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WE DREW BLOOD TO PROVE THE STRENGTH OF MONTBLANC’S NEW SMART WATCH

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Watchmakers who want to establish themselves in the adventure category usually take one of two routes.

Hit up an influencer in activewear for some redundant hashtags, or send their latest smart watch hurtling into a pile of jagged rocks with a mountain biker attached. This particular mountain biker.

Uncovering A Hidden Message

Long before this sweet marriage between my face, the gravel, blood and profanity, there was Montblanc – a purveyor of luxury goods with genuine roots seeped in the spirit of exploration.

Take their unique logo for example. Most wouldn’t know that Montblanc’s signature six-pointed white snowcap logo is actually a top view of Mont Blanc mountain, the title-holder for the highest mountain in the European Alps.

This symbol along with the recurring ‘4810’ number on Montblanc’s creations is an identity which represents the pinnacle of craftsmanship backed by an ambition to hit new heights of innovation. It’s also a sneaky nod to the mountain’s 4,810 metre height.

Whilst we don’t have a cruisey five kilometre mountain to climb here in Australia, we do have helicopters and a secret resort which sits 1,100 metres above sea level. Close enough.

Our little excursion into the Queensland wilderness provided us with the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Montblanc’s latest timepieces. But before we get to that…

Luxury Amongst The Clouds

Spicers Peak Lodge sounds like a nice spot where amateur campers go to roast pine cones and get attacked by bears. It is not. They don’t do pine cones here and the bears are dressed as majestic cows grazing away their best days against the backdrop of a World Heritage Listed national park.

With our immediate concerns foiled, Montblanc helicoptered a small group of us along with their latest watch collection to the secluded location far from the pressures of civilisation (and any viable source of cigarettes, apparently).

This was an adventure to showcase a name that’s been driven by curiosity and innovation for 112 years. The connection between Montblanc and Spicers Peak Lodge? A synergy of luxury, attention to detail, innovation and new heights between the two names.

Needless to say the accommodation provided a level of service that would rival most metropolitan luxury boutique hotels – no small feat considering the staff have to reside on site just to keep the place running. What that means for you and your guests is relaxation, exploration via trail or mountain biking, fine dining, whisky tasting and personal services like massages should you require it.

It’s one of the least likely locations you’d find this level of service but if you can find a vending machine on a mountain then this shouldn’t surprise you. More importantly, the natural landscape of Spicers Peak Lodge made for a unique backdrop to take in some vintage timepieces as well as the German luxury name’s leather goods and writing instruments.

Montblanc Summit: The Unbreakable Smart Watch

To say that we took this watch for a spin is an understatement – it was more of a violent collision course. With Montblanc’s first ever smart watch wrapped around my wrist for a proper mountain biking session, it was quickly subjected to all sorts of conditions a mechanical watch would simply crumble under.

Cold weather, insane shock, dirt, water, perspiration. It took it all in, happily chimed along and told the time with an easy tap of the bright 1.39-inch AMOLED screen. Legibility wasn’t an issue at all throughout the day and we barely noticed the weight on the wrist considering its 46mm case size.

And then we gave the Montblanc Summit it’s biggest test run. Little note to novice mountain bikers: When traversing down a steep hill at speed littered with gravel and protruding boulders twice the size of your head, don’t confuse your rear brakes with your fronts. Left clutch – front. Right clutch – rear.

This 90s BMX kid chose incorrectly and found himself hurtling over the handlebars towards the terrain after making a gnarly jump. The compression pants were destroyed, the knees were bloody, the face was bloody, the lip slightly busted.

“Am I bleeding?” was the first words uttered to our guide. His reply was “Oh…um, drink this, spit it out.”

Comforting guy. We continued to complete our trek with the watch astonishingly unscathed and in full working order. It was a minor excursion which showcased Montblanc’s ability to not just craft fine luxury products, but also modern ones designed to take on your greatest (mis) adventures.

The Summit runs on Android Wear 2.0 custom built for smart watches. This allows for a host of features like a world timer with 24 time zones, built-in heart rate monitor, a running tracking app and nifty travel problem solvers like google Assistant, Foursquare, Uber and a voice-activated translator. It also plays your tunes via Bluetooth connectivity should you need to drown out the world.

On the aesthetic front the Summit evokes classic good looks thanks to its design DNA borrowed from Montblanc’s 1858 collection. This can be seen in a curved sapphire crystal which makes its way onto a smart watch for the first time ever. It’s by no means delicate though. The watch is housed in a robust stainless steel and titanium case which is one of the defining reasons why its face held up better than ours.

The demand for personalisation is also met with Montblanc offering four different cases and eight different straps alongside a plethora of watch faces to create more than 300 style combinations for picky wearers.

Not a bad proposition for a luxury vintage watchmaker looking to conquer new heights in the digital world.

 

 

 

Source:  Dmerge

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FOSSIL SPORT SMARTWATCH DEBUTS WITH NEW WEAR 3100 CHIP AND WEAR OS

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Fossil has announced its first smartwatch with a Snapdragon 3100 chip and Google’s redesigned Wear OS. The wearable, called the Sport Smartwatch, comes in six different colors — gray, pink, red, blue, green, and black — in both 41mm and 43mm sizes. There’s also a wide range of silicone straps (28 in total) that are interchangeable and water-resistant.

Fossil is emphasizing the Sport Smartwatch’s ambient mode, integrated heart rate sensor, 350mAh battery (with promised all-day battery life), as well as NFC and GPS capabilities, which are all supposed to be improved from the watch’s last generation — though there are few details right now about how they’ve changed. The watch also includes Spotify and Noonlight, an emergency services app, pre-installed.

Fossil will start selling the Sport Smartwatch for $255 today online and directly at Fossil retail locations.

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POOR WEBSITE DESIGNS COULD TRIGGER LEGAL ACTIONS

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Internet marketing has become so popular that e-commerce retail sales in the United States are on pace to double between 2009 and 2018, with sales amounting to US$127.3 billion in just the second quarter of 2018, according to an August 2018 update from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The transaction value of e-commerce service industry contracts reached $600 billion in 2016. Despite the rush to digital commerce, the rules for business transactions are still the same, whether they are concluded on paper or electronically.

Essentially, that means legally valid sales agreements need to demonstrate clearly that both vendors and consumers are aware of — and consent to — the terms of the agreements. It is especially important for vendors to ward off expensive class action suits by including contract terms that prohibit such suits and instead rely on arbitration to resolve any issues with consumers.

Yet recent federal court cases indicate that poorly presented Internet contracts can result in the nullification of arbitration provisions and class action prohibitions — thus giving consumers greater leverage in legal disputes with vendors. Usually the breakdown occurs when vendors mismanage either the display or the content of their websites — and sometimes both.

Website Messages Must be Conspicuous

The most recent example is a June case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a decision. The case stemmed from complaints that Uber Technologies wrongly added the cost of local tolls in and around Boston to customers’ bills. In Cullinane v. Uber, a federal district court initially ruled in favor of Uber and dismissed the complaint.

However, such is the state of differing perspectives on applicable laws, that the appellate court overturned the district court and ruled against the company.

Uber failed to convince the appeals court that the website sales agreement properly displayed both an arbitration clause and a prohibition against litigation, because the notice was not “conspicuous” enough to be legally valid. Absent adequate notice to the customer, there could be no agreement between the parties over terms and conditions, the court said in denying Uber’s motion to compel arbitration.

The case provided insight into the importance to vendors of arbitration clauses as a way to fend off class action suits.

Compared to litigation, arbitration is a “speedy, fair, inexpensive, and less adversarial” process, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in an amicus brief in the Uber case. Members of the organization “have structured millions of contractual relationships — including enormous numbers of on-line contracts — around arbitration agreements.”

Similar suits dealing with the issue include a second case against Uber with a different plaintiff and over a different issue, as well as separate cases involving Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

In each case, courts have gotten into the weeds of website design, finding flaws in styles, the choice of colors, the size of printing fonts, and the use of hyperlinks.

For example, in Cullinane v. Uber, the appellate court noted that the website connection to the contract terms “did not have the common appearance of a hyperlink” because it was framed in a gray box in white bold text, rather than the normal blue underline style. Other screens on the site utilized similar highlight features causing the court to conclude that if “everything on the screen is written with conspicuous features, then nothing is conspicuous.”

Uber’s petition for a rehearing of the case was denied by the appeals court in a July 23, 2018, ruling. The company had no comment on the litigation, Uber spokesperson Alix Anfang told the E-Commerce Times.

Pulling the Trigger on Consent

Of equal importance with presentation is the vendor’s choice of using active or passive mechanisms to obtain customer consent to the terms and conditions of agreements.

In Nicosia v. Amazon, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned a district court decision favoring the company, and instead ruled in favor of the consumer plaintiffs.

The Second Circuit described two major types of customer consent mechanisms. The first, called a “clickwrap” procedure, involves the use of an “I accept” button, which forces customers to “expressly and unambiguously manifest assent,” according to the court.

A more passive alternative is a “browserwrap,” which “involves terms and conditions posted via a hyperlink” and does not request an express showing of consent. “In a seeming effort to streamline customer purchases, Amazon chose not to employ a clickwrap mechanism,” the court noted in the August 2016 ruling.

Ultimately, the court based its decision not on the consent mechanism per se, but on Amazon’s failure to display its terms adequately. The result was that “reasonable minds could disagree” on the adequacy of the company’s notice to consumers.

Amazon declined to comment for this story, spokesperson Cecilia Fan told the E-Commerce Times.

The significant variance among federal courts on the validity of Internet contracts may be caused more by different judicial perceptions than by differing laws covering “conspicuous” or “reasonably communicated and accepted” terms.

While these cases have been brought in federal courts, there is no federal standard for what constitutes adequate notice. Thus, for procedural reasons associated with the Federal Arbitration Act, federal judges have relied on applicable contracting law in different states, including California, Massachusetts, Washington and New York.

“I do not yet see a majority of courts moving toward a single legal standard, especially not one that is adapted to today’s technology,” said Liz Kramer, a partner at Stinson, Leonard, Street.

The U.S. Appeals Court for the Second Circuit reached opposite results in recent cases “despite pretty similar circumstances,” she told the E-Commerce Times. One problem “is that state law applies, and the states are not consistent on what makes terms conspicuous enough to form part of the contract.”

“Different courts define the standard in different ways, but they all boil down to the principle that the arbitration clause — and the links to the clause — must be clearly presented to the consumer in order for there to be a meeting of the minds — in other words, an acceptance — of the arbitration clause,” said Mark Levin, a partner at Ballard Spahr.

“It is not so much the standard that is unsettled, but the application of the standard to the facts, since each website is unique and there are a multitude of factors, both in content and visual display, to consider in determining whether the consumer accepted the clause,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

“Even if there was a U. S. Supreme Court decision, or legislation that defined a single standard, there would still be a need to apply that standard to unique facts in virtually every case,” Levin said.

Web Designers Should Seek Legal Help

While vendors strive to create ever more attractive and compelling websites, designers and marketing staffs need to address the basic nuts and bolts of contract communications, said Levin.

For electronic documents, vendors should “refer to the arbitration clause near the beginning of the terms and conditions, make sure the link to the clause is obvious and clear, minimize the number of mouse clicks it takes for the reader to get to the clause, and refer to the arbitration clause again at the end, close to an electronic signature or ‘I agree’ button,” he advised.

The easiest way for e-commerce vendors to avoid trouble is to skip any indirect notification procedure, suggested Stinson’s Kramer. Deliberate downplaying of key contract terms is an invitation to legal challenge.

“The best way to ensure that an arbitration agreement is enforceable with customers who agree online, or through an app, is to have them actually click ‘I agree’ after reviewing the terms and conditions,” she said.

“Great care should be taken in designing and structuring a website arbitration clause, since courts scrutinize every detail, cautioned Levin.

“This is definitely an area where businesses should enlist legal counsel to help with the design, substance and placement of the clause to help ensure that a court will enforce it,” he said. “If adequate attention is not paid to these issues at the outset, the business could end up in a debilitating class action lawsuit.”

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COLOURED CONTACT LENSES LEFT GIRL TEMPORARILY BLIND

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AN 11-year-old Canadian girl who wore coloured contact lenses as part of her Halloween costume was left blind for four days.

Emilie Turcotte woke in agony and screaming that her eyes were “burning like fire” on the morning after she wore them to go trick-or-treating with her friends.

She had dressed up as a demon and her mother, Julie, had allegedly purchased the coloured lenses at a party supply store in Montreal where the family lives.

Emilie Turcotte ended up in hospital after wearing coloured contact lenses for Halloween. Picture: CEN

Emilie Turcotte ended up in hospital after wearing coloured contact lenses for Halloween. Picture: CENSource:Supplied

Julie said she had to carefully prise open her screaming daughter’s weeping eyelids with her fingers.

According to Julie, Emilie’s eyeballs appeared “blood red”.

“For four days we were so scared. She could not see anything,” Julie told the Montreal Journal.

“All that, for Halloween contact lenses.”

In time, Emilie has been able to regain her sight but doctors ordered her to wear sunglasses for a month in order to let her damaged corneas heal.

Emilie, 11, and five friends wore spooky lenses to go trick-or-treating in Montreal. Picture: CEN

Emilie, 11, and five friends wore spooky lenses to go trick-or-treating in Montreal. Picture: CENSource:Supplied

Now, Emilie’s mother is warning other parents of the danger of the lenses, which are commonly available as part of Halloween costumes and have been worn by celebs such as Kylie Jenner.

Emilie was one of six friends who bought similar costume lenses for the Halloween tradition of trick or treating.

She wore them for about four hours at school, before taking them off for dinner.

Emilie then put them back on to go trick-or-treating with her friends and removed them before going to sleep.

Doctors explained that the lenses had damaged her corneas.

She could not see for four days and had to wear sunglasses for a month to let her corneas heal. Picture: CEN

She could not see for four days and had to wear sunglasses for a month to let her corneas heal. Picture: CENSource:Supplied

“When you lose your eyesight, it cannot be replaced,” Julie said.

“Contact lenses are a good disguise, but at what price?”

Emilie’s friends did not have the same reaction to the contact lenses.

Canadian eye care experts are calling for the sale of coloured contact lenses to be banned unless medically required.

Eric Poulin, president of the Quebec Association of Optometrists, said: “It is a medical product and it should be treated as such.

“They are sold everywhere, but they should not be.”

Mum Julie warned other parents of the dangers. Picture: CEN

Mum Julie warned other parents of the dangers. Picture: CENSource:Supplied

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Badrul Hussain said: “Each year we treat patients, including children under 16, who have developed eye conditions after wearing cosmetic contact lenses.

“There can be an increase in these problems in the period around Halloween,

“Some of the cases we see, like patients sharing lenses with friends, wearing the same pair year after year well past the expiry date, and storing them in tap water, have devastating effects.

“The cornea, the clear window at the front of the eye, is delicate and can be scratched easily by inexperienced contact lens wearers.

“This can expose the eye to organisms that can cause nasty infections, which in extreme cases can result in permanently impaired or loss of vision.”

The British Contact Lens Association added: “Wearing fancy lenses might make you look cool for one night on Halloween but losing your sight could be a lifelong horror story.

“Contact lenses are a medical device, not a fashion accessory. They should be fitted by a fully-qualified professional.”

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