By David Sims
The news as of the first coffee this morning of the high holy day for conspiracy theory wingnuts, and the music
is a nice twofer: Elton John’s Honky
Chateau, a great collection of songs, and Frank Sinatra’s 1957 album Come Fly With Me, the breeziest, most
fun album he recorded:
Ever since First CoffeeSM posted of his troubles trying to order from online
retailer Caiman.com, he’s heard from a steady
stream of unhappy Caiman.com customers who feel cheated, ill-used and are
Today another one came in: “I had a similar experience to
you guys,” the newest poster says. “I ordered from Caiman through Half.com on
08-08-2005 and was subsequently informed that they did not have the
product. Later I found out that the DVD
set I wanted is not out of print. When
were they going to inform me of that? This is probably the worst internet company
I have ever dealt with, and I’ve used alot of them.”
Why is this a big deal? Why does First CoffeeSM
keep hashing on Caiman.com’s terrible
Because such unresponsive and unfulfilling online retailing,
with customer service described by customers as “evasive” and “frustrating” is part
of what keeps people away from Internet retailing in general, bad apples and
the whole barrel and all that.
Another is security concerns: According to a study carried
out recently by the Business Software Alliance, one in four U.S. consumers will not shop
online this holiday season due to Internet security concerns.
Almost all – 96 percent – of online consumers surveyed
believe it is “important” to protect themselves online, and most are doing just
that: 53 percent said they’re planning to upgrade their computer security
software within the next three months, and the vast majority of them are
actively seeking information from their friends, families, coworkers, ISPs,
tech Web sites and the media on how to shop safely.
By the way, about 85 percent thought online retailers were not doing enough to provide security either.
The survey also indicated that consumers are concerned about
e-commerce transactions when shopping on auction sites, with 71 percent of the
U.S. respondents worried about bidding/selling goods on auction sites.
Neil MacBride, BSA’s vice president of legal affairs said
that while it’s good news that consumers are taking proactive steps to protect
themselves, “the bad news is that nearly two thirds say Internet security
concerns will affect their shopping at some level this year.”
The study, commissioned by BSA and conducted by Forrester
Custom Consumer Research, examined 1,099 U.S. consumers’ Internet security
needs (what, they couldn’t call one more person?) and the steps they are taking
to protect their personal information online. The study is part of a larger
survey of more than 4,700 Internet users in Canada, Germany, Great Britain and
the United States.
Kofax, a vendor of information capture
products, has signed a worldwide
software licensing agreement with an undisclosed provider of enterprise
content management products. Under the terms of the agreement, the bashful ECM
vendor will resell Kofax’s INDICIUS capture product which automates the
classification, extraction and indexing of a variety of business documents and
99Bill Corporation, a Chinese company
offering e-mail and mobile phone number-based online payment platform and
products, has announced that the company has “worked with Maxthon to release the 99Bill Edition of the Maxthon Internet
This customized 99Bill edition comes with bundled 99Bill
toolbar and could support basic 99Bill functions such as account login, account
balance check, quick payment, etc., and users also have the option to go to the
99Bill site for more sophisticated features and merchant tools.
Maxthon’s Internet browser is based on the Internet Explorer
browser engine with a customizable interface. Since its launch to the market,
Maxthon browser has “become very popular,” company officials claim, “among 110
million Internet users in China and over 40 million users worldwide.”
SigmaTel Inc., a vendor of mixed-signal
multimedia semiconductors, has announced a European
Intellectual Property protection and licensing strategy.
Similar to SigmaTel’s ongoing IP strategy in the United
States, the European licensing program will initially focus on the protection
and enforcement of 19 patents related to power management, multimedia
applications and MP3 hardware and software. The European licensing program will
encompass current SigmaTel customers, who have an implied license when they
purchase SigmaTel products, as well as other MP3 manufactures and MP3
semiconductor developers who may include SigmaTel intellectual property in
their product designs.
Verizon Wireless has improved its coverage in the Big Apple, expanding its network with
a new cell site activated in Staten
Island, the fourth this year.
The new Staten Island cell site will improve network
coverage and capacity in New Dorp and New Dorp Beach, including Miller Field
and Oakwood and Oakwood Beach.
Verizon has invested $1 billion in its New York Metro
wireless network in the past three years – $475 million last year alone – to be
able to offer two-way text messaging, picture messaging and the new V CAST
service which brings TV and other multimedia services to wireless phones over
the company’s high speed broadband wireless network.
IPS-Sendero, a unit of Fiserv, Inc. and a
vendor of technology products and education for enterprise risk, said Arab National Bank, based in Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia, selected the IPS-Sendero
Kamakura Risk Management system for its market and treasury portfolio
credit risk operations.
The $64 billion asset bank will use IPS-Sendero KRM to measure credit risk in
both its current flow and portfolio of collateralized debt obligations. It also
will use the IPS-Sendero KRM system to measure market risk and credit-adjusted
The World Wide Web Consortium is launching a
new interest Group to connect medical
industry verticals with Semantic Web experts in “an effort to improve
collaboration, research and development, and innovation adoption in the health
care and life science industries,” according to W3C officials.
Calling it “the first of its kind for W3C,” officials say
the Semantic Web for Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group deploys
standardized Semantic Web specifications into specific services defined by a
“This new venture puts W3C specifications through the paces of a dynamic,
multifaceted and interdependent set of communities,” said Tim Berners-Lee, W3C
Director. “We have a remarkable opportunity to listen to the area experts, to
see how our work meets their needs, and to serve their future requirements.”
In both life science research communities and health services provider
settings, he explains, boundaries exist that inhibit data sharing limit
innovation and impede efficient care delivery. For example, data and
information produced by chemists, biologists and clinicians is often
unavailable to each other, yet the material can be of mutual benefit: “To
create an infrastructure that connects and serves these diverse communities,
there is a need to both bring together the people, and ground this work in a
framework that supports semantically-rich system, process and information
Update on First CoffeeSM’s National Novel Writing Month project,
where the goal is to get 50,000 words written between November 1 and November
30: 49,743 words. Thank you, NaNoWriMo,
for providing the one thing standing in between most would-be novelists and
actual novelists: A deadline.
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