German Word 2012: Stress Test

2011. Euro-crisis is my personally most disturbing issue of the year. “Stress test” has been selected “Word of the year” in Germany. And it covers more issues…

fukushimaStress test 1: Fukushima
We have just one planet. I personally was “pro atomic energy”, as we did not have many alternatives. Now we have them, solar energy solutions are getting better and solar parks in the worlds deserts could provide enough energy anywhere – given, we invest in the infrastructure. But Germans sue against overland power lines, as they go by in there neighborhood… How shall we install such across Europe or beyond?! German saying about the saint of the fire fighters: O holy dear Saint Florian, spare my house, take the neighbor’s one”…
But Fukushima also stands for a disastrous communication by “the government”. Not only in the beginning, but to date! Worse than Chernobyl? Not only the GAU, but also the communication!

stuttgart21Stress test 2: Stuttgart 21
Internationally likely irrelevant, German Rail tries to invest billions into a new – state of the art – railway station. They went through the bureaucratic processes, but simply kept it quiet. Once they started to build, suddenly “the people” learned about it. I do believe, the following outcry could have been neglected, if the communication would have taken them into the process from the beginning. But the mindset of the decision makers (world wide) is simply to ignore the public and do things. That backfired here and it shows that communication becomes public now – and people get organized quickly, using the new technologies (not just the “social networks”).

New monetary support. You can deposit it right here with us.
New monetary support. You can deposit it right here with us.

Stress test 3: Euro Crisis
How this crisis is handled, is an example on the same issue. Politicians simply ignoring the people. German public television ARD (“Das Erste”) in their program “Monitor” reported, how German government kept Greece from going bankrupt, not to the benefit of the people, but to the pure benefit of the banks! Meanwhile, the EU bailout funds, mainly “paid” by Germany exceeds any household – if Euro goes broke, we will go broke on the big scale! I therefore call our government (and Chancellor Angela Merkel) simply corrupt!
Need another proof? The recent elections in Russia. Everyone says, they were staged by “United Russia”, the party dominated (owned) by Putin and Medvedev. The people – a first in Russia – demonstrated against it. Published proof via mobile phones and Internet. Now Putin and Medvedev offer Europe to invest 20 Billion into the Euro… When? No information. But suddenly all political dissent ceases – you can’t argue against the corrupt government, if they offer you such bribe! Bribing I call it, bribing it is!

Other Stress Testing
In a recent report in the printed version of FVW about global aviation and Emirates vs. Lufthansa quoted Gerd Pontius of Prologis Hamburg: “While aviation in the Gulf Region is part of the [government’s] commerical strategy, Europe[an politicians] only see it as a milk cow.” (translated from German).

And while that is true, our experience now includes daycare in Germany does not allow for decent child care. Original from our experience in Erfurt, capital of the state of Thuringia: “If you want a kindergarten place for your child, to get it for a one-year-old, we have a waiting list until 2013.” So in fact, before you get pregnant, you have to secure the place for your child! And better don’t move here, because you won’t get daycare for your child either. From 2012, we shall have a right for daycare. But instead of making the daycare available, the politicians hope to delay it by another three years or pay the fees to the parents who end up without daycare, without ability to look for a job, because they have to do that on your own.
That is our government: Sit it out. Don’t move, don’t change, only if you have to. They call this conservative and are proud of it.

germanpartiesThere is a recent crisis in the governing party “FDP”, our foreign minister is member of that one. They would not even be elected if elections would be today. Yesterday, a question was asked, but not followed up upon: What are the differentiators between the parties?
In the good old days, CDU as “Christian-Democratic Union” was conservative, focusing on business, commerce and Christian values.
SPD was the party for the workers, a group that becomes increasingly large, but has no voice in politics today. They don’t have the lobby = political bribery! That history made them the best friends with the workers unions!
FDP was the party for the small and midsized companies and their owners. That made them a natural partner for the CDU, but they focused on the smaller businesses and they were not the friends of the workers, but of the managers.
The Greens came in the 80s to power and made environmental issues and responsibilities a topic for the political society. They lost their bite in my view, as they did not seek an environment-friendly political strategy, seeking solutions to the pressing problems within the social and commercial environment, but they ignored anything but environment – to their believe, streets, air traffic and commerce is hostile. If they would have answers that are more practical, with a strategy toward their goal, they could even become my friends. With their stubborn opposition on aviation, I’m sorry. Give me an alternative (such as my old WIG-idea) and finance that.

But the politicians now want to serve anyone and most of all, they want to be friends with the lobbies and they are afraid to oppose for the sake of “their” voters – that makes them gray, they loose their color. They all become alike: Corrupt!
Change. We need people like Obama in the U.S.! Who is struggling against his narrow-minded opposition, also called the “political establishment”. No, that “political establishment” does not want “change”. They do not want the “good for the people and the country”, they want their pockets filled.

Will that be be better when we go to England? I doubt! Though the political opposition by Cameron lately is to me a good sign. And I suggested to my friends on Facebook, that I welcome Croatia in the EU, but recommend them, not to change to Euro any time soon. Yes, despite their problems, England is better off without the Euro right now…

Lots of Food for Thought and lots of concerns and missed opportunities.

ATR42 livery optionSo to finish this one off, about the question, if it is a good idea to launch a Regional Airline Network in Europe in these days… There’s an opportunity! We will need to make flying easier, better available. And the concentration to the hubs leaves many regions without decent airline connections they need commercially. So they need flights. Not the politicians, not the airlines, but commerce and industry. And that is an opportunity. Yes, it is more difficult than we expected to secure the funding, but it looks good and we are very sure it will pay off. So yes, it is a good idea and if you know regions needing air services, we have some good ideas how to make that happen 😉 Refer them to me 😀

0 - click to show Jürgen you liked the post

CheckIn 2015

No, this has nothing to do with my CheckIn-domains. After having discussed that topics at various options, I think it’s time to bring the topic up here to simply refer to it and not always repeat myself 😉

What will the check-in-process look like in 2015? How will RFID and NFC change the check-in-process?

rfidYou may have seen these ornament-like looking stuff on the back of the supermarket labels, electronics superstores and such and may have wondered what it is. It is the future…

It is called RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) and in short: A radio sender sends out a signal on a special wave length, that triggers the antenna and generates a little energy – just enough to reply with a small radio signal with the code that is on the little chip. Which is a binary code similar to a barcode.

Depending on the strength of the original signal and the quality of the RFID antenna+chip, RFID may reply over the distance of several meters. Such chips are in your passport, can be in your frequent flyer card, about anywhere.

Now a similar technology is NFC (Near Field Communication), you may have heard about to be implemented in the next generation mobile phones (they were expected to be in the new iPhone, but).

NGsecurityNow consider this scenario:

Your frequent flyer card and your passport contain a RFID chip. The airport provides you “preferred parking”, for which you also put a sticker (with such chip) behind your window. Your suitcase is equipped with an RFID. Your telephone identifies you via NFC.

rfid-bp-printerYour car approaches the airport. The intelligent airport parking system directs you to the best (or pre-reserved or VIP) parking lot available. When you exit the car, your suitcase (known from a previous flight to be yours) is identified. You need no bag-tag, as it is already tagged with it’s own RFID. While you enter the terminal dropping of the bag at one of the default baggage check-in-machines, your passport is triggered and directly identified. It contains a (chipped) visa for your destination. Your seat and boarding gate, together with an invitation to the VIP-lounge is transmitted to your smart phone. As you accessed the airport WiFi before, you are automatically connected to it, no 3G-charges apply. You walk through security, having your carry-on and your retina (eye-identification) checked, but as your boarding pass is your RFID and your passport is known, you are not further held back. As you miss your departure time while working in the lounge, the system detects you. You are not called out publicly, but the lounge manager approaches you and reminds you to get to the gate quickly.

In the aircraft, it is automatically checked that you take your seat in the right area of the aircraft, you sure have access to the onboard-WiFi.

Arriving at your destination, your passport and your visa is triggered the moment you leave the aircraft. Your ID is checked, as you approach customs and imigrations, you are not bothered about your passport, but leave the airport. Noone can leave the baggage area with your bag, as your other RFID signals show you away from the bag – an alert immediately calls in security.

Sounds futuristic? But it makes the painstaking airport security easy again, for passengers and the controllers alike, at the same time increasing the security level. It also reduces manpower needed to process the flight, once established, it’s simple decreasing the cost and improving customer (traveler) satisfaction. And the first steps are already taken! A chip label costs 3-5c or even less. There are customer cards having them available – many trade fairs allow the quick access with RFID-tagged tickets. The boarding pass printers supporting RFID are available and in use (so far local benefit only). It’s nothing that needs to be invented, simply requires some standardization for the chips.

Food for Thought
Comments welcome

2 - click to show Jürgen you liked the post

You Don’t Have to Be…

ERF You Dont Have to Be the PresidentIn 2009, I had the honor to be part in the handling team to prepare for the short visit by President Obama in Thuringia.

erf_pope2011_1In 2011 the President was followed by the Catholic Pope Benedict XVI, also visiting ERF and Thuringia, the heartland of the ‘renegade’ Lutheran church. Being the ultra conservative he is, he rejected the offered hand of the Protestant church.

The most preposterous notion that H. Sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all of history. [Lazarus Long]

P.S.: God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent-it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills. [Lazarus Long]

Food for Thought…

0 - click to show Jürgen you liked the post

9/11 – 10 Years After

What did we learn from 9/11?

What we did not learn is to my believe the real tragedy.

MuslimAmericaOnly extremes create extremism (and terrorism). I still miss the dialogue and that president Obama today reads from the bible sure is a short-sight, I understand to be American, but one reason all this happened! Is America Christian? Jewish? Islamic? Buddhist? Agnostic? Or all that and much more? The Islamic extremists believed that America is not the land of the free, but a anti-islamic enemy…

America represents the Western World. But from what viewpoint? Isn’t the world round? Where is the center of the map? Who is “better”?

Is the capitalistic world “better”? Lately we learn that capitalism – including the mighty America – supported dictatorships in the Islamic world. And only when the people stand up, America is there to help them?

The capitalistic world leads us in an unchristian world of greed (a mortal sin!) and unsocial behavior. The “shareholder value” is more important than employees, environment and social responsibilities. U.S. Banks kill money at a global rate, we (the banks, did not learn anything either from Lehmann Brothers and the reason of the global financial crisis this greed got us in.

NYC cab drivers
NYC cab drivers

And now, the leader (president) of that corrupt and greedy system cites the Bible of all possible sources?

We (especially ‘the U.S.’) believe that this, our system, is better than a tribal system as in the “Middle East”? I mentioned in my last blog entry: The sheiks are the leaders of their families. Their focus is on the benefit of the family, then the group, the country. Not in quick profit, but in long-term survival. Something America could – and should – learn a lesson from!

And something, anyone (like me), living of global tourism, should keep in mind and do his/her share to make change happen. No, I can not change this. But we all can!

To quote Lazarus Long again:
Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one man. How’s that again? I missed something.
Autocracy is based on the assumption that one man is wiser than a million men. Let’s play that over again, too. Who decides?

Hmmm… Food for Thought!

1 - click to show Jürgen you liked the post

What does an airline do with 90 A380

A380 Terminal DXBIn LinkedIn, based on a recent analysis by RBS, someone raised the concern about 90 A380. Will it impact Europe? I disagree with the question, it’s point of view and the analysis.

The main mistakes most “Western” analysts and experts do in looking at the Emirates (and the greater Middle East) is the trained focus on shareholder value, fiscal year (results) and political elections.

Long term thinking in “The West” has been replaced long ago by the above obstacles. But it is a vital part of the cultures in other parts of the world. First and foremost is the family. Followed by the clan. Then the neighboring clans, then by the “same people” (i.e. Muslims, other Sheiks, …). The main rule is that the family and the clan must prosper. Until very recently in such terms, the Sheiks survival was simply a matter of following these simple rules – which by the way are also described in the bible.

So what will ‘the Emirates’ (not just talking about the UAE) do with hundreds of A380s, with thousands of seats? Why do they build the largest number of luxury resorts worldwide? The Palm? The World? Free Zones for commerce? Because having the – what thes DO understand to be temporary – “Gift” of Cruide Oil income, their expressed target is to establish the Emirates regions as a crossroad for international tourism and commerce – and the “it-destination” for the rich and famous.

triballeaders_natgeoWhen the crude oil is gone, they will be remembered by their own for their foresight and to not just have spend the riches but at the same time made a lasting impact.

Will Europe, India, other markets suffer from that? Yes. Because the Emirates and their development tries to take away long-haul-connecting passengers. They will expand. They started on the racetrack Europe-Asia. They slowly expand now to Russia-North-Africa, connecting Asia with North Africa at the same time. They will not be competing much on the ruinous Europe-America-market, except to take the passengers connecting in Europe from North America to Asia…

They play by the rules, as long as these rules don’t interfere with their goal. when politically advisable. Else, always be aware: Their family and the clan comes first! If they have to bend or break other people rules for the benefit of the family or clan, they will do.

Their goal is so easy – but hard to grasp for too many of so-called “experts”, as their goals are so long-term…

Food For Thought…

1 - click to show Jürgen you liked the post