Dear Airlines, You are Welcome for the $25 Million.

I understand that recently you got a big profitable bonus when the FAA’s budget caused taxes on air travel not to be collected, totally about $25 million a day. Wasn’t it nice of the United States government not to ask for that money back.

And you are welcome. After all, it was our idiocy in trusting Wall Street, banks, the real estate market, and other government and financial institutions with our money that led to this crisis of faith and finances within the United States and the world that led to a government shut down which created the tax holiday for the airlines. I’d appreciate a little credit for the gift we gave you. Expect more in the future as we continue to wreck havoc on our economy and government and more tax holidays approach.

I’m sure the money is already spent, but if it isn’t, I’d like to recommend you consider some positive choices you have for spending it wisely.

I know that Delta is trying to do so with their ads promising customer loyalty and appreciation, but customers know otherwise.

Here’s some recommendations I’d like to offer to make our travel with your airlines logical, efficient, and more enjoyable.

  • Make every seat in a particular section the same price. Don’t play games with seat prices. It must cost you a lot of money to maintain the gaming software and databases to manipulate seat prices.
  • Include one bag for free. The bag game is a costly expense to handle, so really, why bother.
  • Add more electronic ticketing booths. Yes, that will put more people out of work, but I don’t think so. It will mostly cut down the lines. People will still need humans to handle their travel issues.
  • Work with the TSA to get two brain cells to rub together so they will use methods faster and more efficient to check people through to the gates. The current practice does no good, protects no one, and makes the whole travel experience uncomfortable and stupid. You have the power to make that change, so use it.
  • Find more ways to make your employees smile. I’m so tired of seeing tired, worn out, frustrated, and angry airline employees. Their jobs are tough and they are stuck dishing out stupid rules, regulations, and restrictions. They are tired of customers being tired, worn out, frustrated, and angry with them. So share your wealth with them, at the least, to make them feel like someone in the world cares.

Airlines, this is the year of effective protests and uprisings. We’re getting smarter about having our voices heard and moving mountains that were once thought immovable. If you keep going like you are, some folks are going to start turning their spotlights towards you, and this is a fight you will lose.

Start treating customers with dignity, respect, and joy, or you won’t have them any more, no matter how many tax holidays you get.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag

Whom Should I Allow to Own Me

With the release of the Amazon Fire tablet and the eco-system they’ve created for it, it has me questioning who should I allow to own me.

As I travel the highways and byways of the web, the gate I pass through owns my data. It owns my experience. The information collected about what I do, how I do it, and what I do it with, is collected, collated, and distributed along with the data from my fellow gate travelers and used by the gate keepers then sold to companies of all kinds around the world for them to make sweeping decisions about what I do, how I do it, what I do with it, and how they can make money with me or because of me.

The gate keepers are Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google, for the most part.

My life is already reluctantly owned by Google as I use Gmail, Google Docs, Google Apps, Google+, YouTube, Chrome, and the list goes on and on.

While my computer life started out a prisoner of Apple, I’ve years invested in ownership by Microsoft through Windows and so many of their products and hardware, including the keyboard I use to type this blog post.

Amazon, you’ve had me since the first book. Growing up in Seattle, you and Microsoft grew up with me, entering my life in college and continuing forward through today and into the future. As Amazon grew, my allegiance grew with it.

With Amazon’s Fire tablet using Google’s Android, the lines are getting blurrier and blurrier, but if I go with Fire, the flames will mostly be fueled by Amazon.

I need to get a new phone, so maybe I’ll be back with my old owner, Apple, again, reviving our connection from the 1970s and 80s.

So maybe my question is moot. Maybe I’ve unwittingly been owned by all of them.

Maybe what I’m really asking myself is which owner should I sell my soul to next.

Dear Browsers, Stop the Browser Hacks, Please.

Dear Browsers (and I’m talking to all of you):

I’m reading Paul Irish’s article on the Browser Market Pollution and it makes me ill.

As a web designer and developer, I hate when I have to create a new framework or revisit a current one and deal with browser hacks.

I’ve dealt with browser hacks going back to versions no one on the planet is using any more, even those prior to IE 6. I had hacks for Netscape, IE4, IE5, IE5.5, and so on. I even have hacks for current versions of IE7, IE8, and even IE9.

Oh, you other browsers, Safari, Opera, Firefox, I’ve had hacks for your versions as well, so don’t think you are getting out of this nag.

Irish explains that even as we go forward, the browser industry’s failure to maintain web standards and ridiculous need for proprietary crap that messes with web design, causing even more hacks, will continue and web designers will have to maintain multiple hacks and custom support for multiple browser versions on and on and on into the future.

I’m so tired of coverying your asses with my designs and fixing the designs by others for clients.

When Tim Berners-Lee and his team developed the web as we know it, the goal was to break down the code barriers that stopped the easy exchange of data and information so we could all communicate together. Browser hacks put burdens upon that tenuous web when you all should be reinforcing it with strength.

Please let us stop fixing your problems with browser hacks.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag