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Travel

Achieving Social Media ROI For The Hospitality Industry

The buzz surrounding social media marketing hasn’t gone unnoticed by the hotel industry and hoteliers are seeking to make inroads by engaging with the leading social networks in new and innovative ways. Choice Hotels however has indicated that "hotels have been slow or very conservative in the adaptation of social media."

Car Seat Sensors Can ID Drivers by Their Bottoms

Someday we'll be "flying" our cars and computers by the seat of our pants, if a unique new sensor system developed by engineers at Japan's Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology is adopted by car & chair makers. It seems each person leaves a unique impression when they sit down and the resulting digital pressure patterns can be used to identify drivers from the bottom up, so to speak.

World's Largest Bus Seats 300, Bends Like Beckham

The 25 meter (82 ft) long Youngman JNP6250G developed by Chinese manufacturer Zhejiang Youngman is the “world's largest” public bus and can carry up to 300 passengers. Don't expect to “bus da move” in luxury, however, as specs for the JNP6250G indicate it has just 40 seats... you do the math.

My Favorite Gadget Gift This Christmas: The Thermos Sipp

Knowing how much I love gadgets, my family members always try to find a gadget I've never seen or used before.  No offense to the others, whose Christmas gifts were thoughtful and novel, but there was one gift from my sister that I have searched for, for years, I'd like to tell you about... a travel thermos that keeps my coffee hot for a few hours and that doesn't spill all over my car if I make a quick turn.


Taking the High Road: Tibet Invests in 53 New School Buses

The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round... even in Tibet, “the roof of the world”. The recent purchase of 53 new school buses by local authorities in Lhasa means many students in far-flung farming regions will ride to and from school in style (and safety) for the very first time.

Newest Japanese Rice Field Art Sends Living Messages of Hope

The 2011 crop of “Tanbo” rice field art is bolder and more beautiful than ever before. This year, though, Japan's artistic rice farmers are going against the grain by growing messages of hope and perseverance meant to encourage a nation fed up with natural and unnatural disasters.

Chinese Medicinal Plants Garden is World's Largest According to Guinness

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM for short) has roots that extend back thousands of years, with seeds in folk cures that were already old when ancient Chinese scholars first began writing them down. It's no wonder, then, that one of China's oldest official medicinal plants gardens has been declared by Guinness World Records to be the world's largest of its kind.

Homemade 'Hummer' Lets Chinese Chef Show Some Swagger

By night, Qu Zhibo is a chef and restaurant owner from Zigong City in China's Sichuan Province. By day, however, he's “Qu Zhibo, Hummer Driver!”... or something vaguely resembling a Hummer. Qu designed and constructed his 1-of-a-kind, 4-wheeled, 8-tired tribute to American rolling stock with GM's mighty military machine in mind.

With IPOs & Bankruptcy In The Air, Zynga Soars, American Airlines Zags & Alec Baldwin Zings

There's seems to be a glint of irony taking to the not-so-friendly skies, or so one popular TV-star would like the world to believe. While online gaming giant Zynga hopes to reap between $850 million and $1.15 billion with its impending IPO offering on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, the venerable American Airlines files Chapter 11 to reorganize its massive debt. So what's the connection between the two companies where one's on an uptick and the other is in dire straits financially? Well… Alec Baldwin, oddly, it seems!

Colored Car Tires from China Look Wheel Strange

Black tires too dull & gloomy for you? Double Star Tires is hoping their colorful new line of Rainbow Tires will replace basic boring black rubber road rollers wheel, er, real soon.

Magic Spiker Slip-On Soles Give Black Ice a Black Eye

I see your snowshoes and I raise you: Ice Shoes! Actually these Magic Spiker winter soles stretch over almost any shoe, turning the most mundane loafers into ice-gripping, non-slipping, cold-weather warriors. Pretty slick, huh?

China's Buses Include DIY Emergency Exits Disguised as Bricks

In case of emergency, brick glass? Goodbye, yellow brick, road? Have brick, will travel? The puns come fast & furious when attempting to explain a low-tech safety measure found on Chinese passenger buses: yellow-painted, window-breaking bricks.

The Space Raincoat Keeps You Dry, Makes You Look Fat

Marlon Brando may have been The Wild One but who says you can't be The Weird One? Certainly not Taiwan's Feng Yu Development Co., designers and manufacturers of the one and only Space Raincoat.

London's Iconic Red Double-Decker Buses to be Made in China

There's no better way to see the sights of London than from the open top of a red double-decker bus, no matter that the bus in question is made in China. A landmark deal signed by Britain's Big Bus Tours sightseeing company will see 34 shiny new Chinese-made buses hit the streets of swingin' London just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

China's First Mars Mission Prepares to Explore the Red Planet

China's first Mars exploration probe, Yinghuo-1, will be launched in early November along with Russia's Fobos-Grunt sample return spacecraft. The mission to the Red Planet is just the latest great leap forward – or should we say, outward – for the ambitious Chinese space program.

Beijing to Build 42,000 Electric Car Charging Posts Within 5 Years

Chaaarge it!! Beijing is becoming China's “Electric City”, at least where drivers are concerned. An ambitious plan to set up 42,000 new electric car charging posts by 2015 intends to match the current number of gas stations in China's bustling capitol.

New Brand Advocate Platform for Hotels Generates ROE & ROI

Flip.to is a new marketing platform that helps hotels turn their guests into advocates. After completing a successful beta, today the Flip.to team is announcing a new batch of results that would make any hotelier smile.

USB to AC Wall Outlet Adapters Tap the Grid, Not Your Laptop

Eneplug USB-to-AC wall outlet adapters from Green House of Japan let any plug provide power to your electronic lifestyle devices. Anything from iPhones and iPods to MP3 players and even your USB Eyelash Curler can get hooked to the grid, so forget about flipping your laptop's lid!

Flip.to Identifies Net Promoters & Streamlines Reviews On Hotel Websites

While hundreds of CRM metric systems have evolved over the years, guests have been inundated with hotel survey requests that are lengthy and antiquated. Recently, with the extensive research conducted by loyalty expert Fred Reichheld, it has been found that brands are best served when they distill the whole process down to one simple question: "Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?"

Toray's Carbon Fiber Electric Sports Car: Light Weight, Heavy Performance

The innovative Teewave AR1 electric sports car concept from Japan's Toray Industries is made mainly from super-strong, lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, allowing drivers travel up to 185 km (115 miles) on a single battery charge.