Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
I made it.
JetBlue did a fine job of delivering me to JFK's doorstep, and I had a nice chat with the employee working behind the check-in counter in Austin, and she indicated that the media had just left.
I expressed my sympathy for her team's collective plight over the past few days, and told her that I'd seen her CEO on CNN earlier in the morning and felt reassured, but that I was going to wait and see if the package (me) got delivered on time.
She indicated that CEO David Neeleman had been most gracious internally with his troops throughout the ordeal, bucking them up and expressing his assurance that they would get through this.
What was really strange, however, was putting on the headphones and watching the seatback TV as CNBC ran a post-market close package about JetBlue's pilot, and not all of it good. "Gee," I thought to myself, "I sure hope the pilot isn't tuned into this channel!"
But enough about wasting time in the air.
Reuters is reporting today that there is now a 12-step program for email addicts. Apparently, some executive coach in Pennsylvania developed the program after a golfer who checked his BlackBerry after every shot "lost a potential client who wanted nothing to do with his obsession."
Wait a minute, who says he was checking his email? He might have just been checking his yardage!
The first rule: "Admit that email is managing you. Let go of your need to check email every 10 minutes."
Just one sec...I just need to jump over to Lotus Notes long enough to....ah, yes...much better. 5 messages in the last 5 minutes, and not one of them requiring my immediate attention, but me feeling good just the same.
Okay, I'm back.
Where was I? Okay, give me a few minutes. Apparently it takes about four minutes to read and recover from the interruption before I can get back to work...and then.........the bell goes off, I've got more email!
Wow. It's already 6 o'clock?
JetBlue's CEO David Neeleman was on CNN's "This American Morning" earlier this morning announcing JetBlue's Customer Bill of Rights, which includes $1,000 awards for passengers bumped due to overbooking.
Neeleman has also changed his Web tune, putting a video up on YouTube and speaking directly to customers via the Internets. He seemed most apologetic and sincere, and seemed genuinely interested in fixing the problems that led to JetBlue's challenges. Well done, and I very much look forward to my flight to NY on his airline today.
Meanwhile, Doc Searls outlines all kinds of reasons why the XM/Sirius merger isn't good for consumers, not the least of which is antitrust. As Doc writes, "Imagine if one company owned the whole FM band."
You mean, they don't already?
I'm just waiting to hear details of that first water cooler chat between Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey. Which one's gonna blink and say "Nice hairdo" first?
But enough of satellite radio, let's talk terrestrial technology back here on terra firma for a moment.
Pui-Wing Tam has a IT manager's dream piece (reg required) in today's Wall Street Journal about the more strategic role CIOs are taking on these days.
Let's begin with the end of the article in mind, in which Chevron CIO Louie Ehrlich says "A CIO should be enabling a business to grow."
As opposed to, say, simply managing vast networks of computer systems or upgrading said systems to Windows Vista.
An example of this new, more strategic role: H&R Block CIO Marc West working to build new online tax offerings via H&R's Web site.
Tam cites more and more CIOs reporting into top execs such as CEOs, CFOs, COOs, etc. as a key barometer of this trend.
Hey, considering the number of CEOs busy building new shareholder value while playing BrickBreaker on their BlackBerrys, somebody's gotta step up and get some real work done![Read More]
How 'bout the crazy ending to that Daytona 500 yesterday?
Man oh man, that reminded me of my former days in rush hour on the West Side Highway (although Mopac here in Austin runs a close second)!
Kudos to Kevin Harvick for making his brilliant white flag end around forever-a-bridesmaid driver and second place finisher Mike Martin.
Harvick went from 34th to 12th in the opening 12 laps, then spent much of the rest of the race in the top 10 before making his charge in the Super Bowl of stock car racing.
Of course, if you think the idea of driving an average of 160+ MPH around an oval track for 500 miles won't get you anywhere, perhaps you should call JetBlue, which suffered a major black eye this past week after Jack Winter swept through the northeast and threw JetBlue's operations into a tailspin.
I'm slated to head to New York City tomorrow myself on JetBlue, but all flights in and out of Austin, Richmond, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, Charlotte, and Raleigh/Durham, and a whole bunch of other cities were cancelled over the weekend and today.
If I don't show up to your meeting in NY, now you'll know why.
I spent the weekend trying to get through to one of their agents to find out the status of my flights, but to no avail. Their 800 # recording basically told me to take a hike, and their Web site wasn't much more help, as I couldn't seek the status of a flight more than a day out.
And the company is taking a full-on citizen journalist beating in the Blogosphere. On around February 17, "JetBlue" mentions on Technorati skyrocketed, with crazy-mad and disgruntled travellers putting up sites like JetBlueHostage.com
Ouch. And here to think, all I wanted was a flight to JFK and maybe a bag of peanuts.
Anyhow, I'll keep you posted about my own travels. Get it? Posted? Jet Blue blogger?
Yeah, well meanwhile, remember this great video about Web 2.0? Searchblog's John Battelle tracked down its author, Dr. Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, for an in-depth interview.
Dr. Wesch explains what inspired him to make the video, but also goes on to discuss the implications and opportunities he believes digital technology presents to our world:
"It might enable us to truly see one another once again and all the ways we are interconnected. It might help us create a truly global view that can spark the kind of empathy we need to create a better world for all of humankind....[But] if we don't understand our digital technology and its effects, it can actually make humans and human needs even more invisible than ever before."
It's pretty inspirational stuff, actually.
However, before we all break into "Kum-Ba-Yah" and save the world, let me just state for the record I'd first like to have a computer with an operating system that only crashes on holidays and weekends.
I'm just sayin'.[Read More]
Techdirt reported today on a story that originally emanated from Broadband Reports that was just too juicy for me to pass up.
The question it posed was this: Could an avian (better known as "bird") flu outbreak bring down the Internet?
The reasoning? Office workers around the globe would panic and start telecommuting from home in massive quantities, and the increased demand would bring down the 'Tubes!
Techdirt intimated that everybody who needs the Net is already using it at work. I gotta be blunt when I say I tend to get better bandwidth today when I work from home than I do when I'm at the office, and I work for IBM.
On the other hand, what's bad for the Internets is good for global warming. The more they clog the Information Superhighway, the less carbon they have to burn on the real Superhighway.[Read More]
The New York Times is reporting this morning that some old Blackberry hands...err, thumbs...are going to have to learn some new tricks.
The new BlackBerry 8800 is doing away with the classic scroll wheel that helps users quickly whirl through long lists of email messages. Instead, there's a small navigation ball that was developed for the BlackBerry Pearl, w a consumer model released last year.
In the high tech public relations sound byte of the week, the president and co-CEO of Research in Motion, the maker of the Blackberry, indicated that the new 8880 model's not having a camera is a feature for corporations.
"There's a very strong demand out there for BlackBerrys without a camera," Mr. Lazaridis is quoted as saying in the Time's article. "Not having one, that's a feature."
Translation: Pictures of the executive dining room making their way to Flickr is not good for employee morale.
Speaking of pics, you can see one of the new 8800 at left.
Collectively, everyone: Oooh....Ahhhh...But no more spinning that little Hamster wheel.
Finally, the new Blackberry will be able to accept SD memory cards so you can plug in Space Invaders and the like, and it will be able to play both music and videos.
The timing for which is perfect:
YouTube has just announced that they're going to offer more than 4,000 classic TV shows, including "I Spy," "Gumby" (Yes, Gumby!), and other material from the Digital Music Group, Inc.'s catalog of independently owned music, TV, and film.
YouTube will be selling new ads against the very old content.
Self-congratulatory reports across the Internets indicated that this was the first deal giving users free access to full-length commercial TV via YouTube.
"I Spy" and "Gumby." Uh, yeah.
The future of TV via the Internet is apparently its past: A series of tubes whereby decades-old content is recirculated over and over and over again.
Prickle, Pokey, and Goo, fear not! Google will rescue you from broadcast tape library obscurity shortly!
Technorati Tags: blackberry gumby youtube[Read More]
Greetings. A quick one:
If you've currently got a link to this blog, I would greatly appreciate your refreshing the link to this URL:
I've been having some claiming problems with Technorati (if you couldn't tell) since we did an internal migration, and trying to practice what I preach (especially in the ShortCuts Podcasts I've recorded), I'm trying to make sure the blogosphere knows when I've written something by pinging Technorati (Technorati tags are a whole other story...Geez, can we get a standard for tags going here, folks?)
So, long story short, it would be helpful for those of you who have been gracious enough to link to the blog could just change over at your leisure.
Technorati Tags: toddwatson turbo[Read More]
I always thought the Dixie Chicks, and Natalie Maines especially, got a bum rap during the run up to the Iraq war in 2003.
Apparently, so did a lot of voting members of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences last night, offering up 5 of their gramophone trophies to the Chicks for their new album, "Taking the Long Way."
I've been a Chicks fan for a long time...we Texans got to enjoy them playing local clubs in Deep Ellum and other parts of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex long before the rest of the world even knew who they were.
And while it was no surprise to see Maines speaking out -- she is from Texas, after all! -- the mean-spirited and jingoistic reaction the band received was all out of proportion to her comment and always struck me as a bit overwrought -- we're fighting for democracy abroad but we can't speak freely here at home?
'Nuff said. Nicely done, Chicks.
And speaking of politics, Barack Obama, who formally announced his bid for the presidency over the weekend in Springfield, started taking some heat in the blogosphere for issuing his own home grown social network, building on the wake Joe Tripp left behind for Howard Dean in 2004. Ayeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
The tools provided give supporters options to "blog, network, and form groups." Groups like "Bloggers for Obama???"
Regardless of how you feel about Barack's using the...gasp...Brightcover video player, I think this move catapults the Illinois senator home with his own award trophy, "First Web 2.0 Presidential Candidate." Whatever his campaign might miss in social networking nuance they more than make up for in audacity.
And yes, all this, of course, on the heels of another leading Dem candidate John Edwards and his "potty-mouth bloggers." Last time around, in 2004, bloggers were just fighting to get a seat at the presidential campaign table by having a small section in the nosebleed sections of the National Conventions. Now they're working for the campaigns?
"Hi, my name is Turbo and I'm blogging for president." Run! Run for your TypePad account, and fast!!
I'm writing this blog post in Wordperfect 5.1 for DOS.
It's the greatest word processor ever written in the history of mankind, as far as I'm concerned (sorry, Lotusites).
I had the diskettes from when I first started doing some serious word processing back in 1989-1990, and I was curious to see if it would still load up under WindowsXP.
It did (big smile).
You're probably thinking, Dude, Turbo, what gives? Wordperfect 5.1 for DOS? Are you kidding me?
I'm dead serious.
First, it's a keystroke-driven word processor. No mouse required. (And I'm quickly finding that those now 17 year-old keystroke commands are coming back to me very, very quickly, which in and of its own right is kind of freaking me out.)
Second, it's just faster. I use a bunch of different tools for blogging and writing, and WP 5.1 for DOS still takes the cake.
Third, I miss DOS. I was just commenting to a colleague of mine this morning that very thing: "I miss DOS."
The more software we get, the heavier its footprint, the less work I get done.
I think that's why I've been so interested in these Web-based applications that sit up in "the cloud." They're mostly fast and easy to use. They remind me of DOS.l
GUIs are way overrated. I deal in words...give me something that I can write in and doesn't require my hard drive to spin so much. I've spent half my life waiting on a spinning hourglass.
Then again, I was also a big OS/2 fan, and I still miss the fast response time and character-orientation of Profs.
Now those were the days. When a file zipped across the country in seconds and replication was for wimps.[Read More]
I've been trying to visit the new "Yahoo! Pipes" beta all morning to see what all the fuss is about, but I keep getting the following message:
"Our pipes are clogged. We've called the plumbers."
I had to laugh. If you're going to have your server clogged up, you might as well have a sense of humor about it.
I'm still waiting for the "Draino" reference to appear.
Apparently, Pipes is a new RSS feed aggregator and manipulator intended to send us RSS geeks into feed mashup hog heaven. But as long as the pipes are closed, I guess I'll have to settle for my FeedDemon client.
And no, the naming of the Yahoo Pipes is apparently not intended to be a slap at the honorable senator from the great state of Alaska, but rather a headnod to the old Unix "pipe" command.
Yeah, Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show" stuffing that donkey and lottery ball down the "pipes" came to my immediate mind as well.
And speaking of clogged pipes, the Guardian's "technology blog" is reporting that on Tuesday -- Safe Internet Day -- Asian hackers spent 12 hours trying to bring down two of the Internet's root servers, one operated by the U.S. Department of Defense and the other by ICANN (Google it).
The Guardian story suggests they used "botnets and zombie machines" in a massive denial of service attack. (I'm tellin' ya, you gotta read Richard Clark's new novel on this subject, "Breakpoint.")
Good thing VeriSign has announced their own infrastructure upgrade, according to Data Center Knowledge. The U.S. $100M upgrade to the domain name system is expected to help forestall such attacks, and will include "the construction of new data centers, upgrades to existing equipment, and leasing space in dozens of third-party facilities around the world."
Hey, maybe they can help Yahoo! with their pipes![Read More]
If you've been trying to get your head around this whole idea of Web 2.0, the state of the Web, this whole participatory community social bookmarking and tagging sharing thing, watch this video on YouTube.
Then watch it again.
It says more in 4 minutes about the evolution of and import of Web 2.0 than I ever could in a gazillion posts. And that's kind of the point.
Thanks to an old friend for sharing. Because that's kind of the point, too.[Read More]