Monday, March 15, 2010

The Amtrak wifi experience – Ok for a free service but they choose what you cannot see

Acela - No Streaming media for youI am writing this on the Acela 2170 to new York from Washington DC using the wifi on the train. Amtrak is testing the service out. This is the 3 p.m train and in the car that I am in I counted 20 laptops. The connection was spotty and I had to reboot a couple of times to actually get the signal. This is not unexpected for a new service but I think my N95 tethered to TMobile’s service is faster. After releasing and renewing my IP a few times I could reasonably surf the net.

When I followed a link from Twitter to  I got the screen above. Now while this is not unreasonable  due to bandwidth concerns I shuddered at the words “ or that may contain content that could be considered questionable by some of our passengers” . Who is deciding this ?

Rob Pegoraro reviewed the Amtrak Wifi for the Washington Post :

By way of comparison, the in-flight WiFi sold by such airlines as AirTran, American Airlines, Delta and Virgin America generally blocks just Internet-calling services. Passengers have reported favorably about watching YouTube clips from 35,000 feet -- though others have found that when too many passengers try to jump online, the connection bogs down to an unusable degree.
Amtrak's press release (PDF) says it's "initially" offering WiFi for free; at some point, the railroad will review this policy and consider expanding access to other routes and stations.

Should this service become a non-free option (and my employer weren't picking up the tab), I doubt I'd pay. It's not so much the relatively slow speeds of Amtrak's WiFi; it's more that I've come to appreciate the value of enforced offline time in which I can read, write, nap and generally clear my head.

In my opinion Amtrak should carefully consider how customers use the service and set the capacity to match that otherwise they will end up with a service that is broken on start. What do you think ? How can Amtrak get over this brandwidth vs which sites to block dilemma? Have you used this service ?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Small Business Summit 2010

I will be speaking at the Small Business Summit 2010 NYC on March 16th. I have been attending for the last 4 years and meet a lot of small businesses and experts.

This year’s Small Business Summit promises to help you…

  • GROW Your Business in The New Economy
  • LEARN how to apply “big business strategies” without the huge budget
  • NETWORK with others interested in YOU and Your Product or Service
  • CONNECT with respected vendors who will be displaying the latest in technology advances
  • BE INSPIRED by business leaders who understand your small business challenges
  • HAVE FUN and be refreshed, renewed and ready to apply your new knowledge immediately!

Monday, March 01, 2010

How to be the Master of your time

I did a guest post for Deb Lee, Certified Professional Organizer® 


Technology can be a boon and a curse depending on who is the master. The ease at which you can create information and spread it across a large network of people carries a responsibility, not only for your time, but also the time it takes for the recipients of your message to open and read the message.

Here are some tips that have helped me manage my time and technology:

Read the rest of the post at Organize to Revitalize! The article is called

Advice From the Social Media Swami: How to be the Master of Your Time

AI generated summary of 60 minutes AI edition

In a 60 Minutes interview that aired on April 17, 2023, Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned that artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing rapid...