How a few gadgets can improve your travels: first hand review

I spent a week in Kauai for a business meet up and the experience was terrific. I’m very used to airports, planes, boarding cards, miles, etc. but I hadn’t been on a long haul trip like this since 2005 when I spent a few months in New Zealand.

I wanted to use this opportunity to benchmark a few gadgets designed to make the trip more comfortable. It took me 30 hours to go and 36 to come back, here my first hand report on a few toys I had with me:

Bose Quiet Comfort 15

These headphones are supposed to cancel background noises and provide an excellent music experience. I’m not an audiophile but I was really impressed by this device. The airplane engines vanish as soon as you turn them on and the music is loud and clear. They are also perfect for sleeping on crowded places.

Cost: $299 at BestBuy
Personal vote: YAY

Samsonite sleep mask with earplugs

sleep mask
I was not impressed about this sleep mask. Earplugs are very low quality and the cords are not comfortable on the ears. The mask is filled with polystyrene spheres so it keeps cool and soft. Not that much to be honest.

Cost: 10 Euro at a local shop
Personal vote: MEH

Samsonite travel pillow

It’s inflatable so you can pull it out only when you need it and put it back in a pocket when you’re done. At the beginning it was fine but past the first few hours it became very difficult to sleep on that pillow. It’s a plastic air bubble covered with a velvet-like fabric. So you start sweating and it soaks up within a few minutes. Then it stinks. No way.

Cost: 20 Euro at a local shop
Personal vote: NAY

This app is supposed to help meditating but it’s so useful during a long trip. You can isolate yourself during the long hours at the boarding gate and it can help to catch sleep on the plane.

Cost: Yearly subscription for $9.99 on iTunes Store
Personal vote: YAY


When you travel across multiple timezones and you have to sync with your team around the globe, just a basic clock app is not enough. On my iPhone I simply set up multiple clocks on the default app, but on my Mac I use Clocks to keep track of the time.

Cost: $2.99 on iTunes Store
Personal vote: YAY

Other must-have apps

  • Tripit Pro to keep track of my flights, hotels, rental cars and more.
  • Skype Pro is an essential tool because every airport/lobby/public wifi/airline nowadays have wifi accounting on Skype. So you don’t have to register every time and you pay with your Skype credit.
  • Spotify ideal travel companion, just remember to local-sync your favorite playlists so you can keep listen while in airplane mode.

A day at the races


Last sunday i had the pleasure to be a guest visitor at the “8th Monza Rally Show” in Monza, near Milan. I was invited by eni that was presenting its new lubricant product line called “i-sint”.

I’ve never been a fan of cars, especially race cars. I always found tremendous boring to spend time staring at loud vehicles passing by at high speed. I always asked myself “where is the fun”? If we add that the day was rainy, i was happy to be invited, but not so interested, to be honest.

But then something happened, they allowed us to try race cars on a rally track, with instructors and… MUD. Wow, driving a Subaru Impreza for a real race was such a terrific experience! Something really difficult to explain but when i went out of the car i was so exited that i definitely wanted more. Yeah, the only disappointing part of the day was how quick the driving experience was but it’s totally understandable in that the situation.

There were about 20 of us in the short race and this is the final result:

As you can see i was 6th in the rank and as my very first rally, i’m very proud of myself. You can find the in-car video of my performance on youtube and you cans earch oll the content of the day on google and on twitter with the tag #Isintrally. Thanks to Nicola Mattina, Elastic and eni for the invitation

I really hope to have again soon the opportunity to drive a supercar on a race track, which is the only place where people should try this kind of experience. Never do that on a public street. Never.


Il mio webcomic preferito di sempre: Hackless Cartoon

Hackless è sempre stato il mio webcomic preferito e ogni tanto lo rileggo con piacere.

Purtroppo nel 2004 è giunto alla conclusione, ma resterà per sempre nella storia di noi geek.


Altro che IPhone 3GS