Monday, March 23, 2009
- Wal-Mart to award $2bn to staff:
By Jonathan Birchall in New York
Published: March 23 2009 19:04 | Last updated: March 23 2009 19:04
Wal-Mart has underlined its ascendancy in an otherwise bleak US retail landscape with plans to award about $2bn in financial bonuses and other incentives to hundreds of thousands of its US hourly employees.
The annual package of bonuses, which include cash bonuses and additional contributions to pension savings accounts, comes as several troubled retailers have suspended contributions to their staff’s 401(k) pension savings."
Saturday, February 28, 2009
"By CRIS PRYSTAY
Three years ago, Google Inc. had a marginal physical presence in Asia -- a handful of staff in sales offices in Japan, Korea and Australia. Flash forward to 2008: The company has 2,000 employees in 15 offices in the region, plus 11 research-and-development centers, where engineers churn out products and services for Asian markets as well as Internet users world-wide."
Thursday, February 05, 2009
"Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, reported January sales that exceeded its projection and said it will stop giving a monthly forecast, citing difficulty in predicting consumer behavior."
"IBM partners with Google Health
People who use Google Health will now be able to automatically stream data from medical devices - such as those used to monitor glucose levels and blood pressure - into their personal health records.
In a partnership announced Thursday, Google Health users will be able to use IBM software to connect their personal medical devices to their health record. That will allow patients to exchange the data with their doctors or other authorized parties in real time."
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Here are some notes on initial reactions so far to Google Earth 5:"
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
"After introducing tasks for Gmail on desktop browsers, Google has produced an optimized Web app for managing Gmail tasks on your iPhone. It isn't quite as full-featured as its desktop counterpart, but Gmail users who are looking to get a little more productive will surely appreciate the gesture.
By David Chartier | Last updated February 3, 2009 10:40"
"Google announced its 'Doodle 4 Google 2009' competition Tuesday. According to the company, all kindergarten through 12th grade U.S. students can design a Google logo based on the theme, 'What I wish for the world.' Applications will be accepted until March 31 and the winner's doodle will be displayed on Google's homepage on May 21. The winner will receive a $15,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for their school. Google will also award a school district $10,000 for the 'greatest quality participation.' Student drawings will be evaluated by a panel of independent judges and Google employees."
"Google and NASA have partnered to back a new school for futurists dubbed 'Singularity University.' Ray Kurzweil, 'whose predictions about the exponential pace of technological change have made him a controversial figure in technology circles,' will run the school, writes David Gelles. The school will sit at the Ames Research Center near Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and offer courses on biotechnology, nano-technology and artificial intelligence."
"Wal-Mart is testing hybrid diesel-electric trucks in a step towards extending the energy saving technology to the workhorses of the US road transport system.
Chris Sultemeier, head of Wal-Mart’s transport, said on Monday the retailer would operate trucks in different US cities over the coming year, to “determine if these technologies will help reduce our environmental footprint, are viable for our business and provide a return on investment”."
"Here is some visual delights showing new features of Google Earth 5 by video (including three I created and added to my posts yesterday). You can download Google Earth 5 for free and try these features out yourself. Check out GEB's main post on GE 5 which includes links to other feature stories."
"On Monday, the ocean images will undergo the most significant of several upgrades to Google Earth, with the new version downloadable free at earth.google.com, according to the company.
Another feature, Historical Imagery, provides the ability to scroll back through decades of satellite images and watch the spread of suburbia or erosion of coasts."
Click a function called Touring and you can create narrated, illustrated tours, on land or above and below the sea surface, describing and showing things like a hike or scuba excursion, or even a research cruise on a deep-diving submarine.
Monday, February 02, 2009
"Google’s Internet search service malfunctioned for nearly 55 minutes Saturday morning, upending users around the world with search results that carried false safety warnings and Web links that did not work.
The company acknowledged Saturday that all searches produced links with the same warning message: “This site may harm your computer.” Clicking on any of the links led to an error message stating that the desired site could not be reached.
“What happened?” Google explained in its blog. “Very simply, human error.”
Google said it periodically updates its list of sites suspected of carrying dangerous software that could harm computers, and that Saturday morning a Google employee mistyped a Web address for one such site, causing all sites to be flagged harmful."
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
"Last year I blogged about the YouTube corner at the World Economic Forum event in Davos, Switzerland. They had prime real estate between the main conference area and private meeting rooms, and heads of state, business executives, Nobel Laureates and rock stars strolled by and stopped to leave a video."Not really a surprise as it will probably be the infrastructure for a gezillion videos on demand on the Home TV.
Telephone+ TV+ Search + big filing cabinet = Internet.
Google owns Telephone and Search. If Gdrive works, that's the big filing cabinet. YouTube should be the TV part.
Next stop is publishing in the physical world. That means Print.
Wal-Mart Pushes Green Outside U.S. Borders.."Maybe Wal-mart will buy some newspapers? Turn them into community based regional papers and set up Publishing Centers to attract new talent + change the perception of their brand?
NaturalPath Media - found this 45 hours ago on www.environmentalleader.com (flag)
Wal-Mart announced this week goals to reduce phosphates in products in the Americas region by 70 percent by 2011. The move is part of a larger environmental plan for the region, which will also include more sustainable packaging. Phosphates, a chemical commonly found in laundry and dish
NEW YORK (Reuters) - As markets brace for the worst corporate defaults since the Great Depression, torrents of cash are flowing to America's highest-quality companies, pushing their borrowing costs to record or multiyear lows."I guess they also missed the news about the financial meltdown. Wonder if they might be interested in being a channel for Community Based Publishing? Or maybe they would be interested in setting up Publishing Centers, next to their drug stores?
"The Wal-Mart Foundation today announced $843,000 in contributions to local non-profit organizations and projects across Arkansas."Economic Stimulus anyone?
"Retail giant Wal-Mart pulled building permits this week from the City of Morgan Hill for its planned store in Cochrane Plaza.I guess they missed the news that the sky is falling.
Already, Wal-Mart's presumed contractor, Shales Construction, has erected green construction fencing around the old Target store, where the shop will be located."
"Every day, I look for ways to make the OS less relevant and make kids’ work accessible to them anytime, anywhere. I can’t do this just yet for my secretaries and some serious power users. They rely at least on the full feature set (or a significant subset) of OpenOffice, and a select few are using Office 2007/2008 for all it’s worth (detractors aside, it’s worth quite a lot)."Google + Cloud Content + Dell, et al = deep shit for textbook publishers.
"Rumors of the GDrive, Google’s supposed answer to online file storage, are bubbling up again. The fabled GDrive is by far the most clamored-for Google service that, so far anyway, has yet to see the light of day. We’ve been hearing about a Google Drive online storage solution for years, but lately some tell-tale signs seem to point toward GDrive becoming a reality."Ya think?
Rumour: Google to buy Skype | News | TechRadar UK Links3Internet = telephone + TV + Search + a big filing cabinet.
Maximum PC all RSS Feed found this 3 days ago on www.techradar.com (flag)
Leading VoIP service Skype goes from strength to strength, with revenues rising by 26 per cent last quarter. Yet despite this success, parent company eBay is rumoured to be looking to offload its cash-cow to none other than Google. The rumours seem credible when you consider that eBay's latest"
As Google and Yahoo! play Privacy Theatre, at least one search engine has realized your personal data is not a toy.The tricky part is that the movement in advertising is to geo location. No IP addresses, no geo information? I'm not a geek, so I don't know for sure, but . . . .
Today - aka Data Privacy Day 2009 - Netherlands-based search engine Ixquick told the world it will no longer log user IPs. In the past, the privacy-obsessed outfit stored IP addresses for only 48 hours, but it has now shunned the practice entirely."
Robert Cottrell has a provocative post about the cloud today. Is the future of information in the cloud? Robert has his doubts:"Are nation states defined by imaginary lines on the ground after WWI and WWII too big to fail? How about gerrymandered congressional districts?
"President Obama and Google CEO Eric Schmidt-- At Google's D.C. inauguration bash, Craigslist's Craig Newmark said to keep an eye on Google project manager Katie Jacobs Stanton. Booyah.Google+NoDrama Obama = Government Information Infrastructure.
"I just had a very fun debate/conversation on bloggingheadstv with Ari Schwartz of the Center for Democracy and Technology. The subject was the story Fred Vogelstein and I recently wrote called The Plot to Kill Google, and the particular topic was privacy.In Google Mart information is the infrastructure. Infrastructure needs regulation. What is going to change isthe cultural definition of "privacy."
We began by discussing part of the article's thesis: privacy is going to be a huge debate in the next year, in large part because a group of companies that don't like Google seem it as the best way to go after the search company. If they can paint the Mountain View company as a sprawling snooper, they can weaken it and thus gain leverage in all sorts of other areas."
"hen Google launched Gmail's IMAP capabilities last year, it thrust the ubiquitous Web-based mail service into the limelight as a true contender for enterprise use. Even though it's tightly integrated with Google Apps, a powerful suite of business tools, many people still shunned Gmail citing about a lack of offline accessibility. Gmail users, rejoice. Now there's Offline Gmail."Email is the killer AP. The web is Telephone+TV+Search + as big filing cabinet. It's driven by Telephone. Email is telephone.
Google M-Labs: Your Personal Traffic Cop - The Channel Wire - IT Channel News And Views by CRN and VARBusiness
"Google M-Labs: Your Personal Traffic Cop"Not a bad idea if you have the biggest baddest server farms on the planet.
Streaming video, BitTorrent and e-mailing photos are all dependent on the speed of a broadband connection. Recently, there has been news that some ISPs are planning to impose rate limits on customer connections that can throttle how quickly broadband operates. Google doesn't think that's fair and has created Measurement Labs (or M-Labs) to let users fight back.
Traces of GDrive have been extremely difficult, or impossible, to find in the wild — until recently that is. This higher rate of GDrive related discoveries tells me that the service is sure to be a released as a real product at some point, hopefully soon."Time to buy umbrellas for the Google Cloud?
"Google's long-awaited online storage tool, dubbed the Google Drive, may soon be a reality. A detailed description of the GDrive was found in a file used by Google Pack, a suite of Google desktop programs, by blogger Brian Ussery."The Cloud is forming. It's been a long time forming, but getting very close.
"The White House has confirmed to The Deal that former Google Inc. executive Katie Jacobs Stanton has been hired. A spokesperson could not confirm her exact title, which AllthingsD.com reported late Wednesday night will be the very Web 2.0-sounding position of 'director of citizen participation."Education, health and government are the growing markets. Google fan gathering + No Drama Obama building the communication infrastructure.
"It looks like Dell is set to reenter the mobile-phone business. At least that's the story according to The Wall Street Journal. While the promise of a Windows Mobile phone from Dell is kind of dull, the potential of a Dell phone running Google Android is the hotness. The WSJ has reported:"Dell+Google vs iPhone +ATT? I'm betting on a real horse race that is just going to speed up adoption of ubiquitous computing. Can't wait until Dell or ???? starts doing ebooks v Kindle. I figure Dell on the ground+ Google in the Cloud is a real match for Kindle+Amazon in the Cloud. Download a book for $1 instead of $9.95.? And when they focus on textbooks, who exactly is going to pay $35 for a textbook that might cost $10? Too bad the knol project didn't scale. Maybe when the knol writers can get textbook royalties. . . .
"Swiss police said Thursday they stumbled across a large marijuana plantation while using Google Earth, the search engine company's satellite mapping software."Consider the size of the shadow economy of crime and how it has erupted in "global terrorism."
"After I produced a map that shows the growth of Walmart, there were tons of comments that were along the lines of, 'I would love to see this for insert company here.' I was happy to see the enthusiasm, but the hard part is getting the data for all store locations and opening dates."Very cool maps.
"In an interview with The New York Times, Bruce Springsteen says he shouldn't have made a deal with Wal-Mart. This month, the store started exclusively selling a Springsteen greatest-hits CD.
Some fans were critical because Springsteen has been a longtime supporter of worker's rights, and Wal-Mart has faced criticism for its labor practices. Springsteen's team didn't vet the issue as closely as it should have, and that he 'dropped the ball on it,' he told the Times for a story to be published in Sunday editions and previewed on its Web site"
The long term value is the fans. Short term gains can mess up long term values.
"Eco Tourism Center receives Wal-Mart grantEco tourism could be a growing sector.
CLINTON — Sen. Roger Stewart and Rep. Polly Bukta helped the Clinton County Conservation Foundation accept a $30,000 donation from the Wal-Mart Foundation during an event Friday at the Clinton Wal-Mart store."
Friday, January 30, 2009
"Google TV Ads, the TV advertising platform for TV advertisers, is offering new time-shifting viewership data for its TV advertiser clients.
Google says the information gives clients insight into how and when viewers see their commercials in playback, adding five new slots of programming to its live data: live plus same day, live plus one day, live plus two day, live plus three days, and live plus seven day data."
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Techtree News Staff, Jan 27, 2009 1254 hrs IST
This drive will allow users to save their data online and users will be able to access their data from any computer in the world.
Taking cloud computing to a new level, Google is soon going to launch 'GDrive', a long-rumored online storage for its users."
"Jan 26, 2009 at 2:49pm ET by Danny Sullivan
With 2008 behind us, I wanted to look back and plot how search engine market share changed over the year in the United States. No surprises here. Pick your numbers, Google grew and grew. Yahoo and Microsoft dropped by lately have leveled off.
Before we do the pretty pictures, I’ll repeat my standing philosophy about search market share figures:"
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Google is growing a TV network. As computer to TV screen comes on line, this could turn out to be a big deal. Q: How to monetize You Tube? A: Become a TV network and sell advertising.
And use the long tail of the fastest, bestest, cheapest server farms in the world.
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Urban China has the largest percent of users who watch online video via their PCs, at 97 percent, with the U.S. following at 81 percent.
- The U.S. has the largest percentage of users watching video on a mobile phone, at 23 percent. U.S. respondents who watch video on their mobile phone spend an average of 36 minutes per day doing so.
- Eighty-five percent of the German respondents are interested in viewing Internet video on their TV sets, compared with 55 percent of Swedes, 54 percent of Americans, and 35 percent of urban Chinese.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
"Wal Mart Mexico is getting in on the act, launching a 174kw solar array on top of Bodega Aurrera Aguascalientes, one of its stores.
While nowhere near the size of many recent record breaking solar projects elsewhere, (the largest solar roof in the world being GM's 12MW system in Spain), the array is apparently the largest solar array in Latin America. Whether or not we compare it to international records, it is still a major step forward, and a step forward that may encourage the kind of 'solar arms race' we've been seeing elsewhere in the world, with new projects getting bigger all the time. Encouragingly this project is being billed as just a beginning for Wal Mart Mexico."
"Walmart’s app is at least a little more interesting. Called “Walmart - BlowAKiss,” the app is targeted towards Valentine’s Day shoppers. While naturally you can browse and buy Valentine’s Day presents (or, as some might call it, junk), the app also allows you to send that special someone a specially decorated email — or as Walmart calls it, “blow them a kiss.”
The somewhat cute thing about it is that to send the message from your iPhone you actually blow into the device’s microphone. So technically, you are actually blowing them the kiss."
"CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The University of Charleston and Wal-Mart cut the ribbon Friday to open the first of its kind, on-campus pharmacy in the United States.
The pharmacy, which is open to the general public, will teach students real-life work experience while providing quality healthcare services to the local community.
The facility, located in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Pharmacy Education on the UC campus."
"BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, said its tender offer to acquire a majority stake in Chile's largest food retailer was successful. Wal-Mart says it has acquired about 58.2 percent of the Distribucion y Servicio's shares. The move helps Wal-Mart expand in the South American country.
Wal-Mart already has a global procurement office in Santiago and exports Chilean products to its stores in the U.S. and throughout the world. Wal-Mart says D&S operates more than 180 stores in Chile. Wal-Mart's international business is the company's fastest-growing division."
"Google says the vast majority of the 1 million businesses that use Google Apps opt for the free advertising supported version. To make the free option less attractive they've been quietly lowering the number of user accounts that can be associated with a free account. Now as businesses grow, they'll be forced to move to the paid version much more quickly than before.
Google Apps is a suite of online applications like gmail, Google calendar, Google Docs, etc. that are packaged and tailored for business use. It's growing fast - in a recent post where Google announced the opening of a reseller program, the company said that more than 1 million businesses and 10 million users use Google Apps today, and 3,000 new businesses sign up daily. The largest business user, Genentech, has 20,000 employees on Google Apps."
By Jim Puzzanghera and Jessica Guynn
January 24, 2009
Reporting from Washington -- Another inauguration took place in Washington this week -- Google Inc. officially became a political power player.
In October, Google was only hours from being sued by the Justice Department as a Web-search monopolist. Today, less than three years after it made its first Washington hire, the Internet giant is poised to capitalize on its backing of President Obama and pursue its agenda in the nation's capital."
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Some of the biggest international retailers are going ahead with ambitious expansion plans in China, which remains a relative bright spot in a world of slumping sales.
Companies like U.K. supermarket chain Tesco PLC and big-box retailers Carrefour SA and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. continue to see the Chinese consumer as a good long-term bet. For now, even though consumer sentiment in China shows clear signs of flagging, retail sales growth is still positive.
Retailers 'look stupid if they open in Europe or the U.S., so emerging markets [like China] look more attractive,' said Morgan Parker, Asia president of luxury ..."
"'During the last nine years, the growth of the Internet has changed the way the world seeks information,' they observe. 'From President Bush's first inaugural address in 2001 to his second in 2005, the number of inauguration-related searches increased by more than a factor of 10. From 2005 to today's address, the number grew even more.'
Equally significant, if not more so for traditional media organizations, is the extent to which Google has become the TV Guide of the Internet. 'Few of the 2001 queries requested 'video,' and none requested streaming,' write Oldham and Leach. 'By 2005, a few queries such as 'inauguration audio' and 'streaming video of inauguration' appeared. Today, technology has become so prevalent that queries such as 'YouTube live inauguration,' 'live blogging inauguration,' 'inaugural podcast,' and 'Obama inaugural speech mp3' formed one-third of all inauguration-related queries.'"
Dropping various products like Print Ads, its Twitter-like application Jaiku, and Lively a Second Life clone, reflects a tightening of its bottom line. Firing 100 recruiters (and the implied drop in future hires) and the closing of its offices in Sweden and Norway, as well as a newly opened one in Austin, Texas are also the actions of a company trying to improve its numbers. The cutting of 20 engineers cuts a little to the heart of the company's operation."
"New York City, along with Google, launched a new website that is designed to help tourists and residents find their way around the city, and plan their days out. As a recent first-time visitor to the Big Apple, a site like this would have actually been quite useful.
Mayor Bloomberg says he hopes that “nycgo.com becomes the official online resource for tourists and residents looking for an activity or a place to go”. The site appears to have lots of information, and can definitely direct people in the right direction."
"Google (NSDQ: GOOG) decided that opening another window on your desktop to view a YouTube video required too much effort. Solution? Video viewing capabilities are now a standard Gmail Chat feature.
Tack on another feature to the growing list of 'I Can Do That' abilities in Google's Gmail.
Software engineer Jessan Hutchison-Quillian posted a blurb on The Official Gmail Blog late last night. Hutchison-Quillian says, 'My friends always hate it when I multitask in other tabs while chatting with them (they can tell because of my obviously delayed reactions...). But sometimes it's not my fault: if they send me a link to a YouTube video, I have to open another tab in order to watch it.'"
"TechCrunch is reporting that YouTube is beginning to allow content partners to serve their own ads along with videos they make available via the service. This is, of course, pretty huge. It’s one of the key principles of monetizing unbundled media and one that mass media types will immediately welcome. After all, who has a bigger mass that YouTube, right?
Erick Schonfeld, who wrote the TechCrunch piece, rightly notes that Google wants to monetize YouTube any way it can.
The ability to sell their own ads on YouTube is a big deal for larger media companies, especially those which are already selling Web video ads across their own sites. Media companies with lots of video tend to have large advertising sales teams that are typically able to command better ad rates than what YouTube can get. The prospect of selling ads against all of their videos on YouTube at those higher ad rates has them salivating, even if they have to share the spoils with YouTube."
"The 451 Group, a market intelligence consultancy that proudly distinguishes itself from its 'pay-for-play-propaganda' competitors, predicts that 2009 will be a big year for open-source software merger and acquisition activity. (DealBook has the tip.)
The reasoning goes something like this: In a down economy, software users are going to seek the low-price alternative, just as retail consumers flock to Wal-Mart. So established software companies will be looking to snap up likely suspects.
The expectation is not that customers will divert funds previously allocated to proprietary projects toward open source software but that significant project spending will be delayed while open source becomes even more attractive for smaller, skunkworks-style projects."
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
"From Herald News Services
Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Retail - Wal-Mart plans to open its first Vancouver store today.
The new outlet represents the retailer's long-sought break into the Vancouver market following the very public and political rejection of a proposed development at another location in 2005."
"Google could be developing a new online storage system, if a screenshot from the new version of Picasa for Mac is to be believed. The image shows a new entry to the “Move to Collection” menu option, listing “Google Web Drive” among the usual array of folders and shortcuts."
Published: January 20, 2009
Think you're up on the latest trends? Check out Google Zeitgeist to find out. Google recently released its annual report of fastest'rising search terms for the year, which covers everything from politics to gifts, and it also has a host of other tools to help you better understand what's hot and what's not. The Year'End Zeitgeist report takes you back through the top events, happenings, and issues of the year."
"n 2001, there were no Google search queries for streaming video of George W. Bush’s inaugural address. In fact, there were very few even for video of the event. By 2005, Bush’s second inaugural address, that had changed as inauguration-related searches rose by a factor of 10. Yesterday, during Barack Obama’s inauguration, that factor grew even more, according to a post on the Google Blog."
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Google Inc.’s founding executive chef, Charlie Ayers, opens his first restaurant Tuesday in Palo Alto.
Calafia Cafe & Market A-Go-Go is a casual caf�and bar located in Town & Country Village.
Ayers is known for this “slow food served fast” approach to cooking and wrote Food 2.0: Secrets from the Chef Who Fed Google .
He plans to use a majority of ingredients from within a 150-mile radius and will not serve food containing growth hormones or antibiotics."
"Washington (DC) - Tomorrow's Presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, an event of historic proportions by any merit, will be streamed live to iPhone and iPod touch users - thanks to Juicy Development's Talk Radio application. As the inauguration ceremony unfolds, iPhone and iPod touch users across the globe will be able to hear a live audio stream of the event. That is, provided there is public Wi-Fi hotspot coverage because carriers don't currently allow applications that stream audio over their cellular networks."
"Chicago (IL) - Barack Obama, the first African American President in the U.S. history, is scheduled to become sworn today at noon EST. He also appeared to have found some spare time to roll out a new YouTube feature that finally lets people legally download YouTube videos to their computers. Sort of. Google has actually chosen Barack Obama's YouTube channel as an exclusive test ground for the download feature that may or may not eventually apply to entire YouTube content when it's rolled out officially. The choice of Obama's channel is not coincidental: With today's inauguration, traffic on Obama's channel would go through the roof - a real test for the download feature."
"Google Inc. maintained its hold on the search advertising market during the fourth quarter with 76 percent market share while Yahoo Inc. gained 3 percent share year-over-year, according to a report Tuesday.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Efficient Frontier, which provides search engine marketing technology and services, released its quarterly report based an analysis of 92 billion impressions and 600 million clicks across a portion of its customers.
'Despite the economic downturn and reports of the erosion of other marketing channels in 2008, the index of Efficient Frontier customers included in the Q4 report saw a minimal 8 percent decrease year-over-year, while the retail sector saw a 9 percent uptick in spending year-over-year, an indication of the strength of the search marketing channel,' the company said."
"For years people have speculated that Google would use some of its incredible capacity to offer dedicated online data storage, something like a 'Google Drive.' Hints that such a project is in the works have popped up time and again, but some interesting new ones have emerged lately.
Why would you like a Google Drive service? For the presumably very low price point (free?), for the ease of backing up important data or for the potential integration of stored data into other powerful Google services? There's lots of reasons to perk up your ears when rumors like this pop up.
Greg Sterling sums up the latest rumors on Search Engine Land this morning. He points to two other recent stories that offer hope that GDrive is real."
"Over the coming weeks T-Mobile's G1 Android phone will be released across several more European Countries.
The G1 will be made available to T-Mobile customers across The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Austria by January 30th. With the G1 launching across Germany on February 2nd, followed by Poland later in the month.
In Germany the G1 phone will sell for 1 euro ($1.33) in combination with a two-year contract with T-Mobile, or can be bought for 450 euros without a plan."
"What happened to Knol? Announced by Google in late 2007 and launched in July 2008, the site was meant to bring more credible (read: not written by anonymous Wikipedians) 'knowledge units' to the web, and it would allow the authors to cash in on their work. But it's 2009, and Knol appears to be notable largely for its non-notability.
First, the good news. Knol users have already published more than 100,000 pieces of knowledge and the project has a (shockingly) quick schedule of incremental releases. According to the Knolologists of Google, 'people visit Knol from 197 countries and territories on an average day, from the Aland Islands and Antarctica to Zambia and Zimbabwe.'"
Monday, January 19, 2009
"AGUASCALIENTES, AGS. - January 19, 2009 - Wal-Mart Mexico successfully concluded the installation of a photovoltaic complex that will generate 20% of the energy used by Bodega Aurrera Aguascalientes. Over 1,056 solar panels that were set up on the roof of the store will transform sun energy into electricity. The project, with 174 kW installed, is the largest photovoltaic complex in Latin America, according to ANES (the Mexican Solar Energy Association), and will eliminate the emission of some 140 tons of CO2. ANES gave an award to Wal-Mart Mexico as recognition for this project."
"We agree with Alex that Microsoft still has an incredible lead over Google in distribution and features. We also agree Google will have a devil of a time trying to make real money off Google Apps.
But that's Google's problem. The problem for Microsoft remains they're trying to charge a lot of money for a product that hasn't significantly changed in over ten years, while Google has something 90% as good (and getting better) that's free."
"In addition, Salesforce offers customers access to Google's App Engine, which provides access to the search engine's spreadsheet, presentation, word processing, Web mail, and other applications."
Friday, January 16, 2009
"Not since the heyday of John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie has the working man had a friend like Bruce Springsteen. From his eulogies for the American Dream on “Born in the U.S.A.” to “The Grapes of Wrath”-redux of “The Ghost of Tom Joad” to the union-rallying music fueling “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions,” the Boss has championed blue collar causes.
So what led Springsteen to release his new hits package solely through Wal-Mart, a company that pro-union organizations including the AFL-CIO and American Rights at Work blame for “Main Street’s whitewashed windows and vacant stores” that haunt “My Hometown”?"
"Mountain View (CA) - Google is looking to trim the fat from its global operations. The company will be looking for ways to replace or close non-performing or lesser-performing areas of its business. The first to go? Google Video, Google Catalog Search and Google Notebook."
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Police Blotter is a regular CNET News report on the intersection of technology and the law.
What: Google searches for phrases including 'hit-and-run' nab California investment banker who claimed he believed he killed a deer instead of a person.
When: California appeals court rules on January 14, 2009.
Outcome: Conviction upheld.
What happened, according to court documents and other sources:"
Google Giveth, and Taketh Away: Google Video, Notebook, Catalog Search, Jaiku, and Dodgeball to Shut Down
"A number of Google services just announced that they are about to shut down. The Google Video team announced that it will shut down uploads in a few months, while the Google Notebook team announced that it is stopping development (the service will continue to function, however). According to Danny Sullivan, Google is also closing Jaiku, a Twitter-like micro-blogging service that was bought by Google before it even launched, but which has lingered in invite-only mode ever since. Google Catalog search, which made shopping catalogs searchable, will also be closed soon.
Update: Google will release the Jaiku code under the open source Apache license, so that other organizations can pick up where the Google team left off. It is not clear if current users will be able to transfer their accounts."
America's Most Valuable Retail Brands: Redesigned Walmart Brand Worth More Than Next 9 Retailers Combined
"Interbrand values Walmart brand at $129.8 billion, thanks in part to its new 'Save Money, Live Better' slogan, redesigned stores and about $400 billion in 2008 sales.
The first American retail brand study puts Walmart in a stratospheric class by itself with a brand value almost six times higher than that of second place Best Buy, at $21.98 billion, and almost twice as high as Coke, which is recognized as the world’s most valuable product brand. With its built-in advantages in a troubled economy, Walmart might even improve that position in 2009."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"NEW YORK — The economy will turn around some day — but don’t expect conspicuous consumption to make a comeback.
So believes H. Lee Scott, chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., noting the dismal economy has caused a permanent and fundamental change in consumer behavior.
The ceo of the world’s largest retailer spoke at the opening session of the National Retail Federation’s 98th annual convention and expo here Monday morning. In what he called his last public speech as Wal-Mart’s ceo — he’ll be succeeded by Mike Duke on Feb. 1 — Scott predicted the first half of 2009 will be “extraordinarily challenging. In the second half you’ll have a rough spot against the stimulus package. It will be moderately better next year. I don’t see anything that says it will turn around swiftly.”"
"Low prices trumped panache as big-box stores crowded out department stores in Interbrand Design Forum's first ever survey of the top 50 retail brands.
In the report, released today, the New York branding agency named Wal-Mart to the top of the list. Best Buy, The Home Depot, Target and CVS rounded out the top five.
Among the study's inaugural findings: The best retail brands have a clearly defined purpose, 'surround the purchase with a relevant experience,' 'make good on the brand promise' and maintain a consistent brand quality and shopping experience over time. Moreover, the presence of such e-commerce retailers such as eBay (No. 11) and Amazon (No. 14) illustrates that the scope of retail brands is no longer defined by a purely brick-and-mortar"
Google says that more than 1 million businesses and 10 million users use Google Apps today, and 3,000 new businesses sign up daily. The largest business user, Genentech, has 20,000 employees on Google Apps."
Author: Arne Brachhold
This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages as well as custom ones. Everytime you edit or create a post, your sitemap is updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like ASK.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO, are notified about the update."
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Not sponsored by or affiliated with Google.
"Map Channels Team Maps provides an easy way for groups to create collaborative maps and for websites and blogs to create maps which can be embedded and which can be edited by site visitors."
Written by Phil Muncaster
vnunet.com, 12 Jan 2009
The latest in a long line of challengers to Google emerged at the weekend with the launch of a search engine called MelZoo, which has been designed to maximise user productivity.
The site differs from most other web search tools in that the results screen is divided in two. The left side shows search listings, while the right side displays the corresponding web pages."
Google has added a new layer tonight. The layer is for the 'Museo Nacional del Prado' in Madrid, Spain. This layer is special because it shows you a selection of 14 paintings from the museum which have been scanned at ultra-high resolution. You use the Google Earth Photo Overlay feature to view the paintings. First, you can find the new layer in the Layers pane under: 'Geographic Web -> Preview -> Museo de Prado'. Once there, select the layer (if it isn't already) and double-click the 'Museo Prado' placemark. This will fly you to the museum. Make sure the '3D Buildings' layer is turned on to see the outside of the museum rendered in 3D. Then select the placemark 'Museo Nacional del Prado' and you should see 14 thumbnails of the paintings Google selected for showing (they said it was hard narrowing the choice to so few, but these are among the best)."
Monday, January 12, 2009
Out of the titan discounter's more than 3,300 stores worldwide, it has chosen this location to test a new retail strategy of shrinking inventory and the size of its supercenters to generate more sales per square foot - a key retail measure - while maintaining its appeal as a one-stop shopping destination.
Once a massive, 220,000-square-foot store on Smiley Road near Interstate 275 and Winton Road, the Walmart was remodeled and shrunk by 93,000 square feet late last year, reopening in November.
Like no other Walmart in the world, the smaller store has a new color scheme, wider aisles, lower shelving, 'green' lighting, unobstructed views and a renovated pharmacy and restrooms."
"A recent Times-Herald article on Wal-Mart's one-year anniversary quoted me accurately but omitted the exact figures for the city that Wal-Mart has contributed. Based on publicly released figures available from the state of California (www.boe.ca.gov\sutax\localdist.htm), we at California Healthy Community Networks have been able to determine the following figures:
Net revenue for American Canyon from retail sales in 2007/2008 (Aug. 14, 2007 to Aug. 13, 2008) -- $1,604,658
Since Wal-Mart opened mid-fiscal quarter, we estimate based on subsequent quarters that Wal-Mart and all of the other new businesses in American Canyon generated $147,257 that are not in the above figures.
This makes the total figures for retail sales in American Canyon for the period at $1,751,915.
Total sales for American Canyon in the comparable period for 2006/2007 is 1,256,451.
This makes the total generated difference between the Wal-Mart's opening and the previous year at $495,464.
Since specific businesses do not release their actual sales tax revenues, and the other new outlets in American Canyon (including a shoe store, Radio Shack, T-Mobile cell phones, a gas station, 10 new restaurants and two hotels) also contributed to the increase, we are left with the general impression that Wal-Mart contributed between $300,000 and $350,000 to the city's coffers in sales tax revenues. Wal-Mart promised more than $600,000 of sales tax revenues to the city of American Canyon. We atCalifornia Healthy Community Networks would love to see Wal-Mart's actual figures and see if they are significantly different from what the state seems to claim and what Wal-Mart promised the taxpayers of American Canyon.
This $350k they did receive also has to cover the increased costs of having 2-3 shift officers patrolling either Highway 29 in front of Wal-Mart or the parking lot of Wal-Mart. Also, most critically for the long-term health of American Canyon, nothing in this money is going towards the upgrade of Highway 29 to 6 lanes that the citizens are required to pay now that the city approved the Supercenter going in on that state highway.
For you folks who may not have heard this part, the Wal-Mart Supercenter was not part of the city's long-term plans submitted to Caltrans for planning purposes. The city went ahead and approved the development in spite of the fact that Caltrans had no funding mechanism to expand the highway to accommodate the increased traffic and access required by a Supercenter. Caltrans denied a funding request from the city and the city sued in state court to force Caltrans to pay for the highway upgrade.
12 January 2009
Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, has registered a legal entity in Russia and joined a local retailers' organization, the latest in a series of moves indicating its interest in expanding into the country.
The company registered a subsidiary under the name WM Eastern Europe Holdings and joined the Russian Association of Retail Trade Companies, or AKORT, which includes the 28 largest commercial organizations in the country.
'Wal-Mart is working on the Russian market,' Ilya Belonovsky, the executive director of the 28-member industry group said Dec. 29. He declined to elaborate."
"Beginning as a one-truck operation serving Eastern Ontario in 1990, Seaway has grown to over 65 units and has made a specialty out of serving the tightly scheduled Wal-Mart distribution Center, also located in the Cornwall Business Park.
Known as Supply Chain Management, the Wal-Mart depot handles all the stores' merchandise east of Ontario."
"Agentrics PLM Platform Core to World's Largest Retailer's Private Brand Growth Strategy
Chicago (PRWEB) January 12, 2009 -- Agentrics, a leading solution provider to the world's largest retailers and their trading partners, today announced that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), the world's largest retailer, selected the Agentrics product lifecycle management (PLM) platform to support the collaborative development of its private brand products, beginning with the Wal-Mart Great Value line. Agentrics PLM features a Web-based, collaborative, end-to-end work process, database and production environment to drive speed, innovation and consistency across the product lifecycle. Agentrics has rebranded the Wal-Mart system, which is now referred to as 'Wal-Mart ASPECT' across the retailer's network.
In October, Wal-Mart and more than 500 suppliers began using Agentrics PLM to support the re-branding of the Wal-Mart Great Value line.
. . . Great Value is the highest selling consumer brand in North America..
According to Nielsen Mobile, only 20% of mobile subscribers use search on their phones. Of those, 60% use Google, 18% use Yahoo and only 6% use Microsoft. Hof deduces that since Google's only exclusive deals are with Sprint Nextel and the Android-based T-Mobile G1 phone, 'it's clear that most people are choosing Google regardless of what the default search option is.'"
". . . Still, this is a feature that is most helpful during passive browsing – if you're the type that already knows what you want, the new search will look much nicer but it won’t make a huge difference.
Already, some are saying that the search function is not fast at all but TiVo reps promise they're working on boosting that speed. That’s an important development that is critical if the company really wants to make this feature the 'Google of TV search.'"
After seeing a fellow journalist using this computer-in-a-pen at the show, I was already impressed, and the presenters here showed it off really well. So you're at a press conference or lecture. You take notes with the pen, which also records audio, on special paper with microdots built in. If your shorthand, like mine, is non-existent, you'll look back at your notes and puzzle to understand them. But tap on any word you've written down, and your recording will replay at the exact same point in the lecture. Clever, really clever.
So take your pick. I was most impressed by Bug Labs Bug and by the LiveScribe Pen but, like the judges on Strictly Come Dancing, I was out of tune with the public. The online audience voted for the Emware stress reliever, while the hooters and the hollerers in the hall chose the Eye-Fi video card. As an American politician said after being voted out, 'the people have spoken, the bastards.'"
"Pros: As the first Android device, the G1 has a lot to prove; thankfully, in most key areas it’s a tour-de-force of functionality and user-friendliness. Eye-catching features like the Street View-controlling compass start off looking like gimmicks but end up must-haves, while HTC’s sturdy design may not win too many beauty pageants but doesn’t, at least, fall apart in your pocket.
Cons: Despite the hype, this is no iPhone killer; the G1 appeals to a whole different segment of users looking to tinker with their handset and have the open-source blessing of Google to do just that. For the rest of us, that means a smartphone with a few obvious omissions, like no on-screen keyboard, and the inevitable teething pains of a spanking new platform.
Recommendation: Undercutting the iPhone 3G’s outright purchase price, together with recently lowered monthly price plans, make the G1 a serious budget option as well as an open-source dream. Future Android devices may heap on the glamor, but they’ll owe no small debt to the G1. For innovation, flexibility, and promise, the G1 has to go forward."
Friday, January 09, 2009
"Amazon’s current $24 billion market capitalization represents a whopping premium to that figure. Even stripping out $2 billion of cash, $9 billion of value is apparently unaccounted for. Could that be the “Kindle premium”?
Amazon is trying to copy Apple’s stunning success with its elegant iPod and cheap and user-friendly music store. The Kindle is not there yet, but it is getting closer. This year, Amazon is redesigning it, and a student version is also expected, an attempt to snag part of the $5.5 billion annual United States college textbook market."
"Q: One of the biggest parts of the PC business that's really taken off amid an, obviously, challenging time overall is the Netbook segment. What has that meant for Microsoft both in terms of the technology, but also from a business standpoint? How does that impact you?From netbook to ebook reader? 90 degrees.
Ballmer: Well, we've done very well on Netbooks. When they first came out, I'm not sure if people knew whether they were PCs or something else, and I think everybody kind of understands now that a Netbook is a small-form-factor, low-cost personal computer. And we're doing very well with Windows XP, which fits. Vista does not fit, and we're working hard to make sure Windows 7 fits very well on the Netbooks.
You know, from a business perspective, low-cost machine means a little less revenue per unit to Microsoft, but I think it gives us an opportunity to see expansion of the overall PC market."
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Imagine if you tracked your daily commute and every side trip for several months. What would your track reveal about the place you work? If you animated the track over time, what would it tell you about the daily flow of traffic in a city? Imagine using Google Earth to show the data and compare it to the underlying imagery and data GE provides? This is what a master's student named Fabian in the UK name Fabian is doing and sharing through his blog Urban Tick (see his introductory post about the project).
"Google, Yahoo and Microsoft were competing for a mobile search deal that would give the winner some good exposure through the Verizon network. Unfortunately for Verizon, they didn’t choose Google — something that would have given users a level of comfort, and a better user experience out of the box.
“The ultimate goal in mobility is contextual awareness and the delivery of highly personalized experiences,” Jackson said. “These are competencies Google has in spades, so it may be that Verizon’s customers ultimately end up with an inferior experience relative to what Google might enable.” — John Jackson"
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
"LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to a $637,000 fine to settle allegations that it violated drug record keeping regulations at its pharmacies in south Texas.
Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Wal-Mart paid the fine on Dec. 29 and that the settlement was made final on Tuesday.
Acting U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson says the case began with five Wal-Mart and Sam's Club pharmacies that allegedly didn't have records the government requires to help prevent diversion of controlled substances. Johnson said the problem with the records violated the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, under which the complaint was brought. More Wal-Mart pharmacies in the region were then audited, he said."
"MEXICO CITY -(Dow Jones)- Retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico (WMMVY) said Wednesday its sales rose 11% last year to a record 244.03 billion pesos ($17.7 billion), although growth slowed toward the end of the year with a decline in December same-store sales.
Same-store sales fell 0.8% in the last month of the year from December 2007, affected in part by a negative calendar effect.
Walmex, as Mexico's biggest retailer is known, said same-store sales for the full year 2008 were up 4.6% from 2007."
NEW YORK/LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc has chosen Microsoft Corp to provide Internet search services for cell phones, in what is seen as a blow to rivals Google Inc and Yahoo Inc."
"CHICAGO, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said on Wednesday that Doug McMillon, the current head of its Sam's Club division, will become president and CEO of Wal-Mart International next month, when the current man in that role takes over as the company's president and CEO."
"Another company has come out with a solution for making 3D prints from Google Earth. This time the solution is actually based on SketchUp 3D models. The company is called Sweet Onion Creations, and they describe how to click on a 3D model seen in Google Earth (or any found in the Google 3D Warehouse) and using their '3D printing' service get back an actual physical model. Here's a video they've made showing how it works:"
"Wal-Mart said on Tuesday that it would pay at least $352 million, and possibly far more, to settle lawsuits across the country claiming that it forced employees to work off the clock. Several lawyers described it as the largest settlement ever for lawsuits over wage violations."
"Big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart gained market share against specialty retail GameStop over the holiday season due to highly-competitive pricing, Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey said in a research note Tuesday.
'We expect GameStop may have lost intended foot traffic this holiday to big-box retailers offering highly promotional pricing on numerous consumer products,' he stated. 'We think low price retailers like Wal-Mart, arguably the largest domestic videogame retailer, likely took market share this holiday.'"
: "Tuesday, January 06, 2009
GREENACRES — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT, $56.02) opens a Neighborhood Market store in Greenacres Wednesday at 8 a.m.
The 45,600-square foot store, which employs about 100, is the anchor store at the newly renovated Greenacres Plaza at 3911 Jog Road. Unlike the supersize Walmart stores, the Neighborhood Market sells only grocery itemsand is intended to draw people from only about a 3-mile radius."
"Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Netflix Inc. were accused of conspiring to create a monopoly for online video rentals in a consumer lawsuit alleging that the collusion drove up prices.
The two companies agreed in 2005 that Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, would close its online rental business and refer customers to Netflix, which would promote Wal-Mart's DVD movie sales, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco."
"A new report from Forrester presents a cost analysis of cloud-based email systems in enterprises, such as Google Apps or Yahoo!'s Zimbra. In the report, Forrester argues that cloud-based email services are cheaper than running email on-premise for all companies with less than 15,000 employees. What's more, Google Apps is significantly cheaper than both on-premise solutions and other cloud-based email services - even for very large enterprises. This could spell trouble for Microsoft, as we explain below."
"The soon-to-be-released iPhoto '09 incorporates signature features of each social networking website. Users will be able to tag faces in photos and view all their pictures of a particular person, just like on Facebook. And like Flickr, the software also will use GPS data recorded by some cameras (the one on an iPhone, for example) and display the location they were taken on a Google map.
The faces and places data carry over to images uploaded to Facebook and Flickr, respectively."
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
"Analysts say that Tesco's big advantage over major international rivals, which also include Germany's Aldi and Lidl, is its unrivaled ability to manage vast reams of data and translate that knowledge into sales. While data crunching may sound dull, it has given Tesco two major advantages: an unmatched ability to operate multiple retail formats—ranging in size from convenience stores to hypermarkets—and the market knowledge to offer what many analysts say is the best and broadest range of house brands from any retailer.
Tesco uses information gleaned from Dunnhumby, a British data mining firm of which it has majority control, to manage every aspect of its business, from creating new shop formats to arranging store layouts to developing private-label products and targeted sales promotions. In 2003, U.S. supermarket chain Kroger (KR) copied Tesco's example, setting up a joint venture with Dunnhumby in the U.S. Since then, Dunnhumby also has signed deals with a number of other U.S. retailers including Home Depot (HD), Best Buy (BBY), and Macy's (M).
. . .
Tesco's other strength is its private-label goods. While U.S. retailers have struggled to convince shoppers that supermarket brands are as good as big-name counterparts, Tesco's private-label products account for as much as 60% of sales in many countries. According to the company, private-label products also account for more than 70% of Fresh & Easy's sales. "Wal-Mart and France's Carrefour are lucky to get 35% of sales from private label," Flickinger says. The reason, he says, is that Tesco has a range of house brands to cover every price point. In fact, some of its premium-range products, such as Tesco Finest chocolate or yogurt, even sell at up to a 50% premium to established brands such as Cadbury (CBY) and Danone (DANO.PA).
. . . Tesco has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1919 at a market stall in London's East End. Today, it runs the world's largest and most successful online grocery operation and is Britain's biggest private-sector employer, with 280,000 staff. Its broad portfolio of businesses in Britain also encompasses telecom services, gas stations, personal finance, an online digital music and film download business, and even a home insulation service.
Tesco reckons there's plenty of potential for some of these businesses, especially personal finance, which it hopes to launch into new markets such as Poland.
Meanwhile . . . in NORFOLK, VA
The state's first Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, a grocery concept focused on convenience and low prices, is scheduled to open Wednesday morning on East Little Creek Road.
The 45,000-square-foot store looks like a traditional supermarket - more akin to local rivals Harris Teeter and Farm Fresh than its sister Wal-Mart Supercenter. About one-fifth the size of a Supercenter, the Neighborhood Market abandons the open, brightly lit, warehouse feel and straight aisles of a Supercenter in favor of cozy specialty areas with track lighting and curved walls for produce, meats and deli.
"More options on the way for watching Netflix (NFLX) streaming movies in your living room: Beginning this spring, Korean electronics giant LG will build Netflix streaming directly into some of its plasma and LCD HDTVs, the companies will announce today.
This means that Netflix subscribers will be able to stream more than 12,000 movies and TV shows on their TVs without a separate set-top box or a PC."
Monday, January 05, 2009
"Americans appear to be getting more comfortable watching videos online--and Google is the clear winner.
Internet users in the U.S. watched 12.7 billion online videos in November, an increase of 34 percent versus a year ago, according to numbers released Monday by market researcher ComScore.
Thanks to YouTube, Google Sites retained the crown as the top U.S. video property with nearly 5.1 billion videos viewed--or about 40 percent of all videos viewed online--with the video-sharing site accounting for more than 98 percent of Google's traffic. Fox Interactive Media was a distant second with 439 million videos watched (or 3.5 percent), followed by Viacom Digital with 325 million videos watched (2.6 percent).
The data also showed that 77 percent of all U.S. Internet users had viewed online videos in 2008, and that the average online video viewer watched 273 minutes of video."
"On December 28, Wal-Mart began selling Apple's iPhone -- and made sure that its customers knew about it. The cover of the retailer's 15-page Sunday flyer featured the iPhone3G (8GB) for $197. Best Buy chose to retaliate by dropping its price to $189.99. Frankly, the price difference will probably do little to sway those willing to pop for a $200 phone -- and, more significantly, the two-year contract and monthly data charges that go along with it. IPhone's move into Wal-Mart is not about the discount of a few dollars, it is all about Apple striking while the iron is hot and expanding the accessibility of this must-have product. With one fell swoop Apple (and AT&T) put the iPhone in the retail chain with more accessibility than any of the U.S.-based smart phone rivals."
"Here are some facts about Wal-Mart as verified from Snopes.com:
1. At Wal-Mart, Americans spend $36,000,000 every hour of every day
2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute! 5.8133333% margin
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot Kroger Target Sears Costco K-Mart combined
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private employer. And most can't speak English
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only 15 years
8. During this same period, 31 Supermarket chains sought bankruptcy (including Winn-Dixie)
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 years ago
11. This year, 7.2 billion different purchasing transactions will occur at a Wal-Mart store. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart"
"The FDA outlawed the use of ozone-damaging CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in inhalers beginning in 2009, so many manufacturers are switching to the less injurious HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) instead. While HFA inhalers are generally comparable in performance to those that include CFCs, they also tend to be somewhat more expensive, with prices between $30 and $60. This can be a problem for people on limited and fixed incomes—and as it happens, asthma tends to occur more frequently in that very group.
This is where Wal-Mart comes in. The ReliOn(R) Ventolin HFA inhaler, which will be sold exclusively by the retail giant, is priced at $9.95, bringing it within reach of many suffering asmathics.
U-2 Spyplane Caught in Flight in Google Earth
Sometimes the satellite images Google acquires happen to capture some really unique sight. This one is really awesome for those of us who try to find planes captured in flight in Google Earth: A U-2 Spyplane flying over Kuwait! [Google Earth Required. You must have GE installed.] This one was found by plane aficionado 'Delta102' of the Google Earth Community. He's found many other planes in Google Earth, but this is one of the best. NOTE: the orange colored 'shadow' to the upper left is actually an artifact of the satellite cameras which is caused by the plane's motion. You see this in GE with planes and cars (the further away, the faster the object)."
"While the US recession deepened last year, Wal-Mart climbed the most since 1999 as it started to sell $4 medicines and reduced prices on groceries, jeans and other basics to attract more US customers. The company is extending discounts on laundry detergent, vacuum cleaners and fresh foods into 2009, and adding products such as Apple’s iPhone."
"One of Google’s “experiments” is apparently being tested out in the main Google search results — Timeline View. This unique view shows search results over time — making it great for searching for things that can be visualized over time.
This is the first time anything found in Google Experimental has made its way out into the wild, and of any, it’s probably the one that is most useful. The trick for Google is to be able to determine when a timeline view makes sense, and when it doesn’t."
"But on the other hand, if you’re not looking for an authoritative map of our deepest desires, Google trends are greatly satisfying. India’s search trends confirm lots of our gut judgments. That Bengal is football mad or that Kerala tops the suicide search may not be revelatory; but that Oriyas simply wanted “love” and that what most urban Indians urgently wonder about (after weight-loss) is “how to kiss” — has a certain sweet pathos. And this Zeitgeist captures both space and time — as Sarah Palin and Katrina Kaif replace last year’s Carla Bruni or Britney Spears before that, Google search trends hold up a mirror to this peculiar moment and its fleeting preoccupations."
Sunday, January 04, 2009
. . .the company from Bentonville, Arkansas, has decided to ban products from two Latin-American countries: Cuba and Venezuela. The former has to do with the embargo that the United States has on Cuba. The US prohibits American companies from trading with Cuba; and since Wal-Mart is opening up new stores in Chile, they are obligated by American law to stop importing these goods. The problem with Venezuela seems to be produced by the many Hugo Chavez' anti-American speeches. Because of this US . . . there will be an overall of forty-two affected products from this country alone.
. . .
The bans do not only apply to Latin-America's economies; the following countries will be affected by this policy: Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Belarus, North Korea, and Liberia. These cases are all due to interrupted relations with the United States. This contradicts the Chilean law, which goes as follows: "there is no foreign law over the rights of the customer, in the case the product is been acquired by a sale or advertisement". According to this law, the customer has the right to sue Wal-Mart and is encouraged to do so by Chile's National Costumer Service.
"In the lead-up to the release of the next Bruce Springsteen album on Jan. 27, two exclusive deals involving the Boss have been struck.
Wal-Mart will be selling a 'Greatest Hits' album beginning Jan. 13 and f.y.e. stores will be offering Springsteen cards and posters to consumers who pre-order 'Working on a Dream.'
The 12-track hits package is all Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band recordings, which differentiates it from the 1995 'Greatest Hits' release."
See: Why Media Companies are Hosed
Saturday, January 03, 2009
British retailer Tesco entered the U.S. market only in 2007, but already it has managed to put Wal-Mart, the world's No. 1 retailer, on the defensive.
Tesco fired the first salvo, in a battle that retailing analysts expect will intensify, by launching Fresh & Easy, a chain of 10,000-square-foot convenience stores, in cities across California, Nevada, and Arizona in November 2007. Eleven months later, Wal-Mart returned fire, taking on Tesco in Arizona with the debut of the similar-size Marketside, its first new store format in a decade.
'It's a direct message from Wal-Mart to Tesco saying, 'Hey, we're watching you,'' says Neil Stern, a senior partner at retail consultants McMillan Doolittle in Chicago. ''And we'll not only copy you; we will do it better.''
. . .
. . .
"Long known for its uneasy relationship with rural America, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is trying to court small Illinois farmers.
The giant retailer wants to sell more local produce in its Illinois superstores to satisfy increasing customer demand. After reaching out to farmers on its own with mixed results, the Arkansas company is turning to the University of Illinois' MarketMaker, an online matchmaker for farmers and retailers. Some farmers have signed on, but the company is struggling to find enough supply."
. . . the problem here is that advertisers don’t need media companies anymore. Take a look at Wal-Mart’s home
. . .
The point is that Wal-Mart is a media site in that it sells its reach to advertisers, a reach that vastly exceeds two of the top newspaper sites in the world. This is why I keep harping on everybody that the future for local media companies lies beyond their own walled garden websites, and those who refuse to hear that (like, everybody) are sprinting to the tar pits."
Wal-Mart alone among retailers expected to see December sales gains - Related Stories - ICSC SmartBrief
Wal-Mart is the lone retailer expected to make gains for December, projected to see a 2.8% increase for the month as the rest of the industry drops 6.3%. The retailer 'is winning because it provides its customers with more value and merchandise,' one analyst said. 'That's so important right now because consumers are extremely careful with their money.' Wall Street Journal, The (subscription required) (12/31)"
. . .
"Wal-Mart’s Web site is “climbing fast”, the report says, noting that this year’s score represents a five-point jump from 2006. “Their value model clearly plays well in this economic environment, so a key challenge for them will be whether they can retain customer loyalty when the economy improves,” the ForeSee study says."
"Google’s initiatives in India are aimed at opening the country’s historically slow-growing personal computer market, and at developing expertise that Google will be able to apply to building services for emerging markets worldwide.
“India is a microcosm of the world,” said Dr. Prasad Bhaarat Ram, Google India’s head of research and development. “Having 22 languages creates a new level of complexity in which you can’t take the same approach that you would if you had one predominant language and applied it 22 times.
. . .
Google recently introduced news aggregation sites in Hindi and three major South Indian languages, and a transliteration tool for writing in five Indian languages. Its search engine operates in nine Indian languages, and can translate search results from the English Web into Hindi and back.
Google engineers are also plugging away on voice recognition, translation, transliteration and digital text reading that it plans to apply to other developing countries.
Mr. Ram Prakash of Quillpad said he was inspired when friends at Google told him they had compared Quillpad with Google’s transliteration tool. He said that he believed the use of local languages on the Web would soar even as more Indians strived to learn English.
"Yahoo and Microsoft have more than 250m users each worldwide for their webmail, according to the comScore research firm, compared to close to 100m for Gmail. But Google’s younger service, launched in 2004, has been gaining ground in the US over the past year, with users growing by more than 40 per cent, compared to 2 per cent for Yahoo and a 7 per cent fall in users of Microsoft’s webmail."
"Google executives, venture capitalists, advertising industry chiefs, attorneys and entrepreneurs contributed up to $50,000 each to the committee organizing the official festivities. The cash makes them part of a historic event that is expected to draw millions of spectators to the National Mall and, according to political analysts, buys them goodwill with the incoming administration.
. . .
Robert Haas, the former CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., donated $50,000 to Obama's inauguration; J. Minott Wessinger, president of San Francisco's McKenzie River Corp., a beverage marketing company, along with his wife, contributed $100,000; Carole Hays, president of the company that operates several Broadway theaters in San Francisco, and her husband also gave $100,000.
. . .
Mountain View's Google is home to the biggest block of Bay Area donations. Six executives, including CEO Eric Schmidt, co-founder Larry Page and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, made individual contributions of $25,000 each, for a total of $150,000.
. . .
In donating to Obama's inaugural committee, the Bay Area's business elite joins Bill Gates of Microsoft, the family of billionaire investor George Soros, and Hollywood celebrities including director Steven Spielberg, and actors Samuel L. Jackson and Halle Berry. Absent is any big employee donation from Cisco Systems, the San Jose telecommunications equipment company that donated $100,000 to the Bush 2005 inauguration; and Chevron, which gave $250,000 toward the Bush festivities.
Friday, January 02, 2009
published November 17, 2005
"And you know whose strategy this is? Wal-Mart's. "The Google Mart Economy takes a different view. It's not just about Google following a WalMart strategy. It's about complimentary functionality. WalMart in physical space supported by the Cloud. Google in the Cloud supported by their servers in physical space.
From the link:
. . . So why buy-up all that fiber, then?
The probable answer lies in one of Google's underground parking garages in Mountain View. There, in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping container. But it isn't just any shipping container. This shipping container is a prototype data center. Google hired a pair of very bright industrial designers to figure out how to cram the greatest number of CPUs, the most storage, memory and power support into a 20- or 40-foot box. We're talking about 5000 Opteron processors and 3.5 petabytes of disk storage that can be dropped-off overnight by a tractor-trailer rig. The idea is to plant one of these puppies anywhere Google owns access to fiber, basically turning the entire Internet into a giant processing and storage grid.
While Google could put these containers anywhere, it makes the most sense to place them at Internet peering points, of which there are about 300 worldwide.
Where some other outfit might put a router, Google is putting an entire data center, and the results are profound. Take Internet TV as an example. Replicating that Victoria's Secret lingerie show that took down Broadcast.com years ago would be a non-event for Google. The video feed would be multicast over the private fiber network to 300 data centers, where it would be injected at gigabit speeds into each peering ISP. Viewers watching later would be reading from a locally cached copy. Yeah, but would it be Windows Media, Real, or QuickTime? It doesn't matter. To Google's local data center, bits are bits and the system is immune to protocols or codecs. For the first time, Internet TV will scale to the same level as broadcast and cable TV, yet still offer soemthing different for every viewer if they want it.
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"Most of the bestselling laptops on Amazon’s computer bestseller list are so-called netbooks, computers which have little memory, are highly compact and more affordable than traditional laptops. Lighter and smaller, they’re largely for mobility and internet use.
Their appearance and popularity are are consistent with trends toward “cloud computing” (e.g., Google Apps) and mobile internet access (i.e., iPhone/Android). Many of these computers run the Microsoft XP OS but many run Linux. Now it appears Android is eying this market as well, according to a report appearing in VentureBeat, which predicts an Android OS netbook by 2010.
Assuming it’s true this marks an interesting development for the open-source OS. Android’s creators have always seen it as a broader platform than for just smartphones. Back when the Open Handset Alliance was announced and Android formally launched in November 2007 there were allusions to non-phone uses of Android."
"Can you name Google’s top ten products? If you look at how Quantcast ranks Google’s subdomains, you can get a sense of which Google products are the most popular, since they each have their own subdomain. Google’s main search engine tops the list with an estimated 136.6 million unique visitors in the U.S. Then comes Google Maps (36 million), Image Search (31.7 million), and Gmail (10.5 million). Google Docs, Sites, and Knol are still too small to make the top-ten, but are all showing decent growth.
YouTube, Blogger, and Orkut are not included below because they are on their own domains, but YouTube would be second with 70 million unique U.S. visitors, and Blogger would be in the top 5 with 23.5 million. Orkut is not popular in the U.S., so it would not be a factor in this particular list. And I took out sorry.google.com, the domain Google uses to try to catch bots and spyware. It would....
. . . "It's no secret that Google (GOOG) is hoping its Android operating system can be useful for more than just mobile phones. So it makes sense that Google would want to get Android on 'netbook' laptops -- small, lo-fi computers that companies like Dell (DELL), HP (HPQ), Acer, and Asus are selling like hotcakes to geeks and early adopter-types.
If that happens, and Google-powered computers take off, Microsoft is the biggest loser. Early netbooks ran Linux, but today's best sellers run Windows. For instance, the 10 top-selling laptops on Amazon (AMZN) right now are netbooks running Windows XP Home. While selling an XP Home license likely isn't as valuable to Microsoft as selling a Vista Ultimate license, it'd still be losing some potential license sales. And if netbooks start cannibalizing real laptop sales, Microsoft stands to lose market share, too.
What about Apple? The company hasn't joined the netbook market yet -- unless you count the iPod touch, or maybe the iPhone -- but will supposedly start selling larger tablet computers sometime next year. We see no reason why a Google-powered netbook would necessarily be better than an Apple-powered netbook. But they could be cheaper."
"Walmart is withdrawing from the consortium of retailers, packaged-goods manufacturers and agencies supporting the PRISM in-store media measurement service, the Nielsen Co. disclosed Tuesday.
Nielsen said it will continue work on PRISM (an acronym for Pioneering Research for an In-Store Metric), which is expected to introduce a complete metric in 2009. However, the departure of its largest founding member is a setback for the project, one of several high-profile initiatives working in parallel to create new metrics for out-of-home.
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In September, Walmart unveiled a new Internet-protocol Smart Network, the result of a cooperative effort between Premier Retail Networks, Studio2 and DS-IQ, which will continually analyze point-of-sale figures and dynamically update programming and advertising to maximize sale lift.
Premier Retail Networks is responsible for building and operating the IPTV network as well as ad sales. Studio 2 provides custom programming, and DS-IQ is responsible for measurement, analysis and the message optimization strategy. (The roster at DS-IQ, founded in Bellevue, Wash. in 2003, boasts former top tech executives from Microsoft, Amazon.com, RealNetworks and aQuantive).
Shifting into gossip mode, the decision to leave PRISM could also be delayed fallout from the departure of Walmart's former senior vice president of marketing Julie Roehm two years ago. Roehm, who was at the helm when preliminary research for PRISM was performed in spring of that year, was forced out in December 2006 for alleged favoritism in granting ad and media contracts.
She was also said to have clashed with the retailer's powerful merchandising and consumer research and strategy divisions, which were responsible for creating the Smart Network. Walmart did not hesitate to pull the plug on another of Roehm's initiatives: an online media exchange also organized as a consortium.