The news that hotel and leisure company Belmond has decided to terminate its dotBrand application for the iconic Orient Express brand will have undoubtedly passed under the radar for many people, but it represents the 20th such withdrawal of a dotBrand since the program started in earnest back in 2013.
According to a new report from PhishMe, one of the global leaders in threat management solutions, 91% of all cyber-attacks start with a phishing email. One click from a single unsuspecting user and the results can be devastating for a business. We are naturally suspicious in the real world, but put us in front of a computer or a smart device and that barrier falls; we seem to believe that because we can’t see anyone doing anything wrong, it is all fine.
In our quest for simplicity, we today want smart technology that we can control from the palm of our hands. Lighting, heating and front doors can all now be controlled remotely through the Internet, via apps on our phones, making our lives easier. More and more devices will follow this trend in the future as technology manufacturers look to make their products more attractive to consumers. But what happens when some of these devices become self-aware?
On the Monday before Christmas, I sat down to watch the Merseyside Derby on Sky Sports. Whilst Everton and Liverpool huffed and puffed their way through 90 minutes, I was more interested by some of the advertising boards around the edge of the pitch (it wasn't the most enthralling of games!) and how they were using digital assets.
If 2015 was a year of slow burn and frustration in the new gTLD world, then 2016 has been a year when we’re finally starting to see the registration numbers many predicted when the expansion of the Internet was first announced back in 2011. Registration numbers have increased by 240% in just 12 months, despite the number of new gTLD launches dropping from 136 in 2015 to just 62 in 2016.
Despite the huge growth in 2016 of new gTLD registrations from the Chinese market, there have always been restrictions on how most of the domain names can and can’t be used. Any domain name registrar wishing to operate in China needs a license from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) before it can allow any registrants in the country to activate the names.
In our recent report on the cost of the counterfeit economy, NetNames estimated that the value of fakes in the consumer electronics sector is now $169 billion – the second most affected market segment behind pharmaceuticals (which is worth an estimated $200 billion). But what people may not realize is the huge risks they’re taking by using counterfeit electronics.
At the end of November, the European Council agreed on draft regulation to ban what it calls “unjustified geo-blocking between member states”. The Council’s move is an attempt to make it easier for consumers and companies to buy and sell products online across the EU, making cross-border parcel delivery more affordable, and increasing consumer confidence through better protection.
Global e-tailing giant Amazon has taken a step towards reducing the number of misleading or fake reviews on its website (a practice referred to as ‘fliking’) by placing a limit on the number of reviews an individual can leave. Although the limit is not enforced for buyers of products from the site, individuals can now only leave five reviews for items they have not bought.
At 10.29pm EST on Monday 28th November 2016, the fight against the illegal resale of tickets in New York State took a new direction when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that criminalizes the use of ‘ticket bots’. Ticket bots are machines that run scripts on ticketing websites that can complete transactions faster than a human can, and thus capture tickets for popular events almost instantaneously. For anyone left scratching their head, empty handed after failing to secure just-released tickets for sporting events, theatre shows or concerts – ticket bots are the reason.
Despite their origins across the Atlantic, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now as big a part of the UK’s digital economy as they are in the United States. A few UK retail stores use Black Friday to kick off their Christmas offers, but it certainly doesn’t have the same level of traction in the high streets and shopping centers as it does in America. However, online it’s a different matter.
For those of us who have been around social media for a while, we’ve learnt to take the content published with a pinch of salt. Whether it’s the incessant “you will never believe what she did next” buzzfeed-type stories, the ‘looks too good to be true’ discount vouchers or counterfeit goods, or the recently discovered videos proving that the Loch Ness monster is real, the aim remains the same − to drive traffic to external websites where more nefarious activities can be actioned by cyber-criminals.
Three years ago, consultancy firm PwC published a ground-breaking report into the attitudes of consumers towards counterfeit goods. It was the first survey for many years that focused on why people bought or consumed fake items; the results were both enlightening and worrying.
The new gTLD program could be described as a ‘slow burner’ in terms of changing the way we register, market and search for domain names. I’m not alone in hoping that we would have seen a big (dot) bang when the program started in earnest three years ago. Instead we've seen plenty of registration activity but only a small percentage of new gTLDs being actively used.
On this year’s World Diabetes Day1, it is sobering to reflect on the recent, depressing predictions by Public Health England concerning the disease. The organization released a forecast stating that the number of people with the disease could top five million if obesity rates continue to increase, with one in ten adults in the UK being at risk of developing diabetes by 2035. This would mean that £1 of every £6 spent by the NHS would be allocated to providing care for diabetes patients2.