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CarPlay – Don’t leave home without it

Like many others these days, we’ve been traveling a lot more by car and avoiding flying on trips of 500 miles or less. It became apparent after the Covid disruptions that flights of an hour or two take much longer after factoring in driving to the airport, parking, shuttling to the terminal, waiting in the […]

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Making complex products simple to use

A big challenge for product designers is to make complex products that are easy to set up, simple to use, and that keep on working. That’s often more difficult than creating the product itself. When a product is hard to set up it requires expensive customer support and experiences high rates of return. My own […]

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Buying airline tickets on line is not so simple

The internet was supposed to make it easier to manage travel bookings and provide more competition. But this past week when I went to book round trip flights between San Francisco and Tokyo, I found the process to be much like a video game: full of twists and turns, only to end up frustrated, confounded, […]

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Tech predictions for 2023

My technology predictions for 2023 Mark Zuckerberg will step down as CEO at Meta. With the company faltering due to its lack of new products and astromoical spending on the metaverse, Zuckerberg will bring in a new CEO and focus on R&D. Tesla will face its most difficult year ever, including facing Federal charges for […]

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Southwest Airline began failing years ago

I’m not surprised by the trouble Southwest is going through. As a long time customer, I’ve seen a deterioration on many fronts over the last few years and reported my observations here, here, and here. While the terrible weather was a factor in the airline’s recent meltdown, it wasn’t the major factor. What we’re seeing […]

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So long Twitter

It was an easy decision to close my Twitter account this past Sunday morning. It was right after Musk tweeted that Anthony Fauci should be prosecuted, writing, “His pronouns are “Prosecute/Fauci.” But it just as easily could have been the night before when Musk attacked Twitter’s former executive, Yoel Roth, by exposing his internal emails […]

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The electronic bag tag – a good idea or not?

Alaska Airlines has recently begun rolling out a new electronic luggage tag to some of their customers. Is it a useful technology or just a dumb idea? When I first heard about it, I was intrigued. You check into your flight on your phone and then electronically create a customized luggage tag by wirelessly relaying […]

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Musk using Twitter as his $44 billion rant platform

Could we be missing something about Musk and what he’s doing with Twitter? For several weeks now he’s eliminated most of its organization that keeps the site running and keeps discourse from being taken over by hate groups and bigots. Now, in his latest move, he’s changing the rules about content moderation. He’s announced he’s […]

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What’s the matter with Elon?

Everyone is trying to figure out what Elon Musk is doing with Twitter. Since he took ownership a month ago, he’s fired half the employees, laid off another 5000 contractors, lost most of his advertisers, and eliminated the company’s system of verification. While he needs to reduce the losses, his actions are contrary to common […]

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Verizon deception and how I fixed it

Remember when your cellular provders would increase your monthly bill whenever you tweaked your plan? If you added a line or made a minor change, certain discounts would be removed or your monthly charge would go up. Well, I encounterd a new scheme from Verizon that does much the same. When I made a slight […]

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The Return of the Horror

Last week’s post described our horror-able experience with Southwest when trying to fly from San Diego to Savannah, GA. I said I’d never use them again once we concluded our trip, but didn’t expect that getting back home could be just as bad. As I arrived at Savannah Airport for our return to San Diego […]

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Halloween horror story at Southwest

When we plan a vacation and make airline reservations, our expectations are that our airline will get us to where they agreed to take us at the time they committed for the cost we paid. In the occasional case of having difficulty in fulfilling their commitments, we would expect some help in making other arrangements. […]

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Online advertising is a lot like mosquitos

They block you when you’re reading, they flash rapidly trying to distract you, and they constantly interrupt your train of thought. They’re interspersed in the middle of a story you’re reading or a video you’re watching. They’re like mosquitos that you can’t get away from. Slap one down and another pops up. Go elsewhere and […]

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Facebook: There is karma

In my column here on August 10 I predicted that Facebook was about to collapse and gave a number of reasons why I came to that conclusion: Lack of product innovation – In spite of having almost unlimited funds, Facebook has had a poor track record in creating follow-on products, and their latest idea is […]

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China is killing its consumer tech partnership

For more than thirty years, China and our consumer technology industry have been partners that helped each other to thrive. Product innovation and design were done in the U.S. and manufacturing was done in China. But now China’s president Xi Jinping is killing that relationship. China became the default manufacturer for a wide range of […]

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Lufthansa’s AirTag fiasco

Apple’s AirTag is a tiny $30 device about the size of a quarter that attaches to an item to help you find it, should the item be lost. An AirTag contains a Bluetooth transmitter powered by a coin cell to detect nearby Apple phones to determine its own location. Since Apple iPhones are most everywhere, […]

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Don’t call us

It’s become clear that many companies have no interest in hearing from us. The difficulties we have to go through to reach a live person at a company to help us seems worse than ever. They have no hesitation to contact us, even flood us with messages, but when we have to contact them, they […]

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Why are rental cars companies so evil?

If there’s one element of the travel industry that has failed to realize it’s in the hospitality business, it’s the major rental car companies. We constantly hear horror stories, examples of gouging, and sometimes much worse. Still, when I read last year about Hertz having their customers arrested, I was astounded. From CNN, 47 Hertz […]

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Some peace of mind for travelers

No, I’m not talking about travel insurance. I’m referring to keeping an eye on your home while traveling without giving it much thought, knowing that it’s safe and secure. It’s become remarkably simple and inexpensive to do so with some of the latest security gadgets. I once envisioned having a laser beam encircle my home […]

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A new way to sell your car

Technology has come to used car selling and buying. This may not be news to many of you, but it was to me when I recently accompanied my daughter on her quest to purchase a new car. Thanks to the internet, it was a lot easier, helped by the new car dealers’ websites that list […]