Having Conquered Earth, Google Sets Its Sights on the Moon
BY Peter Hoy
A weekly look at the latest products and services designed to help you run a better business.
One giant leap ahead of everyone else, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced that it plans to offer a moon-based business directory by July 20, 2069 (exactly 100 years after Neil Armstrong's lunar landing).
The Mountain View, Calif., Internet giant said on its website that it will "fully integrate Google Local search capabilities into Google Moon, which will allow users to quickly find lunar business addresses, numbers, and hours of operation, among other valuable forms of Moon-oriented local information."
Even if the announcement is facetious, it comes after the company signed an agreement with NASA's Ames Research Center to work together on large-scale data management. Specifically, Google will help make NASA's vast stores of information more accessible to the public.
NASA and Google have also said they are working out the details of other collaborations in research, education, products, facilities, and even missions.
E-commerce for Beginners
MIVA Small Business, an e-commerce platform owned by Fort Myers, Fla.-based MIVA (NASDAQ:MIVA), has launched Merchant Express, a streamlined set of tools for small firms looking to bring their businesses online.
Available Dec. 19, Merchant Express walks the user through the setup of an online storefront, including page design, product catalogs and displays, payment options, and shipping processes that are integrated with PayPal and Google Checkout.
It also provides marketing tools, statistics about the website, and data about the day-to-day operations of the store.
Available on a subscription basis for $9.99 a month, Merchant Express comes with online and telephone support.
Business Intelligence Made Easier
Hyperion Solutions has introduced new software designed to improve business intelligence for small businesses.
Set for release by mid-2007, Hyperion System 9 Smart Space will allow its users to create small, single-purpose applications that perform various business-intelligence functions.
These widgets can then sit on a computer's desktop and feed continuous, customized intelligence information to its users, from production to financial data. The software is designed to replace existing systems that are traditionally more complex and require separate user interfaces for each function.
The software also includes secure and auditable instant messaging that users can use to share business-intelligence data.
Smart Space will run on Microsoft Windows XP and Vista.