Despite the dream of an "ultimate handheld," it's really hard to get down to fewer than two portable devices. A Treo may do it all, but you still want an iPod; an iPhone is great, but you still need a BlackBerry for work; you like to listen to your iPod while playing your PSP or DS; and so on. Even those who do manage to get down to one super smart phone often have a Bluetooth headset to go along with it. And traveling with two devices means taking two power adapters along. Or at least it did--until the Belkin Dual USB Power Adapter came along. … Read more
Last year, HP introduced its HP iPaq rx5900 Travel Companion, a sleek gadget that combined the powers of a PDA and a portable navigation system into one solution. It was the first GPS device for the company, and based on user opinions, it was a pretty successful product. Now, HP has decided to embark on its first GPS-only venture with the new HP iPaq 310 Travel Companion. I got a sneak preview a couple of weeks ago, and I must say, I'm pretty impressed. Unlike the rx5900, which used TomTom software, HP created its own interface for the iPaq … Read more
One of our favorite sites, the airfare prediction site Farecast, is spreading its wings today and launching a beta pricing service for hotels as well. The service works for the top 30 U.S. travel destinations.
Using hotel inventory data from partner sites Orbitz, Cheaptickets, and ReserveTravel, as well as from its own historical database, Farecast can now tell you which hotels in the area you're looking to book are good deals, and which are not. And, just as it does with airfares, Farecast can tell you which hotels' prices are likely to be better if you change the … Read more
Regardless of what you think of its MP3 players, Creative has definitely lived up to its name when it comes to portable speakers. While others flail about with some decidedly atrocious attempts, Creative has come up with some sleek and compact designs that don't look like the rushed afterthought that so many others do.
The latest example is its "Travelsound i50," which is actually designed for one of its competitors, the 2G iPod Shuffle. The $69 speaker has a brushed-metal finish that can be charged, along with the player itself, through its built-in USB "mini-terminal."… Read more
In a couple of hours, I'll be off to Chicago to cover a different kind of social media: the third annual Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), a gathering of over 800 enthusiasts of the virtual world. It's a phenomenon that saw a dramatic rise and subsequent backlash in the past year, touted by media and business first as a revolution in communications, marketing, and socialization and then as an enormous three-dimensional ghost town.
So what's going to happen at the first SLCC to take place in Second Life's "post-mainstream" age? We'll see. I'… Read more
In advance of Labor Day weekend and its inevitable coast-to-coast traffic jams, Microsoft is releasing Streets & Trips 2008 software. Among the new features in the deluxe edition are live traffic updates, information on nearby gas prices, and estimates of what filling up along the journey will cost for that Hummer, Prius, or whatever else you're driving. It also hooks up to Live Search maps that you can mark up, and which chart businesses including hotels, snack spots and camping areas.
Despite such helpful features, this product seems like an odd fit in the market when you can get … Read more
We must admit that, as far as germ-centric issues are concerned, the toothbrush has to rank at or near the top of the list. And even though some uber-devices claim to sterilize practically any object they encounter, we'd feel more comfortable with something that's been developed specifically for oral hygiene.
Now we finally have just such an item that's made for travel--which is ideal because, as any bona fide germaphobe will tell you, the hotel room is the ultimate breeding ground for cooties. The scientific-sounding "Violight VIO200 Travel Toothbrush Sanitizer" is the portable version of … Read more
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