Self Piloting Airplanes: Would You Buy a Ticket?

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Self Piloting Airplanes

Are self piloting airplanes coming in the near future? Would you fly on one?

We were just (sort of) getting use to the idea of self driving cars and then one hit and killed a woman.

Airplanes already have a lot of auto-pilot features, including landing a plane. So, are complete self piloting planes a possibility?

Mixed Feelings on Self Piloting Airplanes

According to an article in The New York Times, the airline industry is worried about a shortage of pilots, but most experts believe that the technology, the industry and the passengers are not quite ready for fully autonomous flying.

Technological advances have made flying safer than ever before, but still doesn’t mean people will be willing to board a pilot-less plane.

There is much more to being a pilot that just flying the plane. Self piloting airplanes  would also have to interact with all the complex parts of the air transportation network.

The industry agrees that it will probably never happen, even though the technology, in some ways, already exists.

The world just isn’t ready for that much automation.

 

 

 

 



How Bad has 2018 been for Cybersecurity Breaches?

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cybersecurity breaches

Do you want the good news or the bad news first on cybersecurity breaches?

Good news: The first half of 2018 saw less government leaks and global ransomware attacks than this time last year. That is reassuring.

Bad news: Online security, corporate online systems, and infrastructure hasn’t really improved much. AND…hackers are getting smarter and bolder. Not so reassuring.

Major Cybersecurity Breaches in 2018 (so far)

Well, the year is only half over, so there are bound to be more. Here is a list of the major cybersecurity breaches in 2018 to date:

Russian Grid Hacking

US Universities

Rampant Data Exposures

Under Armour

One to Watch: VPNFilter

What can you do about cybersecurity breaches?

Global Guardian (Air Ambulance Card’s parent company) provides multiple services that encompass international safety–including cybersecurity.

Global Guardian’s cyber team provides both traditional protective cybersecurity solutions and reactive emergency response capabilities to address known or suspected cybersecurity breaches.

Services include:

  • PENETRATION TESTING
  • OPERATIONAL SECURITY
  • VULNERABILITY MANAGEMENT
  • DEVICE HARDENING

Click here to learn more.



New Carry-on Restrictions for Powders

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new carry on restrictions

Airplane travelers to and from the United Kingdom will now experience carry-on restrictions such as powers, make-up, coffee, spices, etc.  The UK is following the example of other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the US, which adopted these new rules last month.

New Carry-on Restrictions May Cause Longer Lines

Passengers around the world have been cautioned to treat powders similarly to the liquid rule.

Pack all powders in Ziploc bags so they can be checked separately.

For now, it seems that you can carry up to 12 ounces of powders before you are subjected to an extra screening. Good news for make-up users–this should cover pressed powers and other beauty products.

However, the TSA has seen longer lines because of the new rule. Not all passengers are aware of the changes and some have missed flights due to inspections. Don’t let this be you!

What is the cause for the new carry-on restrictions?

The new rule has been enacted in response to an attempted terrorist attack last July. An Isis member tried to carry an explosive on board an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi. The suspect was stopped at check-in.

How to Get Through TSA Checkpoints Faster

There are many things you can do to get through airport security faster, but the most important one is to stay updated on the rules and follow them.

Related: TSA Checkpoints: Get through Airport Security Faster

You can also sign up for TSA Pre® and Global Entry.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.TSA Pre® is an expedited security screening program connecting travelers departing from the United States with smarter security and a better air travel experience.

Passengers considered low-risk who qualify for the program can receive expedited screening either as a member of the program or another specific trusted traveler group.

Good luck and Happy Travels!

 



Cybersecurity and the World Cup: Be careful!

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cybersecurity and the world cup

The FBI is warning about hackers and cybersecurity, particular as it relates to traveling for the World Cup.

Anytime there is a major world event, people will use it as an excuse to take advantage of others-often in an illegal way.

Your phone, laptop and other electronic devices are at risk of getting hacked if you’re planning to attend the games.

According to the FBI these are tips and precautions you should take to avoid cybersecurity issues at the World Cup:

  • Bring a “burner” phone instead: This is a cheap, pay-by-the-minute phone that you’ll use only while you’re there.
  • If you must bring a smartphone, make sure it’s up-to-date with the latest software.
  • Use all of your phone’s security features—like pass codes, fingerprint and facial recognition—and keep it locked when not in use.
  • Set up a “find my device” service so you can track, lock and erase your phone remotely if it’s lost or stolen.
  • Don’t use open or public wireless (WiFi) networks.
  • Turn off lock-screen notifications which could give thieves a peak into your personal data even if they can’t open your phone.
  • Turn off all the auto-logins for your accounts and apps, even though it’s a chore to retype your passwords every time.

Get an Emergency Medical Plan

In addition to safeguarding against cybersecurity, we encourage you to ensure you will be properly taken care of in the event of an injury or illness. For less than the cost of a place ticket, your whole family can be covered for a year. You will be medically airlifted home to be treated by your own doctors in the event of an emergency.

Don’t have a plan?

GET A PLAN



Engine Fires on Airplanes: How bad are they?

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engine fires on airplanes

“Ummmm, pretty darn bad!” would be most peoples’ reaction to that question.

Yikes! However, in light of the latest airplane engine fire , we have discovered that engine fires on airplanes are very rare.  Aviation technology is so far advanced that such incidents can be prevented in the factory.

On Monday, members of the Saudi national football team, whose players watched a fire take hold in the engine of their plane approaching Rostov-on-Don weren’t exactly convinced everything would be ok.

It was. Everybody is fine. The World Cup can go on as planned. Whew!

engine fires on airplanesThe Telegraph published an extensive article on airplane safety. In particular, they covered engine fires on airplanes if you want to check out just how worried you should be if you see orange flames from your window seat.

Just in Case…

…you aren’t convinced. It is a really good idea to have an emergency medical plan. This plan will airlift you home in the event of an illness or injury so you can be treated by your own doctors.

Don’t have a plan?

GET A PLAN



Tips for Traveling to Russia for the World Cup

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traveling to Russia for the world cup

Are you traveling to Russia for the World Cup?

Congratulations! What an amazing trip–however you won’t see the US team this year (they didn’t qualify). No worries–there a lots of other teams competing in the world cup.

traveling to Russia for the World CupHere are some things you need to know if you are traveling to Russia for the World Cup:

  1. Fan ID–Make sure you have your Fan-ID (the special permit available to holders of World Cup tickets.) This acts as a multi-entry/exit visa for Russia. You may use your Fan-ID from June 4 through July 15. You must leave by July 25.
  2. Passport–Your passport is valid for a minimum period of six months after the expiration date of your visa or your Fan-ID. Make sure your passport is signed before you get to immigration. You might be denied if it isn’t.
  3. Migration card–Upon entering Russia you must sign an migration card. Keep it with your passport as you will need to exit Russia as well.
  4. Insurance–Most foreign health insurance isn’t accepted, including The European Health Insurance card (EHIC) so travel insurance is essential. If you don’t have a plan, get a plan here.
  5. Register Hosts Cities–You are required to register all host cities you will be visiting within 24 hours of arrival. This is normally done by your hotel or guest house, but you need to make sure that this is done.
  6. Belarus–You cannot enter Russia by land across the boarder between Russia and Belarus. Seek an alternative route.
  7. Laptops–You are allowed to declare laptops and other electronic devices, just note that Russian officials have the right to inspect anything they want.
  8. Medications–If your medicines contain barbiturate, codeine, sibutramine, anabolic steroids, androgens and other sex hormones, analgesic (tramadol), psychostimulants or other restricted substances, you must present a doctor’s letter confirming the need for each medication to authorities when you arrive in Russia. A notarized translation into Russian is also required.
  9. Antiques–You can be arrested for attempting to leave the country with antiques, even if they were legally purchased from licensed vendors. You can however, obtain certificates from the Russian Ministry of Culture declaring they have no historic or cultural value.
  10. Police–The authorities in Russia do not need to show probable cause in order to stop, question, or detain individuals. It is not uncommon for gangs to work with police to harass, mistreat, and extort foreigners.
  11. Crime–Petty crime, pick-pocketing and mugging (sometimes committed by groups of children) is common, especially around tourist attractions.
  12. Bars and Clubs–Be careful of who you meet and do not go back to strangers’ houses and hotel rooms.
  13. Tattoos–Do not visit tattoo parlors or piercing services as you could be at risk of HIV and hepatitis infection.
  14. Water–tap water is not drinkable throughout the Russian Federation but bottled mineral water is widely available.

Don’t forget about an Emergency Medical Plan

This is overlooked by so many travelers that it is worth repeating. Especially when traveling to Russia–your insurance won’t work. You need a back up plan in case you get sick or injured. A medical emergency plan will transport you home to you own doctors and near your family.

Don’t have a plan?

GET A PLAN



Stay Updated on Recent Outbreaks and Travel Warnings

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outbreaks

Are you traveling this summer? Are you aware of the most recent outbreaks and diseases to look out for?

Remember the Zika scare a couple of years ago? Infected mosquitoes reached all the way to the southern US states. Pregnant women were cautioned about traveling to countries where Zika was a problem.

Is Zika still a thing to be worried about? The best way to find out is the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.

The website organized information in easy to find sections including:

  • U.S.-Based Outbreaks
  • International Outbreaks
  • Travel Notices Affecting International Travelers

Recent Disease Outbreaks For Summer Travel

The CDC hasn’t listed any new outbreaks in the last couple of months for international travel, however these most recent outbreaks are still going on:

 

 

Don’t forget…

The best way to protect you and your family while traveling is an emergency medical plan. For less than the cost of an airplane ticket your entire family can be protected. In the event of an illness or injury while traveling, you will be airlifted home by our medical planes where you can be treated by your own doctors. Don’t let one accident cost your family $100,000 or more!

Don’t have a plan?

GET A PLAN



The Ultimate Checklist for an Unforgettable Family Vacation

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family vacation

A family vacation can be the highlight of the summer (or the year) where many memories are made. Family bonding is at the top of the list of priorities, as well as a long, and sometimes daunting, checklist of things to take care of before you go.

We hope the following list will help you organize your family vacation and make it easier to plan and prepare so you can concentrate on fun, knowing you have everything covered. Happy Travels!

Family Vacation Checklist family vacation

1. Create a calendar.  Use Google Calendar, or your preferred calendar method, to set up a family vacation calendar.  Google calendars can be shared with people so everyone can see it. Plus, your house or dog sitter can also see it.

2. Double check your itinerary.  Check all reservations for lodging, transportation, tours, etc. Make sure all reservations are for the correct dates.

3. Make a list of all of your reservation confirmation numbers and contact information.  This is especially important if you are using any AirBnB locations, as each host has different preferences as to how they would like to be contacted.

4. Purchase an Emergency Medical Plan. For less than the cost of a plane ticket your entire family can be covered in case of an medical emergency like illness or injury. Your health insurance does not work the same once you are more than 150 miles from home. You will want a say in where you are treated and by whom. An emergency plan will airlift you home to your own doctors.

Don’t have a plan?

GET A PLAN

5. Select your seats and meals on the plane as early as you can. This will ensure that your family will be able to sit by each other–pretty important if you have young children.

6. Set a Travel Budget. Have a family meeting before hand about all the things you want to do and see on your family vacation and the costs for everything. Then set a budget and decide together what things are priorities so you can stick to your budget. This is a great way to teach kids about budgeting and priority setting too!

7. Create a folder for all travel documents. This should include copies of passports, reservations, lists of medications, maps you may need for destinations. This will come in handy if your phone dies, or you lose your phone (YIKES!)

8. Get a vacation data plan for your phone. This is especially important if you are traveling overseas. Check with your phone provider and make sure you have a good data plan so you won’t run out of data or be charged ridiculous prices for data overseas. Many people choose to use burner phones when they travel abroad for this reason.

9. Arrange for pet care and house care. Confirm pet care for your furbabies and/or house sitting if you choose to go that route. Confirm in advance that everything is all set.

10. Pay all of your bills before you go. Take care of all of your regular bills before you go, and those that will be due while you are gone. Set up automatic payments if you can.

11. Inform your bank of your family vacation. Let your bank know of your travel plans so they won’t suspect unusual activity or purchases on your account. You don’t want your debit card locked because you are using it in Spain and your bank was just trying to protect your money.

We wish you and your family a safe and memorable family vacation.

Happy Travels!



Is Your DNA Persuading You to Travel?

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Is Your DNA Persuading You to Travel?

Many people have wanderlust, a deep subconscious yearning to travel and see distant lands. Is it your DNA?

It could be, but not in the way you might think. Maybe your great-great-great uncle took long excursions on the open sea in a fishing vessel and passed down the love of the ocean to you. What if you don’t even know about this uncle?

dna travel

People are using DNA results as an excuse to travel–and we love it!

With the rise in popularity of 23andMe and other DNA testing companies, people are discovering all sorts of things about their personal history. There is a new type of travel emerging called “DNA Tourism” and millennials seem excited about it.

Gone are the days that tracing your roots back to your motherland is something you only do in retirement.

“A lot of 20-somethings are exploring their ancestry because they might not have heard this from their family, and might not know where they’re from before they take the tests. In terms of a demographic, younger people are the most interested in traveling after receiving their results,” Jhulianna Cintron from 23andMe told for an article in The Telegraph, Is ‘DNA tourism’ the next travel trend for millennials?

Seeing Where Your Ancestors are From is Life Changing

Many younger people are traveling these days looking to broaden their understanding of the word and have life changing experiences. Best to do this when you have most of your life ahead of you rather than behind you. However, the age old issue of having time but no money, or money but no time usually doesn’t equal out until later in life. Still, younger generations are finding cheaper ways to travel through couchsurfing.com, Airbnb, discount flights, and rewards programs. Their technical savvy often saves them quite a bit of money when it comes to travel. Older generations could learn a lot from them–but it might mean spending the night on a dirty couch–just kidding.

All Travelers Should Invest in an Emergency Medical Plan

Regardless of your age or why you are traveling, or which distant relative you are going to meet, it is a very wise decision to invest in an emergency medical plan. Health insurance plans don’t work like they do when you are at home. You usually don’t have a say in which medical facility you are transported to–when all you really want will be to go home if you get sick or injured.

Don’t have a plan?

GET A PLAN



Staying Safe in Europe: Summer 2018

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staying safe in Europe

The summer tourist season in Europe is nearly in full swing. Millions of people from all over the world will travel across Europe to such destinations as London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, and Istanbul. The influx of summer tourists also presents an attractive target to terrorist cells and inspired individuals wishing to carry out attacks. Each of the aforementioned cities has suffered devastating terrorist attacks, from vehicle-rammings to stabbings and machete attacks.

The latest incident occurred on 12 May 2018, when a 19-year-old man born in Russia’s Chechnya region went on a stabbing spree near the Paris Opera House, killing one person and injuring four before being shot dead by police. He repeatedly yelled the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is great” while carrying out the attack. Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the man was a soldier of the Islamic State. It is likely he was inspired by the group and not actually directed by higher-ups in the organization. ISIS typically claims responsibility for these types of attacks, especially when the suspect is killed.

The stabbing follows recent vehicle-ramming attacks in Europe, which have been a constant threat since July 2016, when a French-Algerian terrorist drove a stolen truck down a crowded road in Nice, France during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 86 people and injuring over 450 more. See below recent vehicle and stabbing attacks in Europe.

1 – Paris, France – May 2018 – 1 killed, 4 injured

2 – Munster, Germany – April 2018 – 2 killed, 19 injured

3 – Barcelona, Spain – August 2017 – 13 Killed, 130 injured

4 – London Bridge, UK – July 2017 – 8 killed – 48 injured

5 – Westminster London, UK – March 2017 – 5 killed, 50 injured

6 – Berlin, Germany – December 2016 – 12 killed, 56 injured

7 – Nice, France – July 2016 – 86 killed, 458 injured

staying safe in Europe

Analysis

  • The threat of terrorist attack has not diminished in Europe.
  • Vehicle attacks have proven to be a highly effective and deadly method of carrying out terrorist attacks or causing mass casualties. Using large vehicles, ranging from vans to semi-trucks, assailants have been able to target crowded pedestrians areas, and inflict maximum damage before resorting to conventional firearm or knife attacks.
  • Little or no planning is required, and no extensive training is necessary to operate a vehicle, making it a readily available and accessible tool for carrying out attacks.
  • Security forces have little ability to predict or foil a vehicle-based attack.

How to Stay Safe

  • Maintain situational awareness – do not have your head buried in your cell phone while walking down crowded sidewalks or in dense tourist areas
  • If attending an event as a spectator such as parade or marathon race:
  • Stay near street corners rather than the middle of the block
  • Don’t stand against immovable objects such as doors/walls where you could get pinned
  • Stay behind heavy security barriers
  • Run toward safety, not just away from danger

Contact Global Guardian with any questions, concerns, or comments.



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