TechMom Goes to Vegas

TechMomI write a monthly column over at AlliOSNews. It’s a techie site – extolling all the goodies and gunpowder on the Apple OS. (SHINY TOY!) I’m TechMom. And these are my stories on how technology is really used. Turns out, what happens in Vegas is now subject to whatever technology its posted on.

(I’m well aware it’s Wednesday. If you want TechMom Tuesday on Tuesdays, head on over to AlliOSNews for all things Apple. TechMom Tuesday is typically published the first Tuesday of every month; this month there are more because we went to Vegas and it amused me. I reserve the right to rant more or less as the technical goings-on, well…go on. The Disneyland portion of our trip shall be shared later this week.)

What? Another TechMom post so soon? Well, TechDad and I went to Vegas for a mid-January vacation. So how could I not come back and share?

I know, I know – what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But while this desert playground for adults was once a middle-of-nowhere haven for gamblers ruled by the West Coast mob boss, what happens in Vegas now ends up on Facebook.

Seriously, Vegas is blinged out with shiny tech toys. And we were there the week after CES.

On Monday morning we checked into the Aria – the “new kid” on the block – a slanted silver resort dead-center strip (with rather poor voice reception despite the appearance of full iPhone bars).

We rose to the 29th floor. And walked approximately 26.2 miles to the end of the hallway to our room. (Vegas casino resorts may appear smaller than they really are – they’re more like Harry Potter Quidditch Cup tents.) A simple swipe of the casino credit card and we heard the welcoming click. The door opened as the blinds swooshed open in accordance with the trained hotel processor, revealing our gorgeous view of not the strip from on high.


The entire room is operated via touch screen. Fodor’s Guide notes the pros include high-tech rooms while the biggest con is complex confusing technology for Luddites. (This explains the younger demographic.) To be fair, it does take some experimentation if you’re unfamiliar with the options. We experienced some random flickering of lights and accidental curtain blackouts, followed by declarations of, “Oops! Sorry, not what I meant to do.” (CA-RAZY in Vegas all y’all iOS peeps!)

Sadly, my Fodor’s app was worthless. Las Vegas is not one of cities available. So, we turned to Trip Advisor – which is oft quoted in the Fodor’s print guides, as well as has decent reviews. It suggested we check out Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. (Note – the tiger that mauled Roy is not on display. Seriously. This was a push notification.)

We got up close and personal with some dolphins. (They pee on cue. Trained for scientific/veterinary purposes. Can you tell I’m a toddler TechMom? Such facts are fascinating.) Then it was off to meet the lions and tigers.

The tigers were resting and/or searching for sunny warm spots like, well, like a big cat. Suddenly the lion roared. The garden enclosure reverberated. Another visitor exclaimed, “Wow – the animatronics are pretty amazing.” Except…despite the awesome surround sound, our king of the jungle homeboy was actively expressing his thoughts.


He had a hairball.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am a dog person. They vomit proper puke on my hardwood floors at 4 a.m. (Apologies to @LuckyTheCat and any reader with a sensitive stomach. Please refer to aforementioned toddler TechMom point.)

We took in some shows. We ate a lot of great food. Of course we had to do a bit of gambling – when in Rome… BlackJack was our game of choice. Because the slots are now so technologically enhanced that it is really boring to sit there and push the “Max Bet” button. I suck at poker and I don’t understand the rest of the games.

From a technological perspective, the casinos are all about the enhancements. Anything to limit potential opportunities for the house to lose advantage. Dealers can’t even look at their own cards to determine if they’ve hit blackjack. They push an automated button that tells them whether or not to deal. Because the dealer may have a tell (or just want more tips by tipping off players.)

Whatever peeps. I won! That’s right folks – HIGH ROLLER TECHMOM. The Mirage is down $38 thanks to me.

But mostly we wandered the strip. And you know what? The Las Vegas Strip uses iOS. I can tell from the giant neon Adobe updater blazoned upon one of the many billboards.

Vegas_Error Message_01-14-13


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