Hot Tips

Best College Towns 2010

It's no surprise that San Francisco, New York, Washington and Boston lead the list of best metropolitan areas for college students, along with San Jose, California, for mid-size towns and Boulder, Colorado, for small college towns. But what's particularly useful in this new 2010-2011 College Destinations Index is the detailed analysis of 360 metropolitan areas with 12 measures most appealing to students -- not the institutions themselves or the Chamber of Commerce. Topics like Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Quality of Life, Arts and Leisure, cost of living and Professional Opportunities. Helpful, too, is that the learning environment is assessed according to objective criteria. Seems to be a popular topic because here's another list of the Top 10 from Livability -- includes Eugene, OR, Nashville TN and Gainesville, FL. Know the schools? Read more →

If you can visit the the spectacular Shanghai exhibit at San Francisco's Asian Art Museum before it closes on September 5, it's a must-do. I finally stopped by in the nick of time this week and was fully absorbed by the exotic and complex beauty of Shanghai, as seen through its art in many forms. For more than a century Shanghai artists have been documenting its images and its changes through ink and oil paintings, Shanghai Deco furniture, revolutionary posters, silk fashion and more. The cross-cultural influences and tugs between Western and Eastern culture are dramatically illustrated in the visuals and the story -- and provide important insights to the historical influences on today's East-West relations. The exhibit is relatively compact in four large rooms and you can travel through time in an hour; the free personal audio guide also brings more depth to the tour. Having never been to... Read more →

Entrepreneurs are agile, smart businesses in the new (aka recession) economy are agile and we business travelers have to be extra-agile to protect our business and navigate the predictable wacky travel uncertainties. It's not only airlines. Here's a familiar tale from a consultant friend navigating the East Coast for various clients recently -- arrival at Washington, DC's Union Station from private car service (to avoid taxi hassles) in good advance time only to discover that the Amtrak from Washington, DC, to New York City is delayed due to a freak situation (water main break near Baltimore). Vital meetings were firmly and tightly scheduled for later in the afternoon and evening in Connecticut. Click, click, click -- brain cells go into action. Call airlines from cell phone, book next flight from Reagan International Airport, call private car service for return pick up at train station, zip over to Reagan, make the... Read more →

Beware of Wi-Fi Hackers

Wi-Fi's spread and convenience bring threats, so be prepared. A helpful article in today's Wall Street Journal offers these tips to minimize the dangerous machinations of hackers. It's good info for general Wi-Fi use in your hotel room, home or office, and especially for Wi-Fi hotspots. The person nearby in the hotel lobby or airport waiting area may be a hacker lurking to steal information from your laptop -- or even take it over: Keep all computer software and computer protection software current. Name your Wi-Fi network. Conduct all financial transactions -- such as banking, stock market trades and purchases requiring a credit card -- at home over a wired connection or wireless firewall. Close down your computer when you're not using the Internet. Use a wired connection wherever possible. Read more →

Comfortable In-flight Gear? Suit Yourself!

In this do-it-yourself era of stripped-down in-flight services, you have to make your own comfort. How to do that without wearing your PJs (or looking like it) and without schlepping too much gear? Remember, these days you're likely to be on a small commuter flight with very little carry-on space. Here's the list I check off before every trip for business and personal travel: Read more →