Smartphones are a daily tool for many people, and nothing makes that reality quite as stark as crossing a border into international lands without a plan that supports such travel. For those visiting the US, Google's Nexus 5 is now being offered as a daily rental handset complete with unlimited service.
American Express has announced some new travel-centric benefits for its Platinum card members, providing better convenience and perks for those who are frequently on the go. Among the new benefits is access to Boingo's wireless hotspots, ensuring connectivity while out and about.
Uber will now alert would-be users looking for a ride when "surge" pricing - the higher fare rate triggered when demand rises - is over, in an update to the iPhone app. The new Surge Drop feature will optionally send out a push-notification when rates return to normal, if it happens within 30 minutes of trying to book a car.
Air travel is a very safe way to travel long distances in a short time, but it is often subjected to turbulence, something that can range from a minor annoyance to a terrifying experience, particularly if it causes the plane to buck and jerk. Detecting it is a science still in the works, and amongst the possibilities is one proposal suggesting the use of common GPS.
"We knew the full-body scanners didn't work before they were even installed," is the claim from former TSA agent Jason Harrington, alleging that not only were airport security staff aware that the X-ray scans were flawed, but that the instructors guiding them on them admitted it too. The flaws in each of the $150,000 Rapiscan Systems scanners - which the TSA switched from in early 2013 - were well known and lied about, Harrington writes at Politico, who also details the ways he and his former colleagues would look at what amounted to nude images of travelers.
As of today, Google Maps will now let you see dynamic 3D renderings of the insides of airports and train stations. The update should help guide you through some of the most directionally confusing aspects of your travels this holiday season: transit hubs. As of this moment, the growing list of locations applies to 16 major airports and 59 train and subway stations around the world, a cable car station in Hong Kong, -- as well as 16 transit-related museums and points of interest and even the inside of your Emirates flight from Dubai, UAE.
Rules preventing in flight use of cellphones to make voice calls and access data services may be overturned, the FCC has hinted, with the federal commission proposing changes to policies it describes as "outdated and restrictive." The loosening of cellular services - which could include making voice calls while in the air - will be discussed at a December 12th meeting, the FCC confirmed; according to sources at the commission, planes themselves will effectively be turned into mobile base-stations, thus avoiding any potential interference with ground-based antennas.
Smartphones are everywhere. We not only hear this (often with a negative connotation) in our everyday lives, but we witness it, too. It doesn’t matter where you go: to dinner, to the theater, to the bus stop, to the checkout line. It seems every hand holds a smartphone, and every eye is perpetually fixated upon them.
How deeply do smartphones influence and otherwise supplement our lives? Such is not a new question, but one I found myself asking with increasing frequency this summer during a near 40 day road trip from one end of the United States to the other. I spent 5500 miles with my smartphone, and for one drought-ridden summer in an old van it became my best friend, my personal navigator, my faithful mentor, my distraction, my solution, my lifeline - maybe even my crutch at times.
You may remember the urban legend that claimed that American Airlines saved $70,000 per year by simply removing one olive from each of its salads. It sounds too good to be true, since the airline made a change that passengers wouldn't notice that would save thousands of dollars. However, United Airlines is making a similar breakthrough that isn't an urban legend.