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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Safe Computing for Business Travelers

Safe Computing for Business Travelers

Recently, we looked at the problem of “evil twins,” hot spots that seem legitimate but are operated by a hacker that are increasingly popping up in public and semi-public spaces including hotels, airports, and conference venues.
This month we look at other risks.
Hotels are a prime target for laptop thieves; look at any unoccupied meeting room, replete with laptops, and you’ll understand why.  But the loss of a $2000 laptop may …

Austrian Airlines Flights 87 and 88, New York-JFK Vienna and Return

Austrian Airlines Flights 87 and 88, New York-JFK Vienna and Return

A coffeehouse at 35,000 feet
Terminal 1 is the busy home to 16 airlines. I found Austrian’s check-in area quite easily and checked in without any waiting.  The agent invited me to visit Alitalia’s lounge, where I watched a Euro 2008 match with a glass of wine and a salad.
BOARDING
Austrian allowed early boarding for business class passengers and within minutes I was comfortably ensconced in my business class seat.  The crew …

Security Alert: Is Your Smartphone Vulnerable?

Security Alert: Is Your Smartphone Vulnerable?

Is your smartphone secured or was a password too much of a bother?  Think about what’s stored in your phone, including contact lists, e-mail messages, documents, proposals, spreadsheets, and presentations – many of which could be confidential.
Smartphones are much easier to lose track of than a laptop; they are also much more likely to be damaged or stolen.  Many don’t have remote wipe capabilities, a security feature popularized by Research …

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing

Headline writers love to proclaim The Next Big Thing, something I talked about in a column almost eight years ago.
At the time, I commented on TSTBTNBTBNWs (Things Supposed to Be the Next Big Thing but Never Were).  A few items on this list included artificial intelligence and push technology (such as PointCast).
Truly great ideas in business that weren’t proclaimed The Next Big Thing when they arrived on the scene include …

Mercedes-Benz S550

Mercedes-Benz S550

What was the first production car to come standard with electronic ABS (anti-lock braking) and an airbag?  The Mercedes S-Class of course.  Today, the 2008 Mercedes S-Class represents a combination of luxury and handling that safely transports driver and passengers with a menu of Mercedes safety innovations such as the crumple zone, safety steering wheel, and seat belt tensioner.  It was all new in 2007 and little changed for 2008.
The …

Top Down: BMW 335i Cabrio, Mercedes-Benz SLK350, and Volvo C70

Top Down: BMW 335i Cabrio, Mercedes-Benz SLK350, and Volvo C70

DRIVE TIME – TOP DOWN
Summer. A time when the business traveler’s mind turns to… convertibles!
Nothing says summer like a bright red convertible.  Unless it’s a medium-blue convertible. Or a metallic grey roadster.
In the automobile’s earliest days, all cars were open; the open car continues to be seen as sporty and adventurous and perfect for hot summer days.  The rest of the time, they were drafty, noisy, and considered less safe …

Lexus LS 460

Lexus LS 460

Three brands lead in executive class luxury: BMW, with the 7er Series, Lexus, with the LS sedan, and Mercedes, with the S-Class.  BMW is introducing a new 7er Series later this year so we’ll focus our attention on Lexus (here) and Mercedes.
Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division, debuted in 1989 with the first-generation LS sedan.  Since then, subsequent generations of the LS have been recognized for their reliability and luxurious appointments.  The …