How to Get Your Luggage Back When the Airline Loses It -
You’ve just arrived in sunny Southern California for a glorious two week vacation, and unfortunately your bags are on vacation as well—in South Dakota. Here’s how to get your worldly possessions back and get on with your relaxing.
So you’re standing at the luggage carousel like an putz. Everybody else on your flight has already gotten their gear and left, as have two flights that landed after yours, but you’re still there, silently praying that you bag is just a second away from popping through the hole and tumbling down into your waiting arms. It’s not going to happen. Here’s what to do.
Blaze a Paper Trail
Do not leave the airport without filing a bag claim with the airline. This is essential because, just as with arguing your way out of BS service fees, filing the claim establishes a clear paper trail of when and where the loss occurred. This is super helpful, as nothing stops service agents from giving you the runaround faster than facts, and you’re going to get a good deal of runaround.
There should be a claims office in the baggage claim area, otherwise head over to the reservation desk and file it there. Don’t wait to get home, do it immediately. The claim process varies between airlines but you should always include your name, date/time of flight, and flight number on any correspondence you have with the company (again, this helps build a clear paper trail).
Click on the airline name below for the link to its complaint contact. You will likely be asked to outline the nature of your problem and here are a couple of things to keep in mind: Keep emails terse and to the point but do include as many details as you can. Don’t forget to include all your pertinent contact information, too. You can find full instructions for contacting your airline’s customer service departments below.
AirTran - Alaska - American - Delta - Frontier - JetBlue - Hawaiian - Southwest - Spirit - United - US Airways - Virgin America
Don’t Hesitate to Escalate
So it’s been two days in paradise, you’re still wearing the same pants you got off the plane with, and the most helpful response you’ve received from your airline’s customer service so far has been a perfunctory shoulder shrug. It’s time to complain louder.
If you’ve got a problem that you don’t feel has been adequately addressed by your airline, file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. As the DoT’s Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement Bureau explains:
All complaints are entered in DOT’s computerized aviation industry monitoring system, and are charged to the company in question in the monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. This report is distributed to the industry and made available to the news media and the general public so that consumers and air travel companies can compare the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators. These complaints are reviewed to determine the extent to which carriers are in compliance with federal aviation consumer protection regulations. This system also serves as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research. Where appropriate, letters and web form submissions will be forwarded to an official at the airline for further consideration.
The DoT is a helpful resource if you’re looking to play the long game with your airline’s incompetent baggage handling. But to get immediate—like now, now—results, nothing beats social media.
When director Kevin Smith got booted off a Southwest flight for being too big to fly, his twitter rant prompted an immediate response from Southwest’s PR department and a public apology. When a couple of TSA goons hassled Peter “Chewie” Mayhew over his iconic lightsaber cane, a couple of well-placed tweets got the situation resolved post haste.
And you don’t need a huge following like these guys, either. Most airlines are extremely active responding to customer requests over Twitter, including those concerning lost or delayed luggage.
@khalafsa I’m sorry about your bag. Please DM your file reference number & I’ll look into this for you. *EP
— Delta Assist (@DeltaAssist) June 15, 2013
Hunt It Down Yourself
Just because the guy behind the baggage claim counter doesn’t know where your bag is, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Numerous products on the market today are designed specifically to ride shotgun in your checked luggage and report their whereabouts on command.
The Trakdot, for example, announced in January and shipping later this month, uses local cell networks to determine what city your bag is in and relays that information back to your smartphone as a text message. Same with the iTrak, though this system can also call, email, or telex your bag’s location. For a less high-tech (and more affordable) solution, the Trace Me luggage tracker is a simple tag with a unique bar code on it. When it’s scanned by an airline, law enforcement, or baggage handling representative, you’ll receive a text letting you know where it is.
And one final point, don’t be a dick to the service reps. They’re here to help you, not act as an emotional sponge to your impotent bagless rage. You’re going to get what you want a whole lot faster when you treat the person on the other side of the counter like, well, a person. You might even enjoy the rest of your vacation.
Why iOS 7 Is A Masterpiece of Design -
My first impression on seeing iOS 7 on my iPhone was: What is this, a My Little Pony theme?
But after scrutinizing, analyzing, deconstructing and living with the new version, I’m ready to declare iOS 7 an unambiguous masterpiece, a stroke of genius, really.
That may sound like a weird thing to say about a fruity, copycat platform that crashes constantly. But it’s true, and I’ll tell you why.
iOS 7 is compatible with iPhone hardware — finally!
About a year ago, I slammed Apple’s embrace of skeuomorphic design as inconsistent, cheesy, ugly and, worst of all, out of sync with Apple’s very strong hardware design sensibility.
But it wasn’t just skeuomorphic weirdness. The overall design of the iOS interface was littered with low-grade tawdriness that contrasted discordantly with the iPhone’s stunningly beautiful, minimalist, functional and clean hardware design.
Specifically, the interface design tended toward the arbitrary. Why corral dialog box information in rounded-corner boxes? Why put decorative starbursts and gloss and other stuff on the icons. The old interface had a lot of arbitrariness, and the new one has very little.
iOS 7 contrasts with iPhone hardware in a good way
In addition to being aesthetically compatible, the new OS contrasts colorwise. The hardware is: mimimum color (black or white and metal all over). The software is: maximum color. The overall effect of this contrast is striking and appealing.
iOS 7 design takes interface reaction to a whole new level
This is what Apple is really good at — making mobile hardware respond appealingly to the touch. Almost every user interaction with iOS 7 triggers an instant and smooth reaction by the interface, and a high-performance one that makes sense rather than being a cheap gimmick.
Tap an icon, and there’s a perfect zoom transition in which the icon becomes the full-screen window. Close the window and it zooms back into an icon. When you tap on a folder icon, then tap on an app icon, it feels really good becuase you’re zooming in first to the microscopic, then to the atomic.
When you tap on the now-circular empty phone buttons, they’re instantly filled solid with gray, which then quickly fades back to their original empty or white state. It’s psychologically satisfying to press them because of the visual feedback.
The calculator buttons respond with the same change-then-fade-back timing as the phone buttons, but with a different animation. A thick black line instantly surrounds each number key when you press it, then quickly becomes thin before returning to its original super-thin state. The Psycological effect is that the button is being physically pressed.
Double-pressing the physical home button brings up a newly designed multitasking bar where you can swipe through running applications. This is the feature critics say Apple stole from the Palm Pre, and this charge is essentially true. However, Apple has made some cool improvements to Palm’s interface.
When you’re in a full-screen application and double-press the home button to get to the multitasking view, the Palm used to zoom out with the “card” you were running in the center. iOS7, on the other hand, zooms out but guesses at and zooms to the “card” you want next. It’s usually really good at guessing.
The other cool thing is that the icon of each running app appears below its screen. Although the cards show the full card of one app in the middle and half the screen of each card to the left and right, the icons are shown in full. That means when you swipe to the next card, the icon moves at a normal pace, but the cards move much faster. This actually has a functional benefit: Swiping across the cards moves the lineup of apps slowly. Swiping across the icons moves is rapidly. In other words, it has two-speed swiping, and you choose the speed by where you swipe.
The Game Center categories are represented by weird floating bubbles. Tapping on one causes the selected bubble to recoil instantly in response, then all the bubbles shrink and fly off the edges of the screen, leaving you in the selected category.
When you’re in the photo view, you see what the camera sees, of course. When you tap the home button, the camera view goes super blury very fast before the app shrinks down into its icon.
These are just a few small examples. What’s important is that Apple has taken the best aspect of the iOS interface — the reactive physics — and has taken it to a whole new thrilling level.
iOS 7 returns Apple to its design roots
After Steve Wozniak invented the personal computer with the Apple II, Apple’s next giant contribution to the field of user interface design was placing a strong graphics design imprint on the platform. Steve Jobs used to say that a college caligraphy class inspired him to add beautiful typefaces to the original Mac, for example.
iOS 7 is shockingly well-rooted in a print-graphical design sensibility. It uses a typeface called Helvetica Neue UltraLight. It’s the kind of face you’d see in a glossy style magazine, not beneath icons. It’s also a typeface that would have been impossible to use on a sub-Retina display.
In fact, the whole design is a pure creature of Retina-quality pixel densities. Apple uses some incredibly thin lines, tiny icons and refined strutures and shapes.
iOS 7 has global appeal
Early accounts of iOS 7 fixated on the bright colors, made more conspicuous by Apple’s use of semi-transparent screens. When you swipe up from the bottom to reveal a new control panel for commonly used controls, for example, the colors of the icons behind the screen appear in a blurry pastel haze. The purple-pink of the iTunes Store icon, the blue-cyan of the App Store icon and other overly bright icons become a blury screen filled with Easter-egg colors.
Here’s the thing: The appeal of one type of color treatment over another is culturally determined. Apple’s super bright iOS 7 colors tend to shock Europeans and Amerians, who favor increasingly dark, bleak, post-apocolyptic color schemes. (Just look at Superman’s new suit!) But super-bright colors like the ones in iOS 7 are perennial favorites through Asia, including China and India, and also throughout much of Latin America.
In short, Apple’s color scheme may astonish and disappoint jaded Northern and Western urban geeks. But these colors will be an international crowd-pleaser.
iOS 7 de-commoditizes the mobile user interface
Since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, the general look and feel of smartphone interfaces has become somewhat commoditized. The new iOS 7 separates Apple from the pack a bit more with a super different-looking interface. Once this has been on the market for awhile, you’ll be able to tell from a distance or in an instant whether a phone is an iPhone or not. (This is true despite the fact that Apple decided to copy the Android animated wallpaper look.)
Regardless of whether you like or dislike, love or hate the user interface of iOS 7, the overall design is a masterpiece of style, function and market differentiation. It’s a great thing for Apple, and a great thing for users. The future for Apple’s mobile interface looks very bright indeed.
Get The Cable For All Next Generation iOS Products [Deals] -
There’s nothing worse than having a cable that is too short to be very useful. The 3 foot stock iPhone 5 would be a classic example of such a a cable. This Cult of Mac Deals offer gives you the chance to get a cable that will go a long way to solving that problem.
This lightning fast 10 foot USB 2.0 cable will keep your iDevice charged, updated, and ready for use – and without you having to worry about whether it will reach where you’re at. For a limited time, Cult of Mac Deals has it for just $13.99 – plus free global shipping!
Here are the top features of this cable:
Compatible w/ the Newest iOS Products: iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPod Nano 7th Generation, iPad 4th Generation, and iPad Mini.
10 feet/3 metres: Extra length for extra accessibility! That is 3x longer than the stock iOS 2.0 USB cable.
Durable Design: Don’t get a discounted cord that will fray or burn out. This quality cord will last for years to come.
Reversible Direction: Fully supports iTunes, data sync, and charging.
Please note: Only available to customers in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. The sale price includes shipping and all sales are final. To read up on all the reminders surrounding this offer, visit the Deals page.
Pick up one for the office, car, home, or anywhere else you may need connectivity. Don’t pay retail…get this cable now for $13.99 — including free global shipping — from Cult of Mac Deals today!
James Bond island, Thailand
This is a vegetarian dish As well.
This is a vegetarian dish BTW
Give Your Mac A Checkup With xScan -
Your Mac is a finely tuned, intricate machine. Just like a car, every aspect of your Mac plays a crucial role in its overall performance. This Cult of Mac Deals offer is for an app that will help keep your Mac running in tip-top shape. That’s because we’re featuring xScan – the same software many professionals use to diagnose technical issues with Mac operating systems.
xScan has been specifically designed to help you monitor the behavior and health of your Mac in a simple and straightforward manner. Consider it lifetime health insurance for your Mac – and Cult of Mac Deals has it for only $10.
Here are some of the features of xScan:
Detects all hardware and hard drive failures.
Customizable alert management including optional email alerts.
Monitor the behavior and temperature of processors.
Monitor the size of your disks space, even for hidden partitions.
Monitor used memory and processor levels.
Monitor bandwidth (In and Out).
Detect the communication of apps with remote servers.
Additional technical information for airport/wifi networks.
Viewable analytics via innovative chart.
View recent crash reports from apps with the ability to remove the program completely.
Export a report to PDF format.
This software works in real time…meaning you’ll be alerted the second an issue arrives. xScan will also provide useful tips to help you fix these issues. To learn even more about xScan – including all important reminders surrounding this offer – head over to the Deals page.
This deal won’t last for long. Get xScan – professional diagnostic software for the Mac – for just $10 while you can and give your Mac the checkup it deserves today!
Evernote Food For iOS Gets OpenTable Reservations, Ratings, Recipe Sharing & More -
Evernote Food, the iOS app for foodies that lets you keep a record of all the recipes and restaurants you want to remember, has received a major new update adding a number of neat new features. In addition to OpenTable reservations, users can now share recipes with their friends, enjoy better search results, and more.
With Evernote Food 2.1, you can add recipes from Evernote to Evernote Food’s “My Cookbook” section using a specified notebook or tag, making it even easier to keep track of your favorite meals. And if you want to share those recipes with your friends, you can do so via Facebook, Twitter, and email.
If you don’t fancy cooking tonight, Evernote Food will also help you find a great restaurant, and book a table. The latest version adds venue ratings from Foursquare, so you can find the best places to eat nearby, as well as OpenTable integration, so you can book without leaving the app.
Improvements have also been made to images and search. Meal images load more quickly, and you’ll now get improved search results for recipes and meals. Furthermore, you can now browse and search for recipes in Chinese and Japanese.
You’ll find Evernote Food 2.1 in the App Store now by hitting the source link below. As usual, the app is completely free.
4TB of Storage Capacity Is Your Back-Up-Everything Deal of the Day -
Amazon’s Gold Box deal today is a 4TB Seagate Backup Plus hard drive for $140. This is an excellent deal. Here’s why:
First, at $140 — which is at least $35 lower than the next closest price — it comes out to $35 per TB, which is a fantastic price even for bare drives. Second, this is a well-liked desktop model with USB 3.0 connectivity. The Wirecutter’s Seamus Bellamy rated it as their “favorite external drive.” Finally, if you’ve ever lost a laptop or had an onboard drive fail, you know recovering your data costs way more time and money than simply doing proper backups.
Mastering The iOS Keyboard: Dock, Undock, And Split On The iPad -
Holding an iPad, especially the larger-sized iPad one through four, can be an exercise in finger strength, especially when typing with your thumbs in landscape mode and holding the iPad with both hands. Luckily, back in iOS 5, Apple gave us all the ability to split the iPad keyboard and move it closer to the middle of the screen. This also comes in handy with the new iPad mini when in landscape mode.
Here’s how to make it happen.
Bring up an app in which you need to type, like the Notes app. Tap into a new note, and when the keyboard comes up, you have two ways to split it. One, tap and hold on the icon in the lower right-hand corner that typically dismisses the keyboard. A menu will pop up that says Undock and Split. Choose Split to spread the keyboard apart, bringing the keys closer to the edges of the iPad, making them more easily accessed with thumbs. The other way to split the keyboard is to simply place one finger from each hand in the middle of the keyboard, and swipe outwards. Or, if you have big hands, you can do it with a pinch outward tap and swipe gesture.
Tap and the keyboard dismiss button to see the popup menu. This time, choose Undock. The keyboard will float to the middle of the screen. If you tap and swipe the dismiss key upward, you’ll get both effects: the keyboard will slide upwards on the screen, and eventually split. Find the most comfortable place to place the keyboard, and go from there.
Tap and hold the keyboard dismiss button to Merge and Dock your keyboard as well, or pinch in and drag downward.
Horrible Grammar in Text Messages Could Be a Sign of a Stroke -
In the rankings of where you need to use proper grammar and spelling and sentence structure, text messages has to be in the neighborhood of last place. Right next to YouTube comments. It’s because texts are a mindless quick shot form of communication. But maybe writing poor word vomit texts points to something larger… like having a stroke. That’s what some doctors have found. And they’re calling it dystexia.
Doctors in Detroit have found a 40-year-old man who has no problem in reading, writing or comprehending language but suffers from dystexia. His text messages make no sense! He messaged “Oh baby your” but followed it up with “I am happy”. The next day he couldn’t convey his thoughts and spoke abnormally and doctors discovered that he had suffered a mild ischemic stroke.
What’s fascinating though is this bit from the NY Times:
Another doctor handed the man a smartphone and asked him to type a text message with the sentence, “The doctor needs a new BlackBerry.”
“She said, ‘Type this exactly how I’m saying it, and don’t make any abbreviations or anything,’” Dr. Kaskar said.
In response, the man typed, “Tjhe Doctor nddds a new bb.”
When asked if the sentence looked correct, the man said he could not see anything wrong with it.
As doctors found a lesion in his brain’s Broca’s area, they’re speculating that the Broca’s area might be the part of the brain that handles texting. The man who suffered the stroke went through other language tests and doctors couldn’t find any deficit in comprehension, his only problem was texting. So maybe we have a part of our brain that treats texting as a new form of language. And maybe poor texting could eventually become a stroke symptom. Read more about it at the NY Times.
Blackberry Sells One Million Handsets To Unnamed "Partner" -
Blackberry’s demise, much talked about and somewhat goaded, is on hold while the world reacts to the Blackberry 10 OS and two handsets launching on March 22. And already someone has come forward to buy a million units. So that’s…unexpected.
The purchase is the biggest single order in Blackberry history. It’s not clear who all those phones are going to, but a Blackberry spokesperson told AllThingsD that it was an anonymous “established partner.” Could be a carrier or a government organization, or maybe it’s just the mom of every Blackberry employee chipping in.