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Travel Politics / Cell Phones / Electronics Travel / Politics Travel / Travel Technology / FAA / FCC / → All Tags
Less than a year ago, the FCC floated the idea of allowing cell phone use in-flight, a movement that most, including us, think would be a terrible, terrible decision. This week, the Association of Flight Attendants, an organization that represents about 60,000 flight attendants working across 19 carriers, confirmed that it too thinks allowing passengers to use cell phones in midair would be absolutely insane.
Here's an update on the situation: This week, a bipartisan group of 77 House Representatives sent a letter to the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Communications Commission that expressed their concerns over the safety and security issues in-flight cell phone use would bring up.
By now, we’re sure most of you are familiar with Shazam, the smartphone app that can listen to and identify a song by artist and title. The audio recognition technology is absolutely amazing, helping us name that tune whether it's playing at a bar, in a hotel lobby, or during the climax of a movie.
The concept might seem most useful for the partying and nightlife crowds, but as fate would have it, the technology has slowly been making its presence felt in one of the travel industry’s most quiet, observant segments: Bird watching. Outdoor enthusiasts have harnessed the power of audio recognition software to begin creating apps that identify animal calls, specifically birds, in the same way that Shazam recognizes a song.
Travel Apps / Google Play / Flight Delays / Delays / Travel Delays / Travel Technology / Android Travel Apps / Travel Tech / → All Tags
Flight delays and cancellations suck. Period. But since the U.S. government has levied guidelines on how airlines compensate travelers who experience flight disruptions, the situation has improved. Still, those strict rules and guidelines for payouts can be very confusing, and it's no wonder the casual flyer still has no clue what's due to them.
Luckily there's now an app for that.
Enter Claimair. This handy mobile app is basically the perfect flow chart if you have a cancelled flight, excessively delayed arrival, denied boarding, or facing lost baggage. So next time you're blood pressure is rising, step away from the gate and tap on this new app.
Start by choosing your flight inconvenience, then input flight details and answer a few questions directly in-app. ClaimAir will then display a result of what is due to you options on how to go about claiming it.
United / United Airlines / Animal Travel / Nature Travel / Travel Technology / Environment / → All Tags
Chances are we've all seen a David Attenborough documentary or two, and listened as he discussed how specific animals move, live and act in their natural habitat. The reason this information is known is mostly due to animal tagging and tracking. Basically, putting small GPS sensors onto animals to track their migration and possibly help prevent the endangerment of the species plays an important part in conservation and research.
Now, United will play a new role in this animal tracking with their installation of radio receiver antennas on their aircraft. They'll be able to pick up signals for animal tags while they fly around, which seems like a perfect idea since the airline criss-crosses any part of the planet 5,300 times per day.
Finding reliable WiFi while on the road is finally, hopefully as simple as opening up an app on your smartphone.
A handy new iPhone app helps users sniff out the fastest free wifi and 3G networks on the go. Rotten WiFi isn't just a tool to rate the performance of a signal; it's also a social network to warn potential network users of bad hotspots and redirect them to the best connections.
Whether you're in an airport, hotel, cafe, convention center or government building, you can easily find the fastest available free network and see what other visitors have said about it.
Planning a vacation is hard enough when you think of all the decisions to be made, from picking destinations to choosing airlines and hotels. That's why we're pretty excited to check out this new travel app that marries photo-sharing sites and TripAdvisor. Views On Top lets travelers browse photos from their destination and cherry pick what they'd like to see.
Its target are the time poor travelers, as the app allows users to check out stunning shots of locations shared by either locals or other tourists. It even assists in travel photography; perhaps you want to get your own shot of the Taj Mahal at dawn or the perfect capture of Copacabana Beach from a secret roof deck, well snap-happy visitors can share tips for snapping that perfect shot.
Great Scott! Okay—so we might not be able to go back in time in the near future, but Google Maps is doing their best to show off the next best thing. They’ve added a nifty little feature to their mapping software, and that means your day at the office will be filled with this excellent distraction and time waster.
At this point you’re probably pretty darn familiar with Google Street View, and now it’s being taken to the next level. When you virtually walk through a neighborhood be sure to check for the availability of a little clock icon in the upper left part of the screen. Obviously Google has a whole bunch of image data from when they started doing things, and you’ll be able to take a look back in time as far as the Google archives can handle it.
There's no question that Google has done incredible work when it comes mapping our world. We can literally log on and take a virtual journey through the streets of places we've never physically been, which is not only a saving grace when it comes to directions and logistics, but it allows potential travelers to get some inspiration to go along with a preview of their destination. In that sense, we have to tip our cap to Google and its infamous "street view" project.
But that being said, it should come as no surprise that Google's actions, both in the U.S. and in other countries, have been highly scrutinized and criticized. Turns out, Google has been collecting much more than intersections and street signs - it's also collecting personal data via open Wifi connections, including emails, passwords, web histories, etc.
Google / Google Street View / Google Maps / Britain Travel / LGW / Travel Technology / Travel Tech / London Travel / → All Tags
It's been only a couple of years since Google Maps made the leap into airports, mapping the inside of - depending on what kind of a day we're having - either our favorite or absolutely least favorite places in the world. Since then the Mountain View kids have not only expanded their airport offerings, but have even gone inside actual airplanes 'waiting' on the tarmac. What's left to do?
Do more and go bigger, obviously. TechCrunch reports that Gatwick Airport has become the newest location to receive Google's 360 degree panoramic Street View treatment. The UK airport - the second busiest in the country - is now apparently open to virtual touring. It only required stitching together 2,000 overlapping photos, matching the results to the airport's actual layout, and uploading everything. Piece of cake.
Animals / Augmented Reality / Travel Technology / Travel Tech / Zoo Travel / Green Travel / Cute Travel / Japan / Japan Travel / → All Tags
As is well known and widely acknowledged, Japan is a land of crazy. The plain assertion doesn't really require any proof, but if it did there are entire websites devoted to the insanity that pervades the Land of the Rising Sun. Even their zoos and aquariums are batshit, allowing you to do everything from shake hands with otters to watch Santa Claus play with dolphins.
Somewhere in between shaking otters hands and Santa Claud on a dolphin, there's this very cute bit of travel advertising from Japan's Sunshine Aquarium. The tourist attraction is kind of a hike from the nearest station, and aquarium officials wanted to make sure people could find it. The solution? An augmented reality app where penguins guide tourists along the right path. Because Japan, of course.
Google / Google Street View / Google Maps / Iceland / Iceland Travel / Travel Technology / → All Tags
Yes, another post about about Google Street View adding another picturesque part of the world to its ever-increasing inventory of picturesque parts of the world. These are coming at the pace of once a month now: in August it was Peru and then last month it was Swaziland We'll stop posting them when they stop being neat. So not for a while, no.
This month it's Iceland. According to the News Of Iceland, Google spent the summer mapping out areas in and around Reykjavík, and got around to activating the service inside the country in the last few days. The creatively-named news outlet even has a map showing all the roads where you can zoom in and have a look around. Or you can just follow the instructions below, if you want to look around yourself.
iPhone Travel Apps / Travel Apps / iPhone / Airports / Airline Lounges / Layovers / Travel Technology / → All Tags
Starting a journey in comfort or enjoying a longish layover in a new airport are key for having a memorable vacation and since told you that we really didn't care for the Smart Layover app, we may have been lost when it came to spending hours at the airport. We can announce that we have a contender for the perfect app to help us out.
The free iPhone app is called 'Lounge Buddy' and it does just that; a buddy that helps travelers find a quiet corner in an airport to put their feet up and relax. The app will help "the casual traveler with a long layover, or an elite traveler flying first class". If our first impressions are any indicator of the app's actually functionality, we're pretty excited for further updates.