Thursday, January 28, 2010

Americans Don’t Speed Much?

american dont speedBefore doing some research, I would have confidently said that a huge percentage of American drivers have the tendency to speed, but according to the GPS data from the TomTom this is not necessarily true.

Recently, the company compiled their data from the Speed Profiles database of the TomTom to see how many drivers that owned a TomTom were speeding. See TomTom’s IQ Routes and Tele Atlas map business unit feature can actually track the average speed of drivers on their routes.

I don’t know about you, but it seems that every time I get on the road there’s always some crazy maniac out there flying down the highway, but according to TomTom this really isn’t that many people. They reported that drivers from the fastest states in the country, Mississippi, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, and Alabama, were staying within or slightly above the speed limits of 65-75 mph.

As amazing as it may seem according to TomTom, drivers out there just don’t seem to be speeding, well…at least the ones that own a TomTom.

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Nokia to Offer Free Navigation Software


Nokia has announced that it will be offering free Navigation software on about ten of its smartphones. The no-strings-attached-offer will let users use the navigation in their handsets without having to connect to the internet. It will include turn-by-turn directions, voice prompts, travel guides, and other features.

Nokia hopes the move will help sell smartphones. "It will serve as a defense to our product prices," Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia's head of marketing, said in a statement.

Recently, Nokia has seen its rivals Apple (with the iPhone) and Research in Motion (with its Blackberry devices) take a share of its sales. However, analysts say Nokia is also attempting to compete with Google, which is already giving away its own mapping software with the Motorola Droid and all smartphones using the Android operating system. Some say users of all smartphones will start to expect free navigation software to be a standard smartphone feature from other companies such as Microsoft, RIM, and Samsung, affecting the whole market.

Either way, the move is sure to put pressure on TomTom and Garmin, the two biggest mapping leaders. Tomtom already sells navigation software for iPhone for $70 and the move could negatively affect that type of software, as well.

Currently, Nokia users can download free Ovi Maps from its website.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

5 Ways to Learn the Language

5 Ways to Learn the Language

Traveling to a new country can be a very daunting experience. And even more so when you don't know the country's language. While you're probably not going to learn to speak a new language over night, there are some great options out there to help you get started, learn a few key phrases, and even take along with you to use if you find yourself lost in translation.

1. Franklin Five-Language European Translator ($19.99)

If you're on a budget and in need of an electronic translator, this one's for you. It has over 5,000 conversational phrases and 210,000 total translations in German, French, Spanish, Italian, and English. Categories of phrases include directions, shopping, emergencies, dining, and lodging. It features a QWERTY keyboard, phonetic spell correction, metric and Euro currency conversion functions and Rolodex memory. Franklin makes more extensive translators that cost a good bit more, but if you're simply taking a vacation and need a little translation help, this one works just fine.

2. Odyssey Translator iPhone App ($4.99)

As with anything, there are tons of iPhone and Blackberry apps for language translation. Unfortunately, most of them require you to access your phone's data plan to even use them. When you're traveling overseas, this can be a problem due to access limitations and extra fees. The Odyssey Translator is one that does not require data access. It offers translations of typical questions you might ask went traveling. It comes in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, French, Italian, and Mandarin Chinese and each language is sold separately. The app even says the phrase out loud.

3. Rush Hour Spanish Audio Book ($19.95)

This three-CD set from Berlitz has been called "cheesy" by a Fox News reviewer but it helps you learn language the old-fashioned way: by song. Berlitz calls it "language-learning entertainment" and it does get you singing along. You'll "listen, repeat, and sing" with two characters, Jon and Elena, who meet at a gym. Before you know it, you'll have learned several new Spanish phrases and quite possibly find yourself humming a tune on your next vacation to a Spanish-speaking country.

4. 30 Words Translation Cards ($8.95)

Flash cards have been around for years and carrying them into a restaurant with you probably isn't the most exciting thing in the world to do. But these are different. The two-sided, accordion-style cards contain over 700 words and phrases, along with the phonetic spelling for each one. In addition, you can print free content to go along with your cards. They're available in European Spanish, South & Central American Spanish, French, and Arabic and they cover non-typical travel topics as well as the usual. They're even waterproof!

5. My Coach Language Series for Nintendo DS ($29.99)

If you have kids, there's no need for them to not know the language as well and Nintendo DS offers translation tools that pose as games and puzzles for Spanish, French, Chinese, and Japanese. There are drills that take advantage of the DS microphone. You can even track your progress as the game grades you on your skills. OK, admittedly, this might be fun for grown-ups, too, but it's definitely something the entire family can use to help prepare for their next vacation.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stalk Celebrities on Your Next Trip to Hollywood with New iPhone App

Stalk Celebrities on Your Next Trip to Hollywood with New iPhone App

Millions of people head to Hollywood each year to experience glitz and glamour and a good celebrity sighting story to tell their friends back home. Some hope they'll bump into Clint Eastwood at a restaurant or find themselves shopping next to Julia Roberts. Others go all out and sign up for a bus tour that takes them all around the city, driving by celebrity homes and hotspots.

If you're planning to visit Los Angeles this year, chances are you hope to spot a celebrity or two. Well, thanks to B/C Interactive, there is now an app for that. Released last month, Celebrity Star Maps, a new iPhone app, is the key to making your dreams come true...sort of.

This app cuts out the need for a bus tour and guides you to the stars' homes via GPS navigation. It even provides you with aerial views of the various mansions. And just like the bus tours, it it'll take you to a host of celebrity hotspots - places voted most likely to see a star. It even provides you with various celebrity biographies.

The app is only $4.99 at the iTunes store and may be worth price if celeb-hunting is your cup of tea. Bus tours can run anywhere from $25 to over $100. Of course, you'll have to drive yourself around to your various destinations and if you've ever driven in Los Angeles, you know paying the extra cash for a chauffeur isn't always a bad idea.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DOT's New Aviation Consumer Website

DOT's New Aviation Consumer Website

Have a complaint about air travel? Maybe your flight was delayed several hours or you lost your luggage. Now, the government is providing you with an easier way to vent about your frustrations. A new website - - was unveiled by the Department of Transportation earlier this month and it includes a link for you to file a complaint online.

The DOT puts out an air travel consumer report each month that documents complaints by airline and category. November's report shows the number one complaint is about baggage (they received 117 that month) followed by flight delays, cancellations and misconnections.

Out of all the United States airlines, Delta received the most complaints (95). Southwest Airlines received the lowest number of complaints (14). But according to consumer groups, actual problems occur much more frequently than the report lets on. Many people may not be aware that they can complain or may not feel that it is worth the time. As a matter of fact, according to, there were about 122,000 passenger reports of baggage incidents in November. That's over 1,000 times more than the number of complaints.

Tom Parsons of hopes more people will file complaints, "Hopefully now that we're becoming more Internet savvy, more people will take the time to make complaints."

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the website is part of an effort by the DOT to ensure airline passengers are treated fairly. Over the last few months, the DOT has had to pay some large fines for failing to comply with denied-boarding compensation rules. Passengers denied boarding due to oversold flights are supposed to be paid 200% of their fare to the next stopover or if need be, their final destination, up to $800.

In addition to filing complaints, users will find the DOT's aviation consumer website features guidance on aviation rules and statues, advice on airlines that have stopped operating or filed for bankruptcy protection, and several air travel tips. Several airlines have also been making it easier for consumers to complain using Twitter. Continental, Southwest, AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines all have a Twitter presence.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

4 Mistakes Every Traveler Makes

When you start planning a vacation, it's easy to get carried away with the excitement of your trip and forget or overlook some important details. As a matter of fact, there are some extra precautions you should take and things you should avoid that most travelers are not even aware of. Below you'll find a list of a four big travel mistakes that almost everyone makes and what you can do to prevent yourself from making them in the future.

1. Cruise Insurance

Every cruise line offers it but few people buy it. What are the chances you won't be able to make it to your cruise ship in time? It happens. Maybe you get sick or maybe your flight is delayed. Whatever the reason, it's entirely possible that big boat is gonna leave the mainland without you. Sure, you can call and explain the situation to the cruise line and ask for a refund or credit for any future cruise, but chances are you're not gonna get either. Why? Because cruise ships offer the insurance for this very reason.

So how you do you remedy the situation? It's simple: purchase the cancellation insurance. You may want to shop around and get a few quotes first; just because the cruise line you're using offers a certain type, doesn't mean it's the best.

2. Rental Cars

Picture it: you rent a car for a week and treat it with more care than you treat your own vehicle. Once your vacation is over, you return the car to the rental company, only for an employee to notice a small scratch on the bumper. You're fairly certain it was there when you rented the car but the employee and the rental company do not believe you and suddenly you find yourself with a claim against you.

Avoiding this situation is easy. Make sure someone who works for the rental company inspects your car before you drive it out of the lot and makes note of any damage. Walk around the car with the employee and point out even the smallest scratch. You may even consider taking a picture. FYI, Hertz already does this.

3. Foreign Transaction Fees

When you book a flight to or a hotel room in another country, you may be surprised with a sizable transaction fee. It doesn't matter if your entire transaction took place over the phone or online in the United States, if your destination is elsewhere, it's highly probable you'll be charged a foreign transaction fee. In most cases, the foreign transaction fee has replaced the foreign exchange fee that used to cover the cost of exchanging currencies.

You should always read the fine print on your credit card member agreement and make sure you are aware of an extraneous fees. Capital One is one credit card that not only doesn't impose the transaction fee, but it also doesn't charge the cross-border fees that Visa and MasterCard charge.

4. Resort Fees

When you stay at a hotel, you expect everything to be covered in your nightly charge, right? Well, some hotels charge a mandatory "resort fee" and basically, it's just a way to get some extra cash out of your pocket. For example, Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas charges $4.99 a night for "pone calls, in-room bottled water, and additional inclusions." Those "additional inclusions" aren't specified, so who knows what that means, but shouldn't this stuff be included in your room price? Why add on a bunch of extra fees? Because they can and will if they think they can get away with it.

Again, solving this problem is simple. Don't stay at these hotels. Don't give them your business. If you're given an opportunity, voice your opinions about the fees to hotel staff and management. If they ask why you'll be staying elsewhere, tell them it's because of the pointless extra fee. Maybe one day, they'll get the hint.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2011 Ford Focus Receives MyFord Touch

2011 Ford FocusDetroit has long been the motor capitol of the country and the 2010 Detroit Auto show has just kicked off showcasing the newest advancements in automotive technology as well as the latest models of some of our favorite cars, trucks and SUVs. Automotive manufacturers from all over the world arrive at the Detroit Auto Show to put their latest and greatest on display but it is Detroit's local comapany Ford that has been making headlines recently.

Ford's plans for their 2011 Focus have already been made official and there are a lot of new additions to the Focus that have already made people start talking. While the Focus' new six-speed dual-clutch transmission or 155bhp is higher on some people's excitement list, one thing that should definitely be on there is the inclusion of the MyFord touch control system which was designed to push the modern dashboard into the touchscreen age we are currently living in.

The tech involved in the MyFord Touch is impressive. MyFord Touch is powered by the second generation Ford Sync which is essentially built on Microsoft Auto 4.0. MyFord Touch does its very best to replace every single knob and button on your typical dashboard with improved voice recognition, touch screens, touch-sensitive buttons and thumb-wheel controls. All your information is displayed on two 4.2" full-color LCD screens on located on both sides of an analog speedometer with 5-way navigation buttons on both sides of the steering wheel which gives the driver complete control over data on the corresponding left/right display (left buttons for the left display, right buttons for the right display).

The left side screen displays information like fuel economy, mechanical status and safety features as the right screen displays comfort and entertainment settings like audio settings, climate controls, phone communications and navigation menus. At the top of the center console rests and 8" touchscreen LCD. This screen acts as your hub for your phone, navigation, climate, audio/entertainment functions and also features fingertip slider controls for the adjustment of your radio's volume and your climate fan speed and if using your hands is "so last year" for you then voice commands can be used in most cases as well.

A new feature that is going to be made standard on all MyFord and sync-equipped cars is Ford's existing Traffic, Directions and Information application. With the help of an SD card slot and Upgradeable SD cards containing certain information, like the map database and voice data, you can get enhanced 3D map-based navigation. There are also a bunch of apps that will be available for MyFord as well.

Ford's App Ecosystem is exposing software that will hopefully allow any and all Bluetooth devices to communicate with your vehicle. This basically means that Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, iPhone, Blackberry and any other device like these are good to go. Your apps will be able to write to the sync display, receive voice commands, have the car read text to speech and even receive some data from the car. Any existing apps can be added with Sync Support and apps appear to connect to the car quickly.

With the MyFord Touch, the 2011 Focus' screen will also double as a web browser while the car is parked. Connectivity is provided by either 3G or 4G modem which has to be plugged into one of two USB ports that are tucked under the arm rest. After the connection is made presto! You're car becomes a WiFi hotspot. With the SD card reader and the RCA inputs you can input video into the 8" display as well.

Overall the MyFord Touch feature in the 2011 Ford Focus seems pretty awesome. Touch screen capabilities is a growing trend on all of today's technology and it only makes sense that it would branch out into car dashboards. Ford, with all of the new technologies it is adding in its new models, is making the technological jump into the future fast and doesn't show any signs of stopping.

*For more information on technology rentals in Detroit visit our Detroit Computer / Audio Visual / And Office Equipment Rental Page!

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Garmin Wilderness GPS Models

garmin oregon 450tOn Tuesday, Garmin announced their release of two new midrange touch-screen GPS devices targeted at hikers who want to have a navigation system with them in the wilderness. The Oregon 450 for $399 and the Oregon 450t for $499 are perfect for anyone that will be adventuring to unknown places.

Both of the devices feature a 3-inch screen that Garmin says can be operated even with gloved hands. Each have improvements that include: a user-selectable “dashboard” interface, high-speed USB, photo navigation, a three axis electronic compass, and better track navigation that will even display upcoming changes in elevation. They also have barometric altimeters and have the capability to exchange tracks, waypoints, routes, and geocaches with a variety of newer Garmin GPS systems.

Now what differentiates the Oregon 450t from the regular Oregon 450 is the 450t’s built-in 100,000 to 1 scale topographic maps of the United States. These offer a 3D perspective to the viewer to better gauge terrain elevation. These maps will also show major trails, roads, lakes, coastlines, rivers, parks, and wilderness areas.

Both of these devices are said to be ready to ship in the very first quarter of 2010. The price may seem a little high for a hiking accessory, but if you are a person who spends quite a bit of time outside in unfamiliar territory, this could be a good investment.

Looking for a short term mobile technology rental to to make your next trip a success? Call 800-736-8772 today and ask about our Nextel Rentals, Two Way Radio Rentals, or even our Aircard Rentals!