Do you ever fantasize about being your own mechanic so you can stop torturing yourself about whether you’re getting ripped off at the shop? This handy tool brings you one step closer to becoming Mr. Fix-It. Just plug the handheld tester into your car’s OBD2 Data Link Connector (found under or near your car’s dashboard), turn on the ignition, and then wait while it collects your vehicle’s information. Its color-coded LEDs provide a quick clue as to whether all systems are “go” or if there’s a problem. Then connect the tester to your computer to download reports via the CarMD Web site, which gives users access to accurate, value-added data, including potential problems and their solutions, estimated repair costs and more. It works on all cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs manufactured for use in the United States since 1996. $89.99. (www.carmd.com)
Sony VAIO UX Micro PC
Ever wonder how much smaller computers can get? Sony sets a new standard in the incredible-shrinking-computer race with its VAIO UX Micro PC, the first pocket PC that boasts the performance of a full-size computer. It weighs in at just more than a pound and features a Microsoft XP Professional operating system, an integrated keyboard and Sony’s SmartWi technology, so you can toggle between wireless WWAN, LAN and Bluetooth technology for handy access to the Internet and email. A cool biometrics fingerprint sensor — a major “wow” factor — means no need to remember passwords and it even features two built-in cameras — one for on-the-go video conferencing and another for taking photos. $1,800. (www.sonystyle.com)
Golfers everywhere, unite! That’s the idea behind GolfBuzz.com, a new social networking site specifically for golfers. Traveling to an unfamiliar city and want to spend a few hours on the links? Just type in the ZIP code of wherever you’re headed and immediately get a list of all the nearby golf courses, complete with directions, course reviews and weather updates. You can register and post a profile so you can share tips with other players — and even find a fellow fan to hit the course with on your next trip. And access is free, so you can spend more on lessons and that new 5-iron you can’t live without. (www.GolfBuzz.com)
Samsung Helix XM2Go
From those cutting-edge gurus at Samsung comes this brand-new musical masterpiece, which combines the content and capabilities of XM Satellite radio with the portability and convenience of a 1GB MP3 player. Tune into XM’s 160-plus channels and store MP3s, WMA files and XM content (up to 50 hours) for playback any time, all on a sleek, 4.5-ounce device with full-color display. You can even bookmark songs heard on XM for online purchase from the XM + Napster service. All hail the inevitable musical convergence! $399.99. XM subscription not included. (www.samsung.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.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
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.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.