Month: May 2013

“Flight Testing” Southwest’s In-Flight WiFi

“Flight Testing” Southwest’s In-Flight WiFi

(GoGo Photo)
(GoGo Photo)

Last week in “In-Flight WiFi? Why Not?” I noted that a few years ago durng a Phoenix to Oakland flight, I was able to connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi for free when Southwest was testing the system aboard select aircraft.

On recent round-trip flights between San Francisco and San Diego I had an opportunity to see how Southwest’s current paid WiFi service works, and whether it’s worth the cost of using it.

Southwest’s WiFi system is now powered by Row44, while that aboard planes operated by its wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran, uses the GoGo WiFi product, as do seven other U.S. airlines, plus Air Canada. WiFi on Southwest planes works with any WiFi-enabled device that has a Web browser. I tried it with my iPad on the way to San Diego and my iPhone 5 on the way back.

Here’s my assessment.

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Travel Photo Thursday: Hands-Down Winners

Travel Photo Thursday: Hands-Down Winners

Camera Held VerticallyOne of my travel writing colleagues, Terry Gardner, recently returned from a trip to Kenya and asked her Facebook friends to choose the best photo from three she had taken on that journey and an earlier one to Norway. The hands-down choice was one she shot of the hands of the crew of resting on the basket of a hot-air balloon in which she had flown above Kenya’s Maasai Mara.

In a Travel Photo Thursday post two weeks ago, I repeated advice I’ve often given about the importance of having people in your travel photos. And in other TPT posts, such as this one, I’ve pointed out that capturing small details of a scene is the best approach when getting “The Big Picture” isn’t possible.

But Terry’s photo of in Kenya illustrates another technique for shooting great photos: Include people, but only their hands doing something.

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“Lights, Camera…Travel!”

“Lights, Camera…Travel!”

 Lights Camera Travel Cover“Lights, Camera…Action!” That’s what the director tells the crew at the beginning of a film “take.”

In a play on this phrase, legendary travel writer and editor, Don George, and actor (Pretty in Pink) and top travel writer in his own right, Andrew McCarthy, have assembled a series of short travel stories from a “star-studded cast” in the Lonely Planet anthology, Lights, Camera…Travel! On-The-Road Tales from Screen Storytellers.

Granted, the likes of Alec Baldwin, Malcolm McDonald, and Brooke Shields know something about movie-making. But when I began, reading the book, I doubted that any of them could write a story worth reading?

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