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Rich Tehrani
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E-Commerce

Thank You Amazon, Retailers May Now Merge at Will

February 18, 2013


When reports surfaced regarding Office Depot merging with OfficeMax, the first thing which may have occurred to many, is regulators wouldn’t let this approximately $2 billion happen because the resulting store would be too large and create antitrust concerns. Much of these worries in retail however have decreased as of late because of the strength of Wal-Mart, Costco and of course Amazon. Let’s also remember that Staples is a major player in the space. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon in particular can be used by just about all retailers to justify industry consolidation.


Scam Users, Accumulate Facebook Likes, Buy a Ferrari

February 18, 2013

Bitdefender Labs recently reported that a site showing kittens and unicorns suggested users download a “business flash” plugin in order to see a video. At this point the plugin takes control of the user’s computer allowing cookie information to be taken and replicated on another computer – effectively locking a user out of their social networking account.



Bitdefender describes the people behind this scheme as crooks which makes this story more interesting as this exploit seems to be designed to “borrow” a user’s identity. If your account isn’t taken over, the extension sits on your computer and can continue to like site after site without your approval.

Backup DNS, The New Yellow Pages Scam

February 12, 2013

If you have ever registered a domain name you have no doubt been solicited by a number of companies you never heard of trying to renew your domain name. Lately I have noticed this trend has died down – no doubt because customers have wised up and realize if they registered with Network Solutions, GoDaddy or 1&1 then they should pay that company only.

Yesterday a relative presented me with a document which looks a lot like an invoice from a company called DNS Services. The company’s logo looks very official – you might even make the point that the infinity symbol looks a bit like the NS logo preceding Network Solutions.






The DNS Services invoice-looking non-invoice


(click to enlarge)



Is Regulation 1.0 Slowing the Networked Economy?

February 10, 2013

Fred Wilson alerted me to a talk Nick Grossman recently gave representing their company Union Square Ventures relating to how regulators haven’t kept up with a number of peer to peer business models from Kickstarter to AirBnB to the lending business. Specifically there are fire code regulations which apply to renting out apartments to many tenants. Moreover neighbors may not want the foot traffic of strangers associated with renting apartments to others for brief periods online. Finally Kickstarter was sued in part for enabling accompany funded on its platform to infringe the patent of another company.

Awareness Ads Important but Often Forgotten

January 17, 2013

I'm sitting here at a restaurant called Tengda in Darien, CT a stone's throw from my office just thinking about how I came to know about this restaurant. You see I've eaten at Tengda before - but I didn't know they had a location right by my office. In fact when the weather is warmer I often walk here - its probably just over a mile away from TMC's River Park headquarters.

The point is I found out about this location through one of the daily deal sites - it was likely LivingSocial but perhaps Groupon.

How Mobile Will Destroy Retail Margins

December 21, 2012


Some of the news of the week has to do with eBay deciding mobile advertising doesn’t work for them as it clutters small screens and doesn’t provide that much revenue. This seems to make sense but if you think this in any way is going to change the impact of mobile advertising and commerce you are dead wrong.

Logic and rumors tell us Amazon will be releasing a telephone soon and the reasoning for them to do so goes far beyond expanding its ecosystem and pushing people to download apps and watch videos online.

Location based advertising is where everything is going.

Important Tech News of the Day Dec 14, 2012

December 14, 2012




Amazon Prime Instant Video app for iOS is out


and in my testing on a 4th generation iPad it worked well. Some complaints remain that for non-Prime users the experience isn’t that great. I for one would like to be able to download video on the app – there is a download area but no instructions as to what is downloadable or how to download.

Alcatel Lucent says providing video to devices is a great new revenue opportunity for carriers.

eBay Now Gets Serious in NYC

December 8, 2012

The home delivery market could be huge as predicted back in the dotcom days when companies like WebVan and Peapod were springing up faster than Android produces device variants today. Who comes to mind when you think of home delivery in the world of tech? Certainly Amazon, Google and more recently Wal-Mart.

But eBay?

Acme Packet Getting Ready for WebRTC's Second Wave

November 28, 2012

At the inaugural WebRTC Conference & Expo in San Francisco, much of the crowd was focused on demos of WebRTC working in a production environment. In one example at a luncheon keynote Mozilla showed how WebRTC communications could take place between two browsers on the same laptop. This one of the first demonstrations of the technology much of the audience had ever seen.

The event has brought together a wide swath of technology companies like Google, Plantronics, Oracle, Sangoma and Ericsson who are all very optimistic about the potential for WebRTC to be as some describe it, “A once in a lifetime opportunity in telecom.”

Banks, The Latest Threat to Groupon and LivingSocial

October 18, 2012

If there is one constant these days it is that your competitors tomorrow are going to come from the most unlikely of places. Apple came from nowhere to unseat RIM and Nokia in mobile phones, Amazon is becoming a major force in tablets, Google’s Chrome and Android products have made it a major force in software and operating systems.

But the examples above are technology-based so they shouldn’t be too surprising as we have come to expect tech companies to be quick to enter new markets. What could portend a future trend however is Bank of America’s move into the deals business.

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