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DroneMate Premium Shows You Local Drone Laws As You Travel

A drone can provide you incredible shots from you vacation but traveling with a drone, especially internationally, can be a bureaucratic nightmare. A patchwork of laws, regulations, and registration forms that might not be clear or well-defined can get your drone confiscated or you fined. Not to mention that in some parts of the world authorities may not know the rules well enough to enforce them properly. (Or rely on your ignorance for ahem *cough* a bribe.)

DroneMate Premium Features

DroneMate, the app that puts all of the world’s drone laws on your phone (available for iOS/Android) also has a Premium version that unlocks the following features:

  • Track Specific Localities: Select countries, states, and other localities you want information on and receive notifications any time there’s an update to the drone rules there. When there is an update, DroneMate displays a notification with the complete updated drone laws, including links to any documents, forms, or registration materials needed.
  • Personalized Support: DroneMate Premium users will also get personalized support for any questions they have regarding specific drones laws, rules or regulations. Premium users are notified of responses by a DroneMate administrator to their questions in the comments section. Premium users can ask about specific rules, drone hardware, or travel experiences with a drone in a given locality.
  • Automatic Notifications: DroneMate Premium users will get a notification of whether they can fly their drone, need registration, or other restrictions on drone use upon arrival at your destination. The complete drone laws, including links to any documents, forms, or registration materials needed will be displayed and it works completely offline!

All of the Premium enhancements come with all of the regular DroneMate features including the built-in traveler network, specific drone requirements, and of course, offline mode!

dronemate     wifox ios app store     wifox google play android
How To Get DroneMate Premium FREE

DroneMate Premium is an upgrade you can select from within the DroneMate app. It’s a yearly subscription you can try 30 days for free and connect with other drone pilots, just in time for your next trip!

Of course if you have any questions about DroneMate you can send me a message here. Have a safe and legal flight!

How To Watch Movies And TV Shows With Your Friends And Family Online

Whether you’re traveling half way across the world or simply can’t make it out of the house, you can set up a virtual watch party with your friends to watch your favorite shows together. As more of our lives (and work) have moved online, streaming movies and shows so your group of pals can watch together remotely doesn’t have a one-click solution.

Fortunately, setting up Zoom with a few tweaks makes it relatively simple to set up your own, virtual watch party. You can see how in this video or read on for the exact steps.

Streamer And Watchers

Pretty much most of the setup required here is for the streamer, the person who’s actually setting up the watch party. We’ll get to everyone else (the watchers) in a bit. First, you the streamer, will need to download Zoom and create an account. The web-only interface won’t cut it. Once you’ve installed Zoom, open up your web browser to the streaming service of your choice (e.g. Netflix, Paramount+, etc.), and queue up your movie or TV show.

In Zoom click:

  • Under New Meeting click the down-facing arrow > find your personal ID number (it will look like 123 456 7890) > click Copy Invitation
  • Next click New Meeting > then click Join with computer audio

zoom copy invitation

You should see a screen that looks like this:

zoom share screen

Text your friends directly or using some VoIP service like Facetime, Signal, or Whatsapp the meeting invitation your copied moments ago. They’ll then need to click the link in the invite, you’ll get a notification in Zoom to admit them, and now they’ll just hold on. At this point, I would suggest setting up a group call with your friends that are watching.

Now you’re ready to share your screen but there are two additional settings which are important not to neglect.

  • At the bottom of the Zoom window, click > Share Screen
  • In the window that opens, make sure Share sound [with Stereo (High-fidelity)] is checked. You can switch from “Mono” to “Stereo” by clicking the down-facing arrow next to Share sound. Then, be sure Optimize for video clip is checked.
  • At this point you can choose to share your entire screen or just the window with the web browser that has your TV show on it.

zoom share screen optimize for video clip

And that’s pretty much it. On the separate phone group call you have with your friends, make sure they can see and hear your stream and if so, you’re good to go. Everyone should mute their phones (otherwise you’ll hear their TVs and visa-versa, which might not be exactly in sync) and you can un-mute when you have something to say, then mute again.

It’s not the most straightforward setup but it’s simple enough once you’ve got through it the first time. You, as the streamer, will need decent bandwidth to ensure a smooth viewing experience but you should be able to get away with 10-15Gbps download and 3-5Gbps upload speeds at the very minimum. Keep in mind if you’re traveling internationally, you may need to use this trick to get around regional restrictions.

 

8 Creative Ways To Use Apple AirTags

Apple’s AirTags are small Bluetooth trackers than can be used to locate your luggage but also have a number of other good uses. Despite the bad press, AirTags can be a valuable asset in your personal security system both at home and during travel.

These are 8 creative ways you can use AirTags to recover your lost valuables.

1. Luggage

The most obvious use for an AirTag but the obvious place to put on – in the luggage tag – isn’t the best place. Rather, place the AirTag in your suitcase, preferably in an interior pocket so it can’t be easily swiped or lost.

airtag

2. Pet Tag

Using an AirTag keychain holster or a collar made with AirTags in mind, you can track your pets when they’re outdoors in case they get lost or just to find out what your cat has been up to all day.

3. Car

Hiding an AirTag in the trunk or between seat cushions (again, so it’s not easy to spot or locate for a potential crook) can give you some tracking information in case your car is stolen.

sony electric car

4. Keys

An obvious but useful one is using an AirTag key chain because your keys will get lost when you really need to find them.

airtag key chain

5. Backpack

We often think we wouldn’t just leave our bag somewhere until we actually do. The same principle applies here – keep the AirTag in an interior pocket away from any external zippers.

6. Mail

Sure, you can use FedEx or UPS to track your package but now you can theoretically get real-time updates on any piece of mail you send if you place an AirTag in the envelope.

7. Bicycle

There are specialized lights for bikes built to hide an AirTag out of sight of a potential thief. You can also use the lower tech method or duct taping one inside the seat, keeping it out of view.

amsterdam bikes

8. Purse And Some Wallets

Depending on the type of wallet or clutch you carry, an AirTag can fit and help you find it in case it gets lost. Unfortunately, since AirTags aren’t flat, they won’t easily fit in a folding wallet.

Remember This When Using AirTags

AirTags can be purchased individually but Apple does discount them if you get a 4 pack. Alternatively there’s the competing Tile which might work better for you. Still, there are a lot good ways to put multiple AirTags to use, just remember to keep them hidden because the longer their with your stuff, the more chance you have to recover your valuables if they get lost.

Earbuds That Let You Hear The Outside World: Sony LinkBuds Review

Most headphone and earbud manufacturers focus on sound control, isolation, and active noise cancellation. Not the Sony LinkBuds though, which don’t even feature ANC. Rather, the Sony LinkBuds have a hole right in the middle to let you listen to music while still be able to hear the world around you.

They’re weird but packed with a lot of great features and might be sign of earbuds to come.

Recycled Parts, Updated Design

Right out of the box you’ll notice Sony have opted for a recycled paper box (like their WF1000XM4) to reduce plastic use and the plastic that is used in the LinkBuds case itself is made up of recycled materials. The result is a 95% reduction in plastic packaging and a smooth matte case that is very small. Measuring 41.4 x 48.5 x 30.9 millimeters and weighing on 34 grams, the USB-C charged LinkBuds case adds 12 hours of battery life. That’s on top of the 5.5 hours of battery life of the LinkBuds themselves, which isn’t great, but the smaller size means less space for batteries on par with Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro. (And no wireless charging either.) Also, enabling some of the more advanced features like the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine, may get you less battery life.

sony linkbuds

Coming in two colors, a textured white or a darker grey, the real story of the LinkBuds is their physical shape. There’s a rounded hole over your ear canal, leaving it exposed, while the battery and V1 Integrated Processor sits above that. The result is a very comfortable fit (these are very light earbuds) but having your ear canal open is much less restricting. Not only can you hear sounds around you but you also don’t feel like you’re in a warm sound booth either and these earbuds actually stay in your ears.

LinkBuds Sound

To get the most out of the Linkbuds you’ll want to download the free Sony Headphones app but even out of the box they sound crisp – pretty impressive for earbuds that don’t cover your ears. They tones really excel in the higher pitches and trebles but the bass sounds muffled. You can use the Headphones app to select one of a few different sound profiles or save your own custom EQ preferences as well.

sony linkbuds

Most earbuds focus on noise cancelling whereas the LinkBuds are designed for optimal transparency mode. That’s useful for when you’re jogging outdoors, they are IPX4 sweat proof, or when you’re walking around a city. Sony have also included features like speak to chat which turns off what you’re listening to automatically when you start speaking.

The microphone for calls is decent – it does tend to have a somewhat hollow sound a lot of earbuds do but the person on the other end of your phone call or virtual meeting should be able to hear you fine even if there’s moderate background noise on your end.

Futuristic Features

Sony have really leaned in to the software customization of the LinkBuds. Using the spatial sound feature, moving your head up and down then left and right, the LinkBuds will adjust their sound based on how you specifically wear them. Another feature found on other Sony earbuds is ear analysis where the headphones app uses your phones camera to optimize the sound quality based on the specific shape of your ears.

Another elegant design choice that cuts down on the size of the LinkBuds is that they don’t have any onboard buttons, rather you double tap the side of your head for adjustable functions like pause/play or volume up and down. And it works pretty well, even if you’re chewing gum, even if it does feel a bit weird to tap the side of your head to skip ahead a song.

There are some quarks like the case hinge feels a bit flimsy at certain angles and the headphones app can’t show you the case battery life unless you take the earbuds in and out but those are mainly minor complaints and one that can be fixed with a software update. These might not be the best earbuds if you fly frequentlycheck out the Bose QuietComfort – but for daily use around town where hearing your surroundings is useful, the LinkBuds might be weird looking but could be a good fit.

A Review Of Mint Mobile, There’s A Catch

Mint Mobile is a company that offers an alternative to local U.S. cell service, undercutting the prices of larger providers by maintaining an entirely brick-less infrastructure. For visitors to the United States, Mint Mobile can also be an attractive options compared to other eSim services but in both cases, there are some limitations to be aware of you can watch in this video or read on.

MVNO

To see how Mint Mobile is able to have talk, text, and data plans half the price of major carriers like AT&T or Verizon, you need to understand what’s known as a mobile virtual network operator or MVNO. That means that Mint Mobile does not have its own wireless network infrastructure – in other words they’re not putting up their own cell towers and spending money managing, maintaining and growing their own network hardware. Instead, what Mint Mobile does as an MVNO is purchase portion of the network services from a larger carrier that does have its own wireless infrastructure.

In the case of Mint Mobile, they are an MVNO on T-Mobile’s network. Essentially Mint Mobile purchases bulk access to T-Mobile’s network then creates their own pricing for their talk, text, and data plans which end up being a lot less expensive for you the consumer.

mint mobile

For example on a yearly plan with unlimited talk, text, and 10 gigabytes of data per month, Mint Mobile charges $20 every month, compared to T-Mobile where their 100GB plan is $70 a month and requires a year commitment. Mint Mobile offers plans as short as 3 months and setup takes 10 minutes on eSim compatible devices (most phones made since 2020) or if needed, they’ll mail you out a SIM card.

Carrier Games

Now being an MVNO means that T-Mobile can, and does, prioritize their paying users over Mint Mobile’s. In crowded places like sporting events or concerts, where a lot of people are connecting to the Internet on their phones, Mint’s service might be slowed down considerably or become unavailable altogether. During my testing I never encountered major throttling but it’s a possibility to be aware of.

Mint Mobile also limits video streaming to 480p resolution and doesn’t support Netflix. For people who watch a lot of YouTube on your phone, those limitations might be a deal breaker.

Lost Data

Unfortunately after testing Mint Mobile for over 6 months, it became apparent data from my first, 3GB, then 10GB plans were going missing. Even during a month where I purposefully kept my phone in airplane mode (wireless only) for all but a few hours, I some how hit my 10GB limit 10 days into the month. According to my phone stats, that’s not possible and something other users have reported online.

Mint Mobile wasn’t able to give me a good reason for the discrepancy and that’s disappointing because their service is otherwise solid with very good monthly rates. Given their status as an MVNO and the fact they don’t have physical stores, it’s easier to understand how Mint Mobile is able to cut down on costs. Assuming you don’t have mystery data leaks, the setup and price might be right for you.

How To Rent A Tesla From Hertz

Hertz recently sent Tesla’s market value over 1 trillion dollars after the car rental company ordered 100,000 Tesla electric vehicles. Hertz’s goal is to eventually make 20% of its fleet EVs and they’re slowly rolling out Teslas as a rental option mainly in California, Texas, and at airports in major US and European cities.

Here’s how you can rent a Tesla from Hertz and everything you need to know about the process.

Finding A Tesla

The easiest way to book a Tesla is through the Hertz app where you might snag some discounts not available on their desktop site. Either way, you’ll see that Hertz’s online portal is a bit ahead of its Tesla rollout. See, Tesla is a vehicle option at many locations but in reality they’re currently limited to select cities mainly at airport locations. There are also some restrictions to know about before renting – you can’t rent and drop off at separate locations – and self-driving is disabled, in case you were hoping to test that feature out. (Though autopilot is enabled.)

tesla hertz rental

Otherwise the process is much like renting any other type of car. Pick your dates, choose the Tesla (currently they’re all rear wheel drive Model 3s with the standard range of about 260 miles), and select your pick up location.

Car Pick Up

Most of the locations with Teslas have chargers on site so you should get a car that’s 80-100% charged. Keep in mind though if you’ve never driven a Tesla to read up on the several emails Hertz will send you describing how to unlock the doors, start the car, and put it back into park. It sounds straightforward but the Tesla experience is very different than most gas powered vehicles so arrive prepared. Nobody at Hertz will give you a tour or demonstration unless you ask so be prepared if it’s your first time to take a few minutes in the parking lot to get a good feel for the car.

All of your controls, wipers, heating, everything is managed through the Model 3’s large central touchscreen. Get familiar with it before hitting the road so you’re not searching to turn on the air conditioning when you should be watching the road.

Costs And Drop Off

For some reason when I booked a Tesla, I got it for a rate of $72 ($91 total with fees and taxes). I was told by the clerk I must have had some good luck on my side because the going rate to rent a Model 3 is about $170-200. You’ll have to include the cost to charge the car, which can run about $6-8; meaning it should be a lot less expensive than gas to refuel.

Hertz’s is planning to add superchargers to many of their local locations as they expand the Tesla rental option and you should start seeing Model 3s at many more locations. Overall, a good way to experience driving a Tesla while reducing your emissions, although you will pay a premium for it.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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