Maybe we've seen too many spy movies, but when we first heard about the Wi-Fire, a portable Wi-Fi booster, we imagined some sort of collapsible parabolic antenna, maybe with an accompanying mini-tripod so it can sit next to you on your desk. In fact, the 3x4x3/8-inch directional antenna is rather boxy, and it attaches to your laptop's lid much like a Webcam. According to manufacturer hField Technologies, the Wi-Fire can connect to an 802.11b/g access point as far as 1,000 feet away, giving you the opportunity to roam beyond the range of your laptop'… Read more
I heard on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that it was 30 years ago that NASA sent Voyager 2 into space with the music of Louis Armstrong, Chuck Berry, Beethoven, Bach, and a wide selection of world music. The disc that also contained images of Earth, and the sounds of whales, a baby crying, and waves breaking on a shore. The NASA scientists must have felt sound was one of the best ways to communicate human experience of the 20th century to intelligent life in the distant future.
The gold-plated, 12-inch copper disc was an all-analog recording, probably because that … Read more
This post has been updated to include the Facebook app creator's statement on the issue.
Ouch, here's a zinger: contrary to reports, travel site TripAdvisor apparently did not purchase the Facebook Platform application Where I've Been for $3 million. The news was originally reported on Inside Facebook on Thursday night.
A statement from a TripAdvisor representative read, "This is untrue. Beyond that, we do not have any comment."
The company isn't saying any more, obviously. You could really dig into the nuances of the statement, implying it to mean that either the entire rumor … Read more
Online travel site Travelocity has been fined for violating the United States embargo with Cuba and booking flights between the two countries.
Southlake, Texas-based Travelocity paid $182,750 in fines to settle a complaint by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The complaint alleged that between January 1998 and April 2004, there were more than 1,400 occasions when the Web site arranged travel to or from Cuba.
It is believed to be the first time an online travel site has been fined for violating the 1963 embargo, according to The Miami Herald.
"The … Read more
Urban travel blog Gridskipper has a great new list of geek hotspots in New York City: from bizarre curio shop Evolution, to comic culture megastore Forbidden Planet, to Barcade, which is exactly what you'd think it would be.
The list misses a few, like West Village gaming center Nyclan (coverage here) and the Manhattan outlet of Japan-inspired gallery and retail shop Giant Robot. But overall, this New Yorker thinks it's a decent and diverse selection that clearly indicates there's more for nerds to do around here than go for Water Taxi rides.
It's not uncommon for publishers to start nailing dollar signs on freeware products or release a pro version requiring some financial obligation. It's a little more rare, and always refreshing, to see publishers introduce a free version of a commercial product. PK Ware did it with SecureZIP back in April, and MobiMate is doing it now with WorldMate S60, all-in-one travel software that incorporates a world clock, global currency converter, weather forecaster, and time zone map that tracks night and day around the globe.
The limited-feature release offers users free reign over five WorldMate capabilities, but dangles flight … Read more
Earlier this month, New York enacted an Air Passenger Bill of Rights. Among other things, it requires that airlines make minimal provisions for passengers stranded on the tarmac for more than three hours. If you've done any traveling with kids, you probably know how difficult it is to both pack light (a key strategy for successful travel generally) and to pack enough stuff so that if there's a delay, you can keep the little ones occupied. The New York law bounds the problem a little bit: if your longest leg is 6 hours, you can be relatively assured that your outbound leg from a New York airport won't add more than 3 hours to that. But as the US Customs and Border Patrol SNAFU at LAX confirms, airport authorities don't seem to get particularly concerned about tarmac waits of 6, 8, or 10 hours, be they outbound or inbound. I think that when traveling with children, that's a bit much. What's a parent to do?… Read more
I've been a member of the CLEAR program for almost a year now. CLEAR is a program for registered travelers that are "pre-screened for security and provided with a biometric card which allows them to pass through security faster, with more predictability and less hassle." Sounds good, right? Submit to a full cavity scan, a review of everything you've ever thought of doing in your life, and get through airport security faster? Sign me up!
Well, I did. I fly 125,000+ miles each year, and have done for nearly 10 years. Getting through an airport quickly is a big priority for me.
Today, however, was my first time actually using the program. That's because there are approximately two airports on the planet that participate in the program. (OK, I'm exaggerating - there are a whopping 11, but they're not airports most of us use on a regular basis.)
Even worse, the program seems to delay passage through security, rather than speeding it up.… Read more
Vacuums might be the key to time travel.
Amos Ori, a professor at Israel's Technion, has published a paper in Physical Review outlining a model of a theoretical time machine. Conceivably, these ideas could one day help humans travel back in time.
The concept revolves around controlling the curvature of space and time. Einstein's theory of relatively states that the space/time continuum can be flat, but it can also be curved by gravitational fields. Ori is investigating whether the laws of gravity will permit curving space and time in such a way as to make travel possible. … Read more
Riding on a sleeper train for several thousand miles seems a bit silly sometimes when you can just hop a plane for a couple of hours and get to the same destination in a fraction of the time, especially when it's often cheaper to fly anyway. Amtrak, however, is attempting to counter that image by promoting its train service as the landlubber's equivalent of a luxury cruise--a booze cruise, that is. According to an Associated Press article, the passenger rail service is trying to "gin up new business" (Ha, ha! You slay me, AP!) by offering … Read more