HTC Hero

The HTC Hero was released while I was traveling so I could only squint over the press photos on my Nokia. Now that I have had time to read the reviews and lust over the industrial design, I am excited to give the device a try when it’s released in Asia later this summer. The Hero is the local handset makers third Android phone and arguably it’s first worthy of consideration. With the exception of that growing lip the form factor is beautiful but it’s the custom Android UI called Sense that has my attention. It’s gorgeous. The Sense UI’s focus is on widgets putting a great deal of your info on the home screen. It’s designed to make tasks such as organizing emails and messaging more effective. Social-networking services such as Facebook and Twitter have also been integrated to make viewing updates from the phone’s contacts page easier. Their approach is not dissimilar to what we see in the Palm Pre.

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Travel links: Tech, Cheap destinations, and tips

Tech in Travel
A topic from the National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered program. The first using cell phones to check into your airline flight plus using a cell phone-displayed bar code in lieu of a boarding pass. The second part of the segment (about 4:00 minutes in) shifts to other helpful travel sites and tools on the Web.
The World’s Cheapest Destinations
If you ignore the expensive spots where the tourist herds are going and visit The World’s Cheapest Destinations instead, you’ll save enough to travel longer, more often, or better, for less money. Here, in one location, you can find the world’s cheapest vacation spots and the best travel bargains.
28 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Traveling.
When you first head off to places in the world that are a lot different from where you live, a number of things change. You have to learn to adapt. I still make a lot of mistakes everywhere I go, but I try to learn from each of them. Here’s a short list of things I wish I knew before I started my routine of extensive overseas travel, especially in countries in Africa, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America that are not part of the tourist circuit.
Cheap First Aid Kit For Travellers.
Whilst on the road I’m constantly amazed at how few backpackers carry a first aid kit. Maybe it’s simply overlooked, maybe it’s not deemed necessary and sacrificed during the quest to attain a lighter backpack, or maybe it’s dismissed on a cost basis alone. I don’t know the exact reason, but what I do know is that a first aid kit can be worth its weight in gold – at worst it can provide piece of mind and at best could even avert a trip ruining calamity.

Thailand Airport Scam

If it wasn’t bad enough that Thailand is under seemingly constant political strife, the tourism industry there has taken another hit with an alleged scam involving corrupt police at Bangkok Airport. This alleged scam involves police falsely detaining tourists on theft charges whereby the only way they can regain their passport and their release is by paying a large ‘fine’. This fine/bribe has been in excess of 13,000US.

A British couple who were falsely accused of shoplifting in Bangkok airport and were forced to pay £8,000 in bribes to secure their release are to take legal action for compensation.
They were the victims of an extortion racket that has ensnared other foreign travellers at the airport, which handles most of the 800,000 British visitors to Thailand every year.
Stephen Ingram, 49, and Xi Lin, 45, both technology professionals from Cambridge, were detained by security guards as they went to board Qantas flight QF1 to London on the night of Saturday, April 25.
They were accused of taking a Givenchy wallet worth £121 from a King Power duty-free shop and were handed over to the police. An official release order from the local Thai prosecutor’s office subsequently conceded there was no evidence against them.

Travelers beware, with the recent riots and near constant jostling for political power, no matter how worldly and well travelled you think you are, you can never be assured of ‘safety’ as there is no authority in Thailand that can assure that safety, even in their international airport. Thailand may be my favourite place to visit but it’s getting hard and harder to recommend it as a holiday or working location.
And stay away from King Power Duty Free.
From British couple fights Bangkok airport extortionists. Also, £10,000 for eye shadow at King Power?- The Bangkok airport scam.

Goodbye, Sticky Notes; Hello, Reqall

In a nutshell, Reqall is an effortless personal reminder system. You speed-dial its toll-free number and dictate whatever it is you want to remember. “Meeting with Jacobs Monday at 5 o’clock.” “Buy frozen grape juice.” “Remind Shannon to pick up the kids early tomorrow.” “Anniversary present every Sept. 15.” “Idea for Act 2: Henderson turns out to be an android.”
That’s it. You go through your life, dictating these little tidbits that would ordinarily be relegated to scraps of paper or the back of your mind — and therefore, probably, lost.
Reqall transcribes your utterances into text and collates them at You can also have them sent to you by e-mail or as text messages to your cellphone.

Continue reading Reminders From Out of the Blue

Find Internet Cafe for iPhone

A potentially useful app for iPhone and iPod touch which finds Internet Cafés based on your current location.
– Detects your current location automatically and displays search results based on proximity.
– Shows interactive map with driving directions.
– Tap to call the business phone number.
– Tap to visit the website.
– Bookmark your favorites places for quick and easy retrieval.
I could have used an app. like this when I am in Hong Kong as I spent far too much time looking for free wifi access.
Find Internet Cafe for iPhone. Via textually.

Sushi iPod Case

Very cute.

Sushi I pod covers are all handmade with the softest, plushest fleece to help prevent screen scratching. The removable sushi “Ebi” acts as a protective pillow for your pricey magical music machine adding extra protection when your gadget gets lodged at the bottom of your bag. This cover has a zippered opening for head phones, credit card, identification and possibly if you can cram it in there a ridiculously small cell phone.

Sushi Ipod Classic Case / Cozy

Glyphboard 2.0

Glyphboard is a web app for iPhone which lets you type glyphs not available on any of the standard iPhone keyboards. These glyphs include , ☂, ☺, ✔, and even ♫. Pretty handy for IM, SMS, Twitter, and etc.

Wooden iPod Mini


It’s handmade (with special thanks to my 8yr old dremel) from Australian red cedar, Camphor Laurel for the clickwheel, brass plates, brass screws and the guts from the first ipod i ever had.

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Lifeline Survival Kit

This survival kit might help give you the peace of mind you need if things go wrong. It’s compact, light, and contains waterproof matches, aluminum foil, an 80″ x 50″ emergency blanket, 50 ft. of fishing line with four hooks and sinker weights, a surgical blade, five wound closure strips, a map compass, emergency whistle, three feet of duct tape, and a reusable zipper-lock bag. Luckily this kit contains instructions because it’s been a long time since boy scouts. A worthy addition to your go-bag.

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Fjällräven Vintage Shoulder bag

Though I recently featured their Fjällräven Kanken Rucksack, their style is so classic and the quality so impeccable I had to go back for more. A colleague of mine here has a Maxi Kånken and I swear it gets better the more she uses it. The Fjällräven Vintage Shoulder bag looks like a great day bag and a great touring bag while traveling (leave your larger bag in your room). The interior is A4 sized (yes!) with 1 main compartment with zippered safety pocket. Also the bag has 3 front pockets under the lid and 1 spacious back pocket with velcro closure. It’s made with water resistant polyester cotton blend.

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Vintage Tapestry Rolling Laptop Bag

If you are tired of boring black than you will be thankful for this laptop bag from Vintage Tapestry. With bold color, great finish, and that beautiful pattern, this rolling laptop bag will not only carry all your gear, but will help you look great while doing it. Features include durable hardware, retractable handle, large internal compartment, and fabric lining for easy cleaning. Perfect for the airport.
Vintage Tapestry Bags