2013-09-08 TravelTech News Review

Online Travel Industry

  1. 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.
  2. HotelTonight more than doubles its capital raised with a $45 million round | Tnooz
  3. Sabre Ousts Chairman and Brings in Former Continental CEO – Skift
    I think they’re getting serious about that doing the IPO thing soon.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Air Travel

  1. Delta’s Improving Numbers Will Result in Raises for Nearly 80,000 Workers – Skift
  2. United Airlines to Recall 600 Furloughed Pilots to Address Labor Shortage – Skift
  3. As Economies Turn, Asian Air Travel Growth Slowing As Europe Is Rising – Skift
  4. 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

  1. Don’t rub your eyes – Chinese travel sector worth almost $100 billion | Tnooz


  1. Judge lays down Apple’s punishment in ebooks case. It’s largely in line with what the feds wanted — Tech News and Analysis
  2. Ping for iPhone: does merging email and instant messaging make sense? | The Verge
  3. Apple’s OS X Mavericks release planned for end of October | 9to5Mac
  4. Lenovo doubles down on convertible PC bet; Yoga-tizes lineup | ZDNet
  5. BlackBerry Seeks a Sale by November – WSJ.com
  6. The Inside Story of Microsoft’s Nokia Deal
    This is worth reading just for the description of Ballmer screaming after an accidental fall.
  7. Why Microsoft Had to Buy a Phone Company : The New Yorker
  8. How PayPal’s App Update Could Reinvent The Company – ReadWrite
  9. Cache warfare: Azure and AWS get updated caching services | Itworld
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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


  1. 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.’
  2. NSA surveillance: how to stay secure | Bruce Schneier | World news | theguardian.com
    If anyone can tell us how to stay secure, Bruce Schneier can.
  3. Bruce Schneier on The NSA’s Cryptographic Capabilities
  4. Bruce Shneier: The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back
  5. Privacy Scandal: NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data – SPIEGEL ONLINE
  6. NSA Laughs at PCs, Prefers Hacking Routers and Switches | Threat Level | Wired.com
  7. The Terrifying Search Engine That Finds Internet-Connected Cameras, Traffic Lights, Medical Devices, Baby Monitors And Power Plants – Forbes

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