måndag 26 augusti 2013

Fönsterputsning robotiseras

New York’s legion of window washers have long fascinated city dwellers below with their fearlessness. But the future of the profession might belong to those even more impervious to dangerous heights: robots.

Clearing a path to the market soon will be the Winbot 7, a compact machine billed by manufacturer Ecovacs Robotics as the first full-service window-washing robot. The device, which resembles a Roomba vacuum cleaner, attaches itself to the pane, maps out its perimeter and proceeds to clean the surface, playing a tinny tune when the work is completed. 

Nick Savadian, executive general manager of the company’s U.S. arm, said the robot is aimed at busy homeowners looking for a labor-saving escape from boring chores. “One thing we’re short of in life is time,” he said.  
While the Winbot 7 tries to win over homeowners, other companies are already aiming to automate window-washing work for the world’s futuristic mega-towers. Swiss manufacturer Serbot AG is close to completing a robot dubbed the Gecko, and company salesman Hansjorg Schindler said there are interested customers in Russia, the Middle East and Asia. In Dubai, meanwhile, the 160-story Burj Khalifa was designed to accommodate 18 machines built on horizontal tracks currently assisting human cleaners — equipped with traditional squeegees — in navigating the building’s half-mile façade.
At J. Racenstein, which has offices in Secaucus, N.J., the most high-tech option available is the HighRise Window Cleaning System, which costs up to $50,000 and promises to reduce labor costs by 50%. The machines are operated by technicians and built to fit into existing rigging used by human cleaners. Steve Sullivan, president of Indianapolis-based American National Skyline, has purchased two of the machines in the hopes of impressing clients and cutting costs. His company’s building managers are keen on limiting liability associated with workers “hanging out of the side of the building,” he said. Mr. Sullivan said the HighRise can move up and down a 15-story building in about 20 minutes — a feat that would take a person “a considerable amount of time longer.”

fredag 23 augusti 2013

Arbetslösheten minskar i USA?

Eller handlar det istället om att många har gett upp och slutat söka jobb (dvs lämnat arbetskraften)?

Mer info här.

torsdag 22 augusti 2013

Om meningslösa skitjobb

David Graeber om "bullshit jobs":
Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.
But rather than allowing a massive reduction of working hours to free the world’s population to pursue their own projects, pleasures, visions, and ideas, we have seen the ballooning not even so much of the “service” sector as of the administrative sector, up to and including the creation of whole new industries like financial services or telemarketing, or the unprecedented expansion of sectors like corporate law, academic and health administration, human resources, and public relations. And these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza deliverymen) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones.
It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. And here, precisely, lies the mystery. In capitalism, this is precisely what is supposed to happen. Sure, in the old inefficient socialist states like the Soviet Union, where employment was considered both a right and a sacred duty, the system made up as many jobs as they had to (this is why in Soviet department stores it took three clerks to sell a piece of meat). But, of course, this is the sort of very problem market competition is supposed to fix. According to economic theory, at least, the last thing a profit-seeking firm is going to do is shell out money to workers they don’t really need to employ. Still, somehow, it happens.
[I]n our society, there seems a general rule that, the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one is likely to be paid for it. Again, an objective measure is hard to find, but one easy way to get a sense is to ask: what would happen were this entire class of people to simply disappear? Say what you like about nurses, garbage collectors, or mechanics, it’s obvious that were they to vanish in a puff of smoke, the results would be immediate and catastrophic. A world without teachers or dock-workers would soon be in trouble, and even one without science fiction writers or ska musicians would clearly be a lesser place. It’s not entirely clear how humanity would suffer were all private equity CEOs, lobbyists, PR researchers, actuaries, telemarketers, bailiffs or legal consultants to similarly vanish. (Many suspect it might markedly improve.) Yet apart from a handful of well-touted exceptions (doctors), the rule holds surprisingly well.

fredag 9 augusti 2013

28000 ansökningar till 200 jobb

Möt framtidens arbetsmarknad.

Samtidigt i Sverige - Fas 3 bara sväller och sväller.