Planning a Boston Trip With Yahoo! Travel

boston with angela 041
Originally uploaded by kskobac.

I was planning a trip to Boston last weekend and I decided to give Yahoo! Travel a shot - I was looking to plan a trip covering the highlights of the whole Boston / Cambridge for someone who had never seen any of the city at all. Yahoo! Travel it turns out makes things very easy - you can view top rated restaurants, hotels, events, entertainment, and more. You can view other people's trip itineraries. And anywhere you see something you like, it's a simple click to ad to your own itinerary. Then you can easily schedule when you want to do something, view all locations on maps, get print outs of location and description of all trip elements, driving directions, and more. Afterwards, you can import pictures directly from your Flickr account. Yahoo! Travel shows the value of social media, so much so that I came home and added the restuarants and events I went to that weren't in the tool yet because of how many benefits I got out of using it. I will definitely look here to start when planning my next trip.

See my Boston trip here:

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,


Wesabe is social financial management for your personal life

I'm taking a look at Wesabe, a social financial management tool that starts like Quicken (financial tracking) and ends like Amazon (purchase recommendation). You connect all of your savings accounts, credit card accounts, and money market accounts to Wesabe, and it imports all of your transactions. You then go through your transactions and begin to tag them with labels such as 'restaurant' 'cable payment' 'savings' or 'vacation'. As you label transactions, Wesabe searches through your account and labels all of the same transactions with those labels. You also share information with everyone else using Wesabe, so if a restaurant is already tagged by a Chase bank user on Wesabe, it can already tell you that the transaction is a particular restaurant.

Once you've done this, you can view your history by tag and account - you can see how much you're spending on food versus movies, or how much you're saving. You also can see recommendations on where you might want to shop based on where you are currently eating or purchasing things (based on the Wesabe community's transactions).

By the way - I read about this a while ago, but was skeptical to try it out. Handing over all of my bank account information seemed incredibly sketchy. However, this is where social trust factors come in. I try things that people I trust and respect recommend, starting with Fred Wilson, who is having a great experience with Wesabe. Read how he uses it and see the pictures of the interface right now on his blog.

Powered by ScribeFire.


Family Guy Runs Above The Influence Skit

I guess my campaign has reached mainstream - a few weeks family guy aired a full sketch basically replicating one of our commercials:


Playing With the Joost Video Player

I grabbed an invite to the Joost beta test last night, and gave it a shot (Joost, if you remember, is the peer to peer -P2P - streaming video application from the billionaire makers of Skype and Kazaa).  First impressions are pretty good - the interface is smooth, changing content happens quickly, and video loads almost immediately.  The way navigation overlays above the video content playing at all times is pretty cool.  Also, the widget overlay was a surprise to me, and very cool - you can add RSS feeds, Google Chat, group chat rooms about the video you're watching, and more.  When you IM with someone via the Google Chat widget, you can see right through every window and continue to watch content.

The value of this is of course going to be the content - what's available to watch.  To be big, Joost needs to offer some A-list content, not shows that are less popular, or discontinued, or niche channels that won't appeal across the board.  There are some major advertisers on board, so hopefully we'll start seeing sponsored content soon.  The advertising spots are expected to be a mix of pre-mid-post roll, ticker ads on the bottom, and branded call outs in the corners, similar to broadcast TV.  Say what you want about everything moving online - a desktop video application that offers internet features is easy to use, and could easily take off if the content's right.

If you want an invite to Joost, e-mail me - I owe Mashable for giving me my invite, and I'll do my best to send some out myself.


Mapping all of the restaurants I've been to in Manhattan with Google My Maps

It's now really easy to create maps with marked hot spots, graphics, and pictures - Here I used Google My Maps to put together a visual map of the growing list of restaurants I've been to with Angela. If you search for a restaurant listing in Google Maps, you can just add the address via a link directly to your custom map, and it will import the address, a picture of the place if it is available, and allow you to edit the listing. Once you publish it to a link, any changes or additions you make will show up everywhere as well.

Where should we be eating next?

How Much Microsoft Makes in Profits

Think Microsoft is losing ground to Google? Think they're hurting from pirated versions of Windows floating around? Maybe, but they made $14.4 billion dollars last quarter, including a net income of $4.93 billion. That's a hell of a lot of money, but to put it fully in perspective, see how it stacks up against other major earners. It takes Microsoft only about...:

  • 10 hours or so to exceed Red Hat’s quarterly net income of $20.5 million.
  • four days to exceed Research In Motion’s quarterly net income of $187.9 million.
  • four days to exceed Starbucks’ quarterly net income of $205 million.
  • one week to exceed Nike’s quarterly net income of $350.8 million.
  • two weeks to exceed McDonalds’ quarterly net income of $762 million.
  • two weeks to exceed Apple’s quarterly net income of $770 million.
  • 18 days to exceed Google’s quarterly net income of $1 billion.
  • 23 days to exceed Coca-Cola’s quarterly net income of $1.26 billion.
  • five weeks to exceed IBM’s quarterly net income of $1.85 billion.
  • 10 weeks to exceed Wal-Mart’s quarterly net income of $3.9 billion.
That puts it well ahead of the hugely profitable names you'd think of.

[via techiqmag.com]