Sunday, September 28, 2014

Runaway Photo: Different Faces of the Gold Coast

Australia-queensland-Gold Coast-Surfers

Gold Coast, the Glamorous Queensland’s City

Coast, a costal city of southeastern Queensland is one of the hottest
tourist destinations for both locals and international visitors. It
attracts several million people all year round. But why is the Gold
Coast such a special place? I had a chance to stay for a week in
Broadbeach in the Gold Coast during #Room753 campaign, and certainly, I
discovered a lot about this charming place.

The day starts with a
variety of colors in the sky. The sun rises with charisma. I enjoyed
the sunrise everyday through my big window. The sun shines on the coast
that extends 60 km. It’s a pleasant 15-25 degrees Celsius even in the
winter. There are a number of attractions and activities you can do in
the region including golfing, hot air ballooning, hiking, visiting Great Barrier Reef,
and so on. People are mellow and laid back. And the day ends with an
orange-glow sunset. It almost feels too perfect to be real.

whole region is glamorous with attractions and activities, but most of
all, what makes Gold Coast great is the beach itself. When I went for a
walk on the beach, I truly understood why people are attracted here. The
sandy beaches are firm and flat, perfect for walking, running, or just
enjoying the warm ocean. It’s great for surfing and various water sports
and becomes one big playground for children, dogs, and adults.

For a week, I enjoyed seeing the different faces of the Gold Coast. Here are some of the highlights of my stay.

Sunrise over the horizon - seen from Peppers Hotels 37th floor

Sunrise over the horizon – seen from Peppers Hotels 37th floor

Surfer's Paradise and Gold Coast at night

Surfers Paradise and Gold Coast at night

Gold Coast at night

Gold Coast at night

Gold Coast at night

Gold Coast at night

Sunny Gold Coast - Winter Wonderland, Gold Coast style

Sunny Broadbeach – Winter Wonderland, Gold Coast style

The long soft sandy beach is what makes Gold Coast so amazing

The long soft sandy beach is what makes Gold Coast so amazing

Long coastal line of Gold Coast and beyond

Long coastal line of Gold Coast and beyond

Hiking in the Burleigh Head National Park

Hiking in the Burleigh Head National Park

Surfer's Beach and Gold Coast from up in the air

Surfers Paradise and the Gold Coast from up in the air

Sun is setting on the beach

Sun is setting on the Broadbeach

Evening walk on the beach

Evening walk on the beach

Gold Coast skyline at night

Gold Coast skyline at night

Gold Coast skyline at night

Gold Coast skyline at night

Surfer's Beach at night

Surfers Paradise at night

Gold Coast and the Surfer's Beach seen from Burleigh Head National Park

Gold Coast and the Surfer’s Paradise seen from Burleigh Head National Park



Friday, September 19, 2014

Would you fly in a Windowless Plane?

technico windowless
The IXION Windowless Business Jet Concept has no windows. Instead any scene
can be projected onto a high-res screen on the interior cabin walls and
ceiling. It could be the view from the outside of the plane or relaxing
scenes or business charts! The displays would be powered by Solar
panels on the jet’s exterior.

The design recently won the Exterior Design Concept category at the 2014 International Yacht & Aviation Awards for Paris-based company Technicon.

The advantages of removing windows include:
  • construction cost reductions
  • a lower weight leading to decreased fuel usage
  • increased flexibility for the inside layout of the plane
140816 exterior jet
Isaac Asimov, the late Science Fiction writer, in his book Caves of Steel
described windowless flying. As someone who loves gazing from the
window, his prediction filled me with dread. Air design up to now has
been about increaseing window size (for example Boeing with the 787)
 but with most passengers absorbed in kindles, seatback TVs, Ipads and
computers, today, do we need windows anymore?
Many airlines now have cameras which can send back the exterior view to a
screen. Is this IXION concept heralding a future step? Would passengers
take to it?

Would you fly a windowless plane?

 - Wild About Travel

Monday, September 15, 2014

The 'One Touch' Time Management Strategy: Cutting Down the Little Tasks

I’ve been experimenting with different time management strategies lately,
especially with small but frequent tasks that are total time drains. 
I’m still planning my time around the workday, but reading emails and blog posts has been killing my free time. While I use Google Gmail’s Priority Inbox
one_touch_time_management_strategies(highly recommended) to try to streamline the process, I just can’t
seem to shake some of these emails.  I’ll read half an email, “star” it,
then (hopefully) come back later to finish reading it.  The problem
with this: when I come back, I have to start dealing with the email all
over again.  I often run into the same issues I had dealing with the
email the first time around.  It’s all a vicious cycle of email
This is where the “one-touch” time management strategy comes in and
saves the day.  Instead of taking multiple stabs at dealing with an
email, I only get one chance.  Once the email is open, I have to
completely deal with it right there; there’s no going back.  It either
gets 1) a read and replied to, 2) just read, or 3) deleted/archived. 
Then it’s gone and out of my life.

While I’ve perfected this strategy on email, it works on lots of other tasks, too.

How to Implement the One Touch Approach on Anything

1. Identify the problem. No need to spend much time
breaking the problem down.  It’s simple in most cases.  For example,
let’s say is “how should I deal with the email I just received asking
about plans for this weekend?”

2. Determine how long it will take to deal with this problem.  My one-touch method incorporates David Allen’s Two Minute Rule in Getting Things Done.  The Two Minute Rule says that if it’s something you must do and it will take you less than two minutes, do it right away.

3. Once beginning to deal with the problem, follow through until the process is complete.
In this case, replying to the email takes less than two minutes, so I
would respond and send my message immediately. Once I do this: process
complete. One touch success.

If it takes longer than two minutes, I don’t have to deal with the problem right away.  If the email I received involved paying a credit card bill instead, I would have the option to save it for later.

However, once I commit to solving the problem, I must complete the action 100%.
In the case of my bill, I would check to see what I owe, read over my
statement, log into my online billpay account, and pay the bill.  A
fragmented approach, such as simply reading my statement but then not
paying the bill until later, would result in wasted time, a cluttered
email inbox, and possibly forgetting to pay. I don’t want any of these
things to happen nor do I want email or any other small tasks to pile

Where One Touch Works

Here are some examples of how I’ve implemented one-touch time management strategy.

1. Doing all of my dishes at once after eating dinner.

2. Hanging up clothes right after taking them off.

3. Click to unsubscribe email newsletters I don’t read.

4. Read a entire web page or blog post at once.

Overall, I find this strategy is best when a problem is realized and a
response of some kind is definitely necessary, as in my email example.

The targeted tasks are rather insignificant, but that’s the whole
idea. We encounter these little productivity roadblocks dozens of times
each day, so blasting through them quickly and efficiently keeps the
annoyances from piling up.

Have you tried similar time management strategies? Have you noticed a
difference in how you handle small tasks? Share your story below.

photo by: gagilas

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Best Flight Tracking Websites, Ranked and Reviewed

How many miles did you fly last year? What about different
airlines? Total number of hours spent in the air? If you can't answer
any of these questions, listen up because there's a slew of ways to
easily track all these fun travel statistics with only a few clicks of
the mouse.

Right now is the ideal time to begin logging your flights for
this fresh year so that, come December, you'll have all sorts of fun
stats to share at holiday parties and on social networks. "I flew 70,000
miles and visited 32 different airports in 9 countries this year" sure
beats, "Yeah, I traveled a lot."

With this is mind, we put flight tracking websites to the test:



· Full flight detail listing

· Ability to set region to track domestic flights easily

· Thorough flight stat calculations, including longest, shortest, slowest and fastest flights

· Online shop for aviation gifts and posters of your own travels for €29.95-149.95

· Significant network of frequent flyers

· Airline and airport rating system


· A lot of ads

· Cluttered homepage with 'dated' look

· Non interactive map

· Ability to import easily from OpenFlights only



· Aesthetically pleasing dashboard

· Full flight details are able to be uploaded

· Plenty of calculated stats, including carbon emissions, time in air, number of flights per month

· Auto-fill based on flight number

· Ad-free

· Massive database and frequent flyer community

· Ability to easily export to other databases

· Ability to import for free, but only from OpenFlights

· Interactive map that allows clicking with data retrieval

· Airline and airport rating system

· Fare-class tracking


· No airline logos

· Rare updates and new benefits

· Facebook linking is very minimal and only posts links to user profiles



· Automatic social media connection and tracking by check-ins

· Ranking amongst social media connections

· Lots of levels with cute badges for bragging rights

· Color-coded airports depending on frequency

· Ad-free


· Reduced ability to manually log flights as it's mostly auto-logged from your social media check-ins

· Add flight depending on amount of 'friends'

· No airline, aircraft or flight number tracking

· Due to the automatic tracking by social media, a missed check-in or private flight won't get logged

· Slightly childish look to website



· Ability to import easily from OpenFlights and FlightDiary with duplicate detection

· Aesthetically pleasing dashboard

· Airline logos are included, which makes the flight history table look like an airport departures board

· Ability to store frequent flyer details and track via program

· Top 100 leaderboard for bragging rights

· Auto-fill from a massive database of airports and airlines

· In the map, flight paths are color-coded based on frequency of route as well as airline flown

· Features its own frequent flyer sub-communities with which to compete and create networks

· Ad-free

· Ability to track future flights

· For flights in the past 2 weeks, automatic auto-fill of details

· Fare-class tracking


· Not free, but €4.99 per month is not a bad price for one-stop shopping

· Still in alpha-testing, so not all features are 100% live

· No social media syncs

Note: Pitot is not fully live, but is in alpha testing. We've
been told that flyers who express early interest now may results in
added perks moving forward.



· Full flight detail tracking

· Top 10 leaderboard for bragging rights

· Substantial network of frequent flyers

· Simple data entry

· Interactive map with not only user's routes, but all airlines and routes from the airport


· Has ads

· Basic user interface

· Difficult importing directions


It boils down to FlightMemory or FlightDiary,
depending on what stats you most enjoy or which site your friends give
their loyalty. We personally use FlightMemory, but are considering a
switch and Pitot sounds extremely promising. For frequent users of
Foursquare, however, there's nothing easier than JetLovers.

|| Jaunted