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Category Archives: E-Commerce

The Fate of the News in the Age of the Coronavirus

The New Yorker – Can a fragile media ecosystem survive the pandemic? – “The shift to paywalls has been a boon for quality journalism. Instead of chasing trends on search engines and social media, subscription-based publications can focus on producing journalism worth paying for, which has meant investments in original reporting of all kinds. A small club of élite publications has now found a sustainable way to support its journalism, through readers instead of advertisers. The Times and the Post, in particular, have thrived in the Trump era. So have subscription-driven startups, such as The Information, which covers the tech industry and charges three hundred and ninety-nine dollars a year. Meanwhile, many of the free-to-read outlets still dependent on ad revenue—including former darlings of the digital-media revolution, such as BuzzFeed, Vice, HuffPost, Mic, Mashable, and the titles under Vox Media—have labored to find viable business models. Many of these companies attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in venture funding, and built sizable newsrooms. Even so, they’ve struggled to succeed as businesses, in part because Google and Facebook take in the bulk of the revenue derived from digital advertising. Some sites have been forced to shutter; others have slashed their staffs and scaled back their journalistic ambitions. There are free digital news sites that continue to attract outsized audiences: CNN and Fox News, for instance, each draw well over a hundred million visitors a month. But the news on these sites tends to be commodified. Velocity is the priority, not complexity and depth…”

Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever

The New York Times – Amazon is hiring aggressively to meet customer demand. Traffic has soared on Facebook and YouTube. And cloud computing has become essential to home workers: “…While the rest of the economy is tanking from the crippling impact of the coronavirus, business at the biggest technology companies is holding steady — even… Continue Reading

Book price comparison search engine

booksprice.com: “BooksPrice is a free-of-charge website that enables users to search for the best deals as related to prices of books, CDs, DVDs and other products offered by thousands of stores across the Web. BooksPrice specializes in conducting comparisons of multiple books, CDs and DVDs as part of one single search. BooksPrice is an independent… Continue Reading

No Facebook is not protecting your privacy

Privacy International: “…Privacy International recently tested the feature to download all ‘Ads and Business’ related information (You can accessed it by Clicking on Settings > Your Facebook Information > Download Your Information). This is meant to tell users which advertisers have been targeting them with ads and under which circumstances. We found that information provided… Continue Reading

When Speakers Are All Ears

When Speakers Are All Ears – Understanding when smart speakers mistakenly record conversations. Daniel J. Dubois (Northeastern University), Roman Kolcun (Imperial College London), Anna Maria Mandalari (Imperial College London), Muhammad Talha Paracha (Northeastern University), David Choffnes (Northeastern University), Hamed Haddadi (Imperial College London) Last updated: 02/14/2020 Summary – Voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, OK… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues February 22, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues February 22, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

Use Amazon, Uber or Walmart.com? You’ve probably signed away your right to sue them

CNN Business: “Tucked into the sign-up process for many popular e-commerce sites and apps are dense terms-of-service agreements that legal experts say are changing the nature of consumer transactions, creating a veil of secrecy around how these companies function. The small print in these documents requires all signatories to agree to binding arbitration and to… Continue Reading

Ring and Nest helped normalize American surveillance

Washington Post – a nation of voyeurs – For all the worries about hacking, owners of Internet-connected cameras say they love watching people silently from afar — often their own family members. Amazon’s Ring, Google’s Nest and other Internet-connected cameras — some selling for as little as $59 — have given Americans the tools they… Continue Reading

Why Amazon knows so much about you

BBC News article includes extensive history, narrative, graphics, photos and insight into how and why Amazon collects massive amounts of data Amazon on users through multiple channels of e-commerce and devices – by Leo Kelion – “You might call me an Amazon super-user. I’ve been a customer since 1999, and rely on it for everything from… Continue Reading

Use these 11 critical iPhone privacy and security settings right now

Fast Company – iOS offers more tools than ever to defend yourself against hackers, nosy sites, and other intruders. Here’s why they matter and how to benefit from them. “If one object you own encapsulates who you are, how you think, and what you do, it’s your smartphone. Our phones not only contain our contacts… Continue Reading

Activate This ‘Bracelet of Silence,’ and Alexa Can’t Eavesdrop

The New York Times – “…Mr. Zhao and Ms. Zheng are computer science professors at the University of Chicago, and …with the help of an assistant professor, Pedro Lopes, they designed a piece of digital armor: a “bracelet of silence” that will jam the Echo or any other microphones in the vicinity from listening in… Continue Reading