How to Fly Budget Airlines Without Killing Yourself

Budget airlines like WOW Air and Spirit can save you a buttload of money when you fly with them, but it’s still going to cost you—in sanity. Here’s what you should know going in, as well as a few tips for making the trip more bearable.

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What You Need to Know Before You Book

For your budget airline experience to go as smoothly as possible, you need to manage your expectations going in. If you know what’s in store, you’re less likely to be surprised and disappointed.

  • They charge you for everything: Everything—including carry-ons, checked bags, seat selection, extra leg room, food or snacks (which isn’t anywhere close to decent), and even water. That’s right, no complimentary drinks. Some budget airlines, like RyanAir, even require you to print your own ticket to cut down on costs. It’s a wonder they don’t charge you for air. When it’s all said and done you could end up paying close to the same amount of a typical airline flight if you’re not careful.
  • Give your trip some wiggle room: Airlines like WOW Air claim to be pretty punctual, but if a delay or flight cancellation occurs, it will probably be a big one. And budget airline customer service is almost certainly going to leave something to be desired. One WOW Air flight cancellation forced some passengers to lose out on a day and a half of their trips, with no offers of food or a hotel. Budget airlines are probably not your best bet if you need to get somewhere as soon as possible or have a tight window of vacation time.
  • Expect to be disconnected: Most budget flights do not have in-flight Wi-Fi, or even any form of in-flight entertainment. They may have some power plugs, depending on the plane, but be prepared to be out of touch for the entire flight. Not ideal if you need to work.
  • No pets allowed: To cut down on costs, most budget airlines don’t even bother with providing pet-friendly services. If you want to travel with your pet, look elsewhere (therapy pets and guide dogs may be an exception if you can provide the proper paperwork).

So yeah, there’s a reason that round trip ticket to Europe is so freakin’ cheap—you’re getting what you pay for. These are bare-bones flights, people. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth trying out! You just need to come prepared.

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Tips for Surviving the Flight

Okay, so you’re going to give that budget airline a go? Great, follow these guidelines and things should go swimmingly for the most part:

  • Watch for short layover times when you book: Sometimes budget airlines fly out of smaller airports or far out terminals that require a shuttle ride in between connecting flights. Giving yourself plenty of time is the name of the game with these types of flights.
  • Have a backup plan in place: Expect delays, cancellations, and other time sensitive things to go wrong, and have a plan. Look up places you can stay, things to do, and maybe even pack an extra snack. Sleeping overnight in an airport on an empty stomach is no fun.
  • Do everything online before you get to the airport: Book your flight, check in for your flight, modify your seating arrangement, and print your tickets online at home before you leave for the airport! Otherwise you may encounter extra fees or long lines backed up at the few available check-in desks.
  • Get there crazy early anyway: You may have to travel via shuttle to a separate terminal, or deal with some luggage issues at the gate. Or even worse, find out you’re at the wrong airport. That happened to my girlfriend in Iceland and she was only able to make it to her flight on time because she had gotten to the first airport so early. Again, give yourself plenty of time or this experience could be very stressful.
  • Pack light: The more you bring with you, the more it will cost you. Remember, you will have to pay for checked bags and your carry-on. If you can fit everything into one bag, you’ll save yourself a ton of money.
  • Bring a water bottle: Flying dehydrates you, but paying for water on a plane sucks. Bring your own empty bottle and fill it in the terminal.
  • Bring a meal and snacks: You know what else sucks? Paying for all of your food, even on long-haul flights that you’d normally get a free meal out of. Pack yourself something to snack on, as well as something that will fill you up come meal time.
  • Bring some entertainment: There is no in-flight entertainment on these planes, so either bring yourself some pre-loaded movies on a tablet, phone, or laptop, or pack a long book. Otherwise you’re going to be very bored. Besides, you’ll need something to distract you from the in-flight advertisements for duty free wares (seriously).

Budget airlines have a lot of pros: they’re crazy cheap, they’re just as safe as other airlines, and they fly to a lot of popular locations. Just make sure you’re mentally prepared for the experience and you’ll be fine.

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from Lifehacker

Build Your Own Mini SNES (Or Just About Anything Else) With This Discounted Raspberry Pi

Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here for more.

You can seemingly build just about anything with a Raspberry Pi, including your own miniature game console, and here’s a great deal on the newest Raspberry Pi 3. The kit comes with everything you need to get started, and will only set you back $61 with promo code U34S5G2S.

These Raspberry Pi deals tend to sell out within hours, so don’t wait too long.


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from Lifehacker

Amazon Gives Alexa the Ability to Tell Who’s Talking

Amazon is currently leading the market when it comes to speakers with a voice assistant inside. Amazon Alexa is the assistant inside the Echo line of speakers and Amazon has updated Alexa recently. The new update allows Alexa to distinguish between different people speaking.

This new feature means that the speaker can support multiple users and tell which user is speaking based on their voice alone. Since Alexa will know who is talking it allows some pretty cool items to be added to the mix. You can now get your own music list, shopping list, and other personalized content reports Ubergizmo.

Multiple user support is working right now with Flash Briefings, shopping, Amazon Music family plan, Alexa to Alexa voice calling and that is it. Voice recognition doesn’t work for things like Spotify, but support for other apps and skills will come in the future.

Multiple users recognized by their voices is something that Google Home devices have been able to do for a while. Presumably, this functionality is coming to everything with Alexa support, but that is unclear at this time.

from Legit Reviews Hardware Articles

Amazon: What If Teens Could Spend All Your Money

Retail giant Amazon plans to give children aged 13-17 the ability to log into their own accounts under parental supervision, CNN Money reported on Tuesday.

Teen accounts will be linked to parents’ main accounts, and will feature the ability to “either pre-approve each order via text or email (the default), set a spending limit for each order or to automatically approve all purchases,” per CNN. According to Bloomberg, parents’ Prime benefits will roll over to their children’s accounts, including benefits like streaming, gaming and shipping. Each and every purchase will also result in a receipt being sent to the parent—though they would only have 30 minutes to decline the order. 

The teen accounts will not contain parents’ credit card information, or allow them to see their parents’ browsing or purchase history.

Basically, it sounds like at least a moderately secure system for enabling teens to purchase merchandise online using your credit card—given that any truly resourceful or terrible enough teen could probably already be racking up secret charges anyhow.

Amazon Household VP Michael Carrtold CNN Money in a statement that “As a parent of a teen, I know how they crave independence, but at the same time that has to be balanced with the convenience and trust that parents need.”

As well as balanced, presumably, with Amazon’s relentless expansion across more and more of the retail industry. As Bloomberg recently noted, brick-and-mortar stores have seen sales among teenagers plummet, with brands like Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Express Inc., Urban Outfitters Inc. amd American Eagle Inc. all seeing significant hits. Sucking up those young customers is a natural move for Amazon.

“They’re not loyal—they’re fickle, they shop anywhere,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Poonam Goyal said. “Traditionally, if you shopped at Urban Outfitters, then 90 percent of your wardrobe was Urban Outfitters. I don’t think any millennial’s wardrobe is 90 percent anything.”

[CNN Money/Bloomberg]

from Gizmodo

Here Are Five Major Performance Benefits Of An Electric Car

gif: Engineering Explained/YouTube (Screengrabs)

Electric motors are coming whether we want them or not. So let’s not pout, but instead celebrate the ways in which electric vehicles actually outperform their conventional internal combustion engine-driven counterparts.

Coming at us again on this fine fall afternoon is Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained with a short and sweet video detailing the main performance benefits of an electric car over a conventional one.

His main points are actually fairly straightforward. The first is that EVs produce peak torque at zero RPM, meaning acceleration figures tend to be stellar. It’s because of that low end torque (and just generally high torque output across a large rev range), low inertia, and high redlines that electric motors tend to be mated to single-speed gearboxes instead of complex transmissions. This means less weight in the drivetrain, more reliability, and no drivability or acceleration sacrifices associated with shifts.

His third point deals with throttle response. In particular, Jason talks about the physical limitations of center-pivoting round throttle plates, and the fact that rotating the throttle from five to 15 percent yields an increased opening area of three times, whereas rotating the plate from 95 percent to 100 percent yields only a change in opening area of just over 1 percent. With electric vehicles, though, calibrating the throttle with the power output is simply a matter of software, with Jason stating:

With an electric vehicle you can get exactly what you ask for with that throttle pedal because you can choose exactly how much power you want it to deliver at any given position, versus internal combustion engines which are more sensitive when you’re at low partial throttle.

The final point deals with the ability to use an electric motor to slow a vehicle down. By simply allowing the wheels to turn the motor (and use its inertial as drag), the forward motion of the car charges batteries instead of heating up brake rotors and pads. This means less fade and wear on the brakes, and even the ability to downsize calibers and rotors for less unsprung mass.

The last point, and the one I find most interesting, deals with the ability to flexibly package battery packs. Batteries can be oriented flat on the ground to allow for a low center of gravity, and they can be thin and of strange shapes because they neither require a fuel pump (which takes up space), nor do they require liquid to flow “downhill” to that pump. Plus, it’s not strange to have multiple battery locations (with a gas tank, you’d need a transfer pump between the multiple tanks). Yes, batteries are heavy, but they can be packaged in a way that helps maximize interior volume, and minimize the effect of that mass, yielding better handling.

from Gizmodo

Dubai Police Unveils Hoverbike, Plans To Put In Service By 2020


This is a video of a quadrocopter hoverbike recently unveiled by the Dubai police, who intend to put the bikes into service by 2020. The bikes were developed by Russian hoverbike manufacturer Hoversurf, who we previously posted some test-flight footage from. These are exciting times we’re living in. “The world is falling apart.” These are truly dark times we’re living in. Technical details:

When piloted, the hoverbike can fly for up to 25 minutes, hit speeds of up to 70 kph (43mph) and carry up to 300kg (47 stone, ~661 pounds) of weight.

Without a police officer aboard, it can hit six meters (16 feet) in height.

The video of the thing flying appears to have been edited into split-second clips and sped up so you don’t realize just how completely not anywhere near ready for service these things actually are. I saw through the trickery though, because I have what my optometrist calls EAGLE EYES. I’m kidding, I can’t even get the top line of the eye chart right, and I already know it’s an E.

Keep going for a shot of the thing at rest and a video.



Thanks to Thaylor H, who wants to know just how fast it can stop without throwing the rider into the rotors.

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from Geekologie – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome

The Internet: Star Wars Theme Song Recreated Entirely With Sounds From New Porg Toys


Because the internet is going to internet whether it should or you want it to or not, this is a video of the Star Wars main theme recreated entirely using sounds from new Porg toys. I lasted 22 seconds before I started puking violently. Like, I burst blood vessels around my eyes violently. TRUE STORY: My girlfriend had never seen me puke before and a couple weeks ago I got sick and was having a real go at it in the kitchen sink and the look on her face — man, it was like she had just seen a ghost. BANGING ANOTHER GHOST. She said she thought for sure a demon was going to come out of me, which I’m fairly certain did happen.

Keep going for the video and try to beat my record.


Thanks but also kinda no thanks to carey, for exposing me to this.

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from Geekologie – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome

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