Monthly Archives: March 2008

BA discovers satire as Terminal Five chaos continues

WE’RE FRYING out of Heathrow tomorrow, via Virgin, so we’re naturally keeping an eye on the continuing chaos at Terminal Five.

We’re astonished to see that British Airways has a vision, and that vision means it will change the way you fly forever – that is to say, avoiding BA, presumably, and the shopping mall which includes such well known high street names as, er, Harrods.

This BA page says that the aim of Terminal Five is to replace the queues, the crowds and the stress with space, light and calm.

“The £4.3 billion building is so light, modern and spacious that it’s hard to believe it’s an airport terminal at all.”

Well, it certainly was hard to believe that yesterday. And today one in five frights have been cancelled.

The page continues that there will be huge improvements in punctuality and baggage, with the state of the art system designed specifically for Terminal 5 using “proven technology”.

What a debacle. And BA wouldn’t or couldn’t even find hotels to put up its jilted passengers who were forced to bed down in the “most luxurious air lounge in the world” last night.

Yes, certainly it is a “new era in air travel”.    ♦

Dell goes for distribution model

WHEN I WAS in India earlier this month, I wrote a story on this boggette about Dell attempting to use a distribution model to shift its goods in the sub-continent.

Now DQ Channels reports that Dell will adopt the “stock and sale model” – but as we pointed out at the time, it will have an uphill struggle.

The wire notes that the Indian channel is abuzz with speculation that it’s signing up local partners. Earlier this week, other news sources said that Dell would continue with its direct model in India.

However, realistically, it has to adopt a proper channel strategy in India where Internet penetration is still low and where salaries are restricted to a few. ♣

Pilots outspoken about Terminal Five debacle, fiasco

SO WHAT is the professional pilots rumour board saying about the T5 debacle and fiasco?

 A lot, and it starts here.  As Rupert said, in a comment to something or other, this pilots’  site is “ever yielding”.  Compared to SNAFUs in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, this apparently is the mother of all screwups.

Some unkind soul is suggesting that the folks in charge “couldn’t find their own backsides with both hands and a torch”. An unusual metaphor. She, he or it must be from down under.

Another cruelly says: “The problem is that this bunch of wankers have NEVER in decades been able to run the airport as an airport !! As a shopping mall, well, that’s another kettle of fish entirely…….”

Do they serve fish at LHR? Maybe Gordon Ramsay does, who knows? As an “airport user” who lives 30 minutes from Heathrow, LHR is my least favourite airport in the London area. Wish Manston Airport would do transcontinental frights…. Heathrow should have been left as an apple orchard, in ‘Arrow, where I currently live, there are still varieties of apples which could contribute to the overall “gene pool”. LHR contributes nothing to life but stress – Heathrow needs a psychotherapist, an aromatherapist and a psychiatrist. It’s a screwed up airport.

Next time I fly out to Bengaluru, it will be using Jet, methinks. As a Virgin lass said to me when I was flying back from Ole Mumbai, Jet knows how to treat its passengers right. Plus, unlike Virgin, when you land at Mumbai or Delhi you will have a Nanocar with a Jaguar engine to speed you to your destination. [Er, Tata doesn’t own Jet, Ed.] ♥

Terminal Five – it’s been good and it’s been awful

THE COMPUTERS ARE being blamed for a massive SNAFU which led to nothing working very well at BAA’s new Terminal Five, which opened today.

About 30 frights have been cancelled, but BA – nothing to do with BAA apparently – put up a terrified looking little guy 15 minutes ago to describe the problems as teething problems. His eyes darting from side to side, the young shaver said if you wanted to travel to Hong Kong tonight, you still could. But you’d have to tip up with hand baggage only.

We presume that if you’re short of knickers and shirts, you can go airside where you can buy any number of pieces of apparel from the vast shopping mall which has high street names such as Versace, Gucci and Harrods and munch on a burger from Gordon Ramsays joint – plain food.

It’s sort of a Ryanair idea then? Imagine if the finger print scheme had been implemented too. We still maintain Mumbai International is 40 times more efficient than ‘Effrow. Plus it has a smoking area in the bar, somewhat disgustingly unless you’re a drinker and a smoker, of course… ♣

BAA drops daft fingerprint idea


Carly Fiorina masterminds McCain’s housing campaign

THE HUFFINGTON POST notes that former headmistress at Hewlett Packard, Carly “Gulfstream” Fiorina, is masterminding presidential candidate John McCain’s take on the US housing crisis.

Yet, as Huff points out, when Carly was poached from Lucent, HP paid $1.6 million between 1999 and 2003 to help her with her mortgage in what’s curiously described as a “sweat heart deal”. When she left the firm, she only got $21 million as part of her severance package.

The bog notes somewhat dissingenuously (sic) that all this dosh doen’t necessarily preclude Winsome Carly from having valuable things to advise about the sub prime market. ♥

KLM misses Hyderabad landing through airport confusion

IT WAS ONLY a nib in the Times of London,  but it was a good nib (news in brief), if not a great NIB. It’s so small it’s not on Times Online.

A KLM fright, according to The Thunderer today,  couldn’t figure out where to land in Hyderabad because it didn’t know where the airport was. Heck, when we were in Bengaluru a few weeks ago, this was the burning question of the day.

This is the situation. Apparently Sonia “Mother of India and Italy” Gandhi opened the new Hyderabad airport only for it to be closed the day after because everything wasn’t quite ready. In rival South Indian city Bangalore, the airport was supposed to open on the 31st of March but it won’t open until the 11th of May because there are some things like connections to sort out yet.

According to apocryphal reports from Inverness, a Dan Dair pilot once landed his jet on what used to be the Inverness airport, only to find itself bogged down in a field. These things happen. I still maintain, however, that compared to Heathrow, Mumbai International is a dream place to fry out of. The domestic airport is fine too – it’s the transit system between domestic and international that’s bogged up. At least you don’t get thrown into a communal shopping area, a la Terminal Five, ‘Eefrow. ♥

Nvidia, Via in unholy alliance

SEEN this yet?

We had some inklings something like this was going to happen.  It’s a case of unlikely bedfellows.

There was never any likelihood that Nvidia would buy Via, as Charlie D points out – that was Digitimes froth, of course.  They did chat about licences and that a year or two back, but that wasn’t a goer.

Intel might resort to the legal stick, Charlie reckons – but if it does, it’s not entirely clear how that would work out. Larrabee and discrete graphic cards could alter the legal picture for Nvidia, we guess. Will be interested to see how this all works out. ♣

Iceland leads the way in democracy


HOW RE-ASSURING is this? This picture above shows where the first democratic parliament – the Althingi to all men and their dogs,  was set up, in Iceland, slap bang between the tectonic plates of Europe and America –  separating by about a metre (whatever that is), a year.  

They must have talked a heap of hot air to keep warm in this frozen, treeless climate, there’s no doubt about that! No wonder the average temperature in London, home to the “Mother of All Parliaments”, is higher than the average temperature anywhere else in Blightyland. Much hot air is exhaled.

The lone figure in the Icelandic picture above is probably, or possibly,  a representative of Alcoa, the aluminium firm.  Heck, we all need aluminium ladders, init?

We only mention this because Bhutan, a kingly state, decided to become a democracy yesterday, despite the wishes of its subjects.  Whatever happened to Sikkim? Or Pondicherry, for that matter, which oddly describes itself as the IT hardware capital of India? We were there last year. If Pondicherry means “no scalpel” vasectomy  is hardware – see pic below –  then we’re with it 1112.23% ♥


Fake gelatine fingerprints might defy BAA

IN ONE OF THOSE STRANGE coincidences that makes our little universe that more interesting, has an interesting article about fingerprinting frauds today, that might well bamboozle Spanish firm BAA, which wants to fingerprint us all so it can extend its shopping franchise., for it is they, ran a story about how NT&T can detect “fake fingerprints”. You wouldn’t Adam and Eve it, but fingerprints can be reproduced on gelatine and presented to computers and authorities as verification of a person’s identity. This has been a problem for some years. Japanese boffs have developed systems that recognise “veins” that contain real blood, as well as the familiar whorls and coils on fingers and presumably fake fingers too.

The major problem, according to Nikkei, is “distinguishing a real finger from a fake one made of silicon or gelatin.”

Boffins at NT&T have come up with a fingerprint recognition device that detects if there is an electrical current behind the “fake fingers”. It’s just occurred to us. Maybe BAA could authorise a fingerprint scanner at Terminal Five which not only reads fingers, but analyses the sweat on fingers and creates a “temporary DNA record” which can then be transferred to a Harrods Loyalty Card.

Nikkei is here, but you gotta pay to read it. ♥