Thanksgiving Travel 2015: What to Look for this Year

flight

Are you one of the millions of people who plan on traveling over this Thanksgiving holiday? Think it is too early to plan? Think again. Start planning now for the busiest travel season of the year and find yourself having a hassle-free trip that will also keep your wallet fat. Along with a big dose of patience, use these tips to help put a successful Thanksgiving travel plan in place.

 

1. Research the Best Travel Deals Now

Getting a good rate for your Thanksgiving Day airfare requires booking tickets early: to get the best rates on the best airline, it is essential to know how the airline industry really works. To secure the very best airfare possible, do your research now. If you do this early on, you can save hundreds of dollars. Book your flights now! This is the last week before airline ticket prices begin to rise due to surging demand.  Use Hipmunk to find some great travel deals.

airfare price trend

2. Flexibility

One must always be prepared to make changes to plans. The more flexible you are on your departure and arrival dates for your Thanksgiving holidays, the better the deal you will get. In fact, if your schedule permits, why not travel a few days before or a few days after Thanksgiving? This is usually less crowded and stressful. Another advantage of reserving your Thanksgiving flight early is it will likely cost considerably less because you won’t be traveling during peak travel days.

 

3. Timing is Everything

The busier the airport, the more time you need to allow to get to there and make it through the long lines. This very well means that you have to leave your house earlier than you normally would. It is important to remember that during this holiday break, there are thousands of others just like you that are making their way to the airport, so traffic is bound to be congested. It’s ideal to arrive at the airport with at least two hours to spare before your flight is scheduled to depart. Prepare in advance if flight delays and cancellations are likely due to inclement weather or other issues with travel insurance.

busy airport

4. Check-In

Given that it is the busiest day travel day of the year, airline schedules do get routinely shifted on Thanksgiving Day. Call ahead or check your airline’s website an hour or so before embarking on your journey. You could save yourself hours of time wasted waiting at the airport. If you’ve never printed your boarding pass and checked in to your flight online before, now might be the ideal time to give it a go because it will save you lots of time and aggravation.  Most airlines now provide mobile apps that make this process seamless.  One popular app is the Delta Airlines app.

 

5. Road Trips

If you’re driving, make sure you are prepared before heading out. Check your vehicle’s fluid levels, oil, brakes, and radiator. Check all of the hoses. If any are frayed, cracked, mushy or leaking, have them replaced. If accessible, squeeze the hose. For safety bring a cell phone and road map. Thanksgiving travel can be tedious, especially for kids so bring something to pass the time like movies, tablets, and coloring books. If you’re renting a car at your destination, rental car insurance will save you money if an unexpected accident occurs.

roadtrip 

 

Be safe this Thanksgiving season as more travelers hit the roads and skies. Most of all, enjoy that turkey


 

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A Tech Expert’s Take on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Mark Wilson - Techonology Expert

When the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were released, strong opinions quickly formed both for and against the new technology, and possibly lackthereof. We wanted to know what a smartphone expert thought, so we interviewed Mark Wilson, technology journalist at Huffington Post, Betanews, Cloudswave, and more. Mark knows the ins and outs of the many smartphones he’s reviewed over the years and has a lot to say about Apple’s devices and how they differ from Android’s phones and wearables. Check out what he shared with us on why he’s no longer an iPhone owner.

 

1. Which new features of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are you most excited about and why?

I am actually not excited by the iPhone any more. Having previously been an iPhone owner, over the years I have found that it became a dull and lifeless platform, too limited by Apple. That said, the larger screen of the iPhone 6 Plus is interesting

iphone 6 plus large screen

2. What are your predictions for how many people will adopt new technology like Apple Pay and the Apple Watch and what impacts will that technology have?

I think Apple Pay will take a long time to gain traction. There is far too much competition from established payment systems like PayPal. We have already seen a number of retailers refusing to use Apple Pay. There are obvious security concerns that need to be allayed, and problems with iCloud leaks have not done Apple many favours in this area. While the iPhone is popular, its number of users almost pales into insignificance when compared to Android — the numbers probably just aren’t there to give Apple Pay any real hold.

apple payment system

The Apple Watch faces a major obstacle that has just been addressed by the latest version of Android Wear — it is linked to an iPhone. The latest Android wearables, and the bracelet from Will.i.am show that smartwatches of the future need to operate independently of other devices.

 

3. Is there anything you’re surprised to find didn’t make it into the new iPhone model and why?

I was surprised that the front facing camera wasn’t of a higher resolution — it seems odd given Apple’s focus on quality, and the resolution of the screen. I guess, ultimately, the lack of innovation is the biggest disappointment.

iphone front camera

4. Many of the features that are new to these iPhone models have been in Android phones for years. How will this affect adaptation of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus? Do you think Apple is falling behind in the smartphone world or are their other core features more important than these specs?

For Apple users, the Apple ecosystem is more important that just about anything else. Yes, Android gives you far wider choice, technically superior hardware, a greater level of customization of the OS. Android has taken over when it comes to innovation. Apple’s fingerprint scanner was widely regarded as innovative, but it was also not particularly useful. The focus is on style and perception over function.

 

5. How do you think criticisms like #bendgate will affect Apple’s brand and possibly future design strategy?

It will have very little impact on Apple’s brand. People buy Apple product because it’s Apple — for fans, it’s the company that can do no wrong. It might be a cynical view, but I very much doubt that #bendgate will change the way future iPhones are designed.

bendgate

6. From your writing in BetaNews and other publications, you portray your strong honest opinion on the tech you’re covering. As a journalist how do you balance news with an obligation to inform people of how you feel the products you’re reviewing will work for them?

I make it very clear when I am conveying news and when I am expressing opinion. All news and writing has an element of bias to it — just by opting to writing about a subject you are voicing an opinion. Reporting straight facts is very simple, but when it comes to reviews I like to try to put together scenarios and work through them. At the same time, I like to treat readers with respect; I know they are intelligent enough (for the most part!) to realize that a review is an opinion and not everyone will feel the same. But whatever I’m writing, I am always entirely honest — whether that means a glowing review or a scathing one — and I think that shows.

 

Have you purchased a new iPhone or are you planning to? Let us know in the comments why or why not.

 


 

 

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How Secure Is Your Identity? ID Theft [Infographic]

Security breaches have become a common occurrence in today’s society and cases of identity fraud have become too prevalent. From big retailer security breaches (Home Depot, Target, etc) to ATM card skimmers, scammers have adapted to modern technology to obtain and exploit your personal information.  The infographic below breaks down common security breaches and identity theft data so you can stay informed and safe.

 

Identity Theft 2014 Infographic

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Monster Hands: Comparing iPhone 6 Plus & Other Phablets

phablets

Devices that are part phone, part tablet, and bigger than your normal smartphone are often called phablets. These devices have been a hot category for other phone manufacturers. Recently launched, the iPhone 6 Plus goes head-to-head with similar-sized devices in the market, including the latest products from Samsung and Google. So the big question is which phablet is the best?

 

We broke down the specs of each device to help you decide which phablet better suits your needs.

 

1. Display

galaxy note 4 screen

The iPhone 6 Plus sports a 5.5-inch LED-backlit widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology, resolution at 1080p with a pixel density of 400ppi. The Galaxy Note 4 has a sharper 5.7-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display, offering vivid colors with a 515ppi. The Nexus 6 has a quad-HD AMOLED panel, but it is slightly larger at 5.96-inches and 493ppi. The Galaxy Note 4 screen obviously has the edge with the highest resolution.  Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 4

 

2. Camera

iphone 6 camera

The Galaxy Note 4 packs a 16-megapixel snapper with a single LED flash; the Nexus 6 has a 13-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, and the iPhone 6 Plus has a 8-megapixel camera with dual LED flash.  They all include optical image stabilization software. Although the Note 4 camera has the highest resolution, the iPhone 6 Plus should not be considered as inferior because of its lower resolution. The ISP on the A8 chip has proven superior compared to Android phones in terms of camera clarity, we defer to the iPhone 6 Plus as the smartphone as the better shooter.  Winner: Apple iPhone 6

 

3. Internal Components

galaxy note 4 pda

The Galaxy Note 4 CPU is powered by the Exynos 5433 and GPU by the ARM Mali-T760. The Nexus 6 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU and the Adreno 420 GPU. Both phones are faster compared to other Android smartphones. The iPhone 6 Plus on the other hand uses Apple’s own dual-core A8 chip which has a 64-bit architecture. In terms of raw performance, the Apple’s processor is noticeably faster. Both the Galaxy Note 4 and the Nexus 6 have 3GB of RAM while the iPhone 6 Plus only has 1GB RAM. In terms of multitasking for you frequently multi-tabbing users, the smartphones with 3GB RAM may offer a better experience. Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 4

 

4. Software

apple pay

The Nexus 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus offer its users a less complex software experience. The Nexus 6 is powered by Android Lollipop, and the iPhone has iOs 8. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 runs on an outdated OS in the form of Android KitKat, but is soon to get an upgrade.  This category is too hard to determine a winner since every user has different needs.  Winner: TIE

 

5. Other Special Features

nexus 6 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 offers accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, gesture, UV, heart rate, SpO2, fingerprint scanner, fast charging feature, S Pen – pressure sensitivity has been doubled and has a new calligraphy mode, Multi Window, Ultra Power Saving Mode. The Apple iPhone 6 Plus has Apple Pay via new NFC chip, new Health app, Touch ID for security, Siri, barometer, three-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor. The Nexus 6 has a longer lasting battery, USB and extended memory support, sharing (guest) mode, and full app control. All in all the Nexus 6 gives you the most control during a time when privacy and sharing is key as well as battery life. Winner: Google Nexus 6

 

With the ongoing tough competition in phablet market, it’s a tough to decide which model is right for you. We hope this brief comparison of the latest phablets can help you determine if one smartphone has a decisive advantage over the others. From what we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 gives you the most for the money.

 


 

 

All data sourced from PhoneArena

phablet compare

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