United Airlines to Regular Folks: You Can Suck It

Are you one of those people who only fly occasionally and have to watch every cent when you do, and don’t belong to a lofty airline loyalty group? Are you a college student or military member trying to get home for the holiday as inexpensively as possible? I got news for you, Champ… don’t even think about touching that overhead bin on a United Airlines flight.

How DARE you think that you can bring both your laptop AND a small bag of clothes on that pricey flight… It’s a new day in Customer Service for the airline, and in this case you will certainly be “serviced” – in the agricultural sense.

Times must be tough for United. After all, this guy needs a shitload of cash to upkeep. He must be worth it, because in the picture he’s doing that sincere wealthy CEO double hand-gesture. That sort of mojo is probably part of why YOU will get no overhead bin space, and like it.

After Hand-Gesture Guy got the axe/golden parachute, this smiley fella stepped in to a goldmine while the new acting CEO was out getting a new heart. He came back to millions and millions in compensation.

This isn’t all CEO-bashing on my part (just mostly, as it SEEMS absurd to me the dollars these guys pull down while we economy flyers are losing what certainly felt like a basic human courtesy in having a place to put a freakin’ bag).  Evidently crappy management also led to the airline needing to play costly catch up on other salaries. I’m all for paying the help, but I can’t get past the musical, expensive CEO thing.

Ah well. Maybe Mr. Munoz, the bazillion-dollar new heart guy CEO needs more ideas on how to screw me so he can get that paycheck up even higher (inflation, doncha know!). In that spirit, I offer:

  • Put in pay toilets back where the riff-raff sits
  • Require bring- your-own toilet paper, soap, and paper towels
  • Add coin slots to the reading lights
  • Raise the price of the stale sandwiches from $9 to $169 (go big or go home)
  • Put a credit card reader on each emergency exit and charge the lesser  passengers in the event of an emergency evacuation
  • Need a vest in the event of a water landing? That’ll be $230
  • Don’t even let people put a bag under the seat- dedicate every square inch of the aircraft to those better than than the cheap bastards buying those third-world tickets. Maybe somebody in first-class would like to stick their shoes under my seat?
  • Require the least desirable passengers to service the aircraft after it lands, or they can’t deplane
  • Charge low-end passengers $10 for an imaginary “interference filter” before they can use their own earbuds. Call it a mandatory safety procedure.

These are tough times for those at the top. We all should do our part to help them maintain the lifestyles they are accustomed to, even if it means sacrifices must be made.

Dear Marketers- If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me

I’ve had good days and bad days
And going half mad days
I try to let go but you’re still on my mind
I’ve lost all the old ways
I’m searching for new plays
Putting it all on the line

Lots of new friends with the same old problems
Open your eyes, you might see
If our lives were that simple
We’d live in the past
If the phone doesn’t ring, it’s me

(“If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me”- Jimmy Buffet, 1985)

Ah yes… great tune. It came out in my first year serving Uncle Sam in the USAF, and I happened to be right in Jimmy Buffet’s neighborhood on the Gulf Coast at the time. I felt a connection with the song then because I was a long way from home, away for the first time. There was no way I could afford to actually call the people I missed very often, back in the days of pricey toll calls and very little rank on my sleeves to fund those calls.

Now, a hundred years later, the same song plays in my mind every time I get one of these emails:

As I wrote about here in The Wirednot Memo to PR/Marketers, I believe everyone has value. And though I’d never want to be in marketing myself, I also don’t have a lot of tolerance for “my toe in the door come hell or high water” messaging.

If I don’t answer your email, don’t expect a warm reception on the uninvited follow-up call. I’m both busy, and not interested- and I will not give co-worker’s names. If your initial email struck me as something a coworker could benefit from, rest assured that I forwarded it on to them to evaluate.

Otherwise… I’m Incommunicado.


WLAN Pros Compensation Survey- 11/30/16 Only

My esteemed colleagues at WLAN Professionals are hoping to gather input from the working WLAN community today, November 30. It takes about a minute and a half, and the results could be quite valuable with enough input.

Given that I myself am a WLAN professional, I have taken the survey and am curious to see how my input stacks up against the final conclusions. I’m also happy to promote the survey here on the Wirednot blog.

The official pitch:

Today, Wednesday, November 30th there will be a one-day independent survey to gather information on the current state of compensation in the Wireless LAN community. We respectfully request your participation in this 90-second survey. The current results will be available to all survey takers as they complete the survey for instant feedback. Later, the complete results will freely reported back the entire community.

Thank you for your support and participation!

http://surveymonkey.com/r/wlccs2016 – Wireless LAN Community Compensation Benchmark

Thanks for reading (as always!) and for participating.

Lee Badman
CWNE #200

2016’s Epic Wi-Fi Holiday Story

Tree1Mamma Catciatore couldn’t have been more sad on that cold winter day. As the marm for the House of Poor Little Darlins What Ain’t Got Nothing, she could feel a chill wind creeping across her broken heart just as sure as she could feel it blowing into the taped up windows of her decrepit building. Where a woodpile should have been, there was only a pile of broken dreams and bad CRCs.

Times were already bleak, and she couldn’t even let her tired mind think too much about Christmas or she’d be crying in front of Little Phy and The Packet Boy, and she tried hard not to let the children see her blubbering and whatnot. Even her old first-gen Surface was barely running the Micropuff program she used to keep track of all the things they didn’t have, including decent data rates and the left knob on Lil Punkin’s Etch-a-Sketch.

Life wasn’t always bad for Mamma and the Little Darlins. They used to have at least 10 Mbps to share and Moon Pies for breakfast every day. But she sent her Old Man into town to get the cow groomed one time, and the stupid bastard traded Bessie away for some “turbo router” because it had like 46 antennas. When they fired it up, the label melted and they found it was just a dollar store waffle iron with some pipe-cleaners glued on as antennas. The Old Man was given the heave-ho, and there wasn’t throughput above 56K since that day.

On Christmas Eve, Lil Punkin and the The Packet Boy asked Mamma why they didn’t have the Christmas Yagi set up, because Santa needed something to put all them iCubes and stuff that they’d be getting from the fat guy under. Mamma tried to be strong, but finally she lost her shit… “Children, there ain’t a -gonna be no iCubes. There ain’t gonna be no Yagi, and we can’t even afford our PoE brick for the waffle iron anymore!” She ran out crying, but Lil Punkin, Little Phy, and The Packet Boy just sat there, shattered at the thought of no Christmas.

Ah… but that waffle iron had cards it wasn’t showing, and if Mamma Catciatore knew it’s secrets, she might not have thrown the Old Man out!

You see, what this waffle iron lacked in throughput, it made up for with eavesdropping capabilities. Being an IoT device, it sent a live audio stream of everything it heard to a bunker in China. On this fortuitous day, Analyst #116 happened to hear the whole miserable affair playing out. Even though he faced certain execution if  discovered, he had to do something… anything. For he too grew up in a crappy house run by a miserable lady, and his heart ached to think about the poor throughput and lead-flavored waffles that were happening so far away.

Luckily, Analyst #116 knew a guy. And that guy just happened to be Chuck Norris.

As it were, Analyst #116’s house marm was an extra in the Norris classic I’ll Kick Your Ass, when it was filmed in nearby Chee TohChuck himself took a liking to her young ward who would hang around the set, and they kept in touch for years after with Morse Code. #116 knew that Chuck Norris was basically a god, and figured he could get a hold of Santa and maybe a decent wireless VAR to get things squared away at House of Poor Little Darlins What Ain’t Got Nothing.

And that’s just what happened!

Just as the children got ready to go off to bed, they saw a glow from the sitting room. When they ran in to see what it was, there was Santa putting up a new access point over the fireplace! And outside Mamma was raking out all of the bad CRCs while Chuck Norris stacked up a whole mess of wood. Soon they were all eating Moon Pies by the best Yagi you ever saw, when suddenly Lil Punkin yelled “Holy Shit!” (she did have a terrible potty mouth at times) because there in Chuck Norris’ hand was… the left knob to an Etch-a-Sketch!

As they all opened presents and drank hard liquor, Analyst #116 could hear the happy noise as it was streamed from the waffle iron. He could’t help but smile, even as the handcuffs were painfully snugged around his wrists.
Last year’s epic Wi-Fi holiday story.




Quick Hits: Xirrus, Ruckus, Cambium, Mojo Networks, Nyansa, CWNP

I don’t typically do aggregation blogs, as I prefer to explore a topic or product first-hand and write it up with my own learned perspective. At the same time, I’ve been full-out busy of late and don’t want to not give these topics at least some minor attention in case you have an interest in any. So many cool things happening in the world of wireless…

Xirrus- New HD AP, With Flavor Crystals! OK, no flavor crystals. That was just to keep you hooked. But Xirrus has announced the new .11ac Wave 2 XA4 access point that does support external antennas (really unique for Xirrus) and claims to replace four traditional APs from the competition. Check it out, and if you’re a Xirrus fan or pundit, please leave a comment at the end of this blog.

Ruckus- What Comes Next? In case you missed it, Ruckus Wireless may be facing an uncertain future. The Big Dog was bought by Brocode not too long ago, and now Broadcom is buying Brocade. And… Broadcom doesn’t want Ruckus or the rest of the Ethernet portfolio from Brocade. Did you get all that? Here’s hoping that our Ruckus brothers and sisters all land on their feet. Ruckus has a loyal following, so many of us are watching this one closely.

Cambium Partners With Disaster Tech Labs to help Refugees- There is a tech side to the unfortunate human drama playing out daily on the Island of Lesvos, as countless refugees flea the horrors of Syria and other garden spots for Europe. Disaster Tech Lab goes  where it’s needed when trouble hits, and the need is strong right now on Lesvos. The organization has teamed up with Cambium Networks to provide a range of services for the refugees and those who are directly assisting them.

Mojo Networks Leads the White Box Movement. Mojo Networks is a WLAN vendor, yes- but they also have some fascinating folks on staff that are involved with the Open Compute Project (OCP) and efforts to evolve “white-box WiFi” into a viable option. If you’ve felt like you’re on the losing end of “vendor lock” you’ll probably find the entire notion fascinating. Here’s an interesting presentation from Mojo on the idea of open access points.

Nyansa Adds Application Analysis to Voyance. I’ve been following Nyansa since before they were public, with early NDA briefs on the very powerful Voyance analytics platform. It’s taking WiFi analytics to really interesting cloud-enabled places, and recently got yet another feature boost by adding application analysis to Voyance’s powerful network key performance indicators.

CWNP Awards 200th CWNE Certification. The best source for wireless training in the world has just hit an incredible milestone, and the honor and privilege are mine.

Now you know! Thoughts? Comments? Let ’em rip. 

Aruba Networks Needs YOU!

There are a number of awesome events for WLAN professionals to attend these days, which is great for those of us in the business. One of the longer-running events is Aruba Network’s annual Atmosphere conference, which has come to rival the likes of Cisco Live! in a number of ways. These events are fun, informative, and provide unique opportunities to spend time with vendor reps and fellow customers. The next Atmosphere will run Feb 26- Mar 3, 2017 in Nashville (awesome choice of location, says I).

While you’ll certainly find much to take away from Atmosphere, Aruba needs something from YOU right now.

By January 9, Aruba networks needs submissions for presenters. I personally know many awesome Aruba VAR folks and customers, and can think of several that I’d love to see convey their real world experiences and technical knowledge.

Are YOU what Aruba needs? Do you have something to share with the uber-vibrant Airheads community? Check out the Call for Papers, and don’t be bashful. If you’re thinking of a topic you’d like to present, chances are really good that a lot of people are hoping that someone discusses exactly what you’ve got in mind. Don’t deny ’em your wisdom- sign up to present!



Doing “The Paperwork” – the CWNE Application

cwne2Life is full of paperwork. As kids, we drag home endless school forms for everything from permission to ride a different bus to graduation paperwork. We fill out mortgage forms, military enlistments, juror forms, and marriage licenses. Life is paperwork, and we get pretty desensitized to the simple act of putting words on paper and handing them off to whoever is supposed to get them.

But some paperwork is sweeter than others. Some is exciting, thrilling, and makes you feel damn good when you do it. I was recently privileged to fill out some of that GOOD paperwork when I applied for my Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE) certification.

I won’t go into how I studied, or recommend what you should do to get to the point where you’re able to apply- many of my excellent CWNE fellows have already done that. But what I want to share is what getting this far means to me. I can tell you that crossing the finish line absolutely will have different significance to each of you individually. I’ve seen some who are very discreet about their top-level certificates, and others who find a great sense of identity in them. Here’s where I am, now that I’ve taken the journey…

I’m older than some in the CWNE demographic. My CWNE won’t get me a better job with my current employer (I’m a wireless network architect and next step up is my boss), and I’m not looking to find another job. I’ve been doing wireless for longer than many folks reading this have been working any job. So why did I go after the CWNE?

Many moons ago, I had CWNA and CWSP when both were new. I went off to school for both, got certified, and used what I learned. I used THE HELL out of what I learned. That knowledge has contributed to the unqualified success of the many WLANs I have designed, administered, and troubleshot. “Old” CWNA and CWSP, combined with my other network experience, work ethic, skills learned in college and a 10-year Air Force career, got me to where I am today in my networking and Wi-Fi careers. But I got busy with many other things, and let both CWNA and CWSP expire, because they couldn’t “get me anything”, or so I thought. But the more I went to conferences, watched new products roll out with new features, and see one 802.11 standard give way to the next, I realized that I needed to get back to basics because those basics had changed since I learned them.

I do know A LOT about wireless networking. And technology-related politics. And reading situations and adjusting to them when one solution isn’t right for given circumstances. I’m doing good in my career but realized that I could be doing better, with more confidence.  I’ve been around the wireless world and back, but the ground under me had changed through the years- and THAT’s why I went back to CWNP and worked towards CWNE.

I did learn, and reinforce much of what I already knew, by going through CWNA, CWSP, CWDP, and CWAP (in that order). I was humbled when I failed CWAP the first time- I don’t fail tests. Ever. But I did this time, and studied that much harder to pass it the second go round.

Then when it was time to apply for CWNE, reading over the application and writing the required essays gave me time and reason to reflect. Yes, I proved my “book smarts” on the certification exams. But spotlighting my experience through the essays and required non-CWNP certs gave me insight into myself: I have actually earned the title of Expert. A lot of people rely on me to wear that hat and to properly discharge the duties that come with being an Expert. I was reminded of that as I wrote up my experiences and realized just how much I have accomplished so far in wireless. The CWNE process has formalized that recognition for me.

And it feels pretty  damn good.

Now here’s the rest of the story for those keeping score at home. Being an Expert is different from being a Know It All. Any one of us in the CWNE community can likely bubble up a topic or two they feel weak in, and have no shame in admitting to such. The day I have nothing left to learn will actually be depressing, because every day I pick up some new tidbit of wireless knowledge and look forward to that.

And now that I’m a CWNE, I have continuing education requirements for keeping the title that I’m rapidly coming to enjoy. CWNP recognizes that the WLAN world changes, so CE will help those of us with ANY level cert to stay fresh with what we know. And when I turn in my first CE paperwork, that will feel good in it’s own way, too.