• Before Checking In: Business Travelers Waiting To Be Served
    When that airplane touches down, the first thing most travelers do is fire up the cell phone to check messages and news. It has become the reflex of any seasoned business traveler. In fact this segment, so coveted by the travel and lodging industry, is about as saturated in mobile data use as any group one can imagine. Curiously, b2b media companies have been slow to serve a readership that typically has been up to speed on smartphones longer than any other group. But this hyperconnected group should also be a prime target for just about any local merchant or …
  • The Daily Curates Holiday 'Awesome' In iPad App
    If you are looking for the right $157,000 Aston Martin for that special someone this holiday, then look no further than The Daily's Gift and Gadget Guide for the iPad, which was released yesterday. The wish book for the well-heeled may not be quite at the level of the old Neiman Marcus annuals of extravagance, but it has some of those aspirations.
  • Wish Books Grow A Brain
    If you are old enough to remember the first generation of hairless G.I. Joes and light-bulb-powered Easy-Bake Ovens (ouch! I still have the scars), then you may recall the thrill of seeing the Sears Holiday Wish Book arrive on the doorstep before Thanksgiving. The mother of all retail catalogs was a compendium of the toys TV had been teasing us with throughout the year. We kids circled items, dog-eared pages, tore whole sections from this Bible for the Church of Our Lady of American Consumption to ensure our parents knew what we wanted to receive for the holiday. Mobile media …
  • eReader Armies Assemble As Rakuten Acquires Kobo
    The Kobo eReader is one of those outliers in the connected device world that you see here and there at retail but aren't quite sure what to make of. The dearly departed Borders Books pushed the device and its ecosystem of 2.5 million ebooks. Up against Kindle and Nook, however, Kobo seemed like a curious entity that had no particular claim on the market. The company is getting some serious merchandising and marketing armaments, however, as it gets acquired for $315 million by Tokyo-based e-commerce services provider Rakuten. This company, which claims to be one of the top 3 e-commerce …
  • The Eyes Have It: Could Glance Control Be Your Next Mobile Interface?
    Let's all agree that the touch interface is a staggeringly effective way to engage users in media. I think all of us are surprised at just how significant a move it has been from the abstraction of controllers (mouse, directional keys, scroll wheels) to direct kinetic interaction. But why stop there? After all, there are some clear weaknesses to touch interfaces, especially on smartphones. The fat finger syndrome spells untold numbers of mistaken taps on all kinds of zones. And as we get accustomed to deeper reads on mobile devices, the relentless scrolling can be tedious.
  • 'Siri, Do You Want to Kill Google?'
    Eric Schmidt doesn't think that Google has a monopoly on search. Isn't that cute?In a written statement responding to a late September Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the executive chairman of Google reminds legislators "history shows that popular technology if often supplanted by entirely new models." Citing the rise of Facebook as a massive new source for directing eyeballs to major media and the success of vendors like Travelocity, Expedia and Amazon to acquire traffic without Google, he tries to position Google somehow as an equal player on the Internet. Adorable, really. But then he brings Siri into it.
  • Dialing For Deals: Mobile To Play Key Role In Holiday Shopping
    Last year at this time most retailers were caught unprepared for the massive mobilization of their customer base. Once it became apparent that the shopper in Aisle 5 was using her smartphone to scope out the quality of products, find better prices and even order from a rival right in the brand's own store, things changed quickly. Forget the "year of mobile" blather; 2011 has been the year that retail scrambled to craft apps and mobile Web sites that would recapture customer loyalty before some mobile startup snatched it away.
  • Yahoo Livestand: What Would Steve Do?
    As kismet would have it, last night I was testing the new Yahoo Livestand content aggregation app just as the PBS documentary on Steve Jobs, "One Last Thing," was running. At one point, Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am extolls the magic of the iPad by saying that it is a high-tech, multi-function personal computer that has no instruction manual, but anyone who picked it up already knew how to use it. I looked down at this sluggish, overwrought Livestand thingie, whose functionality and navigational structure I was still trying to figure out at least a half hour into the experience, …
  • Report: Mobile Coupon Redemption Value to Reach $43 Billion by 2016
    At Penn Station in New York yesterday I watched a man battle a self-serve ticket kiosk with his cell phone. Trying to get the machine's scanner to recognize the e-ticket code on his smartphone was a comedy in itself. He twisted it. He turned it. He even seemed to jerk it in front of the red light of the scanner as if trying to attract the lasers' attention. The road to mobile coupon redemption could be rocky, I thought. But it is worth traversing, according to Juniper Research.
  • Good Luck With That: Gamestop To Sell Android Tablet And Game Bundles
    While hardware makers such as Nintendo and Sony may be a bit slow to recognize how smartphones and other mobile devices are eating their handheld consoles' lunch in the market, games retailer GameStop knows where the action is. The leading specialty store for gamers is about to enter the tablet market by selling Android tablets bundled with games. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the company is initiating a pilot program involving hardware from Asustek Computer Inc., Acer and Samsung.
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