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Wednesday, March 9, 2016


Today, a few short bits of news at midweek.  First, a sidelight about Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who in 1991 was confirmed by the U.S. Senate after a bitter process, with attorney Anita Hill's testimony being particularly distressing.

On 22 February 2006, Thomas asked a question during a Supreme Court hearing.  More than TEN YEARS LATER, on 29 February 2016, he finally asked another question.  The audience gasped.  Save for him, during the past half a century, every associate justice has orally participated during every term (one year).  The absence of Antonin Scala, who with Thomas were the most Conservative, apparently triggered this breakthrough.

Last week an Airbus 380 Emirate flight of 8823 miles from Auckland to Dubai took 17, hours 15 minutes, the longest commercial flight ever.  Emirates indicated that their Boeing 777-200LR will also be utilized for this journey.  Their first class is famous, but here is the business class lounge:

Of course, gourmet meals with fine wines, but also an entertainment system of 2,000 channels.  Next?    A 17 hour 35 minute flight between Dubai and Panama City later this month.

Incidentally, Emirates was only rated #5 last year.  #1?   Qatar Airways.  Read about my flight from Doha to London.  Malaysian Airlines sat at #24.  I was learn that United was at #60 and Hawaiian at #82.  Even Aeroflot was at #46, and I once flew on one of their planes, and it reminded me of World War II.

Airlines Ratings selected Air New Zealand as Airlines of the Year.  Etihad Airways had the best first class and Singapore Airlines the best business class.  Best premium economy?  Air New Zealand.  Best economy?  Air New Zealand.

How is your internet speed?  Probably not bad.  However, it can be better.  World comparison in megabytes / second by Akamai in 2015:
  1. South Korea 20.5
  2. Sweden  17.4
  3. Norway  16.4
The world average was 5.1, with the USA #14 at 12.6.

However, BetaNews had the following:
  1. South Korea  22.2
  2. Hong Kong  16.8
  3. Japan  15.2
  4. Sweden 14.6
  5. Switzerland  14.5
  6. The Netherlands  14.2
  7. Latvia  13
  8. Ireland  12.7
  9. Czech Republic  12.3
  10. Finland  12.1
Wait a minute, where is the USA?  Depending on when the survey was taken, we have ranked from 16th to 19th, but we were up to 11.4 Mbps during the final quarter of 2015.  Mind you, DC leads the Nation with 19 Mbps and Delaware is up to 16.7 Mbps.  In Hawaii, Oceanic advertises, get internet up to 300 Mbps, but peak speeds are a whole another kind of comparison.


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