Archive for the ‘Hackers’ Category

Service of Mi Casa es Tu Casa–Come on In!

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Photo: tierrafina.com

Daily we hear of hacking that’s happened either to a friend, big corporation or organization. It’s a form of break-in. I think it may have inured the public to the normalcy of loss of privacy that gorges on volunteer personal intrusions. Think such smart speakers like Alexa and Amazon Echo.

Photo: wired.com

Maybe that’s why Walmart and Amazon have or are about to introduce a new wrinkle to their delivery services. In select markets, both will or do arrange for access to a customer’s home to put food in the fridges of the former and leave packages in a home, garage or car trunk in the latter.

Citizens of Kansas City, Mo., Pittsburgh and Vero Beach will be the first to officially invite Walmart delivery staff to put perishables in their refrigerators through a program slated for a fall launch called Walmart InHome. [The system was tested in New Jersey.]

Photo: commons.wikipedia.org

In “Walmart Wants to Put Groceries Into Your Fridge,” Sarah Nassauer wrote “The workers will wear a body cameras [sic] clipped to their chests, allowing customers to watch live streams of deliveries being made while they aren’t home.” She reported in her Wall Street Journal article that they’ll have access to homes via a smart lock that connects to the Internet allowing a door to unlock remotely. Wallmart sells the device.

Delivery staff for the service must have worked for the company for at minimum a year. “Not everyone embraces the concept at first, but just as people have gradually accepted renting out rooms in their homes through services like Airbnb Inc, ‘people are very quickly comfortable with it,’ said Marc Lore, head of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business.”

Photo: gate labs

The Amazon service, Key by Amazon, wrote Nassauer, is for Prime members in 50 cities. Fresh groceries aren’t involved. In another program Via Prime Now customers get orders from Amazon’s Whole Foods division on doorsteps.

Not every delivery business received the mega company’s stamp of approval. Sebastian Herrera reported last week in the Journal that Amazon is deep sixing its restaurant delivery service.

Would you be comfortable inviting strangers into your kitchen or your home, garage or car trunk when you’re not home? Do you think comfort level for this kind of trust may be higher in some parts of the country than others? Have privacy-breaking services like Alexa and Amazon Echo paved the way? What if you’re in a meeting or otherwise inaccessible when you need to unlock your front door remotely with no time to watch while the delivery person with body camera drops off your perishables? Do you think that this person—or the staffer who packs the order–will be trained to leave foods like tomatoes and bananas out of the refrigerator and on the counter?

Photo: orchardestates.com

 

Service of a Dreaded Duty that Surprises & Turns Out Well

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Photo: everydayhealth.com

There are so many things we must do that we dread based on a past lousy experience, from a health test to follow up with a corporation about a billing glitch to simple administrative procedures. I recently felt indescribable relief when I discovered a company that changed a process that had once memorably fought and frustrated me.

For years I’ve maintained my domain name, jmbyington.com. through GoDaddy.com. I renew every five years. The last time I approached the website I had a heck of a time to determine the right spot to click to get what I wanted done–and it took ages.

Photo: pcmag.com

So when I received a renewal notice my heart sank. I anticipated another nightmare of false starts, wasted time with no result, and anxiety.

On top of it, the brilliant IT man, Andrew Morgan, who nurtures our computers and keeps them healthy advised me not to click to the site through the link in the GoDaddy reminder email but to go to the website. [More about this sage advice I suggest you follow in a second.] My earlier experience found a website so complicated I could never find the right place to go.

Photo: entrepreneur.com

My password didn’t respond when I tried to sign in so I called a phone number that was easy to find [unlike some websites where they are hidden or nonexistent]. I waited a bunch of time for my turn but once I reached Ronnie Parker in customer service all my troubles were over and soon I relaxed. Parker was helpful, knowledgeable, he put me at ease, did all the work and voila! I’m set until 2023.

He agreed with Andrew. He said that hackers have duplicated their emails expertly so that even Godaddy staff has trouble determining the fake from the real. He reiterated that it is always wise to bypass the email link and instead go to a company’s website.

Have you been happily surprised when a dreaded chore or test is made seamless or painless by a smart company that has successfully improved the way it does business or through technological advances? Have you lucked into a superb customer service staffer like Ronnie Parker? Don’t you feel you’ve won a lottery when you do?

Photo: dailypost.ng

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