New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming "semantic web" championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.
Friday, June 30, 2006
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 10:16 AM
Thursday, June 29, 2006
TF1, the leading TV channel in France, is trying to have its very own myspace.
It has just opened wat (We Are Talented) to the public. It's a free online social networking service, merging blogging and media sharing (pics, music, video, mobile media).
A noteworthy feature is the imminent launch of a"wat TV" area. More on this later.
wat has signed a deal with Skype allowing members to interact using controls of the software directly embedded into the member profiles.
All "classic" social networking features are available on wat. But the page design and usability outperforms myspace, and it is natively media-oriented (i.e. share music, photos, videos without clunky widgets...).
It is solely designed for France, TF1's main market, where it is a very powerful player in content and advertising.
Nota: TF1 has just announced buying 20% of JFG Network, editor of Overblog, a French blogging platform boasting 2 million monthly audience and 320 000 blogs.
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 9:23 AM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Vente-privée.com, a website offering exclusive sample sales on brand-name apparel and home accessories, just launched in Spain today.
Vente-privée.com is the pioneer and leader on its market in France. In the past 9 months, more than 15 similar websites have launched trying to get a piece of the business that Vente-privée.com created in 2000.
Let's see if the sample sale fever catches on in Europe, as this "private club" sales model is really embedded in French/Parisian culture, but not in the other EU countries.
In New York and LA, sample sales organized in private lofts are a common thing. The closest thing to Vente-privée.com over there is Planet Lulu.
My guess is their next expansion country will be Germany.
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 3:25 PM
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
In the midst of World Cup fever (the France-Spain game was on-going), EBG organized a dinner in honor of Charlotte Crosswell, Head of NASDAQ International, at the Meurice Hotel in Paris.
We exchanged thoughts on startups in Europe and in the US, the Euronext/NYSE attempted merger, electronic trading vs. float... But conversations mostly revolved around Israel, India and China as the most dynamic sources of NASDAQ IPO-bound companies in the near future. Israel companies already account for 27% of NASDAQ's listings.
Interesting footnote: Ms. Crosswell believes Chinese companies will be much more powerful on a global level rather than on a local level (although this local market is plenty already...), thanks to the next wave (think 15 years as of today) of Chinese CEOs, who will be fluent in English, vs. current managers who REALLY don't speak it.
French VCs, brokers, CFOs, and entrepreneurs were there. To name a few (those who were on my side of the table, actually): Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz, CEO of vpod.tv, Jocelyne Gerault, CFO of KXEN, Bruno Rivet, Director of Participations at SPEF Venture (NATEXIS)...
Pierre Reboul and Philippe Rodriguez from EBG were here too of course.
Here's my poor mobile phone picture report of the event:
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 11:30 PM
Monday, June 26, 2006
TagWorld, a social networking website launched last November, is combining its new service of free online classifieds, which includes images and personalized storefronts, with auction features.
More on this here: E-Commerce News: E-Commerce: Social Networking Goes E-Commerce
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 3:50 PM
Friday, June 23, 2006
I just received an e-mail from the guys at Skype to test the beta SKY-click service, the first fully featured Video and Voice over IP call centre, developed by ADS-click.
Let me just say: it is AWESOME.
The solution is managed through a web-based management platform making SKY-click the most easy-to-use call-center I have had the chance to see. There are absolutely no implementation costs and it is usable anywhere in the world.
The supervisor interface is user friendly and uses AJAX-like technology, enabling to manage several windows embedded in the same page (à la goowy) and provides all the features you would expect from enterprise-quality call-center software :
- agents and rights management,
- real-time call and quality reports,
- agent, customer and product feedback
Hats off for another telecom breakthrough.
PS: I've just added the "CALL" button in my sidebar...
More info on http://www.sky-click.com/ and http://www.sky-click.com/blog!
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 7:24 PM
Thursday, June 22, 2006
In other recent Bouygues Telecom news, thanks to the e/merchant platform and its full service offering, the French mobile network can now provide consumers with the ability to subscribe to its Universal Music Mobile and TF1 Mobile branded networks.
e/merchant manages the whole process, from mobile phone and monthly plan selection to final delivery and even line activation.
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 3:33 PM
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Testing www.rightcart.com, a new service enabling shopping on any blog. It's as simple as pasting a code snippet in your blog template.
Here it is :
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 8:29 PM
Monday, June 19, 2006
L’autre service s’appelle e/Merchant et constitue en quelque sorte une entité dédié au conseil, à l'outsourcing et à la formation. Elle met le pied à l’étrier aux candidats à la vente en ligne à grande échelle sur le Net en profitant de l’expertise du groupe en la matière. Déjà plusieurs sites européens utilisent ces services : Pixmania Pro, la nouvelle entité B2B appelée à beaucoup se développer dans les prochains mois, mais aussi le site suédois Webhallen, ou encore, au sein même du groupe, Primashop.com et Apache, des sites dédiés avec Etreenceinte.com à la maternité et aux premières années des tout petits…
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 7:38 PM
DNA for sale
THE E-TRADING PLATFORM ON WHICH PIXMANIA IS BASED IS TO BE SOLD AS AN E-COMMERCE SOLUTION
In 2005 Pixmania launched e/merchant. At the moment, it’s a relatively small part of the offering, but senior management is in no doubt as to its importance. “It’s our future,” says Rosenblum. “This is a concentration of all we’ve built and done for Pixmania and its e-commerce offering over the past five years. It’s an e-commerce solution for all kinds of distributors and all kinds of brands.”
“The e/merchant product is a unique offer in Europe,” says Jerome. “It’s an end-to-end e-commerce outsourcing solution. Leading retailers and brands can grow their businesses faster and more profitably by partnering with e/merchant than they can on their own. e/merchant provides seamless services such as technology, logistics, marketing, financial services, and customer care.
"This of course is exactly what Pixmania already does. In effect, Pixmania is a product of e/merchant. The concept, developed as the retail business grew, is an organically created business recipe for e-commerce across Europe. After much trial and some error, e/merchant is now the conceptual underpinning for the business that spawned it: the child has become the father.“Pixmania is run on the e/merchant platform,” says Rosenblum. “We have five to 10 customers, large customers, who will buy it in 2006. It’s our future. There’s no limit to the sales potential. Logistically, the solution is limited to Europe, but the rest of the product can be sold all over the world.”
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 7:32 PM
LA INVESTIGACIÓN Y EL DESARROLLO AL SERVICIO DEL PROVEEDOR
Exclusiva del Focus Partners: Steve y Jean-Emile Rosenblum han presentado e/merchant, solución global que permite a las marcas disponer de una actividad de comercio a escala europea. Una oferta de servicios integrada, con 5 componentes claves: Tecnología, Logística, Servicio de Atención al Cliente, Marketing y Ventas, Servicios Financieros. Desde su origen, Fotovista ha decidido centralizar todas las actividades de Internet. Esta estrategia ha permitido formar a los mejores expertos de toda la cadena de valores de Internet. Fotovista pone ahora a disposición de otras empresas esta experiencia para desarrollar una actividad de venta a distancia. Esta nueva marca del grupo ha tenido el privilegio de ser adoptada por el operador BOUYGUES TELECOM para operar en el conjunto de sus ofertas de venta a distancia.
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 7:29 PM
Following up our initial launch in January '06 of the Bouygues Telecom e-commerce activity (hosting, website design and management, on-site merchandising, order management and fraud prevention, fulfillment and delivery, e-mail and phone support, phone line activation...), the new website release is on-line and running.
Check it out: www.bouyguestelecom.com
I like the Flash phone selector. What about you?
Posted by Michael S. Levy at 12:52 PM