Upping the hotel ante

After something like 200 nights in a hotel in the NW of England, I’ve almost grown used to the idea that hotels in the UK don’t work any more – it’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that they look after the basics only: room + door key. Heating, hot water, bandwidth on demand are all extra.

This week I’m in San Francisco and staying in the most hi-tech hotel you could imagine. Plasma screens are everywhere – in the main room, the lounge (is that too 70s a word?) and in the bathroom (both in the shower and by the sink). All the screens are hi def. A single integrated remote control seems to control everything – with LCD panel and touch screen controls. Bandwidth from the wireless or fixed network (gratis, naturally) runs at between 2 mb/s and 3 mb/s – as good as I have at home at the moment. I have a DVD player and a couple of CD players (that even come with some discs to listen to – Ella Fitzgerald and Madeleine Peyroux, hotel choice or left by previous guests? Same in every room or different I wonder?). And there’s a socket for my ipod. The hotel’s even given me business cards with the phone and fax number on. I wonder if I can persuade the folks in the NW to adopt these standards? I don’t think I’ll be wondering long.

In the background I’m downloading IE 7 Beta 2 to compare it with Firefox. I doubt that I’ll be replacing FF any time soon, at least not with a Beta, but it deserves a look and credit to Msft for putting it out on general release. The cynics will say that they had to, but I prefer to take a more optimistic view that they’re doing the Kawasaki thing.

Yesterday I was pondering Google getting whacked, and whacked it did. Was that a reaction to just the financials or was it more than that I wonder? The stock is down 12% odd but was down as much as 20% earlier in the day. A comment on my post below says that not only will Google strip out censored words/sites, but they’ll replace them with links to why, say, “democracy is evil” (that adword cost for democracy must be going up and up). I hadn’t seen that in any of the press I read, maybe I missed it – anyone got a source?

Meanwhile, the fire alarm is going off in my super state of the art hotel … there’s “an emergency on a floor above” apparently. Good to see the fire alarm is nice and old fashioned. Some things don’t change – all hotels over the world like to test their alarms. Good job this isn’t at the usual time of 1am (although it’s around that time in the UK).

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