Yearly online travel spending tops $100B for first time

U.S. consumers spent more than $100 billion on online travel bookings last year, making 2012 the first year ever that the $100 billion figure was surpassed, according to a report from ComScore.

The company, which tracks Web site visitors and other information, said U.S. travel e-commerce sales reached $103 billion in 2012, up 9 percent from the previous year. Air travel bookings, up 10 percent from the previous year, accounted for nearly two-thirds of all travel spending.

The data is the latest signal of just how many consumer tasks are moving online. ComScore noted that travel was a … Read more

Priceline gets Shatner an angry daughter for Super Bowl

My remarkably imposing, draconian, single friend Taylor -- who's a girl -- tells me there are only two types of men: those who have two sheets on their bed and those who have one.

Similarly, there are two types of online travel sites: those where you bid and those where you don't.

It seems, however, that Priceline has tired of all that bidding. Which makes you wonder what they will do with the resurrected Negotiator, or, indeed, with whatever people used to think of Priceline.

In a campaign that launched three weeks ago, but is now given heightened … Read more

Some Surface covers are splitting seams

CNET Update is counting the cracks:

Friday's tech news roundup looks at Priceline's biggest deal yet. It negotiated to buy rival travel website Kayak for $1.8 billion.

Microsoft is replacing broken Touch Covers for the Surface tablet. Some customers have reported seams splitting where the keyboard cover connects to the tablet.

Verizon plans to roll out 4G LTE to all of its coverage areas in the U.S. by mid-2013.

GameFly, the Netflix for video games, has launched an online shop for PC game downloads. Subscribers of GameFly have unlimited access to play hundreds of Windows games. … Read more

Priceline names its own price for Kayak: $1.8 billion

Wonder if Priceline Negotiator William Shatner helped broker this deal.

Priceline today says it has agreed to buy rival Kayak for about $1.8 billion, bolstering its online travel shopping presence.

The deal, valuing Kayak at $40 a share, includes $1.3 billion in stock and $500 million in cash and is a 29 percent premium to Kayak's closing price today. The highest the stock has traded in the past year is $37.

The acquisition, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, should close by the end of the first quarter. Kayak will operate independently from the rest of Priceline, … Read more

Shatner comes back from the dead for Priceline

The last time anyone saw William Shatner, he seemed to have met a grisly end.

He had saved a busload of vacationers. Their only expense was his life. For the bus, with the Priceline Negotiator inside, folded over a bridge and into a wet nothing.

The mourners were few, but their pain was considerable.

How must they feel now to discover that he is still alive? I am grateful to CNN for revealing that the Priceline Negotiator is not dead, but merely resting.

Still in his suit, he lives by the beach. He surfs the waves more than he surfs … Read more

It's raining protons

Google+ finally allows nicknames, Priceline is killing Shatner, and a solar radiation storm crashes communication systems.

Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:

Radiation storm hits today Print electronics on plastic Vimeo redesign Google+ allows pseudonyms New hotel search options on Google Priceline kills Negotiator Subscribe:  iTunes (MP3)iTunes (320x180)iTunes (HD)RSS (MP3)RSS (320x180)RSS HD

Priceline to kill off Shatner--possibly during the Super Bowl

Time defeats us all. Surely, though, it is the height of bad taste for the Grim Reaper to come for you during the Super Bowl.

Yet that appears to be the fate awaiting William Shatner, as those nice people at Priceline send him plunging to his apparent death in their latest TV spot.

This is a time for the rending of garments. This is a time for weeping in the streets. This is not a time for a single Star Trek joke.

As the Associated Press sniffs it, the Shat--who has been manfully trying to send you off to places … Read more

Beware of Orbitz and 'deceptive' practices

commentary Frequent fliers beware. Consider this a sort of travel warning.

Orbitz, the beleaguered service that aggregates air and hotel fare so users can compare prices via the Web, has again been caught trying to dupe customers.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Monday that Orbitz was hit with a $60,000 fine for violating rules prohibiting "deceptive price advertising." Seems the DOT imposes rules on how airfare prices can be displayed online. Orbitz and rivals, such as Travelocity and Expedia, are required to post the full price of an airline ticket in their ads. … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 1449: Sleazier forms of capitalism (Podcast)

On today's show, we celebrate the dubious holiday that is Foursquare Day (coming tomorrow), Skype has an Android vulnerability that Donald thinks might just be a feature, and Nintendo is going HD just in time for people to stop buying video games. Also, Best Buy says DVD windowing is totally working, if you enjoy manipulating customers into continuing to pay for a dying format. And Priceline founder Jay Walker sues most of the Internet. --Molly

Subscribe:  iTunes (MP3)iTunes (320x180)iTunes (640x360)RSS (MP3)RSS (320x180)RSS (640x360)Read more

Apple execs must read Playboy for the articles

Links from Wednesday's episode of Loaded:

Facebook revises its update to prevent you from inadvertently sharing your phone number and address

Federal regulators approve the Comcast-NBC Universal deal

American Airlines is on the outs with online reservation sites

Sprint raises its monthly fee for smartphone users by $10

Starbucks expands its mobile phone payment system to all stores nationwide

Playboy claims to be bringing its entire archive of magazines uncensored to the iPad in March, mysteriously skirting Apple's no-nudity rule