Friday, August 26, 2011

While Qantas dominates the news with strikes, no dividend and a mainline international operation losing money - Virgin takes the initiative by offering that its frequent flyer scheme Velocity will match whatever status you have on any other airlines frequent flyer scheme.

I've just submitted my request to match to my Star Alliance status. You should get yours in too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs resigns from Apple

The co-founder of Apple Steve Jobs has announced that he is 'no longer fit' to serve as the companies CEO, and has officially resigned from the position, which according to the existing Apple succession plan will be taken on by what was the Chief Operating Officer, Tim Cook.

Jobs has been battling a form of pancreatic cancer which involved a recent liver transplant

But Jobs is not completely leaving Apple - he will stay on as Chairman of the board.

So what does this mean for Apple:
It's stock was down 7% in after-hours trading, but rallied and was down just 5% by 7:50pm ET (USA)— suggesting Apple’s succession plan had calmed the markets. Mashable
The most influential promoter of Steve Jobs' indispensability, of course, is Steve Jobs. But another person who is very much with that program is the one executive who has actually filled in for Jobs as CEO. That would be Tim Cook, Apple's chief operating officer and its interim chief executive for two months in 2004, when Jobs was recovering from cancer surgery. CNN/Fortune
"Great companies rarely go from strength to strength," said Charles O'Reilly, a management expert, at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, adding that Apple faces a particular challenge in that Mr. Jobs has had an unusually strong influence in setting Apple's corporate culture and strategy. Wall Street Journal Online
“Investors are very comfortable with Tim Cook even though Jobs has been a driver of innovation and clearly an Apple success. Tim has shown Apple can still outperform extremely well when he’s been acting as CEO,” said Shannon Cross, an analyst at Cross Research.  Telegraph UK
We very, very much hope that the greatest businessman, CEO and product developer of our era is doing okay, and that this decision does not mean his health has taken another turn for the worse. He is an icon and idol who has made this world we live in a better place. We sincerely and deeply wish Mr. Jobs and his family the best. Gizmodo
Consensus seems to be that Tim Cook will continue to streamline Apple's operations, but the inevitable question is - who will replace the vision for Apple which Jobs has so firmly driven, savig the company in 21997, and making it one of the largest companies in the world earlier this year.

As I type this entry on a Mac keyboard, joined to an iMac, I feel that an era is ending.

More analysis to come . . .

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Qantas's new Asian Premium airline has been named 'QantAsia' - at least on a few air transport websites. If you are a businessman travelling within Asia the new airline might be attractive - but travelling out of Australia - not so much.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Qantas hoohaa

The press has been filled with Alan Joyce's announcement of what he will do for the ailing international arm of the airline. Nothing really new here - most had been leaked weeks prior, and even the loss of 1,000 jobs - which (although denied) of course will be picked up overseas as part of the new Asian based subsidiaries.

The unions reaction is also predictable. Who wants their membership reduced, and downward pressure on their salaries?  Unfortunately the international reality is that while demand for pilots and flight attendants has increased, the amount they earn has steadily decreased.

My surprise is the reaction of some of the Australian public, who still think of Qantas as an Australian Icon. It's a shock to me that the Australian public thinks that 'I still call Australia home' is anything more than a marketing ploy. (Australian media education is still obviously in a parlous state - despite shows like the Gruen Transfer)

In the 70's and 80's I remember giving my loyalty to TAA and Qantas because they were government owned, and so any profits went back into the commonwealth.  Well that hasn't been true for a long time.

Now, I tend to spend my international travel $'s with Asian airlines - for a couple of reasons:
    •    They tend to be cheaper
    •    they have better service
    •    their Frequent Flyer schemes are as good if not better for redeeming flights
    •    they treat economy passengers better

Domestically - I still spend with Qantas. My reasons are
    •    travelling Jetstar is both uncomfortable, not that much cheaper, and a service free zone
    •    Virgin - are not that cheaper, their service is about the same, but I have to pay for the extra's
    •    Tiger - no comment
    •    I payed up front for a few years of Qantas Club membership - so until that runs out, I will remain faithful
But the whole industry appears to be in a bit of flux. After a recent experience travelling to the USA on the incredibly well thought out and delivered service of V Australia Business Class, and using the Virgin Australia lounge in Canberra, and being impressed with the service - maybe Virgin Australia will become my new preferred airline - both domestically and  internationally.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Now a website to get Michele Bachman's 'Crazy Eyes'

For those of you who don't necessarily follow USA politics.  The front runner in the recent Iowa 'Ames Straw Poll' event to pick the Republican Party presidential candidate is Michele Bachmann.  She has been known for a while as 'Crazy Eyes' - particularly after Tina Brown put her on the cover of Newsweek (now part of the

Now, of course, as the internet goes, someone has develped a site, where those 'Crazy Eyes' are interposed onto various famous people.  Strangely, the most disturbing example is Michele's 'Crazy Eyes' placed on her suspected closetcase, 'pray the gay away' therapist husband Marcus.

I really want to see Tony Abbot with those Crazy Eyes. Anyone with the time and photoshop skills? - or ask here.

Source: JoeMyGod

Friday, August 12, 2011

Conde Eleveator Tweet Stream stops. Nooooooooo!

The New York Times reports that the Conde Nast Elevator Tweet stream has now stopped
For the last five days, fear has hushed the elevators at Condé Nast. Few dared say much for fear of having their words appear on a satirical Twitter feed called @CondeElevator, which purported to capture the banalities and inanities of unsuspecting employees at the publisher of Vogue, GQ, Glamour and The New Yorker.
Those who weren’t so discreet would find exchanges like this posted online:
“Girl #1: I love that necklace, I saw it at Banana last week and almost bought it too. Girl #2: [flips hair] This is Gucci.”

Or this: “Girl 1: ‘Is this skirt totally see-through?’ Girl 2: ‘No! No! Looks great.’ Guy, after they exit: ‘That skirt was totally see-through.’ ”

Now, it seems safe to resume the idle chitchat.
I am devistated.

Source: New York Times

Join the Anti-Powerpoint Party

I hate almost everything about Powerpoint. I hate the way people use it. I hate the user interface. I hate listening to powerpoint presentations. I hate having to design them for clients.

Now I have a political party to join - even if it is really some self promotion for a public speaking coach.

For a really entertaining anti-powerpoint rant - hear Listen to Lucy in her podcast 'Anti-Powerpoint Revolutionaries Unite!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

One good thing that came out of the UK Riots

You so have to visit this site.  PhotoshopLooter

Is mocking looters in the UK unethical?

Wanna hear what they say in the Conde Nast building lifts?

My new favourite Twitter feed, is a record of conversations quoted from the lifts of the Conde Nast building in New York.

Gotta love it! Even quotes from Anna Wintour!

Find it at Conde Elevator