Opinie

Professor Cor Molenaar doesn’t understand it at all : BOL.com bought by Ahold

Lately I read the newspaper with more and more disbelieve. The news they published is days old or the experts they ask for explanation are not competent at this area of expertise. In this case I speak about the internet.

When I was 18 years my computer science teacher at the Technical College in Heerlen (NL) said to me you cannot earn money with internet while in that moment I earned more than his salary. He didn’t get it at all.

I generally don’t react on newspaper articles but because I also wrote yesterday about how companies are smart using our private information I wanted to react on something Professor Cor Molenaar said in a dutch newspaper. I think he doesn’t understand relational databases with contextual ad possibilities which are working, even proven to be working, e-marketing meets direct marketing.

He doesn’t know what you can do with this at the moment. Glad to know they are plenty people who know. I’m amazed that a newspaper points somebody as expert. Maybe in his area of expertise he is brilliant but sadly he is not able to see the relations between different fields of the real world, doing business.

I will now give a short example what I try to say.

BOL.com sells DVDs, game consoles, dvd players and televisions. Ahold is the owner of the AH supermarkets and sells snacks, in all varies : nuts, chips, candies, etc…

I was reading a brochure of Aldi or Lidl (a typical discounter) and what amazed me was the fact than I read underneath the ads of DVD titles I saw nuts being promoted. I was thinking at first, who in gods-name is buying DVDs nowadays. Typical last century if you ask me. But there is a market for this otherwise these companies wouldn’t use it in expensive brochures to promote it. Their target consumers is well chosen. These people don’t have an iPad or mediacenter for buying their movies or tv series digital. These targeted consumers want to buy a cheap DVD and… preferable eating some fastfood with it while watching. Circle of life is again completed. Well thought from those discounters. Their consumers will come to their store for one or the other product. These consumers are also likely to want to buy a bigger television compared to other target of consumers. Amazing clever. I’m sure Ahold knows this longer than you and me and they can see and invent hundreds of examples, focused on their targets.

The database of BOL.com connecting with the AH bonus-card database will give interesting opportunities which give them the power to make more profit, if they do it smart. Ahold is keeping up with the fast growing market on internet. If the people at Ahold understand well enough internet or will break BOL.com, has to be seen in the future but if a professor says in a newspaper he doesn’t believe in this… I would say please continue to give lessons. Ahold will do all that is possible to make profit of it.

Let the retail wars begin!

Professor Cor Molenaar gelooft er niet in

Dutch article in newspaper Professor Cor Molenaar doesn

Posted by Ramond - 28 February 2012 at 19:29

Categories: Opinie   Tags:

Did privacy ever exist?

I’m in the IT world since a while. More often people are using their computer for business occassions as well for their leisure. In the media more and more article are published about big companies who don’t respect our privacy. Is this a mistake of those companies? Is it something new or is it as old as the companies?

The problem is that lot of people, consumers, often forget why a company is on the market. A company, according Western measure, has the goal to make profit. They achieve this by adding value to the market and in exchange for this they receive a compensation. A lot of consumers are confused who these companies customers really are. A motto which describes everything and often forgotten by people is “free doesn’t exist”.

I will explain what I mean with this.

In the previous century, long before internet was accepted by the mass, companies tried also to market their products based on your privacy information. The problem was that not everyone understood or saw the manner they achieved this with.

Years the Dutch Chamber of Commerce sold, which were ‘free’ in their database, addresses to other companies so they could use these addresses to send them marketing letters. You could state which criteria they had to met like which area, how long the company exists and how much the maximum distance of your postal code could be to be included.

Later on the dutch phonebook as the yellow pages saw a big market in this. You now understand why those companies were sold for enormous sums. This is valuable information for marketeers.

In the past also big companies let consumer fill in and send forms so the consumers receive an amount of their money back on their bank account. Did they do this because you were such a nice customer? No, they did this because it was cheaper and more accurate than buying those addresses. Most of the times those databases with addresses were obsolete and expensive.

If we now look on the current examples of big companies:

  1. Google
    • Who doesn’t know them… the ultimate example of free… it is free, isn’t it. Google sells ads to the highest bidder. 9 billion US$ in 1 quarter is not because of giving things free, see here. You are NOT the customer of Google. The buyers of advertising are. They have special departments for servicing their customers. You try to call Google.
  2. Facebook
    • Lately the king of privacy marketing mentioned in the media. This company should have a value, according analysts, around 100 billion dollars. That could not be the case if everything was free. Their customers are also the ad buyers. You can use the system for free and they can show you their ads. Everything is mentioned in their policy and user license agreements, which nobody reads. If you accepts those terms, you can use it, if not, then not. Easy like that.
  3. Groupon
    • Discounts, discounts and discounts. People are in love of discounts and coupons. Again as visitor of this website you are not the customer of Groupon. The companies who offer you their services and products are the customer of Groupon. They have to pay an amount to Groupon, and not that little percentage. It’s working well but sometimes the offers outside Groupon are even better.

And there are so many to mention. But Ramond, is this all bad? No, of course not. The searchengine of Google works well, Facebook is handy to keep in touch with contacts, especially international and yes sometimes even Groupon has a nice discount. But what the issue is that all those companies use your personal information to make more profit. Is that bad? In my opinion it is not because you are not forced to use their services. Nobody force you to use Google or Facebook. You can also visit the library and search their. Wait. In NL they also keep track of the books you have read in the library, mandatory by government rules. Nobody speaks about privacy here…

Free doesn’t exist…

But it’s not that bad…

Posted by Ramond - 27 February 2012 at 20:00

Categories: Algemeen, Beveiliging, Opinie   Tags:

Hackers or scriptkiddies?

 Lately we can read of lot about hackers concerning wikileaks.

It’s kinda funny to see how politicians and journalists deal with this. I have to admit some people understand they profession… but I want to focus on the group which in 2010 still aren’t able to get the point.

Here on Dutch television I saw a newsreporter pronouncing hacking wrong, he pronounced it as ‘hakken’ which means slashing/cut wood… LoL… he did that at least 2 times…

Ok. Actually this dude is not that bad. I’m sure we won’t do that anymore the next time he receive the correct information.

I think it’s more wrong that people say DDoS is hacking. I like to see a hacker as someone who goes inside a system and leaves without leaving a trace. That’s a hacker IMHO. A hacker should also not considering to break something… kind of gentlemen’s agreement. It’s the sport to show you are able to do it. When I did this in the past I always left a note for the system administrator…

I see a DDoS someone who is knocking like a crazy one on your door and when you open the door he/she disappears… like… little rascals… annoying kids pulling your doorbell and run… You have to stop the things you are doing to look on the door, but then you can continue your activities.

I see a big difference here. If you distract people of business that much they cannot do their normal things you steal time and so money of them. There is loss…

Papers are writing in the Netherlands the cops are of a high level of cyber-awareness. I was really laughing when I read this. I have experience with this myself. Maybe it’s because of Limburg hasn’t have the competent people here but they don’t solve cybercrimes at all. I assisted several customers to make reports and evidence of businesses and people who were victim of cybercrime, never heard of it. All those cases, nothing. The questions they ask are really pathetic. It’s like the guy who writing down the police report just was happy that he just got his certificate of Word 2002, dislike his other collegues… That’s the level….

Than the structure of hack groups. I remember how we did this in the early days… There were founders and senior staff. Don’t let the term senior mislead you. Often senior staff members were people who were older then 18… yeah you got it… because of legal reasons… When I read the news a 16 year old dude did it wasn’t surprising me at all… then the 19 year old… He wanted to use his own IP so he can fight for the freedom of internet? Smart to harm a business with loss.. little lack of attention and horny for some publicity?

I don’t know but it’s funny that if a bunch of people gather on the street demonstrating against raising retirement age nothings happens but when a handfull of teenagers do some DDoS attack all the country is shocked.

The good thing is that finally some attention is given to the lack of security at government departments…. so there is also something positive about hacking… really….

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Posted by Ramond - 13 December 2010 at 21:05

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