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California Okays Autonomous Cars on Public Roads

Growing up I was always fascinated by science fiction movies and television, particularly because they showed off the possibility of technology to come. Though many ideas seemed like pipe dreams, there was always that What if? factor that I latched on to.

So you can imagine my excitement when I read about Google’s development of autonomous cars. (Robot cars!) To further that excitement, I just learned that California’s governor, Jerry Brown, has signed a bill that will allow these autonomous cars to drive along the state’s roads, right alongside vehicles driven by humans. (!!)

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Tweet-Up: Plan a Vacation to Charleston, SC

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Full of southern charm, cutting edge art, and a fast-rising culinary scene, there are treasures abound to be discovered in Charleston, South Carolina’s second largest city. Whether you’re looking to peruse the myriad antique shops, tour the seemingly endless historic sites, or stroll through its many plantations and gardens, there’s something for everyone. But if you’re having a hard time figuring out where to begin, we’re here to help you. We’ve enlisted a team of experts to dish out some fab travel advice so you can start planning your next trip to Chuck Town. The tweet-up, presented by Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, will take place Thursday, October 4, from 2–3 p.m. ET.

The Panel

Jennifer V. Cole, features editor, Southern Living
Beth Jenkins, Travel + Leisure A-List travel agent
Matt and Ted Lee, Travel + Leisure contributing editors
Jessica Mischner, senior editor, Garden & Gun
Shane Mitchell, Travel + Leisure special correspondent
Sarah Spagnolo, Travel + Leisure digital projects editor
Andrew Zimmern, chef and television host

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter any time from 2–3 p.m. ET and be sure to follow the chat hosts: @TravlandLeisure and @Charleston CVB
2. Use the hashtag #TLSponChat to follow.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to http://tweetchat.com/room/TLSponChat
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions! Or ask your own questions! Take advantage of this special access to this fab panel and get some expert travel advice.

We hope to "see" you there!

2010-hs-josh-pramis.jpgJoshua Pramis is the social media editor and resident tech aficionado at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis

 

All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial, advertising and commercial purposes.  See full social media T&Cs.

Tech Thursday: Four Great Portable Speakers

Music sets the mood to any atmosphere; this rings true whether you’re lounging around in your living room, commuting to work in the morning, or de-stressing while on vacation. It’s certainly true for me. And, while many hotels have been equipped with iPod/iPhone docks—which will all require replacements or the addition of an adaptor with the new line of iGadgets—not all of them do...not to mention, not everyone uses iOS devices. So sometimes the best solution is to bring your own. Here are four of my newest faves.

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The smallest of the BRAVEN SIX series, this sucker still packs a powerful punch. The battery lasts up to 12 hours; it comes with a drawstring pouch, perfect for carrying around; and can even be used to charge your smartphone up to 70%—at the cost of its own battery life, of course. It connects to your music device via Bluetooth, and is perfect for anything from listening to music at home or even to entertaining a small outdoor gathering. And best of all: it easily slips into any carry-on bag.

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Tech Thursday: Amazon Debuts Kindle Paperwhite

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Watch out NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, you’re no longer the only e-reader with a light-up display in town. Last week, Amazon announced the upcoming release of the next stage in the Kindle series: Kindle Paperwhite.

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Tech Thursday: NASA Video of the Earth From Space

Need some travel inspiration? (Personally, my desire to explore and experience new places and cultures is an intrinsic part of me, and I’m sure the same can be said of all of my colleagues, but a little motivation never hurt anyone.) That aside, this video that NASA recently released, taken from International Space Station, shows the world from high above, at nighttime, and is absolutely mesmerizing and beautiful. From the radiating light of bustling cities, to flashes of lightning, to the brilliant aurora borealis, it’s a reminder of just how beautiful this planet truly is. And it’s more than enough to make even the biggest homebody want to get out and explore it.

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Joshua Pramis is the social media editor at Travel + Leisure and resident tech aficionado. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis.

Tech Thursday: Three New Technologies to Make Travel Easier

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I love to travel. Obviously. I wouldn’t work here if I didn’t. And I love when I hear about advances in technology that can help make traveling easier. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw our friends over at sister mag Executive Travel reported three new improvements that are underway that’ll help speed things up while you get to your destination, so you have more time to enjoy that beachside mojito.

The first will help you speed through the baggage check a little faster. How? By printing out your baggage tag at home, while you’re checking into your flight online. The technology was created by Unisys Corporation, and is currently being tested at Billund Airport in Denmark. When passengers show up at the airport, they simply drop their bags off at a special counter and head on over to security.

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Pizza-on-Demand Coming to Airports (and Hotels and Malls) Near You

Equal parts genius and this seems so so wrong, there's a new vending machine trend about to sweep the country: Pizza, made from "scratch." That's right, fresh—not frozen—pies made to order at the push of a button.

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Tech Thursday: Gadgets to Keep You Running...Literally

Last night, thousands of people, myself included, gathered in NYC’s Central Park for the annual midyear Corporate Challenge, a 5k race through the park that welcomes runners, joggers, and walkers—with corporate sponsors—to participate. It was fun to join a bunch of my coworkers in a fun activity outside the office; it also reminded me that I wanted to share a handful of my favorite runner-friendly gadgets that can help you both monitor and improve your abilities.

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Tech Thursday: Two Fab (and Secure) Camera Bags

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Anyone with an SLR camera knows there are about a million cases to choose from to lug around your camera, lenses, and accessories. But recently, I was shown a couple of cases from Lowepro that I absolutely love. The Flipside Sport (pictured above) is a backpack-style case that’s perfect for outdoor/adventure photography. It fits securely over your shoulders, but also has an extra strap that clasps around your waist. Plus, since it’s made for outdoor activity, there’s a special H2O compartment on the side that’s designed to allow a sports straw to feed through, so you can rehydrate without digging through your bag. On the other side? A convenient spot to store a modest-sized tripod.

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Travel Tweet-Up: Las Vegas Travel Tips

jennifer-flowersjpgWe all know Las Vegas is the place in the U.S. for anyone looking for a getaway chockfull of gambling. But there’s more to Sin City than just poker and slots. With an ever-growing (and improving) culinary scene, shopping galore—both high- and low-end—and tons of possible day trips off the strip, the options are seemingly endless! Sound overwhelming? Then join us tomorrow (6/6) for a live tweet-up, hosted by T+L Associate Editor Jennifer Flowers. She’ll be joined by a panel of experts to help dish out the best advice so you can make the most of your next Vegas retreat. Our panel of experts includes:

- Jeanne Mills, MGM Grand: @MGMGrand
- Bruno Maddox, T+L Contributing Editor: @BrunMad
- Courtney Fitzgerald, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Bureau: @Vegas
- John Curtas, Eating Las Vegas: @EatingLasVegas
- Ana Maria Pickens, T+L A-List Agent, My Little Swans: @MyLittleSwans

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter any time from 2–3 p.m. ET and be sure to follow the chat hosts: @TravlandLeisure and @JennFlowers
2. Use the hashtag #TL_Chat to follow and participate in the Getting Great Service Tweet-Up.
3. To keep up with the chat in real time, head over to http://tweetchat.com/room/tl_chat
4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own answers to our questions! Or ask your own questions! Take advantage of this special access to this fab panel and get some expert travel advice.

We hope to "see" you there!

2010-hs-josh-pramis.jpg

Joshua Pramis is the social media editor and tech aficionado at Travel + Leisure. Follow him on Twitter: @joshuapramis

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