Posts Tagged ‘ travel ’

Would you use one of these?

Futuristic public toilet in London – Boing Boing

Cory Doctorow has posted on Boing Boing a picture of a public toilet in London. I saw a similar device in my travels in Paris last year. Over there it costs around 10 Euros to use and you only have 15 minutes before the door automatically opens.

Now that is a scary thought.

Back from Vacation

I know it’s really been a while since I updated my blog and now’s the chance. I’ll try to sum up the past two weeks of my Thanksgiving vacation and everything that I’ve done over the next few days.

November was a financially tough month for gamers since a whole lot of games came out for practically every platform. Gears of War was released for Windows, Rock Band, Ace Combat 6, Beautiful Katamari, NBA franchise games, NFL franchise games, Mass Effect, Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction, PSP Slim, Final Fantasy Online: Wings of the Goddess, Sim City Societies, and the list goes on and on.

I had to pass on the Ace Combat flight stick and Rock Band due to the size of the boxes that these things came in. I wasn’t willing to pack the thing and haul it across the Pacific knowing that it would probably get here. I was right there when Rock Band came out and everyone walking into the store was walking out with one. Oh the pain and the agony of not having one. I pride myself of being a pretty good Guitar Hero player and not being able to play it is just heart wrenching.

Anyway, moving on. I finally jumped in and bought a PS3 with my cold hard earned cash. I outright bought DiRT and Heavenly Sword. My cousins had already gotten a PS3 some months before and I must admit. Even if all the good games at the moment are on the Xbox, I still like coming home to the Playstation. There is no dual shock right now, but it does not negate my experience of rally racing on DiRT. In fact, I think I actually played better on the PS3 than on the Xbox.

I’ll post some more on my vacation, unfortunately a SD card corruption caused me to lose all the pictures I took on Thanksgiving so I wont be posting any pictures.

Notebooks, iPods, mobiles, books banned on UK flights

Air travellers leaving the United Kingdom on Thursday faced the strictest security measures in years: iPods, cellular phones, laptops, and even books and magazines were no longer permitted as carry-on items.

In light of the recent terrorism crackdown in the UK and the real threat to international aviation and human lives new security measures greeted passengers as they entered the airport last Friday. In more recent news, the Aviation Security Command of the Manila International Airport will be implementing similar guidelines for ALL flghts, not just flights bound for the USA and UK. It has not yet been revealed if it includes the said electronic gadgets.

I myself am a frequent traveller, (not as much as my boss or my parents) but I do travel out of the country at least once a year for vacation. This year I’ve had two so far. After years of languishing in economy class, I finally saved up enough money to keep me busy through these long flights. It’s already bad enough to be in economy class with the crowded setup and cramped space it just gets som much worse if you have to sit through a long haul flight for 16 hrs without entertainment. So in comes my Nintendo DS, PSP, iPod and Apple Powerbook. Yes, I bring all of these with me on the plane to keep me entertained and calm for as long as possible. Ever since I purchased these “noise-cancelling” headsets I’ve been in travelling bliss. I am unable to hear anything around me except for the music which runs through the headphones from my selection of choice in my iPod or inflight movie. If you’ve ever sat through a a 10 hour flight with two people talking in front of you THE WHOLE FLIGHT, you know what I’m talking about.

But I don’t mind giving all of it up for my security. But what happens to my luggage now?

For Filipinos, luggage is a very important. They make every kilogram count. But if my carry-on luggage will now be checked in, will it affect the count of the rest of my check-in luggage? For example, I checked-in 2 suitcases which is the limit of my free allocated check-in limit. Now they tell me to check-in my carry-on luggage because of the new security measure. Will I have to pay additional? If it meets the original guidelines for carry-on luggage and will still be placed inside the plane just not with me, should I have to pay additional for it?

I just lifted this from the NWA website.

Northwest Airlines Reminds Customers of New TSA Security Requirement
EAGAN, Minn — (August 10, 2006) – Northwest Airlines is reminding its customers of a new requirement from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) affecting all airline passengers. Click here for current Travel Waiver information.

Effective August 10, 2006, the TSA has advised that travelers are not allowed to transport any liquids, gels, lotions or similar items in their carry-on luggage. This includes items such as beverages, hairspray, toothpaste and shampoo. Customers are advised to transport these items in their checked luggage. The TSA will remove these items from customers’ carry-on luggage at airport security checkpoints. These items must now be placed in checked luggage or they will be discarded.

Baby formula, breast milk or juice will still be allowed as carry-on items if a baby or small child is traveling. Other TSA policy exceptions include prescription medicine with a name that matches the name on the passenger’s ticket, insulin and non-prescription medicines, but these items must be presented for inspection at the security checkpoint.

– To meet the needs of our passengers, NWA is providing additional bottled water on all domestic and international flights.

To ensure our passengers’ in-flight Duty Free purchases meet the new TSA carry-on requirements, on-board Duty Free sales will not include any liquid, cream or gel items.

Expect to be asked to remove all shoes at security checkpoints. While this is a common occurrence, you can expect these checks to be nearly universal.

Follow all directives from Transportation Security Administration personnel. This is a developing situation and protocols may change as new information becomes available.

Leave extra time. These new security procedures will require travelers to allow more time to transit the airport. For future travel, we encourage domestic customers to arrive two hours prior to departure; those flying to international destinations should arrive three hours prior to departure.
The airline is suggesting that customers consider checking all of their luggage, in an effort to minimize delays at airport security checkpoints.

As additional information on this new TSA security requirement becomes available, it will be posted on the TSA’s Web site at http://www.tsa.gov, and Northwest will post information to its Web site at http://www.nwa.com/asia.

All passengers should check flight and gate status prior to leaving for the airport.

This comes from PAL

11 August 2006
PAL posts new rules for US-bound passengers

MANILA – Philippine Airlines will implement additional security measures on all its flights bound for points in the United States and Canada, in response to an emergency advisory of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Effective immediately, all North America-bound PAL passengers are advised that:
No liquids or gels are permitted on board the aircraft as carry-on items. These include beverages, shampoo, lotions, creams, toothpaste, hair gel and other items of similar consistency.

Exceptions are allowed only in the following cases:
Baby formula, breast milk or juice if a baby or small child is traveling
Prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket
Insulin and other essential non-prescription medicines

PAL and airport security will thoroughly search passengers’ carry-on baggage as well as their persons to ensure compliance. Any item listed above will be confiscated. To avoid this, passengers are advised to include such articles in their checked luggage.

Passengers who refuse to be searched will be denied boarding.

Passengers are strongly advised to travel light, especially concerning their carry-on baggage, in order to expedite the screening process.
These measures are on top of ongoing security procedures on all North America-bound PAL flights, such as the removal and screening of footwear, and the exclusion of pointed, bladed and flammable items onboard.

Covered by this advisory are PAL flights from Manila bound for Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas (via Vancouver), Honolulu and Guam.

end of travel advisory

It does not say if I will have to pay additional for the check-in luggage. Hmmm. I think I will give them a call in the next few days to find out or check on other airline websites.

read more | digg story

Japan

Konichiwa!

I just came back from a five day working trip to Japan. I haven’t been there since 1983 and I must say this trip was a real eye opener. Instead of doing all the tourist things. I met a lot of people and found out how they live in Japan. Taking the subway and taxis was quite an experience with thr language barrier but somehow I got through all of that. I was able to squeeze what little Japanese I knew into the conversation and somehow it helped.

There were a lot of places we went to that I didn’t go before. The Tsukiji Fish Market is amazing. Tuna can go as high as ¥7000 a kilogram. That’s more than $60.00! I saw live Fugu for the first time. The Philippine Tiger prawns were also being sold there. Every imaginable type of aquatic creature was on sale there. Who cares about salmon, everything here was fresh. The sweetest tuna I’ve ever tasted.

We weren’t able to go up to Mt. Fuji due to the snow. We went around the mountain in Hakone and rode the cable car down to Lake Ashi. It was quite cold. I’ve posted pictures on my iWeb site so drop by there and have a look see. Maybe I should rename this blog entry to “Procrastinating in the Cold”. The entire area is volcanic. The region is filled with numerous hot spring inns and sulphur springs as well. At first I thought there was garbage, then I realized the vast amounts of sulphur gas emissions due to the volcanic nature of the ground we walked on. The winds blew hard as I was almost thrown off the observation deck. We went up to the Buddhist peace shrine and it made me wonder if every temple had to be this high. I carried all my gear to the top of the temple and took pictures of my achievement.

We returned to the city by bus and I got some hot tea from a nearby vending machine by the shinkansen station. We got off Shibuya station where we were picked up by minibus and brought back to the hotel. I had a quick ramen dinner across the hotel where you had to order by vending machine and give the ticket to the server in the restaurant. The ramen wasn’t that great. I’ve had better. We then went to Roponggi Hills and shot some video. We passed by the Hyatt Hotel where the movie “Lost in Translation” was shot though I’m not too sure if the Jazz Bar really exists inside.

We had a guided tour of the Sony Center in Ginza and we saw some of their new consumer products. The staff at Sony were suprised on how much I knew about their products. I joked that they should hire me for their overseas sales. We couldn’t shoot their playstation line but the consumer products were cool enough.

We walked down at Ginza where I was finally able to get to the Apple Store and got myself an iTunes Music Card.

I’ll post more as I get more pictures from the rest of the team.