Pointers: Recommended readings 08-25-08

Don’t touch that cell phone!
Source: BNet
In a podcast interview, Gloria Mark, a professor at the Department of Informatics at the University of California at Irvine, discusses her research into the effects of workplace interruptions.

Mark found that typical information workers are pulled away from their work every three minutes — either by a cell phone ringing, an e-mail message popping up or someone walking into their office or cubicle.

Workers clearly suffered from the stress of the high mental workload that comes with these frustrations, Mark said.

Technology’s toll on privacy and security
Source: Scientific American
Scientific American takes a long look at the emerging privacy and security threats that come with global Internet connectivity.

For one article, a reporter demonstrated how easy it is to steal someone’s identity with a little digging on social networks, blogs and search engines. Another feature examines the Web’s role in war and terrorism.

The special report also takes an international perspective by highlighting how Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and other countries are dealing with these same problems.

Building the right team
Source: NASA blog
In a recent blog post, Linda Cureton, chief information officer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, shares some insights into the essentials of team-building.

She echoes the thoughts of business consultant Jim Collins, who said the first step is getting “the right people on the bus” — those who have the knowledge, skills and drive. But it is also important to provide the team “with a clear and compelling purpose,” Cureton writes.

Cureton notes that her first lesson in team-building came not when she was a CIO but when she was a young French horn player at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. Check it out.

Rome reborn
Source: University of Virginia
During the past 11 years, three universities have been working together to create a 3-D tour of Rome as it appeared in the fourth century — June 21, 320 A.D. to be exact.

Rome Reborn 1.0 reflects what historians know about the city’s topography, urban infrastructure and individual buildings and monuments, according to the project’s Web site, which is hosted by
the University of Virginia, which worked with the University of California of Los Angeles and the Politecnico di Milano to develop the program.

Besides providing a useful tool for educators, virtual Rome will enable researchers to run urban or architectural experiments.

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