Joby Gorillapod

by David Goldes
Joby Gorillapod

Many photographs that appear to be out of focus are actually blurred due to camera shake.  Holding the camera steady is the key to taking sharp photographs.  Too many people hold a camera at arm’s length and look at the display; in low-light conditions, even the steadiest photographers may not have a steady hand.
For the past few months, I’ve been travelling with the lightweight (smallest is 9.7 oz.) Gorillapod SLR, …

Ford Sync Powered by Microsoft

by Jonathan Spira
Ford Sync Powered by Microsoft

Sync, available in Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars, is without question the most advanced in-car infotainment technology I’ve ever used.  Developed by Microsoft, Sync provides hands-free voice-activated control over phone (via Bluetooth) and music (via Bluetooth or a USB cable).
Sync is Microsoft’s second major automotive product: the first, Blue&Me, is similar to Sync and is offered in Fiat and Alfa vehicles.
Vehicle owners can download updates and new features via the …

Avoiding a $5000 Phone Bill on Your Trip

by Jonathan Spira
Avoiding a $5000 Phone Bill on Your Trip

Whether you know it or not, your smartphone may be surfing the Net – and running up your bill – during trips abroad.  Discussion forums are full of reports from business travelers with high phone bills due to unintended data access: comments such as “one day, $768,” “one trip, $4800″ abound.
This can happen even if you don’t think you are using any data services.  For example, users of SimulSays, a …

Samsung Instinct

by David Goldes
Samsung Instinct

The Samsung Instinct and the iPhone have a similar look and feel but the similarities end there.  The iPhone is a not only a smartphone but a software platform; the Instinct is a smartphone with some features not found on the iPhone.
The Instinct’s interface (with some exceptions) is reasonably well thought out; visual voicemail allows one to see and listen to individual messages (the iPhone lacks this feature); and the …

Safe Computing for Business Travelers

by Jonathan Spira
Safe Computing for Business Travelers

Recently, we looked at the problem of “evil twins,” hot spots that seem legitimate but are operated by a hacker that are increasingly popping up in public and semi-public spaces including hotels, airports, and conference venues.
This month we look at other risks.
Hotels are a prime target for laptop thieves; look at any unoccupied meeting room, replete with laptops, and you’ll understand why.  But the loss of a $2000 laptop may …

Austrian Airlines Flights 87 and 88, New York-JFK Vienna and Return

by Jonathan Spira
Austrian Airlines Flights 87 and 88, New York-JFK Vienna and Return

A coffeehouse at 35,000 feet
Terminal 1 is the busy home to 16 airlines. I found Austrian’s check-in area quite easily and checked in without any waiting.  The agent invited me to visit Alitalia’s lounge, where I watched a Euro 2008 match with a glass of wine and a salad.
BOARDING
Austrian allowed early boarding for business class passengers and within minutes I was comfortably ensconced in my business class seat.  The crew …

Security Alert: Is Your Smartphone Vulnerable?

by Jonathan Spira
Security Alert: Is Your Smartphone Vulnerable?

Is your smartphone secured or was a password too much of a bother?  Think about what’s stored in your phone, including contact lists, e-mail messages, documents, proposals, spreadsheets, and presentations – many of which could be confidential.
Smartphones are much easier to lose track of than a laptop; they are also much more likely to be damaged or stolen.  Many don’t have remote wipe capabilities, a security feature popularized by Research …