What You Need to Know When Traveling by Air

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Imagine my surprise when reading the March 28, 2016 issue of BusinessWeek and stumbling across the article titled “Lies, Damned Lies, and More Statistics.” In the article, "BusinessWeek" warned readers to beware of “p-hacking,” which is the statistical practice of tweaking data in ways that generate low p-values but actually undermine the test (see p-value definition below). One of the results of “p-hacking” is that absurd results can be made to pass the p-value test, and important findings can be overlooked. For example… A study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge[1] followed 17,000 Canadians over 12 years and found that those who sat for most of the day were 54% more likely to die of heart attacks that those that didn’t. 54%!? Yikes, that’s a scary fact. Proof that sitting kills you by heart attack. As a person who spends a lot of time ... (more)

American Airlines Announces New Gift Card Enhancements Available Online at AA.com

FORT WORTH, Texas, Nov. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Time-strapped and idea-starved shoppers take heart. American Airlines is making it easier and more convenient to give the perfect gift this holiday season or at any time of year. The American Airlines gift card is now available in any denomination between $50 and $1,500 when purchased on American's Web site, AA.com. Previously, American Airlines gift cards were sold in denominations of $50 or $100. Now, however, American is offering gift-givers who purchase gift cards through AA.com more choices by allowing them to choose any amount they wish to give (between $50 and $1,500), as well as how they want to give it -- either as a traditional plastic gift card or a virtual gift card sent electronically. Visit http://www.aa.com/giftcard for more details. Gift cards in general are fast becoming the gift-giving and gift-rec... (more)

How to run a Southwest Airlines Auto Checkin Mashup from your computer

Tired of getting crappy seats at Southwest? Here's how to make sure you get a better seat all the time using Free and Open Source software. ... (more)

Andreessen on Charlie Rose: “I Am Creating A Fund.” (Full Video)

Marc Andreessen appeared on Charlie Rose last night. (The entire interview is embedded above). He gave Rose a primer on everything from Facebook and cloud computing to the mobile Web. But he also tells Rose: “I’m creating a fund.” Actually, Andreessen is creating it with his investing partner Ben Horowitz, and it will formalize the angel investing he has been doing on his own for the past several years. It will be called Andreessen Horowitz. From the transcript: Charlie Rose: Why are you doing this? Marc Andreessen: Because of the nature and the scale of the opportunities. We’re actually been investing ourselves with our own money for three years and we’ve invested in 36 — he and I invested together in 36 deals in three years so about one a month. Charlie Rose: Yeah, but I’ve read that you think that the normal investment for you to make, this may have been prefun... (more)

Maximizing Rewards

Last night I spent a couple of hours going over our personal finances which included me spending some time on the American Express customer portal.  Amex does a good job of letting you on their portal where you could be buying to maximize your membership rewards points.  They will often tell you things like “Buy at FTD.com and earn double points” (I don’t know if FTD.com is actually a partner, I’m just using this as an example).  The airlines do this as well, letting you earn points if you purchase online from certain vendors. I think its great that Amex, the airlines, and whomever else,  is giving me the chance to earn additional rewards points, but when I am going to purchase something online, I never check americanexpress.com and AA.com before buying whatever it is I am planning on buying.  So I have no idea where I should be buying to get these extra points.  M... (more)

The Long Hot Summer of e-Commerce

Smell of change was in the air, but summer holiday season promises further sensational developments: travel and tourism sector has become the number one in e-commerce market. The tourism sector share in the Internet market, has become the most important, exceeding 50% of unique users. Airlines, shipping companies and car hire, have invested considerable resources on the web, as did the tour operators and travel agents linked to these ones. The leading sectors of e-commerce tourism are the flight tickets, which boasts 60% of the total share, and this is mainly due to the growth of web surfer interest for cheap flights, but also for travel by train: online hotel bookings is however a constantly growing sector. Hotel managers have encouraged the trend to reduce the costs of intermediation: 90% of accommodation activities has its own website. In this scenery, intermediar... (more)

Managed IT Enhances JetBlue Business Model

New York-based JetBlue Airways created an airline focused on value, service and style. They've proven to be a trailblazer in the U.S. airline industry. They're also a communication technology early-adopter. JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on their aircraft -- a first among U.S. domestic airlines. However, their core competency is centered upon air travel. They out-task the rest to service providers, wherever possible. JetBlue signed a new, six-year strategic agreement with Verizon Business to manage the airline's information technology ( IT) data center and communications network needs, as well as provide security and IT consulting services. Built on an IP Network Foundation Verizon Business will design and manage the transition of JetBlue's existing systems to a new global IT network infrastructure. The newly built Int... (more)

Acadia VCE: VMware Cisco EMC Virtual Computing Environment

Was today the day the music died? (click here or here if you are not familar with the expression) Add another three letter acronym (TLA) to your IT vocabulary if you are involved with server, storage, networking, virtualization, security and related infrastructure resource management (IRM) topics. That new TLA is Virtual Computing Environment (VCE), a coalition formed by EMC and Cisco along with partner Intel called Acadia that was announced today. Of course, EMC who also happens to own VMware for virtualization and RSA for security software tools bring those to the coalition (read press release here). For some quick fun, twittervile and the blogosphere have come up with other meanings such as: VCE = Virtualization Communications Endpoint VCE = VMware Cisco EMC VCE = Very Cash Efficient VCE = VMware Controls Everything VCE = Virtualization Causes Enthusiasm VCE = VMware... (more)

The State of the Internet Past and Present

Kudos to JESS3 - a creative agency that specializes in web design, branding and data visualization - for this excellent ‘State of the Internet’ presentation. When you take a step back and consider the mind boggling numbers presented throughout this vid, you realise just how far we’ve come since Nicholas Negroponte of MIT Media Labs said back in ‘97 that “the internet was the most overhyped, underestimated phenomenon in history.” Hindsight is a wonderful thing but how must the guys at Newsweek feel when they look back through their archives and read this piece from Clifford Stoll, published in the magazine on February 27th 1995. “After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionar... (more)

Truth in (Round) Numbers?

Statistics matter, not only in business, but increasingly also in our social life - well, at least in our social media life. Some of the statistics I noticed this week were round numbers, like 1000. With 1000 representing both the number now showing under "followers" in Twitter and the revenue number for research (that's excluding events, consulting and other items) we grew to in 2011. And on my blog I saw - a bit to my surprise - it has been a full 10 weeks since my last post! That's however more a case of blogger's block than writer's block, as I did (co-)author the round number of 10 research notes since joining this summer. To catch up, I am including below a short overview of the topics these research notes covered (Gartner clients only) and that I likely will explore further in the future - both in research and using (social) media. So what topics did these... (more)

Star Alliance partners with IPsoft for major web campaign

21 million competition entries made possible through IPsoft infrastructure management London, 12 July 2012 - As part of its 15th Anniversary, global airline network Star Alliance hosted a global contest on a specially designed web portal. The infrastructure was provided by IPsoft, a leading provider of managed services, and Wusys, who supply cloud computing services. For the 15th Anniversary of Star Alliance in mid-May, 178 million frequent fliers were invited to enter the web-based contest, with first place winning a voyage to various cultural events within the airline network with up to fourteen friends. To ensure a smooth processing of the global internet contest, a separate web page with an introduction video and a Java-based web application was created. As Star Alliance expected up to 21,000 participants entering the web page at any one point, the infrastructur... (more)