Friday, June 27, 2008

Airline Flights

Those who regularly flew before 9/11 recognize how much more painful airline travel has become, starting from dropping off or even parking. It seems as if the needs of the customer have become irrelevant. This is the first survey that mimics many of my own thoughts on the airline industry- the reason they're struggling is far more complicated than just rising fuel prices.

Air Travelers Avoided 41 Million Trips

According to the Travel Industry Association (TIA), deep frustration among air travelers caused them to avoid an estimated 41 million trips over the past 12 months at a cost of more than $26 billion to the U.S. economy.

The study, conducted by the polling firms of Peter D. Hart Research Associates and The Winston Group, demonstrated that air travelers express little optimism for positive change, with nearly 50 percent saying that the air travel system is not likely to improve in the near future.

Roger Dow, President and CEO of TIA, said "... more than 100,000 travelers each day are voting with their wallets by choosing to avoid trips."

Dow noted that the 41 million avoided trips during the last 12 months rippled outward across the entire travel community:

Costing airlines more than $9 billion in revenue

Hotels nearly $6 billion

Restaurants more than $3 billion

Federal, state and local governments lost more than $4 billion in tax revenue

Additional findings of the study:

28% of air travelers avoided at least one trip over the past year (2.1 trips on average) due to the problems in the air travel process.

Over the past 12 months, approximately 112,000 trips were avoided per day; a total of 12 million business trips and 29 million leisure trips.

More than 60% believe the air travel system is deteriorating

33% of all air travelers are dissatisfied with the air travel system, and 48% of frequent air travelers (5+ trips per year) are dissatisfied

39% of all air travelers feel their time is not respected in the air travel process, and among frequent air travelers that number surges to 51%.

Nearly 50% of all air travelers do not think it is likely that the air travel system will be improved in the near future.

Travelers tend to appreciate the convenience and safety of air travel, but at least as many passengers say air travel is frustrating.

Allan Rivlin, a partner at Peter D. Hart Research Associates, said "...Inefficient security screening and flight cancellations and delays are air travelers' top frustrations."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

800 MHz Spectrum Update

Sprint Nextel has asked to FCC to extend the June 26 deadline for it to stop using a key piece of 800MHz spectrum close to the networks of public safety agencies.

Sprint is required to vacate the spectrum as part of a larger FCC plan to swap spectrum with public safety agencies in the 800MHz band, a move aimed at minimizing interference between wireless service and public safety users.

The request, filed last week, came shortly after the FCC granted requests from several public safety agencies to delay relinquishing their spectrum under the swap until July 1, 2009. Sprint’s request for a delay, however, is separate and focuses on a third piece of spectrum, between the two ends of the swap, that serves as a buffer zone to prevent interference.

That piece is important because it would allow Sprint to minimize disruption during the transition as the spectrum is being reconfigured.

Sprint is asking that it be allowed to give up the spectrum on a phased schedule, as public safety agencies in each region of the United States get closer to vacating theirs.

A federal appeals court last month ordered Sprint to adhere to the June 26 schedule after concluding that the deadline was reasonable.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dinesh C. Paliwal to Succeed Dr. Sidney Harman

Dinesh Paliwal has been elected chairman and CEO of Harman International effective July 1, 2008.

Harman International’s founder and chairman, Dr. Sidney Harman, will retire from the board of directors when his current term expires on Dec. 3, 2008. He has recommended and the board has elected Dinesh C. Paliwal to the post of chairman and CEO beginning July 1, 2008. Mr. Paliwal has served as president, CEO and VP since joining the company in July 2007.

Harman International includes many major audio brands. In the pro audio marketplace, Harman brands include JBL, AKG, BSS, Crown, dbx, Lexicon, Soundcraft and Studer. Harman co-founded the business that bears his name in 1953. “I recruited Dinesh Paliwal to become our CEO with high expectations, and he has validated my confidence by bringing remarkable energy and expertise to the company. As I approach my 90th birthday, it is clearly a very good time to endorse Dinesh’s leadership and his outstanding team. I am confident that they will honor the company’s rich history and work effectively to build its future,” he said.

Harman also announced that he will contribute $2.5 million to a new Sidney Harman Scholarship Fund to benefit continuing education by children and grandchildren of long-term company employees.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Whitlock and Impact Joined at the Hip

No cash appears to have been exchanged... got to love the word "seamless". Looks like they want their engineering office to communicate with each other.

I can't even get our kids to feed the dogs seemlessly.

Two of the world’s biggest audio and video system integration firms, The Whitlock Group, a $135 million dollar U.S. based company, and Impact, Europe’s largest integrator, today jointly announce the creation of the industry’s first global alliance for the audiovisual (AV) market.

The alliance provides companies with seamless global AV services, ensuring consistent quality and support for offices on both sides of the Atlantic. Called the Global Presence Alliance, the group will initially focus on customers based in the U.S. and Europe, with plans to build the international footprint and size going forward.

Doug Hall, CEO of The Whitlock Group, said: “As competition and demands rise in the global marketplace, the delivery of efficient, seamless and reliable systems is a necessary business practice. Customers require standardization of designs and programming interfaces to maintain consistency and quality of service across their enterprise.

With the formation of the Global Presence Alliance, we are uniquely positioned to provide fully integrated solutions on an international scale based on our geographic coverage and portfolio of service offerings.”

The Global Presence Alliance will provide a sole-source solutions approach to global audio and video systems integration by providing greater simplicity through a consistent, consolidated service operation. Customers will receive increased gains in operational efficiency by having a single global contact for design, engineering, integration and ongoing maintenance of their technology systems.

This alliance is a formal extension of an existing informal partnership, currently successfully working together to provide global integration and service to mutual high profile and mission critical clients. Fredd Causevic, CEO of Impact, said: “With the market for videoconferencing, in particular, growing at a rate of more than 25 percent, it is exactly the right time to look to extend our geographic reach.

“Our clients here in the UK and Europe are increasingly asking for the same level of service and support for their offices throughout the world. The Global Presence Alliance is all about promoting best practices in our industry and providing customers with unified service. Strategic alliances are now commonplace in the IT and telecoms sector, so it was only a matter of time before the AV market followed suit.”The current financial climate is forcing companies to review their business costs. The price of oil and the resulting business travel costs means that reducing travel is of paramount importance.

The AV market has seized an opportunity to grow. Customers who choose to work with The Whitlock Group, Impact or future strategic alliance members will be assured of consistent quality of service across their network of offices. Those based in Europe wanting to deploy an identical AV installation in the U.S. will get a dedicated project management team with an offer of complete managed service.“

The opportunity to further strengthen the marketplace with a strategic alliance such as this means that members and suppliers can all benefit from providing the first truly global AV service delivery,” concludes Causevic.As a world’s first for the AV integrator marketplace, the alliance is in communication with additional integrators across the globe, including Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Please Don't Make Me Use HDMI

Apparently I wasn't alone in hating it.... got the new computer for blogging up and running after yet another Vista disaster as well. Can't really figure out which is worse...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

World's Smartest Man?

William James Sidis (died 1944) was believed to have an IQ over 250... Worth reading...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Google Wants Your Wireless Mic Bandwidth

With their checkbook, they'll probably get it too...

Stepping up the battle for UHF spectrum access between technology companies and broadcast/pro audio forces, Google co-founder Larry Page recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to make his case for what he describes as “Wi-Fi on steroids.”

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Universal King Kong Up in Flames

Too bad... great show....

King Kong Exhibit, Film Vault On Fire At Universal City

POSTED: 5:24 am PDT June 1, 2008
UPDATED: 7:09 am PDT June 1, 2008

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- Two helicopters and about 200 firefighters were trying to protect the film vaults on Universal City's back lot, where a huge predawn fire broke out on a sound stage during a production, authorities said.

Live Video Images

The blaze was reported in a sound stage on the studio backlot at about 4:45 a.m., and about 200 county firefighters were helping studio firefighters quench the blaze, which reportedly spread to the New York City streetscape.

At 6:45 a.m, it was reported that the film vault at Universal Studios was burning. Firefighters reported about a third of the building was in flames as they poured on water.

Firefighters at Universal Studios also reported that the King Kong exhibit was in flames, as well. Firefighters said the King Kong exhibit building was going to be a total loss and was expected to collapse, with flames more than 100 feet tall are shooting through the roof.

Several other buildings have been lost since the fire broke out on the back lot.

No injuries were immediately reported, said fire Inspector Darryl Jacobs.

County firefighters were hampered by explosions from propane tanks as they fought the fire, Jacobs said.

Two helicopters were dropping water, he said, adding that firefighters were attempting to keep the blaze from the film vaults.

The fire began during a film shoot, he said.

At least one sound stage and several other buildings were believed to have been lost within about 30 minutes.

Some park attractions have reportedly been damaged.

Firefighters were working to ensure the flames don't spread to nearby brush.