COVID cooks up an e-commerce bonus for Williams Sonoma

Estelle Sidler

(Image sourced via Williams Sonoma website)

Last week we looked at how COVID-19 had impacted on certain categories of the retail apparel industry, favoring a consumer shift to casual clothing and away from high end and business outfits as people remain housebound. Lockdowns have also brought a boost to certain other segments of the retail sector, such as firms specialising in interior decor and accessories.

Williams Sonoma is a good case in point. It has seen a 15% year-on-year rise in customer growth in recent months. The firm has gained from a move to home cooking as restaurants have been off the menu during lockdowns. The question as those restrictions are lifted is whether this turns out to be a permanent shift. CEO Laura Alber reckons it is:

As we look forward, we are excited about the growing interest in cooking, especially for Millennials, which will not only benefit our

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Start Me Up: What Has The Windows 95 Desktop Given Us 25 Years Later?

Estelle Sidler

We’ve had something of an anniversary of late, and it’s one that will no doubt elicit a variety of reactions from our community. It’s now 25 years ago that Windows 95 was launched, the operating system that gave the majority of 1990s PC users their first taste of a desktop-based GUI and a 32-bit operating system.

To the strains of the Rolling Stones’ Start me up, Microsoft execs including Bill Gates himself jubilantly danced on stage at the launch of what was probably to become the company’s defining product, perhaps oblivious to the line “You make a grown man cry” which maybe unwittingly strayed close to the user experience when faced with some of the software’s shortcomings.

Its security may seem laughable by the standards of today and the uneasy marriage of 16-bit DOS underpinning a 32-bit Windows operating system was clunky even in its heyday, but

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DTI eyes putting SRP on gadgets that will be in demand among students

Estelle Sidler

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 2) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking into putting a suggested retail price on gadgets that will most likely be used by students.

In an interview with CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Ngayon on Wednesday, Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said that nothing is final yet but the DTI is in talks with the Department of Education (DepEd) regarding gadgets that will most likely be in demand due to distance learning.

“Right now, mayroon tayong engagement with DepEd and the DICT kasi we need to know kung ano ba yung pinaka basic na requirement nila doon sa device,” she said.

[Translation: Right now, we have an engagement with the DepEd and the Department of Information and Communications Technology because we need to know their basic requirement with the device.]

According to Castelo, this information will lead them to identify the gadgets that will be

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Testing & Automation Pay Off for NSA’s DevSecOps …

Estelle Sidler

Communication with stakeholders, extensive testing, and robust automation pays dividends for military intelligence agency, one of several presenters at GitLab’s virtual Commit conference.

For companies concerned with security as they push for faster development, a hallmark of agile frameworks such as DevOps, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has a message for you: Test, take it slow, but do it right and your developers will thank you.

Starting in 2018, the NSA embarked on a project to build more support for its developers and combine multiple instances of source code repositories. While the secretive government agency — whose missions include both spying on the communications of other countries and striving to secure US classified networks — has to work within the restrictions of a largely air-gapped network, the DevX team created a “highly available, elastically scalable architecture in AWS” that allows fast software development in a secure environment, Eric Mosher,

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