Category Archives: Uncategorized

Hard Rock Cafe and Silverlight

Currently at the Mix 08 event in Las Vegas. In this morning’s keynote they were showing off some demos using Microsoft’s Silverlight platform. I am going to write another blog post on High Design vs. Low Design and why the primary business models online tend to have low-design, while many of the demos of new technologies really have high-design.

This morning there were a couple of presentations such as the HR application that is used by Cirque du Soleil, a very impressive application to manage the talent site of their business as well as a preview of NBC’s site for the Olympics. Another example that I found is a good mix between high-design and a strong business model is the memorabilia site of the Hard Rock Cafe which balances the business side with new technology.

Canadian Trademark Registry – Good Reference Site for Canadian Entrepreneurs

I wanted to take this opportunity to provide a link to the Canadian Trademark Registry and strongly suggest to any small business to reference this site if you are planning to launch a new business, product, idea, etc. and ensure that there is no Trademark already registered. This site is managed by the government of Canada and can save a lot of potential headaches for any entrepreneur to ensure they don’t land themselves in trouble. One more thing I like about this site – you don’t have to pay a company $20-$50 or more to find out whether some is trademarked – you can do it for free.

Anyway, here are a few screenshots of the service:

First I started by conducting a search for one of my favorite topics of late – Facebook – to see what trademarks are registered.

Searching For Facebook in the Canadian Registry

I was presented with a list of matches.

Showing the list of trademarks registered for Facebook

I selected to see the information for the Facebook Homepage Rectangle Design

Details about the Facebook Registration of their Home Page Image

SCAM ALERT – CRS – Central Registration Service

Wow, over the past week, I have received a number of phone calls and emails from clients of mine who have received an invoice from a company called Central Registration Service. The invoice amount is $966US, contains the URL along with the billing address and usually under additional facts contains the phone number.

In bold is the following statement – We have to receive a payment within 21 days, otherwise your domain registration will be deleted.

The item listed on the invoice is for “standard registration via hosting service for” and then displays the URL in a box along. As mentioned, the invoice amount is $966US with a 5% cash discount of $917.30US.

They are asking you to sign and fax to 1-212-627-8877 (a number located in the New York City). The address they list on their invoice is 1133 Broadway, Suite 706, New York, NY 10010. They take credit card via their website (www.central-registration-service.com/payment – which does not work) and their banking account information is through Loyal Bank Limited – Acc. no: 104003940306 Swift: LOYAVCVX.

DO NOT PAY THIS INVOICE – THROW IT AWAY

The #1 question I get – is how does a company like this get my information:

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Protect Your Business from “phishing”

This past Sunday I was watching the CBC program Marketplace and they did a special on the criminal practice of “phishing”. For those of you who are unaware of what this practice is, it is Internet fraudsters who send our emails that look like reputable companies in which they are asking you to provide information about your credit cards, banking, etc. Once they get this information from you, they immediately use it to steal money or your identity.

For example, I have received a number of these emails in the past from what appeared to be the Royal Bank of Canada. The email indicated that I needed to update some of my account information. If you click on the link inside the email, it looks very much like www.royalbank.com, however, if I would have provided my information, Internet fraudsters could have started to steal my money or my identity. This is not reserved just for the banks, emails can come from what appears to be eBay, paypal, credit card companies and any organization that deals with information that can lead a criminal to your money.

As business owners, we have a responsibility to our employees to give them tools to help guard against such criminal activity. Therefore, I have outlined 3 very simple ways that you can use to prevent ever falling victim to a “phishing” scam. Continue reading