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How two fiber breaks caused one huge problem for Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines hopes to fly its usual service Tuesday after a meltdown Monday caused by its check-in network losing its connectivity. The problem stemmed from Sprint fiberoptic interruptions in two time zones. Because I read some online comments from people who found that suspicious, I thought I would explain how…

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A record summer for Hawaii hotels

Joe Toy and the gang at Hospitality Advisors this morning issued their wrap-up report on August hotel business, which means they now have figures for the summer by adding June, July and August. The news is good. August alone saw $308 million in room revenue and $455 million after adding…

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Music Post: The hidden theme in the “begging show”

In reaction to a lifetime of reading press releases filled with euphemisms, I have a fondness for putting things bluntly, sometimes to the dismay of more sensitive souls around me. Hawaii Public Radio has begun its twice-yearly pledge drive, which it calls Challenge 2012 and which I call the beggathon….

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The technology of taxation

Five seconds after people started to shop online in a big way, states began to look for ways to apply their sales or excise taxes to Internet commerce. For 15 years this has been hotly debated, even though all sides probably suspect they know the ending will be, yes, taxing…

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Larry Ellison, the oracle of Lanai

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison gave a long interview to CNBC on Tuesday, and though most of it was about other stuff there was one question about Lanai. “I love Hawaii,” Ellison said, “and Lanai is a very interesting project. There, what we’re going to do is turn Lanai into a…

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I’m baaaaccckkkkk…

I’ll be back at work this morning after leaving early Monday with excruciating back pain. It still hurts but a lot less, after hot showers and some bedrest that I probably needed anyway. Lots of people have back pain but it’s not on my usual list of physical complaints. Oddly,…

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Wall Street predicts election aftermath

With President Obama currently leading in the polls, Wall Street financial advisors have begun sending letters to their clients making predictions about what will happen if the president is re-elected. The curious common thread in these missives is that the most important outcome for the economy, regardless whether Mitt Romney…

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Howard’s Econogram, or Crisis at a Glance

A whole lot of economic reports have come out this week, some good, some bad, all of them easily twisted or misunderstood by people who either have a political agenda or find expression in economic reports for their dislike of countries (those spendthrift Greeks!) or professions (those darn bankers!) Here’s…

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Music Post: When composers recompose other composers

Some of Arnold Schoenberg’s best work is by Handel and Brahms. Schoenberg arranged a Handel concerto for string quartet and orchestra until it was no longer recognizably by a Baroque composer. He made orchestral works out of some Brahms chamber pieces. If you can set aside the nagging feeling that…

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Music Post: Why I hate “Moon River” (sorry, Andy Williams)

When I came into work this morning Ramsay Wharton was yelling across the newsroom asking a question about Andy Williams, and I couldn’t think of any reason for Ramsay to be asking a question about Andy Williams within an hour of going on the air unless Andy Williams had died….