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And Now You Know / Travel News / Airplanes / Travel Photography / iPhone / Technology / Travel Tech / → All Tags
Fun fact: fun facts are awesome. Whether you're trying to chat up a flight attendant or simply love learning something cool, we've got some tidbits to share. So all this week, we'll be squeezing our mindgrapes to bring you some awesome, random travel factoids.
Fact: That weird effect of floating propellor pieces, caused when a mobile phone camera takes a photo of a turboprop, has a name (and an explanation): Propeller Aliasing.
Cameras in iPhones and other mobile devices don't have a shutter; instead, they snap a photo by scanning. It's quick, but propellers in rotation are faster. When your camera scans, line-by-line, to capture the shot, the propellers have moved.
In-Flight WiFi / Singapore Airlines / A380 / 777 / Airline News / Travel Tech / Technology / WiFi / OnAir / → All Tags
You heard it here first in April and now, after five months of testing and tooling, A340s and select A380s and 777-300ERs will be able to log on in the air, no matter where that happens to be (with the exception of on the runway and under 10,000'). This includes the A340s that operate what's known as the world's longest non-stop commercial flight, Newark to Singapore.
Politics Travel / FAA / iPads / Travel Tech / Technology / → All Tags
Last March New York Times tech blogger Nick Bilton called up the FAA for a boilerplate story about the agency's silly takeoff/landing electronics rules, which currently force travelers to deactivate their Kindles, laptops, mp3 players, etc whenever a plane is below 10,000 feet. Instead of being told to go pound sandbecause the FAA is a government agency, so shut upBilton was told that the agency would take a "fresh look" at the requirements. Hooray for government!
This week the FAA finally got around to starting to maybe think about loosening the requirements. So that was half a year gone. Their announced plan is to form "a government-industry group," made up of "representatives from the mobile technology and aviation manufacturing industries, pilot and flight attendant groups, airlines, and passenger associations," to study the issue. The group will convene months from now and then meet for another six months. Boo for government!
Boingo / Travel Tech / WiFi / Airport News / Technology / Airports / → All Tags
We admit to being a tad hard on Boingo sometimes, but it's just that free WiFi puts a big smile on our face. Still, any WiFi access gets at least a satisfied smirk, and Boingo continues to evolve.
Boingo hasn’t exactly stated that they’ll be offering up free WiFi anytime soon, but they have gobbled up another tech company that makes us wonder about the future. Cloud 9 Media makes cash by enabling free WiFi access in exchange for advertising, and now they’ve joined the Boingo family.
Travel Tech / New York City / EWR / LGA / JFK / Technology / Airport News / Airports / → All Tags
Because we live in the future, airport officials at LGA, JFK, and EWR have installed customer service holograms, one per airport. Called Airport Virtual Assistants (AVA's in the politically correct parlance, these kinds of holograms have already been present in airports for at least two purposes.
Use #1 is to get people's attention with something moving and talkingwhich is to say, something that's shinyrather than by putting an announcement on a sign. When Manchester Airport was having problems with travelers ignoring Europe's equivalent of 3-1-1 liquid rules, they installed holograms to announce the restrictions. We wrote up the effort in 2011 but never really followed up, if only because it made us a little sad to think that adults were now getting basic airline security instructions from flickering lights.
Walt Disney World / Disney World / Disney / WiFi / Travel Tech / Technology / Theme Parks / → All Tags
Your carrier’s data plan just breathed a sigh of relief—as did your wallet—as one of the country’s favorite tourist attractions just announced the launch of free-for-all WiFi. Mickey and Goofy have been doing their best to hook up the right wires and transmitters, and now it’s all systems go for free WiFi at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
You’ll need to agree to the park’s terms of service, but after you click the necessary boxes you should be free to surf the internet from the line of Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean. Initial reports indicated that speeds weren’t super fast, but when it’s offered gratis we can’t really complain. It sounds like you’ll want to fire up your favorite mobile device and look for the "Disney-Guest" network.
Travel Tech / Technology / Northwest Airlines / Airlines / Airline History / Continental / Southwest Airlines / ValuJet / United / Mobile Boarding Pases / → All Tags
When exactly did the E-Ticket get its start? This is something we wondered the other day, while happening upon a stash of some of our old Northwest Airlines (RIP) boarding passes (above). It seems like E-Tickets have just always been around and, indeed, even the internet is confused of their true history; AirTreks says it was Southwest Airlines in 1994, The Discovery Channel thinks it was ValuJet in 1993 and the IATA is sure that United was the trailblazer in 1994.
In any case, it's been quite a while since paper tickets were the norm and thank god for that. Gone are the days when travel agents used to call you to come pick up your little booklet of paper tickets. Gone are the days when you cared more about misplacing those than misplacing your secret pocket fannypack full of Traveller's Cheques. Gone are the days of always waiting in line to check in at the airport. Once again, we say thank god.
Geek Travel / Movie Set Travel / Steve Jobs / Travel Tech / California Travel / Movie Travel / Technology / → All Tags
Last week the Los Altos, CA garage where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple was back in news as Ashton Kutcher was spotted filming scenes outside for the upcoming biopic, jOBS.
The garage served as the company's first headquarters and was the location where the first Apple computers (one of which was just auctioned off for more than $300,000) were developed.
It’s kind of like the timeless airline debate—window or aisle—but when it comes to mobile technology; Apple or Android can cause some serious discussion. In case you missed the big Apple shindig a couple weeks ago, there’s all kind of new technology heading down the portable pipeline. However, the big news for travelers is that Apple is getting into the mobile mapping business, and that means that they’re ditching Google Maps as the default option for their iPhones, iPads, iPods, and pretty much everything else.
Of course like with any Apple product there’s all kinds of secrets, so we’ll have to wait to get the new maps into our hot little hands before we can give a full review. However, Apple has been gobbling up other smaller companies and licensing technology. We wouldn’t be surprised to see three-dimensional flyovers, turn-by-turn directions, traffic updates, and maybe even some other tech tidbits. One thing that we are sure about, is that there’s going to be some pretty decent integration with existing apps and the iOS software as a whole.
Travel Advertising / Britain / Britain Travel / Wales / Wales Travel / Social Media / Technology / Technology Travel / Tourism / Tourism News / → All Tags
There are times when we think of QR codes the same way we think of particularly stupid social media projects. Which is to say, not highly. This isn't just a standup punchline any more. There really are tourist attractions, museums especially, that plaster QR codes inside subway and metro cars. What species of idiocy is that?
Other times we can't help but smile a little at the sheer earnestness of towns trying to attract tourists with shiny things. The Welsh town of Monmouth, for instance, is according to Wikipedia not only thousands of years old but has also "been established as a tourist centre for some 200 years." So you can already tell they're innovators.
Videos / Pilots / United / Aviation / Airline Industry / iPad / Apple / Travel Tech / Technology / → All Tags
While flying certainly can still be done without an iPad, the little gadget is seriously making life easier for the thousands of pilots already given them to aid in navigation and flight planning. We know that American Airlines and British Airways are passing out the pads, but it's United who has partnered up with Apple to show exactly how the whole aviation + mobile tech thing works.
The beautiful video:
An intriguing post on the site of the American Chemical Societyof all placesgot the attention of the futuristic bloggers at io9. The post described a new kind of plastic that mimics nature, reacting to scrapes and punctures by "bleeding" red and then healing itself. The technology was originally presented at the 243rd National Meeting of the ACS, where participants heard about how the plastics could "change color to warn of wounds and heal themselves when exposed to light."
io9 picked up the story and contacted the inventors to learn more about this new development in self-healing plastics. The scientists explained how the specific structure of the plastic allows it to self-heal not just once but over and over again, and then launched into a discussion about what kind of applications are on the horizon.