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"Not Amazon" Canadian Website Takes on the Online Giant

The e-commerce giants, with their evidently endless collection and drive to deliver convenience along with affordable prices, have become an all-too-familiar and essential service for many consumers at the height of the ongoing global pandemic. 

While small businesses and local retailers have been ending up with nothing in this pandemic, the worldwide lockdowns, and restrictions, have been fruitful for the e-commerce market, especially for the Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon, which has made humongous profits in billions. 

The pandemic has proved as mounting inequity between people and markets, and it was brought into focus by Ali Haberstroh. As the pandemic deepened, offline markets were closed but online shopping continued which consequently created inequality that was highlighted by one Canadian woman who expressed her disapproval as she fought back for the cause. 

“I just hate how much Jeff Bezos and Amazon are making billions off the backs of working-class people,” said Ali Haberstroh. “It seems to me they’re putting money over the wellbeing of people.” 

It was in late November 2020 when the snow was painting Ali Haberstroh’s apartment into a white house when the idea occurred to her. At the time, Canada was about to shut the market again as the second wave of lockdown hit the Canadian lanes in an attempt to curb rising COVID-19 cases. 
In anticipation, Toronto’s vintage clothing owner who is a friend of Ms. Haberstroh’s had put together names of other local vintage shops offering product curbside pickup and deliveries instead of shutting doors. 

“It was a wake-up call,” Ms. Haberstroh, 27, said of the list, which reminded her how large retailers like Walmart, Costco, and Amazon had thrived during the pandemic while much smaller, local businesses had been increasingly forced to discontinue their operations. “I thought if there is one tiny thing I can do to help, then I should get on it.” 

Being as inspired as she was by this idea, Haberstroh readied herself to build a more comprehensive list; following up, she has created an Instagram post, tagging independent businesses, and shopkeepers across Toronto. Moreover, she came up with a new website by the name “Not-Amazon.ca” — a URL that she had bought for $2.99. 

Introduced as a local list to help keep small businesses alive, 'Not Amazon' was created “so you don’t have to give any money to Amazon this year!” her Instagram post read. 

“At first it started off as a bit of a joke, with the name, but soon I really wanted to make it like Amazon, having everything in one place,” she said. “I didn’t want people to have an excuse not to shop local.” 

So far, the website “Not-Amazon.com” has accumulated more than half a million page views and is witnessing the participation from 4,000 businesses across Toronto, Halifax Calgary, and Vancouver. 
Furthermore, the cause is seen to have gained worldwide acceptance as thousands of stores owner await their submission to this site along with Ms. Haberstroh’s approval. 

“In a big city like Toronto, where it feels like most businesses are local, I think it’s so easy to think these things will be here forever,” said Ms. Haberstroh, who works as a social media manager at a marketing firm and plans to expand her rebellious project 'Not Amazon' to even more cities. “You don’t think that they’re going to go anywhere.” 

 “Small businesses have always made Toronto magical. They’re what makes this city what it is. And so I think we owe it to them to keep them alive.” She added.

E-Commerce Attacks Didn't Increase During Coronavirus Quarantine


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the globe to stay at home. The quarantine has increased online shopping figures. Even though a majority of the people are shopping online for everything, from food to groceries to daily essentials, the web skimming attacks didn't increase and are supposedly expected not to in the near time, due to it, say cybersecurity experts. Web skimming or Magekart attacks or e-skimming is a kind of cyberattack where the attacker inserts malicious codes in the online stores' website. When the users make any payment in the checkout process while entering the data, the hackers steal their credit card credentials.


Web skimming attacks were famous amid the hackers during 2017-18 and had been rising since then. Various cybersecurity experts and agencies, when asked about 'the impact of large scale online shopping on the web skimming incidents,' they all agree that web skimming attacks will not rise just because more people are shopping now, spending most of their time online, while staying at home. It is because, for a very long time, hackers have tried to breach prominent e-commerce websites but have failed to do so, while the web skimming incidents have remained constant through the years.

According to these cybersecurity experts, there's only one condition under which web skimming attacks can increase, and that is only when the number of online stores will increase can the hackers look for new sites to attack. Unless that happens, the rate of web skimming attacks will remain the same. According to the statistical analyses by Sanguine Security, the data shows that web skimming attacks have slightly fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, not every cybersecurity agency agrees with this data.

But according to Jerome Segura, who is a web analyst at Malwarebytes, the web skimming attacks on online stores have not increased, therefore it confirms with Sanguine Security's data. It may be because the number of online stores increased before 2-3 months, but nobody observed these attacks during that time. Another reason might be that buyers prefer shopping from popular e-commerce websites, which are hard to breach through for hackers.

Zomato successfully tests its drone technology

E-commerce companies and food-delivery platforms are globally believed to be among the first adopters of drone-based delivery.

Zomato, the online ordering and food delivery platform, on Wednesday announced that it has successfully tested its drone delivery technology. The test, which was conducted using a hybrid drone, was a part of the company's attempts to reduce the time taken to make a food delivery to its customers.

The first test saw Zomato make a drone-based food package delivery under restricted conditions, covering 5 km in 10 minutes and at peak speed of 80 kmph.

"The drone was tested last week at one of the remote sites approved by the DGCA. Such tests are done at very remote sites which are especially designed to conduct such tests," Zomato told IANS.

It comes months after Gurgaon-headquartered firm had acquired Lucknow-based drone startup TechEagle to reduce food delivery times and solve other issues like pollution and traffic. Zomato also revealed that it is forming a consortium as per Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) guidelines to carry out experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

However, the food aggregator did not reveal the exact location where the drone delivered the package.

According to the notification issued by Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on May 13, interested companies have been asked to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the DGCA for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations (BVLOS) of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Currently, while regulations prohibit payload carriage on drones along with disallowing drone operations outside visual line of sight, the government — while announcing rules for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in August last — had said that the norms will be evolved with time as and when companies are able to exhibit newer technologies.

"The only possible way to reduce the average 30 minutes to 15 minutes is to take the aerial route. Roads are not efficient for very fast deliveries.