GPS assisted travel

In my home town there is really no place for GPS as our city is so small and the transport system is so efficient that we can always go to one place from another easily. With the help of 3G iPhone and its AGPS, the trip to Boston was my first time to travel abroad with a GPS … and it was really a great device that helped a lot.

Same as a well designed webpage navigation system, it is important to know where you are, where have you been and where you can go. That’s exactly what the GPS could do for me in Boston and it was fast to track the location as well (thanks to the AGPS, instead of typical GPS).

The first pic shows how I could go to the Boston Apple store from the hotel I stayed, as suggested by the iPhone.

And this pic shows it all, the famous Google pin … I know I am in the right place.

E-2-S-2-C Commerce

One of the first things to do in my Boston travel planning is to get tickets for the Blue Man Show (one of the best multi-media shows in USA). To promote e-Commerce, I of course first visited their official ticket site – to buy tickets. Unfortunately, all tickets were sold out for all the days I’d stay in Boston, according to the website.

So, I tried the other way – S-Commerce (i.e. Scalper Commerce). That is, somehow another party got the tickets and willing to sell it to yet another party – with a higher price tag. I checked the site and found that I could get the tickets but the original US$ 58 tickets (for a seat 10 rows from the stage) were selling at US$ 148. Toooo expensive I think …

Therefore, I decided to leave it to the last resort – C-Commerce (i.e. Concierge Commerce). I checked into the hotel and immediately asked the concierge for help … and the gentleman kindly promised to help and get me the ticket. The next day the gentleman told me the good news – ticket with seat 5 rows from the stage and it cost only US$ 58 plus US$ 5 handling fee (i.e. together US$ 63 a ticket, which I was very happy to pay for the services).

Lesson learnt – Ticketing websites still cannot replace a good concierge.

In-flight entertainment

As far as I can tell, the best in-flight entertainment of any domestic flight within USA is not the movie / TV shows / Games (as there is none for shorter flights), not the food / drink (as you need to buy your own drinks) and certainly not the flight attendants (you probably know why). Instead, it is the shopping catalog. Not the usual Duty Free catalog, but the one that only available in USA – Sky Mall catalog.

You will find hundreds of strange / bizarre products in this catalog and most important of all, those are products you don’t need and you don’t know why other people need. Granted, some products are innovative products, but some are really strange. So strange that I think it is a very good proof of consumerism.

For example, the following product help you to cut your pizza in a perfect shape. And it cost only US$ 37.00. Sorry, I just don’t get it …

Another example, a sound amplifier for seniors … you know in our city we try to hide the amplifier / hearing-aid, but this product just do it in a different way. So, in future if you bump into a senior who’s yelling “Hello !!”, s/he may not yelling to the bluetooth headset, but s/he is yelling at you.