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Category Archives for "Claudius"

When mutant geeks attack !

romeland securityOne thing we hate about running Roam is having to continually fight against barbarians attempting to breach our site.

While we have the Aurellian firewall run by the brave Praetorian Guard, this weekend we are going to have to look at an apparent attempt malware attempt. I say apparent as we don’t believe the company reporting it and think they have a motive in getting you to buy their services.

eBarbarians eh? Feed them to the Lions we say.

 

Failure to start : so called ‘insane travel kickstart’ ideas look like non-starters

Kickstarter proejct 'Air umbrella'.

Kickstarter proejct ‘Air umbrella’.

A marketing professional once gave me a bit of sage advice “Be careful of people who tell you there is niche in the market. Instead, you need to ask if there is then a market in the niche”.

I thought of this after reading this fox travel article – originally souced fromYahoo travel – “Insane travel Kickstarters we need right now” which proceeded to puff piece 10 project ideas currently seeking funding.

Proposal #1 Air Umbrella : ‘..battery-operated wand emits strong currents of air that repel the raindrops by creating a force field of sorts’.

Proposal #2 Chair-Pak : “full-size backpack has padded shoulder straps, four separate compartments, a soft cooler, connection loops, and an adjustable seat. So not only can this bag hold all of your stuff — but also you can sit on it! And if that wasn’t enough, certain versions of the bag are equipped with solar panels so that you can charge all of your devices.”. This doesn’t grab me – what is wrong with existing backpacks?

Proposal #3 Collar Perfect : ‘a pint-sized ironing device designed for the wrinkle-prone mover and shaker. All you do is plug in the iron and use it for quick touchups on your collars, pockets, pant creases, and hemlines.’ Really: Those who really care about this would just use/ borrow and iron. Continue reading..

Let ME entertain you : Trend in In flight entertainment systems

Ultra bright entertainment systems on a United flight

Ultra bright entertainment systems on a United flight

A trend in inflight entertainment  (IFE) is for the airlines to remove the back seat  systems and replace them with entertainment delivered over the airplane’s wifi system. The passenger will then connect to the server with their BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) choice.

This will reduce costs for the airlines in that it will reduce weight (cheaper fuel) – each IFE weighs about 13 pounds – and reduce on maintenance costs as they age and break.

A software driven solution will be easier to maintain, tailor to the airplane needs and upgrade. An often quoted statistic is that 75% of passengers carry a BYOD which sounds about right.

For customers who do not bring a device, a tablet will be available to rent.  The problem of flat batteries are taken care of by providing USB or AC charging outlets per seat.

The Canadian airline WestJet announced in February that they would be going down this path. However, not all are following where Delta  announced that it’s newer planes, it would be running a system called “Delta Studio” which provides both options – screen and wifi. Some airlines are looking at going another way – putting in HDTV grade screens.

Which then brings up the subject of entertainment content. As a captured audience with not a lot else to do for the next few hours, you are a premium consumer. Continue reading..

BlaBlaCar is a Ja Ja Ja : App for digital hitching

R2R thumbs up‘BlaBlaCar‘ is an interesting idea that literally is part of the Sharing economy.  It is an web based business that you use for sharing a car journey with someone where you contribute to the costs. It is a form of digitial hitch hiking. From Bloomberg:

People who sign up to drive on BlaBlaCar offer rides to passengers in 12 countries, including France, Germany, Spain and the U.K., at prices that undercut other methods of transportation. In England, a peak-time train ticket from Manchester to London costs as much as 160 pounds ($267), whereas a quick search on the BlaBlaCar app showed the same trip being offered by a dozen different drivers for 12 pounds.

Since it is unlikely to be used as a ‘job’ like a taxi, it is not attracting any of the legislation. Unfortunately it’s plans are only to operate this in Europe.

This is a fantastic idea and gets a big Roads-2-Roam thumbs up. In addition, the prices are extremely reasonable.

Shot down in flames: Mobile phones batteries and fires

The picture of the culprit: Samsung s4 phone that caught fire

The picture of the culprit: Samsung s4 phone that caught fire. Courtesy of Steve Noviello facebook page.

FoxDFW reports a story of a Samsung Galaxy s4 phone placed under a pillow getting so hot it melted the plastic and scorched the bed clothes.

“The whole phone melted” said her dad, Thomas. “The plastic, the glass. You can’t even really tell that it was a phone.” Tolfree says her phone slipped under her pillow as she fell asleep, and the smell of something burning woke her up in the night.

“I didn’t think much of it, so I went back to sleep, and then I woke up again and it was more prominent,” said Tolfree. Her dad suspects the phone overheated, causing the battery to swell and start a fire.

Samsung added something perhaps important

A spokesperson for Samsung says their products are safe, and pointed out that the battery inside the phone was a replacement unit and not an original Samsung part.

Nevertheless, the company does agree there is a need for consumer education when it comes to rechargeable batteries. That’s exactly why they post a warning in their user guide, which specifically states covering one of their devices with bedding or other material could restrict airflow and cause a fire.

To their credit, Samsung agreed to replace the bedding even if they will blame it on the non-Samsung battery.

Some of the commentators on the site as simply asinine especially the ones moaning about why a 13 years old has a nice smart phone. Why does that even matter? If she had been 22 year old, would that make it ok? There are some interesting comments in there about Galaxy getting hot which makes putting it in a case impractical. A simple internet search shows many people saying the same thing about the Galaxy. Continue reading..