Selected Tech/Travel Articles for May 2 2012 • The Piano Guys


Infographic: How mobile technology is changing travel. I don’t usually link to infographs, but this one is really informative and strategically important for travel professionals.


Interesting use case: WorldMate’s travel apps allow you to view which of your LinkedIn connections are in the proximity of your destination during your travel dates.


There are many signals that Big Data is going to cause disruption in the travel industry. The question is: which travel industry firms will profit from it? This opinion piece argues that it could be new players.


TripAdvisor mobile apps downloads and usage are soaring


TripIt is offering users personalized hotel recommendations based on past trips and preferences


You gotta feel for professional convention planners and Las Vegas hoteliers. Government business has been way down since the GSA “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” convention scandal.

“Everybody is too scared to go to Las Vegas now,” said one planner.


America’s best and worst airports


Frommer’s introduces interactive iPad travel guides


The airline passengers love to hate: Spirit ups carry-on bag fee to $100 one way. Spirit’s average revenue from ancillary fees per passenger on a round-trip flight recently topped $100.

USA Today Travel

Nice use case: MySeatFinder will automatically switch your seat on your confirmed flight if a better seat becomes available.


Our ever-traveling friend Joel Oleson reports on Angkor Wat and other sites in Cambodia




Microsoft offering Twilio voice and messaging APIs on the Windows Azure Marketplace. These join existing Azure cloud APIs such as Bing Search, Translator and more. Google has similar offerings. These easy to use building-block components combined with the storage and power of the cloud make it easy for small developers with limited resources to create powerful websites and mobile apps. No wonder we’ve been seeing so many new and interesting travel apps lately.


The Verge reports that Microsoft is about to launch a $99 Xbox console/Kinect package with the condition that buyers sign a $15/month 2 year Xbox Live Gold contract.

The Verge

Target, miffed that some guests come in to look at products that they then order online from Amazon, will stop selling Kindles. Target will still sell Apple iPads and Barnes & Noble Nooks.


Yahoo fires and Microsoft hires. Yahoo laid off 2,000 employees last month including many researchers. Now Microsoft has hired 14 prominent Yahoo researchers to staff a new NYC research lab.

All Things D

Verizon now selling LTE-powered wireless in-home broadband nationwide.


With Windows 8 release quickly approaching, Microsoft is dropping the “Windows Live” moniker. Good idea—I was at Microsoft during the heyday of the Windows Live brand and even people within the company couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to mean.


Harvard and M.I.T. Team Up to Offer Free Online Courses. We see so much negative news about higher education these days that it’s great to report the good news on the growing number of free online offerings from the world’s elite education institutions.

New York Times

Just One More: The PianoGuys present Obi Wan Cellobe 

Time to take a break from 3D printing and talk about music videos. New prosumer gear and YouTube are enabling some amazing productions-on-a-shoestring. The best examples of this that I’ve seen come from They are a group of guys who all have day jobs and shoot videos in their spare time, frequently pulling all-nighters. They’ve done some absolutely incredible productions using multiple dSLRs for video shooting, Apple PCs for editing, and in their latest video, a remote control helicopter to film the artists performing on a moving train flatcar. If after watching the video links below, you’re interested in how they were made, browse through their YouTube listings; they have some “making of” scenes that show how everything is put together.

It doesn’t hurt that the two principle performers are classically trained concert quality musicians.

Here’s a thought: many tech teams capable of building good websites and apps could create videos with similar technical (if not artistic) quality. It could be a differentiator for online businesses. Watch the second link below and consider how it could create travel aspirations in visitors to a travel site.

Here are links to two of their most popular videos and a final link to their newest production. Even though they’ve been doing this for only a short time, they have many videos that you can view on YouTube.

Star Wars cello parody. Over 6 million views:

Cover of Coldplay’s Paradise filmed on top of a rock spire in southern Utah. A local helicopter service kindly transported their gear to the top of the rock for free. Don’t miss the seeing the grand piano helicopter lift at the beginning of the video. Just about to hit 6 million views:

Their latest video: Bourne movie theme/Vivaldi mashup. Watch the pianist’s hands; you won’t believe anyone can play that fast. The aerial views of the musicians on the moving train were shot using the remote control helicopter. Personal side note: the train scenes were filmed in the beautiful valley I grew up in. (The ugly industrial scenes were filmed in west Salt Lake.)

One thought on “Selected Tech/Travel Articles for May 2 2012 • The Piano Guys

  1. Pingback: Tech Disruption: Paintball, Dance and Violin « TCTReview

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