Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's the deal with Yapta?

In all my travel research of visiting hundreds of travel related sites, I found a fresh face in the flight planning category that I wanted to share. Unlike a one night stand site that cuts you off as soon as you book the flight - Yapta continues to build up your relationship by continuing to monitor the flight price of your purchased flight. Not only does it monitor the price, but they even work to help you receive refunds from the airlines if you have greatly overpaid for a flight.

Now I haven't experienced the refund concept first hand, but it's an awesome idea. Forget those one night stands and move on to something a little more substantial. With Yapta.com you never have to wonder if you got the best deal, they'll make sure you did!

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's the deal with marriage?

Miami Beach Gay Pride - Couple that has been together for 65 years

So normally every Monday, I talk about a new web app or gadget but this Monday is special. I feel like talking about a social trend rather than a social web trend. Now for all my tech followers, definitely checkout a new seo tool in beta called Linkscape http://www.seomoz.org/linkscape. You can view basic stats for free and I think it's one of the nicer tools out there.

But enough about technology, lets talk about marriage. Ever since I graduated college, I feel like my facebook feed is full of weddings, cakes, bridesmaids, engagement photos, bachlorette parties (or at least the clean photos), and more talk about getting engaged, married and of course babies.

I don't get it. I never have and I keep wondering as I get older if I ever will. Now I'm all about finding true love and that special someone to spend the rest of your life with but are we really programmed for marriage? In a society that can't even sit through commercials without flippin channels or tvio'ing their favorite shows. Do people really want to get married till death do them part.

It just seems like a really big commitment not to mention a really long time. Back in the 1920s - till death do us part was like till you were 55* or even earlier. Now with people living into their 80s that's 30 more years with the same person. And yes, I do realize people got married in their teenage years but that's only about 10 years different that most of my friends getting married in their early twenties.

Now, don't get me wrong - weddings can be fun, bachlorette parties even more fun and getting together with your closest friends and family to dance, drink and celebrate an American tradition makes for a great weekend, but I still find myself questioning how so many people are caught up in 1) wanting to be married 2) wanting to be part of all their friends weddings and/or 3) setting restrictions such as I have to be married by 30.

Since this is probably my one and only blog about marriage, I am going to have to weigh in on gay marriage as well. My view is simple. GLBT members should have the same rights granted by marriage (common law or legal) and it should be their choice to get married or not. Now again I don't think rainbow cakes and the best linen table cloths in the world (you know how we do), can change the same fate that straight people are locking into BUT I will say that GLBT should have the same rights - no question about it.

Now, I know there are many couples that have stayed happily married for many, many years. In fact, there are many gay couples who stay together as long as hetro couples ie my picture of a couple Peter and George who have been together for 65 years - now that's impressive. I thank Facebook and all the social networking status, picture-loading, alert tools out there for the constant reminder about how everyone's getting married and I'd better jump on the bandwagon and start trying to figure out my something old, new and blue.

In closing, I want to say I am happy for all current and future brides and grooms. I do wish you the best and 50+ years of passion and love.

* http://www.uoregon.edu/~maphist/english/US/US32-01.html

Monday, May 4, 2009

What's the deal with Skype?

So my newest obsession that again I'm trying to push through my weekly "What's the deal with ...." is Skype.

Currently there are over 10 million people logged into skype. So I would say that quite a few people are USING it. But I still feel there are several outstanding questions out there for the non-user.

You see -- until a few weeks ago -- I too was a non-user. Now, this doesn't seem to make sense. I mean I have an iphone, blog frequently, live on the web, 5 chat programs and so why didn't I skype? Well, I just didn't. Yeah, a very lame excuse but a honorable one.

I would assume the majority of people have at least heard the name, but I'm going to try to cliff note the tool because once you start using it -- you won't stop. No, it might not replace your landline, cell phone or favorite chat tool -- facebook, aim, yahoo, msn or whatever -- but it's definitely a tool to TRY.

What can I do with Skype? You can chat, make a phone call, make a video call, send a file..ok it probably does more but those are the important ones in my opinion

How does it work? So download the program, create a profile, search for friends and then you can start to interact with them ie chat, call, send files.

Does it cost money? The cool thing is that with Skype you can call another Skype person for free - anywhere in the world! You can also call in-country and out-of-the-country landlines for very very very cheap. Visit www.skype.com for more details.

Can I call landlines with Skype? Yes, there is a cost involved but you can.

Do I have to be in front of my computer for Skype? There is an app for the iPhone which I haven't fully explored yet, but generally the answer is yes.

What's so great about it? The integration of video, voice, chat and file transfer. THE PRICE - free to very cheap - can't beat that.

There are also additional packages to receive a skype phone number, call forwarding and other features. I've met people who have actually replaced their landline with Skype and love it. Also, people traveling in foreign countries are able to call home for fractions of the cost of phone cards.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Do you have the 411 on how to make your 404 error cool?

Broken links, bad spelling, whatever the reason may be....404 errors have been around forever. I wanted to link to some pretty creative ways designers are making 404 errors interesting.

Best 404s out there
Big library of 404 pages