National / International News

Airlines use illusion to make coach seem more spacious

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-26 02:03

Like most of us, you have probably flown coach recently. Did it seem spacious to you? Probably not. Airlines are hoping to change that—not with bigger seats, but by creating the impression of more room with larger video screens and new headrests.

Joe Brancatelli runs JoeSentMe, a website for business travelers. He says the illusion is just that: an illusion. Coach seats have gotten smaller he says and they continue to get smaller.

The whole shrinking airplane seat situation makes Joe Brancatelli thinks of a Marx Brothers' joke. It's the one where Groucho calls up room service and asks them to send up more room. Instead, they send up more people to his tiny space.

Brancatelli says airplane perks like larger video screens are distractions from slimmer seats which are now seven inches less than an average desk chair. Meanwhile, he says first class keeps getting nicer.

The difference in comfort between first class and coach is growing Brancatelli says. “It really is a yawning gap culturally,” he says, “and people are beginning to seize on this and say it's like what is going on in society.”

Chris Lopinto has noticed the increasing difference between the two airplane classes. Lopinto is co-founder of He points to how American Airlines is concentrating more on first class as it upgrades its fleet. Lopinto says, “That's the way it is because that's where a lot of the revenue comes from.”

Lopinto says in American Airlines' new planes, economy fliers will get some upgrades like more personal video screens, power outlets, and pay-as-you-go wifi.

 As for the seats, he says if anything they are going to get a tad smaller.

Blackberry plans self-destructing phone

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-26 02:03

The Canadian smartphone company Blackberry has partnered with Boeing to make a phone that can self-destruct if it gets into the wrong hands.

The phone is designed for people in the defense and security industries. Blackberry is hoping this emphasis on security will tap into a growth market and turn the company around. Aptly named the “Boeing Black,” any attempt to crack it open triggers a Mission Impossible-style deletion of data and renders the phone inoperable.

Apple and Samsung may rule the consumer-side of smartphones for some time, “…but on the business-side and the government-side, Blackberry is gold,” notes Jeff Kagan, a tech industry analyst based in Atlanta. He says smartphone security is growth industry, and it won’t be just the Boeings of the world, who want these added protections. 

Turkey 'insult' teenager released

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 01:55
A Turkish teenager who was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been released but still faces trial.

Shoppers flock to Boxing Day sales

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 01:53
Shoppers across the UK descend on their High Street stores for the annual Boxing Day sales.

City square attractions reopen

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 01:47
Festive attractions in Glasgow's George Square are to reopen after the lorry crash which killed six people on Monday.

Parcel delivery jobs under threat

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 01:38
Ninety City Link parcel delivery jobs in Wales are under threat as the firm goes into administration.

VIDEO: Boxing Day sales: 'Adrenaline rush'

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 01:29
The Boxing Day sales are underway with retail analysts expecting it to come a close second to the so-called Black Friday sales last month.

Captain Smith steadies Australia

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 01:09
Australia captain Steven Smith guides the hosts to 259-5 on the opening day of the third Test against India.

Ukraine peace talks called off

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:59
Peace talks between Ukraine's government and pro-Russian rebels, due to take place in Minsk, have been called off, Belarusian officials say.

VIDEO: Ten years on from the Hunting Act

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:58
Up to 300 boxing day hunts are expected to take place across the UK today - 10 years after the Hunting Act was first passed.

VIDEO: Football stadium disabled access tackled

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:51
Sports fans with disabilities are being consulted by the government on their treatment at grounds as it is revealed that 'half' of premiership clubs fail to provide wheelchair space

VIDEO: Lifestyle causes '40%' cancer cases

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:46
Nearly 600,000 cancer cases in the UK could have been avoided in the last five years if people chose healthier lifestyles.

Fatal crash site speed limit review

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:36
Speed limits could be lowered on a South Yorkshire stretch of road where five teenagers died in a crash, Doncaster Council says.

Cat burglar's stolen stash revealed

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:35
Real-life cat burglar Theo turns his home town of Ipswich into a crime hotspot keeping his embarrassed owner busy returning items to her neighbours.

Mountain bid 'slower than expected'

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:30
A community group that wants to buy a Lake District mountain says progress on its bid is slower than expected, but it remains positive.

Japan’s savings rate turns negative

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:24
It's a notable transformation from when Japan was a nation of savers, and had the highest savings rate in the world.

Met Office snow warning for Wales

BBC - Fri, 2014-12-26 00:05
Up to 10cm of snow could fall across many parts of Wales, the Met Office warns.

Tokyo stocks make slight gains

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 23:56
Tokyo market report

Friday's gossip column

BBC - Thu, 2014-12-25 23:43
Lampard set to extend Man City loan, Milner tipped for Liverpool move, Mourinho praises Allardyce plus more.

Sony Hack Highlights The Global Underground Market For Malware

NPR News - Thu, 2014-12-25 23:36

The software used in the Sony data breach is available on the underground market. This makes it easier for criminals to execute an attack but harder to identify the perpetrators.

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