Friday, August 31, 2007

Bloggus interruptus

To my regular readers I must apologise for the lack of posts in the past two weeks. I've been busy preparing a major demonstration of a proposed system to a customer.

In the area I work in, the systems we implement are highly modified for each customer, so the demonstrations are not exactly out of the box and require extensive preparation. So I've been busy co-ordinating teams in Australia, US, India and France to ensure the technology works while at the same time preparing and polishing the delivery approach and my own presentation.

The demo was yesterday and I am pleased to say it went extremely well, including the part where the customer brought in identical twins in an attempt to foil our facial recognition software which easily told them apart!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Premium airline review

In the past two months I've had the opportunity to sample business class on Cathay Pacific (LA to Hong Kong), Qantas(Brisbane to LA) and Air New Zealand (LA to Brisbane via Auckland, and (international) first class on United (Beijing to San Francisco).

I'd rank them as follows:

1. Air New Zealand business (brand new, and flat beds with very pleasant and attentive staff)

2. United first (old and shabby with ancient staff, but flat beds)

3. Qantas business (reasonably new, but angled flat beds and indifferent staff)

4. Cathay Pacific business (old, non-flat beds, but very nice staff)

United have just announced that they are about to begin a major upgrade of their premium cabins, finally introducing flat beds which will give me a decent business class alternative to Qantas between LA and Sydney.

Cathay have also begun an upgrade and are going to a similar style seat to the Air New Zealand which is great.

Hidden in a recent Qantas announcement about the fitout of their A380s due to be delivered next year is also the news that that are making some adjustments to their business class seat to deliver a truly flat bed (it looks like the same product spaced a few inches further apart and adjusted to remove the annoying angle).

I also discovered today that my new Qantas Platinum (Oneworld Emerald) status entitles me to use Qantas First Class lounges. So I'm sitting here in the Qantas international first class lounge at Sydney airport on my way to Wellington New Zealand and I can tell you it's really nice. Check out this entrance with a living wall of plants.

And I just had a lovely sit down meal complete with espresso coffee and this fantastic desert, all complementary of course.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New York Times on Steamboat

An interesting article in the New York Times this week on growth in Steamboat and similar places being driven by "location neutral" workers like me.

If we needed more evidence than the boom in property prices in the last two years that Steamboat has been discovered, I think this is it!