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A Computerized Crystal Ball

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============================================================
COOL TRAVEL MAIL'S 
TRAVEL TIPS 
Tips & Advice for the Seasoned and Armchair Traveler Alike! 
============================================================
http://www.CoolTravelMail.com 

Nov. 6, 2007 

I've always been a sucker for fortune tellers. 

Of course, anyone whose ever read the "psychic travel 
predictions" newsletter I do every New Year's already knows 
that.   

It's not that I buy into any of that aura-reading, crystal-
gazing, tarot-card-flipping stuff.   

It's just that there are few things more annoying than 
researching and booking a trip only to discover the ticket 
price plunges shortly after you pay the money. 

This week's topics include: 

* A COMPUTERIZED CRYTAL BALL 

* A FORTUNE TELLING REPORT CARD 

* INTERNET SPYING AND KAYAKING 

P.S. If you're interested you can now post comments on this 
and recent issues on our forum at... Travel Tips Forum 

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A COMPUTERIZED CRYTAL BALL 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   
The good news is, some travel entrepreneurs out there are 
trying to replace crystal balls with computer chips. 

If one new program, currently in its beta - or testing - 
mode, continues to expand and improve, many frugal 
travelers should be able to get a useful glimpse into 
the future. 

Farecast.com (http://www.farecast.com) bills itself as the 
world's first airfare prediction site. 

Simply enter your itinerary and the site might be able to 
tell you whether you should buy your ticket now, or wait 
because an even better fare is probably on the way. The 
site then allows you to book directly with whatever 
airline is offering the best fare.   

It's a great concept, and the company says its predictions 
so far have a 70 to 75 percent accuracy rate. That's 
actually very good for a market as volatile as this one. 

============================================================
3 in 1 DIGITAL PEN CAMERA

Store Price: $29.99
OUR PRICE: $14.99 or get two for $25.98

This 3-in-1 digital pen camera is just what you need to 
capture important moments in digital still format or video 
footage. 

While this may not be once of those fancy and high-priced 
cameras it certainly does the job and is great to give to 
any child or anyone starting out to learn digital 
photography. 

Features include: 
- Convenient compact pen design  - Capture digital stills 
- Record video, short movies     - Use as a webcam 
- USB connectivity               - Software included 
- 100K-pixel CMOS sensor         - Built-in 16MB memory 
- Built-in viewfinder            - Stores 20 CIF/80 QCIF 
                                   pieces
- Automatic Energy Saving        - Automatic image process
- USB 1.1 interface              - Automatic exposure/white 
                                   balance 
- 352 x 288 resolution (CIF)     - 1/6 to 1/15000 seconds 
                                   shutter speed
- 176 x 144 resolution (QCIF)    - Works with Windows 
                                   98/2000/XP 

Visit: 3 in 1 DIGITAL PEN CAMERA
============================================================

A FORTUNE TELLING REPORT CARD 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   
It seems like a pretty good deal, if you happen to have a 
trip that qualifies. 

Farecast is being very careful in how it introduces Fare 
Guard. Right now, it is only available on a separate Web 
site, that visitors to the Farecast homepage are directed 
to. The program is still in its testing stages, say company 
officials, who are still tinkering with how Fare Guard will 
work. 

Farecast predictions are available on more than 2,000   
popular routes from 75 domestic cities to more than 120   
domestic destinations, according to the Web site.   

If your trip is among those covered, you can get a fare   
history chart, a price prediction, and an indication of what   
the firm’s forecasting track record has been in this   
particular market. The results finish with a bottom-line tip   
on whether to buy now or wait.   

To make its forecasts, the site analyzes past fare trends in   
airline databases and mixes in other factors that it feels   
most affect ticket prices. That's a lot of data to crunch.   

To provide the airfare history, for example, the company   
claims to have more than 90 billion airfare observations   
based on real pricing and availability. It updates its   
information daily shortly after 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3   
p.m. eastern.   

Although Farecast is my favorite fortune-telling travel site   
and appears to be the most advanced, it is not the only one.   

The Washington Post rated a handful of math-based fare   
predictors in September. Farecast got a B+. Here’s how the   
others did:   

* FareCompare.com (http://www.fare compare.com)   

This is one of the few sites of this type that is out of the   
testing phase.  It collects historical pricing info for more   
than 77,000 city pairs covering the United States and   
Canada. It then figures out minimum, average and maximum   
fares. It updates its database three times daily with about   
6 million fares.   

The site also does a good job ferreting out cheap, business   
-class seats, according to the Post's review.   

But, unlike Farecast, it doesn't link you directly to the   
airlines to buy your ticket. Instead, it directs you to the   
site's partners - Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz and   
Priceline, which all charge a booking fee.   

Final Grade: B+   
 
============================================================
NORTH POINT WIRELESS HEADPHONES 
w/ Built-In FM Scan Radio

TV & Store Price: $24.99
OUR PRICE: $14.99

North Point Wireless Headphones With Built-In FM Radio 
Enjoy music anywhere in your home or office without any 
wires. These High Quality wireless headphones provide 
amazing clarity with wireless technology that emits sound 
up to 25 feet in distance. 

They're Easy To Use... The transmitter quickly connects to 
any receiver, MP3, DVD player, gaming systems, computers 
and more with the RCA and mini-plug adapters. 

FIVE (5) FUNCTIONS IN ONE:
- Wireless Headphones 
- Internet Chat/Gaming 
- Audio Monitoring 
- FM Auto-Scan Radio 
- Wired Audio Connection

This is one of those items that always sells out. Even at 
full retail price the North Point Wireless Headphones is 
steal compared to other brands... and the quality will 
thrill you. 
NORTH POINT WIRELESS HEADPHONES w/Built-In FM Scan Radio
============================================================

INTERNET SPYING AND KAYAKING   
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   
* Flyspy.com  (http://www.flyspy.com)   

This site is only in its testing phase, but it shows   
promise.   

Eventually, Flyspy wants to allow travelers to see all of   
their best flight options and fares between two cities over   
a 30-day period in one quick search.   

For now, you can see how it will work by clicking on   
Minneapolis to Washington Dulles. A graph pops up with a   
month of fares. Click on how long you want to stay, and the   
best fares on the best dates pop up in green.   

Over the next few months, the firm plans to launch an   
expanded testing phase. In time, it plans to calculate more   
than 100 million airfares daily.   

Final Grade: Incomplete, but headed for a high B   

* Kayak.com (http://www.kayak.com)   

This established metasearch site doesn't specialize in   
historical airfare tracking, but it's a player in the game.   
The site recently launched its third tool for discovering   
trends.   

The "best fare trend" graph pops up when you do a query   
between heavily traveled markets. It indicates whether the   
average fare has gone up or down in the past 90 days.   

Kayak says there are trend graphs for 415,000 city pair and   
date combos covering the most heavily traveled markets, but   
sometimes major routes like Washington to New York don't   
make the cut. The data is based on results found by site   
users rather than data mined from airfare pricing sources,   
so the information is limited.   

Final Grade: C+ 

Well, that's it for this week, group. Thanks again for 
reading, and please keep those comments, complaints and 
questions coming in. 

You can send me an e-mail message at: Email Pierce

Until next week, thanks for reading.   

Your Tipmeister,   

Pierce   

************************************************************   

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End of Travel Tips - Another free ezine from GopherCentral  
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