Posts Tagged ‘vacation’
You might usually find production studio Fiction shooting promotional videos for apps or the occasional tomato farm for Publix, but its latest project is a personal experiment in shooting video with drones. “Fiction Product Test 003″ is three-and-a-half minutes of stunning fields, vistas, and lakes, all experienced firsthand from the underside of a quadcopter. The vehicle’s movement is exceptionally graceful and fluid, which makes for some truly breathtaking moving shots of Hawaii, Florida, Ireland, and Scotland. Grab a pina colada, your favorite drone, and enjoy.
Apple Supply Checks Indicate In-Store Accessibility For iPhone 5 Improving In Time For Vacation Sales
Apple is aggressively ramping up its iPhone 5 supply chain in order to make sure that customers looking for the smartphone can get their hands on it easily and quickly come the holidays, according to stock checks and supply analysis conducted by Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster (via Fortune). The analyst and his team conducted nightly checks of supplies at 100 Apple Stores in the U.S., and found that stock levels have improved significantly during the past 10 days, with availability of AT&T and Verizon climbing fast, and Sprint also remaining consistent after having risen previously.
Apple also recently improved the availability of its iPhone 5 models via its online store to two weeks, a slight but significant improvement from the 2-3 weeks it has been promising since earlier in November. Based on current availability trends, Piper Jaffray estimates that Apple will have same-day stock of iPhone 5s in most stores within two weeks, Munster concludes in the note he issued to investors Wednesday.
The last few years have been tremendously successful for Apple in terms of holiday iPhone sales, culminating in banner years in 2010 and 2011 thanks to the new fall release schedule for iPhones, which used to go on sale beginning in June. For Apple to continue to capitalize on holiday shopper appetite for its latest smartphone, the company needed to address supply bottlenecks and reported issues with manufacturing partners in order to make sure that customers shopping for the iPhone 5 could find it in stores and online. Supply chain optimization is one of CEO Tim Cook’s specialties, and it seems like the efforts he and his company have taken so far will indeed help make sure everyone who wants to give an iPhone 5 as a gift this year should be able to.
A relied on Verizon employee has simply confirmed to TechCrunch that the carrier is having an all-staff getaway blackout from the dates of Friday, September 21 to September 30. You know exactly what that suggests, right?
The next iPhone, whether it ’ s called the iPhone 5 or just the new iPhone, will certainly practically definitely be available in stores (with lines wrapping around the back of them) starting Friday, September 21.
It ’ s largely anticipated that the next-gen iPhone will be announced on September 12, in standard Apple fashion. (Though the sight might be a bit different this time around thinking about that Apple ’ s lead presentation manager was fired in December.)
If we travel back a bit and check out the traditional timeline from Apple ’ s announcement, to pre-order, to launch, the dates all appear to match up.
The iPhone 5/2012 timeline looks practically identical:
- Expected announcement: Wednesday, September 12
- Expected pre-order date: Wednesday, September 12
- Launch date, as confirmed by our relied upon source: Friday, September 21
And so began ticking the internal iCountdown clocks of a million fanboys.
Google Googles‘ powers of perception have become a little more perspicacious, thanks to a new update for Android users. With version 1.6, tourists can use their smartphones to take a picture of a given area, while Google’s visual search app works in the background to identify any notable landmarks, paintings or other objects. If it picks up on anything of interest, it’ll automatically notify the user, instantly endowing him or her with gooey chunks of knowledge. It seems like a pretty user-friendly refresh, though things will really get interesting if faces ever get involved. Hit up the source link below to download the update for yourself.
By the time winter rolls around, Alistair Roberts will probably remember his summer vacation a heckuva lot better than the rest of us. Why? Because he brought an FPV plane to record his mountain biking holiday in the Spanish sun. With a GoPro camera mounted on the servo-powered cradle, Alistair piloted the plane by moving his head and using a remote control — all while streaming first person video from the cockpit into a pair of goggles. By pairing the high tech toy with another GoPro on his dad’s mountain bike, and a stationary camera on the ground, Alistair was able to create a truly amazing vacation video from 1200 – 1500 feet in the air traveling around 20kmph (12mph) — way cooler than any of the ones our dads recorded back in the day. Check out the video after the break.
How do you solve a consumer education problem like the Chromebook? You put it into the idle hands of urbanite travelers — that’s how. The fast-booting neither laptop, nor netbook entity with negligible storage and not-yet-defined purpose will find a temporary summer home at select Virgin America gates and New York’s Ace Hotel starting Friday. Jet-setters flying between San Francisco and either Chicago O’Hare, Dallas / Fort Worth, or Boston Logan can get an on-the-fly, marketing-fortified crash course in Chrome OS computing by visiting special ‘Chrome zones’ located near departure gates. Virgin’s also thrown in some free in-flight WiFi to ensure you test drive Google’s Cloud-dependent lap-dweller . And if you’re one of the millions of tourists planning on seeing the Big Apple in all its humid splendor, the Ace Hotel’s got an on-the-house stash that lobby lizards can use, but only guests can take out. But the promotional push doesn’t just stop there: all partners involved have bundled specialized travel-planning apps into the experience — sure to be ripe with cooler-than-thou recommendations. It’s a noble attempt by our search giant overlord to make a name for its portable computing entrant, and a helpful distraction from that armrest hog next to you.
Continue reading Chromebook boards Virgin America, checks-in at Ace Hotel for summer vacation
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Wakeboarding is so 2005. Wakeboarding with a camera-packing six-rotor MikroKopter tracking your every jump and belly flop? Now that sounds like something we can get behind. The folks over at MikroKopter have renewed our interest in the sport by mounting a FollowMe transmitter (which lets the drone track your every move), along with a GoPro camera to one watersportsman’s helmet. They then sent a hexacopter drone, equipped with a Canon T2i, into the air to follow the boarder as he rode across the water. The resulting video definitely puts any and all of our family vacation videos to shame. High-flying video evidence awaits you after the break.
Continue reading Camera-equipped hexacopter turns summer vacation videos into aerial masterworks (video)
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How do you spice up a standalone GPS in a market that just isn’t pining for ‘em any longer? If you’re Magellan, that’s easy — you take a smartphone, gimp voice and app capabilities and, voila!, you have the RoadMate 5175T-LM. Eerily similar to its Garmin rival, this slab boasts a full WVGA display, WiFi (you know, for that inbuilt web browser) and AAA travel planning. Purportedly, those fine, fine amenities will enable you to “go from the car to the boardroom to the hotel,” and maybe even on that cross-country trip, too. Judging by its built-in tour guide functionality and heavy emphasis on the suit-and-tie demo, we’d say Magellan’s aiming this one at the fifty and over set. This shortlist of features doesn’t come cheap, either — with a $ 299.99 price tag, we’d understand if your wallet was eyeing greener pastures. Full PR gush after the break — you’re welcome, GPS enthusiasts.
Continue reading Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM connects to WiFi, plans your Great American vacation
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Is George â€œGeoHotâ€ Hotz in South America right now? Yes. Is he a fugitive running from the law? No, despite the convenience of such a story. The man is merely on vacation. Is that a crime?
GeoHot says that he’s had this vacation planned since November, and that he won’t let Sony’s silly lawsuit stop him from living his life.
People do realize that they have telephones and Internet access in South America, right? It’s not Mars. His lawyers can easily contact him should the need arise; nonetheless, he’s been in daily contact with them, too.
GeoHot also says—as if he has to—that none of his defense fund money has been used to fund the vacation.
But no, the headline â€œGEOHOT FLEES TO SOUTH AMERICAâ€ just looks flashier, so that’s what Sony runs with.
And one million thumbs up for the Boca shirt, Mr. Hotz.
Like other GeekDad contributors, I spent some time at Walt Disney World this summer; in fact, we just returned a few days ago after spending 14 nights at Disney’s Port Orleans resort (if that sounds excessive, it’s hard to justify only a week with a 2,600 mile round trip drive). This was the first time at the Magic Kingdom for my wife and kids, and my first foray since being scarred as a child when my parents took our family in 1976. Mind you, that trip was on July 4, 1976. The American bicentennial. As Canadians, we realize you folks celebrate the Fourth of July, but I suspect my parents underestimated how just big a deal that particular day was. Anyway, up until a few weeks ago, my impression of Disney World was three hour lines for stroller rentals and my toddler brother screaming through the Country Bear Jamboree. This time was much better, despite the heat, and a great way to end the summer. There were a few things I noted during my visit and I’ve listed them below.
1. Monster smoked turkey legs were a popular snack, but it seriously creeped me out having greasy faced, zoned out people bumping into me while tearing away great chunks of flesh from a fistful of bone. All I could think was: zombies. They could put a smoked turkey leg stand inside the Haunted Mansion and with the right lighting, people gnawing on those things would be spookier than any of the animatronics.
2. Hate the rain, love the rain. Our first week at Disney, it was bloody hot and humid. I had to take a shower twice a day and wallow in pools to keep from overheating. The second week, we were frequently subjected to rain showers. Not the fifteen or twenty minute ones you hear about, but several hours at a time, complete with thunder storms that shut down the boats and water taxis. We were prepared, with ponchos and ziplock bags for cameras, but I hate getting wet and the kids would eventually get miserable when caught in protracted periods of downpour. But on the plus side, if you can live with the rain, the wet weather works wonders for clearing out a park. Say good-bye to line-ups.
3. Park Hopper seems like a scam. I’m sure I’ll get called out for criticizing this, but something doesn’t feel right about being required to pay extra to use the theme park passes that I already paid for. For example, because we spent some time in Downtown Disney (which is not a theme park and doesn’t require admission), we had more theme park admission tickets than we needed. So, one day we decided to go to Animal Kingdom in the morning and Epcot in the afternoon. We didn’t care that we would be using up a full day’s admission for five people at each park, but it turns out that’s not allowed. Going to the first park was fine, but even though we were willing to hand over the roughly $400 worth of full-day tickets to enter the second park in the afternoon, Disney wouldn’t allow it unless we upgraded to Park Hopper (which was a $600 or so option for the duration of our stay). To me, Park Hopper implies some unlimited ability to run wild from park to park on a single ticket and refusing entry to a park with a second round of paid tickets in hand is a little shady. But I’m sure it makes a ton of moneyâ€¦
4. Disney World appears to have an uncomfortable relationship with time. Being on vacation, I adopted my vacation uniform, which is sans watch or smart phone. Good luck finding a clock in the theme parks or even the resorts. I think it has something to do with keeping you from leaving because it’s getting late, or to keep you from suspecting the buses aren’t running on time. Which would be fine, except we had reservations at restaurants most days (many of which had to be booked months in advance), and if you don’t show up fifteen minutes before your reservation, you find yourself on an endless waiting list. I found one clock beside the hot tub at our resort’s pool, but that was tucked away and seemed a grudging concession to preventing guests from accidentally cooking themselves.
5. We were bombarded with information about the Disney Institute and its management programs. If it wasn’t ads blaring from every other channel on the TV in our room, it was the groups of participants scurrying around the parks with name tags and clip boards as they observed the Disney experience. I suspect you could identify a company whose executives attended DI by the fact that employees are referred to as “cast members,” while board meetings are sprinkled with references to magic and pixie dust. I was looking it up online only to stumble across a timely story in a Toronto paper about the Premier of Ontario discovering that the Ontario Ministry of Health was paying for Disney Institute services -apparently the Premier was not amused about the optics of the situation, given the provincial budget deficit, and canceled the contract. I have no doubt Disney is the master of marketing, but higher education?
6. Collector pins. They are everywhere. If Disney took all the pin trading stands and converted that square footage to rides instead, I swear they’d have enough room to build another Space Mountain or two. I understand the value of the pin trading system -it not only earns scads of money for Disney (at $40 for a six pin basic starter kit), but trading pins gives the kids something to do while waiting in line. I still couldn’t shake the thought that there was something sinister about it, like there was a separate bus system or premium washroom facilities that ran on pins as currency. But if there was, no-one let me in on the secret.
7. I went on a surprising number of rides for someone with a well documented case of motion sickness, but in most cases, once was enough. Which left me waiting outside many attractions, reading or people watching while my wife and kids got their ride on. I was constantly surprised by the number of times someone would run up to one of the premium attractions at 10am, discover there’s a ten minute wait, then snarl “this is bullsh#$@!” and storm off. Ten minutes? I’m pretty sure those people had a very long and very stressful day at the park.
8. If you can beat the odds and get picked as the VIP Family to open a park, you not only get first shot at the rides (with at least a fifty foot running head start on everyone else), but you also get a collection of Fast Passes, so you don’t have to worry about lineups for the rest of the day. We got hauled out of the opening line-up at Epcot our first day and escorted into the park as the VIP Family, although I have no idea why. I wasn’t even wearing my GeekDad tee-shirt! When the Disney staff approached us, I pretty much brushed them off, assuming they were trying to sell something (a course at the Disney Institute, perhaps). I had to throw a handful of Mickey Mouse glitter confetti in the air and deal with the hordes of people glaring at me from the other side of the fence, but I’d say it was worth it.
9. Given the emphasis on modern technology throughout the Disney empire, why did my resort have wireless Internet only in the main lobby? Having to plug in to the wall in the room is so 2000â€¦ Good thing I didn’t bring my no-Ethernet MacBook Air, although I’m sure I could have picked up a Micky dongle for a few hundred bucks. No wireless access at the pool or anywhere on the grounds either. The locals may use 3G, but at the US roaming cost charged by Canadian telcos, I’ll stick with the cat-5, thanks.
10. As a Canadian, I look forward to the euphoric experience of crossing the border to the US and not paying $40 for a case of beer. While in the general store in our resort, I discovered that Disney would be happy to sell me a six-pack of Corona for thirty bucks, or a case for $120 (although I’d have to carry the bottles in Mickey Mouse bags). And if you don’t have a bottle opener, the cheapest Mickey Mouse version will set you back another $10. The one and only time we left the Disney property during the course of our stay was for a beer run.
Read more from the original source:
A GeekDadâ€™s 10 Disney World Observations
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