The Need for Speed. User survey data shows 8% abandoned transactions because of slow site response. This one is interesting because it confirms what we already knew from a/b tests, but the data came from direct user feedback. Due to non-response bias, their estimate of the global cost of slow sites is problematic unless they did additional unreported validation. However, their identification of the key benefits of speed is good.
Use your United MileagePlus points to stay at Hotwire hotels
Another service to enable rebooking when prices drop. There are now tools to do this with Rental Cars, Hotel Rooms and flights. Unchallenged, this trend will inevitably reduce yield management gains. I predict that suppliers will find ways to penalize rebookers.
In contrast to the dozens (hundreds?) of sites featuring consumer reviews, Oyster differentiates itself by paying professional reviewers to visit, photograph and rate hotels. I’ve mentioned their impressive iPad app before. Now they are increasing the number of hotels covered, from 800 to 3,500 properties over the past year and with plans to cover 10,000 hotels by the end of 2013.
Airline consolidation to lead to higher fares.
Finding a Need, 3 New Websites Help Organize Facebook Travel Photos
Vagabonding writer notes that he has to keep several different browser tags open while planning his travels. Seems like at least some of his use cases could be consolidated into one site if someone cared to design it.
Fly free: If you’re willing to keep changing credit cards, you can accumulate a lot of frequent flyer miles from sign-up bonuses. You want to be careful if you are planning to apply for a loan anytime soon; the churn can hurt your credit rating.
Here’s one for plane geeks: Pratt & Whitney recently inaugurated a specially modified 747 with an extra “stub wing” to hang test engines off of.
Usage of Facebook Social Reader Apps Collapsing. I’m not surprised. Who wants all their friends to know everything they read? Sure you can set them not to post what you’re reading, but then what’s the point of having a social app?
Oracle v. Google: Mixed decision. Google infringed on Oracle’s copyrights, but jury unable to decide whether Google’s Java clone constituted fair use.
Source: Prototype Apple Television exists, has built in camera and Siri voice control.
Smartphones now outnumber feature phones in the U.S. and nearly half of all smartphones run Android.
Analyst rates Facebook a buy, thinks $28 to $35 expected IPO price will increase to $46 within 12 months.
Google invests in popular YouTube video property Machinima. First time Google has openly backed a content company by taking an equity stake.
Another OS X security flaw discovered: anyone with access to system logs can gather passwords. It’s been around for 3 months and Apple has yet to acknowledge it. It shouldn’t affect too many home users, but institutional users with remote home directories are at risk. I’ve never heard if Apple uses a Security Development Lifecycle (SDLC) process. If they don’t, now’s the time to start.
Fancy running your own TV station? Try Google+ Hangouts
Canonical claims that Ubuntu Linux will be on 5% of PCs shipping world-wide by next year.
Just One More: Real-life transforming robot car (unfortunately not full size).