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Travel the World in an App

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In early 2020, Christine Dibble had recently left the federal government and was keen to travel more, but the coronavirus outbreak put those plans on hold.

Grounded at home in Washington Grove, Md., Dibble started playing around with a flight-tracking app, and it opened up the heavens for her.

Flightradar24 is one of several websites that compiles public information about aircraft locations, flight paths, property records, altitude and more to display on an interactive map. People can see details about planes and their destinations almost anywhere in the world, including Antarctica.

Dibble, a former Environmental Protection Agency technician, knew little about aviation, but the app satisfied her wanderlust and sparked curiosity about what was happening around her.

“What’s surprising to me about flight radar is that it captures my imagination,” Dibble told me. “What are those people doing up there on that plane? Are you on vacation? In business?”

Looking at the plane icons on the app, Dibble looks forward to seeing tourists, whom she envisions on the flight departing for Lisbon from a nearby airport. She sympathizes with the parents when she sees the virtual image of an emergency helicopter en route to a local children’s hospital.

“There’s all these stories here,” she said.

Not long ago, the app showed that a small plane had taken off at low altitude near her home, near a Central Intelligence Agency training base. Dibble, her husband and daughter have dreamed up scenarios in which a Russian oligarch is being taken away in handcuffs.

Flight tracking sites are another example of technology that makes obscure information accessible and relevant to us mere mortals, and helps us connect with others. It’s pretty amazing that we can google anything we’re curious about or video chat with far away friends. Tracking flights on the other side of the world is another wonder.

Flightradar24 started marketing a Swedish ticket booking website in the 2000s, its communications director Ian Petchenik told me. Using a technology called Automatic dependent monitoring transmissionThe company’s founders and employees began installing ADS-B receivers on rooftops in Sweden to pick up radio signals from aircraft and transmit their locations to other aircraft and air traffic controllers.

The interactive air transport map proved to be more popular than the booking service. The flight tracking service was born, Petchenik said.

There are now around 34,000 Flightradar24 receivers that people around the world have agreed to place on their homes, businesses and other locations. Flightradar24 combines these signals with other information, including a database of aircraft owners and commercial aircraft flight schedules, to compile the data into a digital map.

You may be wondering: is this a security risk? Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration told me that the agency has limited the available data on aircraft associated with the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and the Justice Department. For example, Air Force One does not appear in Flightradar24. Civil aircraft owners can requirement limits also to their travel data disclosures.

Petchenik believes it is important that real-time information about activities in the common airspace remain public.

Flightradar24 told me that the use of the location service increased sharply as the pandemic kept many would-be travelers like Dibble stuck at home. And last week some people couldn’t access Flightradar24 because so many users were following House Speaker Nancy Pelosis circuitous flight route to Taiwan to avoid potential conflicts with Chinese military aircraft.

There is other flight tracking Sites like FlightAware and ADS-B Exchange. But Jerry Dyer and Gilly Prestwood, who operate Big Jet TVa YouTube aviation specials channel, said Flightradar24 is the app of choice for both casual looky-loos and aviation fans alike.

Some people use the app to estimate arrival times for friends and family, and anxious fliers use it to feel safer about air travel, they said. News organizations have used flight tracking services to do this look for clues by business leaders Travel. Dyer, Prestwood and Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, a photographer who a Photo book on the subject of travelsaid aviation hobbyists who use tracking apps famous or Rarely Aircraft, marvel at 3D satellite imagery from cockpits and discuss the merits of one jet type versus another.

After On Tech asked readers Technologies that fueled their creativity, Dibble emailed us about her affection for Flightradar24. I didn’t get the appeal at first but I downloaded the app and my mind started firing too.

Now I imagine fancy people or tourists on helicopter flights embracing the virtual Manhattan skyline. Last week I clicked on the icon of a plane that the app said was miles above my neighborhood and saw it was headed to Paris. Sigh. Lucky ones.

Dibble knows that an app cannot replace real-life travel. She will soon be one of those people on a flight to Lisbon that she spotted on Flightradar24. But she still checks the app several times a day.

“It’s a sense of connection to the larger world,” she said.


  • Russian propaganda thrives in languages ​​other than English: Governments and internet companies cracked down on the Russian government’s propaganda after the country invaded Ukraine. But my colleagues Steven Lee Myers and Sheera Frenkel noted that Russian state sources are still using social media Spanish and Arabic Misleading people about the war and undermining the global campaign to isolate and punish Russia.

    Related: Online rumours, hate speech and misinformation are distorting Kenya’s elections, my colleague Abdi Latif Dahir reported.

  • Internet networks are a battlefield in war: My colleagues Adam Satariano and Scott Reinhard described how Russian authorities rerouted mobile and internet data in occupied cities in Ukraine through Russia’s censored networks. Ukrainian officials said the internet occupation isolates people from loved ones and blocks access to important information.

  • Is “authenticity” just another form of performance? BeReal, an app that gets people to take a selfie and rear camera photo at an unpredictable time every day, has become popular among young people as an antidote to the pressures of social media perfection. At Wired, social media researchers Brooke Erin Duffy and Ysabel Gerrard tracked the history and psychology of false promises of “authenticity” peddled by corporations.

You have to read Linda Qiu’s article about it Hair-E and other beagles use their nose for customs and border protection. They sniff out forbidden foods or plants to prevent them from entering the United States.

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The Lululemon Belt Bag Was the Perfect Accessory for My Two-Week Hawaiian Honeymoon

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Condé Nast Traveler


I used to think perfect duffel bag didn’t exist — until I stumbled across the now-viral Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag in May. Back then my long awaited Hawaiian honeymoon was about three weeks away, and I had spent months tracking down a compact speakerphone shoulder bag Pocket. I needed something that could get me hiking and snorkeling in the mornings, followed by leisurely afternoons of sunbathing, shopping, and sipping mai tais.

Back then, the Lululemon belt bag came in two sizes: Standard and Extended. I originally wanted the extended length in black; However, due to availability I ordered the purple extended bag and the more versatile regular length black bag. The strap lengths only varied by a few inches and I figured I could always return the regular version if it was too short.

I wasn’t ready to love her as much as I did — in fact, I ended up putting both options in my suitcase. As I slung one of the two bags over my chest, I was immediately struck by how light it felt. (So ​​much so, in Maui, for a moment I thought it had been lost.) Plus, despite its compact size, each contained a full day’s essentials: an SPF stick, a bottle suncream, AirPods, my iPhone, credit cards, cash, my ID, a lip balm, and to top it off, a disposable camera. Even after putting all of these things in the fanny pack, I didn’t feel the strain (read: no shoulder pain!) like I used to. While I mostly mean as handbag, shoulder bagYou can also wear it around the waist, fanny pack style.

Lululemon Everywhere bum bag

The clever design is another great benefit: instead of one main compartment, the Everywhere bag contains multiple zipped and mesh pockets, which helped me stay organized on the go. The secure front pocket provides easy access to my most packed items, like my driver’s license and AirPods.

As someone who tends to spill and soil my clothes, I also appreciate the Everywhere bag’s water-resistant polyester fabric, which is incredibly easy to clean. A wet napkin is really all you need to clean up ketchup stains, spilled coffee, sunscreen residue and the good old dirt and debris that can accumulate after a long hike.

Lululemon has since phased out the original bag in favor of the longer strap design, now referred to simply as the Everywhere Belt Bag. And although the bag’s popularity means it’s been sold in and out lately –check here to see if it’s back online – it was previously sold in a range of shades including a pretty pastel pink, simple black, bright light purple and more. If you see one you like, be quick – it may not be around for long and if you do get your hands on one I’m confident it will become your new favorite bag.

[Editor’s note: As of publishing, the Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag was in stock on Amazon and eBay. You can also check your local Lululemon store for inventory.]

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Complicating the Plot – Surfline

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[All photos and vid by Ryan Valasek]

Not all Strike missions are home runs or even base hits. Some are deletions. No thugs. During a recent surfing trip to Nicaragua, longtime California travel buddies and Xcel team members Christian “Cram” Ramirez and Ryan “Snacks” Valasek didn’t exactly hit thousands right from the start. But they were determined to at least stay in the game.

What was supposed to be a carefree, easy-peasy surf surfer ended up being spoiled by a crazy emergency going to Texas to expedite a passport renewal, all the usual and a few unusual diverted flights, and, oh yeah, an overzealous drug dog. “There were so many setbacks when I actually got to Nicaragua, I feel like it took years of my life,” Cram said. “It almost got to the point where I expected something to go wrong.”

Despite all the difficulties, the duo made it. And what they found was worth all the hoops they had to jump through along the way.

Snacks: “This trip was a huge stepping stone for Cram and me. We had been planning trips for a while but everything was put on hold with COVID so we just surfed locally while waiting for some travel restrictions to be lifted. I was camping up in Bend, Oregon with bumpy service when I happened to receive this text message from Christian: “We’re going to Nicaragua next week. I just bought a plane ticket.” I had had all these other plans but just canceled them, bought my ticket to Nica and flew home to California to pack. We left three days later.”

WATCH LIVE: Santana surf cam

Plug: “I knew I had to renew my passport to travel, but the only available slot across the country was in El Paso, Texas. I learned this 48 hours before I left for Nicaragua. After packing my gear with all the gear I needed for the trip, I drove from SLO (San Luis Obispo) to Santa Ana and then went on a 36 hour passport mission to El Paso. Finally, two days after leaving my home in SLO, I met up in Rancho for snacks.”

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Nicaragua’s regional surf forecast

Plug: “Six hours before our flight, I received an email from the Nicaraguan government saying we were denied entry into the country. Without hesitation we booked new flights to Costa Rica that were an hour later than our original flights to Nica. We landed in Costa Rica, got through customs, and then this drug dog started going crazy on my bag. After two hours of interrogation, while my pockets were being torn apart – and I had resisted several offers of bribes because I knew I wasn’t carrying anything illegal – I was finally able to leave.”

Snacks: “For this trip I brought the camera case I’ve had for a number of years: a Sony A7riii, a couple of prime lenses, a surf lens and a water case with a small lens mount. I’ve paired them with some of my favorite film cameras – a Yashica-D medium format camera and a Contax T2 point-and-shoot.”

Plug: “I really only have one window on the outer reef, but it shot. I had it all to myself, which was a little scary to find out on my own. The wave had an insane spin from a boil at launch. When I found out, the game was on. I had surfed for two hours, caught six waves and was ready for a marathon session when a storm hit. It started raining sideways so hard I could barely see land. It was just pouring rain. That was the end of my dream session, but I’m eyeing this wave for future strikes. There is still work to be done!”

CONTINUE READING: Nicaragua Travel and Surfing Guide

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What is a blockchain oracle, and how does it work?

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Oracles provide a means for the Web3.0 ecosystem to link to existing legacy systems, data sources, and advanced calculations.


Blockchain oracles connect blockchains to external systems, enabling the execution of smart contracts based on real-world inputs and outputs, Cointelegraph reports.

Oracles provide the Web3.0 ecosystem with the ability to connect to existing legacy systems, data sources, and advanced computations.

Decentralized oracle networks (DONs) enable the creation of hybrid smart contracts that combine off-chain infrastructure and on-chain code to create complex decentralized apps (DApps) that respond to real-world events and interact with traditional systems.

Because the blockchain is a distributed ledger, each node in the network must produce the same output given the same input. For example, if one node tries to validate another node’s transaction, the result will be different. This architecture was designed with determinism in mind.

In blockchain, consensus is the technique to agree on a data value, and determinism is essential for nodes to reach consensus. Some of them, such as B. Proof-of-Work (PoW) with Nakamoto consensus and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) with Byzantine consensus may be recognizable to you. Consensus is one of the main reasons blockchain works in the first place.

The blockchain oracle riddle reveals a fundamental limitation of smart contracts: they cannot be linked in any way to data or systems outside of their native blockchain context. External resources are referred to as “off-chain,” while data currently being recorded on the blockchain is referred to as “on-chain.”

Software oracles deliver data from digital sources such as websites, servers or databases, while hardware oracles deliver data from the physical world. In addition, hardware oracles can deliver and forward data from camera motion sensors and RFID (radio frequency identification) sensors. Oracle software can provide real-time data such as exchange rates, price fluctuations, and travel information.

Oracles create a two-way communication channel with blockchains by sending and receiving data. Incoming oracles are more likely to deliver off-chain or real-world data to the blockchain than outgoing oracles. Additionally, the imported data can represent almost anything from asset price movements to weather conditions to payment verification.

A common scenario that can be programmed for incoming oracles is: when an asset reaches a certain price, you place a buy order. Outgoing oracles, on the other hand, notify the outside world of an event that has occurred in the chain.

(With insights from Cointelegraph)

Also read: 75 Years of Independence: Looking Back and Looking Ahead at How the Development of Social Media Has Affected Life

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