Everything Has A Limit

Poker, economics, and personal crises, a three-for-one deal

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Lyncked in
They are going to install Microsoft Lync on my machine at work. I see that it previously had the snappy name "Microsoft Office Communicator" – a title that might not have sold many copies but which at least did what it said on the tin.

The idea I assume is to encourage video conferencing and instant messaging. As the sages say, 95% of emails are used for communications that shouldn't really be by email.

However, I liked the idea of the video-conferencing. My suggestion to the software guy who came around checking our "host names" ("well, technically it's a host number", I said, "since it's six digits and no letters. You can't have a "name" unless it consists of letters". "Oh yeah?", he said, "then what about Prince?" Fair enough.) was that he should install an additional bit of "Homer Software" for me, which would consist of a 15 minute loop of me looking interested, plus voice-recognition software that would permit me to put in comments such as "Yes, absolutely, but could you expand on that last point?" while nodding sagely and with an interested expression at the response.

This, with luck would lead to entire "virtual meetings" at which no-one was really present at all. Just a collection of avatars making pre-programmed comments. That would allow people to get on with some real work; company production would multiply fivefold. Unfortunately, there are some people whose etire raison d'etre appears to be going to meetings. I'm not sure where these people would fit in with the new paradigm.


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Working in a team split between countries, we use a lot of conferencing stuff, both video and voice. I mostly find it a productivity middle ground between attending physically (near-zero value) and not attending at all (maximum output but risking missing the occasional useful nugget). So it's mostly a win. Anyway, got to run, team conf-call awaits...

Lync is useless rubbish. Even Microsoft (internally) concede that point. I realise that $6 billion or whatever it was for Skype might seem a bit extreme, but it's peanuts compared to the productivity lost to Lync.

I think the idea of HomerSoft has legs. I'd waddle down to Old Street on those legs and see if I couldn't sell it to some nurk in a turtleneck. If it helps, I think a "Max Headroom" option would be a boffo seller, and let's face it, nobody in the type of meetings you describe would even notice the difference.

The sages are wrong (as is Old Father Thyme). 95% of emails are used for something that shouldn't even be communicated at all. It is, nevertheless, true that 95% of the remainder should never be communicated via email.

I personally favour a random selector inside the mail daemon that fires off 95% of emails towards /dev/null. Actually, I may even have been beaten to this rather useful implementation.

Sent from my Windows 8 RT Surface via the intriguing new Lync2email2blog-comment Charm.

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