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Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Inaugural Flight – Washington, D.C. – London, England

by Jonathan Spira

LONDON AND NEW YORK — Virgin Atlantic Airways, in October of 2014, was the first European airline to take delivery of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. That aircraft, Birthday Girl, is what I am flying in right now en route from London to Washington, D.C. The airline’s second 787-9, Dream Girl, was the airline’s launch vehicle from Washington, D.C. to London Heathrow on January 8, which marked my third flight on …

Inside Frequent Business Traveler

‘Film Chinois’ at the Beckett Theatre – Review

by Jonathan Spira
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Is it a floor wax or a dessert topping?  Pan Asian Repertory Theatre’s Film Chinois, a play with elements of the film noir genre, does beg that question at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row.  The play has many of the elements of the genre – shadowy scenes, silhouetted figures, a black-and-white-ish visual style, and of course, femmes fatales – but how well does this translate to the stage?
The setting? Beijing, …

Lobby Bar – January 23: The Secret to Good Music, 2,400-Pound Bug Zappers, and Why Superheroes Can’t Keep Secrets

by Jeremy Del Nero
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Lobby Bar – A Thoughtfully Fabricated Summary of FBT News and Views
Doc’s dreams come true.  Find out what travel plans our readers have in store for 2015 in our annual Business Travel Outlook Report.  An alarming percentage of respondents say they will nix air travel in favor of hover boards as soon as the technology reaches commercial status.
Choco–migration.  It’s time to go shopping at the most chic boutique around – …

FBT Survey: Business Travel Set to Increase in 2015

by Paul Riegler
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Business travelers report they will be on the road more often in 2015 than last year, according to a new Frequent Business Traveler research report.
Almost half of business travelers surveyed said they plan on taking more trips in 2015 as compared to 2014, while a similar number said they anticipate taking more trips in 2015 than they did two years ago in 2013. The number of travelers who say they …

Visiting the Continent Now More Affordable Than Ever as Euro Continues Slide Against Dollar

by Paul Riegler
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Traveling to Europe soon? Consider bringing an empty suitcase to carry home all of your purchases. The euro has dropped precipitously against the dollar over the past year to $1.146 and shows signs of achieving parity.
It was only a few years ago that the euro was at $1.45 and it was at $1.36 at the beginning of 2014.
As long as the U.S. economy continues to remain in better shape than …

‘123456’ Leads Worst Password List for 2014

by Paul Riegler
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Despite the number of highly publicized data breaches at Sony, Target, and elsewhere, few people are getting the message about passwords.  If your password more resembles “X1qT-4Pp0-2C9z” than “password” or “123456,” you need not read any further.  If you are still here, there’s still time to take appropriate action and spare yourself potential public embarrassment.
Once again, SplashData, a password management company, has released its annual list of the worst passwords, …

Pianist Moye Chen at Carnegie Hall – Review

by Jonathan Spira
Moye Chen performing at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall on Monday

Moye Chen, a Chinese pianist whose resume includes studies at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Oberlin Conservatory of Music, has the distinction of having won first prize in the 58th Cincinnati World Piano Competition last year. He performed an ambitious program in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall last night.
Weill Recital Hall, which has been a part of Carnegie Hall since the latter opened in 1891, is an intimate small …

Google Translate App with Conversation Mode – Review and Report

by Paul Riegler
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Google recently announced an update to its Translate app that gives it the ability to support a real-time conversation in two languages with little delay. The “conversation mode” feature acts as a near-real-time translator, somewhat reminiscent of Star Trek’s universal translator.
Using the app is simple. Translation mode supports spoken input, typed input, or handwriting. To test its functionality, I simply selected the two languages for the conversation and used the …