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Digital Fraud Flourishing During Pandemic: Report
July 9, 2020
If you conducted e-commerce transactions since the pandemic struck, you have probably been the target, or even a victim, of online fraud. A report from Sift titled "Q2 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index" details a 109 percent increase in content abuse and growth of the fraud economy from January through May 2020.
Uber Eats Postmates for $2.6B, Bolsters Ground Game
July 7, 2020
Uber is looking to food delivery for rescue from falling revenues caused by people staying at home because of the pandemic. Gross bookings for Uber Rides have decreased by three percent year over year, the company noted in its Q1 2020 financial report. On July 6, Uber announced that it's acquiring on-demand food delivery service PostMates for $2.65 billion. The deal is expected to close in Q1 2021.
Prime Day Uncertainty a Dilemma for Amazon Sellers
July 2, 2020
One of the e-tail world's most pressing questions is: When will Amazon have its Prime Day sale this year? Perhaps a better question is: Will Prime Day happen at all? Amazon so far is not telling. If Prime Day 2020 takes place in the fall, the biggest deal days of the e-commerce industry could happen within several weeks of each other.
E-Commerce Dominates 'New Normal' Retail
June 30, 2020
Shoppers are starting to come back to their favorite brick and mortar storefronts as the pandemic restrictions allow consumers to exit from lockdown. But the impact of COVID-19 has etched some far-reaching changes in the retail industry that will not set back the strides online shopping has gained since March. That is a conclusion clearly visible in research published last week by TrustRadius.
Cybersecurity and Your New Remote Workforce
June 30, 2020
For most organizations, COVID-19 has been a literal transformative agent. Our organizations have almost overnight gone from environments where teleworking was an exception, to where it's the norm. As any student of human nature will tell you, people tend to view "the new" with reservation. There's a temptation when things are new to assume the worst about them. For security pros, this means we often view new things as riskier than things we're familiar with.
Nintendo to Retreat From Mobile Gaming: Report
June 24, 2020
Nintendo seems to be uncomfortable with the dominant business model in the mobile-gaming market, which allows players to download and start playing a game for free, then entices them to spend money on the software through in-app purchases. Those tactics have come under the increased scrutiny of regulators, which also concerns Nintendo, a brand with a family-friendly image.
Macs Move to Apple Silicon Announced at WWDC
June 23, 2020
Apple's 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference will probably be known for two things: it was the first time the forum was staged virtually, and it's when Apple announced it would start making Macs based its own processor designs. "Now it's time for a huge leap forward for the Mac, because today is the day we're announcing that the Mac is transitioning to our own Apple silicon," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the virtual keynote presentation.
Qualcomm Introduces 5G and AI-Enabled Robotics Platform
June 18, 2020
Qualcomm has announced its Robotics RB5 platform, with 5G and 4G connectivity, on-device AI and machine learning. The platform's Qualcomm QRB5165 processor, which is customized for robotics applications, offers a heterogeneous computing architecture coupled with the 5th-generation Qualcomm AI Engine that delivers 15 Tera Trillion Operations Per Second (TOPS) of AI performance.
Google Aims to Secure Voice Purchases Through Match Feature
May 28, 2020
Google has undertaken a pilot program for Voice Match. A limited number of users can use the tool with Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and smart displays to make in-app digital purchases on Google Play, or to make purchases from restaurants that enable food ordering through Google. "Many folks used to Google Assistant will take advantage of this convenience," said tech analyst Ray Wang.
XRSpace Headset Opens Door to New Virtual World
May 27, 2020
A new virtual reality headset designed for mobility will serve as an entry point into a new virtual world. The $599 Mova headset from XRSpace, founded by former HTC chief Peter Chou, will support 5G and be the exclusive on-ramp to Manova, a social reality platform that aims to defy the boundaries of space and time to bring people together. Users can roam Manova as full-body avatars.
Classroom of the Future: The Rise of Online Learning
May 14, 2020
By necessity, almost all education is happening online at the moment. However, the trend of online education likely will continue even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Online learning is often more convenient than in-person training, and because the methods and techniques for online education are evolving and improving, it quickly has become a preferred business tool.
Merchants: Adopting New Payment Technologies Is Easier Than You Think
May 11, 2020
Consumers increasingly demand seamless ways to purchase wherever they go, and they want their transactions to be quick, safe and, importantly, secure. The fact is, merchants must embrace new methods quickly or risk being left behind. Over the last decade, payment options have evolved in response to developments in technology and changing customer purchasing habits.
Information Security: New Rules
May 8, 2020
Warren Buffet once said, "Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked." You can cover over a host of sins when times are good, but bad or unsafe practices will be exposed when times are rough. Time and experience have borne out the accuracy of this witticism in the financial arena -- and we're now seeing its applicability to the intersection of infosec and COVID-19.
Microsoft Covers All the Bases With Impressive Surface Lineup
May 7, 2020
Microsoft has introduced a slew of new products, including the Surface Go 2, the Surface Book 3, Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Earbuds. Both the Surface Go 2 and the Surface Book 3 come in consumer and corporate versions. "The two products are very different," noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "The Go 2 is a high-value product -- the Surface Book 3 high innovation."
New Shopify App Offers Local SMBs a Bridge to E-Commerce
April 30, 2020
Shopify has unveiled an app that lets users discover local businesses, receive relevant product recommendations from their favorite brands, check out effortlessly, and track all their online orders. It can gather and track orders automatically, but it also works without auto-tracking. Consumers can get a customized feed with deals, trending items and recommendations from their favorite stores.
Bottom Line: iPhone SE Packs Great Value for the Money
April 29, 2020
Apple's new iPhone SE delivers incredible value and performance, has a surprisingly good camera, and handles videos well. Reviewers were impressed by the phone's A13 chipset. However, criticisms include insufficient battery life, absence of night mode, and lack of 5G support. "For those of us concerned about money ... the SE provides the greatest bang for the buck," said tech analyst Rob Enderle.
Samsung's Galaxy Watch to Get BP Monitoring Feature
April 23, 2020
Cuffless blood pressure measuring is coming to the Android world. Samsung announced that South Korean authorities have approved its Health Monitor app for use on the Galaxy Watch Active2. The app will be available in the third quarter of this year. High blood pressure has been associated with increased risk of brain, kidney and heart problems, including stroke and coronary disease.
Merchants Now Can List Products on Google Shopping for Free
April 22, 2020
Merchants soon will be able to sell products on Google Shopping at no charge. Previously, they had to pay per click, but the cost was not fixed. There was no minimum, but they had to set a maximum for ad spend and Google would stop displaying their ads once the maximum was reached. Starting next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free product listings.
Apple Offers 'Good Enough' iPhone SE at Attractive Price
April 16, 2020
Apple's second-gen iPhone SE, based on its A13 Bionic processor, has the best single-camera system in an iPhone, according to the company. "I'd pay attention to the cameras," said Ramon Llamas, research director at IDC. "Apple insists that its iPhones have best-in-class cameras, and at the price points that the SE is shooting for, I'd be curious about the comparisons you could make."
Coronavirus Threat Sparks Revolt at Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart
April 2, 2020
Amazon has promised to check temperatures and provide surgical masks for workers at its fulfillment centers and Whole Foods grocery stores starting next week. Instacart workers have not received similar promises. The news came in the midst of brewing turmoil among employees. Some full-time and contract workers at Whole Foods, Amazon and Instacart walked out or called in sick on Monday and Tuesday.
Report: E-Commerce Account Takeovers, Shipping Fraud on the Rise
March 25, 2020
E-commerce account takeovers increased 347 percent and shipping fraud jumped 391 percent from 2018 to 2019, a fraud and identity solutions company reported. Fraudsters are gaining access to accounts using credential stuffing, romance scams, social engineering, phishing or hacking. The three-digit rise in account takeovers is connected to the rash of data breaches over the last decade.
Food and E-Commerce: A Healthy Outlook
March 16, 2020
Consumers were becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of ordering food online, either for pick up or home delivery, even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Now many more shoppers are turning to online grocery shopping. "People have been comfortable ordering food such as pizza for delivery for years," noted Commercetools Vice President of Americas Marketing Margaret Rea.
Apple to Pay Up to $500M for Throttling iPhones
March 4, 2020
Apple has agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it slowed down older iPhones in order to push consumers into buying its later, more expensive models. The devices covered in the agreement are iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and iPhone SE models that ran iOS 10.2.1 or later, and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models that ran iOS 11.2 or later before Dec. 21, 2017.
E-Commerce Payments Industry Trends to Watch in 2020
March 3, 2020
2019 was a milestone year for many in the payments industry, with contactless payments making up more than 50 percent of debit card transactions, and the good news doesn't end there. The consumer drive for seamless experiences is continuing to push the industry toward new innovations that will change the face of payments. So, what will 2020 hold for e-commerce and m-commerce?
The Really Big Salesforce-Vlocity Deal
February 27, 2020
Salesforce just announced it would buy Vlocity -- a startup with all the markings of a unicorn including a billion-dollar valuation -- for $1.33 billion. Vlocity was cofounded and led by David Schmaier, who was executive vice president at Siebel Systems in its go-go years. When Oracle bought Siebel it made Schmaier a wealthy man. He promptly dropped out of the CRM business.
Amazon Goes Big With Automated Grocery Store
February 26, 2020
Amazon has opened its first large-scale fully automated Amazon Go grocery store. The 7,700 square foot store, located in Seattle, offers baked goods sourced locally, fresh seasonal produce, meat, seafood and ready-made meals, as well as beer, wine and spirits. There are no cashiers. To make purchases, shoppers need an Amazon account and the free Amazon Go app.
Sprint T-Mobile Merger Gets Green Light
February 13, 2020
A U.S. District judge has ruled that Sprint and T-Mobile, the nation's third- and fourth-largest mobile carriers, can go forward with a $25 billion merger. The deal will not close until the California Public Utilities Commission approves the transaction, but clearing this latest hurdle moves the two companies one step closer to a merger that has been years in the making.
Samsung Scores With 5G Galaxy S20's Camera Specs, New Z Flip
February 12, 2020
Samsung has refreshed its Galaxy smartphone line, introduced a new foldable phone, and upgraded its wireless earbuds offering. Its three new flagship phones are all 5G ready. The S20 is priced at $999, while the S20 Plus will sell for $1,199, and the S20 Ultra for $1,399. The S20 is smallest of the trio, with a 6.2-inch display. The Plus' display is 6.7 inches and the Ultra's is 6.9 inches.
Razr Reviews Raise $1500 Durability Question
February 11, 2020
Motorola's new foldable Razr phone has been garnering mediocre notices from early reviewers, who tended to find its performance underwhelming for a phone priced at $1,500. Still, it does have personality, which can go a long way in the smartphone market, noted Bob O'Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research. "We've reached an era where phones are incredibly personal."
Mobile App Crashes Iowa Caucuses
February 5, 2020
A coding error in an app used to count vote totals in the Democratic caucuses in Iowa has delayed the release of final tallies. Although the data collected by the app was sound, it was reporting only a portion of that data to party headquarters due a coding issue with its reporting system. After discovering inconsistencies, party staff implemented manual backup measures.
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How will the pandemic influence your holiday shopping habits this year?
I will shop online exclusively, for my own safety and to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
I will do some shopping online, and some in-person because I want to support merchants in my area.
I will shop online definitely, and I will consider local retailers -- but only if they provide curbside service.
I will only shop in-person because the risks associated with e-commerce outweigh my chance of catching COVID-19.
I will not do any holiday shopping this year due to circumstances related to the pandemic.
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