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IBM "Invents" 40-Minute Meetings

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the that's-a-great-idea dept.

Patents 161

theodp writes "On Thursday, the USPTO disclosed that self-described patent reform leader IBM wants a patent covering its System and Method for Enhancing Productivity. So what exactly have the four IBM inventors — including two Distinguished Engineers — come up with? In a nutshell, the invention consists of not permitting business meetings to be scheduled for a full hour during certain parts of the day. From the application: 'The observation is that if an hour were shorter, by a small amount, we would be more focused, and accomplish the same amount of work, but in less real time, thereby increasing productivity.'" I just knew someone would one up my 43-minute-meeting patent. That's why I've already begun intense R&D on my latest invention: the 37-minute meeting! Register early for an early-bird discount. Register even earlier for more of one.

cancel ×

161 comments

Mine Mine (2, Funny)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883055)

I call 41 minute meetings. Nobody can have a meeting for 41 minutes because I already invented that.

Re:Mine Mine (2, Funny)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883083)

I patented the 41 minute and 1 second meeting. You better make sure not to infringe my patent!

Re:Mine Mine (5, Funny)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883215)

I patented the non-meeting. All group communication is now done by text messaging or twitter. Productivity jumped 140%.

Re:Mine Mine (5, Insightful)

crispin_bollocks (1144567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883527)

My company is all about the non-meeting. It's not all you'd hope for, believe me. In general, having an agenda (rare thing in most companies) and someone to step through it (rarer) without trying to solve the world's problems can make meetings a thing that employees can handle without dreading boredom. No chairs, lots of whiteboards, and each victim standing in front of his/her own section is tremendously productive :-)

Re:Mine Mine (1, Redundant)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884155)

Why can't someone patent stupidity? They'd be sure to make a killing. Can you imagine the amount of infringement notices that they'd have to file though?

Re:Mine Mine (2, Insightful)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884417)

Yeah, too much prior art, methinks.

Re:Mine Mine (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883135)

I patented 1 minute meetings and therefore your invention is substantially derivative and infringing

Re:Mine Mine (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883191)

I call 0 minute meetings. I'm much more productive that way.

Oh you're funny AC. You're just so funny. NYAHHHHH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883541)

I call 0y0 minute meetings 4 times a day. After all my employees spend a minute looking at 0y0 they all just perk up, tension leaves the workplace with some tissues, and productivity continues.

The Obvious... (4, Informative)

pentalive (449155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883529)

No one yet seems to have mentioned a 42 minute meeting as the perfect time. (for any time over 0, zero minutes is more perfect)

THE BEST way to fight this (3, Funny)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884227)

is to expose by updating their wikipedia page, seriously, calmly, with proper references. That's what I'll be spending the next minutes on. See ya

Re:THE BEST way to fight this (1, Informative)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884299)

SLASHDOT, I did my part, it's up to you to keep it there. [wikipedia.org]

Let's not just whine here in the /. bubble, while we can hit where it hurts.

Re:THE BEST way to fight this (1, Troll)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884455)

I did it for the BESTEST microsoft invention: the page-up / page down patent. And I just checked; wikipedia changed all the text, but kept it right there WHERE IT BELONGS:

David Meyer writing on Zdnet.com pointed out that, "Microsoft has a long history of applying for, and being granted patents for, inventions that many argue--and can sometimes demonstrate--were based on earlier work carried out by others, or based on a common, self-evident idea."[109] This was in response to its 2008 patent application for the ability to progress in page-up or page-down increments with a single keystroke -- a method that has been pervasive for decades. [110]

Fucking patent morons...

Re:THE BEST way to fight this (0, Troll)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884567)

some fucker already reverted it, and i reverted back.

Re:Mine Mine (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884541)

That's fine. I'm already working on my patent for meetings lasting 39 minutes and 59 seconds, and also meetings lasting 40 minutes and 1 second.

Plus meetings of durations 00:00 42:00 43:00 44:00 45:00 4*:00 5*:00 **:02 **:03 **:04 **:05 **:06 **:07 **:08 **:09 **:1* **:2* **:3* **:4* **:5* **:6* **:7* **:8* **:9* 0*:** 1*:** 2*:** 3*:**

By the time i'm finished, the fine folks at IBM are going to have to use an atomic clock to time their meetings, in order to ensure compliance and non-infringement of my patents....

And The Loser Is... (5, Interesting)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883091)

The only way to fight this epidemy is for some geek group (slashdot, techcrunch, whoever) to hold an annual lemon patent award to the most stupid patents.

Finally, engineers and companies may be scared of receiving this award, with the attached bad publicity, and may think twice before submitting blatently stupid patents.

--
can we do Libre without Free? FairSoftware

Re:And The Loser Is... (5, Funny)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883233)

You're too late. I already patented lemon-patent awards.

Re:And The Loser Is... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883857)

You're too late. I already patented lemon-patent awards.

Congratulations! You win the first one!

Re:And The Loser Is... (5, Funny)

syzler (748241) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884543)

I thought the USPO already had a system like this in place and the award is called a patent.

Re:And The Loser Is... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883247)

Unless this award some how gives the inventor testicle cancer, the fall out from the award would be less than the potential financial gain from suing people.

Re:And The Loser Is... (1)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883265)

At first I thought your post said lemon party award and went "WTF?!?!".

Re:And The Loser Is... (1)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884311)

I read it the same way. The only cure is more internet.

Bad assumptions (4, Insightful)

Peaker (72084) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883307)

The only way to fight this epidemy

You have two problematic assumptions:

  1. You assume its the only way
  2. You assume its a way

Frankly, your idea won't work, as nobody would care -- and I'd call it unimaginative to say there's no other way :-)

I'm gonna patent the.. (1)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883407)

Leisurely Sun morning nutsack scratch.

Re:I'm gonna patent the.. (1)

crispin_bollocks (1144567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883579)

that would be epididymis, not epidemy

Re:I'm gonna patent the.. (3, Funny)

notseamus (1295248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884321)

How apt, considering your username

Re:I'm gonna patent the.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884419)

damn, I've got mod points I can't use here!!

Re:I'm gonna patent the.. (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883633)

Prior art - Also Al Bundy does have a trademark on the hand tucked into his pants couch slouch.

Re:And The Loser Is... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883349)

The only way to fight this epidemy is

...to stop approving the stupid ones, with a big fucking fine to those who filed it.

Re:And The Loser Is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883395)

Sorry but you can't do that here anymore. The mobmind has already taken place and true early stage 'hivemind' can no longer happen here as it's suppressed.
This cell has already taken its course, the only way to make it think is from outside and you'll have to make a smaller group of geeks proclaim the award at some other website. Make enough noise on digg etc it'll get recognized here as well and make the frontpage.

Re:And The Loser Is... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883499)

The only way to fight this epidemy

Yes! We must fight! Fight against the epida... the epi... fight the Power! And the Man too!

is for some geek group (slashdot, techcrunch, whoever) to

I'm in several geek subgroups, and I've been waiting for my call to action! I'm with you, my revolutionary brother! Tell me what I must do! I already brought a torch and pitchfork.

hold an annual lemon patent award to the most stupid patents. ...

Yeah I just remembered that I have to... um, wash my... cat. Yeah that's it. Gotta give the cat a bath, you know how that is. Sorry I can't join you in the grand revolution, brother, but Cornelius is stinky.

Hey um I brought an extra torch, you want it? No? Well I'll just leave it right here in case you change your mind. Later.

Re:And The Loser Is... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883797)

Actually I'm thinking of patenting, "a method for a company/buisness to apply for security and prevent other companies/businesses/individuals from being able to implement a wide range of ideas, by offering incentives and/or rewards and/or punishments in exchange for filing papers/electronic documents/faxes with government offices to prevent aforementioned companies/businesses/individuals from reimplementing the initial company/buisness's ideas"

then suing the crap out of anybody who tries it!

Re:And The Loser Is... (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884353)

with the proper legalese, you'll be rich in no time. Can I join?

Re:And The Loser Is... (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884331)

Here's another way [slashdot.org]

Don't let people sit. (1)

kulakovich (580584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883121)

Stand in front of the whiteboard. Guaranteed shorter meetings

~kulakovich

Re:Don't let people sit. (1)

kulakovich (580584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883141)

Patent Pending
Patent Pending
Patent Pending

~kulakovich

Wall squats (2, Interesting)

kkrajewski (1459331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883299)

Have a seat, gentlemen. [websitewizard.com] Muahahahaha.

Guaranteed your meetings will run no longer than 10 minutes max.

Better system (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883473)

Stand in front of the whiteboard. Guaranteed shorter meetings

Don't hold the meetings. Guaranteed shorter meetings.

Don't bet on it (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884263)

I mean our daily standup for scrums have gone from 15-minutes to 1/2 hr every day. (God how I hate scrum/agile development.)

Did you see that? (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883129)

"I just knew someone would one up my 43 minute mtg patent." ...Actually we just had a meeting right now, you and me.

IBM Says (2, Informative)

st3v (805783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883143)

No! No, no, not 37! I said 40. Nobody's comin' up with 37. Who has a meeting in 37 minutes? You won't even get your heart goin, not even a mouse on a wheel.

Re:IBM Says (1)

SeNtM (965176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883267)

From the makers of 7 minute abs?

prior art (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883251)

Back in the early nineties, I worked for a sprawling company that... now that I think of it, was eventually purchased by IBM... but anyway, early on it was recognized that getting to your next meeting on time, if it was across campus, bordered on impossible. It was collectively decided that meetings would end at ten minutes before the hour to allow travel time.

But I guess stranger things have been patented.

Re:prior art (1)

crispin_bollocks (1144567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883617)

Just like a session with a shrink - sob, that's what... I'm sorry, our time is up!

Re:prior art (2, Insightful)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883759)

In all the places I've worked, meeting time allotments are only somewhat honored. For the most part, the meetings always take as long as they need to. About the only thing that can prevent a meeting from going into over time when not everything has been covered is when the group can't find a room to move to when they get kicked out by the next scheduled meeting.

Re:prior art (1)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884469)

School timetables most are 40-60 mins periods 10 mins for travel setup, settle and just enough time to focus your mind before it wanders at least for the majority strangely the more intelligent and the other end will wander sooner and the subject is relevant to their interests.

we probably carry this reinforced programming into our adult life

this "knowledge" has been around for a while maybe IBM wants someone to fight this or they are just showing the world how silly the patent system has become

Yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883285)

If they can work in six-minute abs, I'm there...

Seems resonable (5, Funny)

nixdroid (1482893) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883289)

I'm pretty sure that IBM invented meetings, so why not?

Re:Seems resonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884401)

They certainly don't use 40 minute meetings thats for sure. I mean unless you count only the 40 minutes out of a 60 minute meeting where you actually get anything done because you have to wait 20 minutes for everyone to join the conference call, the online conference address, and of course all the unexpected hitches that can arise in either of those two or even when Lotus Notes decides it doesn't want to show your meeting notice in your calendar at all. Oh and should also mention when you have these meetings almost daily, when really one a week was plenty.

Zero minute meeting (2, Insightful)

Virtex (2914) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883293)

I generally prefer the 0 minute meetings. They're so short you don't even have to go. That way you can actually get real work done.

Re:Zero minute meeting (1)

crispin_bollocks (1144567) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883635)

And at what point do you need someone else to know what you're doing?

Re:Zero minute meeting (1)

vlad30 (44644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884493)

And at what point do you need someone else to know what you're doing?

twitter

Bad summary (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883297)

Any Slashdot article that quotes from the abstract, background, or other parts of the disclosure of a patent application instead of the claims, which are the part of a patent application that actually counts, should automatically get tagged "badsummary".

Oh, wait, that'd be all of them.

Re:Bad summary (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883425)

RTF Patent Application instead of ineffectually whining.
It's hilarious!!!

People paid real money to get that shit filed!!!!!

Re:Bad summary (3, Informative)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883883)

I'm normally the first one up there with you saying all these rubes on /. are overreacting. But I read the claims, and they're actually WORSE than the summary. The first independent claim looks like "restricting meetings to a definite time." It doesn't even say 40 minutes. It's just a definite time restriction. Now granted, this claim won't be allowed, but ... wow.

Re:Bad summary (1)

bit01 (644603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884367)

Any Slashdot article that quotes from the abstract, background, or other parts of the disclosure of a patent application instead of the claims,

So what you're saying is that the abstract is not a truthful abstraction of the contents of the patent? Ok, then why did the PTO accept a patent with an invalid abstract?

---

Every new patent is a new law; another opportunity for a lawyer to make money at the expense of the wider community.

Could IBM Engineers be trolling for Slashdotters? (2, Funny)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883303)

I am incredulous at this patent. When you get to [49] you realize you've been reading bloviated shaggy dog joke. Could IBM have a few smartass Slashdotters working in Engineering? My last thought is some engineers in between projects needed to work on something and this was it.

Re:Could IBM Engineers be trolling for Slashdotter (1)

warriorpostman (648010) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883535)

I agree, there's something incredibly fishy about the way the patent was written. It seems as if the writer was TRYING to be absurdly funny. I was seriously choking back laughter.

Re:Could IBM Engineers be trolling for Slashdotter (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884381)

My guess is that there must be some reward system in place. IBM claims to the GRAND title of having the most US patents EVAR!!!1!eleven!!! That's why I just happily update their wikipedia page. [slashdot.org]

Re:Could IBM Engineers be trolling for Slashdotter (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884599)

I am incredulous at this patent. When you get to [49] you realize you've been reading bloviated shaggy dog joke. Could IBM have a few smartass Slashdotters working in Engineering? My last thought is some engineers in between projects needed to work on something and this was it.

Yep, despite the image, IBM is as full as smartass programmers (and, of course, their pointy-haired nemeses, but no one doubted that) as any technology company. IBM (or a divison, anyway) is likely on one of its periodic pushes to come up with more patents, so a few smartasses came up with this one, and submitted it to their boss, who took them seriously (and didn't read through to 49). And since bonus money is likely involved, they're not going to let the boss in on the joke.

Patent madness (2, Interesting)

JSG (82708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883325)

IIRC (IANAL) a patent can be (in a simplistic sense) granted for a business process but is invalidated if "prior art" can be demonstrated. I also believe that an "obvious" invention is invalidated as a patent.

How on earth does this even get accepted for inspection?

Does this story even need debating? Is it conceivable that the patent will be granted? (in the US or anywhere else). This last question I'd love to be answered by someone who is an expert in this sort of thing.

Re:Patent madness (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883487)

Have you looked at the patent application? See if you can look at it for more than 10 minutes without screaming out in pain and horror. Would you want to have to read those things every day eight hours a day as your job? I sure wouldn't. I would take a significant pay cut to work in some other place. They would have to pay me $200k before I would consider working at that job. So what kind of people do you think end up inspecting patents? I feel sorry for them. It's not a job that should be inflicted on anyone. They shouldn't even be given to Al Qaeda agents.

Other than that, the patent is for more than just a 43 minute meeting. Of course that is too obvious. It is a vast patent, with an implementation that covers cell phone towers, HTTP, and references the 802.11 specification. And it's not easy reading: it would take hours to fully digest the whole thing.

The main point of the patent is a template system that can be sent to everyone in your business, that will set the default size for meetings in your chosen calendaring application to something other than one hour. It is probably a new idea, but it is not something any other programmer looking at the problem wouldn't have come up with.

Re:Patent madness (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884409)

That's my theory on why Einstein moved jobs

Silly (2, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883327)

Scheduling a meeting for 40 minutes is useless, because the meeting will just end up going overtime by 20 minutes most of the time. The secret to a quick yet productive meeting is to have a well-prepared, well-organized moderator who is able to get to the pertinent facts quickly and cut down on extraneous chatter.

Unfortunately, those people tend to be rare, at least in my experience. I can have a meeting that runs 20 minutes, and another that runs 90 minutes, and the 20 minute one will be more productive because the leader of that meeting is able to stay organized and keep control over the conversation.

If you schedule a lot of meetings back to back that are each 40 minutes, they may all end at 40 minutes as people start to leave to get to the next meeting, but without the aforementioned leadership, they'll just be 20 minutes less effective than the hour-long meetings you used to have were.

Re:Silly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884291)

I lead a regular monthly meeting scheduled for one hour but I try to make it shorter if possible. Last time, the agenda was done at about 40 minutes, but then a senior person starting asking questions that led to interesting discussions (but with no results or data) and the meeting ended up lasting one hour and twenty minutes. I think it's an unwritten rule at my company that if an hour is scheduled, then by golly, were gonna use up the whole hour, if not more. A little frustrating.

Meeting Moderators (2, Interesting)

elpostino (631110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884429)

Unfortunately, those people tend to be rare, at least in my experience.

They are! I worked for a firm that did a lot of government engineering. Our meetings lasted a maximum of 42 minutes (we had to account for all of our time in 6 minute increments) and any meeting with more than two other people required a meeting moderator. Since we only had a couple of meeting moderators for 3000 engineers we had few, but very productive meetings.

time allotted vs. time productive (2, Interesting)

panthroman (1415081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883335)

Why do people think meetings must fill the allotted time? The start time is when you meet. The "end" time is the limit, after which you're free to have other engagements. But if you get everything accomplished early, why babble away for the remaining minutes?

You can't demand productivity. If you're not being productive anymore, meeting over.

Does anyone have meetings that actually operate like that? Do they work?

Re:time allotted vs. time productive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883899)

I have been in thousands of meetings and not once have I been in a meeting that accomplished everything before the allotted time. Once you get people discussing crap it never ends if you don't set a time limit. It only takes 2 people discussing some issue or other bullshit. That's why I fucking hate meetings, they are time sinks.

A way to waste ideas (1)

anonymousNR (1254032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883353)

Instead of coming up with a way to increase productivity, coming up with a way to decrease meeting duration. Way to go boys.

Perhaps some insight (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883377)

There is some value for the idea that business meetings can suffer simply because of the mechanics of how they are scheduled. Hour long meetings often are not optimal, workers will find ways to fill the time or not adequately address issues because of the artificial time restriction.
Also, Participants tend to be more rigorous about the length of the meeting, and less about the length of subtopic discussions. Perhaps scheduling topics as "micro-meetings" will help maintain discipline.
While not really to the level of patenting, there are important inights into how people work.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883379)

Sign me in for the lemon patent thing!!!1

What a joke! (1)

chris098 (536090) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883397)

Wow, I was originally going to criticize all the early commentators in this thread for not reading what was actually written in the patent application. But after reading it, I agree with all the jokes that were made here. The patent really just describes a user interface for specifying meeting lengths. I can't imagine that anyone at the USPTO actually read this. How embarassing.

Re:What a joke! (1)

beavioso (853680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883723)

I doubt anyone at the patent office other than a classifier has read this. The backlog for cases is really long at about 2.5-3 years [ipwatchdog.com] . It's calssified in class 705, the Business Method class, [uspto.gov] and that has an average backlog of 34-106 months [houstoninternetlaw.com] . Maybe when this patent application actually gets looked at in a few years, an examiner can have a good laugh too and hopefully reject. Maybe by then "Business Methods" will become unpatentable, who knows (let's hope).

And by "reform" (1)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883401)

IBM means "more and stupider".

Run a productive Meeting (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883405)

Meeting time length really isn't the problem, usually meetings are a useless waste of time because they either don't need to exist in the first place or get pulled in new directions that serve no purpose.

1. Define objectives
This gives attendees something to prep and sets expectations.

2. Be the Shepherd
You must pipe up, directly and unceremoniously, when a meeting is becoming off track, record new meetings that must occur "offline" even if they aren't your own.

3. Meeting must create a product
The product could be a document, further communication, knowledge transfer, anything. If a meeting doesn't produce anything then it is a waste of time. Hopefully you defined the product when you set your objectives.

I think it's a good idea to keep minutes, but often this just doesn't happen, however if you keep your objectives handy while running the meeting you can check them off. If someone hijacks your meeting, or new information must be shared, document these new interactions. If new points take over the purpose of your meeting you have to run it again later (if needed). Get people used to the idea that taking a planned meeting off course results in more meetings (something people will consciously avoid creating).

The important thing is to encourage the share of information but ensure that the venue for that share is in a defined format people begin to know what to expect and see value and if they don't do they need to be involved at all is a question you will have to ask yourself.

These guidelines work fairly well for my team and generally get people talking before and after meetings which usually:
a). Keeps the meeting itself on track
b). Gets people talking to each other!

Re:Run a productive Meeting (1)

badc0ffee (969714) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883485)

4. No meeting, class, or gathering should last more than a micro-century. Do the math; 365.2425 x 100 = days in century x 1440 = minutes in a century / 1M = Maximum meeting time. Minimum 0, so 40 minutes does fall within the law.

Re:Run a productive Meeting (1)

my $anity 0 (917519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884405)

Why do I have to do the math?

Anyway, I did do the math, and it's 52.56 minutes.

I think a better rule is no meeting, class, or gathering should last more than 1000 milli-time to get shit dones.

WTF?...Let's do the Time Warp again!!! (2, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883409)

'The observation is that if an hour were shorter, by a small amount, we would be more focused, and accomplish the same amount of work, but in less real time, thereby increasing productivity.'"

[my emphasis]

This could have only come from some PHB/MBA marketdroid.

My bad! Maybe they are asking to be thrown into the event horizon of a black hole???

We have sacrificed many things to achieve IP(Imaginary Property) as a viable 'business model', but trying to redefine physics to artificially 'manipulate' time is just too much for anyone with more than a shoe-size IQ!

Or has Physical Sciences/Quantum Physics been redefined and subverted to become part of the MBA curriculum for PHB's?
Solutions?
In the time honored /. tradition, I propose:

We need to exhume all of our deceased scientists, wrap them in wire, and re-bury them inside of a magnetic coil==end of 'free energy' problem.
Damn, wrong format...correction:
revised
1. exhume and 'wire-wrap' all scientists, and re-bury inside of magnetic coil.
2. connect 'wired scientists' to MBA curriclum
3. ????
4. Profit!!! with unlimited 'free energy!!!'

This has to be the saddest thing I have seen in quite some time...for it to be entertainable enough to actually make it to the 'front page' of anywhere, including /., to link to it!

 

rss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883413)

why the fuck is the slashdot front page an rss feed?

So how are they going to enforce this patent ? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883447)

. . . "please submit your calenders to IBM, so they can check if you have used a patented method in your scheduling."

???

Meetings are just like programming... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883495)

Read this "race to the 1 minute meeting" reminded me of this old joke...

Every program has at least one bug.

Every program can be reduced in size by at least on line.

Therefore, every program can be reduced to a single line - which is a bug.

--

Every meeting is way to long
Every meeting can be reduced by one minute
Every meeting can be reduced by one minute - which is too long.

Re:Meetings are just like programming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883795)

Therefore every program can be reduced to an empty source file which don't works?

Your hypothesis is wrong. Are we still talking about IBM? Sorry. Never mind.

Re:Meetings are just like programming... (1)

FishOuttaWater (1163787) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884191)

Therefore, every program can be reduced to a single line - which is a bug.

The trick there is to make that one line really really long with a mess of semicolons. Once you do that, the number of bugs climbs too so you get a one line program with *lots* of bugs.

Meetings are like prayer (1)

DoktorSeven (628331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883595)

How to do nothing and still think you're accomplishing something.

Patent Pending (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883605)

To improve productivity at meetings all participants shall omit the use of articles(the, an, a) and conjunctions(and, or, but, etc) from their speech.

I am still researching a method for only using acronyms to communicate in meetings so we can compress many complex ideas down to 3 simple letters.

Avoid useless meetings with time-wasting morons. (1)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883615)

Dilbert said it. I believe it. That settles it.

What about 6 minute abs? (2, Funny)

gnix.geo (246054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883773)

No...not six, I said seven. No one's coming up with six. Who works out is six minutes? You won't even get your heart going, not even a mouse on a wheel. Sevens the key number here. Think about it. Seven doors. Seven-Eleven. Seven. Seven little chipmunks twirling on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' of gorgonzola when it's clearly bree time baby. Step into my office...cuz you're fuckin' fired!

Seven Minute Abs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883813)

Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. Yeah, the excercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7... Minute... Abs.
Ted: Right. Yes. OK, all right. I see where you're going.
Hitchhiker: Think about it. You walk into a video store, you see 8-Minute Abs sittin' there, there's 7-Minute Abs right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
Ted: I would go for the 7.
Hitchhiker: Bingo, man, bingo. 7-Minute Abs. And we guarantee just as good a workout as the 8-minute folk.
Ted: You guarantee it? That's - how do you do that?
Hitchhiker: If you're not happy with the first 7 minutes, we're gonna send you the extra minute free. You see? That's it. That's our motto. That's where we're comin' from. That's from "A" to "B".
Ted: That's right. That's - that's good. That's good. Unless, of course, somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you're in trouble, huh?
[Hitchhiker convulses]

Meetings: The Bane of my existence (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883871)

When I worked at the RI Sec State's office meetings were an inevitable waste of time. We utilized project management software, blogs, wiki's, intranet pages, full telecom systems, etc. But we still had mind numbingly boring meetings.

It got to the point where I'd arrange to be somewhere else when I knew a meeting was scheduled.

If there is one thing I absolutely abhor it is organizations where seat time matters.

I'll put an end to all this (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27883897)

I'll patent those chimps on typewriters and claim any and all potential derivative works.

Why this happens in companies like IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27883907)

The reason why that sort of stuff happens in companies like IBM is trivial:

You are rewarded (in actual $$$) for patents filed, and then again for patents accepted, plus there's a system of "grades" for inventors based on the number of patents that involves more rewards, and finally, promotions at high levels in the technical hierarchy are strongly influenced by how many patents are attached to your HR record.

That's as simple as it is.

As long as employees make $$$ or improve career opportunities in companies like IBM by stacking up patents (which don't even have to be actually approved by the USPTO), then such things will happen.

Re:Why this happens in companies like IBM (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884441)

that's insighful

And patently obvious.

Not accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884017)

The 40 minute case is an example to describe functionality - not patent a specific case.

IBM Has Been Doing it for Years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884147)

I worked for IBM for 10 years. The secret behind the 40 minute meeting is that ALL meetings start 20 minutes late. I can count on one hand the number of meetings in 10 years that started on time.

Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884235)

They're already only 40% American employees.

prior art (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884249)

I believe that Cabletron had that rule 20 years ago, along with no chairs in the room (sitters were fired).

This is kinda ironic for IBM old timers (2, Interesting)

sprior (249994) | more than 5 years ago | (#27884483)

When I first started at IBM the company accounted for employee time in 1/10 hour (6 min) increments, so the IBM way would be for 36 or 42 minute meetings, 40 minutes is unthinkable!

Hah! My patent trumps theirs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27884593)

See, I patented the effective and informative meeting! And I refuse to license it out to anyone!

That this causes tons of misery and non-productiveness is a great source of joy for me.

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