Travel Technology News - North America.

New York (AirGuide - Travel Technology News North America) Jan 1,


Amazon Amazon sells more than 4 million Kindles in December. reports that it sold more than 4 million Kindle e-readers and

tablet computers this month, with the Kindle Fire tablet its

best-selling product during the holiday shopping season. The e-tailer

also said its sales of e-books between Black Friday and Christmas Day

increased 175% compared with the same period last year. Dec 30, 2011

Amazon E-tailers lead retailers in using Internet search

marketing., eBay, Overstock and Zappos have dominated online

sales this holiday shopping season, leaving behind their competitors in

brick-and-mortar retail, a Conductor study says. The expertise these

e-tailers have developed in paid search and SEO are giving them

advantages over traditional retailers in e-commerce, Laurie Sullivan

writes. Dec 27, 2011

Amazon Retailers resist smartphone shopping apps. With 44% of

shoppers owning smartphones, per Nielsen, some brick-and-mortar

retailers are resisting applications that allow shoppers to easily

compare prices and buy products elsewhere. took it up a

notch, offering coupons as an inducement to check prices, forcing Best

Buy to match Amazon prices on many items through its own online portals.

Other stores, such as Brookstone, designate items as exclusively branded

to the store so the apps can't directly compare them. Dec 23, 2011

Amazon Amazon's seasonal staffers call campers home. Amazon

beefs up its labor force at fulfillment centers nationwide when holiday

orders start coming in. Many seasonal employees at three centers are

modern-day migrant workers participating in the company's

CamperForce program. Dec 20, 2011

Amazon How apps are changing the in-store experience.

Brick-and-mortar retailers criticized Amazon's promotion that gave

customers up to USD15 back for using the company's mobile

application to compare prices, but a growing number of apps that offer

similar services are helping bargain-hunting mobile users find the best

deals. Dec 19, 2011

Apple Apple's TV could let users pick and choose channels.

Apple could differentiate its rumored television product by giving

consumers the ability to subscribe to specific channels, networks and TV

episodes, argues Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu. Such a product could still

be held back by licensing issues, he notes. Dec 29, 2011

Apple Apple patent applications suggest fuel-cell technology.

Patent applications filed by Apple suggest a fuel cell that could power

portable electronics for weeks before requiring refueling. One patent

application says the fuel cells could work with a rechargeable battery,

with each charging the other. Dec 23, 2011

Apple Mobile devices have enterprises hungry for security

talent. Technology workers with advanced cybersecurity skills will find

themselves in demand next year, as more enterprises seek talent to help

them protect mobile devices, Jessica Beder writes. Recruiters and career

consultants say the rise of mobile technology in the workplace has

opened the door to vulnerabilities that have been largely overlooked, so

demand will be especially high for specialists to develop and maintain

secure applications for Android and Apple devices. Dec 30, 2011

Apple Report: Apple will follow Jobs' vision for TV

products. While Apple is hewing to its custom of not commenting on

product plans until a formal introduction, there are indications that

the company is proceeding with the television product vision laid out by

co-founder Steve Jobs. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar

with the matter, reports that the company is developing a TV set that

will wirelessly stream video content and can be controlled by voices and

motions. Dec 19, 2011

Apple, BMW, Nike and Coca-Cola, PSFK How a former blogger made

Apple more innovative. PSFK has emerged as an in-demand consulting

organization with clients that include Apple, BMW, Nike and Coca-Cola.

The firm has a reputation for fueling innovation by spotting trends

other consultants and analysts miss. "What we do well is curating

inspiring ideas to help companies paint a picture where innovation can

happen," founder Piers Fawkes says. Dec 22, 2011

AT&T Surveillance Law Upheld While Lawsuits Allowed to

Proceed. The U.S. governmentOs decision to shield telecommunications

companies from lawsuits alleging an anti-terrorism surveillance program

violated consumersO privacy rights was upheld by a federal appeals

court. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled today that an

amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA,

granting immunity from lawsuits to AT&T Inc. (T) and other companies

doesnOt violate constitutional due process rights of citizens who sued

carriers whom they alleged assisted the government in illegal

wiretapping. While they canOt sue telephone companies, phone customers

can proceed with lawsuits against the government over the warrantless

surveillance program, the court said, reversing a federal judge who

dismissed lawsuits challenging what the plaintiffs allege is a

Ocommunications dragnet of ordinary American citizens.O The lower-court

judge had ruled that the alleged spying wasnOt shown to be sufficiently

linked to the plaintiffs. The appeals court disagreed, ruling that the

phone customersO Oallegations are highly specific and lay out concrete

harms arising from the warrantless searches.O Billions of Dollars More

than 40 lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages were filed in

2006 against phone companies alleging they helped the government wiretap

suspected terrorists without court approval. Congress passed a measure

in 2008 granting phone companies immunity from the lawsuits if the U.S.

Attorney General certified that they assisted the government pursuant to

a special court order or other criteria. Other lawsuits by telephone

customers targeted the government rather than the telecommunications

companies. The appeals court sent those cases back to district court

with instructions to consider whether they are barred because they could

reveal Ostate secretsO and damage national security. The first case is

Hepting v. AT&T, 07-17132, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth

Circuit (San Francisco). The second case is Jewel v. National Security

Agency, 10-15616, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Dec 29,


AT&T How the iPhone Zapped Carriers. Americans are glued to

their mobile devices, obsessively calling, texting, emailing and

downloading applications. So why is the U.S. wireless industry in such

straits, as shown by AT&T Inc.'s crucial but failed plan to buy

T-Mobile USA? A big reason is that carriers are losing power to the

device and software makers riding the smartphone boom. They're

saddled with rising capital costs while much of the profit growth

continues to accrue to Apple Inc., manufacturers using Google

Inc.'s Android software, and companies making popular wireless

apps. And carries haven't figured out the most profitable way to

charge consumers for their greater use of data. In short: Device makers

and app developers are having the fun, while the carriers are doing the

grunt work. The wireless industry has always been capital intensive, but

the recent move to build faster and more reliable networks to support a

deluge of data has weighed on these carriers. Now that AT&T's

pursuit of T-Mobile is over, those two companies are expected to join

the rest of the industry in mulling expensive deals for rights to the

airwavesNa game that's become a lot more difficult in recent weeks

after Verizon Wireless spent nearly USD4 billion purchasing spectrum

rights from four different cable companies. The U.S. wireless industry

spent USD24.9 billion on capital investments like networks and

infrastructure in 2010, the highest annual total since 2005, according

to industry trade organization CTIA. But in 2010, AT&T and Verizon

Wireless were the only companies to earn a return on their wireless

network investments greater than their cost of capital, according to

Bernstein Research. At the same time, the rapid rise of Apple's

iPhone franchise reflects many of the challenges the telecom industry

faces even as Americans' reliance on their phones grows. Wall

Street analysts have projected AT&T's wireless profit margins

in the fourth quarter will be the worst in at least four years, despite

AT&T saying it would sell more smartphonesNincluding the iPhone

4SNthan any other quarter. That's because every time a new iPhone

model comes out, it's the carriersNnot consumersNthat shell out the

biggest bucks. Analysts estimate that carriers pay Apple a subsidy of

about USD400 each time a consumer buys an iPhone with a two-year

contract. AT&T and other wireless carriers say that subsidizing the

iPhone heavily amounts to an investment that will make their customers

more likely to stay and increase the amount of money they're

willing to spend for the carrier's services. But some analysts say

those benefits have yet to materialize. At AT&T, Nomura Securities

analyst Michael McCormack says, the profit margins on wireless service

haven't meaningfully improved since the company started carrying

the iPhone in 2007. "For the most part, it's really been a

wealth transfer from AT&T shareholders to Apple shareholders,"

said Mr. McCormack, who predicts AT&T's fourth-quarter profit

margin will fall to 30% from 44% in the third quarter. Apple missed

financial expectations in its latest quarter due to a delay in the

iPhone 4S launch, but sales of iPhones and iPads continue to surge,

driving earnings up 54% over a year ago to USD6.62 billion. For the

wireless carriers, average revenue per user has been falling in recent

years despite increased smartphone adoption as the companies added more

connections for lower-revenue devices like e-readers and tablet

computers. In the third quarter, wireless carriers were being paid

USD46.09 a year by the average user, USD2 less than a year before,

according to UBS AG. While carriers have to pay higher subsidies for

smartphones such as the iPhone, such devices allow carriers to charge

customers for data plans. Google's free Android software for

smartphones also helped drive smartphone sales and boosted demand for

wireless bandwidth even more. Just in the last year, the amount of

wireless data consumed monthly more than tripled among teens and doubled

for just about every other age group, according to Nielsen. Meanwhile,

revenue from voice calls, which take up far less bandwidth than, say,

watching a YouTube clip, has been declining for years. And even

extremely profitable text messaging is threatened by new applications,

like Apple's iMessage, that allow smartphone users to interact

without racking up texting charges. Now, carriers are seeking to forge a

new pricing model that allows them to monetize surging data usage.

Before the smartphone boom, many carriers sold data access on an

unlimited basis, making it hard for them to profit. Earlier this year,

Verizon followed AT&T in implementing a tiered data plan, in which

heavier users of data pay more. In trying to buy T-Mobile, AT&T bet

that government officials would see the wireless industry's

difficulties amid the smartphone boom as a justification for allowing

the second-largest industry player to buy the No. 4 player. Regulators

didn't see it that way. Now, analysts say AT&T will have to

pull out its checkbook and spend billions more to acquire spectrum

rights and invest in building capacity on its network. For

AT&T's smaller competitors, things are even tougher. AT&T

and Verizon Wireless earn roughly 80% of the industry's profits and

have fared better in adjusting to the smartphone boom than smaller

competitors. The giants are able to use their scale to provide broader

coverage and land access, sometimes exclusive, to the hottest devices,

such as the iPhone and choice Android phones from device makers like HTC

Corp. The third-largest carrier, Sprint Nextel Corp., decided this year

that it needed to carry the iPhone as well. But to do it, Sprint had to

commit to paying Apple USD15.5 billion for the devices, whether or not

it could find buyers for them. The company acknowledged that subsidizing

a customer buying an iPhone would cost 40%, or about USD200, more than

another kind of phone, on average. T-Mobile, meanwhile, is the only one

of the top four carriers that isn't selling the iPhone, one reason

for its customer losses. In the first nine months of the year, T-Mobile

lost 850,000 contract customers. Dec 20, 2011

AT&T, LightSquared, Clearwire, Verizon FCC scrambles to cope

with data avalanche. Smartphone companies and carriers are desperate for

network capacity to provide souped-up service, but they're

hard-pressed to find it. The latest attempt: a government effort to use

the staticky space between television channels. It's the technology

equivalent of searching the couch cushions for loose change. The Federal

Communications Commission late last week opened up the light spectrum

that sits between individual television channels numbered 1 through 51.

Wireless communications in those "white spaces" will be

permitted as of Jan. 26 in a testbed location and will be opened up

nationally in the following months. Broadcasting in the white spaces

means that a company like Verizon could deliver signal between channels

5 and 6, for instance. That gives it just a little extra capacity boost

to give its customers faster service. The announcement comes as wireless

companies are facing a spectrum crunch crisis that has already begun to

reshape the industry. As smartphones and tablet sales have soared over

the past several years, consumers' demand for data has grown

exponentially. All that data is taking up a growing amount of spectrum,

or light waves, and carriers are simply running out of airwaves to cram

data into. The FCC has said that a current spectrum surplus of 225 MHz

will become a deficit of 275 MHz by 2014 (see chart above). That's

why the FCC is committing to freeing up 500 Megahertz of spectrum over

the next decade. But there's a catch: That process includes

voluntary auctions by a patchwork of television stations across the

country that currently hold but aren't using their spectrum. Many

aren't willing to give it up. As those complicated wheelings and

dealings get sorted out, the FCC is trying to scrounge up enough to get

by. TV white spaces is a part of that effort. "Unused spectrum

between TV stations represents a valuable opportunity for provision of

broadband data services in our changing wireless landscape," said

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in a statement. It's not a perfect

solution. The white spaces spectrum will actually be unlicensed, which

means that carriers can't use it exclusively. But like Wi-Fi, which

also operates in unlicensed spectrum bands, wireless companies will

eventually be able to provide their customers access to a white spaces

network hotspot in order to offload traffic from their own networks. In

addition, new mobile phones and tablets will need new chipsets.. And the

FCC will only open up the white spaces for the time being in Wilmington,

N.C., as it fixes a bug that could result in interference with wireless

microphones, which also use white space to send signal to speakers.

Meanwhile, carriers aren't just sitting on their hands.

They've attempted to limit customers' use of their networks by

introducing tiered rates, which charge more by the gigabyte. That has

effectively made cell phone bills go up for many heavy users. The

wireless companies are also trying to consolidate. AT&T fought hard

to buy T-Mobile primarily for its spectrum holdings, a battle that it

ultimately lost due to the government's antitrust concerns. Sprint

(S, Fortune 500) has inked deals with 4G wholesale providers Clearwire

and LightSquared, and Verizon has purchased USD4 billion of dollars of

cable providers' unused spectrum over the past month. The good news

for consumers is that the FCC is aware of the problem and thinking

outside the box to free up more bandwidth for mobile communications.

Dec 29, 2011

Autodesk, Rapiscan Rapiscan Uses Autodesk Vault to Effectively

Collaborate on Security Products. Rapiscan Systems N a world leader in

security screening and the official supplier of security systems for the

London 2012 Olympics N is using Autodesk software to enable its

engineers to collaborate more efficiently in the creation of the

companyOs innovative and powerful security products. With 14 major

locations around the world, RapiscanOs highly sophisticated security

offerings are renowned for meeting the most demanding threat detection

requirements. Autodesk Inventor Digital Prototyping software and

Autodesk Vault product data management software help Rapiscan drive

innovation and foster teamwork among a globally distributed group of

engineers working together on the Rapiscan Real Time Tomography (RTT)

scanner. Unlike conventional scanners, the RTT80 is a high-speed

security scanner providing detailed 3D images capable of being rotated

and viewed from virtually any angle, making it easier for screeners to

detect threats. Because the RTT80 contains thousands of parts and

requires collaboration from multiple teams in multiple locations,

Autodesk Vault product data management software provides an ideal way

for the Rapiscan team to track and manage data. Simplifying Data

Management Across Team Members Rapiscan used to rely on FTP and email to

exchange designs created with Autodesk Inventor Digital Prototyping

software, but the firm experienced version control difficulties and

inefficient tracking and communication. OAutodesk Vault helps us be more

systematized with file location, file control and file sharing without

risking damage to them,O said Bally Panesar, Global Director, Mechanical

Engineering at Rapiscan. OSince we now use Autodesk Vault as a central

hub for all our data, we no longer have to worry about accidentally

overwriting files or wonder whether or not our manufacturing team is

receiving the most up-to-date versions.O Having this kind of control

over product data helps prevent costly errors both upstream and

downstream, enabling Rapiscan to better meet tight deadlines and keep up

with customer demand for its products. OFor global companies with

distributed engineering teams, effective collaboration is more important

than ever,O said Robert OBuzzO Kross, senior vice president,

Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. OBy using Autodesk Vault to

manage their product data, industry leaders like Rapiscan are better

able to reduce errors and, ultimately, speed time to market.O Dec 21,


BitDefender "Ransom Trojan" tries to charge victims to

undo its damage. Malware hunters a warning of a Trojan that encrypts the

data on Windows target computers, then offers to decipher it for a fee.

Security firm BitDefender says Trojan.Crypt.VB.U encrypts data with a

simple XOR algorithm, then offers the victim a free "trial" of

its data-unlocking solution. After that, it seeks to sell them a full

license for USD69. BitDefender notes that so-called ransom scams are not

new, and were used recently to extort money from users in the U.K. and

Japan. Dec 19, 2011

BMW, Yelp BMW Online service offers Yelp review website. The Yelp

application can now be directly downloaded to BMW vehicles with the BMW

Online service, making it unnecessary to use a smartphone to access the

review website. BMW owners can peruse reviews of restaurants and other

businesses with the app, which lets consumers post their opinions. Dec

23, 2011

Boxee Latest edition of Boxee is final one for PCs. Boxee 1.5 is

the last version of the video-streaming software that will be released

for PCs. The company says it is refocusing its efforts on its Boxee Box

device. The Monday release updated the program for Windows, Linux and

Mac users, but the 1.5 release for PCs will be available only through

the end of January. Dec 27, 2011

Brando IQ Brick puzzle takes Rubik's up a notch. As if the

original version of the Rubik's Cube wasn't tricky enough, toy

retailer Brando is selling a new, much-tougher variation. The IQ Brick

Cube expands the standard 3-by-3-by-3 structure in favor of an

asymmetrical pattern that has parts of two sizes. Dec 23, 2011

Brightroam How To Avoid Roaming Charges When You Travel. The SIM

card is the unsung hero of the wireless business. Hidden in your mobile

phone, the right SIM card saves you loads of money (65% on an

International SIM card) in roaming costs, without a glimmer of

recognition, while you are traveling on business, or away on holiday in

some exotic location. the online SIM card retailer wants

to raise the SIM card's profile. The video "How To Avoid

Roaming Charges Using a SIM card" offers comments and travel tips

from satisfied customers who extol the travel benefits, peace of mind

and roaming cost savings that come from using a SIM card.

"We have all heard roaming charge horror stories, or even worse

arrived home to a mobile bill hundreds of dollars higher than

expected," explained Doug Johnson, Director of Marketing, "Once a SIM card is tucked into your phone,

it's out of sight and out of mind. We think its time to raise the

cover, so to speak, on the SIM card and in particular. A

traveler can save up to 65% on roaming charges using a

international SIM card and up to 97% with in country SIMs like our

Mexico SIM Card. The service is post paid, unlike the

majority of SIM cards available online, so with you only

pay for what you use. Add in our exceptional customer service and,

that's why our customers believe SIM cards are not

only worth having, but worth talking about." The

customers in the video, Domenic Scuglia, Principal, St Maximilian Kolbe

Catholic High School, Iain MacMillan, Editor, SKI Canada magazine and

Cam Walter, Coordinator of Music Education at the University of

Toronto's Faculty of Music are all professionals whose work and

personal travel takes them to the US and Europe at least a couple of

times a year. While the prospect of reduced roaming costs is the major

benefit, these seasoned travelers also cited: -- A better dollar value

than their phone plans, -- Convenient flexibility for business, group

or personal travel, -- Great customer service, on-trip support and

product ease of use. This was also borne out by their repeat business

and willingness to recommend to family, friends, and

associates. Try the SIM card for yourself and experience

the savings. For a limited time, (until December 31, 2011) all SIM cards are free, including theAustralia SIM Card,

China SIM Card, France SIM Card, German SIM card, Greece SIM Card,

Netherlands SIM card, UK SIM Card, USA SIM Card and Switzerland SIM

Card. There are no contracts or monthly fees; your phone works upon

arrival and there is English language support. You only pay for the

calls you make. In many countries, incoming texts are free and offers attractive data packages that make using your

smart phone and tablet affordable. Dec 21, 2011

Catalog Spree, Apple The modern, greener catalog is digital.

Catalog Spree, an iPad application that allows users to flip through

more than 150 catalogs, serves as a green alternative to printed

catalogs. The annual environmental impacts of printed catalogs include

53 million trees, 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 53

billion gallons of wastewater, according to Catalog Choice. Launched

this year, the app boasts more than 150,000 users. Dec 27, 2011

Cheapflights Welcomes the New Year. As 2012

quickly approaches, uncertainty and volatility are some of the buzzwords

describing the state of the global economy. These times of uncertainty

will definitely have an impact on the travel industry, but, the online leader in finding and publishing travel

deals, is here to say the outlook is not all bleak. The travel experts

at have taken the economy and other factors into

account and created a list of Top 5 Trend Predictions for 2012 Travel.

For the consumer, the trends are about where, why and how we travel.

"Although the state of the economy is on everyone's mind,

travel still remains a priority for many Americans," says Lauren

Sullivan, site editor for "Deal seeking will

continue to be a top hobby for the motivated traveler. However, there

are other subtle but important changes ahead for consumers as the travel

landscape and personal priorities evolve." 1. Value for money -

Though the priority is to get away, cutting costs is still on the top of

every traveler's mind. Cheapflights predicts value-for-money

escapes will be the top trend in 2012; the industry will see a rise in

consumer demand for discounted trips like package vacations,

all-inclusives and cruises. Bundling trips into weekend deals and

warm-weather getaways gives fliers the excuse to vacation without the

guilt of spending big. 2. Rise in pet travel - In its 2011 survey, reported that almost 33 percent of pet owners planned

to take their pets outside of the United States on an international

retreat, this as countries worldwide rewrite travel requirements to

lessen the burden and fees for passengers flying with animals. 3.

Athletic voluntourism vacations - When the economic downturn was

officially announced in 2009, various types of vacations rooted in

giving back emerged. This New Year is set to see the introduction of a

new vacation trend: athletic voluntourism. Born out of the popular

participation in famous world races such as the New York or London

marathons, this trend is growing and spreading into other areas of sport

delivering the doubly beneficial effect of raising money while getting

fit. 4. Reality TV drives destination trends - Reality competitions like

"The Amazing Race" and "Survivor" for years have

offered viewers around-the-world trips from the comfort of their own

couches. Now other reality shows are stepping up their destination game,

creating episodes and entire seasons around a single destination.

Whether it's the cuisine or the fist pumps, reality shows are

inspiring TV junkies to consider vacation spots that, if not for their

DVR, they may not have considered. 5. The new upgrade - Comfort, perks

and new ways to upgrade define the face of flying for 2012. As airlines

slice and dice their cabins, there will be inventive ways for passengers

to find mini upgrades -- think more leg room, more luggage room and more

comfort. Cue Cuddle Class, the economy class option where passengers can

lay flat and cuddle up on long-haul flights. To read in complete detail's five notable trends that we predict will define

next year's travel landscape visit Dec 21, 2011

Cheapflights Gets Ready for 2012 With Its Top

10 Places to See in the New Year. As the New Year creeps upon us,, the online leader in finding and publishing travel

deals, sets its sights around the world to discover how 2012 will be

greeted in places like Germany, Las Vegas, Venice, New York and right

here in Sydney, among many other iconic destinations. "One of the

best things about New Year's Eve is getting a glimpse of the

celebrations from every corner of the world," says Oonagh Shiel,

senior editor for "From dramatic fireworks

displays to fun local traditions, various cities around the world each

have their take on this festive holiday." "We've picked

our favourite spots for ringing in 2012," adds Shiel. "These

are all great places that, while fun to watch on the telly, offer a new

level of experience to those joining the revelry in person." Here

we explore five of Cheapflights' Top 10 New Year's

celebrations around the world: Sydney It's one of the iconic

sights, fireworks fizzing and popping off the Harbour Bridge. If you are

planning to see in 2012 in Sydney you'll need to pick your spot

carefully -- unless you've already paid hundreds of dollars to be

in the Sydney Opera Bar that is. The most popular places to view the

sight -- on the south side of the harbour -- are Mrs Macquarie's

Point, Sydney Opera House and Macquarie Street Lawns. To the north,

Cremorne Point Reserve and Bradfield Park are the good, free places.

Turn up as early as you can; sardines have nothing on these crowds on

the 31st. Search and compare cheap flights to Sydney. Las Vegas

America's Party takes place on The Strip. The sky-bleaching

firework spectacular -- more than 56,000 explosions will light up the

Nevada sky for nearly ten minutes -- will launch from the roofs of

Caesars Palace, the MGM Grand, Aria, Tropicana, Planet Hollywood,

Treasure Island, the Stratosphere and The Venetian. The four-mile

stretch will be closed from about 6pm, turning the usually car-clogged

area to a huge pedestrian mall. Another way to see in 2012 in Vegas is

at the Fremont Street Experience, where tribute bands such as Led

Zepagain, Fan Halen and Red Not Chili Peppers, will rock away the night.

Search and compare cheap flights to Las Vegas. New York City While the

rest of the world gets ready to watch the Waterford Crystal ball drop in

Times Square, another tradition catches our eye. The Emerald Nuts

Midnight Run takes place in Central Park in the final hour of the year.

Registration is open until 26 December so there is still time to enter

the fun run, but being a cheerful spectator is free. As the runners make

their way around the 4m track, fireworks light up the night sky and

afterwards the Nuts and their supporters party their way into 2012.

Search and compare cheap flights to New York City. Germany There's

a huge party at Brandenburg Gate on Silvester (the feast of Pope St.

Sylvester), but in homes across Germany an altogether quieter tradition

-- Bleigiessen -- is practised. A small piece of lead is melted, in a

special spoon, over a candle, and when molten, it is dropped into a

glass of cold water. The form it takes foretells what the new year will

bring for that person -- an egg shapes means an addition to the family,

a triangle means your fortunes will prosper, an angel means that good

will come your way. Search and comparecheap flights to Germany. Venice

The Lagoon City is as magical on New Year's Eve as you'd

expect. Venetians and visitors gather in the centre on St. Mark's

Square, in the shadow of the bell tower, to see in the new year. By

kissing someone. Love in Piazza San Marco has been running for the past

few years, beefing up the city's credentials as one of the great

capitals of love. The next day, headache worn off, hardy souls head to

the beach near to the old Hotel des Bains for the chilly Polar Bear

Swim. Search and compare cheap flights to Venice. Dec 19, 2011

Cheapflights Canada Reveals Its Top 5 Trend

Predictions for Travel in 2012. As we begin to countdown the last days

of 2011, many Canadians are wondering what's in store for 2012.

While the Canadian economy is relatively healthy, the uncertainty and

volatility of the global economy has an impact on us here. These times

of uncertainty will also have an influence on the travel industry, but, the online leader in finding and publishing travel

deals, is here to say the outlook is not all bleak. While taking into

account the global economy, as well as other factors, the travel experts

at Cheapflights have compiled their Top 5 Trend Predictions for 2012

Travel forecasting where, why and how consumers plan to travel in the

new year. "The state of the global economy is making the headlines

on a daily basis," says Lauren Sullivan, site editor for "The Canadian economy is the bright light amidst

all this darkness. However, the Canadian travel industry will inevitably

be affected by all the global uncertainty -- both for Canadians

travelling abroad and international travellers coming to Canada. Thus

finding creative ways to stretch the travel budget and get value for

money will be a top priority for both travellers and travel providers as

we enter 2012." Below is a brief glimpse into each of's Top 5 Travel Trend Predictions for 2012: 1.

Value for money - Though the priority is to get away, cutting costs is

still on the top of every traveller's mind. Cheapflights predicts

value for-money escapes will be the top trend in 2012; the industry will

see a rise in consumer demand for discounted trips like package

vacations, all-inclusives and cruises. Bundling trips into weekend deals

and warm-weather getaways gives flyers the excuse to vacation without

the guilt of spending big. 2. Rise in pet travel - So many flyers are

taking dogs and cats onboard of late that the Canadian Transportation

Agency has just ruled that certain airlines must protect allergic

passengers. Air Canada and WestJet have been asked by the agency to

either ban cats on flights with allergic passengers or to create

feline-free zones with ventilation. Airlines around the globe are seeing

significant increases in the number of pets travelling, with Virgin

reporting a 1500 per cent increase in the number of dogs vacationing

with their owners since 2003. 3. Athletic voluntourism vacations - When

the economic downturn was officially announced in 2009, various types of

vacations rooted in giving back emerged. This New Year is set to see the

introduction of a new vacation trend: athletic voluntourism. Born out of

the popular participation in famous world races such as the New York or

London marathons, this trend is growing and spreading into other areas

of sport delivering the doubly beneficial effect of raising money while

getting fit. 4. Reality TV drives destination trends - Reality

competitions like "The Amazing Race" and "Survivor"

for years have offered viewers around-the-world trips from the comfort

of their own couches. Now other reality shows are stepping up their

destination game, focusing on prime places. Whether it's the

proposals or the fist pumps, reality shows are inspiring TV junkies to

consider vacation spots that, if not for their DVR, they may not have

considered. 5. The new upgrade - Comfort, perks and new ways to upgrade

define the face of flying for 2012. As airlines slice and dice their

cabins, there will be inventive ways for passengers to find mini

upgrades -- think more leg room, more luggage room and more comfort. Cue

Cuddle Class, the economy class option where passengers can lay flat and

cuddle up on long-haul flights. Dec 22, 2011

CNET, CES CNET will present Next Big Thing SuperSession at 2012

CES . CNET, the Official Digital & Streaming Media Partner of CES,

will once again present the standing-room-only Next Big Thing

SuperSession. Don't miss expert editors Molly Wood and Brian Cooley

as they lead an hour of discovery in what really drives consumer tech

today: ecosystems. Can any device break out on its own merits anymore?

How do you read consumers when specs give way to behaviors? And how do

you play a field dominated by new giants such as Apple, Amazon, Google

and Facebook? Attend the most important session at the 2012

International CES at 3 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Las Vegas Convention Center

and World Trade Center, North Hall, N255, or watch it from your device

at Dec 30, 2011

comScore Online sales up 15% for the holidays, comScore reports.

U.S. online sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 26 totaled USD35.3 billion, a

15% increase from the same period in 2010, according to comScore. Record

sales on Cyber Monday initiated robust holiday shopping in the following

month, with sales during the week ending on Christmas Day increasing 16%

to USD2.8 billion, the market research firm said. Dec 30, 2011

Continental Airlines, United Airlines Continental Airlines is

introducing closed captioning on its in-flight entertainment systems.

LiveTV is providing the technology for the service, which benefits

passengers with hearing disabilities. The closed captioning enhancement

will initially be offered to passengers on all LTV3-equipped Boeing

737NG aircraft operated by Continental Airlines. Continental will be the

first airline in the world to provide this feature to its passengers.

Dec 22, 2011

Dell Dell finds consumers ready to spend a lot via mobile. Dell

is finding that the average order from its Android and iOS mobile apps

is 25% larger than online orders. Brandon McGee, Dell director of global

mobile, says prominent display of strong security measures may be one

factor in consumer readiness to place big orders via mobile. "The

average order value and the types of products being purchased tell me

that people really are, as we expected from our research, comfortable

making big-ticket purchases through their smartphones," McGee says.

Dec 29, 2011

Dell Dell says it's shifting away from netbooks. Dell says

it's stopping production of Inspiron Mini netbook computers and

will instead put greater sales emphasis on its XPS 15z and XPS 14z

laptops and a new line of ultrabooks. Consumer demand for netbooks has

waned, according to research firm IDC. Dec 19, 2011

Delta Air Lines Delta Vacations[umlaut] is pleased to announce

that it has launched a new travel blog,, called

TalkinO Travel where travelers can dream about vacations, share their

stories and learn more about destinations, trends or hot-topics through

travel experts. By visiting TalkinO Travel, travelers will also find

information on upcoming sales and travel deals, they can plan their

vacation or even participate in the online community by watching or

sharing their own videos, pictures, travel tips and reviews. By

visiting TalkinO Travel, travelers will also find information on

upcoming sales and travel deals, they can plan their vacation or even

participate in the online community by watching or sharing their own

videos, pictures, travel tips and reviews. Dec 26, 2011

eCredentials Finally a Secure Electronic Barcode - in an

Automatically Changing Barcode Algorithm Invented by ePass(TM). Years

ago the grocery industry invented printed barcodes to accuratelyidentify

and keep track of people and things. Today eCredentials* invented an

electronic automatically changing barcode algorithm to securely and

accuratelyidentify and keep track of people and things. It's not

until the rightful owner goes to use his or her changing barcode, where

it then stops changing and is instantly authenticated by ePass's

backend admin system. After each secure use, it starts changing again.

ePasses, eTickets, eBadges, eCredentials, eEvents, eSecure Barcodes...

1- User registers with ePassApp. 2- User purchases or is assigned an

event from an event organizer. 3- The event organizer pushes the event

eCredentials*, eTicket, eBadge, ePass directly to the registered users

Smartphone, iPod Touch or Dedicated ePass unit with the world's

first Automatically Changing every minute completely secure Barcode

System, which makes all the electronic transactions to and from the

ePass* user completely safe and secure. 4- At the event the organizer

can sell and or give out ePass Display Strap and or Clip on Rubber Cases

to the users. (Reusable - Portrait and or Landscape mode) 5- Dedicated

ePass* Display Case Assemblys are weather resistant, have battery

backup, universal charger plug, RFID identification sensor and stackable

quick storage and charging stations for quick distribution and quick

collection at the event. 6- Push messages can be sent to a specific

user and/or groups of users from the event organizer. SECURE barcode

uses listed below on Smartphones, iPod Touches and our dedicated ePass*

units, but not limited to these: SECURE - Airlines eTicketing SECURE -

Press eCredentials and ePasses SECURE - Sporting Events eTickets SECURE

- Concerts eTickets SECURE - Conventions eBadges SECURE - Government or

private eCredentials* and Eidentifications* SECURE - Movies eTickets and

ePasses SECURE - Shows eTickets and ePasses SECURE - eLotto eTickets

SECURE - Backstage, Studio and Crew ePasses SECURE - eVin Numbers on

Cars to prevent auto theft SECURE - eBank, eCredit, eDebit, eCards


Duplication -- Counterfeiting -- Theft -- Forgery -- Scalping Copyright eCredentials, Inc.

2011 United States Patents and Trademarks Pending Dec 20, 2011

eDreams, Southwest, JetBlue, United, Lufthansa, Air France

Southwest, JetBlue and United in The Top 10 Most Followed Airlines on

Facebook. eDreams launches Top 50 Most "Liked" on Facebook

chart for airlines Online travel agency eDreams launched a new page on

their travel blog today, a list of the

world's 50 most popular airlines on

Facebook: The daily

self-updating chart counts the total number of likes on the

airlines' Facebook Pages and displays them in decreasing order on

the page. The chart links each Airline to their corresponding Facebook

Page. By liking or unliking, users can visualise their impact on the

ranking of their favourite airlines. At the time of writing this press

release, the top five most "liked" airlines on Facebook were:

Southwest Airlines (LUV), with 1.740.155 likes, followed by Air Asia

(AIABF) with 1.318.339 likes and KLM (AFRAF) with 631.795 likes. The

third and fourth ranking airlines are Air France (AFLYY) and Lufthansa

(DLAKF). See the ranking at:

The country with the most representatives in the chart is USA , with

three airlines in the top 10 most popular airlines on Facebook

(Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways and United) and nine

representatives in the top 50. 38% of the airlines that are listed in

the above mentioned top 50 are European, followed by Asian (24%) and

North American (20%) companies. Dec 22, 2011

Electronic Arts Analysts: EA's new "Star Wars"

online game is off to a good start. As many as 1.5 million people are

playing "Star Wars: The Old Republic," analysts say. The

massively multiplayer online game officially bowed Tuesday after being

in beta release for a week. A digital download or physical copy of the

Electronic Arts game is priced at USD60, and a monthly subscription

costs as much as USD14.99. Dec 21, 2011

Expedia Upgraded Expedia website offers verified reviews. Review

website has overhauled its platform to allow verification of

hotel reviews, to ensure the trustworthiness of their content. "We

like to call it the new source of truth, internally," said John

Kim, senior vice president of global products at Expedia. The upgrade

now also enables searches based on travel interests and allows users to

post photos and interact with other users. Dec 28, 2011

Expedia Set Sail in Style: Adds New Luxury and River

Cruise Options., the world's leading online travel

agency, today added a boutique fleet of new luxury and river cruise

booking options to the company's already industry-leading cruise

portfolio. now offers eight award-winning luxury cruise

brands and three top-ranked river cruise brands. "The cruise

industry offers a remarkable range of options. The traditional

'Love Boat'-style cruise from our youth is a thing of the

past," said Joe Megibow, vice president and general manager, "Today, if you spend even just a moment looking, you

will find a cruise option that is tailored to your specific interest,

taste, region and budget. And we're proud that Expedia has become

the preferred booking partner for savvy modern cruisers." In

addition to the benefits people have always enjoyed with cruising like

seeing multiple destinations but only unpacking once, modern cruises are

noteworthy for the range of amenities they offer to customers, including

world-class entertainment, extensive dining options catering to a

variety of palates, family activities and sumptuous spas with extensive

exercise options. The luxury cruise lines now offered by Expedia

include: [yen]Azamara Club Cruises; [yen]Crystal Cruises; [yen]Oceania

Cruises; [yen]Paul Gaugin Cruises; [yen]Regent Seven Sea Cruises;

[yen]Seabourn; [yen]Silversea and [yen]Windstar Cruises.'s luxury cruise fleet now comprises 28 ships. The

luxury lines offer cruises to destinations including the Mediterranean

and Northern Europe in the summer and South America, the Arctic and the

Caribbean in the winter. Cruisers can tour the globe, traverse the

beaches of Tahiti and the tranquil waters of the South Pacific, or

circle Africa and the Red Sea. The options are limitless. River cruising

is one of the fastest-growing cruise sectors. River cruise lines now

offered by Expedia include: [yen]Avalon Waterways; [yen]Uniworld

Boutique River Cruise Collection and [yen]Viking River Cruises. Because

most major cities grew to prominence because of their proximity to

waterways, river cruising has become a popular way to experience many of

the world's greatest cities and regions in Europe, Asia and Egypt.

River cruisers can walk right off the ship and into the center of town.

All of the brands Expedia now offers include shore excursions at each of

the stops on the river cruise itinerary. Expedia's river cruise

fleet now features 55 ships. With the addition of luxury and river

cruises to the Expedia portfolio, Expedia is now the only online travel

agency that enables customers with the ability to shop exclusively for

river and luxury cruises with one click ease. Dec 20, 2011

Expedia, TripAdvisor LLC Expedia, Inc. Completes Spin-off of

TripAdvisor, Inc.. Expedia, Inc. today announced the successful

completion of the spin-off of TripAdvisor, Inc. to Expedia, Inc.

stockholders. Immediately prior to the spin-off, Expedia, Inc. effected

a one-for-two reverse stock split. As a result, holders of Expedia

common stock as of immediately prior to the effective time of the

spin-off, which occurred after the close of trading today, December 20,

2011 , became entitled to receive one share of TripAdvisor common stock

and one share of Expedia common stock for every two shares of Expedia

common stock held immediately prior to the completion of the spin-off.

A favorable ruling from the IRS with respect to spin-off related matters

was previously received. Beginning tomorrow, December 21, 2011 ,

TripAdvisor will trade regular way as a separate publicly traded company

on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "TRIP" and the

remaining businesses of Expedia, Inc. will continue to trade under the

"EXPE" symbol. Dec 20, 2011

Facebook Facebook snaps up Google's clean-energy chief.

Facebook's sustainability efforts in 2012 will be in the hands of

Bill Weihl, Google's former green-energy chief, in a move intended

to drive home the social network's commitment to CSR. Weihl left

Google in November, shortly before the company scaled back plans for

low-cost renewable energy. Dec 22, 2011

Facebook Column: A hotel's Facebook page can serve as a

virtual concierge. Hoteliers can expand the function of their

hotel's Facebook page by using it as a virtual concierge for guests

off-property, writes travel expert Melanie Nayer. A Facebook page

designed this way would provide valuable hotel information and booking

services while allowing fans to voice their opinions and share photos or

videos of the property, Nayer writes. Dec 21, 2011

FareCompare FareCompare CEO shares predictions for 2012 air

travel. Rick Seaney, the CEO of, shares his predictions

for air travel in 2012. Seaney predicts more mergers for major carriers

and more passengers flying for leisure travel. He also predicts higher

fares and higher fees for 2012, but a greater acceptance by passengers

of the realities of air travel in 2012. Dec 28, 2011

Farelogix Farelogix has introduced, an online

baggage calculator. It gives travelers access to current airline checked

baggage allowances and fees based on the specific traveler, number and

weight of planned checked bags/items, and airline-itinerary specific

information. The user enters basic itinerary and bag details into the

iflybags website, and it instantly calculates baggage allowances and

fees for travelers. It will evaluate, optimize and present the best

combination of checked bags for multiple travelers on a single

itinerary, taking into account traveler frequent flyer status. For

example, if one traveler in a family of four has frequent flyer status

and benefits from reduced checked bagged fees, iflybags will recommend

that traveler check more bags than the others to save money. It holds

data for more than 300 airlines and is adding new carriers. It pulls the

information from the Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO). It plans

to introduce apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows

smartphones. For more information visit or Dec 29, 2011

FBI China is blamed for cyber-attack against U.S. business group.

Chinese hackers had months of unlimited access to the U.S. Chamber of

Commerce's network in 2009 and 2010 before they were discovered,

according to security experts who are working to unravel details of the

attack. The FBI says it discovered the attack, which breached the

communications of fewer than 50 of the group's members, when U.S.

Chamber documents were discovered on servers in China. The attack caused

no lasting damage, says the chamber, which was forced to destroy

computers and overhaul its security apparatus to recover from the

attack. Dec 22, 2011

Flurry Analytics Flurry gives mobile developers an app road map

for 2012. Flurry Analytics has issued its outlook of which countries

will offer the best opportunities for mobile developers next year. The

research firm expects the largest positive shifts in installed mobile

bases in India, China, Japan and the U.S. A separate Internet report

looks back at the year in mobile applications and issues predictions for

2012. Dec 27, 2011, Orbitz Adds Orbitz; Becomes the First Airfare

Search Engine to Compare All Major U.S. OTAs.*, the world's

easiest-to-use airfare search engine, today announced that it started

displaying fares from Orbitz, giving users the ability to compare prices

from all the major U.S. online travel agencies., which already

compares fares from airlines, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Hotwire

and CheapOair, is the first airfare search engine to show results from

all major online travel agencies in one view, making it the most

comprehensive airfare search engine in the United States. "Our

mission is to provide the easiest-to-use airfare search engine, with the

best fares, in an uncluttered, unbiased environment," said Warren

H. Chang , vice president and general manager, "By adding

Orbitz, we complete the picture for our millions of monthly users and

give the most transparent results in the market." also

offers many tools that help travelers find the best flight option,

including: [yen]Fare calendars, available on more than 1,000 top

routes, to help travelers find the best prices over a range of dates.

[yen]Easy-to-use filters that help users sort results instantly. Sort

by price, number of stops, departure time, airline alliance (i.e.

Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam) and more. [yen]Baggage fee

information to help travelers understand the true cost of travel.

[yen]Real-time Twitter fare alerts for flights from more than 40 U.S.

cities. is not a travel agency and does not take bookings; it

compares prices and itineraries from hundreds of airline and travel

websites and recommends travelers the best options for their search.

Dec 20, 2011

Frontier Airlines Frontier Airlines has just updated its website

with a fresh, clean look and designed to make it easier than ever to

find the cheapest days to fly with their new 30-day calendar shopping

feature. Additionally, it is now possible to change one's flight

reservation online. With the new calendar shopping feature, specials are

highlighted on the calendar for easy navigation and visitors can easily

compare fares by each day of the week, providing the opportunity to

select the lowest fares for one's travel needs. For more

information, visit Dec 27, 2011

Garmin Garmin[umlaut] Releases GTN* 750 Trainer App for iPad 2.

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., the global leader in

satellite navigation, announced today the release of a new GTN 750

trainer app for the iPad 2. This trainer, downloadable from the iTunes

Store, simulates the behavior of the GTN 750 system interface and

provides pilots with a safe, on-the-ground environment to learn the

basic operation of the system. OThe iPadOs touchscreen interface lends

itself well to realistically simulating the full GTN experience,O said

Carl Wolf, GarminOs vice president of aviation sales and marketing. OBy

using this tool, pilots can interact with the trainer like they would

with the device in the cockpit, allowing them to become more familiar

and comfortable with a GTN before ever going up in the air. ItOs great

for those who fly a GTN-equipped aircraft including owners, renter

pilots, flight instructors, students and line pilots, as well as those

who are considering purchasing the new avionics.O The app offers a touch

and drag interface allowing users to simulate and explore most functions

of the GTN 750 including panning the map, entering waypoints into the

flight plan, loading airways, graphically editing flight plans, radio

tuning and more. High resolution North and Central America terrain maps,

worldwide NavData, simulated traffic targets and simulated XM weather

data allow the pilot to experience the enhanced situational awareness

offered by the GTN 750. The app is also configured with product options

such as TAWS-B audible alerts, transponder control and remote audio

processor control. Plus it features user-selectable demo settings that

allow the user to simulate various flight scenarios by changing

altitude, speed, location and more. The GTN Trainer app is available now

for USD24.95 from the App Store on iPad 2 or

GarminOs aviation business segment is a leading provider of solutions to

OEM, aftermarket, military and government customers. GarminOs portfolio

includes navigation, communication, flight control, hazard avoidance,

surveillance, and other products and services that are known for

innovation, reliability, and value. Dec 20, 2011

Gogo Inmarsat, which provides global mobile satellite

communications, is partnering with Gogo, which provides in-flight

connectivity on eight U.S. carriers. Gogo will be a service provider,

distributing Global Xpress service to the global commercial aviation

market. Inmarsat has also selected Gogo's business aviation

subsidiary, Aircell, as a distribution partner for the business and

government aviation markets. Working with Inmarsat, Gogo will begin

in-flight testing of the Global Xpress aeronautical services after the

launch of the first Inmarsat-5 satellite, which is scheduled for

mid-2013. Gogo plans to offer regional service in 2013 with services for

air transport, business aviation and government customers expected

worldwide later in 2014. Inmarsat's Global Xpress service will

allow Gogo to use the first global Ka-band solution, which is expected

to bring significantly improved performance to the global aero market in

terms of coverage, capacity and cost. With expected transmission speeds

up to 50 megabits per second, Global Xpress will power a solution that

provides a high-performing satellite experience for passengers and

airlines alike. Dec 21, 2011

goHow, Sapient, ICF International, Google goHow Airport Now

Available on Android. Partners SapientNitro, part of Sapient, and

aviation consulting firm ICF SH&E,, today announced the expansion of

goHow* onto the Android* platform. goHow Airport has been serving

passengers on iPhone and Blackberry since April 2010. Currently more

than 250,000 users rely on goHow to help them navigate airports

worldwide. Free to travelers, goHow Airport helps travelers gain control

of their air travel experience by allowing them to track flights,

receive reliable, real-time flight status alerts, and search and rate

airport amenities. OThe go-How Airport app is unique in that it allows

partnering airports to manage content and provide real-time data to

travelers,O said Patrick Hogan, Director of Public Affairs and Marketing

at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). OAs an early

partner on goHow, we are thrilled to be able to extend its capabilities

to travelers using Android phones. goHowOs automatic flight updates,

up-to-the-minute data and push notifications for an entire trip make it

a great companion to travelers around the world.O goHow provides

travelers immediate access to: [yen]Up-to-date information about flight

and gate check-in times directly from the airport and from FlightStats*,

providing full domestic and international flight coverage [yen]Real-time

flight updates and airport operational alerts via push notifications

[yen]Real-time parking and security line wait times, where available

[yen]Weather information for both departure and arrival cities

[yen]Highly targeted promotions customized to the travelerOs gate

location, time of day and departure/arrival cities [yen]Real-time

ratings of airport concessionaires and facilities [ETH] and the ability

for travelers to add their own. In addition to goHow native applications

for BlackBerry, iPhone, and now, Android, goHow is also available as a

mobile-friendly web site at goHow is powered by

IONOS*, a multi-channel communications and marketing platform that

blends an airportOs real-time travel information with precisely targeted

marketing messages for travelers. IONOS was launched in partnership with

Denver International Airport (DEN) in April 2010, powering

as well as goHow Airport. In November 2010, Minneapolis St-Paul

International Airport (MSP) signed on as a mobile partner, and in

February 2011, Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) also joined the

goHow Airport network. In addition to DEN, MSP and BOS, 79 other

airports worldwide - including Atlanta, JFK, San Francisco, Los Angeles,

Beijing, Seoul, London, Amsterdam, Mexico City and Johannesburg - are

represented on goHow with information available on wayfinding, airport

concessions and services and flights. OThe Android capability reinforces

our customer service outreach to travelers. With goHow as our mobile

application, we provide the same information to a mobile user as our

website [ETH] passengers are assured that they are getting DenverOs

official airport information whenever and wherever they need it,O said

Jeff Green, Communications and Marketing Director at Denver

International Airport. OWe are proud to support our partner airports and

travelers around the world with our goHow applications,O said Ryan

Scott, Director at SapientNitro. OOur new Android app mixes the best of

a true native application, such as real-time push notifications, with a

full HTML5 implementation, providing flexibility and seamless roll-outs

of new features and data.O Through its web, mobile, and digital signage

channels, IONOS reinforces airport branding, drives traveler

satisfaction, and increases revenue per passenger. IONOS easily

integrates into the airportOs existing technical architecture, and has a

unique advertising model that features the ability for airports to offer

all their marketersNboth large and smallNa free baseline advertising

program, in addition to targeted paid advertising, both using a

patent-pending targeting algorithm. Targeted advertisers include

in-airport concessionaires, local travel services such as hotels and

transportation companies, local metro businesses, and even national

advertisers. Airports receive a share of advertising revenue through

impressions, click-throughs, and promotion redemptions. IONOS operates

either on a SaaS platform hosted by SapientNitro or installed at the

airport. It leverages content management technology from SDL Tridion and

real-time data from industry leader FlightStats. Mobile users can

download goHow Airport from the iTunes App Store, BlackBerry App World,

or the Android Market. Dec 21, 2011

Good Technology Security industry steps up to meet challenge of

BYOD. The health care and finance industries lead the race to adopt

bring-your-own-device policies that allow personal IT in the workplace,

according to a survey from Good Technology. The mobile-security provider

attributed BYOD's popularity in such heavily regulated industries

to the increased availability of robust data-protection solutions. Dec

19, 2011

Google Google offers free Wi-Fi to holiday fliers. Google says it

will provide free in-flight Wi-Fi to about 15 million passengers during

the upcoming holiday period. Google's offer will be valid from Nov.

20 to Jan. 2 on board about 700 aircraft operated by Delta Airlines,

AirTran Airways and Virgin America. Dec 28, 2011

Google A short guide to help you get Google AdWords. Google

AdWords uses an auction system to determine which ads show up on search

pages and in what order, as well as how much each advertiser pays,

writes Robert Brady of Righteous Marketing. But ranking is dependent on

more than just outbidding the competition -- you'll also need a

good "quality score." "[Q]uality score is largely about

making sure your ad and the page where you direct visitors, matches up

to whatever searchers are looking for," he writes. Dec 28, 2011

Google Google reaffirms commitment to renewable energy. Google

will continue to invest in renewable-energy projects despite shutting

down several programs this year, said Parag Chokshi, a spokesman for

Google. Google's renewable-energy portfolio includes interests in

the Atlantic Wind Connection transmission line project and wind projects

in California, Oregon and North Dakota. "We remain committed to the

sector," Chokshi said. Dec 23, 2011

Google How to draw more eyes to your YouTube videos. The first

step to drawing more traffic to your company's YouTube videos is to

use a service such as Google's Keyword Research Tool to determine

popular search terms, Monika Jansen writes. Include these keywords in

the title of your video as well as in its description and in the tags

attached to it. Then work to capitalize on the increased traffic such as

by directing viewers to your website. Dec 20, 2011

Google "Home, sweet home" may be the best way to

recruit tech talent. Employers who have difficultly recruiting technical

talent against companies such as Google may find that letting such

workers operate remotely may help, Matt Asay writes. "[T]he rest of

the world has something that Silicon Valley often can't match:

proximity to family, traffic-free highways, and housing that is

affordable," Asay writes. Dec 23, 2011

Google, Apple Firms seek to pioneer wearable computing devices.

Consumer technology firms are working to take the smartphone out of your

hand and put it on your body, according to this blog post. Efforts to

develop wearable computing devices reportedly are under way at Google

and Apple, where engineers are working on conceptual devices such as a

Siri-enabled iPod you wear on your wrist. According to Michael Liebhold

of the Institute for the Future, within the next decade, technology will

allow consumers to interact with each other using specially designed

glasses, or even contact lenses with built-in computer screens. Dec 19,


Harlem ChildrenOs Zone How innovative companies can keep things

fresh. Innovative companies need to focus on keeping old ideas fresh as

well as on generating new ideas, says Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO

of the nonprofit Harlem Children's Zone. If you don't go back

and check on your company's execution of old ideas, they'll

inevitably grow stale, he says. "Getting a team of people who

really understand how essential that is to staying great is one of the

real challenges," Canada says. Dec 19, 2011

HealthEdge Outdated IT weighs on health care industry ahead of

new mandates. Pending government mandates on health insurance companies

are expected to force many firms to upgrade their information technology

in the next few years. A survey of 106 insurance firms by HealthEdge

found that many rely on mainframes that are unable to support modern

standards. The report shows that about 3 in 5 respondents are either

fully or partially technologically prepared for the changes, and many

cited cost as a key hindrance to upgrades. Dec 28, 2011

HTC, Apple HTC tests a workaround to avoid ban in U.S. after

patent ruling. HTC hopes to avoid significant losses in its U.S. sales

with the development of a workaround for the feature that was banned

after a patent ruling in Apple's lawsuit before the U.S.

International Trade Commission. CEO Peter Chou said the Taiwanese

smartphone maker was already testing a solution to replace technology

that lets users apply data from e-mails to other features, such as

making calls or employing maps. Dec 22, 2011

IBM Brain sensors, biometric ID top IBM's innovation

predictions. This year's "IBM 5 in 5" list of technology

predictions for the next five years predicts that passwords will be

banished in favor of biometric identification. The company also

forecasts that mind reading via brain sensors will be used for

controlling computers, and that 80% of people on the planet will have

access to mobile-translation tools. Dec 20, 2011

IDC Oracle retains top spot in global CRM marketplace, IDC says.

Tools that help enterprises manage their client interactions and sales

processes generated USD9.2 billion in revenues during the first half of

2011, a double-digit increase over the same period in 2010, according to

data from IDC. The market-research firm's Worldwide Semiannual CRM

Applications Tracker shows Oracle topping the list of providers of

customer-relationship-management solutions, accounting for 13.2% of

market share during the first half of the year. Dec 27, 2011

IEEE IEEE advances standard for all-in-one home networking. A

working group has approved a draft version of the proposed IEEE 1905.1

standard, which would tie together different types of home-networking

systems. The Hybrid Networking standard would be able to control IEEE

P1901 (HomePlug), IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi), IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet) and MoCA

1.1 networks. Dec 22, 2011

IHS iSuppli IHS iSuppli: Flat-panel TV prices hit 8-month low in

November. U.S. retail prices for plasma and LCD television sets hit an

average of about USD1,114 in November, the lowest seen since March,

according to IHS iSuppli. The average price declined 3.3% from October

as sales promotions for Black Friday kicked in, the market research firm

noted. Dec 21, 2011

InterContinental Hotels Group , Ritz-Carlton Hotels made strides

with social media in 2011. Hotels stepped up their social media efforts

this year as social networks evolved, writes Melanie Nayer. For example,

Ritz-Carlton introduced a concierge campaign on FourSquare, while

InterContinental Hotels Group sought to improve the customer experience

with mobile applications. Dec 29, 2011

Interstate Hotels & Resorts Bandwidth options will become a

trend among hotels, CEO says. More hotels will be splitting their Wi-Fi

service offerings into tiered options based on guests' bandwidth

needs, says Interstate Hotels & Resorts CEO Jim Abrahamson.

"The big bandwidth users create an enormous amount of expense [for

hotel owners], so we're going to see a bifurcation,"

Abrahamson says. "For casual browsers, those costs will need to

come down, but we're going to have to see costs go up for heavier

users." Dec 22, 2011

Kaspersky Lab, Panda Security and F-Secure Antivirus spending is

forecast to grow in 2012. The global business community will spend about

USD23 billion next year on technology designed to protect networks

against attack, a growing portion of which will go to antivirus software

for small and midsized businesses, according to market research firm

Canalys. Antivirus revenues are expected to increase 6.8% in 2012, with

vendors such as Kaspersky Lab, Panda Security and F-Secure moving into

market territory once dominated by more established players. Dec 21,


Kickstarter Jellyfish tank provides access to living works of

art. A Kickstarter-funded project is selling home-aquarium kits designed

to accommodate jellyfish. For USD460, buyers get a 7-gallon tank with a

special water-circulation system for jellyfish, along with vouchers for

three moon jellyfish, a six-month supply of food and a color-changing

LED to show off the sea creatures. Dec 29, 2011

LAN Airlines, Lonely Planet LAN Airlines, one of the leading

airlines in South America, and Lonely Planet, the world's leading

travel content provider, announced the signing of a five-year agreement

at the World Travel Market in London. In this partnership, LAN Airlines

is licensing content from Lonely Planet to promote tourism in South

America and worldwide. LAN Airlines, one of the leading airlines in

South America, and Lonely Planet, the world's leading travel

content provider, announced the signing of a five-year agreement at the

World Travel Market in London. In this partnership, LAN Airlines is

licensing content from Lonely Planet to promote tourism in South America

and worldwide. The signing took place during World Travel Market in

London, the premier global event for the travel industry. During this

event, LAN Airlines organized a forum entitled "South America: A

Great Opportunity", a seminar that brought together prominent

players from the tourism industries of Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and

Peru. The forum focused on new tourism opportunities in these countries.

Dec 26, 2011

Las Vegas Weekly Travel Deals on The travel experts at, the world's number one city travel website with the top

Las Vegas Hotels and Las Vegas Shows, have outlined some of this

week's exclusive and limited-time only travel deals. Bally's

Las Vegas -- 20% Off Your Stay plus Two-for-One Deals Book a room

marked with the 20% Off Your Stay plus Two-for-One Deals offer at

Bally's Las Vegas for a minimum of two nights between now and Feb.

28, 2012, for stay dates between now and Feb. 28, 2012, and receive 20%

off your stay. As an added bonus, guests will receive two-for-one deals

to enjoy during their stay. Riviera Hotel & Casino Las Vegas -- 15%

Off Your Stay Book a room marked with the 15% Off Your Stay offer at

the Riviera Hotel & Casino Las Vegas between now and Jan. 2, 2012,

for stay dates between now and April 28, 2012, and receive 15% off your

stay. Absinthe -- Dinner and Ticket Special For a limited time only,

receive dinner at PJ Clarke's inside the Forum Shops at Caesars

Palace plus a ticket to see Absinthe for a special discounted price.

Dec 20, 2011

Leap Wireless Cricket Takes a Flying Leap. Leap Wireless

announced Wednesday that there is now a fourth mobile carrier in the

U.S. offering 4G LTE service. Leap said that its company Cricket

Wireless has begun its transition to LTE with its test deployment of the

technology in Tucson, Arizona. Cricket joins major carriers Verizon and

AT&T, and fellow second-tier carrier MetroPCS as providers of the

latest mobile broadband technology. A statement released by Cricket

claims that pre-launch testing has shown a marked improvement in speed,

from five to ten times faster than its 3G network. This first LTE

network covers 90 percent of Tucson and will expand next year into

nearby Nogales. Leap said last month that it plans to cover two-thirds

of its present network with LTE service within two or three years. All

aboard! MetroPCS rolled out its LTE network in Las Vegas, Nevada in

September of 2010, along with what it said was the world's first

commercially available LTE handset, the Samsung Craft. Metro has since

been working with phone vendors on bringing the cost of LTE handsets way

down. Another smaller carrier, U.S. Cellular, has said it plans to

launch its LTE network in early 2012. Even DISH Network has plans to get

into the wireless carrier business, this scheme with a hybrid

satellite/terrestrial LTE network. But customers of Sprint Nextel (NYSE:

S ) , the third largest U.S. carrier may have to wait until the second

half of 2012 -- at least that's what Sprint CFO Joseph Euteneuer

told the attendees at a UBS conference in New York City earlier this

month. He said that before Sprint had worked out some of the financial

kinks it had in its relationship with its current 4G WiMAX network

provider Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR ) . You need a phone to make phone

calls One problem here for Cricket: The company is not yet offering an

LTE handset for its network. The one LTE device it now has available is

a modem, the Huawei Boltz. The company says it will offer LTE-compatible

smartphones and tablets in the future. Obviously, until actual LTE

mobile phones are added to the LTE mobile network, Cricket's foray

into 4G is not going to shake up the industry. For now, this rollout

still has to be filed under "W," for wait-and-see. Wireless

carriers are constantly investing huge sums in the latest mobile

technologies to keep their current customers and attract new ones. The

innovative companies that produce the components for those products

might not be obvious to investors, but they can offer lucrative

investing opportunities. Learn about them by reading 3 Hidden Winners of

the iPhone, iPad, and Android Revolution, a free special report from The

Motley Fool's Stock Advisor team. Dec 23, 2011

Leap Wireless Cricket Offers Fun Technology Gifts for Last-Minute

Holiday Shoppers. According to recent ShopperTrak* analytics,

approximately 30 percent of all holiday shopping dollars were spent in

the 10 days before Christmas in 2010. This year, Cricket Communications,

a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless services, is

providing gadget gift ideas for everyone on your list to make

last-minute holiday shopping a breeze. Finding and purchasing a great

gift for family and friends at the eleventh hour doesn't have to be

a stressful experience. This holiday season, Cricket is offering

last-minute shoppers looking for the latest gadgets, smartphones with

Muve Music*, a tablet, user-friendly devices for tech newbies and great

accessories to match that will make it easy to navigate and check off

items on your list. Cricket makes it easy to figure out how to get the

best devices for each person on your wish list, without feeling

overwhelmed: [yen]For the ultimate tech-lover [ETH] The Huawei Mercury

(suggested retail USD249.99 ) is Cricket's fastest and most

powerful smartphone with a 4" FWVGA touch-screen, Wi-Fi capability

and 3G real web browsing, MP3 player/microSD slot, HD gaming, and a

front-facing video camera, providing a video conferencing option for

holiday exchanges with loved ones. The Huawei Ascend II (suggested

holiday retail USD99.99 ) is a value-priced Android featuring a

3.5" HVGA touch-screen, Wi-Fi capability, and Cricket's

innovative Muve Music service, which includes access to millions of

songs from all the major record labels and several indies, access to

more than 300,000 apps on the Android* market, and more. And don't

forget for those wanting a tablet on your list: the Samsung Galaxy Tab*

10.1, which is now in Cricket company-owned stores (suggested retail

USD499.99 ). [yen]For the everyday tech-accessible [ETH] The ZTE Score

(suggested holiday retail USD79.99 ) is a fully-featured Android

smartphone that is Wi-Fi capable and has XT9 Trace for easy text entry,

as well as Muve Music access to millions of songs. The ZTE Chorus

(suggested holiday retail USD59.99 ) is a great phone for those who

can't decide if they love music or technology more, which includes

Muve Music and features impressive audio sound utilizing SRS WOW HD

technology. [yen]For the nimble-thumbed texter [ETH] The Huawei Pillar

(suggested holiday retail USD79.99 ) allows users to text, post, update

or comment with a full QWERTY keypad and 2" display, and the full

QWERTY Samsung Comment (suggested holiday retail USD89.99 ) keyboard

makes it easy to quickly update social status, add new contacts, send

messages and schedule appointments. Cricket's unlimited data plan

also means customers don't ever need to worry about overage

charges. [yen]For the practical user or tech newbie [ETH] The Kyocera

Domino (suggested holiday retail USD39.99 ) and Samsung Chrono flip

phone (suggested holiday retail USD49.99 ) are both stylish blends of

form and function that easily allow users to talk and stay connected

through mobile web and Cricket games and apps. [yen]And with all of

these fabulous new gadgets, you can't forget the latest must-have

accessories: Whether it's the Plantronics Explorer 210 Bluetooth

Headsetwith Bluetooth v2.0, talk/standby time of 8hrs/192hrs and a

dedicated on/off switch that saves battery life or the Monster ClarityHD

Bluetooth Speaker that lets you listen in high definition wirelessly,

has an ultra-clear noise-cancelling speaker for hands-free calls, a

compact size that provides the ultimate portable convenience in the palm

of your hand and up to 5 hours of playtime with Lithium Ion rechargeable

batteries, or the Skullcandy Smokin' Buds for a smooth listening

experience, chargers or chic cases, everyone on your list is sure to be

pleased. Dec 19, 2011

Leap Wireless, Huawei Cricket First in U.S. to Unleash the Power,

Speed and Elegance of the Huawei Mercury. Cricket Communications, Inc.,

a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless services and

a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leap Wireless International, Inc. today

announced the exclusive United States availability of the Huawei

Mercury, Cricket's fastest and most powerful smartphone, yet. This

highly anticipated device is available now for USD249.99 (MSRP) at

Cricket branded retail stores, dealers and at

"We are extremely pleased to be the first carrier in the United

States to bring this high quality smartphone to customers and we're

excited that we are able to offer this compelling device at a very

affordable price," said Matt Stoiber , senior vice president,

devices for Cricket. "In addition to its big screen and powerful

processor, the Huawei Mercury is packed with many great features

including a VGA front facing camera and 8MP rear camera and camcorder

with LED flash. Users can also enrich their wireless experience by

tethering the powerful Mercury to their tablet and other devices through

Cricket's new tethering service plan over Cricket's high-speed

3G network." "Huawei's device strategy has always been to

ensure that carriers can continue to grow the population of smartphone

connected consumers. We've been able to establish ourselves as a

player in this market by providing affordable smartphones, and

we're building on that foundation with devices for the high-tier

market now," said Jiangao Cui, President of Huawei Device USA .

"This particular device, the Huawei Mercury, is an opportunity for

us to offer a quality high-end device to the U.S. market that can

deliver rich multi-media content including music, video and gaming

applications seamlessly." Huawei Mercury Features [yen]1.4Ghz

Processor [yen]4" FWVGA Touchscreen [yen]Email application for both

consumer and business email [yen]8.0 MP AF HD rear camera/camcorder

[yen]VGA Front Camera [yen]2GB Internal Memory [yen]Real Web Browsing at

3G speeds [yen]Wi-Fi Capable [yen]Stereo Bluetooth [yen]Mobile Hotspot

(i.e. Tethering); supports up to 5 devices [yen]Support for Google

Mobile* Services [ETH] Gmail*, Google Maps* with 3D maps and free

turn-by-turn navigation, Google Earth*, Movie Studio, YouTube, access to

more than 300,000 apps, millions of eBooks, thousands of movies to rent

from Android Market The Huawei Mercury joins Cricket's growing

smartphone lineup and is available on Cricket's USD55 per month

smartphone service plan that includes unlimited talk and long distance,

caller ID, voicemail, call waiting, 3-way calling, call forwarding,

unlimited text, picture and video messaging, 3G mobile data and email.

Additional Cricket Services Supported [yen]Cricket Storefront Client --

The Cricket Storefront is Cricket's own application storefront

which is preloaded from which users can purchase ringtones, graphics,

ringback tones, games and applications. A user must have Flex Bucket

funds available in order to make purchases from Cricket's

Storefront. [yen]Cricket Mobile Web -- Access the Internet from the

phone, anywhere Cricket data coverage is available. [yen]My Account --

My Account provides Cricket customers with online access to billing and

account information. Once customers are registered and logged into My

Account they have the ability to add a line of service, upgrade their

phone, change their plan, add new plan features, change billing and

communication preferences, view text message purchases and check the

status of an online order. [yen]My Backup -- The My Backup application

will back up the users contact list, perform regular updates and

download contacts. Dec 19, 2011

LightSquared LightSquared turns tables on GPS device makers.

With its bid for regulatory approval to set up a new US wireless

broadband network facing scrutiny over potential interference with GPS

systems, LightSquared has shifted its stance, arguing that GPS device

makers have been infringing on its licences. The company, backed by

Philip FalconeOs Harbinger Capital, has filed a petition with the US

Federal Communications Commission seeking a Odeclaratory rulingO

confirming its right to use the spectrum it has licenced to launch a

wholesale 4G network using LTE technology next year. The move, which

comes less than two weeks before the deadline written into a 15-year

network sharing agreement between Sprint Nextel and LightSquared, marks

a significant escalation in the battle between LightSquared and

opponents of its plans, including lawmakers, the US defence and

transportation departments and GPS device manufacturers. Under the terms

of the agreement with Sprint, LightSquared has until the end of this

year to win FCC approval for its new network, which is designed to reach

260m people by 2016. However, the approval process has become bogged

down in the dispute over GPS interference. Until earlier this month,

LightSquared had sought to accommodate its opponents and had argued

that, with certain modifications, its network would not cause

interference to GPS devices. However, following the publication of new

test results that suggested the network might still interfere with the

majority of GPS devices, LightSquared appears to have changed tack and

is now arguing that the GPS industry has been manufacturing devices that

bleed into its licenced spectrum. OThe one inescapable conclusion from

two rounds of independent testing is that the incompatibility problem is

not caused by LightSquaredOs network,O said Jeff Carlisle, executive

vice-president for regulatory affairs and public policy. OIt is clear

that GPS devices are purposefully designed to look into LightSquaredOs

licenced spectrum and, given this evidence, we believe decision-makers

should consider LightSquaredOs legal rights as the licensee,O he said.

Mr Carlisle added: OLightSquared has had FCC authorisation to build its

network for over eight years and that authorisation was endorsed by the

GPS industry and fully reviewed and allowed to proceed by several other

government agencies. Commercial GPS device-makers have had nearly a

decade to design and sell devices that do not infringe on LightSquaredOs

licenced spectrum. They have no right to complain in the 11th hour about

incompatibility when they had ample opportunity to avoid this problem.O

The agreement with Sprint Nextel would dramatically reduce the cost of

rolling out the network and enable LightSquared to begin offering

services to more than 30 contracted customers. Dec 20, 2011

McAfee, National Cyber-Security Alliance Lax security puts

smartphone users at risk, report finds. About 70% of U.S. smartphone

owners have never installed security software on their devices, with

many of them wrongly believing their phones are already protected,

research from the National Cyber-Security Alliance and McAfee indicates.

While many consumers are attentive to the way third-party applications

plan to use their personal data, attitudes about data theft remain lax,

even though about 32.5 million Americans use smartphones to access bank

accounts, according to data from comScore. Dec 30, 2011

Meru Networks, Boston Red Sox The Boston Red Sox Gear Up to

Support Record Crowds and Record Wi-Fi Demand at Fenway Park With Meru.

Meru Networks, the leader in virtualized 802.11 enterprise wireless

networking, today announced that the Boston Red Sox[umlaut] selected

Meru Networks[umlaut] wireless LAN (WLAN) solutions for its wireless

network at historic Fenway Park in Boston. Meru's networks are

designed to provide unparalleled reliability, quality of service,

operational ease and uncompromised wireless connectivity for a rich,

interactive fan experience and improved concession sales at Fenway. Meru

and Ayacht Technologies began the large-scale replacement of the

park's legacy wireless infrastructure with Meru WLAN solutions

prior to opening day in 2011; the first phase of the implementation was

finalized and implemented within the two weeks. Located in the middle of

the heavily populated city of Boston, the Fenway wireless network is

constantly bombarded with interference from the surrounding areas. TV

and radio broadcasters clamber for network access during each game, and

flash crowds of up to 37,000 fans use a variety of wireless devices to

enjoy an interactive baseball experience. "The sheer number of

devices trying to access the network was dizzying -- and that number has

continued to grow," said Steve Conley, IT Director, Boston Red Sox.

"Our old network simply wasn't capable of handling the influx

of devices or meeting the demand for high-performance connectivity. Meru

brought stability, reliability and simplicity to our wireless

infrastructure. We can now not only tune the network for optimal

performance and avoid outages, we can also scale to meet network demands

and reduce management costs." Meru Standards-Based Architecture

Delivers Reliability, Quality of Service and Operational Ease

Meru's unique, 802.11n standards-based Virtual Wireless LAN

Architecture, easily meets the challenges of device density and

diversity more cost effectively than traditional client-controlled

approaches to WLAN. The Boston Red Sox installation is built on Meru

System Director Software, Meru 4100 Controllers, and AP320 Access

Points. Also integral to the project is Meru's Service Assurance

Management Suite, including Spectrum Manager. These solutions enable

network managers to deliver superior quality service through proactive

identification of sources of potential interference. With the tool set,

the Red Sox IT team can make adjustments before issues occur.

"Sports and entertainment powerhouses like the Red Sox increasingly

turn to Meru for high-capacity, uncompromising wireless infrastructure

to improve customer experience and business results," said Ihab

Abu-Hakima, CEO of Meru Networks. "As mobile devices proliferate,

legacy wireless systems are often unable to meet the connectivity

demands of thousands of wireless devices hitting the network

simultaneously. Meru's next-generation wireless LAN solutions offer

a proven technology approach to WLAN, specifically designed to

accommodate the increasing demands of device density and

diversity." Dec 20, 2011

MetroPCS Communications, Amazon MetroPCS Handsets Now Available

on MetroPCS Communications announced that a selection of its

handsets are available on Consumers can browse and purchase

a handset from MetroPCS' portfolio of feature phones, smartphones,

Android and 4GLTE devices. "We are committed to offering our

customers affordable handsets along with exceptional service and

delivering both at an incredible value," said Tom Keys , president

and COO of MetroPCS. "Making our phones available on is

just one way that we're providing consumers with a convenient

purchase option that will allow them to have it all with MetroPCS'

services." After purchasing a handset on, customers will

be able to activate service by logging on to, visiting

a MetroPCS retail location or by simply dialing *228 from their mobile

device. Dec 27, 2011

Microsoft Windows 8, mobile devices to drive touch-screen demand

in 2012. Capacitive touch screens, of which DisplaySearch estimates 566

million units were shipped in 2011, are forecast to proliferate further

in the new year, thanks to increasing sales of smartphones and the

forthcoming arrival of products with Microsoft's Windows 8

operating system. Windows 8, which will have bigger icons and tiles for

touch operation, will be found in all-in-one PCs and laptop computers.

Ultrabook computers conforming to Intel's design specifications are

also expected to make increased use of capacitive touch screens. Dec 23,


Microsoft The trends that will drive Microsoft next year. Five

important developments will take place for Microsoft in the new year,

Jay Greene writes. The emergence of Windows 8-based tablet computers,

more television viewing on the Xbox 360 game console, a higher profile

for the Windows Phone 7 operating system, and integration of the Bing

search engine with Facebook and other social media platforms will be

among the trends for the company to watch in 2012, he notes. Dec 27,


Netflix Survey: Netflix's remaining subscribers are likely

to stay. Netflix is likely to retain much of the customer base that

remained after last summer's controversial price hike, a survey has

found. Most respondents said they were "extremely satisfied"

or "very satisfied" with the service, and many think they have

few alternatives. The average Netflix streaming customer watches 33

minutes of content per day using the service. Dec 23, 2011

Netflix, Hulu Netflix is far ahead of Hulu in time spent at site.

Netflix has gained a 2-1 advantage over video-streaming rival Hulu in

the aggregate amount of time people in the U.S. spent at their

respective websites, one year after they were neck-and-neck, according

to comScore. The research firm says Netflix logged 1 billion minutes in

November, compared with 480 million for Hulu. Netflix received its

biggest boost in time spent at the site in September after rates for its

combined video/DVD service rose substantially. Dec 29, 2011

Nevada Nevada is first state to adopt online gaming regulations.

The Nevada Gaming Commission has unanimously approved regulations for

companies wishing to conduct gaming via the Internet. The move makes

Nevada the first state to adopt online gaming regulations -- even though

such gambling remains illegal per federal law. "The framework is

there to allow the process to continue so we're ready when and if

an applicant before us meets our standards," said Peter Bernhard,

the commission chairman. Dec 27, 2011

Nevada Nevada remains the "gold standard" of gaming

regulation. Nevada is about to become the first state to have Internet

gambling regulations in place -- even though federal law still prohibits

that type of gambling. It's just another example of how Nevada

remains a national leader. "I think Nevada has always been

considered the gold standard. It's the only state that has had

legal gambling for more than half a century," said attorney I.

Nelson Rose, a senior professor at Whittier Law School in California.

Dec 20, 2011 Roll in the New Year With's

Sparkling Array of Festive Celebrations. A premier destination to ring

in the New Year, New Orleans ignites with festive revelers every year.

Whether the night includes toasting 2012 on Bourbon Street or dancing

the night away at one of the city's nightclubs, the

experts offer an exploding lineup of French Quarter hotels and hot spots

for the ultimate celebration. The epicenter of New Year's Eve, the

French Quarter is home to numerous hotels that keep visitors near the

action and offer the ideal viewing location for the fireworks over the

Mississippi River. [yen]Stunning skyline views of the river and downtown

await at the Le Pavillon rooftop oasis, and the posh hotel is easy

walking distance to all of the French Quarter festivities. [yen]Immerse

yourself in the history and luxury of the French Quarter at the Maison

Dupuy -- you'll have no problem finding a good bottle of bubbly to

celebrate at the hotel's award-winning Le Meritage restaurant.

[yen]Hotel St. Marie is steps away from the action on Bourbon Street and

an easy stroll to the riverfront fireworks; don't miss Vacherie,

the hotel's sweet new bar and restaurant serving authentic

Louisiana eats! The place to be on New Year's Eve? The experts recommend these sparkling affairs: [yen]Rivaling

the Times Square ball drop at midnight, catch the Fleur de Lis drop

outsideJax Bistro Bar at Jax Brewery. [yen]Jackson Square swarms with

revelers and features live music to help ring in the New Year. [yen]Ring

in 2012 at the top music spots in New Orleans for New Year's Eve,

from funk favorite Galactic and Anders Osborne at Tipitina's to

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans.

Dec 19, 2011

NPD Group Sales of digital games aren't offsetting retail

decline, NPD says. While the video game industry is seeing increased

revenue from downloadable games, monthly subscriptions and other digital

content, that increase isn't making up for the decline in retail

sales of new, packaged game software, according to The NPD Group.

Digital downloads, mobile and social games, rentals, subscriptions and

used games produced USD1.64 billion in revenue during the third quarter,

compared with USD1.3 billion for packaged games. The market research

firm said the total game market, including hardware sales, represented

USD4.2 billion in the quarter, a decrease of 11% from the year-earlier

period. Dec 21, 2011

Orbitz The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) said it has

fined online travel agency Orbitz $60,000 for violating federal aviation

laws and the departmentOs rules prohibiting deceptive price advertising

in air travel. The move is part of the DOTOs ongoing campaign to have

travel agencies, online travel agencies, airlines and other airline

ticketing agents comply with new regulations on advertising the full

price of fares. OConsumers have a right to know the full price they will

be paying for air fares,O said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

OWe established airline price advertising rules to protect the consumer

and will take enforcement action when these rules are violated.O DOT

said that for a period of time in early 2011, OrbitzOs homepage

displayed advertisements that did not provide any information on

additional taxes and fees. Consumers clicking on an advertisement were

not notified of the additional charges until after they arrived at the

following page and scrolled down to the bottom of the page, where

information in fine print about the taxes and fees could be found. In

addition, consumers selecting discounted fares advertised by Orbitz

found that these fares were no longer available. Instead, they were

taken to a page where a different fare was displayed. The DOT said

OrbitzOs website violated rules requiring any advertising that includes

a price for air transportation to state the full price to be paid by the

consumer, including all carrier-imposed surcharges. The only exception

currently allowed is government-imposed taxes and fees, which are

assessed on a per-passenger basis, such as passenger facility charges.

These may be stated separately from the advertised fare but must be

clearly disclosed in the advertisement so that passengers can easily

determine the full price they must pay. Internet fare listings may

disclose these separate taxes and fees through a prominent link next to

the fare stating that government taxes and fees are extra. The link must

take the viewer directly to information where the type and amount of

taxes and fees are displayed. In addition, a reasonable number of seats

must be available at the advertised fare for the period the fare is

being offered. The rules apply to ticket agents as well as airlines.

Under DOTOs recently adopted consumer rule that enhances protections for

air travelers, carriers and ticket agents will be required, among other

things, to include all government taxes and fees in every advertised

fare beginning Jan. 24, 2012. The consent order is available on the

Internet at, docket DOT-OST-2011-0003. Dec 29, 2011

Orbitz, Dollar Thrifty Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. has

extended its agreement with Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. to distribute its

Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental brands through the Orbitz

family of sites until the end of 2014. "Since joining the program

earlier this year, we have been extremely pleased with the reservation

volume our brands have received from Orbitz,O said Scott Thompson,

president and CEO of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. For more

information, visit Dec 30, 2012

Orbitz, Facebook This holiday season, Orbitz Facebook fans will

have the chance to recognize individuals who make the world a better

place with the gift of travel through the Orbitz "Gift It

Forward" contest on Facebook. Whether saving someone a trip to the

store or helping to save the world, the "Gift It Forward"

contest allows Orbitz Facebook fans to nominate a deserving neighbor,

co-worker, family member, or friend for a well-deserved luxury vacation

to Mexico. Dec 22, 2011

Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Samsung and SanDisk Coalition aims to

tackle HD storage security. Several consumer-electronics firms say

they'll work together to develop secure storage technology as a

means to protect high-definition content across a variety of devices and

platforms. Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Samsung and SanDisk announced the

Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative, which is working on ID

technology and copy protection for SD cards and embedded memory. The

first devices based on the technology could be licensed next year, the

companies said. Dec 20, 2011

PhoCusWright According to PhoCusWrightOs European Online Travel

Overview (seventh edition), the European online travel market is

expected to grow 13 percent in 2011 as the overall travel market

continues a moderate recovery. Following a 2010 rebound, the total

European travel market is projected to grow 3 percent in 2011 amid

ongoing economic uncertainty. This optimistic forecast follows a 17

percent jump in 2010 for the European online leisure/unmanaged business

travel market. The online market's gains are driven largely by

online travel agencies (OTAs), which are projected to grow 19 percent in

2011. According to PhoCusWright, European online travelers are

continuing to shift to online channels. European online travel

penetration will soon overtake that of the U.S. By 2013, Europe's

online leisure/unmanaged business travel market will comprise 41 percent

of the total travel market, versus 40 percent in the U.S.

PhoCusWright's European Online Travel Overview Seventh Edition is a

detailed overview of the European travel market, providing market sizing

and growth forecasts through 2013. The report focuses on the European

online leisure/unmanaged business travel marketplace, with in-depth

analysis of six individual markets: France, Germany, the U.K., Italy,

Spain and Scandinavia. The report highlights marketing, distribution and

consumer trends for key travel segments, including air, hotel, car

rental, tour operators, rail and cruise. Dec 19, 2011

PricewaterhouseCoopers Tech domination of IPO market could

continue in 2012. Technology companies have led a surge in the number of

public stock offerings in the fourth quarter, leading analysts to

predict that the sector will continue to be a strong driver of initial

public offerings well into 2012. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers,

eight tech IPOs in the quarter have raised a total of USD2.34 billion in

capital, the most of any sector, placing tech well ahead of the energy

industry, which came in second. Dec 22, 2011

Red Hat, OpenStack, Stig Some foresee a big year for open-source

software in 2012. Red Hat predicts 2012 will make it the first

open-source vendor to make USD1 billion in revenue. That watershed could

earn respect for open-source software as both a solid choice for the

enterprise and as an innovative technology, experts say. Open-source

cloud tools such as OpenStack and database programs such as Stig are

poised to make their mark, according to this article. "I think

we're seeing a fundamental shift in where innovation happens, going

from the labs of a few software companies to these massive open-source

efforts," said Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat. Dec 29, 2011

Reed Technology Forecast: IT sector will lean on contractors in

2012. Technology companies will take on more projects next year but will

do so with fewer permanent staffers, and that will prove to be a boon

for IT contractors, recruitment firm Reed Technology predicts. Reed

Technology's Andrew Gardner says demand will be particularly high

in the retail sector, which will look to upgrade e-commerce networks

after the holiday season. Dec 23, 2011

Republic Wireless Republic Wireless Decides to Put the Unlimited

Back in Unlimited. Upstart phone-service provider Republic Wireless

earned praise for its plans to offer USD19-a-month unlimited calling.

But the carrier also got dinged hard for saying that those who used its

unlimited cellular plan too heavily might get booted off the service.

RepublicOs thesis is that with Wi-Fi networks so plentiful, most people

only occasionally need cellular networks, and can do most of their

calling, texting and surfing over Wi-Fi. The carrierOs initial service

plan promised unlimited calling and data use, but said that it was

encouraging customers to use Wi-Fi for most of their needs and that

those who exceeded certain usage could find themselves looking elsewhere

for service. Republic still wants its users to rely on Wi-Fi, but it is

no longer threatening to cut them off if they use cellular networks too

much. OFrom today, republic wireless is all-in,O the company said in a

blog post last week. OWeOre eliminating all usage thresholds, and with

them the concern some of you have expressed about losing your membership

for maintaining too large a cellular footprint.O Even with the move,

Republic Wireless still probably isnOt for everyone. It offers a single

basic Android phone, and users must pay for that phone upfront. The

phone uses custom software on top of Android to route things over Wi-Fi

whenever possible, and uses SprintOs 3G network when cellular service is

needed. Republic also notes that the service remains in beta, promising

that the service will remain unlimited during the beta phase. OEveryone

who has purchased or purchases a phone during beta will be guaranteed

the opportunity to enjoy unlimited service, without fear of

cancellation, until the end of beta,O Republic said. OWe wonOt end beta

until we either achieve economic sustainability or become convinced that

doing so is impossible. In the event that we end beta with a decision to

abandon or change our unlimited offering, weOll give you the option of

canceling for a full refund for your device at that time.O Republic will

keep N at least for now N a tool that shows users how much of their data

and voice use is on Wi-Fi versus cellular, relative to how others are

using their devices. It also plans to keep a clause that could remove

users for Ounacceptable useO beyond what is appropriate for a personal

smartphone, though it says it may revise its language on that term, as

well. Dec 27, 2011

Responsys Last-minute shoppers see inboxes flooded with retailer

e-mails. With many shoppers putting off their holiday gift purchases to

the final days before Christmas, retailers are blitzing the

procrastinators with promotional e-mails, sending an average of 5.6 mass

e-mails to subscribers last week, up 8% from the prior week and 26% from

the same period in 2010, according to Responsys, a marketing software

firm. It tracked 100 of the top retailers in the U.S. and found that

last week's e-mail volume matched that of the record week after

Cyber Monday. Dec 22, 2011

RIM, Microsoft, Amazon, Nokia Several companies have kicked the

tires on RIM. Microsoft, Amazon and Nokia weighed to various degrees --

then dismissed -- the notion of buying Research In Motion in recent

months, according to published reports, which note that RIM's

shares have fallen to multiyear lows. The BlackBerry and PlayBook maker

reportedly has abandoned the idea, at least for now, of selling out in

favor of trying to repair the company internally. Dec 21, 2011

Rogers Communications Canadians looking forward to a world

without heavy laptops and bulky wallets. Canadians predict faster

network speeds, smaller laptops and purchases over their wireless device

in 2012 and beyond, according to a new survey1 commissioned by Rogers

Communications. The survey finds that most Canadian smartphone or tablet

users feel technology will improve their lives in the future. There are

high expectations for technology in 2012, with young men being the most

optimistic that the power of technology will improve their lives. The

poll was conducted by Vision Critical inDecember 2011 among more than

1,000 adult Canadian smartphone or tablet users. This survey is the

first of the Rogers Innovation Report, a regular survey commissioned by

Rogers to explore Canadians' habits and views on technological

innovations. "The Rogers Innovation Report shows that technology is

making smartphone and tablet users' lives easier and better and

they expect that these advances will continue," says Upinder Saini,

Vice President of Product Development, Rogers Communications. "Now

that they've seen all that technology can do to improve their

lives, they crave more." According to those surveyed, the top

technology predictions include: Smaller and lighter laptops -

Chiropractors can expect to see fewer shoulder injuries from heavy

laptop bags with 85 per cent of those surveyed believing that laptops

will continue to get smaller and lighter and fit into a handbag. Faster

network speeds - 83 per cent of those surveyed say that faster networks

are on their way, allowing us to seamlessly play mobile games, stream

videos, movies and music on the go. Bulging back pocket begone - Say

goodbye to the old leather wallet as 79 per cent of those surveyed

expect that more people will use their smartphones to make purchases

over the next few years. Turn on the lights with your smartphone - 82

per cent believe that devices will be connected and that one device will

control systems inside and outside the home. The majority welcome a way

to adjust the heat, air conditioning, lights and security system through

their mobile device. Smartphone love - Dependency on smartphones is high

with 85 per cent of those surveyed saying they are attached to their

devices. Seven per cent describe themselves as "ridiculously"

attached and 22 per cent say they "wouldn't want to live

without it" or "would be lost without" their smartphones.

Thirty-nine per cent2 of Canadians say they take their smartphones to

bed or have them on the nightstand and 23 per cent have the urge to use

them in the bathroom. Living in the cloud - 81 per cent of respondents

believe that they will be able to access their movies, photos and

documents anywhere virtually. The majority (68%) believe that technology

advancements will mean less clutter and more shelf space as files,

books, music, movies and pictures will be stored virtually. Books are

here to stay - Survey participants still believe in printed books, with

just 37 per cent believing that e-readers and tablets will replace

printed books. "Canadians are connecting to each other and to

devices that are literally transforming their daily lives," says

Saini. "We have only scratched the surface of what the Internet can

do for us. I get very excited when I think about where technology is

taking us. Don't blink or you'll miss it. The future is here

and more is coming." Dec 20, 2011

Royal Caribbean Cruises Royal Caribbean International will

install iPad mobile digital devices in every stateroom onboard the newly

revitalized Splendour of the Seas. The touch-screen tablet will let

guests access the daily Cruise Compass of events and activities as well

as personal daily itineraries, including shore excursions. They can also

monitor their onboard account, order room service, view restaurant

menus, access the Internet and watch movies. The iPads will be available

beginning in mid-February on Splendour of the Seas before being extended

to all Vision-class ships when each undergoes revitalization in the

following two years. The iPads, which will feature English and

Portuguese on Splendour of the Seas, can be used in staterooms but also

through the pervasive Wi-Fi also being installed throughout the ship.

When logging on for the first time, passengers will need to accept an

agreement to pay for the unit in the event it goes missing or is

damaged. Upon completion of the refurbishments, Splendour of the Seas

will sail a trans-Atlantic voyage on Nov. 25 from Lisbon, Portugal, to

its seasonal homeport of Sao Paulo (Santos), Brazil. For more

information, call 800-327-2056 or visit Dec 27,


Spainair Video from Spanair and Synaptic Digital:

"Unexpected Visit" Goes Viral on the Net. Spanair's

Christmas campaign ( received more than 400,000 viewings

in less than 72 hours and was shared by over 19,000 people on Facebook

and Twitter The 11 children on the Barcelona - A Corunya flight on the

21st December were given the surprise of a lifetime, receiving their

first Christmas gifts from Santa Claus himself during a "chance

encounter" on the flight. Spanair has done it again. For the second

year running year running the Catalan carrier Spanair has managed to

take the spirit of Christmas to its passengers and convey it to the rest

of the world thanks to an official video which has received more than

400.000 views, going viral in just under three days. If last year's

"Unexpected Luggage" campaign managed to conquer the hearts

and minds of passengers with gifts on the luggage carousel sitting

alongside suitcases and holdalls, this time children flying on the

Barcelona - A Corunya route took the limelight by becoming the first to

receive their Christmas presents thanks to a chance encounter with Santa

Claus himself aboard the aircraft. The reactions from passengers and the

excitement from the children and their testimonials have been compiled

to produce a video which is available on the airline's official

channel ( The video has been a resounding success,

having been shared on Facebook and Twitter by over 19,000 people.

"Unexpected Visit" campaign This marketing action, devised by

the Spanish advertising agency Shackleton, seeks to enhance the values

of innovation and approachability that characterise the Spanair brand

although "Our primary aim was to give our passengers a wonderful

surprise", according to Nuria Tarre, Spanair's Director of

Sales. Dec 28, 2011

Sporty's, Apple IPad booted up as top trend of 2011,

Sporty's says. Sporty's Pilot Shop has declared 2011 the year

of the iPad in the company's annual trend report. "[T]his year

was when pilots of all types, from those flying Cubs to those flying

Gulfstreams, took up the tablet. And moving map displays with external

GPS made them more powerful than ever," said Michael Wolf,

president of Sporty's. Dec 28, 2011

Sprint Nextel Sprint says on track to offer LTE devices by

mid-year 2012. It is on track to offer LTE devices by mid-year 2012 and

complete the majority of its Network Vision rollout in 2013. Sprint

expects to make additional announcements about the timing of LTE markets

and devices early next year. Dec 27, 2011

Sprint Nextel Sprint delivers 3G network upgrades coast-to-coast,

marks significant milestones in Network Vision deployment. As part of

its Network Vision program, Sprint doubled its 2011 capital investment

over 2010 to make tens of thousands of capacity upgrades, resulting in a

better wireless experience for its customers. Smartphone penetration is

expected to double over the next four years.* With Network Vision,

Sprint is making it easier for data to travel, so its smartphone

customers [ETH] who use on average 10 times more data than feature phone

customers* [ETH] can use their devices the way they were intended. As a

result of the network improvements across the country, voice service is

enhanced and Sprint customers can expect to see better performance on

their smartphones, mobile broadband connection cards and mobile hotspots

when using the Sprint 3G network. Performance improvements include:

[yen]Faster data speeds that enable instant web access for news updates,

HD viewing and game-playing, quicker video downloads and clear video

chats [yen]Better signal strength when making a call or using the web

[yen]Fewer dropped calls for peace of mind when talking to friends,

family or colleagues OWith the network investments we made in 2011 and

as the only national wireless carrier to offer truly unlimited data

plans while on the Sprint network, we continue to offer better value

than Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T.O said Bob Azzi, SVP [ETH] Network,

Sprint. OBut our commitment to an exceptional wireless experience

doesnOt stop there. Sprint's on an aggressive path to roll out

Network Vision, and in collaboration with our partners, have already

achieved many significant milestones that offer improved customer

experience on the Sprint 3G network, and we expect to maintain and even

accelerate this momentum in 2012.O Throughout 2011, Sprint achieved a

number of significant milestones in the deployment of Network Vision. It

is on track to offer LTE devices by mid-year 2012 and complete the

majority of its Network Vision rollout in 2013. Sprint expects to make

additional announcements about the timing of LTE markets and devices

early next year. Milestones include: [yen]Completed development and

integration of back-office systems to support the new base stations to

ensure a seamless rollout [yen]Finished lab testing of all components of

the Network Vision platform,eliminating most technical risks of the

program and validating rapid LTE deployment schedule [yen]Launched

Sprint Direct Connect[umlaut] on CDMA and introduced three

devices,allowing our iDEN customers to move to a truly mobile data

experience with a comparable platinum push-to-talk experience

[yen]Launched first multi-modal base station in Branchburg, N.J., and

validated improved 3G data performance metrics, such as voice quality,

drops and blocks and data speeds [yen]Launched first cluster of cell

sites in Kankakee, Ill. and completing field integration testing

Nationwide, Sprint is overhauling its entire network and replacing

existing equipment with the newest, most advanced equipment available in

the industry through a program called Network Vision. Announced in

December 2010, Network Vision is planned to consolidate multiple network

technologies into one seamless network with the goal of increasing

efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call quality and data speeds

for customers. Network Vision and the recent upgrades reflect SprintOs

commitment to customer service, which tied for the No. 1 spot among

major wireless carriers for customer satisfaction in the 2011 American

Customer Satisfaction Index. The survey showed Sprint as the most

improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over

the past three years. Dec 27, 2011

Sprint Nextel Sprint Enhances 3G Network Coverage in Seattle.

Sprint customers in Seattle can have happy holidays this year with

increased 3G coverage just in time for holiday shopping, festive parties

and family get-togethers. In the past 90 days, Sprint has implemented 89

network capacity upgrades throughout the Seattle area, with 87

additional enhancements planned for the next 90 days. The upgrades

encompass all aspects of a customerOs wireless experience, including

voice, data and in-building solutions. So what does this really mean for

Sprint customers? In a word: Everything. It means faster data speeds, so

you can download Google Music Store on your HTC EVO* 3D and hear the

latest free song of the day. It means fewer dropped calls so you can

call grandma to wish her Merry Christmas. It means confidence that

Sprint is committed to investing in Washington and keeping pace with the

ever-increasing demand for data. These enhancements to the Sprint 3G

Network also serve to bolster performance of the companyOs no-contract

brands, including devices from Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA. OWhat

more could you ask for this time of year?O said Jennifer Clark, SprintOs

director of business sales for Washington. ONot only can our customers

in west Washington get a great wireless experience, they can also get it

without worrying about cost, thanks to SprintOs unlimited plans. These

upgrades are an important step in our overall Network Vision plan.O

Nationwide, Sprint is overhauling its entire network and replacing

existing equipment with the newest, most advanced equipment available in

the industry through a program called Network Vision. Announced in

December 2010, Network Vision is planned to consolidate multiple network

technologies into one seamless network with the goal of increasing

efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call quality and data speeds

for customers. Smartphone penetration is expected to double over the

next four years.* With Network Vision, Sprint is making it easier for

data to travel so smartphone customers [ETH] who average 10 times more

data than feature phone customers* [ETH] can use their devices the way

they were meant to. Dec 22, 2011

Sprint Nextel Sprint Enhances 3G Network Coverage in Northern New

England. Sprint customers in northern New England can celebrate the

holidays this year with increased 3G coverage, just in time for festive

parties, family get-togethers and winter sports. In the past 90 days,

Sprint has implemented 12 network capacity upgrades throughout the

Maine/Vermont/New Hampshire area, with 30 additional enhancements

planned for the next 90 days. The upgrades encompass all aspects of a

customerOs wireless experience, including voice, data and in-building

solutions. So what does this really mean for Sprint customers? In a

word: Everything. It means faster data speeds, so you can download

Google Music Store on your HTC EVO* 3D and hear the latest free song of

the day. It means fewer dropped calls so you can call grandma to wish

her Merry Christmas. It means confidence that Sprint is committed to

investing in northern New England and keeping pace with the

ever-increasing demand for data. These enhancements to the Sprint 3G

Network also serve to bolster performance of the companyOs no-contract

brands, including devices from Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA. ONot

only are these network upgrades perfectly timed for the holiday season,

but everyone can have peace of mind as they hit the roads and make their

way to the slopes this ski season,O said Laura McLaughlin, director of

Retail Sales [ETH] New England, Sprint. OOur customers [ETH] whether

they are tourists, residents or voters in the New Hampshire primary

[ETH] can enjoy a seamless wireless experience at an easily affordable

price. SprintOs unlimited plans allow customers to use their devices

without worrying about costs. ItOs the best gift we could give them this

holiday season.O Nationwide, Sprint is overhauling its entire network

and replacing existing equipment with the newest, most advanced

equipment available in the industry through a program called Network

Vision. Announced in December 2010, Network Vision is planned to

consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless network with

the goal of increasing efficiency and enhancing network coverage, call

quality and data speeds for customers. Smartphone penetration is

expected to double over the next four years.* With Network Vision,

Sprint is making it easier for data to travel so smartphone customers

[ETH] who average 10 times more data use than feature phone customers*

[ETH] can use their devices the way they were meant. Dec 22, 2011

Sprint Nextel Sprint Disables Carrier IQ Across All Phones.

Sprint Nextel has disabled Carrier IQ's controversial mobile

analytics measurement tool across all devices on its network. "We

have weighed customer concerns, and we have disabled use of the tool so

that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected,"

Sprint said in an email to Mobile Burn. "We are further evaluating

options regarding this diagnostic software as well as Sprint's

diagnostic needs." According to allegations by security researcher

Trevor Eckhart, the Carrier IQ app secretly records user behaviors

across more than 140 million mobile handsets. Carrier IQ denies any

wrongdoing, maintaining that its services count and measure operational

information and do not record keystrokes or provide tracking tools.

Sprint recently stated that Carrier IQ software is installed on 26

million phones running on its network, although only 1.3 million

handsets actively reported data at any given time. Sprint reiterated

that it did not use Carrier IQ software to analyze the content of text

messages, emails, photos and other content information stored on

subscribers' phones. The operator also clarified that it did not

leverage Carrier IQ data for any targeted advertising or subscriber

profiling efforts, adding it relied on the analytics solution solely to

identify network deficiencies and improve services. Sprint, along with

rival AT&T (NYSE: T ) Mobility and device manufacturers Samsung

Electronics and HTC, recently responded to questions about Carrier IQ

implementation posed by U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.). "I

appreciate the responses I received, but I'm still very troubled by

what's going on," Franken said in a statement. "People

have a fundamental right to control their private information. After

reading the companies' responses, I'm still concerned that

this right is not being respected. The average user of any device

equipped with Carrier IQ software has no way of knowing that this

software is running, what information it is getting, and who it is

giving it to -- and that's a problem ... So there are still many

questions to be answered here and things that need to be fixed."

Last week, Carrier IQ denied reports that it is the target of a Federal

Trade Commission investigation but confirmed that executives met

Wednesday with FTC and Federal Communications Commission officials.

"Although Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-Chairman of

the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, has asked the Federal

Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the practices of Carrier IQ, we

are not aware of an official investigation into Carrier IQ at this

time," the firm said in a statement. The Washington Postmaintains

the FTC inquiry was confirmed by officials who spoke on condition of

anonymity -- an FTC spokesperson said the agency could neither confirm

nor deny whether it is probing Carrier IQ's practices. Carrier IQ

faces lawsuits in multiple U.S. states. A lawsuit filed in federal court

in San Jose, Calif. claims the firm "is involved in installing

spyware on mobile phones and using that hidden software to siphon off

private consumer data without consumer consent." The suit alleges

Carrier IQ is in violation of various federal and state laws, including

the California Anti-Spyware Statute and the right to privacy provision

of the California Constitution. A separate suit filed in the same court

targets Carrier IQ as well as HTC and Samsung, also alleging violations

of the Federal Wiretap Act and California's Unfair Business

Practice Act. The suit claims that Carrier IQ does in fact record

keystrokes and the content of messages and could transmit that

information to third parties. Lawsuits also were filed in Chicago and

St. Louis. Dec 19, 2011

Stratfor, Strategic Forecasting Intelligence think tank Stratfor

is victim of data theft. The global intelligence think tank Strategic

Forecasting, commonly called Stratfor, apparently is the latest victim

of the hacker group Anonymous, losing a reported 200 gigabytes of data,

including e-mails and credit card information. In a Twitter posting,

Anonymous cited lax security by Stratfor, and said it plans to use

credit card information from the attack to make contributions to

charity. Dec 27, 2011

Stream TV Networks 3D without glasses? Company touts

breakthrough. At next month's 2012 International CES, Stream TV

Networks plans to introduce its Ultra-D technology, which it says will

eliminate the need for glasses in viewing three-dimensional content. The

company says its autostereoscopic technology can be embedded in game

consoles, laptops, PC monitors, smartphones, tablet computers,

television sets and other products. Dec 28, 2011

Travelocity Travelocity Names Top 10 New YearOs Eve

Destinations. With New YearOs Eve just a few weeks away, many people are

still looking for the hot destinations to visit. Travelocity travel

experts have compiled a list of the top 10 New YearOs Eve destinations

in the country where travelers can celebrate the New Year, based on

Travelocity bookings. From big cities to laid-back beaches and mountain

hideaways, the list reveals the diverse locations where travelers plan

to welcome 2012. Read more about each destination or book a trip from

our top 10 New YearOs Eve destinations page. Top 10 New YearOs Eve

Destinations: 1. Orlando (average airfare USD311.90; average daily rate

USD145.74). Party close to the theme parks with Universal

CityWalk's Rock In the New Year. With performances from Smashmouth

and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, plenty of nearby clubs, and all-you-can-eat

dining, this party will start 2012 off with a bang! 2. New York City

(average airfare USD333.52; average daily rate USD254.27). Times Square

in New York City is the classic New Year's Eve destination.

Hundreds of thousands of people gather in front of One Times Square, and

millions tune in on TV to watch the famous ball drop. 3. South Florida

(average airfare USD338.09; average daily rate USD177.96). With parties

hosted by celebrities like Rick Ross, over-the-top themes, and

(sometimes) an open bar, the celebration lasts all night at MiamiOs

clubs. For an alternative to the club scene, head to the Bayfront Park

Amphitheater to watch the orange drop and enjoy a fireworks celebration

on the beach. 4. Las Vegas (average airfare USD390.31; average daily

rate USD158.90). Las Vegas becomes a celebrity playground for New

Year's Eve. With parties featuring celebrities like Fergie, Kim

Kardashian, B.O.B., LMFAO, Stevie Wonder, and more, there are plenty of

places to find a star-studded event to bring in 2012. Plus, at midnight,

eight hotels will simultaneously start the new year with a breathtaking

fireworks display. 5. Los Angeles (average airfare USD350.59; average

daily rate USD111.92). For those who can't decide on just one place

to celebrate the New Year in Los Angeles, club crawling is the perfect

solution. Partiers will get into all the happening LA clubs where you

can party like a rock star, an Egyptian royal, or even a Greek god. 6.

Denver (average airfare USD297.07; average daily rate USD159.70). Trade

the champagne for one of the many delicious micro-brews and watch the

fireworks against a mountain backdrop in downtown Denver. The mile-high

city comes alive with celebrations ranging from classy symphony

performances to rock and roll shows. 7. Cancun (average airfare

USD547.32; average daily rate USD303.81). ItOs time to dust off those

dancing shoes and get ready to partyNdowntown Cancun is a club-goers

paradise on New Year's Eve. Travelers can expect thousands of

partiers, booming music, and tons of fun. 8. San Francisco (average

airfare USD338.49; average daily rate USD179.70). Start New Year's

Eve revelry with the 26th annual Japanese Bell Ringing at the Asian Art

Museum. This 16th century bell will be rung 108 times to cleanse the

ills of the past year. Once cleansed of 2011, you'll be ready to

start 2012 at one of the many themed parties throughout the city. 9.

Phoenix (average airfare USD336.40; average daily rate USD102.90). When

in Phoenix on December 31, celebrate the arrival of 2012 at the Fiesta

Bowl Block Party, one of the top places to ring in the New Year. Join

the partygoers for magic shows, fireworks, BMX stunt shows, and toast

the New Year in one of four beer gardens. 10. Chicago (average airfare

USD252.82; average daily rate USD127.21). With everything from laid-back

soirees to all-night ragers, Chicago has plenty of options to welcome in

2012. Two of the more popular parties are The Playboy NYE Party at the

Hilton and the Chicago NYE Ball, hosted by Lil Jon. Dec 19, 2011

Travelport, Hilton Hotels Travelport has announced a new

agreement with Hilton Worldwide that includes the distribution of full

availability, rates, rules and property information from Hilton

Worldwide and its global brands, representing 3,750 properties and

615,000 rooms in 85 countries. Hilton Worldwide and its brands will also

continue to deploy advanced interfaces to Travelport's Worldspan,

Galileo and Apollo global distribution systems (GDS), and expand

property, pricing and policy information for Travelport subscribers

globally. Travelport subscribers globally will experience new

efficiencies and system response times when Hilton Worldwide migrates

its global connectivity to Travelport's Hotel Supplier Link -- an

advanced GDS interface for hotel suppliers. The planned interface will

allow travel buyers to conduct business transactions with Hilton

Worldwide using the most fluid, high-speed connectivity for real-time

rates, availability, rules and property information. Hilton Worldwide

brands and properties will soon partake in Travelport Lowest

unrestricted Public Rates (LPR), a successful hotel distribution program

that boosts hotel sales and gives travel buyers access to expanded

content. Hotel companies are able to distribute through the GDS instant,

guaranteed access to their full range of public rates, including

restricted rates, such as prepaid and nonrefundable rates. Hilton

Worldwide is committed to implementing Travelport Complete Pricing Plus

technology to enhance the travel agent shopping experience and help

agencies increase traveler satisfaction by eliminating unexpected

pricing discrepancies at hotel check-in. For more information, visit Dec 30, 2012

Travelzest PLC Weather Gods Have itravel2000 Praying for Over 5O

Snow on New YearOs Day. itravel2000, a Travelzest company, is keeping a

close watch on weather forecasts anticipating over 5O of snow on New

YearOs Day. Thousands of Canadians that have booked with the Company

will no doubt be doing the same as 5O of snowfall on January 1st could

win them free trips. Those that booked their trips between August 15,

2011 and October 3, 2011 with the Company availing its OLet it SnowO

promotion, one of CanadaOs largest travel promotions, will get their

trips for free less taxes. On December 22,, 2011, the Weather Network

was forecasting snow for the OLet it SnowO qualifying weather stations

of Calgary and Montreal on January 1st, whereas rain showers were

predicted for those of Toronto and Halifax on its O14-Day TrendO widget.

The forecasts came as great news for itravel2000 and those participating

in OLet it SnowO, as was the case for the hundreds of Montreal and

Halifax participants lucky enough to get their trips for free when it

snowed over 5O at Montreal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport in 2007 and

Halifax International Airport in 2008. The weather scene predicted for

all the snow points on New YearOs Day 2012 suggests that there is a good

chance that all this yearOs participants will wake up to snowfall.

Jonathan Carroll, president of itravel2000, and CEO of Travelzest, said:

OWeOve been faced with an amazing paradoxical situation every year since

the launch of the OLet it SnowO programme [ETH] while getting our snow

shovels ready to clean all that heavy snow on New YearOs Day doesnOt

seem like a particularly exciting prospect, wishing for over 5O of snow

in the hope of awarding free trips certainly does. We are keeping our

eyes on the skies and praying all the time that the Weather Gods give

all the participants the chance to win free trips with itravel2000 this

year.O Dec 23, 2011

Tripology Tripology has partnered with the Travel Channel so that

viewers who become interested in a destination featured on the Travel

Channel can connect with an agency specializing in that destination

through Tripology, a lead-generating service that connects consumers and

agents. These personalized online travel agents are equipped

with the specific episode details -- city, hotels, restaurants, food

markets, etc. -- and will book trips to cities featured on popular

Travel ChannelOs television series. The first series officially launched

as part of this partnership was Anthony BourdainOs OThe Layover,O which

premiered on Nov. 21, 2011. Viewers can go to to watch additional video from a particular show and

then research locations and activities. The site then connects them with Users say where they want to go and what type of

experience they want, and the request goes to a Travel Channel

tripologist who specializes in the area, and is armed with actual

itineraries from the programming. Usually within 24 hours, the user will

receive an email or phone call from a Travel Channel tripologist who can

help plan the trip, and book with them directly. Dec 19, 2011

U.S. Micro Data protection requires strong device-management

policies. A major focus for 2012 should be on developing, implementing

and enforcing policies around proper disposal and cleansing of data off

hardware devices, Fahmida Rashid writes. Such asset management is key to

avoiding data loss and data breaches, according to Jim Kegley, CEO of

U.S. Micro. Dec 29, 2011

United Airlines United launches Internet site to answer merger

questions. United Airlines has unveiled to answer

questions about the carrier's merger with Continental Airlines. The

website provides information about the two airlines, a Twitter and

Facebook feed and videos about the merger. Dec 21, 2011

Verizon Wireless Verizon Outages, New USD2 Fee Irk Customers.

Verizon Wireless has built its reputation on the quality of its cellular

network, touting its reliability over rival AT&T Inc., but a series

of outages this month threatens the largest U.S. wireless carrier's

image. On Thursday, Verizon Wireless said its engineers had fixed the

third outage in December for its new high-speed data network. Some

customers had complained they were getting slower connections or no

signal at all. Verizon Wireless further frustrated customers Thursday by

disclosing it would impose a USD2 fee on those paying their bills by

phone or on Verizon's website starting Jan. 15. The company said it

was necessary to help provide "single-bill payment options."

Customers can avoid the new fee by paying electronically through their

bank or by mailing a check. Customers paying with a credit card can

avoid the fee, but only those who sign up to have the card automatically

charged. But some cried foul over the fee, which effectively amounts to

a USD24 annual surcharge. "I'm getting a little tired of

businesses figuring out ways to get their hands in my pockets,"

wrote one customer on a Verizon forum. Verizon Wireless is considered to

have a headstart in offering products that run on its fourth-generation

network, a point emphasized in its advertisements. But this week's

outage was the fourth time this year Verizon Wireless's 4G network

went down. In each case, Verizon offered little explanation for the

outages, which were generally resolved within about 24 hours. The

company said Wednesday's problem was resolved overnight, its 3G

service operated normally, and calling and texting were unaffected.

Verizon Wireless called the outages "regrettable" and vowed to

improve its 4G service to be on par with its more broadly used 3G

service. "Certainly we've shown we're not there in some

aspects," said Mike Haberman, vice president of network operations.

The disruptions "were unforeseen despite careful and diligent

planning" and each incident was prompted by a different technical

glitch, such as software problems, said Mr. Haberman. "When

you're operating the biggest, most advanced network, there are

growing pains." Verizon Wireless, a joint venture betweenVerizon

Communications Inc. andVodafone Group PLC, has rolled out its 4G network

to more than 200 million Americans and has introduced a lineup of pricey

smartphonesNsuch as the USD299.99 Samsung Galaxy NexusNto entice new

customers seeking faster download speeds for videos and photos.

AT&T's 4G network, which reaches just 70 million Americans,

hasn't had any reported nationwide outages. While AT&T's

iPhone customers struggled with dropped calls on its 3G network in large

markets like New York and San Francisco, Verizon touted a more reliable

network with its "Can You Hear Me Now?" ads.

"They've spent billions to say they have the highest quality

network and up until this point they've been able to back that

up," said John Byrne, analyst with International Data Corp.

"Particularly for a company like Verizon, this is a big

problem." The network's stumbles come at a crucial time, as

wireless carriers offer holiday deals on devices to entice them into

two-year contracts. In addition, Verizon Wireless faces new competition

in 2012 from Sprint Nextel Corp. and Clearwire Corp., which will be

building out their own 4G networks using a similar wireless standard,

called long-term evolution, or LTE. Mr. Byrne said outages suffered by

Verizon Wireless were to be expected on a new network and would likely

be worked out over time. "This is the largest active 4G LTE

network, you're going to have some hiccups." The carrier has

made moves to bolster its 4G network, including a nearly USD4 billion

deal to buy capacity from a consortium of cable companies and a swapping

of airwaves with pay-as-you-go carrier Leap Wireless International Inc.

in Chicago. AT&T said its failed USD39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA

was necessary to help it reach more Americans more efficiently with 4G

LTE service. Dec 30, 2011

Vevo Vevo reports big increase in video streaming to mobile

devices. Vevo, a music video portal, reports that its streaming of

videos to various mobile devices increased 700% from January to October.

Peak access for mobile devices typically is between 6 p.m. and midnight,

similar to prime time for television viewing, according to Vevo, which

delivers as many 875 million streams monthly. Dec 21, 2011

Wal-Mart Wal-Mart pushes hard on digital front. With digital

revenue increasing twice as fast as in-store revenue, Wal-Mart Stores is

pouring resources into its @WalmartLabs unit. The retail giant is in

sixth place in online sales, but its aggressive hiring of tech

entrepreneurs, global strategy of pursuing e-commerce acquisitions and

push into social and mobile platforms might soon boost Wal-Mart's

standing. Dec 22, 2011

Warner Home Video Home entertainment execs: 2011 was a year of

many changes. This year witnessed a variety of changes in the home

entertainment industry, including the withering of Netflix's

subscriber base, executives note. Video on demand finally started to

attract consumers, and the UltraViolet cloud-based authentication

service got off the ground late in the year. "We seem to be getting

some momentum in the sellthrough space, with catalog being a particular

bright spot. Black Friday was very strong this year and also bodes well

for a strong finish to 2011 and good momentum into the first quarter of

2012," said Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video. Dec 27,


WiseWindow 2012 Top Predictions: Most Returned Electronics, TV

Shows to Watch, Airlines to Avoid, and More. WiseWindow [ETH] a company

known for its ability to deliver predictive information around consumer

sentiment and purchase intent, today released its top 2012 forecasts

based on analysis of billions of online comments collected during the

year using its MOBI (Mass Opinion Business Intelligence*) system, which

provides business intelligence across a myriad of industries and

vertical categories. OFrom electronics to celebrities, television,

airlines and politics, these are the areas that drive the most

conversations online. Whether a consumer experiences a technological

malfunction or has a negative incident at the airport, these individuals

speak their minds online [ETH] in a very direct way,O explains Marshall

Toplansky, president of WiseWindow. OCollectively, these opinions tell a

story and allow us to make predictions for what weOll likely see coming

up in the New Year.O WiseWindowOs MOBI prophecies for 2012 include:

Which consumer electronics are most likely to be returned in

January?Answer: Motorola Atrix and BlackBerry Bold 990 [yen]These two

products are facing a triple threat [ETH] plummeting purchase intent

coupled with growing negative- and issues-based volume and tumbling

sentiment index performance [ETH] creating a recipe for disappointment.

Specifically, nearly 10 percent of all the Motorola Atrix opinions

related to a problem with the phone (the most common culprits: poor Web

browsing and issues relating to Flash) and 24% of problem opinions for

the Blackberry Bold 9900 related to poor battery power. What consumer

electronic product is most likely to go the way of the dinosaur in 2012?

Answer: BlackBerry PlayBook [yen]The PlayBookOs purchasing intent has

also plummeted since November, falling more than 300% while itOs ratio

of problems-to-total opinions was 5% [ETH] nearly four times that of its

competitors (iPad [ETH].75%; Kindle Fire [ETH] 1.52%; Motorola Xoom

[ETH] 1.16%; HP TouchPad [ETH] 1.13%). This deadly combination points to

the PlayBookOs likely demise in 2012. Which airline should you avoid in

2012? Answer: American Airlines [yen]Of the six million airline mass

opinions MOBI collected in 2011, American Airlines accounted for more

than 15% of the extreme negative opinions [ETH] the top reasons: poor

customer service, cost, flight routes, mileage program and poor VIP

convenience programs. WiseWindow actually predicted the companyOs

bankruptcy over the summer after its sentiment index score plummeted in

July to the bottom 11th percentile of all airlines [ETH] indicative of

an airline that is not adequately meeting consumersO needs and

expectations. Which TV shows will have the greatest DVD sales in 2012?

Answer: OBig Bang Theory,O OGlee,O OVampire Diaries,O ODexterO and OThe

Walking DeadO [yen]Based on sentiment index, likelihood to watch and DVD

discussions, the TV shows destined to have stellar DVD sales are: OBig

Bang TheoryO (with a sentiment index of 88), OGleeO (83), OVampire

DiariesO (79), ODexterO (77) and OThe Walking DeadO (69). Will Americans

support Obamacare in 2012? Answer: Yes [yen]MOBI collected 10 million

comments on healthcare reform and insurance in 2011; of the nearly one

million comments related specifically to Obamacare, the mass opinion

trended more positively throughout the year. In fact, the love/hate

ratio (the number of positive opinions divided by the negative opinion

volume) lifted for Obamacare each quarter from 1.5 in Q1, Q2 and Q3 to

2.2 in Q4. What issues will make or break the GOP election? Answer:

Jobs, deficit spending and Medicaid Jobs policies, deficit spending and

Medicaid policies comprise the most polarizing election issues,

fracturing opinions down the middle between positive and negative.

Consequentially, these are the issues most likely to swing election

results if the candidates arenOt careful on how they approach them:

[yen]Jobs policies [ETH] 20% positive; 19% negative [yen]Deficit

spending [ETH] 19% positive; 18% negative [yen]Medicaid policies [ETH]

19% positive; 13% negative Dec 22, 2011

ZVOX ZVOX debuts 3 Z-Base soundbars. ZVOX has introduced three

new models to its Z-Base soundbar line, designed to be placed underneath

flat-screen television sets. Pricing for the new soundbars ranges from

about USD200 to USD300. Dec 29, 2011

Zynga Zynga CTO makes tech predictions for the new year. Cadir

Lee, chief technology officer of Zynga, offers four predictions for the

coming year. He predicts that more games will be written in HTML5 and

says mobile payments will become more popular. He also expects e-books

to embrace streaming technology and more big sites to switch to HTTPS.

Dec 30, 2011

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