Saturday, December 13, 2008

3 observations prompted by overnight air travel

(Attention conservation notice: Hastily written to pass the time in Charlotte NC airport between a red-eye and a connecting flight. Adjust your quality expectations accordingly.)

1. One of the most important pieces of information when walking through an airport is the current time. Yet in a surprising number of airports one can walk for many minutes without seeing a clock in one's line of sight. (Long digression on central planning & incentives nipped in the bud here.)

2. I always thought of the PSP (PlayStation Portable) as a niche device principally used to play games (at least in the US).  However, the young woman sitting to my left and the guy sitting 2 seats to my right each had one, and were using them exclusively to watch movies and listen to music respectively. Evidently Sony has been doing better selling these than I thought, and people have succeeded in using them for more purposes than I would have expected. I know that these devices can play video & music, but the experience of acquiring content, managing your collection, and loading it onto the device is hardly seamless; but maybe this deters people less than I thought. (Demographic note: the guy was also reading a novel of the obvious pulp fantasy nature called "Vorpal Blade".)

3. See the attached image for your amusement. Offered with the sole comment: What would you think of this ad if you didn't know that colds were caused by a type of virus called a "rhinovirus"?

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