Monday, December 5, 2011

East coast gets some respect

As a long time resident of the New York City area I have always felt a bit like a fish out of water being a technologist. New York is the world leader in fashion, finance, advertising and media but it has always played second fiddle to Silicon Valley when it comes to tech. The fact is Northern California has the right mix of great universities, strong quality of life and a community of smart technical folks.

So it is nice to see some Silicon Valley heavy weights have decided to put engineering offices in the Big Apple. Just last week Facebook announced they will be opening up a technical office in 2012. This follows in the footsteps of Google who have had a technical NYC office for a few years now.

In addition to the two big kids on the NYC block it is quickly becoming apparent that start-ups are taking a shine to the city as well. Tech companies like SquareSpace and Etsy were born and grew up in the five boros. Check out the recent list of New York based companies from NY Tech Meetup and you will quickly realize the city is doing a good job fostering small start-ups.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Having a great domain name can be key to an online presence.  Even if it does not explicitly tell the users what the site is about (Amazon and Zappos, for example) if it is easy to remember it can be gold.  Remember the first time you asked what the hell a Google is and thought it was the silliest domain name you ever heard?

Of course, having a bad URL can be pretty funny sometimes as this list shows.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Well, that settles that.....

Adobe announced recently that they are dropping support for mobile Flash in favor of HTML5. This is huge news with the web community as the long debate over what technology will dominate the mobile web seems to be now over.

Flash has been the technology leader for web based animation, video and games since the mid-90's. But when Apple decided not to support it on their mobile devices it was the beginning of the end for the cross over of Flash to handheld devices.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oracle picks up search vendor Endeca

At Oracle's recent Open World event there was plenty of hype about the companies dive into unstructured data with the release of their Big Data appliance and NOSQL database. Well, today they made another aggressive search related move with the announcement that they have acquired Endeca Technologies Inc.

Endeca has been leading the pack in structured and unstructured search for some time now and is the top choice for ecommerce sites that want to leverage high quality contextual search results in order to improve sales conversions. Earlier this year Oracle purchased the ecommerce platform ATG which has a search component itself but the addition of Endeca creates a holistic online sales suite that should dominant against competitors like IBM WebSphere Commerce.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Julia Childs this is not.......

While I am always suspicious of "organic" online content being too polished (remember lonelygirl15?) to actually be homegrown that does not take away from the quality. And in this case, the funny.

My latest discovery is My Drunk Kitchen which features Hannah Hart in a sort of video podcast cooking show meets meets drinking contest. Apparently I am late to the game since even Time magazine has taken notice of the video shorts that have gotten plenty of viral play around the internet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Netflix announces 60% price increase

Netflix just announced a dramatic shift in their pricing model which will eliminate their current $9.99 plan that gives the customer unlimited streaming and one DVD at a time. Instead, the new offering will force customers that want the same level of content to sign up for a $7.99 DVD plan and an additional $7.99 for the unlimited streaming. That is a 60% price increase for current subscribers and has already prompted plenty of negative feedback from the user base.

It will be interesting to see what the effect of this move has on the long term business of Netflix. There is no denying the effect Netflix has had not only on the rental market but the entire entertainment industry. Despite being a game changer it appears that reality is catching up with the company and the operating costs need to be balanced with the price points.

As a long term Netflix user I will definitely be reconsidering my subscription. I rarely go through more than 3 DVD's in a month and the streaming selection is still far too limited to justify paying these prices. Looks like I will be giving RedBox some more business and beefing up my DVR queue pretty soon.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Debating free shipping is a thing of the past

Like I needed another reason to avoid going to the mall.......

According to ComScore nearly half of the orders placed in Q4 2010 and Q1 of 2011 included free shipping.  Many online retailers are offering the free shipping on orders over a dollar threshold which is boosting average order size.