Planet DMC

News and tidbits from the travel industry

Category: Ars Technica

As of today, no US airlines operate the mighty Boeing 747

Way back in the 1960s, when the white heat of technological progress was burning bright, it looked for a while as if supersonic air travel was going to be the next big thing. France and Britain were collaborating on a new kind of airliner that would fly at twice the speed of sound and shrink the globe. But there was just one thing they hadn’t counted on: Boeing and its gargantuan 747 jumbo jet. The double-decker airliner wouldn’t break the sound barrier, but its vast size compared to anything else in the skies helped drop the cost of long-haul air travel, opening it up to the people in a way Concorde could never hope to do.Jonathan M. Gitlin (Ars Technica)

Data center disaster disrupts Delta Air Lines

The problem completely crippled the airline, knocking out flight operations and bookings. Although it is yet to be confirmed by Delta, a member of the FlyerTalk forums was told by the captain of their flight that the cause was a fire in the data center.Jonathan M. Gitlin (Ars Technica)

User ratings are unreliable, and we fail to account for that

The authors have some suggestions for how people can get better information from user ratings. The first and most obvious one is sample size: if there are only a handful of reviews for a product, it’s unwise to infer much about the product’s quality based on those reviews. But even if there’s a healthy sample size, it’s always good to look for other sources of information, too.Cathleen O’Grady (Ars Technica)

IBM Watson now powers a Hilton hotel robot concierge

In this case, Watson’s main role is natural language processing, which enables the bot to welcome guests, grasp their spoken queries, and answer accordingly. The information on local attractions and interesting sites is actually channelled from the database of travel platform WayBlazer, also an IBM’s partner. Connie is also designed to improve itself through interactions with human customers, learning from frequent queries how to fine-tune its recommendations.Gian Volpicelli (Ars Technica)

San Francisco’s largest taxi firm files for bankruptcy protection, owes over $20M

The company’s troubles come as the taxi industry as a whole has simultaneously been squeezed by startup newcomers such as Uber, Lyft, and the recently defunct Sidecar. Those companies are regulated under California’s “transportation networking company” (TNC) law, which is separate from traditional taxi law.Cyrus Farivar (Ars Technica)

Google mixes business with pleasure, updates Flights shopping service

Our research shows more than half of searchers don’t know where they’re going to travel when they sit down to plan.Eric Zimmerman (Google)

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