Monday, August 2, 2010

Extra, Extra!: Convene Newsstand

You might say that what follows is all the news that wasn't fit to print, as these are the stories that — interesting though they may be — we just didn't have room for in the weekly ThisWeek@PCMA newsletter. But you, Dear Web-Savvy Reader, are in luck! Because where we're going, we don't need roads. Or something like that.

Attendees and exhibitors at Reed Exhibitions' GIBTM, The Gulf Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, next March may want to leave their BlackBerrys at home: The United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi (where GIBTM is held) has banned BlackBerry users from e-mailing, instant-messaging, or browsing the Web while in the country. Why? Because BlackBerrys, unlike most other devices used to connect to the Web, transmits its data to offshore servers, and therefore cannot be monitored by the U.A.E. government.

Some good news for business travelers who are all for anything that will minimize their time in airports: Continental is testing "self-boarding" at one gate at its Houston hub airport. Passengers simply swipe their boarding pass, which opens a turnstile or door that leads to the jet-bridge.

Those who mourned the death of the Registered Traveled program, and its expedited airport security lanes — aka Clear lanes — last summer are also in luck, as Registered Traveler, in the form of a new program called iQueue, has risen from the ashes at the Indianapolis Airport.

An impressive new green hotel tower, the 36-story InterContinental, recently celebrated its "vine-cutting" in New York City's Times Square. The 607-room property, according to the New York Times' City Room blog, "uses compact fluorescent and L.E.D. lights, low-flow toilets, 'green' housekeeping products and off-site composting." NYC-loving or -native meeting planners will also appreciate the hotel's meeting rooms, which are named after parks in Manhattan.

Meeting planners who wish at add some Hollywood pizazz to general-session videos will be interested to know that, due to the Librarian of Congress (no kidding, there is a real "Librarian of Congress") issuing new rules concerning digital copyright law, individuals are now legally allowed to break digital rights management, or DRM, "for the purposes of 'short' use in both 'documentary filmmaking' and original 'noncommercial videos,'" according to Gizmodo:
The broadness of the latter is impressive ... as long as you aren't charging money for it or profiting off it, it's noncommercial. So go ahead, rip and remix a scene from Inception so that it actually makes sense.
Oh, and another thing? You are now free to "jailbreak" your iPhone from its AT&T stranglehold.

Last but not least: Memphis is clearly reading this blog.

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