News for June 1-4, 2012

Concur contract•Google Hotels•GDS & Delta premium economy•iPads make planes light••Xbox winning•Facebook IPO fallout•Groupon down•Google Analytics•Microsoft security•Bye bye Blackberry•3D capture & Print•More



Our Redmond WA neighbor Concur just won a big government travel and expense contract—up to $1.4B over 15 years. As Tnooz notes, users will be able to import their reservations into Concur’s TripIt, potentially increasing that services user base.


A new Google Hotel Finder version, now in A/B testing, places “Promoted Hotels” bid-sourced ad units above organic search results. Hotels and Online Travel Agencies like Expedia will have to bid against one another for these top spots.


Delta has reached an agreement to sell its roomy premium economy seats, now installed throughout its fleet, through Travelport, a Global Distribution System. Premium economy seats have previously been available exclusively through the airline’s own site. Both online and traditional travel agents will benefit from being able to sell the previously unavailable inventory.


I have read several articles recently about airlines replacing in-flight entertainment systems with iPads. Until seeing this one, I didn’t realize that one of the primary drivers is to reduce weight. The old systems can weigh more than two tons!


Fed up with tired hotel fitness centers? Here’s an-out-of-the-box travel startup: finds full-service fitness studios in your destination city and gets you into your preferred classes and workouts without any extra membership fees. You only pay standard entrance/class fees.


Google Street View technology powers new immersive armchair travel experience to 132 world cultural sites.




As it continues to expand beyond gaming and into interactive home entertainment, Forbes says the Xbox is winning the Living Room War. The Xbox brand has so much equity that Microsoft is extending it to music and video and retiring the Zune brand. A New “SmartGlass” feature, just announced at E3, will let users instantly move from watching movies on their mobile devices (including Apple and Android devices) to their Xbox-powered big screens. Meanwhile, the mobile device becomes an interactive smart controller.


Top VC and tech heavyweight Paul Graham warns that Facebook’s IPO flop could hurt the funding market for early stage startups.

Business Insider

Since its IPO Groupon’s stock has steadily dropped until it is now worth less than when Google offered to buy them out in 2010. Sidenote: I and several of my colleagues have been approached by headhunters looking to staff up Groupon’s new Seattle office, but most of us didn’t give it serious consideration due to concerns over Groupon’s share performance and business outlook.

CNN Money

Google adds browser-size analysis to Google Analytics.  With web visitors using so many different devices now days, it’s important for site owners to understand where above-the-fold lies for different visitor segments.

Google Analytics Blog

Due to pressure from its OEMs, which earn kickback revenue from antivirus vendors, Microsoft is relegating its competent Windows Defender/Security Essentials software to a fallback role in Windows 8. It will only kick in if other security software has expired or is not installed.

Ars Technica

Bye bye Blackberry? RIM’s stock hits single digits.

All Things D

Just one more: This clever app enables iPad owners to capture 3D objects by taking a series of photographs from several angles around the object. Users can then easily replicate the scanned object on a 3D printer. Users can also edit the 3D files to transform and/or combine objects before printing them in 3D.



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