Monday News: Router company threatens a reviewer; credit card technology changing; the Amazon-Hachette spat; and ornamental alphabets
How Does A Negative Amazon Review Result In Threats Of A Lawsuit? – This is a fascinating, frightening story of how an Amazon review of an wireless router earned the reviewer a threatened lawsuit and the router company a ban on selling its products on Amazon.
I highly recommend reading the story for all of the details, but in short when this guy was searching for a router he came across Mediabridge routers, which were incredibly well reviewed — except that he could not find any reviews outside Amazon. Furthermore, there were some assertions about the similarity of the router to another, less expensive router. When the guy posted these things on Amazon, Mediabridge took offense and sent him a cease and desist letter, insisting he remove the review or else face suit. What’s interesting is that when Amazon got wind of this situation, they revoked Mediabridge’s right to sell its products on the site. There is a link in the story to Mediabridge’s explanation, posted on Facebook, along with the information that Amazon has suspended their seller rights.
The letter T. received zeroed in on two of his assertions: that the product was identical to another product, and that it was “very likely” that Medialink was paying for reviews. The company, via its lawyer, not only demanded that T. immediately delete his review, but also told him that to avoid a lawsuit, he would need to “agree to never purchase any Mediabridge or Medialink product” and also agree “to never publicly comment in any online forum, directly or indirectly through others,” about the company’s products.
In other words, the letter basically says “if you don’t stop saying mean things about us forever, we will sue you.” –The Consumerist
United States credit card system begins complete overhaul in the next 18 months – The massive security breach Target suffered earlier in the year has resulted in a more efficient timeline away from traditional credit card technologies (the magnetic strip) to a pin and chip combination, which, among other things, may lead to more significant use of the so-called “mobile wallet,” namely apps that allow you to use your cell phone to transmit credit card information to POS stations. The process should be underway in the next year and a half.
According to research firm Javelin, the upgrade could take about three years, with international and premium cards getting the switch to the new system. For the record, there are already several cards with chip technology available to Americans, from American Express and JPMorgan Chase among other institutions. –Engadget
Here’s Why People Shouldn’t Freak Out About The Amazon-Hachette Fight – If you’ve read the rather hysterical piece in the New York Times on the Hachette-Amazon conflict (Amazon is delaying shipment of Hachette books), I hope you read this piece in Forbes that both reveals the biases in the Times’ piece (e.g. the Times seems to think it’s all about authors being victimized) and challenges the pearl-clutching panic. The way the Times reacted says a lot, though, and not much of it is professionally complimentary.
But the point is that a hardball fight between a retailer and a supplier is the oldest news in the world, that Hachette, a global multibillion dollar conglomerate, is hardly a helpless flower, and that this is how our economy functions. –Forbes
11 Beautiful Alphabets from Ancient and Medieval Times – To quote Monty Python, ‘and now for something completely different.’ And just plain lovely. It’s amazing just how modern some of these renderings appear, as well. –Mental Floss