A bad morning in AirWorld

On my way to RTP this morning and the lines at T.F. Green airport in Providence, RI were the longest I’ve ever seen — snaking out the doors onto the sidewalk when I arrived at 6:45 a.m.

Big bins set up along the aisles and aisles of shuffling passengers, people dropping in bottles of water, me contributing a lost set of Nyquil gel tabs. I cleared the line and the scan in 45 minutes, which was pretty surprising. It had the look and feel of a 90 minute wait.
The screening was no different than any other trip. I was asked if I had any liquids and that was it. I don’t believe they can screen for liquids per se, and I was very paranoid that my four pacls of spare contact lenses would get confiscated due to the little bit of saline solution they float in.

I simply didn’t bring any shaving gear. No razor, no comb, no nothing. The pharmacies and convenience stores are going to have a rush of business I think.

The mood is grim. People are seriously bummed out to have to go through this. The air of resignation is high among me and my fellow Willy Lomans. This is going to be the norm for a very, very long time. This morning’s news of a massive laptop battery recall by one of our competitors and the the “Snakes on a Plane” effect makes me worried that we could see notebooks next on the list of banned devices — or anything with a Li-Ion battery. These things apparently cook off at 600 centigrade and after yesterday’s piece in the WSJ, I think it is a matter of time before we all pack our lives onto USB keys and plug them into desktops at the other end of the journey.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “A bad morning in AirWorld”

  1. USB drives (plus their big daddy the external hard drive) are the way to go. Why lug your laptop when you can just plug your data in. The only problem is proprietary software.

    You can get a 150 gig external drive for $80 bucks at BestBuy, less if you really want to shop it. Could the time be here for simple desktop devices with marginal internal drives?

    Oh well, we’ll all be flying naked soon.

  2. If we can get the USB key “jump drives” up to say 20-30 Gig and then put our data and applications on them we would be in great shape.

    I knew a security guru who put a light version of Linux and some TC/IP applications on a 64 MB USB key and could spoof your laptop with it to gain access to your company’s LAN.

    Of course with that kind of capacity in such a small package data security could be a challenge, but security will ALWAYS be a challenge.

    More function is being packed into cell phones so why not make them your data storage device and mini-PC.

  3. David,

    It’s interesting to see the PC industry almost going full circle back to the mainframe business model of the 70’s, that the very PC stand alone hardware / software proposition helped revolutionize. Software is already on a path to eliminate shrinkwrap versions, thus making the latest version always the current version which reduces compatibility issues, and theoretically benefits the customer. It also boosts revenue streams and helps address counterfeiting threats. Some tenative forrays into “utility computing” drawing and paying only for the level of resource you need at a time have been made, as well as pay as you go models being tried out in emerging markets. So, what if the hardware & software players formed a consortium and really implemented ‘pervasive computing’ where virtually all public places would have pay per use computing devices. (many do today, just not like this) You could also lease different device configurations for home use the way you lease Tivo or satelite TV today. It would come along with the broadband as part of a monthly package. You’d pay for the feature level you wanted, along with a certain bandwidth potential. Initially, personal data could be stored on USB type memory and caried from home to virtually any location to be used – airport, office, coffee shop, etc. Public access would be managed much the same way that co-located ATMs are today. Further on this continum, one would just pay for online storage, accessible over the internet – no need to carry your data – go anywhere to get it. Think of it as a fusion of Web, OS and applications. I would see biometrics figuring heavily into this vision with fingerprint or retinal scans for access and billing.

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