Archive for November 17, 2023

Apple Pulls Ads From Twitter… Elon And Linda, You Have A Serious Problem

Posted in Commentary with tags , on November 17, 2023 by itnerd

Earlier today, I wrote about IBM pulling ads from Twitter because they were put alongside Nazi and antisemitic posts. That is a big problem for Twitter along with the two people who run the shop which are Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino. Now Elon and Linda have a new problem. Apple has decided to pull its advertising. Let’s see what Axios has to say:

Apple is pausing all advertising on X, the Elon Musk-owned social network, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: The move follows Musk’s endorsement of antisemitic conspiracy theories as well as Apple ads reportedly being placed alongside far-right content. Apple has been a major advertiser on the social media site and its pause follows a similar move by IBM.

I for one am glad that Apple is walking the walk on this issue because Nazi content, antisemitic speech, or hate speech of any sort is something that nobody should stay silent on. And here’s the thing that you need to watch for over the coming hours or days. How many companies will pull their ads from Twitter? Because if IBM and Apple have yanked their ads, other companies will not want to be on Twitter and be perceived as supporting Nazi content, antisemitic speech, or hate speech of any sort. Thus I see a mass exodus of advertisers from Twitter. And I am pretty sure that most of them will not return regardless of what assurances that the duo of Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino give the planet. That in turn will accelerate the demise of Twitter, which we all knew was coming when Elon took over. And finally it will cement Elon’s legacy, which is that he’s a grade “A” scumbag. And Linda Yaccarino will get associated with that forever.

Get the popcorn out folks. This is about to get spicy.

Pre-Cyber Week Sales Up 2% in Canada and AI Searches Surge as Savvy Shoppers Await Cyber Week Deals: Salesforce

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 17, 2023 by itnerd

As we lead up to Cyber Week 2023, Salesforce has released its latest digital commerce data and predictions for the period.

Here are some of the headlines:

  • According to Salesforce ecommerce data, early (Oct. 1–Nov.14) online holiday sales are up 2% year over year (YoY) in Canada. After a couple of years of experiencing inflation and other trends, consumers are shopping cautiously and making their own price comparisons.
  • Canadian online traffic declines ahead of Cyber Week: Traffic dipped 3%, potentially due to shoppers waiting to maximize discounts or feeling the pinch of inflation, compared to the 5% growth seen globally YoY..
  • Holiday shoppers walk before they run: Consumers browsed but held off on buying in the early holiday season. Product views grew by 1% in Canada compared to last year, but the low increase in sales growth (2%) indicates that consumers are waiting for the biggest and best deals of the season.

As a result, Salesforce predicts that:

  • A slow start to holiday shopping will drive a high-volume Cyber Week: Similar to 2022, Cyber Week is anticipated to account for over 25% of all holiday purchases this year. While holiday shopping was spread out through all of November in 2020 and 2021, this year’s more price-conscious consumers are waiting to see what deals come their way on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
  • Discount rates are expected to be attractive: As consumers wait for the biggest and best deals of the season, global discounts are likely to reach 29% globally. This is on par with pre-pandemic discount levels.
  • Returns are likely to be low during Cyber Week and pick up in December: Only 7% of purchases are expected to be returned during Cyber Week, with thepeak of returns falling during Christmas and the days following (15%) as consumers race to return gifts they did not like before the return windows close.

For more data and predictions have a look at the holiday hub, which will be updated daily over Cyber Week.

IBM Pulls Ads From Twitter After They Show Up Next To Nazi And Antisemitic Content

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 17, 2023 by itnerd

Honestly, at this point it’s a given that Twitter under Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino is a cesspool of hate speech. And the latest example of this is this Reuters story that illustrates how bad this can be for companies who are wanting to advertise on Twitter for whatever reason:

IBM on Thursday said it had immediately suspended all advertising on Elon Musk-owned X after a report found its ads were placed next to content promoting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.

The report comes a day after Musk endorsed an antisemitic post on X that falsely claimed members of the Jewish community were stoking hatred against white people.

Media watchdog Media Matters said it found that corporate advertisements by IBM, Apple, Oracle and Comcast’s Xfinity were being placed alongside antisemitic content.

“IBM has zero tolerance for hate speech and discrimination and we have immediately suspended all advertising on X while we investigate this entirely unacceptable situation,” IBM said in a statement.

Apple, Oracle and Xfinity did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

I’ll come back to Elon and his behaviour in a bit. But this is bad. In fact, it’s as bad as it can get. This makes Twitter a non-viable platform for advertising. Period. Now Twitter said that it doesn’t intentionally place ads next to this kind of content. But clearly that can’t control where ads go. Which is another reason why Twitter is a non-viable platform for advertising. And the fact that the guy who runs the place endorses antisemitic content is the final nail in the coffin because he clearly is fine with this sort of content. Which tells you all you need to know about Elon.

Oh yeah. Linda Yaccarino put this statement out to try and deflect this latest problem for Twitter:

“When it comes to this platform – X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world – it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop,” said Yaccarino.

The thing is that the above statement isn’t true. Twitter is doing nothing to stop antisemitism and discrimination. Report, after report, after report has proven that. And the only time Twitter seems to do anything about content like this is when they get caught out by one of these reports. In other words, that makes the above statement from Yaccarino totally meaningless the words don’t match what Twitter is actually doing. The fact is that she’s got to know that everything that her buddy Elon is doing is killing Twitter. And she’s letting it happen. Maybe she hasn’t got the will to speak truth to power? Maybe she’s outright complicit in everything that Elon is doing? I don’t know. But I do know this. None of this is a good look for her.

I close this story with this. If you’re still on Twitter actively using the platform. You need to stop using it. This is just the latest example as to why Twitter is no longer a safe place for you. And if you’re an advertiser, I would say that you need to pull your ads off Twitter as I am sure that you don’t want your brand associated with a platform that spreads Nazi and antisemitic content.


2.36 Million Impacted By Truepill Data breach

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 17, 2023 by itnerd

US, mail-order pharmacy provider Truepill is sending notification letters to more than 2.36 million individuals disclosing that their personal data has been compromised following a breach of its systems in late August.  

Truepill, also known as Postmeds, said data accessed by attackers who infiltrated network on August 30th included: 

  • Full names 
  • Demographic details 
  • Medication types 
  • Names of their prescribing physicians 

Truepill’s B2B-focused pharmacy platform uses APIs for direct-to-consumer healthcare brands’ order fulfillment and delivery services so some individuals receiving the notices had never heard of the company. 

The breach has prompted various class action lawsuits accusing Postmeds of providing incomplete information regarding the compromised data, failing to ensure the encryption of sensitive health data and delaying the company’s breach notification. 

Ted Miracco, CEO, Approov Mobile Security had this comment:

   “Many healthcare organizations still rely on legacy systems and infrastructure that were not designed with modern cybersecurity practices in mind. API security today is of utmost importance, particularly in the context of mobile APIs, as these are often targeted by attackers due to their inherent vulnerabilities, widespread usage and wealth of sensitive data they can access.  While encryption is a basic aspect of API security for data storage, during transmission sensitive information must also remain secure even if intercepted by malicious actors. Strong encryption protocols such as HTTPS/TLS should be used to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of data exchanged between mobile devices and APIs. 

   “In addition to encryption, the use of secure short-lived tokens is an effective security practice. These tokens serve as access credentials and are typically issued for a limited duration. By using short-lived tokens, the window of opportunity for attackers to exploit stolen or compromised tokens is minimized. Regularly rotating these tokens further enhances security by reducing the potential impact of a token compromise. 

   “Implementing access controls and authorization mechanisms is another important aspect of API security. User credentials alone may not be sufficient to protect sensitive data. APIs should enforce granular access controls, ensuring that users or applications only have access to the specific resources and actions they require. This principle of least privilege helps limit the potential damage in case of a breach. By limiting the number of API requests that can be made within a specific time frame, these measures help safeguard the API infrastructure and protect businesses from costly data breaches like this one.”

Hopefully the class action lawsuits that have been filed teach this company and others a lesson. Which is that if you get pwned, you will pay one way or the other.

Fisker PEAR Urban EV New Features + Alaska Pickup Truck at The Grove LA Nov. 18-26

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 17, 2023 by itnerd

Fisker Inc. will show both the Fisker PEAR and Fisker Alaska pickup truck in Los Angeles.

PEAR is an innovative, high-volume crossover that the company recently showed at its Product Vision Day in August. PEAR is expected to commence production in July 2025 and will be priced at $29,900 in the US, before incentives. 

A new see-through A-pillar design feature on PEAR will be on display for the first time. It is intended to improve driver awareness and pedestrian safety when the vehicle is making a left-hand turn. A surround-view camera captures areas that the A-pillar might obscure and feeds that live image to an interior display.

The PEAR on display will also have Fisker’s new Cockpit Compute system, which will go into production as part of the Fisker Blade computer (described below). Fisker will own the complete software configuration on Blade through the company’s in-house development teams.

The Alaska is planned to be the world’s most sustainable pickup and will go on sale for $45,400, also before incentives. The vehicle is expected to start production and deliveries in Q1 2025.

The production-intent PEAR and the prototype Alaska will be on display at The Grove, starting the afternoon of Saturday Nov. 18, and continuing through Sunday Nov. 26.