Online Travel Industry
- Skift Asks: Have You Used a Mobile App To Book Any Kind of Travel? – Skift
Skift put together an interesting survey that found that only about 12+% of adult US internet users have used an app to book travel. Unfortunately, they made a selection bias error because the tool they used, Google Consumer Surveys, samples only non-mobile, non-Safari computer browser users. This means that the survey under-sampled users who predominantly access the web through mobile devices and who are likely heavy travel app users. A Jumptap/comScore report released last week states that “…PC-only campaigns will miss mobile-only users.” (The Jumptap report is discussing advertising but the same issue applies to survey sampling.) Bottom-line: the Skift survey may understate overall travel app usage because they didn’t include people who are likely heavier users of such apps.I had a Twitter conversation with the Skift folks about the issue and they weren’t able to refute the issue. The Twitter conversation took a humorous turn when the Google Consumer Surveys product owner joined in with a suggestion on how they could have used a screening question to help mitigate the issue. Whoever was using the @Skift account didn’t know who he was and responded to him a bit snarkily.
- HotelTonight more than doubles its capital raised with a $45 million round | Tnooz
- Sabre Ousts Chairman and Brings in Former Continental CEO – Skift
I think they’re getting serious about that doing the IPO thing soon.
- Skyscanner goes it alone on hotel search, acquires Spanish meta startup Fogg | Tnooz
2nd tier UK OTA aims for growth through acquisition. Fogg hotel metasearch is interesting for its limited use of natural language processing and its nicely-done reviews interface.
- The rise of gamification in hospitality and travel | Tnooz
Airlines and hotels are seeking to increase sales through gamification. Imagine a time-limited leaderboard of frequent flyer customers with the top travelers earning of share of 10 million frequent flyer miles.
- China’s online package market hots up as Tuniu raises $60 million | Tnooz
Packages are a natural for the Chinese market but the article implies that market leaders Ctrip and eLong are not focused on the package space Tuniu is pursuing.
- Delta’s Improving Numbers Will Result in Raises for Nearly 80,000 Workers – Skift
- United Airlines to Recall 600 Furloughed Pilots to Address Labor Shortage – Skift
- As Economies Turn, Asian Air Travel Growth Slowing As Europe Is Rising – Skift
- Amadeus shares one-click vision for managing airline disruption | Tnooz
Amadeus/PhoCusWright report suggests that airlines build out intelligent re-accomodation systems to allow passengers personalized one-click rebooking and baggage recovery when flights are disrupted.
General Travel News
- Judge lays down Apple’s punishment in ebooks case. It’s largely in line with what the feds wanted — Tech News and Analysis
- Ping for iPhone: does merging email and instant messaging make sense? | The Verge
- Apple’s OS X Mavericks release planned for end of October | 9to5Mac
- Lenovo doubles down on convertible PC bet; Yoga-tizes lineup | ZDNet
- BlackBerry Seeks a Sale by November – WSJ.com
- The Inside Story of Microsoft’s Nokia Deal
This is worth reading just for the description of Ballmer screaming after an accidental fall.
- Why Microsoft Had to Buy a Phone Company : The New Yorker
- How PayPal’s App Update Could Reinvent The Company – ReadWrite
- Cache warfare: Azure and AWS get updated caching services | Itworld
- Computing’s Future is not on Your Wrist
Samsung, Apple and others are coming out with smartwatches but observers are skeptical that there is a strong value proposition for the devices.
- When aggregators attack: Techmeme’s headline-rewriting is just part of a larger shift — paidContent
Techmeme, the automated tech news aggregation site, is introducing human editors to rewrite headlines.
- NotTechmeme Is Almost As Great As Techmeme – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD
If you follow tech news and appreciate parody, you’ll want to subscribe to the new Twitter feed @notTechmeme. Sample tweets:
– Let’s All Pretend Smartwatches Are A Great Idea
– This New Thing Is .05mm Thinner It Will Change Your Life
– Lets Froth At The mouth Over This App That No One Outside Of San Francisco Even Understands
- N.S.A. Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on Web | New York Times
This New York Times article stirred up a lot of excitement last week, but Cory Doctorow got it right when he tweeted: “All the headlines saying ‘#NSA breaks encryption’ are wrong; correct phrase is ‘NSA works with vendors to sabotage security technology.’
- NSA surveillance: how to stay secure | Bruce Schneier | World news | theguardian.com
If anyone can tell us how to stay secure, Bruce Schneier can.
- Bruce Schneier on The NSA’s Cryptographic Capabilities
- Bruce Shneier: The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back
- Privacy Scandal: NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data – SPIEGEL ONLINE
- NSA Laughs at PCs, Prefers Hacking Routers and Switches | Threat Level | Wired.com
- The Terrifying Search Engine That Finds Internet-Connected Cameras, Traffic Lights, Medical Devices, Baby Monitors And Power Plants – Forbes