This gets our vote for the coolest gizmo to come down the high-tech highway in a while. Biscotti transforms your TV into a high-definition video phone — yep, think James Bond talking to M, or Austin Powers chatting with Basil. Simply connect Biscotti to your TV and start making calls to family and friends on their TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones (they’ll need a Biscotti to connect via TV, but they can use Google Talk on their computers or smartphones). You can connect with anyone, anywhere, and it sets up in minutes. Biscotti’s high-definition camera and microphone capture the entire room — no head-and-shoulders-only view — so you and yours can move about freely. And like your voice phone, Biscotti is always on — you can even receive calls while watching TV. No computer or phone line is required; just a WiFi connection and an HDTV. Best of all, it’s a one-time price, no monthly fees. $199. www.biscotti.com
Here’s a very plugged-in idea, quite literally: a “limitless” secure USB device that lets you access, edit and share files and media between any two online computers anywhere in the world. An entirely plug-and play solution, it works like this: Plug one half into an online computer, plug the other half into any other online computer and — voila! — the two computers are connected, allowing you to securely access your entire hard drive. And unlike USB drives, iTwin lets your data stay safely at home (or in the office). When you’re on the road, you can use it to move copies of files from your laptop to your home or office computer, or you can work on a presentation with a colleague half a world away without having to email multiple versions back and forth. If you’re traveling and taking lots of pictures, you can free up your SD card by moving files onto your laptop and transferring them back home. Upload files to the office from wherever you are — no configuration or login required. It’s as secure and simple as data transfer gets. There’s even a remote-disable feature, so you can rest assured that your data is safe, even if you lose youriTwin device. $99.
Bose SoundLink Wireless Speaker
The audio aficionados at Bose have debuted this sleek portable speaker that connects wirelessly to any Bluetooth-enabled device. You can stream music from a smartphone or tablet with the touch of a button. The SoundLink speaker’s audio impact defies its size. Four low-profile neodymium transducers for clear high- and mid-range frequencies combine with new dual-opposing passive radiators — designed with a patented waffle-shaped surround — for rich, deep, low notes. Vibration is eliminated, turning the energy into acoustic power. At less than 2 inches thick and no bigger than an average book, it’s super-portable. For instant setup, its integrated cover unfolds into a stand: Open the cover, and the system is ready to be played; close it, and the system shuts off. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery supplies power for more than eight hours at typical listening levels. Designed to resist sand, wind and moisture, it’s crafted from automotive-grade chrome, so it will survive repeated drops. $299.95. www.bose.com
Kensington AbsolutePower Charger
It’s often said that absolute power corrupts absolutely . . . but in this case, it’s a very good thing indeed. Kensington’s AbsolutePower Laptop, Phone, Tablet Charger is the first compact charger of its kind with simultaneous triple charging ability, providing 100 watts of power to charge your laptop and two USB devices simultaneously. The smallest, lightest, most powerful charger in its class, this industrial-strength charger is compatible with top-selling Windows-based laptops; smartphones like the iPhone, BlackBerry Torch, Sony Experia and more; and iPad, iPad 2, BlackBerry Playbook and Samsung Galaxy tablets. Now you can leave that big tangle of multiple chargers behind. $119.99. www.kensington.com
Climbing along the coast, I was trying to snap pictures of the cool-blue Puerto Vallarta waters outside my car window (I know, it never works) when we started winding along stone walls draped in jungle-like foliage. Annoyed my view was blocked, I looked around to see where we were just as we were parking at Hotel Mousai — I audibly gasped. The all-glass, chic and incredibly grand entrance was so well-secluded, it somehow snuck up on me.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
Three weeks after welcoming the first international flights since its borders closed, Saint Lucia’s government reinforced its mandatory travel protocol messaging. The island also launched an informative video with on-island footage of the actual travel experience.
United Airlines plans to bump up its capacity by 4 percent month over month in September; this will account for 37 percent of its schedule compared to the year prior.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
Yonder, a reimagined outdoor lodging and camping experience in southern Utah, is set to open Sept. 1. Located on scenic Highway 12 on the grounds of an old drive-in movie theater, Yonder will boast 10 custom Airstreams, 22 modern cabins and 67 RV camping sites. The property also features 2,000 square feet of communal space, with a clubhouse and bathhouse, general store, “drive-in” movie theater, resort pool, hot tub and bonfire pits.
As of July 23, St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is open and ready for travelers. With new precautions, protocols and guidelines regarding guest and staff safety, health and wellness, the resort confidently welcomes travelers to the beloved resort, while showcasing refreshed overwater villas and Iridium Spa.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
The 1985 song “One Night in Bangkok” mentions many of the overindulgences of this city. One of them is massage parlors. Today, however, a Thai massage is considered an activity that improves one’s physical and mental well-being. The city has shed its former reputation as a place of wild nightlife and decadence, over the past few decades emerging as a major center for international commerce, wellness initiatives and tourism.