Tumblr Of The Day

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The delightful I Write For SkyMall:

This particular product comes from a severe miscommunication between SkyMall and our Chinese manufacturers, but we’re making the best of it! Because at SkyMall, we know that nothing better accompanies a declaration of love than an entirely unrelated statement of fact.

So let the loved one in your life know just how strongly and literally you feel about them by gifting them the I Love You Stone. If they ever come to doubt you, just tell them, “But it’s on that stone. Spoken out loud.”

I suggest you gift this product in an undecorated box inscribed with the word ‘GIFT’. As you hand off the present, tell your recipient, “This is a gift.” After they open it, as they tearily thank you for the warm and heartfelt gesture, hug them. And as you hold them close, cherish the moment by whispering ever so softly in their ear: “I am hugging you.”

Update from a reader:

You may also enjoy these satirical, occasionally cosmic reviews of SkyMall products.

Please Power On Your Devices

The FCC recently proposed expanding in-flight Wi-Fi:

That may sound like good news for faster and more reliable in-flight Wi-Fi—and in a way, it is. But as Joe Sharkey, the New York Times’s veteran business-travel columnist, explains, the decision isn’t about making it easier for you to stay in touch with people on the ground—it’s all about selling you things while you’re up in the air:

The great advances in airplane internet connections are being driven far more by the opportunities that high-speed broadband service presents for airlines themselves to essentially sell more things to the customers, whether the product is in-flight entertainment, food and drink, customised services to elite-status passengers or products at the destination, including hotel packages, sports and concert tickets, restaurant and theatre reservations. On an airplane, you have a captive market, and with sophisticated technology, you can sell to passengers in very personal ways.

If Mr Sharkey is right, in-flight Wi-Fi may be able to finally escape the vicious cycle in which quality improvements rely on more passengers deciding to pay for bad service (and the problem of wider use on any given flight slowing down service on that flight). Instead, Wi-Fi will be the new SkyMall—provided free to passengers so they can buy things they don’t really need.