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Travel Tech / North Korea Travel / Communism Travel / Travel News / Instagram / Travel Photography / → All Tags
After little less than a month of 3G internet access for foreigners visiting North Korea, Wired UK reports that the signal has been shut down as the hermit kingdom once again retreats into its usual campaign of warmongering.
Still, for that brief period, a few journalists were able to post tweets and Instagrams live from within the borders and, ever so briefly, skyrocket international cultural interest in a country that's usually only making headlines for their politics. Perhaps the 3G access was cut because of this, these images of a "softer side" of North Korea that's contrary to the propaganda officially proliferated by Pyongyang? We can only wonder as, of course, the last thing we can expect is clarification of any actions taken by North Korea.
If you missed the stream of social media during the brief 3G period, it thankfully all lives on in the internet. Here's where to find it:
For tourists and locals traveling below the streets of New York City, there’s a new way to get around the massive subway system. The traditional subway map is getting an upgrade, and that means they’ll finally replace some of those printed ones that have long been missing information due to too many people running their fingers along popular routes.
Digital maps have already invaded some subway stops, like Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station and the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center stop over in Brooklyn, but now the the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is planning to hook up stops with at least 77 more touchscreen "On the Go!" panels.
JetBlue / Airlines / Airline News / Travel Tech / In-Flight WiFi / In-Flight Comfort / TrueBlue / → All Tags
Just when you think you know an airline, they go and change up all kinds of stuff. JetBlue isn’t revamping their whole system anytime soon, but at a recent analyst day they did reveal some secret plans they’ve been working on behind the scenes. Thankfully a lot of the stuff—if not all of it—sounds like a plus, so the free blue chips and free sodas are going anywhere anytime soon.
We knew the airline was hard at work refining their in-flight WiFi technology, and now it sounds like they’re getting closer to flipping the switch for the very first time. The name of the new service will be "Fly-Fi," and there’s even a snazzy little logo letting you know that things are powered by exede internet—nice.
JetBlue is claiming that their new service will be smarter, newer, faster and better than anything else up in the skies, and it should be arriving by the end of the year. There’s been rumors that the WiFi will be complimentary for all aboard the plane; however, we haven’t seen any confirmation regarding that just yet.
Finnair / Facebook / Social Media / Airlines / Airline News / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / → All Tags
Another week means it’s time for another carrier to do the social media thing both on the ground and up in the air. This week it looks like Finnair is sending their Facebook capabilities to 35,000 feet, as the airline is trying to get passengers connected during their flights.
Basically what Finnair is trying to do is to allow their passengers to check-in aboard their flight just like the would back on the ground. The new system is able to connect someone’s Facebook profile to the seating map, and then from there they can what friends or other passengers might be up to. In theory it should even alert friends when you’re safely on the ground and in need of a pickup from the airport.
So, you've got a solid four hours in the air and your airplane is all hooked up with In-flight WiFi. What are you going to do? Survey says: aimlessly surf the web!
Time spent flying is usually considered wastedhours spent staring out the window, hours spent filling in the crossword puzzle in the back of the airline magazine, hours spent bitterly watching some movie you never wanted to see anyhow...but WiFi was supposed to change all that! Finally, with WiFi access in the sky, travelers could keep up with work, catch up on the news or handle internet errands.
Guess what? According to the latest infographic on in-flight web use from Gogo, the #1 activity for in-flight WiFi users is still
surfing the web wasting time! Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Delta / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / In-Flight Comfort / Jet Lag / Travel Health / Science Travel / → All Tags
We thought Delta was hard at work adding plenty of those Economy Comfort seats as well as WiFi on each and every flight, but apparently they also have a little extra time to work on some other projects. They’re actually trying to solve the problem of jet lag, and they just showed off some of their most recent ideas at the Technology, Entertainment and Design—TED—conference out in Long Beach, California.
This stuff might be a little bit above our pay grade when it comes to understanding the science behind things, but basically what Delta has created is some kind of light shower. Photon light rains down upon you, and then like magic you’re cured from any and all jetlag—at least in theory.
Southwest Airlines / Airlines / Airline News / Southwest / In-Flight WiFi / WiFi / In-Flight Comfort / Row 44 / Travel Tech / → All Tags
Southwest Airlines hasn’t exactly been at the forefront of in-air technology, but slowly but surely they’ve been adding to their in-flight WiFi abilities. In-flight connectivity won’t be available on each and every one of your Southwest flights just yet, but they are boosting some of their offerings in hopes of keep passengers entertained at 35,000-feet.
The airline’s video-on-demand service just finishing rolling out to each and every one of the tech-enabled planes, so now you’re free to check out this and that from the comfort of your seat. It’s $5 per movie or $5 for television, and it sounds like that rate is the price regardless of whether or not you’re signing up for the full WiFi. Obviously you’ll need your own device, so please don’t ask the flight attendants where you can get an iPad with the TV on it like the guy seated in 18A.
Airport News / YYZ / MSP / LGA / iPads / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / Airport Dining / Airport Restaurants / → All Tags
It wasn’t that long ago that iPads invaded the airport, and we’re not just talking about the personal ones used by travelers. Restaurants have embraced the new technology, as they’ve been quick to add ordering abilities to the tablets as well as stuff like nutrition information and wine lists. Well now it looks like the iPads might just be doing a little more than taking orders. Be sure to say please and thank you, as the iPads are now talking back.
OTG Management—they’re responsible for airport restaurants all over the place—is upgrading their iPad offerings, as they claim to be the first to introduce multi-language support to their airport systems. Things are starting off at a couple restaurants up in Toronto, as it looks like Fetta Panini Bar and Heirloom Bakery Café inside Toronto Pearson International Airport are the first to graduate from the foreign language program.
Social Media / Travel Photography / Vine / Twitter / Travel Tech / Videos / iPhone / iPhone Travel Apps / The City via Vine / Hong Kong Travel / Chinese New Year / → All Tags
Video-sharing app Vine has existed on the social media scene now for several weeks and, though we've already made our feelings on the Twitter-owned newbie well known, we're still giving it a chance. After all, though the "Instagram of video" lacks so much now, there's real potential for the future if Vine gets cracking on some fresh coding.
Anywho, over two trips in the last two weeks we've attempted to find some usefulness in Vine, andget thiswe succeeded. Vine is best deployed for sharing the tiniest moments in travel, those which would be easily lost in the static menagerie of Instagram. Below are six examples, all shot while we tooled around Hong Kong during Chinese New Year last week.
Note: Control each Vine by clicking on it to pause. Also, click the sound square at the top right of each Vine to enable the audio.
Mobile Boarding Passes / iPhone / iPhone Travel Apps / Airline Apps / Airline News / LCCs / JetBlue / Travel Tech / Technology / Airports / → All Tags
Yo, is that an iPhone in your pocket or are you just excited for Valentine's Day?
Hopefully the answer is "iPhone" (or both), because that means you can download or update the JetBlue mobile app, which now FINALLY supports beautiful, beautiful mobile boarding passes and adds some other goodies.
Here's what you'll be getting with that update, now available (and free to download):
· Airport terminal maps
· Direct TV programming schedules
· Flight timetables
·' Updated destination city guides
· New graphics in the virtual postcards and more downloadable iPhone wallpaper
· The ability to book flights within the app using TrueBlue points
· Mobile boarding passes!!!!!!
In 2008 we were all like "can you believe security officers are allowed to search your hard drive just because you're crossing the border?" And then in 2009 we were all like "can you believe security officers are allowed to search your hard drive just because you're crossing the border? And also your digital camera? And also your mp3 player? And also your flash drive?" Which is to say, we've been less than enthusiastic about this particular airport security policy for a while.
So imagine our excitement when we learned that the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security would be investigating and then producing a report on the policy. This is a division within DHS charged with protecting the civil liberties of Americans. It says so right there in the name. Meanwhile we're pretty sure thatunder some theories we've heard of, at leastforcing U.S. citizens to hand over their data to the U.S. government in the absence not just of a warrant but of any suspicion is a violation of their civil liberties. Done and done, right?
Photo Gallery / Cruise Travel / Retro Travel / Ships / Travel Tech / Celebrity Cruises / Celebrity Reflection / iPad / WiFi / At-Sea WiFi / → All Tags
Imagine a cruise. Now picture yourself on that cruise. Are you playing shuffleboard and gobbling rum cakes? God, let's hope not. Over the next several days, we're going to dig back into the era responsible for creating these cruise stereotypesthe fun-in-the-sun 1970s, when ocean liners turned into cruise ships and voyages into vacations. In sharp contrast, we'll look at cruising 2013-style onboard the newest ship on the seas, the Celebrity Reflection.
The Cruising 1975 vs. 2013 Series:1. Activities
3. Dining and drinking
4. Cabins and suites
5. The ships themselves
There were no cell phones in 1975, or personal computers. Of course this is huge "duh" fact, but let that sink in for a moment when you think of the hundreds of passengers onboard a cruise ship and their near complete break with communication when they stepped onboard. Sure, there were in-room radios and ship-to-shore calling, if you wanted to pay the per-minute price, but nothing like the connectivity they now offer.