Monday, 25 June 2012

Do you know where your laptop is right now?

All over the world, Zontians are boarding airplanes and jetting to Torino.

Many of them are carrying a bundle of electronics including laptops, smart phones, cameras and tablets. Including all the requisite cables, adapters and plugs.

Damn it - I'll plug in my Mickey toaster somehow! (source: gaicharisma)

And it turns out huge bunches of people don't know how to maintain their ownship of these items when travelling.

Fortunately you are all going to Torino which barely rates a mention on Absolute Software's 2011 Computer Theft Report.  No Italian airport was included on their Top 20 "most likely to have your laptop pinched" list.

So it is highly likely that in 2014 you will arrive in Orlando with that same laptop - and lose it there.

Orlando came in 4th in the USA list. And for god's sake, whatever you do - watch out in Atlanta!

Additionally, Absolute tell us how the laptops get lost:

Basically everywhere

So what does this mean when you are travelling through airports, and in particular among the millions that go through Orlando?

  • Don't pack your laptop in your suitcase.
I am astonished at the frequency with which people do this. Ask Schapelle Corby about the trustworthiness of baggage handlers. Your bags are handled by many people from several companies - the airline, the airline's outsourced handlers, the airport staff, govt inspection service, and this occurs through every airport. Your bag is scanned after you check it in and that is one point where your electronics clearly show up.

And BTW - since it is dangerous to put lithium ion batteries in the cargo, unless you remove the battery, then it is illegal to pack your equipment in your checked baggage. Take all electronical equipment as carry on.

  • Don't leave your equipment unattended.
At the coffee shop. At the boarding gate. This includes at the security check. When you put your laptop on the conveyor belt make sure you are not wearing anything that will set off the alarm and keep you away from your goods waiting sadly alone on the belt.  Buy your coffee before you sit down.

  • Don't leave your equipment in a car, and preferably use the hotel room safe.
Don't stick it under the driver's seat and don't assume the hotel will take your side. You could consider using the "Do not disturb" sign - if you are happy with a dirty hotel room.

  • Stay Alert
Like pickpockets, you may find yourself the subject of a group of organised thieves who distract you. So walk the terminal with purpose. Sit down when texting your mates, so you can't be suddenly surrounded. If you let the kids use the equipment, be alert that they are keeping it safe too.

Although texting in an airport is safer than texting whilst carrying a missile launcher in a crowd

So treat your electronic equipment as if it is cash. You wouldn't leave a wad of cash lying on the backseat of your car.

  • Keep it with you
  • Keep it in appropriate and safe carry bags
  • Store it safely
That way, instead of doing police reports, you'll be enjoying your pictures and your catching up on your email with friends.

(source: business review australia)

Geez - have I been tough enough already???

(if on the other hand, it's time to upgrade that sucker, well .... )

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Zonta Birthing Kits - Canberra midwives helping babies around the world

Zonta wise I am kept fairly busy. However, most of my Zonta work is boring admin stuff. I am about to start as District Secretary for this upcoming biennium. I could post photos of me taking minutes. I suspect there are already enough blogs about that sort of thing.

Yesterday, I got out from behind the computer and went out to a Birthing Kit packing session. I had the magical opportunity for a bit of 'drive-thru' service. I pulled up in my car, ran in, did some work, ran out, drive off. Such a luxury! 

This was a small packing session - 600 kits. Small compared to our massive 4000 kits day. The Canberra branch of the Australian College of Midwives organised a packing session held at the University of Canberra - in the midwifery practice room of course.

A couple of us from the Zonta Club of Canberra Breakfast went along to do a bit of training and help out. Kerri did a spot on job at teaching. I worked on post-packing quality control. These ladies were great! Organised, friendly, all got stuck in and completed the session in under 2 hours! They were proud to be part of a bigger, greater outcome.

Primary target for birthing kits is mothers in developing countries who are giving birth on the ground. By providing a few simple items, such soap and a scalpel, that increase the cleanliness of the surrounds, the risk of potentially fatal neonatal tetnus is reduced.

Similar to this Canberra group, the University of Sydney Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery put together a short video of their birthing kit experience, which is up on the homepage for the Birthing Kit Foundation. It is very short and shows the lovely young women with a passion for their profession - go now and watch!

If you are interested in supporting Birthing Kits, the Foundation also maintains this Facebook page, and this list of upcoming packing days being run all over Australia. Here in Canberra, we are packing 3000 kits on 31 July. Come and join us! See the details on my Event Gadget - up there - on the right of this page. There'll be cake.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Why Orlando?

Lots of Australians ask me why I repeatedly go to Orlando for my holidays. So here are a couple of the reasons why Orlando is great for women, even solo, on holiday.

1. Customer Service is fantastic!! And it is everywhere!!

Towel Animals! Disney 'mousekeeping' go the extra when you are not looking
Disney set the benchmark and it is quite astonishing how far they have taken the concept. The Disney Institute train staff (and other companies) in excellence in quality service and focus on areas such as "anticipating guest needs", "people first" language and "respect all guests - core and secondary".

Due to the level of competition for the tourist dollar, this high quality service spills across Orlando where ever you go.  On arrival at a Disney resort, the valets, bellhops and reception people will say "welcome home" - not "welcome to our hotel (insert commercial name here)". From that first contact the intention is to generate a positive reaction and make you feel part of living there.

Keep reading after the jump below:

Monday, 4 June 2012

The path more travelled

Orlando is not a holiday destination for those wanting to "get away from it all". Think of it more as a place where you can "get into it all!"

It is not really a place for "being one with nature", rather it's more like "being with everyone else".

Survey after survey will include Orlando as one the "most popular", "best", "top 10", "top 25", "most visited". If the estimates of over 50 million visitors annually are even half correct, that number will put Orlando among the 5 most visited cities in the world.

Disney certainly transformed Central Florida from mostly agricultural to tourism, and last Thursday, we saw just how much tourism is drawn by Disney with the release of AECOM Economics "2011 Theme Index: Global Attractions Attendance Report" .

Look at the lovely graphs after the jump: