Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Extra, Extra!: Convene Newsstand

Welcome back to Extra, Extra!, after a couple weeks' hiatus. So what's news this week? (Besides, of course, what was published today in ThisWeek@PCMA.)

Do you use TripAdvisor to get a read on hotels in advance of your visit? Have you ever had a hotel in mind and then, due to a particularly savage review, shied away? Well, hoteliers want to have a little more control over this happening in the future, according to this story in the New York Times. Susan Stellin writes, "Although TripAdvisor does allow property owners to post responses to reviews, some hoteliers want the site to monitor comments more actively and take action when managers express concerns, especially when reviews border on libel."

In hotel news, Pittsburgh's LEED Gold-certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center may be getting a new 500-room convention-center headquarters hotel. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Hyatt Hotels and Omni Hotels & Resorts have both responded to an RFP issued by the Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority. Mark Belko writes, "Tourism group VisitPittsburgh has long pushed for the hotel to be built as a means to maximize the potential of the convention center, besides the existing 616-room Westin Convention Center hotel."

If you are sick of, like me, having to remove your laptop from your carry-on luggage — along with your belt, your shoes, your coins, your cell phone, and much other manner of gear when going through airport security — you'll be interested to know that the Transportation Security Administration has issued a sort of endorsement for Apple's new MacBook Air, according to this story on CNN.com. Because the 11-inch MacBook Air is (similar to netbooks) smaller than standard-size laptops, it won't have to be removed from your bag when going through security.

Southwest Airlines has announced that it will offer $5 Wi-Fi on its planes, 32 of which are currently equipped with the Row 44 Wi-Fi system (and more to come). In other Internet news, the recent opening-up of American airwaves by the Federal Communications Commission could mark the end of spotty hotel Wi-Fi service.
Christine Blank, for HotelNewsNow.com, writes, "In late September, the FCC freed up vacant airwaves between TV channels, or 'white spaces,' so developers could unleash new technologies, such as something called 'supercharged Wi-Fi.'"

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