September 20, 2018


Was your credit card data stolen?

We’re sharing this info because you might have been affected, and even if you haven’t, maybe it helps prevent issues in the future.

So, first off, Newegg’s payments page got injected 15 lines of card skimming code which remained for more than a month between August 14 and September 18. 

The online retailer’s client’s data got sent to a server controlled by the hackers with a similar domain name which even used an HTTPS certificate.

It is not clear yet which customers accounts may have been affected, but if you entered your credit card data on Newegg’s website during the period you should immediately contact your bank.

But it was not just Newegg’s website that got attacked. Also a widely used web payment portal used to pay for local government services, like utilities and permits, has been targeted by hackers.

Hackers have broken into self-hosted Click2Gov servers operated by local governments across the US. They uploaded malware to syphon off payment card data over a period of “weeks to numerous months”.

Credit card numbers, expiration dates, and verification numbers, along with names and addresses were stolen by the malware but it’s not known how many victims there are.

Hopefully, you don’t have any weird charges on your cards – maybe share this info with friends who might have been affected.

Social media regulation – it’s coming and it’s most likely not gonna be great.

Latest to look at regulating social media platforms is Ofcom, and they want to bring regulators around the world together to set some rules.

The idea is to protect the public from harmful online content. Which sounds good at first but it certainly has downsides to it, which we’ll get into later.

So, Ofcom is an organization that wants to lead the charge on regulation but cannot regulate the social media space by itself – it doesn’t have the authority. It wants to bring together independent regulators from around the world to come to some agreements for standards that tackle the public’s biggest fears about social media.

And this is a part where we are not exactly thrilled. 

There are many serious issues with social media but creating regulation based on what the public fears instead of what the statistical dangers are is usually not the way to go.

But we’ve pretty much given up hope regulation will ever be made based on statistics – it’s almost exclusively done based on irrational fears and to impress voters for future elections.

That said, it’s pretty much clear that in the next 5 years, give or take a few, social media will be much less open, for advertisers and private accounts alike.

We’re doing something we rarely do and we’re going for a prediction that advertising on social media will follow the footsteps of TV in terms of restrictions.

What we mean by this is that it won’t be as easily accessible for anyone with a credit card to buy ads, there will be way longer waiting times for putting an ad live, and there will probably be higher minimum spend.

Your non-sponsored posts will also get more restricted, including your personal account. Even now, Facebook marks very engaging personal posts as spam if they also have some keywords they deem spammy.

The Android phone with ads within the OS

OK, so maybe this is why so many people prefer iOS over Android.

Chinese phone-maker Xiaomi used Android, with their custom skin on top.

And on that custom skin, they show their own ads. Gotta say, we never used a Xiaomi phone, and knowing this, we probably won’t anytime soon.

We’re not anti-ads overall, and the Crew has both iOS and Android devices… But putting ads in the OS itself, even in the settings menu, is just too much.

“Collect bottle caps to win a prize” – the digital version

Have you ever seen those promotions where Coke or Pepsi tell you to collect a wheelbarrow of their bottle caps to get a free drink?

Well, Juan Caballero has seen them and he posted an idea for doing this the digital way too.

Here’s the short version of it – make people collect QR codes, that are links to your products, your stories, whatever.

And each code will also give them a letter of a discount code. That’s one idea.

Of course, you can get more creative for your own projects. Check the post in the ManyChat Community group (you need to be in the group to see it) for other suggestions to use this strategy.


EU antitrust regulator will have a deeper look at Amazon’s data usage

Amazon is hosting merchants and enabling businesses to sell their products on its platform. At the same time, Amazon is a merchant itself and is often times competing with these businesses.

In recent years the e-commerce giant has greatly expanded the own-brand products it sells via its marketplace.

The company does not always brand its own-brand products with the Amazon label. So it is not always immediately transparent to shoppers in its marketplace when they are buying something produced by Amazon itself.

Amazon is getting a lot of data from the smaller merchants that it hosts. This data can be used to improve the services to these smaller merchants, which of course is perfectly fine.

What the EU antitrust regulators are looking into now is if Amazon is using this data to optimize the sales process of their own products. What is it that people want? What makes them buy things?

Besides that, the Commission appears to be trying to determine whether or not third-party merchants selling on Amazon’s platform are being placed at a disadvantage vs the products Amazon also sells.

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager: “These are very early days… we haven’t formally opened a case. But we are trying to make sure that we get the full picture.”
The rumours we heard from Amazon merchants: You definitely have to be careful because Amazon will rip off your product/brand, and you cannot compete with them on their own platform. But if you do it right, they will acquire your business instead of ripping you off.

Training Amazon’s machine learning for a better shopping experience

Amazon is experimenting with a new tool called Scout designed to help shoppers better figure out what they want to buy in a more visual fashion.

Today on Amazon, if you’re looking for a product, you’re often stuck scrolling through a long list of results that aren’t at all customized for you.

Scout is using a combination of images, a thumbs up and downvoting mechanism, and machine learning to offer a smoother way of browsing through Amazon products.

It focusses on two dilemmas: “I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it” and “I know what I want, but I don’t know what it’s called.”

Scout hasn’t been publicly announced and is only a subsection of, you can check it here.

Currently, the site lets you search for furniture, kitchen, dining products, home décor, patio items, lighting, and bedding, as well as women’s shoes. In time, Amazon will add more products like clothing and handbags.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

$59 mil gone from crypto exchange

Three stories about stealing money today – not our preferred news, that’s for sure.

The third one is this story about the Japanese crypto exchange Zaif losing $59 mil worth to hackers.

There’s some good news about this though – Fisco Digital Asset Group will cover $44.5 mil of the losses. That means basically all that was stolen from users.

You know what else struck us though? Zaid is the 101st “largest” exchange by volume. And they still have so much that could be stolen. We can only imagine what numbers the big exchanges like Binance and Coinbase do!

Standard warning though – crypto on the exchange is not yours. Use cold wallets for your savings, hot wallets for day to day use and funds on exchanges only for trading.

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