The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls
Logo No Hate Speech Movement

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting hate speech

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Global music sales hit high on streaming boom

Yahoo – AFP, Shaun TANDON, April 25, 2017

Drake was the most popular global artist of 2016 on the back of infectious
singles such as the streaming sensation "One Dance"

Music sales rose robustly for a second straight year to show growth not seen in two decades thanks to the rapid adoption of streaming, the global industry body said Tuesday.

Despite sliding CD sales and downloads, revenue from recorded music around the world grew 5.9 percent in 2016 to total $15.7 billion, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said.

The growth tops the previous year's 3.2 percent increase and marks the fastest rate since the group started to keep global statistics in 1997 -- when the recorded music industry first suffered a jolt with the dawn of the internet age.

Streaming revenue jumped 60 percent in 2016. Spotify led the way but the report said the market was buoyed by rising consumer choice among on-demand platforms including Apple Music, Tidal and Deezer.

Music executives cautioned that the market remained fragile and that the industry will need to keep adapting, with streaming only in its infancy.

"Remember, we're only two years into our recovery after a decade and a half of decline," Stu Bergen, CEO for international and global commercial services at Warner Music Group, told reporters on a conference call.

"We must remain alert, resourceful and ambitious. We're no longer running up a down escalator, but that doesn't mean we can relax," he said.

Frances Moore, CEO of the industry federation, said it was critical to work toward sustainable growth in part by keeping up investment in artists, who ultimately carry the music industry's fortunes.

She also renewed calls for a global overhaul in regulations that allow internet companies to skirt most responsibility for users' uploads -- which, music executives charge, leads to unfairly low revenue from omnipresent video site YouTube.

Music executives said that sales were propped up by the growing popularity, 
and competition, of paid streaming services led by Spotify and competitors 
including Apple Music, Tidal and Deezer

Boom felt around the world

Music sales expanded in almost all major markets but growth was especially strong in emerging economies with the help of local streaming players and cheaper smartphones.

Revenue soared 20 percent in China, 24 percent in Mexico and 26 percent in India. Latin America grew more than any region at 12 percent, even though sales slipped slightly in its most populous country Brazil.

The industry body saw the potential for major growth ahead in China, which despite its billion-plus population and rising middle class remains only the 12th largest music market in the world.

Globally, downloading revenue from sites such as iTunes tumbled more than 20 percent. Physical sales slipped 7.6 percent although CDs remain a major force in the key markets of Japan and Germany.

Michael Nash, executive vice president for digital strategy at the world's largest music group Universal, said the balance among formats was complex, with downloads clearly slipping in the face of streaming but vinyl winning a growing market among collectors.

"The digital transition is not a journey with a beginning, middle and end -- physical to download to streaming," he said.

"It is an ongoing transformation driven by a rate of technological change that shows no signs of decelerating," he said.

The report found that Canadian hip-hop superstar Drake was the most popular global artist of 2016 on the back of infectious singles such as the streaming sensation "One Dance."

Rock legend David Bowie, who died last year, came in second, while Beyonce's conceptual "Lemonade" was the top-selling album worldwide.

Related Article:

"Wild Cards" (3) - Nov 19 - 20, 2016 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll)(Text version)

"...Then there was Steve Jobs. He was a wild card. What he did had little to do with technology, for that would have happened anyway soon enough. Instead, it had to do with the paradigm of the business of music on Earth. He freed it, and the paradigm of how music is obtained and heard will never be the same. However, Steve Jobs did basically one thing for all of you, and then he died. Do you see any kind of connecting of the dots to some of the inventors who come and give you the one thing, then leave? If he had lived, would there be more? Yes, but you’re not ready for it. Consciousness has to support what happens.  ...."

Wikipedia founder tackles fake news with Wikitribune

Yahoo – AFP, Rob Lever, April 25, 2017

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, pictured in 2016, hopes to tackle fake
news with WikiTribune

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is launching a project aimed at reshaping the news media -- and tackling the scourge of misinformation -- using the same collaborative principles as the revolutionary online encyclopedia.

Wikitribune will rely on a broad online community of journalists and readers as fact checkers, a crowdsourcing model pioneered in the "wiki" system behind Wikipedia.

"The news is broken and we can fix it," reads the website of the project unveiled by Wales late Monday, describing itself as focused on "evidence-based journalism."

On Twitter, Wales called it "a news platform that brings journalists & volunteers together for fact-based articles with real impact."

"Wikitribune takes professional, standards-based journalism and incorporates the radical idea from the world of Wiki that a community of volunteers can and will reliably protect and improve articles."

The new service will be free, without advertising, relying on contributions from users in the same manner as the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation that operates Wikipedia.

It will ask supporters to subscribe for $15 per month and plans to hire at least 10 journalists to manage the site.

Wales told the BBC: "I think we're in a world right now where people are very concerned about making sure we have high quality fact-based information, so I think there will be demand for this."

Fake news emerged as a serious issue during last year's US election campaign, when clearly fraudulent stories circulated virally on social media, potentially swaying some voters.

Concerns have been raised since then about hoaxes and misinformation affecting elections in Europe; and internet firms have stepped up efforts to crack down on "click farms" and other systems that generate online ad revenue using made-up news stories.

Need for innovation

Jeff Jarvis, a City University of New York journalism professor who is an advisor to the project, said in a blog post he is "excited" about Wikitribune.

"I see the need for innovation around new forms of news," Jarvis said.

"The community of contributors will vet the facts, help make sure the language is factual and neutral, and will to the maximum extent possible be transparent about the source of news posting full transcripts, video, and audio of interviews."

Wikitribune's advisory group includes Jarvis, venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki and British actress Lily Cole, according to the website.

Jeff Howe, a journalist who coined the term crowdsourcing and now is a professor at Northeastern University, said this system can be positive for the news industry.

"I'm a big fan of crowdsourced verification," Howe told AFP. "It's a very well-tested principle."

Howe added that crowdsourcing at Wikipedia and elsewhere works best as a "hybrid" system, which is open to the public but with professionals managing the system.

But Howe said it remains unclear if Wikitribune can reach the people who are most susceptible to fraudulent news.

"Some people have already written off the mainstream media," he said. "I'm not sure if he (Wales) can reach those people in the margins."

Laura Hazard Owen, deputy editor of Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab, said it remains to be seen if the project will succeed.

"Good things can happen when a crowd goes to work on trying to figure out a problem in journalism," she said in a blog post.

"At the same time, completely crowdsourced news investigations can go bad without oversight... An entirely crowdsourced investigation with nobody to oversee it or pay for it will probably go nowhere."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dutch banks join forces to Belgian payment system to NL

DutchNews, April 20, 2017

Photo: ING

The big Dutch banks have joined forces to launch a new mobile payment system in the Netherlands which they say integrates three current payment methods in one app. 

The Payconiq system, developed by ING, has been undergoing trials in Belgium, where 25,000 shops are actively connected to the network. 

The system uses QR codes which the retailer generates and the person paying the bill can scan with their mobile phones to make the payment. The app connects directly to the client’s bank account and can also make quick automatic payments between family and friends. 

‘Our initiative anticipates digitalisation as well as the upcoming changes in the European payment regulation,’ said Payconiq chief executive Duke Prins. ‘The collaboration with Dutch banks is a promising step for Payconiq.’

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Secretarial jobs are vanishing as admin work is taken over by IT

DutchNews, April 17, 2017

The number of people with the jobs title ‘secretary’ in the Netherlands has halved since the turn of the century to just 40,000, the Telegraaf said on Monday. 

Next Thursday is officially ‘secretaries day’ but they have little to celebrate, the paper said. One in five secretaries has lost his or her job since 2013 and competition for new jobs is extremely fierce, Freek Kalkhoven of the state jobs agency UWV told the paper. 

The UWV is due to publish new figures later this week that show how administrative positions are disappearing due to the use of IT. In the banking sector too, administrative positions have been hardest hit by automation. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cash increasingly out of favour in Dutch shops and bars

DutchNews, April 10, 2017

No cash here. Photo:

Just 45% of all purchases in Dutch shops, cafes and petrol stations were made in cash last year, as direct debit cards continue their upward march, the Dutch central bank said on Monday. 

The use of plastic to pay has outstripped cash since 2015. Last year, 54.5% of shop and cafe bills were paid with direct debit cards, 0.5% by credit card and the rest in cash. 

In total, 2.95 billion cash transactions were made with a total value of €38bn, down from 3.19 billion in 2015. 

Teenagers, pensioners and manual workers are most likely to pay in cash, although teenagers are rapidly making the switch, the bank said in a statement. The most frequent debit card users are young adults aged 19 to 24. 

The Netherlands has several retail chains which no longer accept cash payments, such as Marqt and the Vlaamse Broodhuis. Supermarkets like Albert Heijn are also introducing cash-free checkout desks and public transport in Amsterdam is poised to eradicate cash altogether later by 2018. In 2015, 

Dutch banks and retailers signed a covenant to discourage the use of cash, which they say will boost the security and efficiency of the payment system.

Monday, April 10, 2017

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

Media outlets' Facebook pages are often dominated by haters, but the German group #ichbinhier is talking back. It now has tens of thousands of members who are helping restore civility to social media.

Deutsche Welle, 9 April 2017

Logo No Hate Speech Movement

It's Friday evening, a couple of hours after the truck attack in Stockholm, and the Facebook page of a major German TV news station is filling up with comments inveighing against refugees and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It's an all too familiar scene in an age when anyone can play pundit on social media and hateful tirades are part of political discourse.

But in this case, other users suddenly appear on the station's Facebook page to confront the haters. What evidence is there that the Stockholm attacker was a refugee, they ask. How do we know he was religiously motivated? What does Merkel have to do with a one-off event in Sweden? Shouldn't people wait for all the facts?

What might look like a series of individual responses is actually a loosely coordinated action by a closed Facebook group called #ichbinhier (the English equivalent is #iamhere). Yan, an event coordinator from Berlin, is one of those who helped contain the trolls.

"We usually go to the big media sites because they're either unmoderated or, if they are, it's only for 10 or 15 minutes," Yan told Deutsche Welle. "I can understand that. It's not like we work against the media. And sometimes we get nice feedback. I recently got an email from an intern at a major German newspaper who thanked us for helping to deal with hate speech that came in the middle of the night and overwhelmed him."

Yan took to Facebook to
counter hate speech about
the Stockholm attack
The idea is a bit like a volunteer neighborhood watch for the digital age, with users patrolling the internet to enforce minimum standards of civilized speech on issues that get people hot under the collar. And it originally comes from Sweden.

Feels like team spirit

Hannes Ley, a digital communications expert, founded #ichbinhier in late December, basing it on the Swedish Facebook initiative #jagärhär, which currently has more than 67,000 members. The German version of the initiative has had similar success, attracting almost 30,000 members in well under four months.

The key, says Ley, is that people who used to write comments on the internet alone as individuals now do so as a group. That makes them more confident.

"There's a sense of being part of a team," Ley told DW. "Users say that they now feel capable of expressing their opinions again and feel strong."

#ichbinhier stages three interventions per day. Ley says the group's activities don't just make haters think twice about spewing bile on Facebook pages, but also raise general public awareness on issues.

"For example in Holland, a journalist filmed two male politicians holding hands in response to an attack on a homosexual couple," Ley recalls. "It elicited the classic homophobic comments. We called upon the community to do something. That attracted a lot of attention, and some of our comments had over 500 likes."

Right-wing extremists use
Facebook to advance their agenda
#ichbinhier responses to haters fall into two general categories. Members can simply express contrary views, or they can use fact dossiers on certain issues drawn from sources like the German government's Office for Statistics to argue empirically against irrational points of view. The only thing that's forbidden is trading insults - "Don't feed the trolls" remains a guiding principle.

Calling the fire department

Traditionally, providing the public with facts was the job of journalists. But Ley says he sees a "negative spiral" of distortion in which media outlets, with their often tight personnel resources, fail to monitor their Facebook platforms, so that hate speech not only becomes more and more dominant, but also more and more radical.

Counterspeech initiatives like #ichbinhier, say experts, are a useful and appropriate tool for news outlets to prevent trolls from monopolizing the discussion. André Kroll, a social-media training instructor and a journalist who works for German public TV, says that there's no shame in calling for emergency help from outside.

"For me it's like a kind of volunteer fire department for social media," Kroll told DW. "If a post - be it about refugees or foreigners or anything else - has gotten out of control, it's perfectly legitimate to invite others to come in and join the discussion. #ichbinhier has demonstrated that it can achieve results."

Perhaps the clearest mark of #ichbinhier's success is that right-wing extremists themselves now complain on Facebook that the group is trying to deprive them of their right to free speech.

A challenge for Facebook

Facebook has struggled to control hateful posts

And what about Facebook itself? Germany recently introduced legislation requiring social media platforms to combat hate speech. What does the Californian company think of initiatives like #ichbinhier? Would it be willing to help them?

In an email response, a Facebook spokeswoman told DW that Facebook supported a number of counterspeech initiatives, including the company's own Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI), which organizes anti-hate speech seminars for NGOs. Ley took part in one of those seminars earlier this year but came away unimpressed.

"I thought it was like a minor advertising campaign for Facebook," Ley said. "As a response to my criticism about the event, I was given a coupon for 100 euros in ad credits. Honestly, that's laughable."

Ley added that his initiative could use technical support and help in campaigning from Facebook.

Toning down the aggression

Counterspeech groups are a way
of coping with right-wing populism
Leaving aside Facebook's official policies, counterspeech initiatives succeed or fail on the commitment of their members. Yan says he spends at least one and probably two hours a day on #ichbinhier actions. So what motivates people to volunteer significant chunks of their time to trying to talk reason to haters?

Yan says he signed up after wandering around in a state of "shock" following Donald Trump's election as US president. The group, he adds, gave him the sense that he could do something to alter what he felt was the growing irrationality and hatefulness in the world.

He also says that engaging with haters in the virtual universe of the internet has changed the way he behaves and uses language in the real world.

"If someone calls me a 'gay a**hole' on the street, I no longer turn around and say 'f**k you,'" he told DW. "I'll say something like, 'You seem to know quite a lot about homosexuals.' I'll say something that's not at the bottommost level. That's a much better way to react."

#ichbinhier has not only made people like Yan feel empowered. They say it's taught them that there are better ways of asserting one's presence than hurling injurious language at others.
Related Article:

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Teenagers Hack Into, Steal Over $300,000 Worth of Airline Tickets

A group of teenagers and one 27-year-old hacked into — one of the
 largest online travel agents in Indonesia — and siphoned Rp 4.1 billion ($308,000)
 worth of airline tickets from the website, the National Police said in Jakarta on
Tuesday (04/04). (BeritaSatu Photo).

Jakarta. A group of teenagers and one 27-year-old hacked into — one of the largest online travel agents in Indonesia — and siphoned Rp 4.1 billion ($308,000) worth of airline tickets from the website, the National Police said in Jakarta on Tuesday (04/04).

The alleged perpetrators were identified only by their initials. SH, who is 19-years-old and identified by the police as the mastermind of the crime, admitted that he made around Rp 600 million in proceeds from the act.

His partner, MKU, also 19-years-old, admitted to making Rp 600 million. Two other alleged perpetrators have also been identified: AI, 19 and NTM, 27.

SH admitted to using the loot to buy expensive motorcycles.

"I bought a Ducati motorcycle [...]. None of the money was used for investment [purposes]," SH said at the National Police headquarters on Tuesday.

The police said they may face up to 12 years in prison under Indonesia's Law on Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) revised in 2013.

Global Network, the company behind, reported the case to the police in November when it suspected someone hacked into and stole tickets allotted for the budget airline Citilink Indonesia.

Airlines usually set aside a ticket quota for each travel agent, and are usually paid for the tickets in advance. In this case, the teenagers hacked into the website and accessed Citilink's ticket pool.

"The perpetrators had illegal access to Citilink Indonesia's server, using an account owned by Global Network from Oct. 11 to 27, 2016," Brig. Gen. Fadil Imran, the director of cyber crime at National Police's Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) said on Tuesday.

The perpetrators then sold the stolen tickets on Facebook, Fadil added.

MKU, AI and NTM were arrested on March, 28 in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. The police nabbed SH in Ciputat, Banten two days later.

The case shed light on security issues on Indonesia's booming online services industry.

"He [SH] is quite sophisticated and the website was also not that hard to hack," Adj. Comr. Idam Wasiadi of the cyber crime unit at Bareskrim said last week.

Idam said SH, who only finished middle school, taught himself using materials available online to hack into various websites.

He honed his skill by hacking into 4,237 foreign and local websites and defacing their homepage. Among his victims are the National Police's website and app-based ride-hailing service Go-Jek, Idam added.

Citilink Indonesia, a low-cost subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, said that the integrity of its ticket security and customer's information was not compromised by the hackers and the breach was only limited to the online agent,, Ageng W. Leksono, corporate communication manager of Citilink told news outlet

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Fewer Dutch people have a traditional television subscription

DutchNews,April 5, 2017

Some 60,000 television service subscribers cancelled their connections in 2016, taking the total number down to 7.4 million, according to research group Telecompaper. 

2016 was a second year in a row that the number of tv subscriptions fell. 

Telecompaper expects the decline to continue in line with the anti-traditional tv trend, as more people watch programmes on their tablets and phones. The research company expects a 1.1% decline in subscribers every year between now and 2021. 

The Dutch television provider market is dominated by Ziggo and KPN, which control 87% of the market. Ziggo has a market share of 61% (down 2.1% on the year) while KPN is on 26.1%, a rise of 1.4%.

Germany threatens online giants with 50 mn euro hate speech fines

Yahoo – AFP, Hui Min NEO, April 5, 2017

The German government has approved fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million)
 against online giants that fail to remove hate speech and fake news reported by
users within a week (AFP Photo/SAUL LOEB)

Berlin (AFP) - Germany on Wednesday took the European lead in cracking down against hate speech and fake news, threatening social media giants with fines of up to 50 million euros if they fail to remove offensive posts promptly.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet approved the tough measure after assessing that companies like Twitter and Facebook were not doing enough to erase content that falls foul of German law.

"Hate crimes that are not effectively combatted and prosecuted pose a great danger to the peaceful cohesion of a free, open and democratic society," said Merkel's government in a statement.

Since the arrival of around one million asylum-seekers in Germany since 2015, the volume of xenophobic hate speech has exploded online.

Alarmed by the incendiary nature of the posts, the government has repeatedly warned the online behemoths to better police the content on their network.

The web companies had pledged in 2015 to examine and remove within 24 hours any hateful comments, but Justice Minister Heiko Maas said not enough was done.

Citing a government study, Maas said Twitter only took down one percent and Facebook 39 percent of the content reported by users.

Google's YouTube video sharing platform fared far better, with a rate of 90 percent.

Beyond hate speech and fake news, the draft legislation also covers other illegal content, including child pornography and terror-related activity.

The companies would have 24 hours to remove any posts that openly violate German law after they are flagged by users.

Other offensive content would have to be deleted within seven days after it is reported and reviewed.

Executives of the social media groups also risk individual fines up to five million euros ($5.3 million) in case of non-compliance.

Under German law, Holocaust denial, incitement of hatred and racist speech are illegal.

The volume of xenophobic hate speech has exploded online
in Germany (AFP Photo/STF)

'Policing opinion?'

But critics warned that the proposed law could stifle freedom of expression.

Renate Kuenast, an MP with the opposition Greens, said the fines were "almost an invitation to not just erase real insults, but to wipe out almost everything for the sake of playing it safe".

Likewise, the German Federation of Journalists said it would be "difficult to reconcile freedom of the press and opinion" with the proposed legislation.

Facebook warned that "this legislation would force private companies rather than the courts to become the judges of what is illegal in Germany".

More than 700 people will be working on the content review task force for the company in Berlin by year's end, said the group, which made profits of $3.7 billion (3.5 billion euros) in the last three months of 2016.

It also rejected the data cited by Maas, saying that a test carried out by FSM -- a self-regulation lobby group backed by online media -- found that Facebook deleted more than 65 percent of illegal content within a day.

Maas acknowledged that freedom of expression "has huge significance in our democracy".

But he added: "Freedom of expression ends where criminal law begins," predicting that Germany's measure would only be a start.

"In the end, we need European solutions for companies that operate across Europe," Maas told reporters.

'Talking to a wall'

Underlining the frustration with the slow-moving fight against such online hate, one social network user, Steffi Brachtel, told AFP she had filed countless complaints to Facebook over offensive posts.

But only once did it agree to remove a post -- a Hitler-related one, she said.

The waitress had begun her one-woman campaign against online hate speech after a friend shared an objectionable cartoon on Facebook.

"I spent several hours every day on Facebook, trying to tell people to watch what they are saying... but got the feeling that I was talking to a wall," she said.

Brachtel said she also faced physical threats. Neo-Nazis followed her on her way home and her letterbox was bombed.

But she warned that if action is not taken against far-right material, "then it just gets passed on and on, and that's how the hate gets bigger in people, and that's a major problem".

New Zealand's finger-lickin' posties to deliver KFC

Yahoo – AFP, April 5, 2017

New Zealand's finger-lickin' posties to deliver KFC

Wellington (AFP) - New Zealand Post has announced its couriers will home-deliver KFC fast food, in a trial that could provide a recipe for success as letter volumes continue to dwindle.

Under a pilot scheme that started this week in the North Island town of Tauranga, KFC customers can order online and have their food delivered by NZ Post drivers.

KFC operator Restaurant Brands NZ said that while it knew how to produce food, it had no experience in logistics, making the postal service a natural fit.

"NZ Post has an extensive delivery distribution network around New Zealand, and KFC is available in most towns nationwide," chief executive Ian Letele said.

"With the support of NZ Post, we hope to service the home delivery needs of many more KFC customers throughout New Zealand."

New Zealand Post has struggled in the digital age as email and texts have replaced traditional "snail mail".

The state-owned service slashed 2,000 jobs, or 20 percent of its workforce in 2013, and two years later moved to three-day-a-week deliveries, down from six.

It said in its last financial statement that the fall in letter deliveries meant it was losing up to NZ$30 million ($21 million) a year in revenue.

However, it said parcel volumes were up due to rising online orders and NZ Post was concentrating on capturing more e-commerce business.

NZ Post's head of innovation Mike Stewart said the postal service was excited to be working with such a well-known brand as KFC.

"Our many years' experience, and growing strength in on-demand delivery makes us the ideal provider," he said.

Related Article:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Web shops take over from bricks and mortar stores in the Netherlands

DutchNews, April 4, 2017    

Web shops are rapidly replacing bricks-and-mortar stores in the Netherlands, according to a report by the national statistics office CBS published on Tuesday. 

The number of web shops totalled more than 32,000 in 2016, a giant increase over the 5,000 registered in 2007, the CBS said. At the same time, the number of physical shops went down by 4.4%, with DVD and CD shops, cameras and baby and childrens’ clothing leading the way. 

But not all types of physical shops were disappearing: there are now 37.3% more telephone shops than 10 years ago. And the CBS reported a 30% gain in department stores, fishmongers and second-hand clothing in the period. 

Overall, the number of stores in large and medium-sized cities declined over the 10-year period. But in the country’s newest province Flevoland there was an increase in store numbers – 10% in Almere and 12% in Lelystad, the CBS said.