by CIO Staff

Tech News in In-Flight Magazines

May 13, 20052 mins
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Is your boss traveling this month? Here are some tech-related articles to be found in various May 2005 inflight magazines.

Delta’s Sky magazine has a feature on video conference calling, saying technical glitches are becoming thing of the past. As quality goes up, prices go down, too. The story quotes Andrew Davis, senior analyst and managing partner of Wainhouse Research, a market research firm based in Brookline, Mass., who says, “It’s on the order of 20 to 25 percent improvement in the price/performance ratio every year.” Systems that used to cost about $200,000 are now around $20,000 and a shift to running video over the Internet instead of phone lines promises even greater change. A rather glowing summation of the future of meetings.

Air Canada’s en Route magazine carries a column in which Don Tapscott enumerates his 14 technology pet peeves. His mildly amusing list goes from ATM’s that ask what language you want to use every time you visit to roaming charges, and includes #8: “Relentless use of PowerPoint every time three or more people gather. D-Day was planned without PowerPoint; Socrates didn’t need PowerPoint. Remember design guru Edward Tufte’s line: ‘Power corrupts; PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.’” Actually a couple of his gripes are about things within some IT directors’ purview, so if you start hearing complaints about “Every program automatically starting when I turn on my computer” you might ask whether the complainer has recently traveled to Toronto.

American Way magazine’s business feature is all about getting a third opinion (not just a second) to treat any corporate ills. Second opinions would include yours and those of players in marketing, sales, manufacturing, what have you, but the author says, “it turns out that for the executive—whether the top person or the middle person or early leader—only being in dialogue with people who have a vested interest makes you isolated in certain kinds of thinking.” He doesn’t necessarily suggest hiring a consultant (but if you have to, here are some tips), but rather networking to get a knowledgeable person and good listener. The same magazine’s business trend item is about napping. That’s right.

Virgin’s RedHot magazine offers a gadget and accessory round-up, as does Qantas’s Australian Way (pdf format). They know how to make those things look really indispensable.