I have been meaning to thank my tech vendors for a while - the companies which allow me to be as productive as possible on the road. I am going to be brutally honest and not sugar coat so brace yourselves.
Verizon EVDO - without this gem of a service I am not sure where I would be. I am able to upload 30Mb files in rapid-fire fashion as I perform video interviews worldwide. Moreover I am almost always connected to this service when there is no WiFi alternative. Amazingly, it is often faster than hotel broadband!
iPhone - Thank you Steve Jobs for reinventing the way a wireless phone works and in the process producing an environment where developers flourish providing applications which make the world a better place. In the interest of being honest, the lack of Flash support and multitasking for non-Apple apps is upsetting.
Verizon MiFi 2200 - All that you love about Verizon with the benefit of WiFi access.
Boingo* - A lifesaver when you have a few minutes to log onto a foreign WiFi network and don't want to establish an account. I have tested it worldwide and am happy with the service.
Dell Latitude E6500 - What an amazing laptop when it comes to battery life - but when it comes to Dell's ControlPoint Connection Manager which manages the wireless connections, this is the buggiest piece of crap I have ever used.
iGo AC power Adapter - they make a small and light adapter allowing me to power-up in the car and plane but it has lots of problems when it stops working from time to time. This is my third one in about five years and I am pretty fed up with its finickyness (Yes, I know that's not a word).
Plantronics** - I use this company's headsets in my office, on the go and even a stereo Bluetooth headset when I am in the need for great sound without wires. The company has solid products that are a pleasure to use. This was not always the case. They have evolved nicely over the last eight years.
CellPoint Flamingo Headphones* - Flamingos are the best wired headphones I have used from the perspective of staying in the ears. They are virtually impossible to shake out regardless of what you do.
Brookstone NXT flat-panel speaker - just plug it into a laptop or phone and play music from this device the size of stack of 25 postcards. It chews through batteries fast but packs the most sound for its weight and space.
Macbook Air - Great for presentations - people love this thing. The downside is it is finicky and I still haven't figured out how its keychain works.
Glance Networks* - One of the best services for screen sharing around... It doesn't have all the bells and whistles but is dead easy to use.
Targus Rolling Laptop Case - It works well, and takes a beating - carrying everything in this blog entry and more.
D-Link DWL-G730AP - This little gadget turns any wired connection into a wireless hotspot/access point. It works flawlessly and has been a pleasure to use.
Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones - they work great but are too pricey and should at least let you listen to music when the battery dies.
TomTom Go 740 Live - this GPS unit is not especially small or easy to read in the sun but it does let you connect to Google search and gives you real-time traffic alerts for $10/month. During a massive rainstorm it rerouted me twice in an hour and saved me precious time. It is a good, not great product which has proven to be more and less accurate than an equivalent Garmin unit. Its graphics are far inferior to Garmin. Also the connection with the base unit is flaky and not reliable.
Skype - Lets me talk to and see my family on the go - likewise with coworkers and colleagues. I hate when someone I don't know too well sees I am online and wants to have a lengthy chat discussion. Just because I am online doesn't mean I am not in a meeting, etc. Presence is not always accurate especially for me as I am always online. What I am saying is - hey, how about asking if I have a moment? Pretty please. :)
Google - Do I need to explain? I must search 100 times a day at least.
Remote Desktop - Microsoft Software which has saved my life allowing me to be as productive as possible on the road by "pretending" to be in the office. It hangs one out of a hundred times or so but otherwise it is great.
There is probably more but this is enough for now. Time to get back and put some of this tech to work. :)
The FTC has a new rule on disclosure of paid blogs/reviews with an $11,000 fine per offense so * denotes a free product/service and ** denotes some free products.
I applaud the FTC on this great idea which should reduce conflict of interest and wonder if they will move forward to ensure financial rating agencies, other government agencies and elected officials will have to play by the same rules as bloggers. I would love to know which laws are influenced by lobbyists and gifts on corporate jets for example. I am looking forward to seeing this happen but am not holding my breath.