Great IoT demo

April 24, 2016 Leave a comment

There’s a lot of hype/buzz about IoT. Lots of buzz words – MQTT, COAP, Zigbee, platforms – but not really a lot of simple to understand examples.

IBM to its credit has a really simple demo that involves your smartphone. Simply go to and type in a name (anything really) and then go to a URL on your phone. Their platform (IoT foundation / Bluemix) then shows your phone’s sensor attributes in real time.

iot ibm

For those still struggling to get their minds around IoT this could be the “aha” moment.

Categories: iot Tags:

The incredible shrinking airline seat

Consultants are of course painfully aware of the awfulness of flying. The fact that airlines seats have become smaller and more uncomfortable over the last 50 years will not then come as any surprise.


What was surprising was the fact that airlines may only be part of that problem. Airline seat widths, pitch have apparently declined ~10% over the last ~50 years, while (ahem) our seats / weights have increased by ~20% over the same period.



Categories: airlines, humor, travel Tags: ,

Amazon airships?

The New Yorker had an interesting article about the old/new technology of airships .


Two points caught my eye:

  • Early zepplins were made from cow intestines. Apparently it took 250k cows to make one airship. Ouch.
  • Apparently “more than two-thirds of the world’s land area and more than half the world’s population has no direct access to paved roads”. That’s a lot.

Move over drones, it’s time for the Amazon airships.

Categories: future, interesting, trends Tags:

Desktop dining

February 29, 2016 Leave a comment

Apparently ~60% of professionals eat lunch at their desks (alone rather than with others) according to the NYT magazine. Although eating with others is of course better (and more fun), there may be a hidden benefit: eating with others causes us to eat more (from ~40% to ~100% more depending on the number of people).

Categories: interesting, trends Tags:

The other 1%

February 22, 2016 Leave a comment

The WSJ had an interesting breakdown of those involved in the “gig economy” (this one based on actual facts – based on a sampling of people’s earnings – rather than opinion).


  • Nearly 1% of U.S. adults earned income via a gig (defined as either providing labor – ala Uber, or via capital – ala AirBNB, in Sep 2015).
  • The average monthly income for someone who provided labor via one of the platforms was $533, representing a third of total income
  • ~60% used their capital (e.g. their house), vs. 40% for labor (i.e. their hours).

Worth a read.

Categories: digital, trends Tags: ,

When economy is too fancy

February 22, 2016 Leave a comment

The innovation of American airlines never ceases to amaze me. Apparently the executives all sat around one day and thought up a new way to torture their passengers: the result – “basic” economy. Here the seats don’t recline, one can’t pick a seat and they charge for everything (including water).

cattle class

The NYTimes has the gory details. Apparently, the normal cattle class was too fancy.

Categories: airlines, travel, trends Tags:

Email processing costs ~$1 a pop

January 30, 2016 Leave a comment

A few titbits caught my eye in an interesting little article in the Economist about the perils of over collaborating:

  • Processing emails costs about 95 cents in labor costs. Something to think about when sending email (and cc’ing people!)
  • Knowledge works spent ~70-85% of their time doing non-deep thinking – i.e. attending meetings, processing email, on the phone etc. Wow.

The ability to focus is going to be a critical differentiating skill going forward.

Categories: interesting, tips

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