Airlines Restrict ‘Smart Luggage’ Over Fire Hazards Posed By Batteries

Airlines Restrict ‘Smart Luggage’ Over Fire Hazards Posed By Batteries : The Two-Way : NPR:

“Beginning Jan. 15, customers who travel with a smart bag must be able to remove the battery in case the bag has to be checked at any point in the customer’s journey. If the battery cannot be removed, the bag will not be allowed,” American said in a statement on Friday. The same day, Delta and Alaska announced similar policies on their flights.

American’s policy dictates that if the bag is carry-on size, passengers can take the luggage onboard, so long as the battery can be removed if needed. If passengers need to check the bag, the battery must be removed and carried onboard. But if the bag has a nonremovable battery, it can’t be checked or carried on.

An FAA spokesman told The Washington Post that the airlines’ policies are “consistent with our guidance that lithium-ion batteries should not be carried in the cargo hold.”

Last month I wrote: “Listening to an ad for luggage with a built in USB charger, which may be the worst idea ever. Now your suitcase can grow obsolete. What if it breaks? Or a bigger battery comes along? And you always have the weight penalty even when you don’t need it.” I think we can all agree now that this is a terrible idea for many reasons.

App subscriptions must offer value

Software authors are increasingly switching to subscription models to make their work “sustainable”. Too often they’re forgetting to make a value proposition that helps their customers. Here’s a hint: if you have to write a Medium post explaining why I should support your new business model, you’re doing it wrong.

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Introducing metric quantity units for computing

In computing, metric-sounding prefixes almost universally refer to sizes expressed as powers of two:

  • kilo = 2^10 = 1024
  • mega = 2^20 = 1,048,576
  • giga = 2^30 = 1,073,741,824
  • …and so on.
In 1998, the IEC incorrectly voted to change that, and it’s time to fix this mistake.

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Traveling with OmniFocus and OmniOutliner

I don’t travel a lot, so when I do I invariably find that I’ve forgotten something important (9 PM the night before: “say, dear, where are we boarding the dogs?” “I thought you were doing that!”). I wrote an AppleScript to copy items from an OmniOutliner document to an OmniFocus project so that I never have to forget again.

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Back home to WordPress

I’ve been blogging for years using one system or another:

At first, there was writing HTML in vim and using FTP to upload it.

Then there was a self-written system that pulled content out of MySQL and stuffed it into a template.

Next came WordPress, the first time. It was great in a lot of ways, but it was frankly kind of a security nightmare and not a lot better than the system I made.

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Provider

She was half-heartedly poking at the keyboard when the car started to move. Oh. “I guess I’m rolling. Coverage is sketch here so I might cut out.”

“Oh my God. You’re still shielding her? I thought we paid you better than that.” His voice lifted when he disapproved. She rolled her eyes. “Her husband gives me six bucks a mile. She probably just wants ice cream or fries or something.”

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America’s military versus the world

I am pro-military. I think having a strong military means we’re unlikely to have to use it to protect ourselves. But how strong does it actually need to be?

For the sake of argument, I’ll assume that spending corresponds to strength. That is, America spending $1 million gives us roughly as much military power as China or Russia spending $1 million. If this is not true, then we’re spending money poorly and should re-evaluate our budget before increasing it. But that whole line of argument frankly disrespects our world’s finest soldiers and sailors, so let’s agree to set that aside for now.

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Search-proof your devices when traveling

Over-eager airport security has recently taken to making travelers unlock their phones and tables for examination. This is both unforgivably invasive and trivially easy to defeat. Here’s how to protect your data1 on your iPhone or iPad2 when traveling.

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Rebooting

I started this blog twelve years ago. I always meant to update it regularly, but… life intervenes. After recently coming back to it, I decided it was due for a good cleaning. There were lots of old articles about things I no longer care about but that people on the Internet keep visiting and linking to. I kept them. But there were also a lot of opinion pieces that I no longer agree with. Their disposition was a harder decision. The possibility of deleting them felt dishonest, like I was denying ever holding those beliefs. Conversely, this blog isn’t a diary (I have a separate one of those) or a public record (I just write stuff every now and then).

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