Archive for November, 2006

Fixing the Airline Problem

November 28th, 2006

Much has been made of the air travel lately…the lines, the inconveniences, “take your shoes off”, 3oz bottles, etc. We all know it’s a pain…but what I want to talk about is luggage. The percentage of luggage lost in recent months has skyrocketed. O’reilly was even barking the other day that the federal government should step in and do something about all this lost luggage! What!? Right…that would work…

Look, nobody is not flying because more luggage is getting lost. Now, more folks may be mailing their own bags, but people are still flying. Airlines feel little pressure to take drastic measures to improve customer experiences. Here’s what I think needs to happen for the airline experience to improve. Some small to mid-sized fleet needs to go out on a limb. What would happen tomorrow if JetBlue or AirTran came out and said: “Folks…if you hop on one of our planes and arrive at your destination without your luggage, we’ll refund the cost of your ticket.” No credit for next time. Just an immediate credit to your charge card.

Independence Air attempted something like this in 2005, but there were no 3oz restrictions, and a voucher was given for future travel. Tell me this…if you lose my luggage, why would I want to travel with you again? A luggage guarantee would be a drastic program that would shake up the airline industry, which desperately needs shaking up right now.

Tyson Politics

Remote Backup for Some Peace of Mind

November 14th, 2006

***UPDATE 11/17/***
Funny how things work…merely three days after writing this post I receive this email from DataDepositBox:

“Dear Member,

Data Deposit Box™ is pleased to announce that effective November 15th 2006 backing up your computer online will cost just $2 per gigabyte per month. This represents a savings of up to 80 per cent for DDB customers.

Now $2 per month is all it takes to protect up to 1GB of your valuable computer data – there is no limit to how much data you can back up. You simply pay $2/GB for the storage you use.”

I guess I’ll stick with them now :-)

I have spoken with several of you lately about whether or not you use a backup solution for your home or work computer. Personally, I have become a firm believer in regular backups (not because I have experienced a total data loss, but because I know people who have and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure).

For the past year or two I’ve been using DataDepositBox ( and I have no problem recommending this service. It has been rock solid and has all the features you could need. My one complaint is that it hasn’t adjusted its pricing structure as newer and cheaper solutions have come to market. With DDB, you pay for what you use, so my bill has been constantly going up. I’m now paying close to $15 a month for about 2GB of storage.

I’ve done a ton of research lately into alternatives for online backup, and there are some interesting options out there. Services like, xDrive, Mozy and Carbonite have really spiced up the market. Tonight I have decided to give Mozy a try for the following reasons:

  1. It has all the important features I was looking for, including versioning and incremental backups. It can even backup files currently being used like my Outlook archive, so I’ll always have a fresh copy of my email.
  2. It runs in the system tray just like DDB does, and I can configure when I want it to backup and when I want it to be idle (it won’t interfere if I’m using my computer).
  3. It’s cheap! I’ll get the 2GB I’ve been using for free, and I can expand that to 30GB for only $5 / month. At the least I’ll be saving $10 a month for the same type of service.

Installation was pretty simple, and I’m about to begin the first initial download (which will take several hours, even with FiOS). I’ve read to many good reviews about Mozy to not be optimistic, though. If you don’t have a backup solution in place, I would strongly recommend you check out the options above and find something.

Tyson Technology

A Sincere Apology – How Refreshing!

November 2nd, 2006

New York Mets reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended for 50 games this week for testing positive for banned substances under baseball’s substance abuse policy. This is not a surprise. No suspension would be a surprise at this point. What was a surprise was what came next: A sincere apology.

“I have no one to blame but myself. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept MLB’s suspension. I used extremely poor judgment and deserve to be held accountable.”

(rubbing eyes)….uh…what!? You take what? You deserve what? Are you kidding me!? Very impressive, Mr. Mota, very impressive.

To put this statement in perspective, let’s take a look at a few apologies from other famous people recently.

John Kerry this week:

“I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.”

Hmm…sounds like I made the mistake. I’ll get to work on my interpretation skills, though, we could all use some practice.

OK, how about MLB star Rafael Palmeiro on his positive steroids test:

“I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body, the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program.”


The Pope, earlier this year:

“I am deeply sorry for the reactions in some countries to a few passages of my address which were considered offensive.”

Again…he’s sorry about your reaction…

Come on, now…we all make mistakes. A wise person once told me, “Son, we all make mistakes. It’s how you handle yourself after the mistake that will distinguish you.” Thanks for the reminder, Guillermo.

Tyson General