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Big Brother is watching you!

Published 11 July 2008

Posted by greg corke

Article tagged with: solidworks, industrial design, bicycle, strida

This post is not to do with product development technology per se, but a press release I found in my inbox this morning really quite disturbed me. Spector 360 Corporate Monitoring software uncovers Internet abuse, lost productivity, data leaks and other inappropriate activities, so says the marketing spiel. In other words it spies on employees.

It can tell which employees are spending the most time surfing the Internet, which employees are chatting the most, who is typing the most keystrokes, who is downloading music and other large files, who is taking the longest breaks, and who is leaving work early. Who knows, soon it might be able to tell who is doing the least Boolean operations per hour.

Now call me traditional, and maybe a bit naive, but what happened to good old fashioned management? What about engaging with employees on a day to day basis to encourage, and motivate and get the most out of them, rather than beating them with an Orwellian type stick if they take their hands off the keyboard for more than five minutes. It worries me.

If I was an employee at a company that utilised such technology I know I’d have real trouble relaxing, knowing that I was being seen as a mere statistic as my every action is recorded, logged and analysed by a faceless manager who lives in a box. And when I’m not relaxed the quality of my work suffers.

But never mind, eh, as long as I’m churning out my 40 words per minute I should be able to keep the Thought Police at bay - for a while, at least, until they realise I’m not actually writing about product development technology after all, and then it’s Room 101 for me and my thoughtcrimes. Bad citizen!

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Back in the Fold - the Strida returns

Published 05 July 2008

Posted by Martyn Day

Article tagged with:

I’m excited as there is a new version of my favourite folding bike on sale. The Strida is the brain-child of UK industrial designer, Mark Sanders. I regularly shove it my Strida into the passenger seat of my car and take it away with me. Yes, it looks odd and nobody ever seems to have ever seen one before but I wholeheartedly endorse one of these bikes if you are looking for a foldable bike. This clip is an interview with Mark, where he explains his design concepts and process. About half-way through you see that now Mark uses SolidWorks to design and reduce the number of prototypes, but sketching and ‘feel’ are bedrocks for his process.

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New mould analysis tools - for free

Published 04 July 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, autodesk, mold design, simpoeworks, solid works, mold filling, simpoe

Simpoe is planning to deliver a basic injection mould filling simulation tool, called “e-Simpoe ” including melt front animation, for free, as a download. It can also be used as a viewer to interact with simulation results performed with any of the commercial Simpoe softwares, whether they are filling, packing, cooling and/or warpage simulation results.

No dates on delivery yet, but with SolidWorks pulling MoldFlowXpress out of SolidWork due to a lack of sales conversions a couple of releases ago, the Autodesk/MoldFlow acquisition at an early stage, there’s a gap in the market for a mould filling tool - while it may not be a fully fledged tool for moulders, facts are that having a simple tool to run designs through, to verify your ‘Design for Manufacture’ related work, makes a lot of sense.

Oh and we’re going to be looking at the SolidWorks integrated tool, SimpoeWorks, in the next issue of DEVELOP3D.

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Flomerics goes to Mentor

Published 04 July 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: autodesk, acquisition, flomerics, mentor graphics

It seems that raising its bid by 17% (to around $60 million) got Mentor Graphics got Flomerics after all. In one of the most public attempts to sell an organisation for a while, the electronics engineering specialist finally got hold of all that lovely CFD code that it wanted so badly. This follows Flomerics trying to sell itself to Autodesk and them not really being interested.

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