Tech Review: Apps showcase best of LI for leisure, vacation
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Looking for a popular summer locale with sand, sun and sauvignon blanc? Don't get out the airline schedules, you are already there. For those whose summer vacation will be a staycation, these apps will direct you to Long Island's beaches, golf courses, vineyards and nightlife.
Long Island Wine Country
(iPhone, iPod Touch, Android; free)
The official app of the Long Island Wine Council offers directions, maps and information for more than 40 local vineyards. It also features updated listings for events at each winery, including wine tastings, live music and guided winemakers' walks. The app can also help you find a cozy bed-and-breakfast for a wine country getaway. Several iPhone users have complained about the app crashing, which happened to us. The Android version worked flawlessly.
SkyDroid -- Golf GPS
(iOS, Android; $1.99)
Long Island's golf courses are among the best in the world. The public Bethpage Black Course in Bethpage State Park, for example, has hosted the U.S. Open twice. This app has downloadable maps for more than 22,000 public and private courses, including about 100 on Long Island. The app's GPS can show how far your ball is from the elusive cup, and track distances to water hazards and bunkers. And it keeps your score and statistics.
Fire Island Ferry
(iOS, $3.99; Android, $1.99)
If a trip to Fire Island is on your itinerary, this app can help you get there and back without carrying paper timetables. The app has schedules and terminal information from the three ferry companies that service 15 Fire Island communities and beaches. The more expensive iOS version offers added functionality, including some LIRR schedule information.
(iOS, Android; free)
This app from Newsday -- which publishes this column -- leverages the newspaper's coverage and archives to offer information on all things Long Island, including shopping, beaches, golf and nightlife. Thousands of local restaurants are profiled, many with reviews from Newsday food critics. The app also features extensive listings of local events, and users can retrieve articles, photos and videos. The app's content can be accessed free by Optimum Online or seven-day Newsday subscribers. Nonsubscribers who wish to use the app can purchase a digital subscription, which currently costs $1.15 per week.
(iOS, Android; free)
If you plan to ride the rails for leisurely pursuits this summer, this app will help you schedule your outing to the minute -- assuming, of course, the trains are on time. Peak trains are marked, and the app includes transfer information and holiday and weekend schedules. For those heading to Citi Field, the app includes the special Mets-Willets Point trains the MTA rolls out on game days.
Facebook hits 1M advertisers
Facebook says it has more than 1 million active advertisers, the first time the social network has divulged it passed that key milestone. Dan Levy, Facebook's director of global marketing solutions, made the revelation on a blog post. Facebook still has a way to go to catch leader Google, which in 2007 said it hit 1 million active advertisers, although it hasn't issued any updates since.
'Tweet' takes on new meaning
The Oxford English Dictionary says tweeting isn't just for the birds. Under "tweet," the venerable language arbiter has added the definition "to make a posting on the social media website Twitter." The OED usually waits at least 10 years before adding a current word or new definition, but it made an exception for the 7-year-old Twitter. Also among the newly added words: "mouseover," "crowdsourcing" and "big data."
'BYOD' comes with a cost
About 75 percent of companies allow employees to use their personal smartphones and tablets to access company data, according to business security firm Trustwave. But this BYOD (bring your own device) policy may expose business networks to hackers. Trustwave says 51 percent of businesses with a BYOD policy have experienced a mobile data breach because most companies don't monitor employees' devices for malware. -- PETER KING