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Airline Fees in Excess of $31 BILLION Make Customers Feel Like Helpless Cattle

June 2, 2015 by  

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While I’m not a 100,000 mile gal, I spend a lot of time on planes throughout the course of a year.  When it comes to flying these days, I think we can all agree — it’s a far cry from fun. Barely tolerable is what comes to mind. Photo credit: Outsidethebeltway.com. The saddening reality is that airlines worldwide brought in $31.5 billion in non-ticket revenue in 2013 – including passenger fees – which is MORE than 11 times their non-ticket revenue six years prior, adjusted for inflation according to CNN Money. Unfortunately, there’s little that we can do about it. There’s no plea here and our voices go unnoticed….otherwise, the price increases wouldn’t continue to soar year after year, not to mention new fees being added for incredulous things. Photo credit: Dave Granlund.com. Customer feedback no longer matters since it’s become an industry that treats people more like helpless cattle in tow than worthful customers they care about “serving.” Truth be told, I haven’t had a memorable and rewarding experience flying coach in about 8 or 9 years and it’s getting worse. The smile comes on the video screen…

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Diving Deep into the Future at an Arc Fusion Jeffersonian Dinner

April 30, 2015 by  

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Ever heard of a Jeffersonian Dinner? I’ve been invited to one or two over the last few years, one of which was being held in Washington DC, where it was birthed in the 1800′s by none other than Thomas Jefferson himself. Because of those invitations, I had some vague idea of what they were, but never actually participated in one until the Arc Fusion folks hosted one recently in San Francisco. Thomas Jefferson Photo credit: www.smithsonianmag.com   Rewind the clock to 1819 and visualize yourself at a long and decadently adorned table with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, his elegant Virginia home. Around the table, you’re seated with a group of people steeped deep in culture, philosophy, education, history, politics, art, literature, science and theology. The idea behind a Jeffersonian Dinner is to bring people together from different disciplines, creating a new cause-centered community around a topic of importance or significance you might want to discuss for whatever reason. This can be done to tap into new resources, raise funds for a non profit or important issue, or simply to expand the group’s thinking about a variety of topics. It’s important that it be somewhat intimate so…

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DENT 2015, Where Passion, Innovation & Authentic Disruption Meet

March 26, 2015 by  

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I rarely fly Southwest Airlines, not because I’m not a fan, but largely because they don’t fly direct to most of the locations I travel to regularly. There are a couple of exceptions every year of course, Austin, Las Vegas and LA being on that list and more recently, Boise. I love Idaho, a state I never expected to travel to never mind fall in love with. Truth be told, when a friend asked me to join him on a stint through the west for a few weeks roughly 15 years ago, I chose 3 states for that exploration, ones I figured would be vast but plain and boring. I couldn’t have been more wrong about all three. To say that Idaho, Montana and Wyoming did not disappoint is an understatement. The breathtaking Idaho Sawtooth Mountain range is a sight to be seen, one which I’d argue is a transformative experience if you have an opportunity to hike or picnic on her soil. Years later, I ended up in Idaho to see friends and then not again until last year when industry pals dragged me to a new-on-the-scene technology event in beautiful Sun Valley called DENT.

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Joburg’s Maboneng, An Urban and Cultural Overhaul

March 22, 2015 by  

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“Be careful” – the two words always uttered when you tell someone who has never been there before that you are going to Jo’Burg. Yet there is more light than dark in this city than many know… A grey, overcast sky hung above as we drove cautiously through the central business district of Johannesburg, South Africa. From dark, derelict buildings people emerged with sunken faces, crowding around flame-licked rubbish cans for scraps or warmth before retreating back out of sight. Johannesburg’s central business district has for years been home not to giant gleaming skyscrapers housing growth-inducing businesses, but to abandoned buildings filled with impoverished former township-dwellers. The residents sought refuge here after international anti-apartheid sanctions crippled Johannesburg’s economy in the 1980’s. It is still a shocking sight to behold. However, in one area of town these once-forgotten areas are enjoying a sense of revival, thanks to the Maboneng precinct project. maboneng johannesburg A success story of urban regeneration, Maboneng, meaning ‘Place of Light’, is a privately developed urban neighbourhood on the east side of Johannesburg’s CBD and home to a thriving community of creative factory spaces, trendy loft apartments, restaurants and more. On my trip to the capital last year, I visited a…

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Spirituality in the Heart of Harlem New York

February 22, 2015 by  

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Harlem New York church I remember holding the big red hymnal as a child in church, trying to follow along with the somber song. I was horrible at singing and therefore mainly just murmured the words and followed along the best I could equivalent to shuffling my feet and letting my mother pull me along when I didn’t want to go to the Doctor. As a congregation, we’d stand, we’d sit. We’d repeat our ‘lines’ in the hymnals in a well-orchestrated mass. In fact, the word that best describes my memories of church is “follow” – Lutherans are good followers. Above, Legal double parking in Harlem – a special perk from God himself. Have you ever been in church and had the urge to scream out, then I may have the place for you – Harlem. There seems to be a church on every corner in Harlem and on Sundays you are allowed to actually double park in the city due to the number of church services and lack of parking. I’m not sure what I’m more astonished about – the fact that God is calling the parking shots instead of NYC police or that people…

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CES 2015 Wrap: From UHD & Connected Objects to Digital Health & All Things 3D

January 12, 2015 by  

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There was no shortage of companies jumping on the “we must be connected to everything, or else..” trend that was central to most announcements coming out of this year’s  Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, an event that I’ve been going to for a couple of decades. It was even the heart of Samsung’s keynote address this year.  At the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), the main building for CES’s heftiest exhibitors, it was Samsung (not Apple) who stole the show with its ever so impressive 360 screens that circled around its booth, showing flashy and compelling videos of cars racing and more. It was all about their 4K TVs, which are bendable, flat and curved although Samsung had plenty to offer in the mobile, audio and home automation space as well. Samsung JS9500 series is a new concept in UHD (4K technology), which they tout as eco-friendly. It uses nano-crystal technology and an intelligent SUHD re-mastering picture quality engine, which gives vast improvements in contrast, brightness, color reproduction, and detail. People seemed to be raving about FLIR at my evening networking events, a new infrared…

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The Growth of LED Lighting

December 30, 2014 by  

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The opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics will always conjure up stunning imagery of 2,008 volunteers drumming in perfect harmony, an event that vividly captured the imagination of viewers worldwide. But if anything, this Olympic event was a coming out party for light-emitting diode, or LED lighting technology.
The opening ceremonies featured a giant 44,000 LED “scroll” that replayed China’s 5,000-year civilization on a canvas 482 feet (147 m) long and 72 feet (22 m) wide. Tiny LED beads were also embedded in the costumes of performers, who fanned out to create a starry sky with dazzling images. Philips Personal Wireless Lighting Philips offers the innovative hue Personal Wireless Lighting starter pack ($200) — three LED lightbulbs that can be wirelessly controlled by your Android smartphone, iPhone or iPad and features energy savings plus the ability to glow in 16 million colors. There’s no question that LED lighting has quickly achieved cult status in the staid $17 billion U.S. lightbulb replacement industry. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 contained a little-noticed act. Starting in 2012, light bulbs are to be phased in that feature roughly 25% greater efficiency. This move…

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The Worldwide Proliferation of Drinking Coffee

December 24, 2014 by  

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The Starbucks store in Aruba was the second Starbucks outlet located in the Caribbean. From tropical islands to cruise ships, the urge to “pump up” has turned Starbucks into a $16.5 billion global brand.
When USA Today reported on the launch of a Starbucks store on the Allure Of The Seas cruise ship, it included a reader poll to gauge interest in the idea. Fully 64% voted for more Starbucks stores on cruise ships. The growing interest in coffee can be seen in this Google Trends chart, which suggests that interest in coffee has surged 36% since 2004.” In March 2010, the residents of Murcia in Spain launched a Facebook campaign to attract a Starbucks coffee store to its town, thereby joining the now 21,000 restaurants worldwide, with an outpost of the global barista. As the U.K. Guardian put it, “Although Spaniards have long had a variety of good quality coffee on hand at almost every street corner café, Starbucks has already established 76 outlets in Spain and continues to expand there.” Starbucks store on the AllureIn October 2010, Starbucks launched its first coffee store on the cruise ship Allure of the Seas.…

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