In case you missed it:
- Aloft Hotels, a Starwood brand, is rolling out a new “Smart Check-In” program which uses a RFID keycard & a push notification to a smart phone to let guests by-pass the check in lines and head straight for their rooms. I think this might be a better solution than trying to directly use NFC chips in smartphones.
- Expedia & Groupon announced Groupon Getaways at the All Things Digital D9 Conference. Henry Harteveldt and Evan Konweiser provide perspectives. Both agree that consumers will like it but that travel suppliers may not.
- Yahoo and Alibaba have made up (well sort of). But Alibaba’s Jack Ma thinks that Yahoo! would be better off it were broken up, something that Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has resisted thus far.
- Just a day after American Airlines released an attack ad against Orbitz (the video has been made “private” by American shortly after the court decision) the courts ruled in favor of Orbitz and ordered American to reinstate their fares on the Chicago-based OTA. But fear not CourtTV fans, the legal shenanigans continue.
- “Ooh, the cloud is scary…it’s unreliable to put complex, mission critical apps. You should keep it all on your own internal systems”. Yeah, right. Ignore the haters. NYSE Technology just built a custom cloud for financial markets. If a highly-regulated industry that relies on real-time data can implement the cloud, any industry can.
- Oracle donates OpenOffice.org to the Apache Software Foundation. While @krishnan wonders about the ramifications wrt the LibreOffice fork of the project, I wonder whether the real purpose behind the move is to re-ingratiate Oracle to the Apache folks and bring them back into the JCP as part of a strategy in the ongoing litigation against Google for the forking of Java in the Android platform.
- Nokia downgraded its earnings outlook and the markets responded with a vengeance knocking down the stock by about one-fourth to almost half the 52-week high price. Asymco’s Horace Dediu breaks down the value of the different components of Nokia’s business.
- Groupon filed for an IPO and some of the information released made a few people wonder where the real value of the company lies and if the model is sustainable. What was most shocking to me is that in the last funding round – which was a BILLION dollars – 86% of the funds were paid back out to existing investors, board members and officers. I have never seen such an exit for investors between rounds. Crazy.
- I was having a conversation with a client the other day about how to balance support of older platforms versus building their apps with an eye to the future. An hour later, Google announced they were dropping support for Firefox 3.5, IE7 and Safari 3. Good decision IMO. If only Microsoft built a version of IE9 (the only version of IE that supports HTML5) that worked on XP, life would be much easier for people designing web apps.
- Ever hear of “Availability Zones”? In the wake of the Amazon outage a few weeks ago, you may want to learn. There’s not a lot of info out there on how they work, but F5’s Lori MacVittie does a nice job summarizing and putting it into context regarding application reliability and availability & DR in the cloud.