Tuesday Business News Chum: Keyboards, Painted Airline Employees, Amazon Associates, Tata Nano

I’m finally coming up for air after a long telecon this morning — and thus this late lunch break and news perusal:

  • From the “Now Where Is That ‘Any’ Key?” Department: For years and years folks have tried to change the layout of a keyboard. Nothing has succeeded. Levono is trying again: with a new keyboard that slightly enlarges the DEL and ESC keys. The research and history behind this change is fascinating.
  • From the “I Bet Your Smile Is Painted On” Department: Air New Zeland has a new marketing campaign touting the fact that they have no hidden fees… and they’ve extended it to their safety videos. Specifically, the campaign features unclothed workers… well, they have their clothes painted on with body paint… and have these workers in their “Bare Essentials of Safety” safety video. The video and commercials are not as revealing as some might think. The realistic body paint makes it look as if the employees — flight attendants, baggage handlers and a pilot — are wearing uniforms. The one person not shown doing his actual job is the company’s buff chief executive, Rob Fyfe, who plays a baggage handler. The commercial is available on YouTube.
  • From the “Associates” Department: Many folks are probably Amazon Associates. I am (for both the SCJ FAQ and California Highways). However, your associate fees may be at risk. Amazon has already cut associates lose in two states because of new sales-tax rules, and may cut off more (including those in California, if a proposed tax-collection scheme is passed). Be forewarned, if you want to keep up your steady supply of Amazon gift certificates!
  • From the “Small Car” Department: The NY Times takes the Tata Nano for a test drive… and actually likes it. This doesn’t appear to be your father’s Yugo, folks.