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SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY

BlockIQ Escalates War on Ad Blockers

As consumers turn to ad blockers to avoid advertising on their mobile and computer screens, marketers and content providers who depend on pitches to pay the bills are searching frantically for ways to counter the pesky programs. BlockIQ offers them one. BlockIQ, owned by AdSupply, which recently mer...

SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY

Retailers Harassed by Backoff Malware

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security last week sounded an alarm warning retailers of a family of malicious programs aimed at compromising point-of-sale systems. Attackers used such software last year in massive data breaches that nicked millions of consumer records at Target and Nieman Marcus. V...

Debit Card Brings Google Wallet Offline

Google on Wednesday introduced the Google Wallet Card, a debit card that gives people instant access to the funds they have stored in Google Wallet. The card works like a traditional debit card, so users can swipe it to pay at a restaurant or store, for instance, or use it to get money from an ATM.

SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY

‘Hacker Madness’ Strikes Idaho Judge

A federal judge in Idaho appears to have had a fit of hacker madness. In a case involving a former employee and his bosses over software for protecting the nation's critical infrastructure from cyberattacks, federal district court Judge B. Lynn Winmill found the employee's privacy rights could be ig...

Harris Poll Delivers Top Reputation Ranking to Amazon

Amazon, purveyor of everything you would need for a Valentine's Day dinner -- wine, food, romantic music, a DVD of Casablanca -- received a lot of love from respondents to the 2013 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study released this week; it rated Amazon the top spot among 60 of the most visible U.S

OPINION

If Customers Will Pay, Why Aren’t We Selling?

Do customers suffer from a split personality? I say this not because of encounters with clearly rattled fellow shoppers during the holiday season. I say it because of the numbers that consistently come out when customers are surveyed -- and the other numbers that seem to be in the forefront of most ...

EXPERT ADVICE

The Friction-Free Future of E-Commerce 3.0

2010 was the year of social media: Mark Zuckerberg was named Time's Person of the Year, "The Social Network" seemed poised for Oscar glory, and Facebook exceeded Google's daily traffic. Certainly there were hiccups along the way -- privacy settings, ease-of-use and the Google Buzz debacle -- but no...

Sony Plugs Blu-ray on a Budget With New Vaio

Amid questions about consumer enthusiasm for Blu-ray technology, Sony on Monday announced a new notebook computer positioned by the electronics giant as an entry-level Blu-ray player for mobile viewing. The VAIO NW notebook series carries an $880 starting price tag for a Blu-ray equipped model, and ...

Best Practices in the Call Center: Make Every Contact Count

It's no secret that customers aren't buying much these days. The economic engines have locked and stalled, leaving businesses everywhere in freefall. While companies around the globe are jettisoning anything they can to slow the descent, none are ditching CRM. In fact, CRM may be the last remaining ...

If You Don’t Have Customers’ Trust, You Won’t Get Their Money

The current economic environment has consumers tightening their purse strings, carefully scrutinizing each dollar they spend. Scaling back on expenditures, including investments, they're not taking any chances with the money they do have. There is little trust in the economy or the future. To get co...

EXPERT ADVICE

Stop Giving Your Customers Reasons to Leave

Most retailers experience a downturn in a weak economy. As consumers rein in spending, a downturn is usually not distributed equally among all retailers. The extent of the downturn depends on a number of factors, including geographic location of stores, product categories being sold and specific mar...

Reeling In Customers With Free Holiday Shipping

With holiday season promotions escalating into top gear, the term "free shipping" is popping up on many e-commerce sites. While the promotions do attract the attention of consumers, the meaning of the term and the impact of such promotions on retailers' sales are decidedly mixed at this stage. Ship...

Yahoo Adds Search Option to Make Haystack Smaller

As it battles Microsoft to try to gain some of the Web search market share gobbled by Google, Yahoo has upgraded its search technology with a feature that makes suggestions while users type. Called "Search Assist," the new feature arrives several days after Microsoft similarly unveiled improvements ...

Road Texting: An Accident Waiting to Happen

The risk of getting into an auto accident while reading or writing text messages is 50 percent higher than talking on a phone while driving, according to new research. A person talking on a cell phone when driving is four times more likely to get into an accident than someone driving without distrac...

EXPERT ADVICE

Your Customer Is Not Your Diagnostic Tool

No call should strike more fear into the heart of an online business than a call from a customer saying, "Your site won't let me do what I want to do." Chilling words, because only a tiny percentage of online consumers will actually pick up the phone to alert businesses to a problem. By the time tha...

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