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An Amazon.com fulfillment center. The rate of domestic growth in e-commerce is declining.
An Amazon.com fulfillment center. The rate of domestic growth in e-commerce is declining.Credit Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

For all of the noise and hype — drones! one-hour delivery! get more toilet paper painlessly! — e-commerce is showing the first signs of maturing as a business. Figures from the research firm eMarketer show the rate of domestic growth falling from 16.5 percent in 2013 to 14.2 percent this year to 11.6 percent in 2018. By that point, e-commerce in the United States will still be less than 10 percent of all retail. The death of the physical store, so widely anticipated in the last few years, is nowhere in sight.

“Not a lot of new e-commerce users in the U.S. these days,” said Dan Marcec, a spokesman for eMarketer. “Plus, we still love to shop and buy in stores. Retailers are trying to leverage mobile usage not only to push mobile commerce, but also (and maybe even more aggressively) to get people information to encourage buying in-store.”

That was one theme of the 11th annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition, held in Chicago this week. People who make stuff were once content to let someone else sell it for them online. Now they increasingly realize they will be much better off capturing the customer themselves. The benefits: They retain more margin without a middleman. They have tighter control over packaging and shipping — the box promotes them, not the retailer. And, most important, they have the name and email address of someone who likes their stuff.

The problem, of course, is how to get that customer coming to the brand’s site in the first place. The whole point of Amazon or Overstock or eBay is that one account means one-stop shopping. Amazon Prime, which has tens of millions of customers for its $100-a-year shipping program, is doing all it can to build an ecosystem where the exit doors are impossible to find.

“Amazon is driving more people to buy online,” said Amy Heidersbach of Needle, a customer engagement platform with a big exhibit at IRCE. “That’s good for everyone selling online. But the problem is how do you compete, and not just be a showroom for Amazon?”

Amazon is not only the dominant figure in e-commerce but probably the most aggressive. It does not exhibit at IRCE, but it is never far from the mind of attendees — even those who did not attend the full-day convention workshop, “Amazon & Me.” Among the panels: “What all retailers need to know to compete against or cooperate with Amazon.”

“Sellers want to feed from every pond, and Amazon is not just a pond, it’s an ocean. Leaving it would not be a good idea,” said Eitan Zimerman of Act Bold Media Group, a consultant shop. “But developing some alternatives is.”

The alternatives begin at home. Amazon or another web merchant might charge a 15 percent fee for selling something. That gives the brand a few dollars to potentially pass on to the customer. One increasingly popular technique: allowing the customer to name his price.

Under a Coffee and Bacon Station sign, members of PriceWaiter, a Chattanooga, Tenn., start-up, were doling out snacks and explaining how letting customers of a website decide how much they are willing to pay (within, to be sure, a narrow range) works out for both parties. “The merchants win by keeping the sale, and the customer gets a psychological victory — it feels like a win,” said Brian Sibley.

Another customer retention method, this one somewhat more fraught with peril: Put reviews on your site. This, of course, is an attempt to take away or at least neutralize one of the features that drove Amazon’s initial success. “Reviews instill trust in your brand and keep the customer coming back,” said Alex Rosen of PowerReviews, a back-end platform to making reviewing easier. He added that brands like to know, must know, when they are getting bad reviews. But strong indeed is the brand that will keep bad reviews on its own site.

If many of the exhibitors at IRCE were trying to avoid Amazon, a few were taking it on directly. Justin Singletary said he spent $500,000 a few years ago to buy the Fulfillment.com web domain from eBay. “We saw a void in the marketplace — an opening to take care of the merchants themselves rather than the merchant’s customers,” he said. Asked who the merchants were, he demurred, saying they operated under nondisclosure agreements.With about 60 employees and one domestic warehouse, Fulfillment.com is still an early-stage start-up.

Newegg, founded way back in 2001, is by comparison practically an institution. It says it is the second-largest online retailer in North America, with 28 million registered customers, about a tenth of Amazon’s. “Amazon wants to do everything,” said a spokeswoman, Claire Lin. “We want to be really good at one thing: selling tech products.”

Amazon and Overstock and eBay and Google would presumably answer that they want to be good at selling everything. Which leads to the final realization of the convention, an inescapable lesson for the Age of Twitter and Facebook: Big or small, you gotta blow your own horn these days.

“Look at Apple,” said Mr. Zimerman, the consultant. “Everything about them is bold. It has the most aggressive marketing. It is always in the news. Brands are constantly pushing, constantly revealing. No one just sits back and watches anymore. Take Blackberry. They had the business mobile market and sat back and got swallowed up.”

source:http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/05/selling-e-commerce-while-avoiding-amazon/?ref=technology&_r=0

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Business

BANK OF CHILE HIT BY CYBER-ATTACK, HACKERS ROB MILLIONS

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Shares in the Bank of Chile were down on Monday after it confirmed hackers had syphoned off $10 million (roughly Rs. 67 crores) of its funds, mainly to Hong Kong, though the country’s second-largest commercial bank said no client accounts had been impacted.

The cyberheist is the latest in a string of such attacks, including one in May in Mexico in which thieves used phantom orders and fake accounts to steal hundreds of millions of Mexican pesos out of the country’s banks, including Banorte.

Shares in the Bank of Chile, which is controlled by the Chilean Luksic family and Citigroup, were down 0.47 percent at CLP 100.4 ($.16) in mid-day trading.

Bank CEO Eduardo Ebensperger told Chilean daily La Tercera in an interview on Saturday that hackers had initially used a virus as a distraction, prompting the bank to disconnect 9,000 computers in branches across the country on May 24 to protect customer accounts.

Meanwhile, the hackers quietly used the global SWIFT bank messaging service to initiate a series of fraudulent transactions that were eventually spotted by the bank and cancelled but not before millions were funnelled to accounts abroad.

“The [attack] was meant to hurt the bank, not our customers,” Ebensperger said.

Ebensperger said a forensic analysis conducted by Microsoft had determined the attack was the work of a sophisticated international group of hackers, likely from eastern Europe or Asia, and that the bank had filed a criminal complaint in Hong Kong.

The bank said in a May financial statement that it would work with insurers to recoup the lost funds.

 

 

 

 

source: Gadgets 360

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Industry

HUAWEI MATE 20 PRO TIPPED TO SPORT A 6.9-INCH SAMSUNG OLED DISPLAY

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arlier this month, Huawei introduced the Watch 2 smartwatch with an eSIM and voice call support. Now, a new development claims that the company is procuring OLED displays from Samsung. The South Korean giant is said to have already sent out samples to Huawei, and if all goes well, full scale production is expected to start by Q3 2018. The smartphone to sport these 6.9-inch OLED panels is said to release sometime in the fourth quarter or even early 2019, and we largely expect to see them on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

South Korean media The Bell reports that Samsung is in the process of finalising samples with Huawei for its order of 6.9-inch OLED displays. These large-sized displays are usually seen on Huawei’s P series or Mate series. While the P30 series is not expected to arrive before MWC 2019, the Mate series traditionally arrives sometime in Q4. Furthermore, with the screen size being so large, we expect the Pro version to sport the 6.9-inch display, while the Mate 20 could sport a 6.1-inch or some such.

If Huawei is indeed bringing a 6.9-inch display smartphone, it should easily win the screen size battle, as the iPhone X Plus is expected to sport a 6.5-inch display, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is expected to sport a 6.4-incher. These large sized displays are very popular in the Chinese market, and Huawei wants to meet expectations in its home market. Bigger screens are popular also because of the large text area used by the Chinese language, the report adds. Huawei wouldn’t want to lose its momentum in its biggest market by not staying ahead of its game.

Of course, all of this is based on sheer speculation, and we expect you to take everything with a pinch of salt, till Huawei makes things official.

 

 

Source: Gadget360

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Business

VPN TUNNEL : WHAT IS IT, HOW CAN IT KEEP YOUR INTERNET DATA SECURE

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With growing censorship and regulations threatening global internet freedom and security, in turn, we’ve seen an increasing number of services become available to protect your online web browsing.

Virtual Private Networks (or VPNs) have become increasingly popular in recent years for their ability to bypass government censorship and geo-blocked websites and services, and do so without giving away who is doing the bypassing.

For a VPN to do this, it creates what is known as a tunnel between you and the internet, encrypting your internet connection and stopping ISPs, hackers, and even the government from nosing through your browsing activity.

We explain the basics of what a VPN is here
What is a VPN Tunnel?
When you connect to the internet with a VPN, the VPN creates a connection between you and the internet that surrounds your internet data like a tunnel, encrypting the data packets your device sends.

While technically created by a VPN, the tunnel on its own can’t be considered private unless it’s accompanied with encryption strong enough to prevent governments or ISPs from intercepting and reading your internet activity.

The level of encryption the VPN tunnel has depends on the type of tunneling protocol used to encapsulate and encrypt the data going to and from your device and the internet.

Types of VPN tunneling protocols
There are many types of VPN tunneling protocols that offer varying levels of security and other features. The most commonly used tunneling protocols in the VPN industry are PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and OpenVPN. Let’s take a closer look at them.

1. PPTP
Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is one of the oldest protocols still being used by VPNs today. Developed by Microsoft and released with Windows 95, PPTP encrypts your data in packets and sends them through a tunnel it creates over your network connection.

PPTP is one of the easiest protocols to configure, requiring only a username, password, and server address to connect to the server. It’s one of the fastest VPN protocols because of its low encryption level.

While it boasts fast connection speeds, the low level of encryption makes PPTP one of the least secure protocols you can use to protect your data. With known vulnerabilities dating as far back as 1998, and the absence of strong encryption, you’ll want to avoid using this protocol if you need solid online security and anonymity – government agencies and authorities like the NSA have been able to compromise the protocol’s encryption.

2. L2TP/IPSec
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is used in conjunction with Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) to create a more secure tunneling protocol than PPTP. L2TP encapsulates the data, but isn’t adequately encrypted until IPSec wraps the data again with its own encryption to create two layers of encryption, securing the confidentiality of the data packets going through the tunnel.

L2TP/IPSec provides AES-256 bit encryption, one of the most advanced encryption standards that can be implemented. This double encapsulation does, however, make it a little slower than PPTP. It can also struggle with bypassing restrictive firewalls because it uses fixed ports, making VPN connections with L2TP easier to block. L2TP/IPSec is nonetheless a very popular protocol given the high level of security it provides.

3. SSTP
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol, named for its ability to transport internet data through the Secure Sockets Layer or SSL, is supported natively on Windows, making it easy for Windows users to set up this particular protocol. SSL makes internet data going through SSTP very secure, and because the port it uses isn’t fixed, it is less likely to struggle with firewalls than L2TP.

SSL is also used in conjunction with Transport Layer Security (TLS) on your web browsers to add a layer to the site you’re visiting to create a secure connection with your device. You can see this implemented whenever the website you visit starts with ‘https’ instead of ‘http’.

As a Windows-based tunneling protocol, SSTP is not available on any other operating system, and hasn’t been independently audited for potential backdoors built into the protocol.

4. OpenVPN
Saving the best for last, we have OpenVPN, a relatively recent open source tunneling protocol that uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect data packets. Because the protocol is open source, the code is vetted thoroughly and regularly by the security community, who are constantly looking for potential security flaws.

The protocol is configurable on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, although third-party software is required to set up the protocol, and the protocol can be hard to configure. After configuration, however, OpenVPN provides a strong and wide range of cryptographic algorithms that will allow users to keep their internet data secure and to even bypass firewalls at fast connection speeds.

Which tunneling protocol should I use?
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Even though it’s the fastest, you should steer clear of PPTP if you want to keep your internet data secure. L2TP/IPSec provides 256-bit encryption but is slower and struggles with firewalls given its fixed ports. SSTP, while very secure, is only available on Windows, and closed off from security checks for built-in backdoors.

OpenVPN, with its open source code, strong encryption, and ability to bypass firewalls, is the best tunneling protocol to keep your internet data secure. While it requires third-party software that isn’t available on all operating systems, for the most secure VPN connection to the internet, you’ll want to use the OpenVPN protocol.

A good VPN service should offer you the choice of at least these four types of tunneling protocols when going online. We’ve compiled a list of the best VPNs in the industry for you to get started on protecting your internet data.

 

 

 

Source: Tech Radar

 

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