Archive for August 8, 2019

PayPal Brings You The Top E-commerce Moments Of The Last 25 Years

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2019 by itnerd

This Sunday, on August 11th, the world celebrates the 25th anniversary of e-commerce. An invention that changed everything: the way we shop, travel, communicate and conduct business. And the people at PayPal have gathered a list of key milestones:

  1. 1994 Dan Kohn, a 21-year-old entrepreneur makes the first online transaction.  On August 11, 1994, Kohn sold a CD of Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales” to a friend, who used a credit card to spend $12.48, plus shipping costs. That transaction was the first to be protected by encryption technology.
  2. 1995 – eBay was born, first as the ‘AuctionWeb’. Its creator Pierre Omidyar wanted to create an online marketplace, and he reportedly wrote the first code for it in one weekend.
  3. 1998PayPal launches as a secure online payment system.
  4. 2004 – Blockbuster Video were the first official online film and video game subscription service. Despite their demise, they developed a simple subscription model framework that is still used today by Netflix and Amazon Prime.
  5. 2004Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce company supporting online retailers,  launches a Canadian online store selling snowboards. Today Shopify reports it had more than 800,000 businesses in approximately 175 countries using its platform, with total gross merchandise volume exceeding $41.1 billion for calendar 2018.
  6. 2006 – Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of fourteen online trades over the course of a year.
  7. 2006 – The most expensive thing purchased via e-commerce (eBay) is a $168 million, 405-feet-long Gigayacht designed by naval architect Frank Mulder for Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
  8. 2009 – Crypto currency, Bitcoin, launched on Jan 3rd.
  9. 2011Canadian heartbreaker Justin Bieber’s hair is sold on eBay by Ellen DeGeneres for $40,668.
  10. 2013 – KISS rocker Gene Simmons gum sells for almost $250,000.
  11. 2017 – 50% of online businesses launched within the last two years owned by women.
  12. 2017 – Cyber Monday sales exceed $6.5B. 
  13. 2017While four out of five Canadians shop online, less than one in five (17 per cent) of Canadian SMEs businesses are using online payment tools such as electronic invoicing, online marketplaces, or e-commerce-enabled websites.
  14. 2018 – PayPal surpasses 250 million active accounts worldwide.
  15. 201887% of Canadians made an online purchase in 2018 (46% on mobile).

It will be interesting to see what the next 25 years has in store for us.

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UAG Announces New Cases For Samsung Galaxy Note10

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2019 by itnerd

Urban Armor Gear have announced a new lineup of updated cases for the Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+. From style conscious to tactically rugged, UAG’s new Note10 lineup offers the perfect case for every type of user.

Each new model meets military drop standards while accommodating all of the powerful tech advantages the new Galaxy Note10 has to offer, like 5G connectivityand Fast Wireless Charging. The cases also keep the distinctive stylus safely in place, allowingusers to express themselves as they push further and explore life to the fullest.

When heading into the toughest, most grueling conditions, UAG’s updatedMonarch Series is the go-to choice.Meeting 2X MIL-SPEC qualifications, the oversized tactile buttons and protective screen surround, takes premium protection to a whole new level. If the adventure calls for a featherlight option with serious protection, look no further than the Plasma Series. It’s stylish translucent case and composite material construction make it a slick companion for the modern-day wanderer. For those seeking ultimateprotection in a sleeker style, the Plyo Series is the ideal case. Itslightweight, minimalist design makes the Plyo Series the perfect match for on-the-go individuals.

PLASMA SERIES – GALAXY NOTE10 & NOTE10+

Available colors: Ice and Ash

Price: $39.95 | £31.00 | €35,95

●     Armor shell and impact resistant soft core

●     Feather-light composite construction

●     Oversized tactile buttons and non-slip ruggedized grip

●     Easy access to touchscreen and ports

●     Scratch-resistant screen surround

●     Reverse wireless charging compatible

●     Compatible with Samsung Pay and Samsung Fast Wireless Charging

●     Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

 

PLYO SERIES – GALAXY NOTE10 & NOTE10+

Available colors: Ice

Price: $39.95 | £31.00 | €35,95

●     Armor shell & impact resistant soft core

●     Air-soft corners for cushioning impact

●     Feather-light composite construction

●     Oversized tactile buttons & easy access to touchscreen and ports

●     Protective screen surround

●     Reverse wireless charging compatible

●     Compatible with Samsung Pay and Samsung Fast Wireless Charging

●     Meets military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

 

MONARCH SERIES – GALAXY NOTE10 & NOTE10+

Available colors: Black and Crimson

Price: $39.95 | £31.00 | €35,95

●     Handcrafted, feather-light construction with 5 layers of protection

●     Top grain leather and alloy metal hardware

●     Soft impact-resistant core & honeycomb traction grip

●     Oversized tactile buttons & protective screen surround

●     Reverse wireless charging compatible

●     Compatible with Samsung Pay and Samsung Fast Wireless Charging

●     Meets 2X Military drop-test standards (MIL STD 810G 516.6)

●     10-Year Limited Warranty

 

Capital One Hit With $350 Million Class Action Lawsuit In Canada Over Data Breach

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2019 by itnerd

The fallout over the epic Capital One data breach has begun. A class action suit has been filed by an Ontario law firm on behalf of six million or so Canadians that were affected. Total price tag: $350 million. CBC News has the details:

Diamond & Diamond’s suit seeks compensation for Canadians who applied for credit cards from Capital One between 2005 and 2019.

“This data breach could have very serious ramifications for those affected with regards to their future finances,” said Jeremy Diamond, managing partner at the firm, in a statement.

The suit’s representative plaintiff is Rina Del Guidice of Bolton, Ont., who obtained a Costco Wholesale MasterCard through Capital One.

It notes that Capital One also operated credit cards offered by other merchants including the Hudson’s Bay Co.

Darryl Singer, the firm’s lead lawyer on the suit, said in a statement that the stolen information could pose a risk to identity theft for years.

“What makes this breach so egregious is that it includes identifying information such as someone’s name and social insurance number that cannot be changed.”

While I hope that Capital One loses this lawsuit and has to pay up, this doesn’t go far enough. Capital One needs to explain how this happened, what they are going to do to ensure it doesn’t happen again, and face punishment in the US, Canada and anywhere else that this data breach reaches. That way they know that their failure to protect their customer data has consequences. And others will know that if they screw up like this, that punishment will be swift and costly.

Microsoft Contractors Listen To Some Skype Calls And Cortana Interactions

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2019 by itnerd

Microsoft has a bit of an issue on its hands in a similar fashion as Apple, Google, and Amazon.

Motherboard has found that Microsoft contractors have been listening into Skype calls only if users are performing a translation function in Skype and not during any other typical Skype voice or video call. As a result, they’ve listened in on intimate conversations between couples and more. And to add to that, Microsoft contractors listen to voice commands spoken to Cortana too. Now Microsoft, much like Apple says right up front that it analyzes audio of translated calls in Skype to improve its services, but it does not mention that some of the analysis will be done by humans. I guess Microsoft assumes that you’ll figure that out on your own. But a better strategy would be for Microsoft to spell that out so that there is no ambiguity.

Having said that, You should also consider what this contractor said to Motherboard:

“The fact that I can even share some of this with you shows how lax things are in terms of protecting user data,” a Microsoft contractor who provided the cache of files to Motherboard, said. 

The contractor said, “I generally feel like that while we do not have access to user identifiable information, that if Microsoft users were aware that random people sitting at home in their pajamas who could be joking online with friends about the stuff they just heard that they wouldn’t like that.”

Yeah. This is a bit of an #EpicFail. Now Microsoft says in short that it’s doing nothing wrong and this is all spelled out for you so that you know that this is going on, but this really doesn’t feel right. I say that because Amazon, Apple, and Google decided to take a sober second look at how they do things when this issue was brought to their attention. Microsoft at present doesn’t seem to be heading in a similar direction. Perhaps they want to reconsider that for no other reason than to avoid being sued like Apple.

 

The Great Canadian Road Trip II – Part 4: An Ice Cream Ride

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2019 by itnerd

Today in Charlottetown, it was time to do a short ride of about 45K. The idea was to take a short ride of average difficulty just to loosen up the legs. Plus to add to the fun, we’re planning a stop at an ice cream shop before returning to the hotel.

Top Tip: Bike helmets are mandatory in Prince Edward Island as per this. But to be frank, every cyclist everywhere on planet Earth should be wearing a helmet regardless of whether the law requires it or not. I’ll get off my soapbox now.

To assist with our rides, we’ve employed a new piece of tech. Replacing our Garmin Edge 520 cyclocomputers that we’ve been using is the brand new Garmin Edge 830 cyclocomputer. I’ll be writing a detailed review in the next little bit, but they key features that we’re leveraging is the touchscreen interface and the better navigation capabilities. Plus there’s better fitness metrics that are available to help us measure our level of fitness.

Now before we left Toronto, we created our routes using the Garmin Connect website which you get access to when you buy a Garmin cyclocomputer. We leveraged the fact that Garmin offers the ability to pick a start point and a destination and the website will route you according to what routes are popular in the area. Once we had the route created, we downloaded them to the cyclocomputers. However we had two issues with the Garmin Connect website:

  1. We specified road riding. But as you will see, it routed us partially onto gravel.
  2. It was completely unable to get the amount of elevation gain correct. So while we were expecting not a l lot of elevation gain, AKA climbing, we ended up climbing almost 900 feet which isn’t a big deal if one was aware that they were going to do that before the ride started.

Clearly Garmin has some bugs to work out with this website.

Shortly after noon, we rolled out from the hotel which was the start and end point for most of the routes that we created. After riding on the streets of Charlottetown, we were routed on to the Charlottetown Cycleway which is part of the Confederation Trail. It’s a hard packed fine gravel trail that is ridable by gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and experienced road riders. We’re the latter and most of the first 10K covered routes that look like this as navigated by my wife:

IMG_1014

Now normally I would not recommend gravel to road cyclists, but this route is clearly ridable. At least in the sections that we rode. We then ended up on paved roads that were rolling hills for the next 10K or so. At the end, we ended up here:

IMG_1012

This is Deckers Dairy Bar which is on Brackey Point Road near the Prince Edward Island National Park. We used this as our turn around point and spent 30 minutes having ice cream before returning to the hotel. By the end of the ride back at or hotel, here’s what we did via Strava:

fullsizeoutput_dbc.jpeg

It was a good ride and it got our feet wet in terms of riding in Prince Edward Island.

After a quick shower, we took part in Happy Hour in the hotel. While my wife had a white wine, I had a Island Red from Gahan House Breweries. I seem to be going through their entire suite of offerings. When it is in stock as this was a beer that I wanted yesterday, but was out of stock at the restaurant that we were out. That means that I will have to buy some to take home with us.

We then went out to dinner to the aforementioned Gahan House pub/resturant which was a six minute walk from the hotel. While eating fish and chips, I had the opportunity to sample their alcoholic root beer and their Iron Bridge Brown Ale. Both of which were very good, For my wife’s part, she had oysters and a spinach salad. Which she said was outstanding.

Our plans are not all that clear at the moment. But once we figure it out, we’ll post what we do here. So stay tuned.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 & 10+ Announced

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 8, 2019 by itnerd

Samsung’s latest iteration of the Galaxy Note series of phones were announced at an event yesterday. If you missed the event, here’s the event in full:

The Galaxy Note 10, for the first time in a Note device, is available in two sizes: 6.3 (Galaxy Note 10) and 6.8 inches (Galaxy Note 10+).

The Galaxy Note 10 has a HDR10+ 6.3-inch screen at 2280×1080 resolution, with the Note 10+ coming in at 6.8 inches diagonally at 3040×1440, moving it well into phablet-size territory. For comparison, the iPhone XS Max features a 6.5-inch display.

Samsung added a triple-lens camera to the Note 10 and a quad camera to the Note 10+. The Note 10 features a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto camera. The Note 10+ has the same lenses but also adds a new DepthVision Camera.

RAM varies between 8GB and 12GB depending on model, wireless connectivity, and internal storage. Storage begins at 256GB. The Galaxy Note 10+ has a microSD card reader, but the smaller Note 10 does not have card reading capability

The Galaxy Note 10 is priced starting at $949.99 USD, while Galaxy Note 10+ pricing starts at $1099.99 USD. In terms of Canadian pricing (seeing as this is a Canadian blog), I heard from TELUS where the Galaxy Note 10+ is now available for pre-order at TELUS at Telus.com/galaxynote10plus. The Galaxy Note 10+ will be available for purchase in-store and online at telus.com on August 23rd. Customers who pre-order the new Galaxy Note10+, on a minimum two year term, will receive Samsung Galaxy Buds as a gift with purchase, valued at $219.99.