Add a custom vacation responder in Gmail for Android

Google on Wednesday announced Gmail version 4.7 for Android users. The new version, which is currently rolling out, adds the ability to edit your out of office response, send any file type (including ZIP files!), and the ability to print e-mails on devices running Android 4.4 KitKat. The process is now superconvenient and extremely easy to complete.

In order to set up your out of office message, make sure you've downloaded the latest version of Gmail on your Android device. As Google has been doing recently, it's a staged roll out, so it might take some … Read more

Get help packing for your trip with iOS app Stow 2

I think we can all agree that packing is the worst. I might like it less than the actual act of flying or trying to get through airport security. With iOS app Stow 2, I can follow a customizable template to make sure I pack all I need for a trip.

Stow 2 is free, though you get additional features for a $1.99 in-app purchase. With the free app, you can create one profile, and it doesn't require an e-mail address or Facebook credentials.

After you create a profile, you can choose a template for the type of … Read more

Great iOS apps for making holiday travel easier

Traveling can be a headache, especially during big holidays like Thanksgiving. With so many people traveling the country at around the same time, you're faced with packed airports, unforeseen schedule changes, bad weather, and probably more than a few irritable fellow passengers just trying to get home for the holiday.

To keep the stress level at a minimum, I selected some helpful travel apps for iOS that will keep you on schedule and help you navigate your itinerary.

Editors' note: If you're looking for Android travel apps, check out Sarah Mitroff's roundup.

TripIt lets you set up … Read more

The 404 1,374: Where we get ugly on Mischief Night (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- No uglies allowed: "Loveroom" ensures only hotties will rent your extra bedroom.

- Pissed-off Dell users seek answers to cat-pee odor on laptops.

- West coast tech companies are still offering insane perks to employees.… Read more

T-Mobile employee blackout hints at Sept. 20 iPhone launch

T-Mobile employees are reportedly being kept from logging any vacation time between September 20 through the 22nd, the same weekend Apple's next iPhones are expected to go on sale.

That's according to TmoNews, which citing unnamed sources, says it's likely iPhone related.

A T-Mobile spokesman declined to comment on the report, calling it rumor and speculation.

Employee blackouts can often times be a good indicator of when a major product is expected to launch. That was the case last August, when both Verizon and AT&T slated staff vacation blackouts beginning on September 21, which ended … Read more

Family Truckster carries real Griswolds on a new vacation

It's been 30 years since "National Lampoon's Vacation" arrived in theaters. In honor of the auspicious anniversary, a family of real-life Griswolds jumped into a custom-made avocado-green Wagon Queen Family Truckster and hit the road.

Instead of aiming for Walley World in Los Angeles, they went with the real-world destination of Disney World in Florida.

Steve and Lisa Griswold packed up their two daughters into the freshly finished custom. Griswold is their real name, and Steve decided to do something about all the remarks he's heard about it over the years. A custom car shop in Georgia turned a boring old brown station wagon into the gloriously ugly car from the movie. "The detail is unfortunately quite accurate," Lisa says.… Read more

Top 5 vacation gadgets

Ah, vacation. For someone as consumed with technology as I am, the concept of "getting away from it all" almost certainly includes getting away from my gadgets.

That said, I've also had enough vacations to know that there are times when having the right technology can really iron out the wrinkles of the less-than-thrilling parts of your trip, and make the best parts all the more memorable.

So here's my take on five must-have technologies to bring with you on vacation, along with a healthy dose of moderation.


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San Francisco hotels pricey? Van on Airbnb is only $92 a night

You can rent a castle on Airbnb and a treehouse. Boats are popular, and there are plenty of farmhouses. So why not a van?

As reported on the SF.StreetsBlog, an enterprising Airbnb user in San Francisco has started advertising a 1990 Chevy Conversion van, offering the vehicle (with just 45,000 miles!) for only $92 a night.

One might think the nightly rate (which is more if you consider the service charge) is a bit much to pay to sleep in a cramped space probably better suited for a Scooby Doo video. But, as everyone knows, real estate is … Read more

Airbnb Neighborhoods: Last word in picking best place to stay?

SAN FRANCISCO -- Airbnb, a leader in the short-term rental market, today unveiled Airbnb Neighborhoods, the company's first attempt at comprehensive neighborhood guides aimed at giving renters a way to pick the best location for their needs in large cities.

At launch, the new service offers the guides for seven cities: Rio de Janeiro, New York, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Paris, and Washington, D.C.

The idea behind the new service is addressing the possibility that people using Airbnb to find a place to stay in a large city can be overwhelmed by choosing the most appropriate part of … Read more, the traveler's do-it-all digital concierge

We've all been there: You excitedly start to plan a vacation to some place you've never been, but once you get into the thick of it, you realize that figuring out what to do, let alone making bookings for everything from restaurants to museums to hotels to tours, is exhausting business.

That's the problem that, a San Francisco startup that launched today, is trying to solve. Aiming to be a traveler's one-stop shop for everything from identifying what to do when on the road to booking to special recommendations for how to spend a &… Read more