American Airlines Mobile Boarding Pass

Tested out American Airlines’ new mobile boarding pass option on my flight from LAX to ORD for Thanksgiving. It worked out, but I was glad that the airport wasn’t busy. I recommend carrying a printed boarding pass for backup while they work out the kinks.

At the checkpoint, it was scanned no problem — in fact the guy tried to spread-zoom my screen iPhone style. Heh. He gave me a laminated green slip of paper with a number on it. Mine was “59” My first green card! After passing through the scanner, the TSA woman (who was obviously new on the job) didn’t know what to do and called for a supervisor who in turn snapped at her for turning her back on the human walk-through scanner. “I’ve seen people run through these before,” he warned.

At the gate, American’s scanners didn’t quite pick up the code, but they were able to check me thru by matching the info on the image on my phone with that in the database.

And then the obvious “joke” about someday soon we’ll all just have barcodes embedded into our foreheads. Maybe we already do.

How Did Blagojevich Manage to Stay in Power so Long?

Guilty Rod BlagojevichWhat the whole world now knows about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich comes as no surprise to Illinoisians and other observers. a quick search reveals that one of my earliest blog entries here, in Sept. 2005, mentions him as a criminal. Unbelievable?!? Hardly — Blagojevich is the fifth Illinois governor of the last nine to be indicted.

Of course, he got reelected, as Daley always does, because the machine wins — or else. And fortunately Obama made his run this year instead of waiting until the rest of the world got wind of the stench of corruption perennially consuming Springfield / Chicago politics. It always seemed Obama was careful to skirt the machine, with relationships that were chilly — at best — with Blago and Daley.

The real crime here may be at the hands of the Chicago Tribune. How long were they sitting on the story of Blagojevich’s jockeying to dump Tribune editorial board members who slammed him in exchange for working a sweet deal for the sale of the Cubs? Gotta love these quotes though:

“Unless I get something real good [for Senate candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying,” Blagojevich was taped saying on November 3rd, the day before Election Day.

“[The Senate seat] is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

Justice at last. Full coverage at Chicago Public Radio.

Click here for the full 76-page indictment (PDF).

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PHOTOS: Obama Family Slideshow – Election Night

This has received considerable attention in the MSM and among geeks like me. I’d just like to say that it registers with much pride that the Obama administration is so progressive as to embrace such web 2.0 tools (that I’ve tried to convince and train friends and family to similarly use for years) as Flickr, UStream, and now YouTube with the Change.gov channel. And not only that, but to take the extra step and switch the all rights reserved license to a Creative Commons license, which effectively abolishes any copyright / licensing issues anyone would have with republishing these photos non-commercially.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

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R.I.P. Studs Terkel

studs terkelOne of the greatest radio voices of all time, pioneering storyteller Louis “Studs” Terkel died today. He was 96. What he gave to journalism and radio storytelling has everything to do with my addiction to podcasts, public radio and journalism of the people for the people and to the people.

It goes without saying that Terkel’s unique traveling interview style, best illustrated on 1963’s “This Train” is the model for great audio and visual storytelling of today. While riding the train from Chicago to the civil rights march in Washington D.C., Terkel gathered the voices of anger, joy and ultimately optimism from people of all ages making that historic trip. Just listen to part one of “This Train” below and, suddenly, you won’t think This American Life is the most revolutionary program to hit radio.

Studs was a Chicago guy but his stories had a purely American bent, touching on difficult matters of importance and celebrating life coast to coast. I’m sorry that he will not be around to see Barack Obama become president, although he discussed as much with a Huffington Post scribe in the days before his passing. I’m also sad that the Cubs couldn’t pull it out this year for Terkel and other Cubs fans who’ve waited the better part of 100 years to see a championship.

Studs Terkel was an activist until his dying days, playing a prominent role challenging AT&T’s corroboration in releasing records to the National Security Agency in 2006.

I hope to locate the full audio of this amazing piece to post later. For now, here’s the first 50 minutes of “This Train.”

Video and more below:

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