Economy Class, Re-defined

As someone who lives to see the world, the flights are probably my least favorite part. From the cramped leg space to the minimal seat pitch – it’s nice to see that there are changes being made in the world of mile high comfort.

Introducing Premium Economy from Cathay Pacific. Available on select routes between the US and Hong Kong. While many other airlines are creating similar class offers with extra leg room, it’s the situation of being on a plane for over 10 hours where I feel like these changes make the world of difference.

What does come with a 60% fare increase also comes with priority check in, increased checked luggage weight (from 20kg to 25kg), private cabin consisting of 26-34 seats, a foot rest, complimentary champagne, noise canceling headphones, a 38″ seat pitch (vs. 32″ in economy), 10.6″ personal TV, iPod/iPhone dock, in-seat power outlet and a menu that goes against every stereotype of airline food.

One can appreciate how Cathay is recognizing that the flight itself is a big part of any trip, especially those 12-14 hour flights. And while people have survived these flights in less than desirable conditions (i.e. economy) I’d like to believe that these changes will make the  flight more tolerable and less like a countdown to landing.

Time to start saving my pennies.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


Apple’s Anticipated Announcement, And Other Alliterations

Well folks, Apple’s next installment of expensive technology that everyone sits on the edge of their chair waiting for has come. The iPad 3, or iPad HD as it is being referred to.

The new iPad will start at $499, has a retina display, a 5-megapixel camera (with the same optics sensor from the iPhone 4S) and 1080p video recording. The iPad 2 will now cost $399 which is fantastic seeing as I just bought it a few months ago. C’est la tech vie.

So if this is the iPad you have been waiting for, be sure to hit the stores early on March 16th or pre-order yours now at

These iPhone Camera Apps Will Make Anyone Feel Like a Photog

Being able to take a high-quality picture with the iPhone just got better with the addition of some new/updated apps to the Apple App Store. Yes, Instagram and Hipstamatic are still novel yet these apps aim to challenge the status quo. And with more and more people taking advantage of these technology mash-ups, these photo apps are giving the creatively challenged an easy way and entertaining way to feel a bit more photo-savvy.

CAMERA AWESOME “… it is by far one of the most full-powered camera apps I’ve used, and it marks an exciting advance for smartphone cameras” quoted The Wall Street Journal. As listed on the iTunes store, Camera Awesome takes your photos to the next level by shooting faassst and taking sharper, better-exposed shots. Make your memories come alive with stunning professional effects.

DECIM8 This app aims to turn the nice and pretty into works of destructed art. Decim8 has been out for a bit but has just recently received some new tweaks enhancing the UI and also adding some new features like share to Twitter and send as a postcard.

INSTAMATCH One part picture app, one part mobile game. Instamatch brings the childhood game of memory to your phone and leverages Instagram photos (yours or others’) as the game pieces. Play against up to four of your friends in real-time. Avail on both iPad and iPhone.

Source: CoolHunting

Delta Wi-Fi Free* (note the asterisk)

It sounded to good to be true…and it was. For now at least.

Delta is now offering free Wi-Fi to its passengers but the catch is it can only be used to shop on Beyond the walls of the eCommerce giant, passengers will have to pony up and pay.

No results just yet, however I think forcing the hand is a good way to leave a sour taste in the mouth. But if sales fly (no pun intended) it may be one of the best ideas yet. Regardless, I don’t think it will last long.


Source: Mashable

The Cupcake Craze Goes Up A Notch

I got wind of this through my trusty, local news channel WGN where they cover the essentials in news – including this Cupcake ATM in Beverly Hills (of course).

What has become a national chain of sugar filled, buttercream topped cups, Sprinkles has gone automatic by installing an ATM that dispenses made-fresh-daily cupcakes. Open 24-hours, this aims to feed our midnight cupcake cravings.

Source: LAist

From the headlines: Hackers, and Soda, Head to Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue is borrowing another page from the Silicon Valley crowd as a leading media agency plays host to a weekend-long “hackathon,” with the involvement of the music streaming service Spotify and four big marketer clients.

The hack weekend, as it is being billed, is to begin on Friday night and run through Sunday. The host is OMD, part of the Omnicom Media Group division of the Omnicom Group.

The four OMD clients taking part are the CW television network, McDonald’s, the Mountain Dew soft drink sold by PepsiCo and State Farm Insurance. All four use music as part of their advertising, marketing and branding initiatives.

OMD is inviting hundreds of developers to hack away at the Spin table tennis club in Manhattan, with about 150 signed up to date. The developers will be asked to compete against each other and build apps or products on the new Spotify music apps A.P.I., or application programming interface.

(What does that mean? Ask a hacker.)

The prizes to be awarded on Sunday night will include a grand prize of $10,000.

“A lot of innovation is driven by hackathons,” said Jonathan Haber, chief innovation officer at OMD.

“This is an opportunity for advertisers to push the boundaries of innovation,” he added, “and an opportunity for developers to build relationships with advertisers.”

This is the first event for OMD like this with brand involvement, Mr. Haber said, a statement that was echoed by Jeff Levick, chief advertising officer at Spotify.

“What’s surprised us is the level of enthusiasm coming out of the developer community,” Mr. Levick said.

The developers are not required to include brands in what they build during the event; representatives of the brands will be on hand during the weekend for advice and consultation.

“It made a lot of sense for us” to take part “as consumers change their behavior with how they discover music,” said Jamal Henderson, senior brand manager for Mountain Dew at Pepsi Americas Beverages, part of PepsiCo.

The Mountain Dew brand has a music initiative, Green Label Sound, and one of its bands, MNDR, will play during the hack weekend “while the hackers hack,” Mr. Henderson said, laughing.

Also on hand will be copious quantities of Mountain Dew because of its abilities to help developers “hack all night,” he added.

Jenny Danzi, assistant brand manager on Mountain Dew, will be at the event and serve as a judge.

“Music is very important to us,” said Caty Burgess, vice president for media strategies at CW, which is owned by CBS  and Time Warner. She will be at the hack weekend, too, she added, calling herself “an O.K. Ping-Pong player.”

“I have people in my office every day” pitching ideas, Ms. Burgess said. “One of the exciting things about this is that it’s nice to get ahead of that.”

Ed Gold, advertising director at State Farm, said he welcomed a chance to have apps and products built “with State Farm in mind” after seeing “hackathons produce great new products at so many tech companies like Facebook, Google and beyond.”

“State Farm has always used music as a platform to reach passionate audiences,” Mr. Gold said, “and with Spotify playing such a large role in how consumers enjoy music we want to be on the forefront of what they’re doing.”

Source: NYTimes

Nike Leverages Celebrity, Jeremy Lin, to Create Utility Content

This video came up on my Facebook news feed. While Nike is always creating great work, what I like about this is that they are using a relevant celebrity to create video content that is not only entertaining but also providing some utility. And clearly, it’s interesting enough to provoke social sharing.