25 July 2009

Update on United Breaking Guitars

United donated $3,000 to the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz on behalf of David Carroll, who said they broke his instrument in transit. This article has more details, and also talks about the power of the Internet in getting a response from a company.

22 July 2009

Summer Reading Ideas

Here is a link to some summer reading ideas from the University of Texas at Austin.

11 July 2009

An MTV Style Video about United Breaking Guitars

A musician produced this video after he tried and failed to get United to reimburse him for a broken guitar.

03 July 2009

Metro and its Train Problems

As details continue to come out about Metro and its train problems, it's becoming clear to me that Metro is not careful enough with passenger safety.

This article says that Metro believes that the defect in the train circuitry would have been "impossible" to detect.  I beg to differ.  While perhaps someone staring at the screen might not notice something, one of the advantages of having a computer monitoring things is that you can use the computer to stare at the screen (or watch for strange things happening).  What the computer should have been programmed to notice is a train suddenly disappearing.  Even on Metro, trains don't mysteriously disappear.  They move into the next signal block further down the line.  If a train disappears without moving into the next signal block down the line, then that, to me, signifies a Problem.  The computer should have been programmed to notice disappearing trains and report them.

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) had the same problem.  Rene posted to Twitter about this.