10th January 2016

Imagine being given as many vacation days as you like from your employer. Well, Netflix implemented such an idea back in 2004 and it has done the company no harm at all. In my experience, traditional companies feel that offering flexibility takes away accountability, but in fact the opposite is true. If rules are too fixed, the employees become inflexible, negative and unproductive. Give them some freedom and they usually react with more willing which results in better results all round.

I can think of few better ways to get someone to watch a video than using a title like Young Padawan Goes Berserk on Darth Vader at Disneyland. You really should watch the video though because it highlights the absolute belief this young boy has in Star Wars and it is a joy to watch. As it happens, my son did this when we took him to Orlando for his 6th birthday. He, however, was much more restrained and maybe a little too British to defeat the dark sided one.

Graham Bower has written a piece about fitness apps and how poorly they work on the Apple Watch. He makes some valid points, particularly in the area of fitness, but I believe he could go further. Battery life is the major problem for me when it comes to using an Apple Watch for fitness tracking; you have to charge it overnight so no sleep tracking and checking your heart rate uses too much battery power to make it more than an occasional check. The fact that the Apple Watch can do some fitness stuff should not allow it to be seen as a capable replacement for a true fitness accessory. As Graham says “Apple Watch should just do a few things really well, rather than a lot of things badly.”

I love this selection of photos of 1930s New York City by Berenice Abbott which really do capture the time perfectly. We often look back at old photos and wish we could go back in time, but I like the way these snaps portray the true gritty reality of a harder time.

The Long Fall is a hard hitting article which discusses a subject which may be difficult for you to read. Be warned, it may dampen your Sunday a little, but the story itself is quite something. “Salt spray stung her skin. The wind whipped her bare legs. Her cheek rested on his sweatshirt as he cradled her against his chest. Phoebe’s dad held her out over the guardrail, six stories above the black waves. And let go.”

I don’t know why, but the ‘Motorola’ name feels quite old to me when I think about it. It also seems that Motorola agrees with ‘Moto’ and ‘Vibe’ becoming the focus of future marketing efforts. The company explains the decision in this blog post and I think it makes perfect sense. “The Motorola legacy is near and dear to us as product designers, engineers and Motorola employees, and clearly it’s important to many of you who have had long relationships with us. We plan to continue it under our parent company, Lenovo.”

If you are in the US, you can currently download Elvis’ 30 #1 Hits for free from Google PlayIf you need me to explain who Elvis is, I am envious of how young you are.

I am struggling to see the real-world uses for this, but the fact that a new material can fold itself into hundreds of shapes is intriguing to say the least. You can read more at AAAS in an article that does shed some light on how it could be used- “The team is already working on a version of the material that works at lower temperatures. “The biggest challenge for us is not necessarily technical, but rather our imagination of what the possibilities are with this type of shape-shifting behavior,” Xie says. He considers flexible electronics to be one possible “killer application.” Imagine an electronic newspaper that becomes plastic in the heat of your hands but always folds back down when you’re done reading it.”

You probably woke up this morning and asked yourself How did they sort mail in 1903? Well, that’s what I am here for, to answer the questions that spring to mind on lazy Sunday mornings. To be fair, Core 77 actually has the answer, but the content and videos held within are both surprising and fascinating at the same time.

The legendary Macy’s is in trouble and it looks as though it will be a tough battle to get things right again. You have to wonder just how long brick and mortar retail chains can survive for in a world where online shopping is becoming more popular every year. Then again, do we really forsee a future where town centres are made up of only coffee shops? Surely not. “After a tough 2015, Macy’s, Inc. said it will cut about 1,500 associate jobs, create a “voluntary separation opportunity” for 165 senior executives (35 percent of the positions will not be replaced), cut 450 back-office jobs, and eliminate 110 more roles by consolidating call centers. With the changes, Macy’s hopes to reduce expenses by $400 million annually, starting this year.”

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