Linky Goodness, December 3

It’s the first Linky Goodness of the last month of the year! And . . . everyone’s off at conferences, aren’t you. Perfect: for your quick reference, I present:

Will Cyber Monday Be the Peak?

With all the hype surrounding Cyber Monday this year, I was actually surprised to find out that it was justified for once. comScore reports that Cyber Monday had record-setting spending: $733 million, to be exact. And the subsequent days also saw $700+ in sales, with Thursday coming in close second to Monday.

Compared to last year’s peak day, sales are up 11% or $72 million. However, that actually constitutes slower (and smaller) growth. From 2005 to 2006, sales rose 19%. More telling, from ’05-’06, sales increased $105 million.

But I don’t think it’s over yet. The peak online retail days for 2006 and 2007 were not, in fact, the so-called “Cyber” Monday: they were Monday, December 11, 2006 and Monday, December 12, 2005. As I wrote about this last year:

Google Looking at Detection Technology?

h3tec logoUtah-based H3tec has spent years developing its new technology, which can detect any element or compound up to two miles away. But it looks like this new technology is going to pay off in other dividends as well. After running a full-page ad in USAToday in October, they’re currently “gaining traction” on a deal with Google.

The H3 detector could save lives in food safety, security, military and medical applications. This year alone, the company has won Utah Best of State for Inventor, and was a Finalist in the Stoel Rives/Utah Technology Council Utah Innovation Award in the Material Science/Chemistry group.

President and CEO of H3tec, Charles Christensen, has been working on the H3 detector for eight years after extensive experience studying in engineering, math and science and working with NASA, aircraft and automation.

Microsoft’s Dirty Santa

Remember when Santa Claus would ask you what you want for Christmas and not ask you to engage in sexually explicit conversations? Well thanks to artificial intelligence and a chat bot from Microsoft that doesn’t have to be the case any more.

The Register reported today that one of their members “Iain” found a misbehaving chat bot using Windows Live Messenger ID “northpole@live.com”. During the interchange with “Santa”, Iain’s daughters offered the virtual Santa a piece of pizza using “(pi)” (which in Trillian anyways displays a piece of pizza). This simple offer seemed to get old St. Nick talking about oral sex.

A duplicated conversation by the Register…

El Reg says: pizza (pi)

Santa says: Yum! What do you want for Christmas, El Reg?

Tracking Santa’s Sleigh with Google Earth

I have hung the stockings and this weekend I’m off to get the tree. If you have young children at home or if you’re just a kid at heart, you’ll like what Google and NORAD are up to. A tradition of tracking Santa Claus, which was started in 1955, is still happening today, but thanks to Google Earth, this Christmas you can track Santa online.

What is NORAD? It’s the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the organization responsible for the aerospace defense of the U. S. and Canada. They inadvertently got involved in tracking Santa. In 1955, a Sears store published an ad that said kids could call Santa, but they put the wrong phone number. It was actually a phone number to NORAD, who decided to humor the kids. The organization started tracking Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve and continue to do that today. Working with Google, now they made it possible to see Santa’s trip in 3D, using Google Earth.

Pilgrim’s Picks for December 3 – PubCon Edition

It’s a big week for search marketers! With PubCon and SES Chicago going on this week, don’t expect to be able to reach your SEM consultant quickly–he/she is busy learning the latest tactics to help your campaign.

I’m jumping on a plane later today for PubCon, but wanted to leave you with these news treats.

Google Hints at Future Plans for Google Apps

Andrew Miller’s getting a whole lot of link-love for his notes from a recent Ann Arbor Chamber event hosted by Google. Scott Johnston, the former VP of Product Development at JotSpot and new Googler shared some snippets on what’s coming down the pipeline for Google’s online office suite, Google Apps.

Here are Miller’s notes…

  • Google Sites: Scheduled to be launched sometime next year (2008), Google Sites will expand upon the Google Page Creator already offered within Apps. Based on JotSpot collaboration tools, Sites will allow business to set up intranets, project management tracking, customer extranets, and any number of custom sites based on multi-user collaboration. [UPDATE] I don’t recall wikis being mentioned specifically but I assume they are part of the plan.