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Stocks Guys,

Here's a place to post ideas about stocks

Inside information is welcome

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June 20, 2008, 03:40:27 AM
Re: Frankfurt Master Thread I'm not sure if this belongs here or somewhere else, so if a mod wants to move this feel free, or if someone wants to make a Wiki with this info that could be done as well.

In short here is my TR from Frankfurt. (I do have pics if anyone wants I could add, I tried taking some "identifying" pics so it could be easy to explain where the locations are)

I arrived around 7 am, met some friends that landed about an hour later. We rented a van (as we were 7 people) with a GPS, and went to Worms. In Worms we davened in the Rashi Shul, checked out the Mikvah, dent in the wall, and the room where they say Rashi would learn/ talk to people. There is a chair built into the wall which they say is Rashi’s chair. We went to the Museum, not a whole lot of interesting things there but they gave us a map which helped us find the cemetery (info below)

We then went to Michelstadt, from Michelstadt we went back to Frankfurt. We went to the Old Old Cemetery, then to Zohar to eat and went back to the Airport. Below are all the addresses and or tips I have on finding these locations:

Hintere Judengasse 6 67547 Worms – is the address for the Jewish Museum in the Rashi House
If you google “synagogenplatz 67547 Worms” you’ll see the parking lot where we parked and the Shul is right there.

According to Google, this is the address for the cemetery: Willy-Brandt-Ring 21, 67547 Worms, Germany ‎ if you look on Google maps it puts the location pretty close if not exactly by the entrance. We parked illegally on the sidewalk, I am not sure where there is real parking close by.

Am Stadion 11, Michelstadt, Germany
GPS brought us there with no issue it’s on the left side of the street. There are street signs directing you there as well.

Old Old Cemetery:
Battonnstraße 32 Frankfurt, Germany   
It will be on your right side. If you go to google maps and type this address in, if you click onto street view you will see the fence of the cemetery on the right side. I didn’t realize this and drove right by it..
(if you notice on the fence of the cemetery they have a small “brick” attached to the wall with a name, DOB, DOD & Location for each Jew from Frankfurt that was murdered during WW2) (1 very famous one there is Anne Frank)

Savignystrasse 66 Frankfurt am Main, Hessen 60325
It’s a large building, seems like it’s a Community Center. They have security there, and they asked us for ID before they let us into the building. The food was good, not great. They only wanted cash and may have overpriced the conversion as we only had US dollars. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Preferred language there was Yiddish or Hebrew.

September 16, 2013, 12:17:12 PM
Re: Learn Photography Master Thread Lesson 5
Remember, click on the Wiki if you want to see only the lessons and not the other posts.
All about memory cards
While buying a memory card appears at first glance to be an ultra-simple affair, there are actually many factors to consider. Your choice of card can make a tremendous difference in your day to day shooting. Let's have a look at the numbers, standards, and features you should be aware of when buying a card for your camera.
Types of card
There are a few different types of memory cards on the market today. Generally the type you need will be dictated by your camera; if it takes an SD card only there's no way you could use a CF card in it. There are however a number of cameras that accept more than one type. Since the most common card by far is SD, I'll focus mostly on that.
Compact Flash (CF): These are the bigger, square memory cards. These days they're mostly used in pro cameras such as the Canon 5DMkII or the Nikon D800. The advantage of CF over SD is mainly in physical strength. While SD cards are prone to braking, a CF card is virtually indestructible. On top of that, they tend to be a bit faster than SD cards, meaning that any new jump in performance will appear in the CF market before the SD market. The one disadvantage with CF cards is that the socket relies on a series of pins, which are easily bendable.
Secure Digital (SD): This is the most common card type in use by far. If you have a camera, chances are it takes SD cards. These are smaller than CD cards (about stamp-sized), and are not as strong physically. I have an entire collection of cracked and broken SD cards flying around the house. The 'secure' part of the name refers to the read/write protection switch on the side. To be honest this feature is mostly useless, and only adds to the complexity, and therefore breakability, of the card.
SD cards come in a couple different flavors:
- SD: This mostly obsolete standard was for cards under 2GB. They could still be bought today, but why someone would is anyone's guess.
- SDHC (High Capacity): This is the most commonly used standard today, and covers cards from 2 - 32GB. Virtually every camera in existence supports the SDHC protocol.
- SDXC (Extreme Capacity): This is the newest SD standard and supports cards from 64GB all the way up to a theoretical 2TB. This uses the exFAT file system, and so will not work on some older computers. Most newer cameras will support SDXC.
- MicroSD: This is a tiny version of a regular SD card, and also comes in all three SD flavors. Due to its size it'll be more expensive than a comparable full-size SD card, as well as being very prone to getting lost. It is used in most smartphones, as well as some point & shoot cameras and video cameras (the GoPro for instance).
- SD cards also come in a veriety of wireless models. These cards will automatically upload pictures to your computer via Wi-Fi.
Memory Stick (MS): This is a proprietary Sony card, and is used only in their cameras. At one point this was a horrible mess with as many as 10 types of Memory Stick on the market, none of which was compatible with the other. These days Sony has cleaned this up, with only the Memory Stick Duo surviving. More importantly, Sony finally buckled and now all their cameras accept SD cards as well, so you could easily forget about this overpriced card and move on with your life :).
There is also the new XQD card, which so far is used only by the Nikon D4 camera.
Card Speed:
This is the most important thing to know when choosing a memory card. Today's cameras move a massive amount of information to the card every time you take a picture or video. If your card is not fast enough, you will have to wait for a couple of seconds after every picture, as well as when looking through your pictures on your camera. Video-wise, if the card isn't fast enough the camera will drop frames, which will cause your video to be choppy and jittery.
Unfortunately, card manufacturers try their best to confuse the bejiggers out of you with an overwhelming amount of different speed specifications. Let's have a look at all these specs, and what they actually mean.
The first thing to remember is that pictures and video require a completely different type of speed in order to work properly. With pictures, you're throwing a huge amount of data at the card in short, intense bursts. On the other hand, the video data stream is much smaller, but continuous. With that in mind, let's have a look at the specs.
Rated Speed - written as MB/s: This is the maximum speed of writing chunks of data to the card, and applies to photos only. Common speeds you'll find are 45MB/s or 60MB/s. This means that the theoretical transfer speed will be 60 megabytes per second. Why is this important? Take a Nikon D600. Each RAW file is about 28MB. That means that if I use a card rated at 30MB/s, I will have to wait a second between each picture. Now imaging I'm shooting continuous - if I take 8 pictures in about 2 seconds, I then have to wait 6 more seconds until the camera is ready to shoot again, since it has to finish writing all this data to the card. This means that I will keep on waiting, and keep on missing shots.
Now imagine I had bought a faster card - say 90MB/s. This means that I would never have to wait between pictures (since each picture will take about a third of a second to write). Shooting 8 pictures in 2 seconds, I would have to wait less than a second until I'm ready to shoot again.
If you have any newer high-megapixel camera, this should be the number one spec you look for. It will be the difference between taking pictures and forgetting that a memory card exists, and between getting stuck waiting all the time and cursing the card out for making you miss the shot yet again.
X Rating: This will be written as 400x, 533x, etc. This means the exact came thing as Rated Speed, and is a direct conversion. It is simply another way for the card companies to drive you nuts. Each 'x' is equivalent to 15KB/s. Doing the math, 400x will be 400*15=6000, which would be 60MB/s.
Class Rating: This will be written as Class 6, Class 8, Class 10, etc. This applies to video only. What this is the minimum sustained write speed. A class 10 for instance, will maintain a write speed of at least 10 megabytes per second. Currently, no standard camera exists which can take advantage of anything over Class 10. This means that if you have a Class 10 card, your card will always be fast enough to keep up with the video data stream being thrown at it.
UHS Class: Again, this is a direct conversion from Class Ratings. UHS-1 simply means 10MB/s minimum sustained speed, which we already know is Class 10.
So basically you have to look at only two specs: Rated Speed and Class Speed. The Rated Speed will tell you how large a chunk of data (photos) you could transfer at one time, while the Class Rating will tell you the minimum continuous (video) data speed.
Read speed vs. write speed: Another very important thing to remember is that the Rated Speed applies both to read and write speed. That means you have to be very careful reading the specs, as some brands (ahem Lexar ahem) have wildly different read and write speeds, and write only the higher number in big obvious text. For example, their 60MB/s Class 10 SD card is actually only 20MB/swrite, while the 60MB/s is only on read. This means that it's still quite slow in your camera; only transfers to your computer will be fairly fast. This is of course extremely misleading, so keep your eyes peeled.
Memory Brands
Does it matter which brand memory card you got? Heck yes. Memory is cheap enough these days that you could afford to buy the best; saving $10 to go with a lesser brand in absolutely not worth it. Behold:
Chip Quality: At the very basic level of a memory card sits the humble silicon chip. These chips start their life as a large, circular wafer around 18" in diameter. This wafer is subsequently cut into a couple dozen square or rectangular memory modules. Due to the manufacturing processes, the closer to the center of the wafer the module comes from, the more perfect and free of defects it will be. Since flash memory is a commodity market, there are two or three companies which control most of it. These companies will take the highest quality center modules for themselves (or their partners), and let the little fish scramble for the inferior, cheaper ones.
What all this means for you is simple: The higher priced memory cards are priced like that for a reason: they use the highest quality chips. End of story. Sandisk and Lexar are on the top, followed very closely by Sony and Panasonic. Kingston is somewhere in the middle, and companies like Transcend are just about on the bottom of the food chain. The only thing lower are all the no-name brands - Dane-Elec, Wintec, Silicone Power, et. al.
Why do you need a high quality chip? Because a cheap one will eat your pictures one day. They are prone to getting corrupted and can't be erased and reused too often before they start to deteriorate. Would you trust your pictures to the lowest common denominator to save a few bucks? Personally, I don't think it's worth it. Now mind you - I've had Sandisk cards conk out on me; nothing's foolproof. But after years of hearing first-hand horror stories from countless people, the simple fact is obvious: It's not worth it to cheap out on memory.
Claimed Specs: Very often, you'll find with the cheaper brands that their claimed specs are often inaccurate and are actually slower then claimed.
Physical Quality: Look at any Sandisk box above the Ultra level (which is just about all of them): waterproof, temperature proof, and shock proof. I've put Sandisk cards through the wash and they work as good as ever. You won't find that with cheaper brands. Drop a card and chances are it'll break; leave it in the sun too long and it may not work again. The higher quality brand, the more the card will survive. Imaging coming home from vacation and finding that your full memory card cannot be read. With cheap cards, this is a far more common occurrence than with good ones.
Note that SD card are an inherently weak design and every one of them will eventually break. The difference here is how long it take until that actually happens, and if the data could still be read off it at that point. From my entire collection of broken Sandisk cards, all but one still technically work - that is, I could still read and write to them properly. Not that I'd want too; but the point is that I didn't actually lose any data when it broke.
Lesson Summary:
Card types:
- CF cards are mainly used in pro cameras these days
- SD cards are the most common:
--- SD is up to 2GB
--- SDHC is 2 - 32GB
--- SDXC is 32GB - 2TB
- MS is a Sony proprietary and could safely be ignored these days.
- Rated Speed gives you the maximum read/write speed in MB/s. Used for pictures only.
- X Rating gives you the exact same thing as 300x, 400x, etc. Multiply by 15 to get the MB/s.
- Class Rating gives you the minimum sustained data stream as 1 per class. Class 8 is 8MB/s, Class 10 is 10MB/s, etc. Used for video only.
- UHS Rating gives you the exact same thing as Class. UHS-1 is the same as Class 10.
- Be vigilant and check both the read and write speeds. They may be very different from each other.
- Cheaper brands use cheaper, lower quality chips.
- Lower quality chips are very prone to failure.
- Cheap brands often fudge their numbers so their cards appear faster.
- Cheaper cards are often physically weaker and may break earlier.

December 15, 2013, 06:08:04 PM
Paradise Found: A "Holiday" to New Zealand in the Chariots of Kings
A Waterfall on the way back from Milford Sound


The catalyst of this trip to New Zealand was that during a brief stint earlier this year, upon US Airways’ (US) entry into the OneWorld alliance, US neglected to impose and collect fuel surcharges on British Airways (BA) redemptions, which normally amount to hundreds of dollars per passenger per way.  Knowing full well that I’d likely never fork over this “ransom for loyalty” (at least not as long as I am able redeem miles on other airlines and avoid these pesky evil charges), the odds of my experiencing BA First Class were slim.

Armed with the knowledge of this “glitch” I set out planning. And down the rabbit hole I went.  Considering US’ lax routing rules and their quite attractive pricing from USA to North Asia (where business class is 110,000 miles/person round trip, and for a nominal 10,000 miles more—120,000 p/p—I could do the whole thing in First Class), I booked the following beauty:


With two segments in BA F, two segments in very-hard-to-snag Qantas’ (QF) First Class (the only 5th Freedom QF F flight), and two segments in Cathay Pacific’s business class, a sure contender for the best business class in the market, I was quite content.

At the time, however, I didn’t know where our ultimate destination would be. I figured I could work that out later.

[Skip the following if easily bored when regaled with passionate tales of the birth pangs of a masterpiece award booking]

Two months after booking (but several months before departure), I got notified of a schedule change (from Award Wallet actually, and not US or BA), that not only one of my BA flights had been cancelled, but both had been.  While we wouldn’t lose our opportunity to fly BA F, we were automatically moved onto the BA flights that immediately followed our originally scheduled flights.  Ordinarily this would not have presented a problem, but the fact that we were moved onto a later departing flight meant that our already short connection in LHR would become “an illegal connection,” and we wouldn’t be able to make our flight to DXB in QF F. That part I was less content with.

Upon trying to fix this issue, I learned that unlike other airlines, US will almost never accommodate a schedule change on an award by booking you into a revenue fare class, especially so in a case where, as here, the schedule change was not the fault of US, but of another airline, BA. You’re restricted to award availability only, and there was none, so I waited.

A couple days later, I noticed that BA had apparently fixed the illegal connection issue on their own: I was now booked JFK-LHR-DXB all in BA F, with everything else remaining the same. As above, however, I didn’t want to replace the superior QF F segment for an inferior BA F segment, even sans YQ, but I knew I’d have an excuse to call back when/if something opened up that suited me better. If worst had come to worst, I’d simply cancel the award, and go back to the rabbit hole (which I’ve become quite fond of).

Sure enough, in August, while in Singapore, I got notified that the two seats on the non-stop flight from JFK-HKG in Cathay Pacific First Class had opened, something that very rarely happens three months before departure, considering two seats account for 1/3rd of their first class cabin.  Because I had only flown CX F on a “short-haul” of five hours JFK-YVR, and this afforded us with an additional 36 hours of vacation time, I popped out of bed and rang US.

Initially, I was given some push back. “Oh, we see you’ve already been accommodated, and there is no longer an illegal connection, sir.” When I firmly explained that I had no part in choosing that particular fix, and then explained once and twice again, the US rep made the change after speaking to a supervisor, stating “this is an absolute exception, sir, and we will not make any more changes to this booking without imposing a change fee of $150 per/person.”


Now I was booked: JFK-HKG (CX F) // HKG-DXB (CX J)-LHR (QF F)-JFK (BA F)

So I had us booked to Hong Kong, but knew that I didn’t want that to be our final destination, so when Singapore Airlines (SQ) upgraded one of their daily flights from Singapore (SIN) to New Zealand (AKL) to an A380 with Suites Class, and correspondingly made available two seats on nearly all of those flights (something that is akin to a miracle), I jumped on it.

Despite the miracle, however, someone seemingly beat me to the punch and the flight I needed from SIN-AKL was unavailable, so I booked the first part of our return, AKL-SIN, in SQ Suites instead.

We were going to New Zealand!

We had wanted to visit for a while, but especially since our return from Cape Town, South Africa, when we told the Lufthansa crew how jaw-droppingly beautiful Cape Town was and their unanimous response was “wait till you see New Zealand, my friend!”

Now, for all you paying attention at home, you’ll realize I still needed flights from HKG to AKL, as well as a flight from SIN to HKG to hook up to my original award. On the to-do list it went.

Sometime later, I was smiled upon when SIN-AKL opened up in Suites Class, which I booked.  The award was beginning to take shape.

Unfortunately, the HKG-SIN segment, which SQ also operates with an A380, was not available, and I had to waitlist the segment, but doing so I made a rookie mistake (which I’ll explain later). To be safe, thought, I booked the HKG-SIN segment with CX in economy as a placeholder. So I was fully booked on my outbound:


Now to finish the return:

For reasons that aren’t worth explaining (having to do with the scheduling of the SIN-HKG on the return), I realized I needed to substitute the AKL-SIN segment in SQ Suites with something else.  After some research I decided to take advantage of what is perhaps the best redemption on the United Airlines award chart: Oceania <> North Asia in First Class for 40K per person and $25.00.

I found availability for AKL-SYD-BKK-HKG in Air New Zealand (NZ) Economy, Thai (TG) First, and TG First and put it on hold.

The only problem was that the BKK-HKG leg arrived after my HKG-DXB was scheduled to depart, so I had try and move the HKG-DXB flight from the first of the day, at 1:30AM, to the second and final flight of the day, at 4:50 PM. So back on the phone with US I went, expecting that I’d definitely need to pay the change fee this time.   

Of course, the US rep saw the note that the previous rep put on my reservation: “Absolutely no further changes to award without collection of change fee” and would only change it for $150/pax. I light bulb went off in my head and I pushed back and said “Well, if you’ll notice, I had two flight cancellations, one on the outbound, and one on the inbound. The note you’re seeing refers only to the outbound, which I had a say in fixing, but the flight I want to change is on the inbound which I have not yet had a say in fixing.” Nothing doing.

Escalate to supervisor.

Back and forth.

Back and forth some more.

Finally, with the call nearing 60 mins, the supervisor relents and changes me to the later flight without a fee!

I login to check the changes (as you should always do), and am horrified to discover that she did in fact change us, but put us in coach! If the flight was only a couple hours, I wouldn’t have cared, but this HKG-DXB leg was nearly 9 hours and a lie flat bed on a flight of that length definitely makes a difference, so even though I dreaded the thought of having to call US again, I decided to pick up the phone.

I explained the situation and the first US rep I got said “Oh, I see this clearly was a mistake, let me fix that right up for you.” And with that, it was complete. <sigh of relief>

Booked this way, I saved myself about 100,000 miles + $600 in taxes and fees. 

A week or two before departure, I got an email informing me that my SQ waitlist on the HKG-SIN had cleared.  I had gone from a 12.2 to a 9.36!

Except I hadn’t. 

As I alluded to above, I made a rookie mistake: I had waitlisted the HKG-SIN segment on a separate PNR. Even though I suspected the
answer, I called to see if SQ could merge the PNRs, or, at the very least, add the waitlist to my main PNR and insta-confirm me since I had already gone through the process. No dice.

A couple days later, I noticed that SQ R was available outright in Saver for the HKG-SIN segment, so I called and asked them to confirm me because it was clearly available. Though it wasn’t explained well by the SQ agents, it was clear I was rebuffed again for reasons of “married segments.” The only thing I could do at the time, they said, was to book it separately outright. Ha, no thanks, considering it’d cost me an additional 75K SQ, whereas if I added it onto my original booking, it’d cost me 0 additional miles. So I waited.

Alas, all is well that ends well, and about 24 hours later, my HKG-SIN leg was confirmed in Suites! Now I was officially at a 9.36 :)

[Those bored folks can continue here]

After much tinkering, then, my main award(s) getting me to New Zealand and back were set:

Red = US Award of 120,000 per passenger + $150 taxes/fees
Green = SQ Award of 63,750 per passenger + $200 taxes/fees
Orange = UA Award 40,000 per passenger + $25 taxes/fees

Outbound: JFK-HKG in CX F; HKG-SIN-AKL in SQ R; AKL-SYD in NZ Y.

Inbound: SYD-BKK-HKG in TG F; HKG-DXB in CX J; DXB-LHR in QF F; LHR-JFK in BA F.

Next up:

Intra-New Zealand Flights & Hotels

December 14, 2014, 05:55:54 PM
Yehoshua's South Africa TR Planning and Routing
The planning for this trip started back in November 2015 when I decided that I wanted to go to Africa in the summer. I’d never flown any of the “Big 3” Gulf carriers, so that was the goal on this trip. I ended up booking:

For 100k AS I booked (blue on map)
7/5 LAX-DXB in EK F A380 4:45pm-7:30pm+1
7/7 DXB-JNB in EF F 777 2:20pm-8:50pm

For our domestic flight I bought cheap coach seats on Mango (orange on map):

7/13 JNB-CPT 8:10am-10:20am

For 135k AA I booked (red and brown on map)
7/17 CPT-DOH in QR J 787 1:20pm-11:50pm
7/18 DOH-AUH in QR F A320 8:25am-10:30am
7/19 AUH-JFK in EY F A380 3:35am-9:35am
7/19 JFK-LAX in AA F A321 12:30pm-3:54pm

For hotels we booked the following:

PH Dubai for 1 night for ~12k UR booked through UR
Black Rhino Game Lodge in Pilanesburg Game Reserve for ~$168 cash (redeemed for A+ credit)
Intercontinental OR Tambo (JNB airport) for 1 night for 30k IHG
Protea Sea Point hotel for 4 nights: 1 night for 15k Marriott, 3 nights for ~$67/night
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi for 1 night for ~$87

We stayed with friends of friends in Joburg for the 3 nights we were there before going to the game reserve.

For food, we brought along some instant oatmeal for breakfast in Dubai, Joburg (before our flight to CPT) and Doha. Joburg and Cape Town both have kosher restaurants, but we needed food for Pilanesburg. We could have ordered from POM, had them ship it to LA, and schlep it around the world with us, but I found another solution. Kosher World in Joburg also has travel meals for a fraction of the price. While I only asked for dairy and pareve items, the price range was from R55-81 for a 500g portion, or about $3.75-$5.50 for just over 1 lb. of food. You can’t beat that! Like POM, the meals are frozen in advance and can be heated in the microwave or oven. To contact KosherWorld, you can email them from their website. They responded to me rather quickly and we arranged everything via email.

Now on to the trip itself.

July 18, 2016, 06:07:19 AM
Viva La Revolución! Time-traveling to Cuba with Something Fishy, whYME, and CITH This trip report will be in a similar format as the recent Icelandic one, with me doing the bulk of the writing and whYME and Cat In The Hat adding their thoughts, pictures, and commentary. As with Iceland, color coding will help maintain an easy flow.

So without further ado, here it goes.

Photo by Something Fishy:

Photo by whYME:

Photo by Cat In The Hat:

August 15, 2016, 02:04:50 AM
Re: Anyone here watch Suits?
I'm asking in the next episode.
I think/hope so. I agree with SS it'll be stupid if they don't, once they told Rachel and she freaked they couldn't be mean enough to make it not happen... Anyway only 2 more episodes until the break so it'll be this one or the next for sure.

The last episode wast the first ok episode all season. No way they can get renewed if this keeps going.

Maybe they will end it with 4 wedding, Jessica moves to Chicago with Jeff, Louis marries Tara, obviously Mike and Rachel get married, and finally Harvey and Donna get hitched as well. And they all live happily ever after. Mike, Harvey, Louis, and Rachel open their own new firm, Mike is the paralegal this time and Donna is of course the one running the place.

September 06, 2016, 09:25:23 AM
Great Circle Mapper Tips and Tricks Master Thread We all know and love GCMap, but based on some recent PMs even some seasoned DDF'ers are not overly familiar with the tool and how it works. I figured I'll put together a list of tips and tricks, as well as some advanced things that I've learned over the years that aren't documented anywhere (including GCMap's own knowledge base).

This thread could also serve as a place to ask any questions about the GCMapper and the like.

- To show the maps here on DDF, right-click on the map and choose Copy image address (Or whatever your browser's equivalent is). Paste the resulting link in to your post as an image.

- The top search bar is useful for basic routes or searches. Start there, then use the field under Map Controls > Paths on the bottom of the page to do advanced things.

- To change the color of a route, put color:yellow, before your route. It doesn't have to be yellow, obviously; you could substitute that with a different color if you want. The color will remain the same for subsequent routes unless a different color is specified.

Code: [Select]
color:yellow,jfk-lax-sin-syd, color:blue, ewr-ord-lax-syd

- To see different routes originating from one airport, you don't have to put in all the complete routes (i.e. jfk-lax,jfk-sfo, etc.). Instead, you could just put the origin and separate the destinations with a slash.

Code: [Select]

- If your map looks weird, try changing your projection from the default to Rectangular (Plate Carrée). This option is found under Map Controls > Map Conf > Projection.

The first map here automatically gave me a polar projection, which is fine in some cases but doesn't really give you a good sense of place. Manually choosing Rectangular gave me the second map:

- GCMap only gives the option to zoom out of a map, not in. To get around this and only show a portion of your map, use o:noext, before the route that you want to cut off.

For example, a regular map doesn't show the European flights of this trip as well as I'd like, since it's a very small part of the full map.

Code: [Select]
Color:yellow, Cle-ewr-osl,osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-cdg-ewr-cle, ewr-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-cdg-ewr, ewr-lhr-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-zrh-ewr, lhr-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-lhr, tlv-muc-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-bru-tlv

Adding o:noext, before the segments I don't want to show fully gives me exactly what I wanted:

Code: [Select]
Color:yellow,o:noext,Cle-ewr-osl, osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-cdg,o:noext,cdg-ewr-cle,o:noext,ewr-osl,osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-cdg,o:noext,cdg-ewr,o:noext,ewr-lhr,lhr-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-zrh,o:noext,zrh-ewr,lhr-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-lhr,o:noext,tlv-muc,muc-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-bru,o:noext,bru-tlv,o:noext,binp

Of course, I could just drop the long hauls from the map, but that would give me no context; it just looks like a flying spree out of Oslo, like so:

Code: [Select]
Color:yellow, osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-cdg, osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-cdg, lhr-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-zrh, lhr-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-lhr, muc-osl-tos-lyr-osl-trd-boo-lkn-boo-osl-bru

- Entering an airport code instead of a route gives you a point on the map. This could be very useful when planning a trip to an out of the way place.

For example, planning a trip to Greenland drove me crazy. For starters, the airport codes are incredibly unintuative, having nothing to do with the actual airport name. That was compounded by the fact that these names aren't pronounceable in the first place ;D. Add to that the fact that the service to these airports vary wildly, and I needed a better way to start planning this.

Enter GCMap. I used points for each airport, color coded by service, and viola. In this map I used green for the main airport with international service, yellow for smaller international airports with service from Iceland only, and red for airports with domestic Greenland service only. Choosing disc + user entered code + city name from the Map Controls > Markers > Simple dropdown is what enabled both the airport code and city name to be displayed on the map.

Code: [Select]

- You could add your own places and names.

To add a place, enter the coordinates. The easiest way to get those is to click on the spot in Google Maps, and the coordinates will show up on the bottom. Click on those, and you could copy and past it into GCMap. It's important to remember that Google and GCMap use coordinates differently; in particular, Google uses negative numbers for S and W, while in GCMap you need to use positive numbers and a  NSEW designation. For example, if Google gives you -74.050755, -41.945649, remove both minus signs, the comma, and space, and specify the direction NS of the Equator and EW of the Prime Meridian, like so: 74.050755s41.945649w.

To add your own place name, enter "%T\xxx"+@ with your text replacing the xxx. Place this before your coordinates, then choose disc + user entered code from the Map Controls > Markers > Simple dropdown.

Code: [Select]
color:white,"%T\Very Cold and Wet Place, But Penguins"+@74.050755s41.945649w

- Entering BINP gives you the North Pole. I'm not sure how or why, but it works ;D.

Code: [Select]

I'm sure there are more, this is just what I could think of at the moment. Feel free to add your own tips.

September 18, 2016, 03:20:24 AM
William Vale in Williamsburg We stayed at the brand new William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg earlier this month.

Right when pulling up to the curb we were met by concierge with a cart and they unloaded all of our luggage and brought it to our room for us. Checkin was really friendly and nice and upgraded us to a Gotham Corner suite with wraparound balcony on the 14th floor. The lobby has really cool modern chairs in all sorts of shapes and sizes and was a cool place to sit around and chat.

Up to our room on the 14th floor there were stunning views of NYC from the porch and nice porch furniture on a private porch high above the city to relax on. The rooms were really nice with modern amenities such as electronic blackout curtains, an electronic do no disturb button, and key cards that only need to be waved near the door and not inserted. The bed was really comfortable and as a suite we also had a nice couch a cool modern chair to chill on.

There was a really cool bathtub next to a large picture window with a great view of the city.... The amenities were really nice including a wooden comb that I still use, luxurious bathrobes that I miss terribly, and a Keurig coffee maker. We needed a crib and there was a really cool insert inside of the crib that ensures that every surface inside the crib is freshly cleaned and laundered. We liked that a lot better than when you get a crib and you wonder when the last time it was cleaned was....

On the top floor (24?) there is a really cool restaurant bar with a wraparound porch with outdoor seating. There are free tower viewers up there which can get really good magnified views of buildings in Manhattan. While up there late at night I looked down to checkout my car and I saw some guy trying to squeeze into the spot right next to mine. I clicked my lock button a bunch of times and scared the living daylights out of him making sure that he paid the right attention to avoiding friendly taps on my bumper.   ;) It's an awesome location to hang out for drinks either by night or day with amazing views of NYC.

There is a beautiful outdoor heated pool with a lifeguard and tons of outdoor lounge chairs and umbrellas making it a nice place to hang out and relax in the sun. There's an outdoor bar so you can enjoy drinks while hanging out at the pool.

All of the hotel staff were really nice and quick to respond to any requests. We were spending time at attractions in Manhattan and found the location very convenient both to kosher food in Williamsburg and to getting into Manhattan.

Note: I received a free stay in return for an honest review.

September 25, 2016, 02:07:32 PM
Re: Public letter
Who here grew up thinking that S'dom was so far out and now sees it live and in living color?

I've had experience with S'dom. I used to be short, but I stayed there overnight once.....

September 26, 2016, 08:23:49 PM