Zu viele Pannen bei Sixt – nächstes Mal werde ich woanders mieten

Auf meiner letzten Dienstreise brauchte ich ein Auto – primär habe ich dort wegen der Öffnungszeiten gebucht: Ich brauchte den Wagen spät am Abend, und das war die einzige Vermietung am Bahnhof, die spät offen hatte.  Auch wenn ich €76 für ein kleines Auto für recht teuer halte.

Das Positive zuerst: Die Bedienung war freundlich.

Erste Überraschung: Ich soll einen Smart bekommen.  Ich dachte, ich hätte ein "normales" Auto gebucht. Aber wird schon stimmen. Gerade nachgeschaut: In der Reservierung steht "Beispiel: Opel Adam, VW Up!". Na ja, das sind schon Viersitzer!

Dann: Auto nicht da, wo es stehen soll.  Zurück zu Vermietung, dort 10 Minuten geduldig gewartet, dann zurück. Der Mitarbeiter hat dann zu Fuß (zum Glück ohne mich) das Parkhaus abgegrast und dann das Auto sieben Stockwerke höher gefunden. Durch die Logistikfehler bei Sixt mal eben eine Stunde verloren.

Auf der Rückfahrt: Vollgetankt, aber die Anzeige war nur auf 7/8. Ich dachte, das wäre ein Problem der Zapfanlage gewesen und habe noch mal woanders für €5 nachgetankt. Immer noch 7/8. Als Folge davon habe ich auch noch meinen Zug verpasst. Na gut, da kann Sixt nun wirklich nichts für, aber ich hätte schon merh als nur ein "tut uns Leid, passiert manchmal" erwartet.

Also: Nette Leute, aber ich sehe keinen Mehrwert von Sixt gegenüber einer Budgetagentur, bei der ich ein Drittel des Preises zahle.

Verdienen Lokführer genug? Ja! #GDL und #Weselsky verantwortungslos!

Um selber einschätzen zu können, ob der aktuelle Bahn-Streik gerechtfertigt ist, habe ich mir mal den Gehaltsspiegel der Lokführer angeschaut (Welt). Fazit: nicht üppig, aber Weißgott genug zum Leben, und im Vergleich (Bus- und Straßenbahnfahrer) durchaus angemessen.  Das bestätigt, dass hier auf den Rücken der Bahnfahrer (und Lokführer) ein politischer Kampf ausgeführt wird.

Ich fahre gern Bahn, und die Bahn hat schon genug Probleme: Nach oben müssen die mit Flugzeugen konkurrieren, nach unten mit Bussen.  Was hier an volkswirtschaftlichem Schaden angerichtet wird ist zum Heulen!

How the definition of hypertension changed over the years

I read before that the definition of "high blood pressure" has changed over time, and I finally wanted to find out if this is true, and if, by how much.  After searching for quite a bit, I found this great chart from Medscape that show the development of the JNC definition over time.  It’s clearly visible how the definition of "normal" dropped over time.

I don’t want to go into the reasons: The main question is whether we were initially wrong, or whether interest groups pushed it down. Make up your own mind.

Embedding the image does not seem to work, so check out the figure and the article.

FDP, Rest In Peace

Really? New colors for the FDP (liberal party of Germany)? It’s sad, it used to be a party for entrepreneurs and "Mittelstand". But it had become a party for nepotism, and in the end it was simply a pawn for Mrs. Merkel.

This would have been the chance for it to reinvent itself.  For instance, by addressing structural issues for small businesses, like charging for the first call to order (Abmahnung) which is unique worldwide and hampers innovation.  Or highway robbery schemes like mandatory memberships (e.g. IHK) and GEZ (television-fee), which businesses have to pay as well.

But the FDP considers a new color more important, and prefers to discuss the Burka than Business. Sad.

ACM considers open access proponents “IP Communists”

A commentary by Dirk Riehle brought my attention to the latest ACM Editorial, where Mr. Vardi states that "the open access (OA) movement found itself in the IP communist camp".  Like Dirk, I find this point of view regrettable and his arguments rather unconvincing.  I publish a lot myself.  Conveniently, Mr. Vardi talks about costs to readers and/or authors, but conveniently leaves out (to a large degree) the role publishers play. This matters, as a lot of the criticisms stems from publishers reaping amazing profits (e.g. Elsevier with a profit margin of 36% in 2010).

I am an entrepreneur, so I am hardly a communist.  I also agree that there are costs that have to be covered somehow.  But having been a researcher, I know that the bulk of the work (writing, reviewing, editing, etc.) is done by volunteers without monetary compensation. There is no justification for the status quo.

If you had the chance to delight a customer a zero cost, would you? Not if you’re #AirFrance

For a long time, Air France in general and the Airport Paris (CDG) in particular have been on my avoid-at-all-cost airlines/airports.  But sometimes, it’s not avoidable, for instance for getting to Toulouse for EclipseCon France.

Every time I have bad experience with a service/product/whatever and I try it again, I really try to open my mind.  Maybe they will delight me this time, inspite of my bad experience in the past.  Turns out I got disappointed again.  This time in a scenario that would have been easy for Air France to fix, and for free on top.

See, I like sitting in an aile seat on planes.  I had one.  It was broken.  It didn’t arrest its position, which was annoying.  So I asked, before take-off, whether there was a way for fixing it, or to reseat me to a functioning aile seat.  The Stuadress was nice but informed me that none was availble.  When I pointed to the ten free aile seats further up front, she informed me that she could not reseat me to business class.  Mind you, this was a one-hour flight from Düsseldorf to Paris.  So "business class" was just a tid bit more leg room, nothing else.  No fancy dinner or anything like that.

Being an avid reader of Seth Godin, he would cringe.  Was I unhappy? Yes.  Was there a way for fixing it? Yes.  Would it have cost the airline anything? Not a cent.  Why does Air France not empower their staff to delight, if it does not cost a thing?  I have no idea.  Just to clarify, I did not feel entitled to be reseated.  It’s the airline’s decision.  I just think that it’s a bad decision that will make me try to avoid Air France even harder (and help spread the word).

In the Stuardesses defence, I saw her talk to her supervisor, after our conversation.  The fact that I didn’t get reseated implies that heir supervisor either was not empowered, or did not care.  One as bad as the other.  Air France, good luck with your ongoing race to the bottom.

“Honest” open standards should come with an open source reference implementation, like #RMF for #ReqIF

In IT Standards and Open Source (Repeat), Dirk Riehle argues that there are two types of standards, "honest" and "dishonest".  He cautions to "be wary of any standard that does not come with an open source reference implementation; it might not be an honest standard." The ReqIF standard comes with a reference open source implementation, Eclipse RMF. Many other activities indicate that there is an honest desire to be open.