I remember an occasion when I was young when my dad and brother and I took a flight on a small regional plane, probably on one of our annual ski vacations . The little plane was a turboprop, and it was the first time I’d been on a plane with actual propellers—every other commercial flight I’d had at that point in my young life had been on jets. Already a nervous traveler, I’d told my dad that I hated the idea of our flight being dependent on the two visible fast-spinning props. A jet engine, with its cowling and apparent motionless magic, seemed a lot more sensible way to provide thrust. "Fast spinning propellers?" my dad said. "When you look at a jet engine, what do you see in the front? A big fast-spinning turbine!" I realized he was right—jet engines weren’t immutable chunks of high-technology. They had a giant fan at the front, pushing air through just like a propeller! This probably triggered some kind of panic attack and I probably started crying or something, because I was … [Read more...] about Let’s talk about jets, baby: Jet engines, to be more precise
Ski vacation packages
There's no denying it: We're pretty attached to those rectangular gadgets in our bags and pockets. Indeed, a new survey found that even when offered a hotel discount in exchange for unplugging while on vacation, many Americans still wouldn't give up their beloved mobile devices. In March, a survey commissioned by SpringHill Suites by Marriott interviewed 1,048 American adults, ages 18 and up, across the nation. They asked what people would be willing to give up during a vacation if they were given 25% off of a hotel stay. (Note that only 85% of the respondents in the sample were willing to give up anything at all.) Out of those willing to sacrifice something for the hotel discount, the survey found that 54% (who were above age 21) would give up alcohol. But when it came to giving up digital devices, respondents were far more reticent. Only about a quarter of the survey group (26%) said they would give up access to their smartphone or tablet in exchange for the hotel … [Read more...] about Vacationing Americans Prefer Giving Up Booze Over Mobile Devices
When my husband and I were packing for our winter vacation, I marveled at all the tech devices that were lined up, waiting to be packed. This was supposed to be a "disconnected" vacation, in a country where our cellphones didn't even have service. Yet on the table before me was my iPhone, my iPad, a Kindle, my husband's Nook, his iPad and his BlackBerry. Not very disconnected, is it? The fact is, these devices have become a part of our everyday lives, whether we're using them to communicate, read work email or just relax with a good book. When I asked if we could scale back a little, my husband volunteered to leave his work BlackBerry behind. Good start, but there were still the screens. I like to read news stories on the iPad using both Pulse and Flipboard . My Kindle has the books I was planning to read while I was away. I prefer the Kindle on vacation because I can see the screen in the sun better than on an iPad. My husband had the same reasoning for bringing his Nook. I … [Read more...] about Vacation Disconnect Doesn’t Mean Leaving Your Devices Behind
President Biden plans to announce a sweeping infrastructure plan Wednesday that includes $100 billion to connect every American to high-speed broadband internet over the next eight years. Biden is scheduled to unveil his $2 trillion “American Jobs Plan” in Pittsburgh later on Wednesday. The long-awaited infrastructure and jobs package contains funding for broadband expansion, semiconductor manufacturing, and slew of other interests like public transportation and helping consumers purchase electric vehicles. On a call with reporters Tuesday, an administration official said that the package would be paid for by changes to the corporate tax rate. Biden’s $100 billion figure for broadband expansion trumps most other efforts to finish connecting every household in the US to the internet. Earlier this month, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) announced their own bill that would invest $94 billion to close the digital divide. In previous years, the Federal … [Read more...] about Biden plans to connect every American to broadband in new infrastructure package
How long can you go without checking your email on your smartphone ? For many smartphone owners, the ability to access email anywhere, anytime can disrupt their time spent away from the office — and possibly get in the way of fully enjoying family gatherings this holiday season. Staying connected to email isn't necessarily a negative thing — it just depends on what we're looking at and how often we check our devices. Noelle Chesley, Ph.D., associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, tells Mashable that communication technology, like smartphones and social media, blur the lines between our private lives and our public selves. Sometimes this can be problematic, she explains. In a study she conducted in 2005 , cellphone use was linked to distress "because the technology allowed negative work experiences to spill over into personal life." However, technology is also used to connect with those we … [Read more...] about Should You Take a Vacation From Checking Your Email?