Amazing and ridiculous ban on airline…

And if you want to de-stress after a tough working trip by listening to your new digital music player (eg, iPod), sorry: the Irish national airline has banned them. Again, it is out on its own on this one. The news will dismay long-haul passengers as the devices are popular in helping to while away airborne hours.

A spokesman for Aer Lingus said that the anti-iPod measure was the result of advice from a “steering group” of engineers in the airline. However, she could not provide further information as to what danger MP3 players posed to aircraft safety. [A Computers In Business survey of major airlines flying from Dublin shows that Aer Lingus is the sole carrier with the anti-iPod rule.] “We do tend to be on the conservative side in relation to personal electronic devices,” said the spokesman. [Sunday Business Post]

Filming the Hand That’s Stealing His Wallet

Bob Arno, a security consultant in Las Vegas, spends seven months each year traveling the world filming pickpockets and other street thieves. [New York Times: Technology]

I keep my money tucked inside my trousers, in a thin leather pouch that hangs from my belt. I also have a wallet stuffed only with newspaper, which I use as bait. It has been stolen from my hip pocket more than 100 times. Sometimes I confront the thieves and it magically appears on the ground. But other times I steal it back; that’s the quickest way to establish rapport with pickpockets. When I invite them for coffee, I think they are in awe, and that is why they reveal their secrets and give me their cellphone numbers. Granted, the phones are usually stolen.

Get this man some bluetooth!

With a bluetooth phone and enabled laptop this could be avoided…

The compulsion to quote and link is too strong…. Being stuck in an airport last night without connectivity, I found myself ripping the pages out of a print magazine so that I could refer to them later and quote from them. Soon I’ll resort to creating links with scotch tape and thread. [Anil Dash: Compulsion to Blog]

Though you could probably make some good use of the Palm moblog clientbeing worked on at Six Apart…

Do You Fly American?

On Friday, an American Airlines pilot on a flight between LAX & JFK asked all the Christians on the plane to raise their hands, then asked the non-Christians to speak to the others about religion. As that probably wasn’t offensive enough, he then called the non-Christians “crazy.” This may just be an interesting way to get people NOT to take advantage of the fly two, get one free promotion. Speaking of which, the NY Times reports that150,000 people have signed up for American Airlines’ free ticket promotion. Good luck finding free seats available.

And finally, a second American moron was jailed for making an obscene gesture at Brazilian customs officials while being photographed entering the country.

[Online Travel Review]

The Subway

Subway BagpipeI snapped a shot of this guy while walking past this morning… fortunately my iPod was going so I did not have to hear the Bagpipe playing – yes the bag pipe! Sorry it’s blurry – I took it while walking and over my shoulder so I would not draw his attention…

At night I’ve been spotting “The Original Hambone player” have to capture that one for you later…

Vegas Airport to roll out RFID tag system

The process starts at the check-in desk, where a baggage tag with an RFID chip and antenna imbedded in it will be printed out and attached to each bag. Each tag will carry a unique identifier and will be read while the bag is transported on conveyors through the appropriate explosive-screening machine and onto the plane. If the bag fails to clear the explosive-screening machine, it will be sent to a special facility to be checked by hand. []

Amtrak launching Wifi

Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor is the first U.S. intercity rail operator to offer Wi-Fi as a differentiated onboard service. It has installed PointShot Wireless’ RailPoint Wi-Fi solution on one car to gauge demand for Wi-Fi, establish operational parameters and determine the feasibility of expanding the program. The Wi-Fi solution will debut on Train 534 today, and cycle through other trains within the service. The first month of the Wi-Fi pilot will be free, with minor usage charges for the remaining two months. Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor passengers only need a Wi-Fi-enabled laptop computer or PDA to access the broadband wireless service.

The pilot program provides an opportunity for Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor to better serve the community of business and leisure travelers in the corridor. Informal polling of passengers by Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor found that customers, many of whom are technologically savvy, are eager to be more productive while in transit, leaving more time for family and other interests when they arrive home.


iPass opens door to Wi-Fi roaming

iPass is offering a new Wi-Fi roaming service, designed for wireless carriers and service providers that want to quickly enter the hot spot market and increase the reach of their networks.

On Monday, the network software and service developer launched its Wi-Fi Roaming Service, which essentially allows business travelers to gain access to several Wi-Fi hot spots using a single account. [CNET]

This is just what the doctor ordered. It is impossible to to pick a single Wifi carrier at this time due to the lack of coverage and the deals that have been cut with hotels and airports. Hopefully this will work quickly to simplify the process and enable a much greater group of people to gain access. Now if iPass would just update the OS X client to enable WiFi, I’d be all set. For some reason my version is the latest (and shows WiFi on their site) does not include WiFi as a choice yet.

Penn Station Loses Wi-Fi

Correspondent reports Penn Station Wi-Fi access gone: My correspondent reports that GuestWiFi pulled out of the Tracks Bar and Grill in Penn Station in Manhattan. The environment apparently made it difficult to run Wi-Fi, but I don’t have additional details. [Wi-Fi Networking News]

While unfortunate, the connection was horrible, difficult to login through a variety of browsers and a for pay network. Can’t say I’ll miss it much as I was not able to use it on either my Palm or PowerBook.

TVs removed from NYC taxis

We weren’t too disappointed to discover that the New York City Taxi and Limousine is pulling the plug on a pilot program that put LCD touchscreens in the back of 515 cabs. Even though we only occasionally rode in a cab with one of the screens, we found ourselves thoroughly annoyed every time single time, since despite having all sorts of “interactivce content”, all they really do is just blare advertising on a captive audience. [Gizmodo]

While an interesting gimmick, they were actually quite annoying…

Full steam ahead for ferry Wi-Fi in Washington state

Long said the ferry system, which serves 15,000 commuters a day in the Puget Sound region, received federal funding for a feasibility study of Wi-Fi service in July and began planning for the service yesterday with its contractor, Mobilisa Inc. in Port Townsend, Wash. The funding of about $1 million means it’s full steam ahead for Wi-Fi service on the ferry boats, a project Long has worked on for more than a year [Computerworld]

Union Square Goes WiFi

Union Square Park is the city’s latest free Wi-Fi “hot spot,” where visitors can get high-speed Internet service wirelessly. [Crain’s New York Business

I live nearby and can confirm that it has been live for a few weeks at least. It works great , though better on the northern side of the park which is closer to the equipment. You just need to agree to the terms on the forced web proxy page before heading anywhere else…

Wi-Fi gets on the right track

Given the large number of travelers already using laptops on trains, the addition of Wi-Fi makes the travel time even more productive, and provides something that road travel can not. GNER has apparently solved the problem of delivering uninterrupted connection while the train travels at high speeds. Icomera’s Wireless Onboard Internet solution provides connection using a combination of GSM and satellite, and automatically selects channels using the most effective multiple combinations to provide 100 per cent access even at speeds over 300kmph. [The Register]

So far so good… all aboard!!

Kinko Blogging…

I am off a train from Washington in Philadelphia waiting in Kinkos as #31 in queue for a rental car from Hertz. Apparently the wonders in management did not anticipate the reservations that were in the system… nice. At least I have free internet access thanks to the very open network here at Kinkos at 20th and Walnut. Just sit down at the print station and go online…