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January 7, 2007, 8:42 AM CT

Quality And Usefulness, Not User Satisfaction

Quality And Usefulness, Not User Satisfaction
A study focusing on information systems says that quality and usefulness trump user satisfaction in the quest for success. The findings are the subject of a paper in the Management Insights section of the current issue of Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS®).

Management Insights, a regular feature of the journal, is a digest of important research in business, management, operations research, and management science. It appears in every issue of the monthly journal.

"Information System Success: Individual and Organizational Determinants" is by Rajiv Sabherwal, Anand Jeyaraj, and Charles Chowa of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Based on empirical research conducted between 1980 and 2004, the study examines four aspects of information systems (IS) success: system quality, perceived usefulness, user satisfaction, and system use. The authors highlight the importance of system quality, which affects all other aspects of IS success. They also observe that system quality and perceived usefulness but, curiously, not user satisfaction, influence the extent to which the system is used.

The study's results suggest that system developers and managers should concentrate on developing better systems rather than focusing on increased user satisfaction with the system.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source


December 28, 2006, 9:46 PM CT

Triggering Reactions In Supply Chain

Triggering Reactions In Supply Chain
When good fortune smiles on a company, the stock market responds by valuing the firm more favorably. It's well known that good news for one firm means other companies in the same industry will be affected as well. But according to new research from a business professor at Washington University in St. Louis, we can anticipate something else that isn't as obvious: there's also a predictable connection between news announcements of a company and its suppliers or customers.

"Efficient capital markets are sophisticated enough to uncover these types of relationships," said Tzachi Zach, assistant professor of accounting at the Olin School of Business at Washington University.

As an example, consider Intel, a manufacturer of computer chips, and one of its major customers, Dell Inc. We might observe information externalities affecting Intel when Dell makes its earnings announcements. Analysts who follow Dell probably ask questions about why the company reported lower operating income than expected. But other analysts-who don't follow Dell-would still listen carefully because they want to pick up clues about what Dell's news means to the companies they do follow.

What's remarkable isn't that humans can intuit these connections, but that the market behaves in a way that takes into account these finer relationships. Continuing the example, Zach said, consider what could happen to Intel after Dell makes its earnings statement.........

Posted by: Edwin      Read more         Source


December 18, 2006, 9:43 PM CT

2.2 Million Years Old Ape-man Skeleton

2.2 Million Years Old Ape-man Skeleton

Liverpool researchers worked in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Leeds to analyse the skeleton, which was found in 1997 in Sterkfontein cave in South Africa. Known as 'Little Foot', it was known to be between two million and four million years old, but the team has now dated it precisely to 2.2 million years old.

These new findings reveal that the ape-like creature - part of the Australophithecus africanus family - may not be the immediate ancestor of human beings as some experts originally thought. This is because the team found that 'Little Foot' lived after the arrival of the stone tool makers, Homo habilis, raising the possibility that this family was more of a side branch of the human evolutionary tree.

Dr Alfred Latham, from the University's School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology said: "'Little Foot' is known to have stood on two feet, standing approximately 130cm tall and having a brain not much larger than a modern chimpanzee. It was discovered cemented in layers of stalagmites and archaeologists are continuing to extract the skeleton from the hardened deposits. We believe that 'Little Foot' either fell down a shaft or somehow got trapped in the cave and died there. The remains were preserved in the stalagmite layers and it is these layers that have helped our team to date the skeleton".........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


December 17, 2006, 8:18 PM CT

Advantages of Good Sleep

Advantages of Good Sleep
Ikea has recently launched a hilarious advertisement campaign for promoting its sultan mattress focusing the need of a good sleep in life. The advertisement campaign aims at conveying the advantages of good sleep, which presumable one can have on the sultan mattress. However, the campaign should have used real and vibrant colors to portray persons sleeping on sultan mattresses.

Apart from their expressions which are quite clear and different there is not much change in the background that is reflecting a dull environment. Overall, this is considerably a good campaign but certainly does not touch the heights of Ikea.

ViaAdverbox........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


December 13, 2006, 8:15 PM CT

Denim Skirtall, $25.00 at OldNavy.com

Denim Skirtall, $25.00 at OldNavy.com
Hey, Old Navy,.

I know that your parent company, Gap Inc., is struggling a bit financially, but that's NO excuse to let kindergarteners design pieces for your stores. Skirtalls? Come on now. The last time I wore one of these I was still writing letters to Santa.

Now, I'm not saying that all skirtalls are bad. The teen shop dELiA*s has a cord version that would look adorable on a 13 year old. I suppose even this version (available in misses and plus sizes) could look half way decent over a black turtleneck and black tights. But there's something about a Skirtall on a 25 year+ woman that just doesn't seem right to me. I could be wrong, so I posed this question to you dear readers.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


December 13, 2006, 7:46 PM CT

Drinking, drugs and driving

Drinking, drugs and driving
One in three drivers suspected of driving while 'over the limit,' but subsequently found to be below maximum permissible levels of alcohol, nevertheless tested positive for a range of drugs, reveals research in Injury Prevention.

The findings prompt the authors to call for routine drugs testing in all drivers who are suspected of being over the limit for alcohol.

The scientists base their findings on 2000 blood and urine specimens taken from drivers who had been stopped by police on suspicion of driving while 'under the influence' over a period of two years in Ireland.

Half of the specimens were below the maximum legal alcohol limit of 80 mg/100 ml for blood and 107 mg/100 ml for urine. The other half were all above.

But when analysed further, one in three samples below the legal limit, tested positive for a range of drugs. These drivers were also more likely to be taking a cocktail of drugs.

This rate was almost twice as high as that of drivers over the legal limit, one in seven of whom tested positive for drugs.

The drugs found included amphetamines, metamphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, opiates and the heroin substitute methadone. The most usually found drug was cannabis.

Rates of testing positive for drugs were marginally higher among men than they were among women.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


December 13, 2006, 7:18 PM CT

Tigers Can Maintain High Numbers

Tigers Can Maintain High Numbers
A landmark study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says tigers living in one of India's best-run national parks lose nearly a quarter of their population each year from poaching and natural mortality, yet their numbers remain stable due to a combination of high reproductive rates and abundant prey. The study, which appears in the journal Ecology, underscores the need of maintaining protected areas with high prey densities in an overall tiger conservation strategy, along with anti-poaching efforts and eliminating trade in tiger body parts.

The nine-year study in India's Nagarahole National Park observed that an average of 23 percent of the park's tigers either move away or die each year from either naturally or from poaching outside of the park, yet total numbers remained high.

"This study shows that even well-protected wild tiger populations have naturally high rates of annual losses, and yet do fine because of their high reproductive rates," said WCS researcher Dr. Ullas Karanth, lead author of the study. "The conservation implications of this study show that effectively protecting reserves to maintain high prey densities is a key pillar in an overall strategy for the conservation of tigers".

The research team, which included Dr. Karanth and Dr. Jim Nichols from USGS, used remote cameras to identify individual tigers and then accurately estimate population trends in the park. Tigers can produce between 3-4 cubs per litter every 2-3 years.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


December 13, 2006, 7:16 PM CT

Feet, rather than fists

Feet, rather than fists
Feet, rather than fists, are the most dangerous bodily weapon available, reveals research on violent assaults, reported in the journal Injury Prevention.

The scientists base their findings on an assessment of nearly 25,000 people treated in emergency care in and around Cardiff, Wales between 1999 and 2005. All had sustained injuries during acts of violence.

Injury severity was scored using validated measures, and the mode of the injury recorded. More than 31,000 injuries were treated, with men accounting for three quarters of those requiring therapy. Most had one injury.

The age at which a person was most likely to sustain a serious injury peaked at 47.

Almost two thirds reported being attacked by just one assailant, but one in four said they had been assaulted by three or more people at the same time.

Around one in five injuries were inflicted using a weapon of some sort, more or less equally divided between sharp and blunt objects.

The use of weapons was significantly more likely to cause serious injury than the use of body parts, overall, the findings showed.

But, in descending order, feet, blunt objects, other body parts, and sharp objects were significantly more likely to inflict serious injuries than the use of fists, which were involved in over half of all injuries.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


December 13, 2006, 7:08 PM CT

gun 'buyback' doubled fall in Australian gun deaths

gun 'buyback' doubled fall in Australian gun deaths
The chances of gun death in Australia dropped twice as steeply after 700,000 guns were destroyed in a national firearm 'buyback' and amnesty, reveals a decade long study in Injury Prevention.

The study tracks the 10 years following the introduction of gun law reform in Australia between 1996 and 1998.

The legislation was prompted by a firearm massacre in Tasmania in 1996, when 35 people were killed and a further 18 seriously wounded.

The reforms banned the use of semi automatic and pump action shotguns and rifles, destroying more than 700,000 weapons taken from a population of 12 million adults.

The study shows that in the 18 years before the legislation was passed, there were 13 mass shootings in Australia, in which 112 people died and 52 were wounded.

There have been no mass shootings since the law came into force.

The fall in the number of deaths linked to the use of firearms, including suicides, rapidly accelerated after the law took effect.

The decline was at least twice as high (6%) as it had been before the reforms were introduced.

In the 18 years previous to the legislation, on average, 491 people took their lives, using a firearm. After the legislation, this fell to an average of 246.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


December 13, 2006, 6:11 PM CT

Relationships Benefit When New Parents Get Help

Relationships Benefit When New Parents Get Help
The birth of a first child is usually an exciting and eagerly anticipated milestone in any committed relationship, yet research suggests it can also be the beginning of the end for many couples.

According to clinical psychologist Dr Jemima Petch, about half of all couples report a significant decline in satisfaction with their relationship during the transition to parenthood.

Conflict between the couple, psychological distress, negative relationships with their children and poorer child outcomes can be the result.

"I've realised there is an urgent need to support parents as couples because support for mothers alone in not enough. This is my way of helping children," Dr Petch said.

As part of the research for her PhD, Dr Petch has been evaluating the effectiveness of an early intervention program for couples expecting their first child.

The program, Couple CARE for Parents, included face-to-face group sessions as well as phone support after the birth. It covered issues such as expectations of parenthood, communication skills and conflict management skills.

"In couples who received our program rather than the usual antenatal and postnatal care, the typical decline in satisfaction with their relationship was largely prevented. They invested the effort and had the skills to enhance their relationship and stay happy".........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source


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