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Jun 6, 2016

Bits | The Business of Technology - June 6, 2016: In Search of Tech’s Productivity Boost

Monday, June 6, 2016

The New York Times
The New York Times

Monday, June 6, 2016

Daily Report
In Search of Tech’s Productivity BoostThe dominant theme in the technology industry for more than a few years now has been social media and on-demand services. Facebook and Twitter. Uber and Airbnb. And a whole lot of other companies that have come and gone or are still going strong.
What’s missing from the equation is a demonstrable improvement in overall productivity, as Steve Lohr writes. The productivity question has split economists. Some argue that the tech industry simply isn’t creating tools that help workers work more effectively. Others believe that recent trends like artificial intelligence and big data analysis are too new to have had much of an impact.
The tech industry has been chock-full of productivity-improving creations, of course, from the personal computer itself to spreadsheets, databases, word processors and browsers. It could be a matter of time before newer technologies have a similar impact.
It also wouldn’t be going out on a limb to wonder if goofing around on social media sites actually hampers productivity.
— Jim Kerstetter
Dr. Peter Sutherland says there are benefits to using electronic health records but grappling with the software and new reporting requirements has slowed him down. He sees fewer patients, and his income has slipped.
Why the Economic Payoff From Technology Is So Elusive
Areas like computing and mobile devices have made advances, but the government has reported disappointingly slow growth and continuing stagnation in productivity.

More From The Times
Mcity in Ann Arbor, Mich., is one of a half-dozen testing grounds for autonomous vehicles in the world as automakers and technology companies compete to create the perfect self-driving car.
For Driverless Cars, Citylike Test Sites Offer the Unpredictable
Testing is being conducted at controlled, secretive locations like Mcity in Michigan because the number of unforeseen challenges on the road is almost limitless.
• 5 Things That Give Self-Driving Cars Headaches
• From the Past, a Place to Glimpse the Automobile’s Future
The software changes come after the settlement of a pair of lawsuits by Uber drivers who wanted to be classified as full-time employees instead of contractors.
Uber Rolls Out App Improvements Aimed at Drivers
Uber is changing its app to address driver demands, including making it easier for them to take breaks and helping them find places to buy inexpensive gas.
Gordon Moore, an Intel co-founder, holding a silicon wafer in 2005. Moore’s Law foresaw the rate of increase in computing power.
Smaller Chips May Depend on Vacuum Tube Technology
The vacuum tube, a 100-year-old technology replaced by transistors, could make a comeback as a way to shrink computer chips beyond the limits of silicon.
Researchers Uncover a Flaw in Europe’s Tough Privacy Rules
Computer scientists were able to discover the names of roughly a third of the people who had asked that online links about themselves be taken down.
Personal Technology
Tech Tip
You can choose from four sizes for tiles on the Windows 10 Start Menu.
Expanding the Start Menu
The version of the Start Menu included with Windows 10 gives you more control over both the size of your app tiles and the menu itself.