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Black Friday records smashed

Takealot passed its 2017 Black Friday sales total by 8.30am in this year’s sales extravaganza.

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South Africa’s biggest online retailer, Takealot.com, saw its annual, five-day Blue Dot Sale generate record sales for the e-tailer on Black Friday.

The sale went live at midnight on 23 November, when thousands of shoppers took to the site. More than two thirds – 68% – shopped from their mobile phones on the Takealot apps and mobi site.

Within the first hour, R11,5-million in GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) was generated and by 08:30 the retailer surpassed its entire Black Friday 2017 GMV. The total transaction value for Black Friday 2018 on Takealot.com amounted to over R196-million – a 125% year-on-year growth in GMV and 127% growth in orders.

Leading independent technology research firm World Wide Worx has estimated that more than half a billion rand may have been spent online over the weekend, from Friday to Monday.

CEO, Kim Reid said: “We are humbled by the incredible support from our customers on our biggest sales day of the year. Black Friday is a great opportunity for first time shoppers to trial online shopping and this year we saw a record number of new buyers make the most of the deals on offer. We paid special attention to securing quality deals on top brands.”

Best sellers ranged from Christmas stocking fillers like Tommy Hilfiger Girl For Her perfume to December holiday camping essentials like the Nu Camp Folding Table.  Electronics again proved to be a firm favourite, with over three thousand TVs sold on the day.

Shoppers took the opportunity to save on everyday essentials from Pampers nappies to digital devices such as WD Elements 1TB portable hard drive and the new DSTV Explora 2. The best selling toy of the day was the Jeronimo My First Sewing Machine, while the best selling book was Prooi by local author Deon Meyer.

Takealot says its Delivery Team is now focused on delivering orders in accordance with the estimated delivery dates shared with customers at check out. Customers are able to track their orders, from the warehouse to their door, by using Takealot’s order tracking service on desktop and mobile.

The Takealot Blue Dot Sale extends through the weekend into Cyber Monday, culminating in Takealot Tuesday with hundreds of new deals added daily.

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Samsung unfolds the future

At the #Unpacked launch, Samsung delivered the world’s first foldable phone from a major brand. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK tried it out.

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Everything that could be known about the new Samsung Galaxy S10 range, launched on Wednesday in San Francisco, seems to have been known before the event.

Most predictions were spot-on, including those in Gadget (see our preview here), thanks to a series of leaks so large, they competed with the hole an iceberg made in the Titanic.

The big surprise was that there was a big surprise. While it was widely expected that Samsung would announce a foldable phone, few predicted what would emerge from that announcement. About the only thing that was guessed right was the name: Galaxy Fold.

The real surprise was the versatility of the foldable phone, and the fact that units were available at the launch. During the Johannesburg event, at which the San Francisco launch was streamed live, small groups of media took turns to enter a private Fold viewing area where photos were banned, personal phones had to be handed in, and the Fold could be tried out under close supervision.

The first impression is of a compact smartphone with a relatively small screen on the front – it measures 4.6-inches – and a second layer of phone at the back. With a click of a button, the phone folds out to reveal a 7.3-inch inside screen – the equivalent of a mini tablet.

The fold itself is based on a sophisticated hinge design that probably took more engineering than the foldable display. The result is a large screen with no visible seam.

The device introduces the concept of “app continuity”, which means an app can be opened on the front and, in mid-use, if the handset is folded open, continue on the inside from where the user left off on the front. The difference is that the app will the have far more space for viewing or other activity.

Click here to read about the app experience on the inside of the Fold.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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