Month: May 2011

Carryology

Carryology

From backpacks and messengers, to wallets and pocket design, we help you keep the things that are most precious to you close by when you go out to conquer the world. And we can do it all without straps cutting into us, bulk weighing us down, or weirdly placed pockets hiding our keys.

For the bag-lover in all of us. Oh dear…

As Gary says: “You can’t have too many camera bags, and all other bags too.”

[via core77]

Travel apps

I recently returned from Los Angeles, to Connecticut by plane. The routing was LAX to JFK. I was chatting with my friend Gary the morning I left and he wanted my flight number so he could track the flight (UAL 431).

I gave him the flight number and he searched and found the free FlightView app, downloaded it, installed it, and liked it. I noticed it has Apple’s iAds on the bottom of its screens and I’d pay the $0.99 to get the version sans-ads. For $3.99 there’s FlightView elite that notifies you of boarding times with push notifications as well as gives you maps and driving directions to airports on your trip. A competing app is FlightTrack which has a FlightTrack Pro version as well.

These apps go well beyond flight tracking and are general purpose travel apps that allow the storage of many of the details of a trip in a convenient form with those details updated automatically if times change. This got me thinking, why don’t I use an app like this?

Flight Tracker widget

I’ve been using both the OSX Dashboard widget Flight Tracker to check flight status but it doesn’t allow any trip information to be stored. So, I use Simplenote to keep track of this kind of stuff but my process is crude by comparison: I enter all the information and it’s not connected to anything; if flight times change I get notified by United via email and have to edit my travel list by hand. My guess is using an app for travel will make this process easier. Both of these apps can pull travel information right out of a confirmation email you get from an airline (in theory).

This is great stuff, I’m looking forward to messing with one or more of these on my next trip to LA in June.

Google flight schedule search and Hipmunk

Google flight schedule search takes off, helps you figure out when to get aboard

This is interesting although only really in trip planning, not really great (yet) as a travel aid.

Here are flights from New York’s JFK to Los Angeles’ LAX

Click the + Schedule of non-stop flights and you have a nice list of all airlines that fly that route and their takeoff and landing times.

No doubt Google will do more with this data and build it into specific applications, including those that run on Android.

For this kind of searching, I prefer hipmunk and I use it regularly although I’m pretty locked into United so it’s more a matter of looking for price and routing rather than comparing prices on different airlines.

Tom West dies

Tom West Dies at 71; Was the Computer Engineer Incarnate

Being dyslexic I’m not a huge reader but one of the books that got me excited about the early world of computing was The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder.

Kidder went into Tom West’s engineering group at Data General in the late 1970′s when they were building the first 32 bit minicomputer (a “mini” computer was about the size of a small refrigerator). The book not only got inside the engineering involved in building a computer, it got inside the engineers themselves and while West was the boss, he was also difficult for Kidder to crack.

I loved that book, still have it on my shelf and consider it every time I hear about a new gadget. The amazing thing to consider is that an iPhone could run laps around 32 bit Data General Eagle and much of what West’s engineering group was building is now just one part of a single microprocessor chip.

More on Tom West: Tom West: The Soul of a Development Manager.

Milk splash flower

Milk splash flower

Huntington Gardens, Pasadena, California. The first flower shot I’ve done in a long time. I love flowers and this one had a marker but stupid me, I forgot to shoot it for reference. So, it’s a milk splash flower until I hear otherwise (because it looks like spilled milk frozen in a photograph to me).

Google Wallet

Amazing, an entire two and a half minute video of retail folks talking about Google Wallet and only one image of someone actually using it. Ugh.

Google unveiled their mobile payment service today called Google Wallet. It uses NFC (near field communications) to allow you to use your phone as you would a credit card.

No doubt this and other things like it are the future, but this is not a great introduction for those who haven’t been following these kinds of developments.

Here’s how it works.

And a video on how it works from Endgadget:

[via Jon Moss]