So long, and thanks for all the fish

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After three years, 52 Tiger is closing its doors.

Here’s a big thanks to all my sponsors and readers. I appreciate your support. It was fun writing for you all these years. From today on, I’ll be focusing my professional efforts on my job at TUAW. It will actually feel good to be down to one job again, especially now that I can abandon the guilt of not giving 52 Tiger the time and attention that it deserved.

This site will no longer be updated, but I’ll leave its content up for you to browse. If you want to read  my casual, more personal blog, I invite you to do so.

Thanks again, everyone. It was fun. Bye, now.

Travel iPhoneography: Giovinazzo’s Port, Italy

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Nicola Losito shares this great shot of Giovinazzo’s port in south eastern Italy. Taken with an iPhone 4.

Travel iPhoneography is a weekly series of photos of our beautiful world, taken with an iPhone. If you have one you’d like to share, let me know at [comments at 52tiger dot net]. I’d love to feature it.

FAA to loosen restrictions on in-flight electronics

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Good news, everyone! The FAA is about to let you use your doo-dad in the plane more often. Specifically, the Wall Street Journal reports, you’ll be able to use your device while the plane is taxing, taking off, landing and climbing to/descending from 10,000 feet. Currently, the use of electronics is not permitted during those maneuvers 1.

A lot of you think that the FAA has enforced periodic electronics lock-downs to force you to watch the safety information or just because it can. That’s really not true. As I reported a few weeks ago, there are some old planes in operation, and many of those use old equipment that can be affected by radio signals. Most planes run more modern equipment but many don’t. Rather than forcing the passengers and crew to make that determination on every flight, the FAA played it safe and made a blanket rule for all aircraft. A United Airlines pilot explains:

“Some older aircraft do have extremely old school radios. Some do not even have GPS. So the FAA has decided two things:

  1. Since it is too contradictory for passengers and flight attendants to discriminate what aircraft they are on, and what should be the corresponding announcement, the same one is used for all aircraft.

  2. The FAA can not take time to test every new device as it’s released. In fact, such testing falls to near the bottom of its priority/to-do list.”

Now you know.

Photo Credit: Sprengben [why not get a friend] via Compfight cc

  1. Note that phone calls will still be verboten during those times.

My article in The Loop Magazine

The Beard called. He asked if I’d be interested in writing something for The Loop Magazine.

You don’t say no to The Beard.

I’m thrilled to have an article issue 4 of The Loop Magazine. I hope you like it. And the pictures. Oh, the pictures.

Introducing Fanny Pack Mafia

For over a thousand generations blogs were fun, personal hangouts on the Old Internet. Before niche markets. Before ROI. Before pageviews. Before the dark times.

Last night I found the remains of a blog I was in love with about 13 years ago. It was a lot of fun reading those old posts and remembering how personal, casual and how much like a conversation blogging used to be. There was no niche to fill, quota to make or editorial calendar to prostrate yourself to. It was fun.

I miss that fun. I miss the spontaneity of “I gotta blog this.” So, It decided to be a little proactive about it.

Meet Fanny Pack Mafia. My new personal weblog. It’s about whatever comes into my mind at any point in the day or night. Comments are open. There’s no agenda or posting schedule  There’s no Twitter account or Facebook page. It’s me talking out loud. Take off your shoes and relax. Sit down. Blogging can be fun.

Why “Fanny Pack Mafia?” It was the dumbest thing I could think of.

My wish for OS X Mail

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Here’s a wish for Apple’s Mail. When I’m creating a rule that depends on an address, Mail should live-search my Contacts as I type in this field. Instead it does nothing. If I’m working with an unfamiliar address, I must abandon the rule creation, find the address, copy it and then start over.

It’s not “your children have died in a fire,” but still irksome.

Is Airbnb really cheaper than a hotel?

A popular reason for using Airbnb is that it’s a better deal than a hotel. But is it? Priceonomics has put together an interesting map that compares average Airbnb rates to hotel room equivalents in every major US city. The results?

“We discovered that Airbnb apartment rentals cost 21.2% less than staying at a hotel. And if you’re on a budget, you can save 49.5% if you decide to stay in a private room at a host’s house instead of staying in a hotel.”

There’s a lot more to this interesting study, which you can read here.

Travel iPhoneography: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Randolph West shares this great photo if the iconic Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Shot with an iPhone 5.

Travel iPhoneography is a weekly series of photos of our beautiful world, taken with an iPhone. If you have one you’d like to share, let me know at [comments at 52tiger dot net]. I’d love to feature it.

How to make yourself irresistible to pickpockets in Rome

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I hope he’s wearing a money belt.

AR-Media is developing augmented reality apps that let travelers use their iPads and iPhones to look into the past. Here, a young man is viewing an virtual overlay of Rome’s Colosseum on his iPad.  He’s also saying, “My pockets are fully accessible and all my attention is on this iPad.”

Maybe skip that app.

EatWith offers travelers authentic, home cooked meals

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EatWith is like Airbnb for food, and that’s freaking awesome.

For around US$35 – $50 per head, travelers can book dinner in the kitchen of a native who’s looking to meet new people and do the cooking to boot. You’ll get regional dishes that typically aren’t available in restaurants, plus tips that aren’t found in guide books and maybe even make a friend.

Food is such a pronounced and vital part of a culture, and eating with someone is such an intimate, social act, that I’m blown away by how ingenious this is. I’ve often said that I want to know a culture’s real cuisine, as in, what does someone cook for their family on a random Tuesday night? Here’s a chance to get the true answer. The real deal.