In college, as part of a behavioral psychology project, we monitored how long laundry lingered in the machines after finishing. We then posted signs in the room listing the length of the cycle and watched to see if this changed the linger rate (it did).
Well, it seems there is an even better plan. Student at the University of Iowa will get an email when their cycle finishes. They can also go online and check for open machines, which totally rocks. I am all for multi-tasking, especially since no one has made strides to make laundry rooms fun places to while away the time.