世界最恐怖聲音

January 25, 2007

嬰兒啼哭、吐痰、手指甲刮黑板,哪個聲音最恐怖?歷時一年,全球一百一十萬人上網票選最恐怖的聲音結果廿三日揭曉,冠軍是某人嘔吐的聲音。麥克風回授、群嬰齊哭的聲音緊追在後。

英國史福大學音響工程教授考克斯彙整三十四種聲音,在網站上徵求意見(網址:www.sound101.org)。網友可以試聽牙醫鑽牙、打鼾、咳嗽帶痰等令人不悅的聲音,然後評比出最恐怖的聲音。

用手指甲刮黑板的聲音名列第十六,還比不上貓的嗥叫和手機答鈴聲(並列第十二);許多人難以忍受的鼾聲,居然「只」列在第二十六名。

考克斯表示,人類對於某些聲音的厭惡反映出文化、年齡與性別的影響及差異。嘔吐排名第一,反映出石器時代老祖宗對生存遭到威脅的直覺反應。族裡有人嘔吐代表吃了不潔的食物,其他人也都有生病的危險。手指甲刮黑板的聲音有點像是猿猴尖叫示警,也是老祖宗很介意的聲音。

十歲以下、以及四十到五十歲的年齡層,將牙醫鑽牙列為最恐怖的聲音。

source [聯合報] 2007.01.25

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十大惡房東、惡房客

January 25, 2007

「廁所水管出問題,打電話找房東修理,結果不是慢半拍就是乾脆不管。」「門鎖壞了,房東都不理不睬,還動不動威脅要漲房租。」國立東華大學女學生楊超甯疑 因租屋糾紛自殺後,引發的學生校外租屋問題,為租屋市場投下一顆震撼彈。惡房東固然不少,惡房客也不乏其數,但您知道哪種類型的房東與房客最不受民眾歡迎 嗎?信義房屋最近進行一份網路民調發現,房客最怕跟針孔怪叔叔租屋,「水管阻塞、家電故障置之不理者」、「視錢如命、亂漲房租」則分居「十大惡房東」排行 榜的二、三名。此外自殺事件頻傳,現代包租公、包租婆在大賺租金搶錢之餘,也擔心房子傳出自殺事件,現在流行過濾房客,以免一個不小心,淪為燙手的凶宅。

根據信義房屋的網路調查,房客租屋最怕的是遇到好色的惡房東(69.2%),惡意偷裝針孔攝影機,偷窺房客入浴等個人隱私,甚至強行入內性騷擾 等,乃民眾眼中最可惡的惡房東。另外有56.1% 的房客最討厭不聞不問的惡房東,舉凡天花板漏水、馬桶管路不通、家具或電器損毀,一概置之不理。排行第三的是視錢如命的惡房東53.5%,牆上有污漬,天 花板被燻黑,得花錢重新粉刷,藉口一大堆,就是要漲房租!其他依次是「租期未滿,擅自要求房客搬遷」42.3%、「經常擅入房間,干涉房客隱私」 39.7%;「租約到期,房東卻不願歸還押金」35.3% ;「屋況差,安全成隱憂」31.8%;「態度惡劣、無理取鬧」21.6%;「租屋被法拍,房東落跑不知去向」18.7%等。

信義房屋不動產企劃研究室協理張欣民表示,從此項調查可以看出,近七成的房客最在意的是自身的人身安全隱私是否受到侵犯。如要杜絕針孔及 房東擅入,除了提高自身的警覺,檢查租屋處是否可能藏有針孔外,自己換裝新門鎖,要求房東加裝鐵窗,多向街坊鄰居打聽房東為人,都是保護自身安全的不二法 門。此外隨著天氣轉冷,一氧化碳中毒的悲劇更時有所聞,房子通風是否良好,熱水器是否裝在通風處以及瓦斯、水電管線有無老舊問題,身為包租公、包租婆,皆 應該為房客的身家安全進行把關工作。

其次則是要留意租約的公平性,尤其在房價飆漲、一般人買不起房子的今天,如何訂定讓彼此都覺得公平、合理的租約內容,且徹底落實,是房客 最在意的事了。尤其「房子壞了得幫房客修繕」,這是租屋者應享有的基本權益,但在調查中竟然有超過半數碰到置之不理的惡房東,且有三四成的人為了押金問 題,與房東撕破臉。張欣民提醒房客在租房子時,舉凡修繕時程、責任歸屬、租金多寡、租期長短以及押金退還等,都應在契約中詳細訂定,或是乾脆到法院公證, 以避免日後發生爭執與糾紛,確保租賃雙方彼此的權益。

另一方面,網路調查也顯示,以房東而言,最怕碰到的十大惡房客,排行第一的莫過於「不聲不響落跑,還大搬家形同竊賊」(80.1%),緊 追在後的則是「經常藉故拖欠房租」(70.2%);第三名則是「不愛惜房子,愛搞破壞的壞份子」(68.3%) ;其次則是「租期已滿,不繳租金卻賴著不走」(50.6%);「生活習慣差,製造垃圾臭氣沖天」(47.5%)、「貪小便宜、喜歡順手牽羊」 (42.8%);「租期未滿前,要求解約(36.4%);「搬走後,積欠水電費不繳」(35.1%)。其中值得一提的是,隨著國人自殺事件頻傳,害怕房客 在屋內燒炭或開瓦斯自殺(54.3%),也是現代房東擔心的一大問題。

由此可見,雖說坐收高報酬率的包租公、包租婆確實令人欣羨,讓現代人趨之若鶩,但如果遇上上述十種惡房客,也是無可奈何。而綜觀房客與房 東之間的戰爭,不外「錢」及「房屋本身」兩種,信義房屋提醒租賃雙方在簽訂租賃契約時,務必要斤斤計較,一條一條列明雙方的權利義務,才能獲得法律上的保 障。至於租賃契約內需有哪些要件?信義房屋法務經理劉韋德指出,坊間有許多現行版本的租賃契約,裡頭皆詳列基本的租金、訂金、押金及租金給付方式等,一般 而言,房東會收取一至兩個月的押金,房客遷離前至少需一個月前告知房東,如提早在租屋期限內解約,則房東不需退還所收的押金。另出租人及承租人可加註雙方 議訂的內容,如修繕條件、租期到期的歸還方式、可使用的家具、家電和居家空間等,總之,「白紙黑字」才有保障。

最後,不要忘了將租約公證以確保雙方權益,現在的公證程序已簡化許多,民眾無須舟車勞頓跑到法院公證,可找司法院遴任的民間公證人即可辦 理,其收費與效力均與法院公證人相同。若房客遇到惡房東,不願退押金或要求強制搬遷,可拿公證書到法院強制執行;房東若遇到房客不繳房租,或損毀房子陳設 等行為,同樣也能到法院聲請強制執行,雙方各有保障。切莫任意在學校bbs公佈欄或網路上散布不利於房東或房客的訊息,如此很容易衍生毀謗或妨害名譽等法 律糾紛,在校外租屋的學生亦可尋求學校住宿輔導組或教官協助,以便釐清責任,如果校方無法解決,再請鄉鎮市公所調解會或村里長介入協調。萬一溝通協調不 成,可訴請設在縣政府的消保官或消基會協助。

source [信義房屋不動產企研室] 2007.01.24


Concierge – Shopping Carts Go High-Tech

January 23, 2007

Springboard_concierge.jpg

Who said shopping carts had to be dull and gray? Not Springboard Networks. The folks at the Canadian-based company are looking to bring those rattling dinosaurs into the 21st century by pairing them with a touch screen LCD that will keep track of your purchases and also tell you what aisle to go to for your Doritos fix. The device is still in its early stages, so you may wanna stick with online grocery shopping in the meantime.

Concierge: Shopping Carts Go High-Tech [Sci Fi Tech]

source [gizmodo]


The Most Useful Pen Ever

January 23, 2007

superpen.jpg

The only time we use a pen nowadays is to write checks every month for our outlandishly overpriced apartment, but this five-function pen could be just the thing we need. The pen comes painted with a metric/imperial ruler on the side—great for when you want to measure your junk.

Not only that, the four switchable tips are a pencil, a ball-point pen, a highlighter, and a stylus. We had one of these switchy-pens when we were kids, but none with a stylus and none with a ruler painted on the side of it. This is nerd heaven.

Product Page [Acme Studio via Boing Boing]

source [gizmodo]


Home decor design tips

January 22, 2007

Normal Room is a Web site that lets users submit images of various rooms in their homes. Normal Room has amassed a large collection of designs from countries around the world. I think this is really unique and great resource if you are thinking of redecorating, building a home, setting up your office or studio, or just looking for ideas on how to make your workspace more productive. An interesting observation is the impact children have on the rooms.

Normal Room shows you interior design and home furniture from all around the globe. Search our image database and explore the differences and similarities in architecture and home decoration between people in different countries.

source [lifehack.org]


Surf away with Osim uSurf

January 22, 2007

Surf away with Osim uSurf

Osim is a health product manufacturer who has had their fair share of goods that often elicit a laugh whenever you think about it, and their latest outing is no different. The uSurf Wave-Action Exerciser targets those who love to hit the waves, offering an emulated surfboard experience that supposedly develops your sense of balance while working out your legs and core muscles via its rocking action. For $499, it is definitely a price not to be sneezed at, but its effectiveness at raising your overall health is questionable at best. For a cheaper and surefire method to get fun from games that let you exercise, we suggest you pick up a Wii instead.

source [ubergizmo]


Marketing Truths – Don’t Tell the Developers

January 22, 2007

whispering

Marketing is as foreign to most software developers as flying is to fish. We’ve found a list of ten truths of marketing, and we’re secretly sharing them with the developers who hang out here. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone in marketing.

Marketing 101

John Dodds wrote Marketing 101 For Geeks, where he shares 10 observations about marketing that might make sense to geeks and coders.

Here’s John’s list with our comments:

  1. Marketing is not a department. A great way to segue into the conversation – as an engineer, the first visual I always have of a marketing department is the one from Dilbert (Scott Adams draws marketing people as if they are at a perpetual cocktail party).
  2. Marketing is a conversation.* This is hard for developers. Conversation requires two-way communication. That’s a truth. But good marketing pre-empts questions and answers them. Imagine the reader having a conversation with your copy (marketing materials): “I wonder what this is?” “oh.” “I wonder how we could use that?” “oh. cool.” “where can I get it?”
  3. Simplicity does not negate complexity. A clear, easy to understand message is what coders might call “incomplete,” “over-simplifying,” or “simplicistic.” The secret that marketers keep to themselves is that this clear message is what opens the door – making it possible for customers to (eventually) understand and appreciate the power of a product that might be described with greater complexity.
  4. Think what? not how?. As cool as it might be that your search engine uses a trie data structure, what potential customers care about is the fact that you can search a billion documents in a tenth of a second. This secret seems to be the reverse of a simple definition of geek – “someone who cares about how it works more than what it does.”
  5. Think will not can. Featuritis is the condition of having too many features. Even the swiss army knife eventually became too large to slip in your pocket. We have to focus on what users need to do, and not everything that could possibly be done.
  6. Only you RTFM. Think about the obvious ways to use a product. Intuititive user interfaces have affordances. They don’t require people to read the manual. And the manual should be written to help people accomplish their goals- not as a description of the functionality.
  7. Technical support is marketing. Every touch-point with a customer is a marketing opportunity. Remember, we market not just by purchasing ads and putting up booths at conventions. We market by word of mouth.
  8. You’re not marketing to people who hate marketing. Remember the disdain you had when you started reading this list? Well, we’re not marketing to people who hate marketers. People want to know how to solve their own problems. They want to know how they can use our products to help. And they like the people who tell them.
  9. You’re not marketing to people who hate technology products. The people who get our message are the ones who are technology-agnostic (see #4 above). They neither love nor hate the product. But they love solutions.
  10. Marketing Demystifies. Remember the conversation from #2? As the conversation progresses, we enlighten our customers, and eventualy they develop an understanding of what they can do with our product. And from this, they develop a desire to buy our product.

*John’s original point #2 was really an anti-jargon point. We thought the conversational part of his point should be stressed instead.

Conclusion

Don’t let them know, but we’re on our way to understanding how this stuff works.

source [tynerblain]