Selected Tech/Travel Articles for April 30 2012



Gratuitous click bait: BudgetTravel feature on the 35 Cutest Zoo Babies of 2012.


I previously mentioned La Quinta’s mobile website Instant Hold feature that lets travelers make last minute room reservations using only their mobile phone numbers. They’ve now rolled out the same feature to their mobile apps.


In a recent post I mentioned  Kwikchex’s new “review the reviewers” site. TripAdvisor is not taking the criticism lying down, pointing out Kwikchex’s conflict of interest.


If you have an iPad, check out’s new Hotel Reviews and Photos app with iPad 3 high resolution support.


HotelChatter tries out’s Tonight app in search for cheap Vegas hotel room, but finds no better prices than the Hotels’ own sites. Ends up using Expedia website to make their booking.


Primer on hotel categories and star ratings explains how you could have a more enjoyable stay at a 3 star versus a 4 star hotel. There is no uniform rating system, but the stars generally indicate the quantity of amenities and features of a property, not necessarily the quality. Quality is supposed to be signaled by traveler-submitted review ratings

Fox News Travel

Business travelers increasingly paying for extras out of their own pockets

USA Today Travel

Boeing takes Airbus trade-ins to secure big order.

USA Today Travel

Places for your bucket list: Bali





Google changing the look of paid ads in Flight, Hotel and Financial searches, includes new “Sponsored Results” inline with organic search results. As SearchEngineLand’s Danny Sullivan points out, this goes against Google’s famous 2004 IPO “Don’t Be Evil” Section.

Search Engine Land

Microsoft invests $300M in new Barnes & Nobel Nook Subsidiary. I’ve commented before that I think the Nook line has beat the Kindle devices in e-reader (but not ecosystem) innovation over the past couple of years. GigaOM notes that the deal values the Nook business at $1.7B, more than B&N itself.


Rumor: Hulu may require users to have a cable or satellite subscription in the future.

[Editorial opinion: $#@*&! you, content merchants! I am willing to pay for content but I want it à la carte! Stop forcing me to pay for all MTV channel content and similar vacuity when what I want are seleted programs.]

I hope this won’t actually happen with Hulu. Like the recording industry before them, I think the movie and TV industry will eventually find that economics and technology will route around them if they keep trying to force users to buy unwanted content.


A few years ago a young hacker known as Geohot was the first person to successfully unlock an iPhone. He was a hacker in the classical sense—an extremely curious and creative person who sees an unknown or closed system as a puzzle to be solved. The classical hacker is at worst amoral rather than immoral. The classical hacker’s motive is not profit but puzzle solving props. This lengthy but excellent piece in the New Yorker follows Geohot’s exploits as he unintentionally starts a modern hacker war and exposes serious and costly deficiencies in Sony’s online security. A must-read for any serious student of hackerdom.

The New Yorker

Just One More: Who needs those fancy new-fangled microprocessors? Follow Kyle Hovey as he builds an 8-bit computer from scratch on a breadboard using discrete TTL chips. It’s certainly old school, but an effective way of learning how hardware really works instead of treating it as a black box.


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