Google hires - goats
Google may have laid off a bunch of HR staff, but it’s hiring in more strategic areas. The California-based company is hiring flocks (or is that herds) of goats to keep the grass down at its Mountain View HQ, UK website The Register reports.
Dan Hoffman, Google’s director of real estate and workplace services, says on Google’s official blogs that a herder from California Grazing brings about 200 goats and they spend a week at Google, eating the grass and fertilising at the same time, as goats do.
“The goats are herded with the help of Jen, a border collie. It costs us about the same as mowing, and goats are a lot cuter to watch than lawn mowers.”
Bossnapped at HP
IT workers are getting bolshie, as EDS Australia found a few years ago when they did the unheard of and called in the union. Closer to home, a large number of HP staff took an employment court complaint against the company in 2007 after HP tried to change their superannuation terms.
But in France it was the true blue blue-collar packers that kidnapped, or as The Register calls it “bossnapped”, five executives after HP decided to shift its printer packaging to Malaysia.
The workers, from the curiously named town of Woippy, are angry that 400 jobs are to go. Very angry. So angry, in fact, they barricaded the five executives in a conference room. In the fine tradition of hostage dramas, a lady HPer was released first, then men with families. According to The Register, bossnapping is a bit of a French tradition, at least when it comes to negotiating with foreign multinationals. It has also happened at Caterpillar, Sony and 3M.
Help the aged
A UK government-funded research project is developing satellite navigation systems for supermarket shopping carts. Why?
Well ... Ahh ... It’s ...
To help old people find their way around the ever-changing aisles, of course.
According to Ananova.com, the project is being conducted at Newcastle, Aberdeen and Nottingham universities as part of research into ways to use digital technology to help the elderly and disabled.
Also on the researchers’ to-do list is a kitchen kitted out with hidden sensors and electronics to help Alzheimer’s patients live independently.
Devices to track dementia patients are also being trialled.