Friday, 20 November 2015

Flight of fancy(fulness)

One of the most useless travel ‘must haves’ has to be the faux business class offered on short-haul flights, rail travel etc, although it has to be said that some long-haul flight share some of the irony treating travel as something it plainly isn’t.

Fake boarding the plane. They call out business-class, or in the case of the budget airlines, idiot-class, to board first, followed by women with young perambulated offspring. What this means is, instead of reading a little longer in the comfort of the airport lounge and its slatted, haemorrhoid-inducing seating, you are rushed on to the plane ahead of the other passengers.

Now I appreciate the purchased-teeth, four-wheel-drive, electric gate brigade from, say Cheshire, love strutting their stuff in airport lounges, safe in the knowledge that the remaining cattle class passengers are fully aware they have paid for the privilege of being referred to as business class and are called to board the plane before anyone else.

However, by boarding first, all they have in fact paid extra for, is, a ticket that enables them to sit in a cramped seat for 45 minutes longer than the remainder of the passengers. And if it is a fully-booked flight, and the Cheshire passenger is seated in an aisle seat, they have an enjoyable hour or so of the proles brushing past them, or worse still, waiting in the aisle by their seat, reeking of beer, sweat or garlic, peering into the Cheshire’s phone or tablet screen as they wait to get to their own seat!

And what the Cheshires have totally forgotten, while strutting their implanted-teeth stuff, is that they are actually only showing off to a group of likeminded passengers who have opted to travel budget to save money. So all in reality they are doing is showing off that they couldn’t afford the regular scheduled air fare either. Or simply that where there’s muck there’s money, with not a brain between them.

Yes, showing off on a budget airline seems to be as pointless as the initial, selfless act itself of paying the budget airline for a premium service, as the words “premium” and “RyanAir” (other equally dismal budget airlines are sometimes available) simply do not go together in the same chapter, let alone the same sentence.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The dark web . . . . . . .

I took to the dark web yesterday, not to obtain illicit drugs, fake Euro notes or to purchase live ammunition.

No, rather than mess around with a proxy server and have to log out of my LinkedIn connection that is on auto-connect with my current browser (i.e. then have to look up what the password is again when I want to log back in), I simply used the dark web browser to anonymously look at the profiles of some of the people asking me to be their connections on this here LinkedIn.

The reason for this carry-on was because when you do look at someone's profile on LinkedIn, it registers with that particular someone that you have looked at. And some of these 'someones' not only look a bit shady, but I can't find even the slightest connection between me and them that would be to my - or their, unless their ultimate aim is to try and extract money out of me - benefit.

One request in this week was from a 19-year-old girl studying German at the University of Lagos, an institution I have since found out is more popularly known as Unilag, which I thought was the  description for any student anywhere in the world.

However, as one having a knee-jerk reaction when "Nigeria" and "the internet" appears in one sentence  (thanks due mainly to the thousands of relatives of the Nigerian Oil Ambassador who have offered me, as "Dear Beneficiary", $12.5million dollars over the past quarter of a century), I thought I would check it out, thereby at least giving this young lady the benefit of the doubt. But then, I thought, if she is not real, she will see that I have clicked through to her profile.

Hence the reason I went anonymously. As it turns out, not only did she have only three other connections at the time of asking me to connect, but without going into details, I was able to quickly ascertain that she was as genuine as a three-dollar bill and as sincere as the leader of Hamas. So I avoided.

Another request came, this time from a genuine entrepreneur with plenty of connections by the name of Bill. He was called Bill by the way, not his connections! Although the laws of probability might suggest otherwise that some of them might have indeed been named Bill. It looked reasonable by all accounts. Marketing, corporate events, MBA from a University, used to work at a division of general Motors, so at least there was a tenuous connection of some description.

And then I looked more closely at Bill's time-line. He was actually flogging our old friend MLM (Multi Level Marketing), or to you and I, he was Pyramid Selling). Yes, he was encouraging people sell on, for a small percentage of the price, a discount affiliate card to their own connections. one that I have never heard of, and one that looked as if it did nothing at all different to the ones the airlines and hotel chains already provide free.

Sorry Bill, I don't touch or sell on anything I wouldn't do or have myself, and selling an affiliate card where I put in all the effort and then take all the grief to provide you with a percentage is not for me. DIY.