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Weekly Roundup, Good Friday 19 April 2019

The evolution of the Qantas logo.  One of our favorite airlines and logos.  See article below on “changing the paint job”. Good morningI hope your Good Friday is off to a good start, and your Easter Weekend will be spent most pleasantly, including, for the Christians among our readers, some extra time pondering and being thankful for our salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus.If this was New Zealand, we’d all be on holiday today (and also Monday), but, alas, here in the US, most of us are prob...
Tags: Airlines, Cars, Cruising, Miscellaneous, Newsletter, Science, Tech, Weird and Wacky


Solving Amazon’s Fake Review Problem

1008 reviews, a 4.3 star average rating, and an Amazon Choice product. But our review was strongly negative. Who do you trust? Amazon complains theatrically that it is doing all it can to stop the flood of fake reviews that infest its site, but clearly the most casual of glances shows its feeble attempts to be almost entirely ineffectual.Indeed, its problem is even more wide-ranging that it appears at first glance, because, quite apart from anything else, fake reviews (both positive and negative...
Tags: Travel, Reviews, Amazon, Science, Miscellaneous, Tech, Britain, Ba, Financial Times, Cellphones & Wireless, Don, Amazon Choice, ReviewMeta, Sure Amazon, Solving Amazon


Weekly Roundup, Friday 12 April 2019

An impression of the interior of the new Istanbul Airport, just now opened and the largest in the world. Good morningAn unplanned, but interesting (I hope) attached article today, being a review of a third emergency car battery “jump-start” unit.  Unlike the two reviewed last week, this one works well and I can recommend it with only a very little bit of “maybe” appended to the recommendation.I’m so pleased to no longer have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind about the car’s battery life –...
Tags: Travel, Google, Amazon, New York, Science, London, Sweden, Australia, Russia, Miscellaneous, Cars, US, Los Angeles, Newsletter, Tech, Georgia


An Emergency Car Battery Starter That Actually Works

This Imazing IM25 unit will probably come to the rescue the next time your car battery dies. Last week we reported on two small rechargeable batteries that claimed they could be used to jumpstart a car with a dead battery.  One of them utterly failed to do so, and the other one had ambiguous results.We suggest you should (re)read that review, because it includes a more general discussion on the topic of emergency starting a car with a dead battery.  What follows here is simply another review wit...
Tags: Travel, Reviews, Amazon, Science, Cars, Tech, Don


David Deutsch – Can Science Provide Ultimate Answers?

David Deutsch of Oxford University is my favorite physicist. He’s sharp as a tack, and sensible to boot. It’s always a pleasure to watch his videos on Robert Kuhn’s “Closer to Truth” youtube channel. Here’s one that I particularly like where he addresses the question “what are the limits of science?”  
Tags: Travel, Science, Uncategorized, Oxford University, David Deutsch, Robert Kuhn, Closer to Truth


Weekly Roundup, Friday 5 April 2019

Our reliance on the amazing convenience of GPS might become an issue on Saturday. Story, below. Good morningI hope you had a great April Fool’s Day on Monday.  This year, more than previously, I found myself struggling to tell the jokes from reality.  For example, this story about a tiny town in Denmark with only 7,000 people being the location for a new 1050 ft tower, to become the tallest in western Europe, definitely seemed like a joke, but it continues to be repeated around the internet, an...
Tags: Travel, Google, Amazon, Facebook, South Korea, Europe, Elon Musk, Science, North Korea, Scotland, Hotels, Miscellaneous, Cars, US, Newsletter, Tesla


An Emergency Battery/Starter for your Car

Murphy’s Law dictates that dead batteries always fail at the worst possible time and place. We’ve all had a dead battery surprise us in our car.  There’s nothing worse than when you’re running late, you get into your car, attempt to start it, and instead of the engine happily springing into life as commanded, there’s nothing more than a sluggish groan and – even worse – possibly the clacking of the starter motor relay opening and closing.Hopefully, when such a misfortune befalls us, we’re not fa...
Tags: Travel, Reviews, Amazon, Science, Law, Cars, US, Tech, Costco, Watts, Murphy, Watt, CCA


Weekly Roundup, Friday 29 March 2019

The two subtle changes to the Pilot Primary Flight Displays in the 737 MAX. Good morningDid you wake up to notice anything different in the world this morning?  No, neither did I.It was to be today that saw Britain leave the EU, subsequent to its referendum to do so in June 2016.  Notwithstanding almost three years to plan, prepare, and actually implement their departure, they are in a state of appalling disarray, as indicated a couple of days ago when their Parliament voted on eight different a...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Amazon, Asia, Europe, Science, Steve Jobs, Scotland, Singapore, Miscellaneous, US, Newsletter, Tech, Eu, Conservative, Chicago


Weekly Roundup, Friday 22 March 2019

Bet you can’t name this distinctive capital city. See item, below. Good morning“I’m sorry, I’m having difficulty understanding that right now.  Please try again later.”That was the regular response, during the last nightmarish couple of weeks, to my regular morning request “Alexa, turn on David Bed Light”.  An intermittent problem with my new Netgear router often meant it had frozen overnight, so when it came time to turn on the light in the morning as part of a regular getting out of bed routin...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, South Korea, Europe, England, Science, London, Australia, France, Scotland, Hotels, Senate, China, Air Canada, Miscellaneous, US


Weekly Roundup, Friday 8 March 2019

An Avro Lancaster and a Boeing B-17. See item below. Good morningHappy International Women’s Day.I’ve been struggling this week to write a review on what, in the opinion of many main stream media reviewers, have now become the very best set of noise cancelling headphones out there.  As longer time readers know, I’ve been reviewing noise cancelling headphones pretty much right since Day One, way back in 2001.During that time, I’ve reviewed the original Bose Quiet Comfort, and then just about ever...
Tags: Travel, Google, UK, Science, London, China, Miscellaneous, US, Newsletter, David, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, Sony, New Orleans, Las Vegas


Airbnb Gobbles Up Last-Minute Booking Service HotelTonight

A little more than a month after the Wall Street Journal reported that Airbnb was in talks to buy HotelTonight, the two have sealed the deal on an acquisition.Read more...
Tags: Travel, Apps, Science, Airbnb, Wall Street Journal, HotelTonight


Does Rolls-Royce Really Want to Make Jet Engines?

The “uncontained failure” of a Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine on a Qantas A380 almost caused the plane to crash.  Subsequently all A380s with these engines had to be grounded while modifications were made. Coming from an English-heritage country (New Zealand), Rolls-Royce has always been a brand with special magic to me, and to most other people of English extraction.In decades now well past, the name Rolls-Royce was the sine qua non of highest quality, highest reliability, ultra-prestigious motor...
Tags: Travel, UK, Science, Ge, France, Miscellaneous, US, Los Angeles, Tech, Vw, Current Affairs, Sydney, New Zealand, Qantas, Airbus, Bmw


Weekly Roundup, Friday 8 February 2019

Exciting news! We’re offering a new Scotland tour in September (details immediately below), and this time we not only have a ride on this, the “Harry Potter” steam train, but we also, in the other direction, have a photo stop where we can photograph the train crossing the famous Glenfinnan viaduct. Good morning Lots of touring news this morning. Our new Loire Valley Land Cruise in September has proven to be popular, with three people already signed up and another four expected to be joining th...
Tags: Travel, New York, Science, London, Sweden, Obama, California, North Korea, Mexico, France, Scotland, China, Germany, Trains, Miscellaneous, US


Screen time inhibits toddler development, study finds

In news that will surprise few but still alarm many, a study has found that kids 2-5 years old who engage in more screen time received worse scores in developmental screening tests. The apparent explanation is simple: when a kid is in front of a screen, they’re not talking, walking, or playing, the activities during which basic skills are cultivated. The topic is a thorny one, as there are plenty of arguments on both sides as to the possible pros and cons of screen use at an early age, and as wi...
Tags: Travel, Psychology, Apple, TC, Science, Kids, Parenting, Children, Screen Time, Dora, University of Calgary, Madigan, Sheri Madigan


Airbnb Discussed Potential Deal to Acquire Hotel Tonight: Report

With reported ambitions for growth ahead of a possible IPO, Airbnb may have discussed a deal to buy travel bookings service Hotel Tonight, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.Read more...
Tags: Travel, Science, Ipod, Airbnb, Wall Street Journal, Hotel Tonight, IPO Airbnb


Weekly Roundup, Friday 11 January 2019

Bet you don’t know what this is, where it is, and what it does (did)? See final item. Good morning It has been an exciting week, with our “next generation” daily news curation service taking shape behind the scenes.  Part of this is a new and more active Twitter feed. If you’re on Twitter, please do follow our new Twitter account, @TheTvlInsider.  If you were following our earlier Twitter account, feel free to unfollow that one, and please now follow our new @TheTvlInsider account. The new Twit...
Tags: Travel, Twitter, UK, Science, London, Trains, Disney, Siri, Tech, Aer Lingus, Karen, David, Atlantic, Britain, Heathrow, Gatwick


CES Report 2019

The annual CES event was held in Las Vegas this week. Ever since 1967, the first week in January has seen the enormous Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  This year was no exception, with over 180,000 attendees from over 150 countries and over 4,500 exhibiting companies meeting in an enormous 2.5 million square foot exhibition, sprawling over the Las Vegas Convention Center and spilling into other nearby hotels and locations too. We’ve been occasionally attending CES since the mid/late 198...
Tags: Travel, Reviews, Google, Amazon, Science, Miscellaneous, Samsung, Tech, Current Affairs, Las Vegas, Costco, Vegas, Harley Davidson, Alexa, Consumer Electronics Show, Cellphones & Wireless


How will we travel to another star?

Eventually, humanity will want to travel to a new solar system to propagate the human race, explore, and maybe find signs of alien life.But our closest neighbor, Proxima Centauri, is so far away that current methods could take tens of thousands of years.How will we surmount this incredible distance and the other challenges associated with interstellar travel? None Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our own, isn't actually close at all. While light takes 8 minutes to travel from the sun t...
Tags: Travel, Transportation, Science Fiction, Space, Science, Nasa, Earth, Innovation, Proxima Centauri, Daedalus, British Interplanetary Society, Rocket Science, Distance Right, Proxima Centauri NASA


Teen Who Wrote 'I Have a Bomb' on In-Flight Messaging App Deported From New Zealand

Stuffing our bodies into a metal tubes to fly miles above the ground is already a pretty dehumanizing experience. And “jokes” about bombs can make it a lot worse, as a teenager’s lawyer seemed to acknowledge, calling a recent incident in New Zealand the “grossly stupid event of the century.”Read more...
Tags: Travel, Science, New Zealand


Bumble bees bearing high-tech backpacks act as a living data collection platform

There’s lots of research going into tiny drones, but one of the many hard parts is keeping them in the air for any real amount of time. Why not hitch a ride on something that already flies all day? That’s the idea behind this project that equips bumble bees with sensor-filled backpacks that charge wirelessly and collect data on the fields they visit. A hive full of these cyber-bees could help monitor the health of a field by checking temperature and humidity, as well as watching for signs of rot...
Tags: Travel, TC, Gadgets, Wearables, Internet Of Things, Science, Hardware, Bees, Iot, Biotech, University of Washington, Sawyer Fuller, Shyam Gollakotta, Gollakotta


Food chain disruption eyed in Hawaii whale sighting decline

HONOLULU (AP) — Research into the decline of humpback whale sightings in Hawaii points to a food chain disruption likely caused by warmer ocean temperatures in the whales’ feeding grounds in Alaska, federal officials have said. U.S. and international researchers, wildlife managers and federal officials were meeting in Honolulu Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the […]
Tags: Travel, Science, News, Ap, Alaska, Hawaii, Honolulu, Nation & World


Weekly Roundup, Friday 16 November, 2018

A stunning example of the Northern Lights over Iceland. See bottom article this week. Good morning A week until Thanksgiving and, of course, those other two events that many of us are equally thankful for – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  Alas, I’m out of the country currently, so will be missing out on both the Thursday and Friday events, but return home in time for the last of the Monday specials. My guess is that Amazon will probably be discounting some of their Alexa devices, Kindle eBook r...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, Europe, Elon Musk, Science, London, Indonesia, Australia, France, Trains, Miscellaneous, US, Newsletter, David, Current Affairs, New Zealand


Watch biotech startups pitch at IndieBio’s demo day today

IndieBio, the biotech startup accelerator that’s produced heaps of notable companies (including several that have graced the Startup Battlefield), is holding its twice-annual demo day today at 3PM Pacific Time. An even dozen young companies will be pitching their work, from AI-informed research to artificial meat, and you can watch them present live right here. The IndieBio program is a four-month one that takes companies at the seed stage, often researchers straight out of graduate programs or ...
Tags: Travel, Startups, Accelerator, Science, Hardware, Silicon Valley, Biotech, Bio, Indiebio, SOSV, Startup Battlefield, Chronus, Oralta, Quartolio


Weekly Roundup, Friday 26 October, 2018

A view of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, part of our second Land cruise itinerary next June (see below). Good morning It has been a wild and crazy week, but have I got a lot to show you for the week that was.  We now have details of our June 2019 UK touring online. I’m using the “land cruise” concept first offered in this year’s Christmas land cruise (still have the cancelled couple’s $500 credit if anyone wants to take advantage of this and join us) again. One of the weaker parts of this y...
Tags: Travel, Apple, Japan, Elon Musk, UK, New York, Science, London, Australia, Scotland, China, Russia, India, Miscellaneous, US, Newsletter


Dig at Italy’s Pompeii volcanic site yields 5 skeletons

MILAN (AP) — The Italian news agency ANSA says new excavations in the ancient buried city of Pompeii have yielded the undisturbed skeletons of people who had taken refuge from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D.79. The director of the Pompeii archaeological site, Massimo Osanna, told ANSA on Wednesday the skeletons — believed to […]
Tags: Travel, Science, Milan, News, Ap, Italy, Pompeii, Ansa, Mount Vesuvius, Nation & World, Massimo Osanna


How to Buy Weed in Canada Now That It's Legal 

Canada just became the second country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis on a federal level. Implementing a national cannabis system in a huge country with distinct provincial governments is, at best, an intricate, fraught, high-stakes project—and the resulting rollout has been about as complicated as…Read more...
Tags: Travel, Science, Weed, Cannabis, Canada, 420, International Travel


Interactive sea level viewer shows what will happen to America's beaches

Gone, obviously. Tom Scocca: Using our advanced technology, it is possible to look up the beaches in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Sea Level Rise Viewer, and to imagine what will happen if we visit them, or try to visit them, in the future—when the sea levels have risen three feet, or six feet, or more, if you want. You can use your pocket phone-computer to watch them move ahead through time below.
Tags: Travel, Post, Science, News, Climate Change, America, National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration, Tom Scocca


APNewsBreak: Another rare fish pulled back from extinction

DENVER (AP) — Another rare Colorado River fish has been pulled back from the brink of extinction, the second comeback this year for a species unique to the Southwestern U.S. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to announce Thursday that it will recommend reclassifying the ancient and odd-looking razorback sucker from endangered to threatened, […]
Tags: Travel, Science, News, Ap, Denver, Colorado River, U S Fish and Wildlife Service, Nation & World


2nd elephant in 2 months born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Zoo Safari Park has another big baby to take care of. The park’s 28-year-old African elephant Umngani (OOM-gah-nee) gave birth to a 281-pound (127-kilogram) calf on Wednesday. The unnamed female appears healthy and has been introduced to other elephants. It was the second elephant birth in two months. A […]
Tags: Travel, Science, News, Ap, San Diego, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Nation & World, Umngani OOM


How aerial lidar illuminated a Mayan megalopolis

Archaeology may not be the most likely place to find the latest in technology — AI and robots are of dubious utility in the painstaking fieldwork involved — but lidar has proven transformative. The latest accomplishment using laser-based imaging maps thousands of square kilometers of an ancient Mayan city once millions strong, but the researchers make it clear that there’s no technological substitute for experience and a good eye. The Pacunam Lidar Initiative began two years ago, bringing togeth...
Tags: Travel, TC, Gadgets, Wtf, Texas, Science, History, Cambodia, Houston, Guatemala, Lidar, Belize, Garrison, Tulane, Tulane University, Marcello Canuto



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