Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Upping the hotel ante
After something like 200 nights in a hotel in the NW of England, I've almost grown used to the idea that hotels in the UK don't work any more - it's not that they're bad, it's just that they look after the basics only: room + door key. Heating, hot water, bandwidth on demand are all extra. This week I'm in San Francisco and staying in the most hi-tech hotel you could imagine. Plasma screens are everywhere - in the main room, the lounge (is that too 70s a word?) and in the bathroom (both in the shower and by the sink). All the screens are hi def. A single integrated remote control seems to control everything - with LCD panel and touch screen controls. Bandwidth from the wireless or fixed network (gratis, naturally) runs at between 2 mb/s and 3 mb/s - as good as I have at home at the moment. I have a DVD player and a couple of CD players (that even come with some discs to listen to - Ella Fitzgerald and Madeleine Peyroux, hotel choice or left by previous guests? Same in every room or different I wonder?). And there's a socket for my ipod. The hotel's even given me business cards with the phone and fax number on. I wonder if I can persuade the folks in the NW to adopt these standards? I don't think I'll be wondering long. In the background I'm downloading IE 7 Beta 2 to compare it with Firefox. I doubt that I'll be replacing FF any time soon, at least not with a Beta, but it deserves a look and credit to Msft for putting it out on general release. The cynics will say that they had to, but I prefer to take a more optimistic view that they're doing the Kawasaki thing. Yesterday I was pondering Google getting whacked, and whacked it did. Was that a reaction to just the financials or was it more than that I wonder? The stock is down 12% odd but was down as much as 20% earlier in the day. A comment on my post below says that not only will Google strip out censored words/sites, but they'll replace them with links to why, say, "democracy is evil" (that adword cost for democracy must be going up and up). I hadn't seen that in any of the press I read, maybe I missed it - anyone got a source? Meanwhile, the fire alarm is going off in my super state of the art hotel ... there's "an emergency on a floor above" apparently. Good to see the fire alarm is nice and old fashioned. Some things don't change - all hotels over the world like to test their alarms. Good job this isn't at the usual time of 1am (although it's around that time in the UK).
Posted by Alan at Tuesday, January 31, 2006