CarPlay: Apple’s new in-car technology

As we drive ever forward at break-neck speed into the future of digital advancement, Apple have revealed new technology ‘CarPlay’ at the Geneva Motor Show. An interface that allows more compatibility between two essential items in most peoples lives in the digital age; their car and their smartphone. What is it? CarPlay allows users to plug their iPhone’s into their cars so drivers will be able to finally utilize their devices features on the road all within the legal limits. You will be able to useful apps like Maps, sending and receiving texts, make a phone call and listen to music all in a hands-free way that allows you to safely multi-task whilst on the road. For years speculative ideas have flown every which way regarding on how to tackle the biggest technological battlefield at hand; unifying your phone system with your car system. Almost all the big-named automobile brands have created some sort of system of this kind in their later models, but with the quick turn around of advancements with mobile phone devices and the longer life-span of the average car, developers have been faced with the problem of a sell-by date on their systems. Who can use it? Whilst CarPlay bridges a gap between the inconvenience of not being able to fully utilize your phone in your car, it is not an in-car system that runs iOS or it’s respective apps, but rather a system that assimilates iPhone Apps with your digital car system. Therefore, there’s going to be a limited amount of companies churning out car models that have a built-in system compatible with the Apps system....

Zara: The Fashion Imitator

Fashion Focus Zara is a Spanish high-street retailer founded in 1975 and currently operates over 1,800 stores worldwide. Over the years, Zara has developed a reputation for itself as going against the grain of usual industry standards, they spend no money on advertising, instead opting to use revenue to open new stores. It is thought Zara needs just two weeks from developing an idea to getting it on sale in stores, which is non-standard practice in the fashion retail industry as it usually takes 6 months to develop a trend or a new line of clothing. Zara has been described as a “fashion imitator” working closely to a pattern of their customers desires rather than what is on-trend elsewhere in the fashion industry. They produce materials to customer expectations at a lower cost than the usual retailer. This, coupled with their maverick business practices, makes Zara one of the most innovative retailers in the fashion market. This is something that has also been levelled at companies such as ASOS and Missguided.   The Global Market Since opening in 1975, Zara has firmly claimed its fixed place in the global market, with many other retailers following suit and thus cementing themselves as competitors. If we take a look at competitors in the international market, it’s clear to see why Zara stands out as a unique proprietor of fashion. US company The Gap sells more or less the same range of merchandise that Zara does with the same target audience (teens to older adults), but with more casual and less trendy clothing lines. H&M broke out of their homeland of Sweden...

How PayPal improves your online shopping experience

PayPal is an international e-commerce business designed to allow consumers and businesses to make money payments and transfers via the internet. It has fees put in place for money exchanges and transfers made by customers, and if using PayPal through credit card, customers may be charged extra if the currencies exchanged are different. In 2002, PayPal became wholly a subsidiary of eBay, the online auction organisation which was already in business with PayPal, using it as a primary method of payment for consumers to do trading payments with. How it works If you’re a UK customer from any UK vendor that accepts PayPal as a payment method (eBay is one the main services that does), the service is free of charge. If you’re purchasing overseas, a small charge is incurred due to currency exchange handling fees. For customers who are selling, PayPal charges between 1.4 and 3.4 % on the total sale amount plus a fixed fee of 20p per transaction, but it is entirely dependent on how much you sell, and the more you sell, the smaller the fee incurred overall. You can also transfer money for usually no fee if you and the recipient are both customers in the UK, or you can send internationally for a small fee. You will need to input some details to start a PayPal account, such as your name, address, and bank/card details so PayPal can interact with your bank account and take the total sum of charges on a date set by PayPal and agreed by you in the terms & conditions provided. PayPal never shares your information with third-parties...

Ticketmaster surcharge continues to shaft customers

Ticketmaster is one of the major international ticketing agents for events such as music concerts and theatre productions. It is a US company that in 2010 merged with Live Nation to become Live Nation Entertainment, but over the years customers have considered the company monopolistic due to the fact they charge a service fee that many consider an unreasonable price. Whilst other ticketing agents have emerged, Ticketmaster can afford to be unscrupulous with their charges to customers because they have a large percentage of business investment with significant venues and most events prefer to release tickets through them. As long as there is no competition to cause a threat, high fees will remain a part of Ticketmaster’s policy. Despite being the number one source for Tickets to large-scale events, Ticketmaster still suffers a number of complaints regarding its ability to provide a stable system for purchase; with the options of buying online and ordering via telephone frequently failing a number of customers. Particularly during times when traffic is at high volumes – usually at the time of ticket release for a popular and anticipated event – customers find themselves facing a bugged regime, with phone lines cutting off and internet pages going down. Pearl Jam V. Ticketmaster In 1995, Ticketmaster’s tickets had surcharges as high as 25% – plus ties to heavily marketing other products like parking fees, which lead popular grunge band Pearl Jam into a battle with the firm. Pearl Jam didn’t want to sell their tickets for any more than $20 USD, with surcharges of no more than $1.80 USD, but Pearl Jam fans and Ticketmaster...

Why do you ‘Like’ Facebook?

Facebook – almost everyone has an account, and if you don’t, you know someone who does. It’s a global internet phenomenon that just turned 10 years old. In the corporate world of consumerism, anything that lasts 10 years is old. But is 10 years really that old? It’s not when you consider a person of that age using Facebook as a primary platform for social interaction. If you’re over the age of 20, you probably remember your most fundamental instrument for communication with friends at 10 years old being the house telephone (and even then it was limited – “no more than 5 minutes!” Mum would say). You counted your most special friends as those whose numbers you knew off by heart, and if you wanted to exchange holiday photos you’d have to pay a personal visit. Nowadays Facebook offers this rather convenient pulpit of internet wasteland, where you can interact with your friends on a number of levels without even leaving your house. Chat with Karen’s-sons-neighbours-cousins-daughter about her job interview over the instant messaging service, or flick through your Dentists’ snaps from Spain on the way to work. It’s a very good way of keeping everyone in the know about everyone you don’t really know. Privacy Issues Recently, Facebook came under fire in the US for what anyone would consider a breach of privacy; imagine your 11-year-old daughter is a fan of Miley Cyrus’ music. Let’s say the said 11-year-old finds a Facebook page for Miley Cyrus that she’s invited to ‘Like’, as she does, Facebook gives that page permission to use her image alongside the page when...