Tag: Business Travel

Electronic Surveillance Abroad: ‘Sophisticated and Pervasive’

Also: A little scary. Ellen Nakashima and William Wan illuminate the conditions business travelers and government officials are presumed to face when traveling to China and some other countries. From the Washington Post:

Security experts also warn about Russia, Israel and even France, which in the 1990s reportedly bugged first-class airplane cabins to capture business travelers’ conversations. Many other countries, including the United States, spy on one another for national security purposes.

But China’s brazen use of ­cyber-espionage stands out because the focus is often corporate, part of a broader government strategy to help develop the country’s economy, according to experts who advise American businesses and government agencies.

“I’ve been told that if you use an iPhone or BlackBerry, everything on it—contacts, calendar, e-mails—can be downloaded in a second. All it takes is someone sitting near you on a subway waiting for you to turn it on, and they’ve got it,” said Kenneth Lieberthal, a former senior White House official for Asia who is at the Brookings Institution.

One anonymous security expert buys a new iPad when s/he visits China, then never uses it again.


How to Drink Like a Japanese Salaryman

How to Drink Like a Japanese Salaryman Photo by MJTR via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Amy McKeever explains how to navigate an epic night of beer, yakitori and "nomunication"

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Confessions of a Focus Group Traveler

Confessions of a Focus Group Traveler iStockPhoto

When LiAnne Yu visits other countries, she watches people from behind a one-way mirror. She now knows which cultures prefer jeans that accentuate curvy butts.

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Hawaii to Obama: Save Our Business Travel!

Hawaii to Obama: Save Our Business Travel! Photo by bobster1985 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by bobster1985 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

According to Hawaii tourism leaders, “Workers who attend meetings in Hawaii are happier, more productive and more focused afterward.” That quote (from lots of sources, including the Los Angeles Times) is part of a campaign Hawaii has launched to further promote the islands as a business travel destination. Is anyone surprised to hear that a business trip to Hawaii cheers a lackluster worker right up?

But here’s the catch, courtesy of the Honolulu Star Bulletin: “Public anger at extravagant spending by companies receiving bailout tax dollars has extended throughout corporate America and created a sharp decline in travel to meetings in Hawaii, described as junkets. The state’s tourism industry is suffering as a result and faces a huge challenge in trying to revitalize business travel to the islands.”

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Mixing Birding and Business Where Others Don’t Care to Go

Mixing Birding and Business Where Others Don’t Care to Go Photo by Sophia Dembling
Photo by Sophia Dembling

I love the idea of bird-watching.

I love birds, I love being out in nature, I love having something to do while I’m out in nature. Too bad I’m really bad at bird-watching. I can spot only the most obvious birds, I can identify only the most easily identifiable. Subtleties escape me. (What color are their feet? Are you kidding me?) If I’m with real bird-watchers and they do the spotting and identifying, I am capable of watching. That’s about it.

I love it anyway.

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