Photo of the day (9.16.10)

Some countries are more open to public displays of affection than others. In India, “obscene acts” like kissing in public are discouraged, if not downright illegal. In France, amorous couples are practically de rigeur. This photo by Flavio@Flickr taken in Amsterdam, catches a randy couple playing some peekaboo on the street, though he notes that moments later, the police asked them to take their game somewhere more private.

Catch any naughty behavior on your travels? Upload your (hopefully SFW) pictures to Gadling’s Flickr Pool and we might use one for another Photo of the Day.

Mexico kissing ban gets locals hot and bothered

PDA, (public displays of affection) are a way of life in many countries. Young lovers, often caught by the watchful eye of parents at home, use shared public spaces like parks, mass transportation and monuments to gain a degree of “public anonymity” and exchange a few amorous pleasantries.

In most countries, this behavior is taken for granted – it’s simply a way of life to make out with your lover on a train because there’s just nowhere else to do it. But in a number cities around the world, public kissing is in danger. In addition to a recent smooching ban at the train station in Cheshire, UK, the city of Guanajuato Mexico has had enough. This past January, Guanajuato’s city council, led by the socially conservative National Action Party, updated the city code of public behavior. The code targeted not only jaywalking and “offensive language” but something Guanajuato’s mayor, Eduardo Romero Hicks, has described as “Olympic fondling.” One can only imagine what he had in mind. Many Guanajuato residents, upon hearing of the ban, took it as an attack on all public displays of affection, including kissing, and the outrage began to grow.

Needless to say, Guanajuato’s many lip-lockers and “Olympian fondlers” were immediately up in arms (and lips) over the new proclamation, going so far as to stage a massive “kiss-in” at the city’s main plaza on Valentine’s Day and post satirical videos about the ban on YouTube. It didn’t take long before the city council caved, shelving the new ordinance for “further review.” I guess it just goes to show you that when it comes to kissing in public places, love knows no bounds…

Daily deal – HP iPaq 111 Classic PDA for $189.99

My daily deal for today is a rarity – it’s a good old PDA. I’m calling it rare, because it’s actually quite hard nowadays to find a personal organizer that is not a phone, GPS unit and camera at the same time.

From my personal experience, I know a lot of people just want something small and easy to use, that does not involve signing up for a 2 year contract or subscribing to an expensive data plan.

The HP iPaq 111 Classic runs Windows Mobile, which means it comes delivered with an email client and pocket versions of Internet Explorer, Word and even Excel.

Inside the device you’ll find Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which means you’ll be able to get online at the airport or your hotel when you are in range of a hotspot.

This Classic PDA normally retails for over $300, but currently has it on sale for just $189.99. And while this may be more than many smartphones (the iPhone is just $10 more), it does not involve any monthly fees or contracts.

The iPaq can be expanded using cheap SD cards, and with a 4GB card currently costing under $15, you’ll even be able to turn the device into a music and video playing machine thanks to the built in Windows Media Player.

All in all, the iPaq 111 Classic is true to its name; a rock solid little PDA without trying to be too many things at once.

Survey says: 35% would pick their Blackberry over their spouse

A survey conduced by Sheraton (of the famous hotel chain) reveals that 35% of the respondents would pick their PDA over their spouse.

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at these results. Either 35% of people were joking, or we really have turned into a society where email means more than personal relationships.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those weird geeks that checks for email if I wake up in the middle of the night, but to actually pick my Blackberry over my wife?

Some other shocking statistics from the survey:

  • 87% of those interviewed admit that they bring their PDA or smartphone to the bedroom at night.
  • 84% check their email right before nodding off.
  • 80% check their email as soon as they wake up.
  • 62% claim they actually love their PDA or smartphone.

I’m guessing 35% of all Blackberry owners will now be spending the night alone at the local Sheraton. These are probably the same people that suffer from phantom Blackberry vibrations when they are away from their beloved email gadget.

Product review – Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack

Gadgets are great, and they can make your trip much more comfortable, but they become pretty useless once they run out of power. It’s a pretty aggravating experience to get stranded at the airport only to discover that your mobile phone has run out of juice. So in today’s product review, I will take a closer look at a product that can be a real lifesaver; the Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack.

The battery pack is about the size of a small mobile phone and is finished in a sleek black piano finish. The battery pack has 2 connectors; one for powering your devices and one for charging the device itself.

The Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack charges any device that can be powered using a USB cable. This includes all iPods, the iPhone, the Sony PSP and most current phones and smartphones.

The device weighs just 3 ounces/84 grams and the internal power source contains Lithium-Polymer battery cells, not unlike the ones used in most high tech gadgets.

The battery pack can be charged through USB, which means you’ll be able to fill it up from your desktop PC, laptop PC, the included USB wall charger, or any other device that has a powered USB port, including some airline seat power ports.

Powering gadgets is just as easy. You plug the charging cord (included with your device) into the USB port of the battery pack, and pretty soon you’ll have a fully charged gadget.

The internal batteries in the Kensington have a capacity of 1800mAH but feel free to forget that, because all you need to know is that the product has enough juice to power and recharge most gadgets at least 2 or 3 times.

According to the specifications provided by Kensington, you should be able to get the following out of the battery pack:

  • iPod/Zune/Creative MP3 player : + 55 hours (of audio playback)
  • iPod Video (5G/Classic) : + 14 hours (of video playback)
  • Mobile Phone : + 5 hours of talk time / up to 4 days of standby time
  • Smartphone (Blackberry/Palm/HTC): + 5 hours of talk time / up to 2 days of standby time
  • PDA (Palm/HP/Dell): + 5 hours of use (when turned on)
  • Portable gaming device (PSP, Game Boy/DS): + 5 hours of play time

The battery pack comes with an AC wall charger rated for 100-240V and a USB charging cable. On the front of the battery pack is a single button to activate the charging indicator, and 5 bright blue LED lights that show the power level. These lights also show the charging status when the device is plugged into the AC adapter or your computer.

It is light enough to carry around, and has enough power to get your gadgets through the longest of long haul flights. Since AC power is not always easy to find (especially at the airport), carrying a portable power source like this means you’ll be able to power and recharge your phone or music player whenever you need it. And just to clarify; the portable battery pack is not suitable for charging your laptop; it is only powerful enough for portable gadgets like MP3 players or a PDA.

If your device does not come with a USB charging cord, you can order a retractable USB cord from Kensington for $14.99. Cords are available for most mobile phones as well as the HP iPaq, Palm Treo and Blackberry smartphones.

The Kensington Ultra Portable Battery Pack costs $59.99 and is available here. Kensington provides a 2 year warranty on the product.