1. Speed Traps
Before a road trip, check out thousands of user-submitted speed-trap locations at copspy.com and Njection’s Speed Trap Exchange (njection.com/speedtrap). Soon you’ll be able to upload Njection maps to cellphones for early warnings on the go.
2. A Virtual Tour
Head to chokti.com for free travel-related video and podcast feeds from around the Web. Museum tours, neighborhood guides, and tips from the locals are yours for the downloading—from a survivor’s take on Ground Zero to a beer-centric survey of Munich’s Oktoberfest.
3. Your Waiting Time
Don’t miss your flight or get stuck at the airport—go to waittime.tsa.dhs.gov to see based on past TSA data how long it might take to get through security. Also be sure to check flightstats.com to see if your plane is on time and to scan other travelers’ real-time posts about customs lines and other airport slowdowns.
4. A Couch
Search the world for a free place to crash at couchsurfing.com. The social-networking nonprofit connects hotel-weary vagabonds with other members willing to host a guest or two at their home. Members vouch for one another to keep the oddballs at bay.
5. A Companion
Need someone to travel with? Travbuddy.com finds users headed to your destination—along with their photos and reviews—and matches you up with those who have similar interests. For the working stiff, dopplr.com keeps tabs on friends’ and colleagues’ itineraries to let you know if an upcoming business trip puts you in proximity.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.