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Rich Tehrani
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E-Commerce

Amazon Fights back Against New York Tax

May 2, 2008

Amazon, feeling singled out by what New York state officials have dubbed the Amazon Tax has decided to sue the state. According to the New York Times, the state changed the law regarding who has to collect taxes and instead of requiring only retailers with a physical location in the state to pay, now -- any company with an affiliate in New York state has to collect them as well.

Amazon is saying their affiliates are not really agents but sites on which Amazon places ads.

The ecommerce giant further states that the law is overly broad and vague and finally that it is targeted at a single company -- referring to state officials calling it the Amazon Tax.

I first reported on this tax a few weeks back and it will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

If New York wins, it will benefit many retailers in the state and other states will likely follow suit. None of this of course would be good for any online retailer as one of their main advantages will be taken away.







Half a Million Hacked Websites

April 26, 2008

I don't mean to sound alarmist but half a million hacked websites? is that how many there are? In other words if users hit any of 500,000 sites using IE they will likely be infected? Talk about an electronic pandemic.

Blackberry Voice Search

April 23, 2008

TellMe just launched a new application which allows people to use their Blackberry for voice search. utilizing the TellMe speech recognition engine and Microsoft Live Search, you can have search results automatically localized if you happen to have a GPS-enabled Blackberry.

This is a pretty big deal as it brings voice and local search together and shows where the search business is headed. It also shines light on what the real reason was for Microsoft to purchase Tellme. Not that any of us are surpised of course.

What might be worth discussion however is the fact that Microsoft would support RIM with an application which makes the Blackberry more attractive.



Mobile Banking Heating Up

April 21, 2008

According to IBM, 21 percent of consumers age 18-34 use their cell phone for mobile banking transactions, compared to about 10 percent of the general population.

Like so many new technologies, it is your kids -- or for some of us our kids' kids who jump at the latest technologies first.

A new iPhone, iPod, social networking, twittering, etc are all things the younger generation embrace while often times their parents scratch their heads at it all.

So why should banking be different? Well -- it seems it isn't and since kids seem to be more connected to their mobile phones than they are to anything else, it only makes sense to use these gadgets to send and receive payments and do all the things some of use use to have to visit a teller to do.

I still remember a time when ATMs were new and I had to go to someone called a teller if I wanted to deposit or withdraw money. Fast forward a few decades and now kids may not even need ATM machines in the very near future.

The challenge of course will be ensuring these mobile devices are secure. Certainly secure SMS services like those supplied by CellTrust can help









PayPal and Phishing

April 21, 2008

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