not want to comment specifically. I will just say that what is reported is consistent with other cognitive psychology research I have conducted/reviewed in the past.

3. A Reuters article by Patricia Reaney warns:
Couples who may be heading for a nasty break-up should be careful about texting because it could end up as evidence against them in divorce court.
I appreciate the concern from a legal perspective, but it strikes me as somewhat ironic. I am no relationship expert, but it would seem to be that if one wants to save a marriage that reducing lines of communication may not be in a couple's best interest. Also, the advice to not put anything in writing seems easy to follow -- just speak your thoughts. However, sometimes people are better able to express themselves through written means (and sometimes very specific forms of writing). I have conducted research that... well, I cannot share details so I will just say that I think there may be some opportunities for innovations here. And they will not necessarily only apply to troubled couples.

That is all for the links. Now hopefully I can sort out the video problem.

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