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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Pilot Locked out of Cockpit

Thursday, August 31, 2006

An Air Canada Jazz pilot that left the cockpit to use the loo found himself locked out when he tried to return. Here's the key quote from the story:
The first officer had remained on the flight deck, but was unable to open the jammed door, forcing the crew to remove it from its hinges with only 30 minutes remaining in the flight from Ottawa to Winnipeg...
Hmm. I thought those doors were supposed to be impenetrable when they're locked. And once the hinges were off, I guess the cockpit wasn't very secure, eh?

As far as I'm concerned this is why pilots should be REQUIRED to carry weapons. Guns by my preference, but if someone wanted to have a Roman Short Sword, that would be fine too, I guess.

If the terrorists were able to release something that incapacitated the passengers, they'd certainly have time to get the door open before the pilot could land. And while I'd hope my pilot would make the decision to dive the plane into a bacon factory (think about it), I'd much prefer he put a half dozen rounds of fragmenting .44 mag through the door while the bad guys were working on the hinges.


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Raygun on a Plane?

Got an email from a reader who claimed that at LAX today someone tried to get on a plane with a prop raygun and caused a rukus when the TSA guys wouldn't let it through.

I've looked for a story on-line in the news and on FlyerTalk but couldn't find one. Anyone got a link?

I did find this site with some cool pix tho. Should you ever want or need to own one. I'm wondering if one could expense something like this for, ahem, team building? And since it's in NZ dollars, it would certainly confuse the expense weasels in Hyderabad.


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Indian Government Gov't Wears a Helmet

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The clue train has left the station, and the Indian government forgot to buy a ticket.

In their infinite wisdom
, the Indian government has decided to start collecting a 12.25% service tax on all passengers that occupy a First or Business Class seat on an international flight coming into India. From the article:
"As a result, airlines will now have to pay service tax even for passengers who have been upgraded to the upper class either as a goodwill gesture or by encashing the miles they earn through frequent flier programmes.

With this, airlines will now be forced to terminate all free upgrade requests or charge service tax — which would range anywhere between 15,000 and Rs 80,000 per passenger depending on the sector they fly and the upper class they choose — from all such passengers," an airline industry source said.
Can you believe this?

The "tax" on using an eVIP upgrade from business to first on a long flight such as ORD-DEL will be around $800 USD. That's a pretty large set of boots to hide.

Do they have any clue who is riding in the First and Business cabins? The back of the plane is full of people visiting family and tourists. They bring money into the country and then leave, but the people in front bring something much more important.

Travelers in First and Business class tend to be executives bringing high paying jobs. With a single exercise in stupidity, the Indian government has 1) Made it more expensive to come to India to hire people, and 2) Made it much more uncomfortable to come to India to hire people. The AA ORD-DEL flight in the ghetto business class seats is pretty much intolerable. The only thing that flight has going for it is that it's a great use of an eVIP to a suite. But cough up $800 of my own money to use an eVIP?

You'd think the Indian government didn't want executives from multinational companies coming in to create jobs.

Of course, what can one expect from a government that can't provide clean drinking water or provide basic sanitation. What should we expect from a government where it's acceptable for the cops to randomly pull over cars and demand money?

My prediction: A lot of business people will find reasons not to travel to India. The projects will start to fail at a much higher rate, and India will be seen as a bad risk. The outsourcing money will start to head somewhere else, and India will go back to being just a footnote.


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I personally loved the cheapo airlines when I lived in the UK. But people are funny:

I was sitting on a Ryanair flight from Berlin to Dublin this morning. As you may or may not be aware, Ryanair is an airline that slaps wings on disused porn theaters and sends them up into the skies. 25% of Ryanair passengers fly for free: the rest pay very low fares, as little as 99 cents each way.

How do they make their money? They charge for everything. Refreshments. Checked baggage. There's rumblings of branching into in-air gambling. Today's anecdote is probably the rumbling of that distant thunder. Today, as I was sitting on the plane, I was amazed to hear the stewardess mention that everyone who bought refreshments or concessions off the cart would be entered into a raffle to win a free Ryanair return ticket. It was 9am, so I bought a beer.

And wouldn't you know it? They called my number. I felt like Charlie Bucket for a brief second, until I realized that, instead of a ticket to a surreal chocolate factory, I'd won yet another uncomfortable flight in a shrieking metal belly filled with verflowing toilets and wailing infants, retail value: 99 cents.

So, to net it out, the guy is peeved because he can take a RyanAir flight, with no frills to be sure, for $10 when BA would cost him $300. Or a train, which would take +6 hours more and still cost $100.

Then he's annoyed because, like all lottery tickets, he paid more than the probable current value for the ticket.

Things that make you go: hhhhmmmmm.


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I Think They're Just Making This Stuff Up

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that the hurricane prediction "experts" don't have a clue?

Ernesto, which just over the weekend was widely predicted to roll right over New Orleans is now, on Monday, predicted to be headed for Florida. Last night it was going into the Gulf of Mexico and would hit somewhere around Tampa. Now the tracks have it going over Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. We're so far out of the "cone of probability" shown just two days ago it isn't funny.

Guess where we are this week?

Bump and update - Watching CNN (reliable as there is no dictator to buy off to get the story) this morning from about 50 miles in front of the storm and they're offering 4 options: storm dies down, storm becomes a hurricane again, storm goes up Atlantic Coast, storm goes up Gulf Coast. Wow, I didn't got to meterology school and I could have come up with that.


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iPod or Pee Pod?

Sorry, couldn't resist - some guy dropped his iPod in the toilet in an airplane, decided to leave it there, and when the Flight Attendents found it, the plane made an emergency stop and was evacuated.

I found another story where the guy was detained and questioned but they never said if they *made* him take the iPod back. Makes you wonder about some of the stuff for sale on ebay, no?


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I Think, Technically, This Would Pass

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ever had a something with a small cutting blade taken at TSA because the blade was too long?

I've stopped travelling with anything to cut my cigars as, frankly, it's just not worth the trouble. But coming through DFW last week I saw a number of guys bringing small bladded knives on to the plane. Which, even though I am a reactionary guy about security, is fine with me since no-one is ever going to hijack a US carrier every again.


So, according to the TSA, there is nothing on this Wenger (aka: Swiss Army) knife that is too long for a plane ride.

But I'm guessing it wouldn't make it on board anyway!


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Women In Space

No, that's not the title of a movie your spouse wouldn't want you to watch on Spectrovision, it's about the first female space tourist, Anousheh Ansari. She's the co-founder of some digital dot thingamabob and is going to fork over $20M USD to ride on a Soyuz.

She can probably still afford it, even though I'd sure she's down from being the second richest woman on the Forbes list (behind the Queen of England, and I don't mean Elton John).

It's worth noting that we have an Iranian born US citizen riding on a 1970's technology rocket. Technology that was stolen by Soviet (remember the Evil Empire?) spys (remember McCarthy?) in the 1960's. And she's a muslim woman definitely not wearing a chadur-thingie.

America is a great country, and we have more boots than anywhere in the world, God bless us every one.

Reader bump and update: she's smoking hot too!


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More DRM Stuff

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Jeeze, it was bad enough to get six emails telling me I'd mis-spelled something, now I get like a hundred emails telling me that FairUse4WM is a freeware program that works like tunebite.

I personally am busy enough that I'll expense, er, buy at my own expense, a $45 program before I'll download an executable from a website with the word "doom9" in it, but YMMV, and if you have a 'scratch' computer that you don't care about, perhaps it makes sense.


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Listen to Music Without a DRM Tether

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I love Yahoo Music. You just can't beat the deal - unlimited music for a fixed price each month.

The problem is that my Samsung YP-F1 MP3 player isn't one of their supported devices. So there's no way for me to listen to music (that I've paid a monthly fee for) without pulling out my laptop, which isn't very practical when I'm working out at the health club.

Until now.

TuneBite really works! Tunebite lets you record copy-protected music, audio books and video clips in WMA, M4P, AAC, M4B and MP4 formats by playing them and save them as unprotected MP3, OGG, WMA, WMV or MPEG4 files you can use anywhere! I was very skeptical at first, but I'm able to listen to WMA music files on my non-network attached MP3 player now.

You literally just point it at a directory (it will recurse) of music files and it creates a directory of "unlocked" files of your choice. It's not a crack -- it's playing the song internally (at a much faster speed) and recording it to a different format.

For a mere $27.08 USD (depending upon the current exchange rate) you can't beat it. You'll be installed within a few minutes of clicking the purchase button. To load my MP3 player, I just set the output directory of TuneBite to my MP3 player.


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New WiFi Option

Well, the FCC has given Sony Ericsson permission to sell their GSM/EDGE card in the US.

No price yet, but other similar cards sell for $100 to $200 with a contract and a data plan.

Why is this cool? Well, when you leave the confines of the USA, assuming you don't have your laptop smashed as checked baggage, you can still WiFi overseas. You'll save a lot of money buying into a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) plan when you land, but that's easy enough at the local equivalent of Carphone Warehouse.

Oh, and as far as I can tell, you can now buy this card in Europe and use it in the US. Make sure your receipt is in Finnish or something if your company has a no-cell-phone reimbursement policy.


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Words I Never Thought I'd Write

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ok, type, actually, if you're picky, but from the annals (no B&B jokes here please) of airport security comes this lovely story:
Mardin Azad Amin found himself in a tight squeeze last week when security at O'Hare Airport discovered a suspicious-looking object in his luggage. So Amin, 29, handled the delicate situation this way: He told security the object was a bomb, Cook County prosecutors said. The security guard then asked Amin to repeat what he'd said to a supervisor. This time, Amin was chuckling as he spoke, prosecutors said. In fact, Amin was trying to disguise the fact that the black object -- resembling a grenade -- was a component for a penis pump.
Ok, several things before people ask: that picture is from the story; and yes, if you follow the link, you can see the poor schlub who got, er, nailed.

All joking aside, though - let's be glad that the TSA guys are paying sufficient attention to go after things that they don't recognize.


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How Did We Get Here?

Have you ever taken two hours to make a 50 minute flight? Well, here's a way to see what actually happened via FlightAware:

In this situation UAL took 2.5 hours to complete a 90 minute trip. Oh, and they took off an hour late too.

Three hour tour, it was a three hour tour!


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Speaking of Sweaty Flyers

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Regular reader Griet (his real name, amazingly enough, he is willing to be known as our reader, so we salute him) writes in:

Last week I was coming from LAX to ORD to catch a flight home to Finnland. I'm standing there in line with a brand new tiny carryon just in case, festooned with premium flyer badges from five airlines. I'm just standing there in my beautiful English Travelling Suit (custom made, Saville Row, made for flying in!) [Ed - we hope you managed to hide that well!] as I call it.

I get pulled aside for a screening, which is fine, happens enough. And just then a pair of young Malaysian muslem men, mid-20's, rush up to the security queue and say they need to break line because they are late for their flight. They're sweaty and nervous and they're not dressed very well. Not students, not "away year", not business people. I lived there for two years, speak a little, and know the culture well - these guys were somewhat peculiar.

I idly commented to the screener who was groping my butt to see what was in my back pocket that I'd have thought those guys were prime candidates to pull as nervous flyers.

He said that they'd already "checked too many brown people and had to do some white guys for a while." I am very very white (Finnish) so I probably count for 10 regular over-tanned Americans or two pasty Britties, but, really, this statement floored me.

Ok, I cut out a lot of the very non-PC stuff after that, not because I don't overall agree with G-man, but because I think his use of American vernacular would get us blocked at a lot of firewalls.

Can we get a reader shout out to see if this is true? If it is, then I'm really horrified. The population of flyers is certainly not distributed evenly across and security shouldn't be insided some fake quota in some TSA guys head.


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Cool New VOIP Option

Ok, this is spiffy - it's a USB gizmotron that uses free Vivophone software to let you use a regular corded phone (think the back of your cordless phone for a second) as a IP phone.

Get you an old laptop and a two-line cordless phone and you have a regular inbound number but can make outbound calls at 10% of the tariffed long distance rate.

Very cool. No price yet, but almost any price wil make this a winner on the old pocketbook.

Other neat ideas - using the hotel phone when on the road, using the included con-call software to con call VOIP and POTS users, etc, etc. This is clearly small enough to travel with and requires no external power supply.

We give it five boots.


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Passenger Revolt

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

From a thread on FlyerTalk, by regular reader TF:

I was in an RJ sitting on the tarmac in Richmond for an hour+ waiting for storms to die down. I'd been travelling for 40+ hours home from India (long story) and was now a 20 minute flight (3 hour drive) from home.Then the pilot came on and said that he was going to run out of flight time in 30 minutes and there were no pilots. Also, there were no stairways for RJ's available to deplane us. Finally, the airport staff had gone home and there were 40 jets in front of us waiting for when the staff came back and figure out how to get us out.I very politely informed him that in 30 minutes and 15 seconds I was going to open the door and leave. He informed me that they'd have to call security and I told him that after 40 hours on an aircraft a nice quite cell sounded fine. And besides, how did he intend to get off the plane himself?29 minutes later we left for RDU.

I was horrified, the next day, to think how close I'd come to getting arrested. I've been much cooler since.

Yea, verily, that is a stupid way to go to Federal (insert Office Space phrase here) Prison. But we can relate.


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Not Photoshopped

God love the Japanese and gadgets. We would be very happy living there.

I can't read a darn word of this site, but I have GOT to find a way to get these scissors.

Yep, seven bladed shredding scissors. What can you do with them - besides not carry them onto a plane?
Yes, you can make confetti!


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Screening Faces

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The New York Times ran an article last week about a new program at the TSA to watch for suspicious behavior. The TSA is now looking for people exhibiting certain non-verbals, such as fidgeting or sweating while they wait in the security line.

Mr. S wrote in and told us this story:
A few weeks ago (before the current restrictions), I was travelling out of LGW. London has had some incredibly hot days lately, and by the time I had schlepped my giant suitcase from the hotel to a cab, and then through the labrynth of trains and tunnels, I was sweating profusely. No, not just a little. I looked like a marathon runner, except not in shape. I grabbed a fresh change of clothes out of my suitcase before checking it, with the idea that I would head straight for the club and get a shower before getting on the plane.

I got pulled out of the security line for a pat down. The poor security guy patted me down very carefully, and he didn't have gloves. His hands were wet when he was done I was sweating so much.
Hmm. If they're going to start pulling people out of line for fidgeting or sweating, I'm going to need to start getting to the airport even earlier. At least for the summer.


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Keeping Track of Expenses

Me personally, I use the S&P method. That's where I Stuff the receipts into my laptop bag as extra padding and then Panic when it's time to total everything up and pay the Amex bill.

But one receipt that always escapes me is those e-bills you get from WiFi providers and other friendly merchants who send you an invoice or a link to an invoice. I always think - gotta remember to print that off when I get home. Riiiiiight.

There's a better way. PrinterAnywhere lets you expose your home networked printer onto the internet (password and/or MAC address secured) and print remotely. Great stuff, and since they're using the famous dot.bomb business model of giving away a service to make money off it, better use it while you can.


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Location Location Location ... For An European Meeting

Monday, August 21, 2006

Reader Extricks writes in with this nugget:

If you ever get stuck with having to set up an international meeting here is some advice.

Working for a global corporation that has a significant proportion of middle and senior managers that are "professional meeting attenders," finding a suitable meeting location is becoming more difficult. "Suitable" in this sense means somewhere different enough to excite the jaded palette of the key execs needed to make the meeting successful and yet equipped with every known comfort, technology, cuisine, and entertainment.

My recommendation is to go with ex-soviet block countries. To most American attendees these are still bleeding edge locations and therefore exciting. And if you choose Prague, Budapest or Talin you get all the western European amenities with the much lower service costs of eastern Europe. Eating out is particularly good and inexpensive. Plus the female population in these cities appear to be all incredibly attractive. Oh, you also get thousands of years of culture and history.

You also get a significant "Boots" benefit on your return as receipts in Czech, Hungarian or Estonian are almost impossible decipher, thus making that box of Cuban Cigars become a dinner meeting with the local rep.

All good points, but we must point out that the service level in these places is absolutely horrendous. The ex-Soviet block has a ways to go when it comes to bringing you a beer quickly.


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Anti DVT Socks?

Well, this is a cool idea, socks that improve your circulation on a flight. (Deep Vein Thrombosis, table for one!)

At $30 a pair, they're not cheap, but I think you could justify them as a healthcare expense at tax time, no?


Reader update: yes, these would be perfect socks to wear with Rockport Walking shoes and shorts. (I think that was meant humorously. I hope so anyway.)


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Is It Any Wonder

Sunday, August 20, 2006

No, really, until people have reasonable confidence in airport security being, you know, real instead of "correct" this sort of thing is going to continue to happen:

The trouble in Malaga flared last Wednesday as two British citizens in their 20s waited in the departure lounge to board the pre-dawn flight and were heard talking what passengers took to be Arabic. Worries spread after a female passenger said she had heard something that alarmed her.

Passengers noticed that, despite the heat, the pair were wearing leather jackets and thick jumpers and were regularly checking their watches.

Oh, sorry, did the MSM miss that story in your neck of the woods? I'll give you a hint - the headline was Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed. (FYI, Asian=Arab, Indian, Pakistani, etc to a Brit.) You can read the story, but basically there was a relatively polite mutiny (the British are still polite in groups) on an A320 going from Malaga to Manchester.

So here is my take: if that plane had been going from Tel Aviv to Manchester there would have been no problem whatsoever. That is because El Al security is serious and ours is not.

Let's hope we get serious too.


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Time Wasted At Work

Salary.com sent me an article that claims that employees waste billions at work.

I'm sure the world wide web has had an impact here, but frankly, a lot of employees are never able to escape work. Cell phones, email, SMS -- your job is able to reach out and touch you at all hours of the day. So what if employees spend a few hours each day surfing the web? The boss never seems to mind contacting you at 9:00PM for an important call.

And what's the link to boot finding? How about tacking on several hours onto a day for our new security lines? The time wasted by flying in the night before becaue it's the only way to be sure you'll make that 9:00AM meeting? The time wasted by having to purchase new toiletries in every port of call? If employers are worried about wasted time, now they've got something to notice.


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Cell Holder Thingie

So, this little cell phone holder thing is cool and self explanatory:

Only € 1,50. Whatever that is in real money. Interestingly enough, you can only purchase it via SMS.

If only the thing could call you when you leave your cell phone charger in the hotel bathroom.....


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RFID Blocking Wallet

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Like this or it's companion passport holder wouldn't get you a thorough hey-honey search from Ms. Big Fingers at TSA.

On the other hand, if you belive in crop circles and worry about RFID, it can solve one of your problems.

And only $20 or so including shipping!


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Funny Site

I haven't seen something this funny in quite some time. Airtoons.com has added hilarious captions to the various safety signs and placards we see every day in aircraft cabins.

I can't decide which is the the funniest. Talk about hours of wasted time!


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Whats the Big Deal With Taking Off Your Shoes?

Friday, August 18, 2006

I hear lots of complaints from fellow travelers about having to remove their shoes during the security process. Over on FlyerTalk, they're even talking about staging protests about it. They call it the "shoe carnival."

I don't understand what the big deal is. Wear socks. If taking your shoes off and putting them back on again is such a big hassle, perhaps you need to spend a little more time on the exercise bike. Frankly, it only takes an extra 30 seconds out of my day to put my shoes through the X-ray machine.

Richard Reid got on an airplane with shoes full of C4. If he hadn't been such a complete idiot and knew how to detonate C4 that plane would have gone down and hundreds would have died. We can either require shoes to go through the xray machines, or we can swab everyone that goes through security. Frankly, I'd rather they swab everyone, but I don't see the big deal with removing your shoes. Especially when the downside is that someone might blow up the plane I'm on.

I dunno. It seems to me that the people that are complaining the most about security are in serious denial about the terrorist threat. Terrorists aren't a minor inconvenience and they're not just criminals. We are at war. The other side is taking this seriously. The World War II generation must get a real giggle about how we complain about the sacrifices we have to make.


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Super Quality Laptop Protection

Ok, so the Pelican 1600 is larger than you need for your laptop. But it'll leave a lot of room for duty free booze (picked up on your way OUT of LHR, natch) and whatever hair and face products you just can't live without.


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The Middle Seat

Thursday, August 17, 2006

There's an interesting offer in yesterday's Middle Seat in the WSJ
Hotels have started to react. On Sunday, Wyndham Worldwide Corp. hotels, for example, began offering arriving guests complimentary bottled water, contact lens solution, hair spray, hair gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and other personal-care products. Shampoo is virtually standard already in hotel bathrooms. But if restrictions persist, hotels that offer well-stocked bathroom cabinets could gain an edge with business travelers.
The gist of the article is that hotels that offere necessary amenities will propser. Yep. Duh.

How about the 1 in 200 chance of having your bag mangled? Based on my experience my Tumi is going to survive around 10 more flights before it disappears into a puff of ripstop nylon.

And, to my readers who actually wrote to compliment my ranting about security (my wife stopped listening quite a while ago :-) here's the money quote from the article:

Isaac Yeffet, a former head of security for Israel's El Al Airlines, says liquids should be banned until the U.S. has an effective profiling system, and security screeners are more effective and have training in liquid explosives.

"The level of security we have is not ready to prevent tragedy," he says.

You ever see those bumper stickers that say "God is my co-pilot" and think: why don't you let him drive? Well, if the former head of El Al airline (motto: neener neener!) security says we should kibosh liquids, I vote we listen to him. You?


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Blue Ant Supertooth

Ok, this Blue Ant Supertooth is a MUST have item. Rechargable. Clips on your visor. Fricking portable, full duples, 20 hours talk time, 800 hours standby. Only weighs 150grams, no idea what that is in real units though.

Buy it now and live happily ever after!


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About Darn Time

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm sure that the PC enforcers will swiftly stamp on this good sense, but the London Times reports:
Muslims face extra checks in new travel crackdown
Why am I sure this will be kiboshed?
THE Government is discussing with airport operators plans to introduce a screening system that allows security staff to focus on those passengers who pose the greatest risk.
Heaven forbid.

The real-world police don't put roadblocks outside grade school campuses or in residential neighborhoods to catch drunks on New Years Eve. But in the oh-so-delicate world we live in, my arthritic mother is as likely to be searched as a keffiyah wearing young man.

If we were still having problems with McVeigh and his ilk you can bet that the TSA would be profiling guys to find with connections to a militia. (And, in fact, the FBI did just that to break the militia movement over the last two decades.)

Keep reading:
The system would be much more sophisticated than simply picking out young men of Asian appearance. [Note: Asian is how Brits describe everyone from China to India.] But it would cause outrage in the Muslim community because its members would be far more likely to be selected for extra checks.
So now the Muslims are being picked on because of demography? Not really, Mormons have about the same population profile but, since they don't blow up planes, embassies, towers, buses, boats, women, and babies we're not so concerned about them, are we?
The DfT has been considering passenger profiling for a year but, until last
week, the disadvantages were thought to outweigh the advantages.
The disadvantages being what? Can you please balance some whiney CAIR flack against ten 747's raining down on the east coast? I vote we take up a collection and every corporate Homeland Security dude that loses his job gets a variable annuity equal to his normal yearly salary. I'll pony up a grand, you?
“There is a very real danger that the counter-terrorism label is also being used
by other law-enforcement agencies to the effect that there is a real risk of
criminalising minority communities.”
I am all for criminalizing the minority of Muslims that are blowing themselves up. I guess the question is: why aren't the majority of Muslims demanding this? If white middle aged 2nd amendment cranks driving foreign cars with stick shifts were causing a global swath of destruction I'd be all for strict inspection of the saggy ones.

Actually, if you think about it, we're all being treated as if were equally suspects, but it's interesting that only one group is complaining.


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A Good Nights Sleep

Reader X writes in:

I have a very very sick dog at home and my wife treats that dang mutt better than me. I don't even want to know how much she's spent. Worst of all, we're up every night cleaning up the mess. It's like when the kids were smaller. But with more shedding.

So next week I have a one day trip to HQ in Richmond. But I'm staying an extra three days. There are people I can see, but mostly I need the sleep.

Bad person? Maybe. But better rested than most.

I have to say, this is a new one to me. But I bow to the sleeping boot master.


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Shameless Promotion

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

No, no, not your boss who got drunk and ended up Hasslehoffed from the flight out of Gatwick last month and *still* made EVP.

One of our favorite "cool stuff" websites, Uncrate, is having a promotion and giving away very cool shoes (would be comfy for travel, but hard to figure out how to expense them, much less justify wearing sneakers you can't work out in) and albums and stuff.

So, go over there from over here and check them out. And maybe I'll win some new sleds.

Sorry for the mid-day post, go back to your powerpoints and conference calls. More political rants and cool products tomorrow morning as usual.
Bump and update: A reader emailed me to bemoan the lack of professionalism on this blog. I can only assume that she hasn't been reading for very long. That's actually a source of pride around here.

She also made a highly improper suggestion about our relationship with the people from Uncrate. Two thoughts: One, I am married and Two, people blogging in their PJ's aren't all that attractive anyway.


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Not What I Meant

Ok, I guess some people have had enough of my spleen filled ranting, because after I talked about hard cases, someone sent me a link to this laptop bag from a place called Barry's Farm.
That is not quite what I'd envisioned in a checkable laptop bag, but it *is* only $65.


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Airport Monitoring

Well, another cool Java app that won't run on most cell phones, or will be unreadable, or will be found to help terrorists, but in the meantime, Airport Watch is worth checking out.

Here is Logan this morning, hope you can note the circular-hold-from-hell going on:

Very worthwhile.


Update - this actually works on our cell phone. Tired of the airlines lying to you about how the flights are going as you rush through traffic in your cab? Trust your own eyes.


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Reader Email - Where Be Gadgets?

Monday, August 14, 2006

I've gotten a bunch (ok, 7) of reader emails asking where are our gadget reccy's and good boondoggle stories.

We've got 'em stacked up, ready for good bloggy fun, but this last few days it has seemed like life got serious again. I was in an airport on 911 waiting to go to DCA and I can promise you that I had exactly zero sense of humor about flying for at least a year.

But I promise that we'll be back sooner than that this time.


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Laptop Travel Cases

Like many of you, I have finally found a laptop case I love. It's actually a backpack, which makes me look a bit like a slacker-turned-50, but when you're running through Frankfurt to catch your flight it's every bit as much a revelation as the suitcase on wheels was compared to your hanging bag.

But that is a no-go now that you might have to check your laptop at any given time. Certainly I couldn't check my laptop at LHR in this soft sided thing. And my rollaboard isn't much more useful.

I checked with our expenses guys (Fortune 500 company, guess where they sit?) and hardsided bags (Pelican, etc) aren't allowed due to the >$200 cost. They suggested I encrypt my data before checking, which is wonderful for the company but doesn't do me much good when I get hit for $500 for destroying a laptop. Plus not having a laptop.

I'm guessing a lot of people (certainly not *moi*) will be booting nice hard cases.


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Toothpaste Charge

PatrickHenry1775 over on FlyerTask asked me
Can we expense the toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant/anti-perspirant we buy in destination town/city to the client?
He brings up a good point. Since checking baggage is pretty much a non-starter, we've all just been taxed the cost of picking up those items at our destinations. I'm pretty sure my company's travel policy won't cover them, so it comes out of my pocket.

Or does it?


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More Thoughs on Profiling

Sunday, August 13, 2006

As I was sitting in ORD on the latest day of chaos caused by Islamofascists all I could think was: please profile me.

Really. If you fly more then four times a year, you should have to go down to the local police station and have your fingerprints taken, a background check, etc, etc. I had to do it to get my concealed carry permit, it was no big deal.

If you show up at the airport without your pass you get the El-Al treatment.

Further, any non-US citizen flying in the US gets the El-Al treatment.

Yes, yes, I know they'll just swich to blowing up buses. Well, Israel has survived that. And our people and economy will survive that a lot better than losing a dozen 747's.

Inbound you say? Not a dang thing we can do about the Euro-weenies, you say? How about a billion dollar bond per plane for acts of terrorism? They can lay it off on the arbitrage guys and pass the cost onto the passengers, but I say let's get some new thinkers into the security game.

But the Euro's can do stuff we can't - remember, they don't have that pesky ACLU. In Gatwick last month they were pulling everyone with a certain complexion aside for extra screening. What was funny was that they got several guys with yarmalukes. Guess we know why now, don't we? Guess we're glad, aren't we? Guess if this plot was in the US we'd be up a creek now, wouldn't we?

I fly, will continue to fly, and must continue to fly, so I'd really appreciate it if the guys what are in charge get their thumbs out and get some real security going.


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It Puts the Lotion in the Basket, or it Gets the Hose

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Lamb Dance references aside, is this the last straw for air travel? No carry-ons into or out of the UK? 18 hours in the air from the US to LHR to Delhi without any battery operated devices? If 9/11 changed air travel forever, then 8/10 may have put the final nail in the coffin. If they lock down air travel enough to make it safe, no one is going to put up with flying.

The real problem is that there's just no defense against someone willing to kill themselves. Why are they stopping all liquids on aircraft? Just google "peroxide bomb" and you'll get the answer. All you need is a couple of bottles of peroxide and a battery and now you're a bomb maker.

This ban on liquids can't be temporary. It's just too easy to make a bomb out of common items. Since the Islamo-facists are willing to kill themselves to bring down a plane, so the only way to make air travel safe is to basically prevent anyone from bringing anything into the cabin. And that's impossible. It won't be too long before the Islamo-facists figure out that all they have to do is start implanting liquid explosives inside their bodies and they'll get past any screen.

No, we're going to have to start really screening passengers.

For starters, how about requiring a background check before you can get on an airplane? Yes, costly and time consuming, but how much did 9/11 cost? How much would have the attack they had planned for Aug 16 have cost? If you want to fly and be in a position to kill several hundred people it's going to require a little snooping into your past. The business traveller logging 50K miles a year and working for a real company isn't much of a threat. A grandmother visiting her children is probably ok. The 18 year old Muslim man that attends a radical mosque shouldn't be able to purchase an airplane ticket. Yes, completely unfair, but them's the breaks. Businessmen and grandmothers haven't been the ones trying to kill people. Maybe if the Muslim community starts to feel a little pain about the havoc their miscreants are inflicting on the rest of us they'll step up and start policing their own. There's a background check to own a gun, get a credit card, even to adopt a puppy from the pound. But you can hop on an airliner with nothing more than id and cash.

Take a flight on El Al. They actually sit you down in a room an interogate you. It adds hours to the boarding process, but they don't get hijacked or bombed.

And if you think this is all over the top, consider that they planned the dry run for Friday, and the real thing for next Wednesday. Yes, I'm a little shaken, but I just flew from the UK to the US this week, and I've had it.


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Air Marshals

Friday, August 11, 2006

This is a much darker post than the normal irreverent stuff we put up here, but I think it's worth a thought. Anyone traveling post-9/11 and during the "liquid ban" has to take this seriously.

The New York Times ran an article about how air marshals are easy to spot because of their dress code. Stupid Security had a follow up on "How to Detect Air Marshals". An interesting quote from the NYT article:
"Look around you," Ms. Houck said as she pointed to other passengers waiting in the food court. "Most people are traveling in T-shirts, sweatshirts and khakis." She added: "If I was a terrorist and I spotted someone dressed like an air marshal in a suit, I wouldn't get on that flight. I would get on another one."
As I preface, I highly doubt that terrorists will ever be able to take over a domestic US plane again. No matter how well armed they are, they'll have 300 passengers to deal with that realize they're going to die anyway, and wouldn't mind pounding on some terrorists.

But the idea that the terrorists would spot an air marshal and get on a different flight is not quite right. If I was a terrorist and had six physically fit young men (and a pilot) trained in martial arts and ready to die for Allah, I'd put them on a plane from outside the US going into a US city. Just get on a flight that you've surveiled enough to know that it has air marshals. When we're 30 minutes out one of the guys tries to charge the cockpit. Now we know who the air marshal is (if there is one). If there's not, it's just some crazy guy that went beserk on a plane and we try again some other day. But when Mr. Suit (coat in the summer, short hair, and military straight posture) is busy with the crazy guy, the other five attack him and take his weapon. No matter how capable and well trained he is, the air marshal is going to have a tough time with five assailants in a confined space.

I'm sure that a US-based flight crew wouldn't open the cockpit door no matter how many people they killed in the back. But can we say the same about foreign carriers?

I was on a British Airways flight a few weeks ago. We took off from LHR and about 10 minutes into the flight (with the seat belt sign still on and the plane making a steep ascent and turns) a guy in the back of business class gets up and runs down the aisle -- running really hard like he's going to tackle someone -- and jumps into the loo. I guess he really had to go! My first thought was something else was happening and he was an air marshal, then I thought I guess there's no air marshal because that guy is lucky he's not wearing flexcuffs right now. If that had been a domestic US flight I think there would have been an uproar, but nobody on the BA flight paid any attention. Now if the Brits react that way, how will Air India handle the situation?

And have you noticed that the flight crews don't seem to be as careful about blocking the aisle with the cart when a flight crew member needs to use the lav? Has the threat level lowered and nobody sent me the memo?

So I guess I'd really like to see the Air Marshals start to look a little more like me and not like the guy in the USMC recruiting poster.


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Location Location Location ... For A Meeting

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Reader Extricks writes in with this nugget:
If you ever get stuck with having to set up an international meeting here is some advice.

Working for a global corporation that has a significant proportion of middle and senior managers that are "professional meeting attenders" finding a suitable meeting location is becoming more difficult. "Suitable" in this sense means somewhere different enough to excite the jaded palette of the key execs needed to make the meeting successful and yet equipped with every known comfort, technology, cuisine and entertainment.

My recommendation is to go with ex-soviet block countries. To most American attendees these are still bleeding edge locations and therefore exciting. And if you choose Prague, Budapest or Talin you get all the western European amenities with the much lower service costs of eastern Europe. Eating out is particularly good and inexpensive. Plus the female population in these cities appear to be all incredibly attractive. Oh, you also get thousands of years of culture and history.
You also get a significant "Boots" benefit on your return as receipts in Czech, Hungarian or Estonian are almost impossible decipher, thus making that box of Cuban Cigars become a dinner meeting with the local rep.
All good points, but we must point out that the service level in these places is absolutely horrendous. The ex-Soviet block has a ways to go when it comes to bringing you a beer quickly.

On the other hand, when the toilets do actually work, there is none of this water conservation rubbish.

Extricks, for your valuable contribution to Booting, we present you with the Frequent Flyer Award of Crossed Silver Boots. And because of your most excellent suggestion around receipting, we are presenting it to you with the coveted crossed silver cigars.


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Careful at the ATM

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I admit to being pretty careless about getting money from an ATM - I'm a pretty big guy and I have buckteeth so look like the squirrel from Caddyshack when enraged. I figure I'm pretty much ok.

But in foreign countries I try to go inside the bank to use the ATM since I have no idea if I'm getting $10 or $1,000 in funny money. According to the South African Herald that may not be safe either:
CRIMINALS in Port Elizabeth are using cellphone cameras to photograph potential
victims at banks before they, or an accomplice, stalk and rob them.
Now I think I would sooner go to Somalia dressed as the Pope than show up in South Africa under almost any circumstances not involving the word Safari, but you can count on this showing up in every country soon.

Except maybe the US since we have such lame cell phone interconnections, but perhaps this will drive adoption? Buy Cingular stock my peeps.


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Try Getting This Through TSA

We here at FTB are never intimidated during travel, though we are careful.

And I love this latest gadget: Satellite Suitcase - The Complete Satellite Kit £79.99. If I knew what £79.99 was in real money [Ed - under $200 - very expensible!] I'd probably be just as impressed.

I think this is for watching TV, but I betcha you could rig it up for Wifi, which is a nice expense category, of course.

And what I meant by "you could rig it up" is that you would have to do it as I didn't really understand the FAQ's on the site!

In any case, I'm trying to imagine getting this through security.....


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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

In today's WSJ:

Semiconductor maker Atmel Corp. said it fired four senior executives, including longtime Chief Executive George Perlegos, following an investigation into allegations regarding the "misuse of corporate travel funds."

George Perlegos, a former engineer at Intel Corp., founded Atmel in 1984 and has since served as the San Jose, Calif., company's chairman, chief executive and president. The company said it also terminated his brother, Gust Perlegos, who has served as a director and senior executive at Atmel for more than 20 years.


The company said Monday it also fired its general counsel and its vice president of planning and information technology, whom it did not name in a press release.

Ok, founder/CEO of $1B+ company gets fired for bad expenses. And his brother. And the CIO. And the top lawyer.

I would pay $100 to know what the heck these guys did. Heck, I will fly to San Jose and get someone drunk on a bottle of expensive Scotch to find out what happened.

Was he using the corporate jet to fly Nuns to get drunk with Puffins or something? I simply cannot imagine how the board swept up that many senior executives.

The Boots flag will be flying half mast today, for clearly we have lost great leaders.


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Frog Pad

No, no, no, nothing to do with padding your expense account dining in France.

This is a foldable bluetooth enabled micro-keypad that you can use to txt or work your PC phone.

Pretty neat but two drawbacks - no price (what, who cares!) and you have to learn a new non-QWERTY typing style. Hello, anyone remember learning Graf on the old Palm devices?

Our prediction: non-starter. (But cool.)


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Hot (or Not) Dogs

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mr. J. writes in with this very funny tale:

I'm spending a few weeks in Bangalore to check up on our BPO. It's a 45 minute commute each day between the western hotel and the office. The traffic in Bangalore is really quite amazing. I've had the same driver for the few trips, and we've struck up quite a friendship. The other day he took me to The Forum, the Bangalore version of an American mall. I noticed that they had a new restaurant in the food court that served American Hot Dogs, and it was completely empty with nothing but a few forlorn Indians standing behind the counter. I've been here long enough that I was sorely tempted to try a little taste of home, but then wondered what might be in an Indian hot dog.

After lunch I went back to the car and asked the driver "Did you know that they sell American hot dogs in the Forum?"

His eyes got huge and he said "Indians are not eating dog! Nobody will go in there!"

I explained to him that "hot dog" was a type of sausage, not made from dog, and he said "Then they should call it hot chicken, or even hot potato! But not Hot Dog! Only Chinese people are going in there!"

The driver has been having quite a bit of fun with the other drivers, telling them to go to the food court and see where they have dog on the menu.

With all the stray dogs running around India, we wouldn't be so sure! We've heard that the hot dogs taste like chicken?

The picture on the right is canned hot dogs in an Indian grocery store. Chicken dogs are bad enough, but canned and sent to India to sit on a grocery store shelf for a few years? Beda dhanyavaadagalu!


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Completely Cool New Wallet

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ever try figuring out which funny looking foreign currency you need to pay the cab home?

Enter the illuminated wallet. It has some teeny batteries in it that light up a flexible LED strip when you open it. Fifteen English Pounds, have no idea what that is in real money.

I think you could file this under "ForEx Expenses" couldn't you?


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Up To Date Flight Info

Well, if you are sitting down, check out Flight Explorer to see the Air Traffic picture....

Holy moses.

I followed the link to their site and tracked my wife's flight from SFO to our home airport, ORD.

Ok, this is just cool.

Oh, and in keeping with the theme, you can actually buy their software for your computer. I believe one could expense this in the name of saving money by not hurrying to LAX on a Friday when they're lying to you about where your outbound flight really is, you know?


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These Foreigners Have Different Words for Everything

Saturday, August 05, 2006

We've all experienced the reality that the United Kingdom and the USA are close allies, separated only by a common language. Mr. G. writes in to tell us how the British Empire made that true all over the world:
I've been at a meeting in India all week. The first day, we had a pot of coffee and cookies brought to our conference room by the "Office Boy." The second day, no coffee, so I called the front desk and asked for a pot of coffee. They asked how many people we had, and I answered six. An office boy shows up with 6 individual cups of coffee. Being the only coffee drinker in the group, this wasn't quite what I wanted. I said I wanted a pot, not six cups. He just bobbed his head and left the room. The next day I cornered him and said I wanted a "pot" of coffee for the conference room, not six cups. An Indian, who used to live in the USA happened by, and said "Oh, he wants a Flask of Coffee." My pot of coffee then showed up. Now, if we could only introduce regular sized coffee cups over there...
Hmm, let's see. In the US it's a pot, in the UK it's a jug, and in India it's a flask. Now I'm all for drinking a flask at work, but it usually has something other than coffee in it...


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WiFi for Verizon

I just saw a cool card at my local Verizon store (motto: we're staffed by ignorant and supercilious junior college dropouts but you have to buy from us so just wait in line, k?) that would be great for travel.

The Novatel Wireless V640 ExpressCard/34 has awesome download speeds and is under the magical expense account number of $200 with a two year contract. (I didn't put in a picture because it just looks like every other PC card with a dongle-thingie hanging off it.)

Just beware, they aren't going to let you watch streaming movies (ahem) on it forever as the "unlimited" data plan is pretty limited. But I know several people with iterations of this type of card from Sprint, Nextel, etc and they have never had a problem downloading all their emails full of enormous consultant generated PowerPoints.

Unlimited access is only $80/month, or around 4 nights in any hotel.

I think this clearly falls under "Wifi" and is going to save your company a pile of money.


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Indian Beggers

Friday, August 04, 2006

Anyone who has been to India has seen the beggars. They're everywhere. At first I felt guilty for not doing anything for them, but my driver explained that many of them are in a "gang" and the money you give isn't really going to them. They even give them cell phones so they can track them and optimize their placement in real time.

I saw a report on CNN World in my hotel room that confirmed that story. Indian gangs are forcing amputations on beggars. This is just absolutely heartbreaking and disgusting.

So rather than hiding a few boots and giving donations to the beggars, help the economy (and not the gangs) by tipping generously for good service.


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Cell Phones and Desks

If you're like us, your desk is already a tangle of cables with a nest of adaptors down underneath where the dust bunnies are becoming carnivores.

And usually I am not excited by cell phones, even when they're quite lovely.

And if you put those things together you will understand why I don't pimp many cell phones. Like this one. This Ben-Q/Siemens slider phone probably does what every other phone does these days: bluetooth, mp3, blah, blah, blah. You can read about it on SlashPhone.

Why was am I so excited? How about this charger?

You plug the phone in and it charges and forwards to your home/office phone. My Ericsson T28 worldphone, otherwise a disaster, did that too, but had that early Bauhaus look to it - ick.

This is just lovely on the eyes, ain't it?


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GPS on the Road

Thursday, August 03, 2006

We've written before (I always feel like Original Cindy when I say that) about GPS on the road.

And except for that el-crapola Nextel Phone thing that Avis flogs, the in-car GPS is great stuff.

But what do you do if you don't get a car with GPS or, heaven forbid, that your travel policy forbid it?

I for one am NOT going to haul around a GPS unit and cables. For quite a while I had Microsoft Maps with GPS which was cool since the GPS unit is USB powered. But I had to drive with my laptop open and on the seat, which seemed like a good idea until I slammed on the brakes one night in Toronto.

Plus the cord hanging down was annoying.

Now Sony have a new GPS gizmotron GPS-CS1 that communicates with your camera to tag your location with lat/long. Ok, can I get this for my phone and computer? Heck, when you're trying to find the el-crapo in on 8-Mile in Detroit just knowing what direction you're going in would be helpful!

This thing is tiny and light, around 3.5" long and under two oz's. One could clip it onto the computer bag and be good to go.

And before 12 people send me email patiently explaining GPRMS, yes, I know, but it's just well rolled out and absolutely does not work for a lick when you take your US/GSM phone into another country


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Do Do that Voodoo You Do Do So Well

Hmmm, ever feel like that network connection you just paid $17.99 for in the hotel was stinking slow?

Well, it might be that you need to switch from WiFi (which you use so you can "work" while watching SportCenter on the bed) to the wired connection in the room. A lot of the time the networking equipment in the room is actually pretty new and can provide really high speed.

I was recently in a room in Rome with my new Dell laptop and got Gigabit ethernet connectivity. For comparison, Wireless B (old school) is 3 MB, Wireless G (Apple and New School) is 54 MB, the regular contraption on the back of a laptop is 100 MB. Gigabit is 1000 MB. (hint: more MB is good! :-)

Anyway, Italian hotels apparently have good ethernet. It cost something like 20 Euros which is probably a lot in real money, but there is a category on our expense report for "Public WiFi" so it's all cool.

Belkin has a cool new adaptor for your laptop if you want to ride the gigabit train (or at least look like you could if there was one, if you follow): a USB adaptor for your laptop.

What I can't figure out is that the USB adaptor port has about half the bandwitdh needed for Gigabit support. Like trying to watch a HD-DVD on a regular player. Or putting a Venti coffee into a sippy cup.

But if you can buy and expense "Minor Computer Supplies" give it a shot for only $45.


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More Air Conditioning Woes on a Plane

Ever been stuck on a hot airplane? My worst experience was one July on an AA plane in DFW. We spent 3 hours on the tarmac and it was easily over 90 in the cabin. Flight attendants were going up and down the aisle and pouring water on people that looked like they might pass out. Well that experience seems rather nice compared to what happened on a UA flight on Monday.
"I couldn't breathe; I thought I was going to faint," said passenger Sandy Ball, sitting in seat 37C. She later recalled that if the crew's request for two minutes more had expired without action, "I was going to stand up and scream. They endangered our lives putting us on that plane."
Why can the airlines get away with this?


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Speaking of Loud

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Logitech has new noise cancelling head phones - and they are supposed to be quite nice according to the reviewers.

If I were price sensitive (or if my boss were paying attention to my expense reports) then I'd go for them ($150) instead of the Bose/II ($300) ones that I have now. (Not that I expensed them, I'm just saying.)

But even though I use Hearos at night, I find hotels almost unbearably noisy. I know that you will never convince people to be respectful (see noisy woman below) on the phone, nor will you get them to not slam their door when they head out at 5:30am.

But, please, oh please, could they get the guy to not hit your door with McPaper at 4am? Or could the room service guy NOT have his walkie-talkie turned up to 11 while he's delivering someone's overcooked and overpriced eggs?


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Loud People in Hotels

No, not that kind of loud.

I'm talking about the kind of people whose voice is always 30 decibels louder than it needs to be, like Loud Howard in Dilbert.

So this week I'm staying at a posh hotel in Singapore. You'd think for $400/night charged to the company the walls would be thick enough to keep conversations within the room, right? Not for the woman next to me. She's got one of those grating voices with just the right pitch, a slight Texas accent, and very loud. I've had to listen to her phone calls back home at 3:00AM the last two nights. They're not even that interesting.

So the punch line to this story is that last night I was eating in a swanky restaurant far from the hotel. About halfway through the meal a group of westerners came in and sat about three tables away. Only one voice could be clearly heard above the din. Guess who?

So, Madame of the Loud Voice, if you happen to be reading this blog, tell your sister that I hope her knee gets better.


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Hotels Making Your Head Explode

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I was recently in Italy and had a room reserved at our "premier hotel partner." We're putting around 140K hotel rooms/year through these guys. So you'd think they'd kiss big butt.

Nope. First no non-smoking rooms available. I checked out the smoking room. Anyone here ever fly Turkish Airways back in the old days? Yep.

When I went back downstairs and pushed they gave me a non-smoking room with a single bed. A single. Like a 8 year old would sleep in. So I had to go back down stairs.

I finally got (for me) quite nasty and insistent and threatened to pull my entire group out of the hotel right then and write lots of letters to our corporate travel and their corporate HQ. And then they grudgingly allowed me to upgrade to a junior suite for 50 euro more.

Guess they're trying to be more like the airlines.

From Consumerist comes a similar(ish) tale:

With this type of "No room at the inn" you would think it was the second birth of our Lord and Savior. Though, this unholy reservation, and botched reservation, earns a "Jesus Christ."

Brandon booked a room at the Sheraton Gateway for himself and a colleague on business . Later, he added a room under his name for a third associate. When he
arrived at check in, close to midnight, he found that in altering the reservation, Sheraton accidentally changed the reservation to a week later.

In spite of this being Sheraton's error, they offered no discounts or help
with finding alternate accommodations. "Sorry, we're sold out all this week," the friendly clerks chirped. After further wrangling, the travelers managed to wrest out one room for each of them from the clerks.

When pressed, the check in clerk revealed the reason for the hotel's lack of vacancy. The hotel's president was in and blocked off thirty rooms for the rest of the week. What he planned to do with all those rooms was not clear.

Yep, just like the airlines.


In response to a reader email: of course the upgrade was (probably, cough) contrary to policy. I have no idea if I expensed those boots (cough, cough). Hey, the alternative was to be grumpy and in need of a chiropracter for three days (single bed) or get a sinus infection (smoking room).

I find that if I ask myself: "What would an EVP do?" I usugally get good guidance from above.


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Moron Alert - Changing Your Boarding Pass

Holy crap, this is the stupidist thing I've seen all day. And I have multiple sons under 15, so I see a lot of stupid stuff.

Interested in introducing that big fingered TSA guy to the no-fly zone in your trousers? This guy gives you directions on how to take your online Southwest boarding pass and drop the A list indicator onto it.

Just please please make sure you're not in front of me when I'm hurrying through the security line!


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