WASHINGTON — The State Department said recently it has been forced to suspend the issuance of U.S. passports and visas at its overseas diplomatic missions due to a glitch that has hit one of its computer databases.
In a statement posted to its travel.state.gov website, the department said a hardware failure in its Consular Consolidated Database glitch has left overseas embassies and consulates unable to print visas, regular passports and other travel documents. This means that people who submitted online applications for passports and visas on or after June 9 will likely experience delays in processing, it said.
The failure does not affect domestic passport issuance because it only stopped the database from receiving biometric information sent from overseas posts, the department said.
More details about the failure were not immediately available.
“Get your kicks on Route 66,” was a line from a mid-20th century song about the famous road from Chicago to Los Angeles. An online bookseller is now urging travelers to get their books on Route 66.
AbeBooks.com, an online marketplace for used, rare and out-of-print books, has come up with a list of 66 brick-and-mortar bookstores near Route 66 that also sell through AbeBooks.
“We are trying to encourage bookstore tourism where vacations are planned around visits to bookshops, and also show the diversity of bookstores across the U.S.,” said Richard Davis of AbeBooks.com in an email.
Eventually interstate highways took long-distance drivers away from the meandering Route 66, which often ran right through main streets in many towns and cities. Some road-trippers continue to seek out the route, which still offers roadside attractions like quirky neon signs, old-timey diners and kitschy-themed motels.
The list can be found online at www.abebooks.com/books/features/route66/. Reader comments on the thread offer debate and additional suggestions for bookstores on or near the route.
Detour, the location-based, downloadable audiotour company, has expanded from San Francisco and Austin, Texas, to offer a total of 21 tours in eight cities. The six new locations are Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona, New York and Marrakech.
The tours offer quirky, narrated themed stories like “Memories of the Medina” for Marrakech and a hip-hop tour of the South Bronx for New York.
Detour uses GPS and other technology to guide users on nearby routes that take 30 minutes to two hours on foot.
Most of the tours cost $5. Customers can even form groups and take the tours together. They’re available for iPhone users now with Android versions expected later this year.
A new mobile sightseeing app compiles information on more than 1,000 free attractions in the state of Washington along with recommendations from local experts.
The app includes deals for U.S. Open visitors but other features can be used any time.
The app includes free audiotours, including walking tours of waterfront communities Kirkland and Edmonds; recommendations for selfie stops, with sharable “PhotoOps” — a photo-sharing platform of local sights — like Volunteer Park’s Black Sun in Seattle, which inspired Soundgarden’s hit “Black Hole Sun,” and the downtown Seattle Escala Tower, made famous by E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
The app uses GPS technology to suggest and organize nearby attractions and then maps the destinations. Details at www.visitwa.biz.