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)

Digital - Design Thinking = Status Quo | @ThingsExpo #DigitalTransformation

Every time I call up any customer support and hear the familiar 'all our representatives are busy dealing with other customers,' that my call is very important to them and from the more technologically advanced ones that I am 'fourth in the queue and my approximate wait time is 23 minutes,' I wonder why can't they simply call me back when they are free? They already have my contact number. Some of them actually play some music while I wait - which is still better than those who actually take that opportunity to inform me about their new products. Have you realized that you might be flying an airline, staying in particular hotel chain or visiting a retailer for ages but unless you sign-up for their rewards / loyalty program you're actually invisible to them? I know there are customer privacy issues at play and a customer might be using different payment options ever... (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)

Plane overbooked? Denied boarding? Bumped? Know your rights

Plane overbooked? Denied boarding? Bumped? Know your rights. Having an plane overbooked is not illegal, and most airlines overbook their scheduled flights to a certain extent in order to compensate for “no-shows.” Passengers are sometimes left behind or “bumped” as a result. When an oversale occurs, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines to ask people who aren’t in a hurry to give up their seats voluntarily, in exchange for compensation. Those passengers bumped against their will, with a few exceptions, are entitled to compensation. Voluntary bumping Almost any planeload of airline passengers includes some people with urgent travel needs and others who may be more concerned about the cost of their tickets than about getting to their destination on time. DOT rules require airlines to seek out passengers who are willing to give up their seats for comp... (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)

Fly the Disconnected Skies…

New Media Journal on Ulitzer For better or worse, much of my life these days is spent online. Don’t misunderstand – I’m not complaining! In fact, I like it this way. The opportunity to reconnect with long-lost friends on Facebook, to keep updated on ideas and insights via Twitter, to share my thoughts and opinions on this blog – I think it’s great! Naturally…as with anything…something you enjoy can become detrimental if it is overdone. Research indicates you can enjoy a glass or two of wine in the evening, and it’s good for your heart – but, if you start consuming much more on a daily basis, you’ll ruin your health. Being online can open up new vistas of knowledge and information — however, spend all of your life there, and you blow up your personal relationships. With that caution understood, imagine when I somewhat suddenly discovered myself getting tons of work do... (more)

What to do about Ad blocking impact on customer experience?

Economists have written about the law of unintended consequences. This is the theory that the actions of people, governments and industries always have effects that are unanticipated. Whether it’s the too-quiet Airbus A380  or cell phones and bananas, unexpected outcomes often happen in pursuit of other goals. One of the latest examples of this is […] The post What to do about Ad blocking impact on customer experience? appeared first on about:performance. ... (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)

American Airlines Wins Award as Best Airline in Latin America and the Caribbean

MIAMI, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Airlines has been selected as the best airline in Latin America and the Caribbean by the Airports Council International (ACI). A plaque commemorating the honor was presented to American during ACI's recent meeting in Guayaquil, Ecuador. ACI is the international association of the worlds' airports. Its mission is to advance the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations. ACI has six regions throughout the world. The Latin America and Caribbean region (ACI-LAC) honored American. "We are very gratified to learn that airport managers throughout the region selected us as the best airline. This is a testament to the work of our employees in the more than 70 airports we serve in the region," said Peter Dolara, American's Senior Vice President, Miami, Caribbean and Latin A... (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)

Is a Private Cloud Worthwhile?

Much discussion in the cloud computing world has focused on a simple question: Is a private cloud infrastructure worthy of the name? It's been posed in many ways, with some going so far as claiming that there is no such thing as a private cloud. Although discussions like these are all too common in many areas, the question really amounts to little more than counting angels dancing on pin heads. The key issue is whether private cloud-style infrastructure can deliver real benefits like public clouds can. First, let's set out some definitions: The draft NIST definition, perhaps the best we have at this point, states that "Cloud computing is a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and rel... (more)