Sniffing out a story is what the Hot Topic is all about and this looks to be a good one. It appears that not only will The IMS Company reveal a new I7 (that’s “i” 7) – Personal Media Player in Long Beach at the WAEA/APEX Annual Conference, but that the player will be IMS’ first purpose-built portable. IFEXpress has learned that WIN, the WAEA Newsletter, will carry an article tomorrow, September 1, that says that COTS-leader IMS has opted to include a purpose-built PMP alongside its COTS devices in response to certain market requirements. We understand that the new player will offer as an option “the longest life battery in IFE” as well as enormous storage capacity. IMS has moved into Secure Digital (SD) technology in its RAVE™ seat-centric embedded system, its 4th generation Terminal Data Loader (TDL), and now for the hat trick – in its new player. A reliable source tells IFEXpress that COTS (consumer-off-the-shelf) technology for portable media players does not make it easy to address the special requirements of some airlines for extended-life batteries and huge storage requirements at a price point that reflects where the market is today. While COTS may be very suitable for many airlines’ requirements, a growing list of requirements must be purposefully addressed, and IMS has done so. So check out WIN tomorrow, and the I7 at Booth 1638. And by the way, ask them about some unannounced customers for their new products!

And now our second story (er, mmm, comment ) is about delay #7 for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It is an interesting view of recent outside consultant roles in realigning Boeing’s engineering excellence to that of McDonnell Douglas. At issue, and more recently, that of the outside consultants role in helping the employees to foster more openness, etc., etc.,? After reading this piece, we had to ask ourselves and our readers if Douglas management took over, why did Boeing have to buy them out? Here is that article.

Here are comments from our readers, some of which were long-time employees, about the last B787 delay and the above article:

“Let me get this one straight — the plane is 2+ years late and now the engine is holding the plane up?  All of the suppliers played the game of chicken correctly on this plane. Now they want to “help” the employees do a better job of openness. Is this step #5 of that old blame process: 1. Enthusiasm, 2.Panic, 3. Disillusionment, 4. Search for the guilty, 5. Punishing the innocent, and 6. Rewarding the non-participants?”

” Wanna take bets there isn’t yet one more 3 month slip to be announced before end of year?!!!  Anyone for mid-2011?”

” Long distance management was a dumb idea! because they (upper management – Editor) live in Chicago.  The whole management structure is just out of touch with reality and then they bring the idiot squad in from the Defense side to run things because they don’t think BCA has anybody who can manage programs – if that’s the case I guess it’s a ‘horse on us’ for not getting good people ready to run the programs.”

“Just remember, many of the vendors (esp. IFE vendors and seat vendors) apparently signed-up for contracts with Boeing such that they don’t get paid until the transfer of title takes place — it was one of those ‘conditions’ for doing business on the B787.  I am quite sure that the big IFE players signed up to this condition. Ouch!”