Just plug this nifty device into your computer’s USB port, then connect any regular phone to the other side, and make free local and long-distance calls within the country. Take it with you on your travels around the world (or send it to friends and loved ones overseas) to make free long-distance calls back to the United States and Canada. Approximately the size of a matchbox, it comes with a phone number, free voicemail, caller ID, 911 emergency service and a feature called FollowMe that forwards incoming calls to your office, mobile and home phones when you’re not online to receive them. Backed by its own network, the most magical thing about it — besides its ability to make your phone bills disappear — is the price, which includes a year of service. $40. (www.magicjack.com)
Lenovo ThinkPad Reserve Edition
Bound in hand-stitched, saddle-grade French leather and created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the ThinkPad, this laptop comes with a 36-month concierge service that provides instant access to a dedicated Executive Support team 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Should you have a computer issue that can’t be resolved remotely with a phone call, a technician will come to your location, in 20 countries around the world, within four hours. If you require a replacement part or a new computer in the event it’s lost or damaged beyond repair, it arrives via overnight delivery, free of charge. Each machine is even equipped with a “ThinkVantage” button that, when pressed, triggers live-chat instant online support. Supply is limited: Production will be capped at 5,000 units. $5,000. (www.thinkpadreserve.com)
A terrific stocking-stuffer for your favorite Bluetooth enthusiast, this wireless portable stereo speaker lets you stream music from a Bluetooth A2DP-enabled mobile phone, MP3 player or PC with one click, so you can rock your tunes wirelessly whether you’re hanging out at home, on the beach or in the car. Equipped with a 2×6-watt Class D amplifier and two wide-band speakers, the Parrot Party is just 9 inches long and weighs only 21 ounces, meaning you can, indeed, take it with you. Includes a four-hour rechargeable battery. $169.99. (www.parrotshopping.com)
True to its name, the Wi-Fire from hField Technologies will keep your computer cooking wherever you may roam: It’s a compact USB adapter that allows you to connect to a WiFi network at any 802.11 b/g access point from up to 1,000 feet away — well over three times the range of other adapters, at notably higher speeds, and even in locations where no wireless signal could previously be detected. At a sleek 3 inches by 4 inches and just 3/8-inch thick, it folds up with its mounting device and USB cable for easy portability. Compatible with Mac, Windows XP and Vista. $79. (www.hfield.com)
The Mirage in Las Vegas welcomed a new addition to its Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. A baby bottlenose dolphin, born Aug. 16, represents the fourth generation of dolphins living in the habitat.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Keeping up with expiration dates for various miles and points programs is not typically something high on anyone’s to-do list. Here are a few ways to keep track of your points across programs and get ahead of any impending expiration dates.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
United unveiled a unique new livery at its Newark (EWR) hub last month. A Boeing 757 aircraft features livery designed by a New Jersey artist and the design prominently focuses on imagery from both New York City and New Jersey. The artist, Corinne Antonelli, won United’s Her Art Here contest, a competition that invited women around the country to submit their livery designs.
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