Industry News

Wal-Mart And Amazon Battle It Out For Top Holiday Deals

apg_walmart_amazon_091124_mnLet the chaos begin, the holiday shopping season has officially arrived.  While the world is an economic battle, another battle is brewing between many online retailers, most specifically between Amazon & Walmart.  Last Friday, millions of people started their holiday shopping, lining up to get their hands on some of the best deals around.  It turns out though that many skipped the lines and did their shopping exclusively online.

Data from Experian Hitwise shows that Walmart.com took the top spot for sales on Thanksgiving Day, while Amazon.com had the biggest revenue for Black Friday.  Unfortunately, Experian Hitwise said that among the top 500 online retail stores, the number of U.S. visits were down 15% on Thanksgiving Day compared to  the same day last year.  Online traffic on Black Friday was also down nearly 4% compared to 2008.  (more…)

A Social Media Guide To Black Friday

blackfridayIt’s hard to believe, but the 2009 holiday season is upon us.  For the past several weeks, we’ve told you about companies gearing up for the holiday season.  While the ‘official’ start to holiday shopping doesn’t begin until Friday, companies have been using the power of the Internet in order to attract customers. Black Friday 2009 will definitely be different from years past, as Twitter and Facebookhave become a regulare part of our everyday life. (more…)

Google Chrome: Cloud Computing Goes Mainstream

google-chrome-laptopWhen you first heard that the Google Chrome operating system would bear the very same name as the Google Chrome web browser, you might have experienced some confusion. I know I did. “Why would a company known for innovation and creativity choose such an uninspiring name in the first place, let alone apply it twice?” I asked myself.

As it turns out, the second half of that question has a perfectly logical answer. With its already established, minimally designed Chrome browser and the soon-to-be released operating system, Google intends to blur the line between the two. In fact, the idea is to change the personal computing paradigm entirely. (more…)

Could Smartphones Make e-Readers Obsolete?

kindle_vs_iphoneLast month, Amazon released its wildly popular e-book reader, the Kindle, to an international audience. But while the online retail giant looks to shore up its market abroad, a stiff challenge could be shaping up at home. That competition is coming from an unexpected source: the smart phones many of us already own.

Many Americans are finding that their phones boast many of the same capabilities of a Kindle and other gadgets of its ilk, but in a smaller, more convenient package. According to a report by New York Times technology reporters Motoko Rich and Brad Stone, e-book apps could spell doom for specialized reading devices. (more…)

Google Sites Makes Site Building Much Easier

00-google-sites-homepage1Last month, we told you about Yahoo shutting down Geocities.  Google has not wasted any time taking advantage of their free Web hosting site.  With Google Sites, you are able to create a simple web page for your company, classroom, or even just your family.  They also allow you to embed any pictures, videos or other documents you want.

Google had been getting a bit of criticism for the lack of features.  So, Google has taken the constructive criticism and turned it into something “A Whole Lot Prettier” according to Mashable’s Stan Schroeder. (more…)

YouTube Deal Suggests Content Counts

youtubeuni copyIt’s well-documented by now that Google has lost money on YouTube since acquiring the popular video site some three years ago. Back in July, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Reuters that he was pleased with YouTube’s trajectory and believed the site would become profitable in the near future.

Analysts and industry critics were quick to ponder how the search giant could hope to make their acquisition profitable. After all, the cost of streaming so many videos couldn’t possibly be offset by advertising. Or could it? (more…)

Give It a Shot: Google’s Vaccination Tracker

google-map-live-swine-flu-o_Many of us consult Google Maps when planning a road trip, and the application is always useful for locating a nearby pizza delivery place. Apparently, its utility doesn’t end there. With flu season hitting its seasonal stride and concerns about the H1N1 virus still running rampant, the folks at Google have updated their mapping app accordingly.

The new feature, accessible at google.com/flushot, can locate sources for regular flu shots and the H1N1 vaccine as well. In place of the traditional push pin graphics that mark potential destinations on Google Maps, the flu shot tracker substitutes little red and blue syringes. Blue indicates a source for H1N1 shots and red designates seasonal shots. (more…)

Internet About To Get SPeeDY

internet-speedAre you constantly complaining at how slow your Internet speed is?  You may soon be in luck, because Google announced today, that they are in the early stages of a project in efforts to make the Internet nearly two times faster than it is now.  SPDY (Speedy), is an Internet protocol, which would take over the Internets current HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).

Google’s Chromium Blog explains, “We started working on SPDY while exploring ways to optimize the way browsers and servers communicate. Today, web clients and servers speak HTTP.  HTTP is an elegantly simple protocol that emerged as a web standard in 1996 after a series of experiments. HTTP has served the web incredibly well. We want to continue building on the web’s tradition of experimentation and optimization, to further support the evolution of websites and browsers. So over the last few months, a few of us here at Google have been experimenting with new ways for web browsers and servers to speak to each other, resulting in a prototype web server and Google Chrome client with SPDY support.” (more…)

Social Media Coming To A Game Console Near You

twitterxbox

It seems like only yesterday, that everyone in the neighborhood had a brand new gaming console called Nintendo.  Playing a 2-D version of Mario was the most high tech game at the time, and a few years later, the release of the Super Nintendo blew America away.  It was the Nintendo 64, where everyone first began to grasp the idea of 3D graphics in games and since then, the PlayStation, Xbox & Wii have become some of our favorite gaming systems.  From being able to only play games, to being able to actually work out daily, video game systems have come a long way.  So what will come next?

Luckily we won’t have to wait long.  Next Tuseday, November 12, 2009, Microsoft plans to release the latest version of the Xbox360.  The new software will be a step up from the current version, heading to the internet integrating the world of social media.  In June, the company announced they’d release the console which would include Facebook, Twitter, last.fm, and Zune video.  (more…)

PayPal X Makes Online Shopping More Convenient

paypalxPayPal announced Wednesday at the PayPal X Innovate 2009 conference in San Francisco, that the company has developed a new global payment platform being dubbed PayPal X.  The new software will provide new APIs, a new developer portal, and some introductory services pricing, designed to help web-developers take advantage of PayPal X to build small businesses by integrating PayPal easily into third-party applications.

Currently, consumers who use PayPal are directed off the current site or application they are on and transferred to PayPal’s actual site.  But the developers want to engage customers directly within third-party applications so users won’t be transferred to PayPal’s site.  Consumers who do not have a PayPal will be able to sign up for PayPal within the third-party application and begin making PayPal payments immediately from the third-party application. (more…)