Emerging Technology

Top business travel trends… Best-ever gadgets… Bug trading… Your chance for the big screen…

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Top business travel trends and ideas

Bland to brilliant, depending on your taste, Qantas’s new $20-million first-class lounge opened on May 23, 2007. It offers a concierge, spa services and a Neil Perry menu. Take a peek here.

The votes are in on the world’s best hotels according to Expedia.com. The site has ranked hotels around the world using a rating system based on Traveler Opinions®, expert input, and value. The result? A list so exclusive it represents just the top 1% of all our hotels and resorts. Here’s a couple of destinations that make the list: Cozumel Palace on the Carribbean Sea in Mexico, The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne in Miami and The Peninsula Beijing

Before you get on the plane, get on the internet: here are a couple of great travel blogs – The Cranky Flier and The BOOT: the business of online travel.

The first videoguide for hotel Trivop.com was launched in Paris earlier this year where hoteliers and travellers alike can make videos of hotels to share with the world. It allows travellers to get a really good sense of where they are going to stay.

The video takes potential guests through the hotel, complete with contemporary soundtrack and links to TripAdvisor reviews. As well as a good snoop in the rooms, videos for hotels such as Hotel Sezz in Paris give viewers a peek at the neighbourhood, the façade of the building and even the nearest Metro rail station. In these early stages there are only select videos for hotels in France and the United Kingdom but the potential for video sharing is significant.

And if you like to travel according to your own timetable, check out Branson’s Latest Travel Move. On June 15, 2007 Richard Branson announced a new venture VirginCharter, described as an eBay for private jets. The portal links people wanting to book private jets with more than 2500 charter operators who bid for the business. The site is invitation-only until September 2007 when it will have its full-scale launch.

For more travel tips and how to save money traveling for business, see our top story.

Top 10 gadgets of all time

Tech mag Wired is running a reader vote-a-thon to come up with the greatest gadgets of all time. Here are the top 10 historically significant gizmos as voted by readers so far:

Flush toilet: Not glamorous, but where would we be without it?
Wheel: Still popular after all these years.
The Gutenberg Press: It’s communications technology, it’s wireless, and it changed the world by making printing a commercially viable enterprise.
Fridge: Mmmm, food.
Telephone: Long-distance communication for the masses.
Personal computers: A quantum leap in machine smartness.
Internal combustion engine: It’s in everything from cars to lawn mowers and electricity generators.
The lever: The gadget that allowed us to build something larger than ourselves.
IBM PC 5150 personal computer: One for the nerds – the first mass-circulation PC.
Condom: Finally, efficient control of our reproductive fate.

Bug trading

Computer experts who find the flaws, or “bugs”, in computer software have a choice, according to a report in New Scientist. They can try to sell the knowledge to the computer software maker, or they can sell to computer hackers.

The bug finders are looking for a return on their effort and, not surprisingly, crime pays better. Computer software groups do not usually pay a high price for the discovery of the “bug”.

They say that if they could get more money from software makers for finding the bugs, the online world would be a safer place. They believe software makers should disclose their prices and pay around $US50,000 or more to help them stay away from the dark side.

Advertise in the movies

Australian advertisers are being offered the opportunity to place their products in a regional version of the upcoming movie, Alvin & the Chipmunks, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

It’s not the first time films have been doctored to add local products for local audiences. In the 2004 Garfield film, a local brand of lasagna was place in the Chilean version of the film.

It’s a growing trend with the latest data showing that advertisers in Australia increased their product-placement advertising by over a quarter from 2004 to 2005.

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