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Target debuts same-day delivery for in-store purchases in some urban markets

Target wants to make it easier for customers in urban markets to shop its store and get their hauls home, without having to lug their bags onto the subway or other public transit. These customers may skip buying heavier items like 12-packs of soda, big bags of dog food, gallons of water, new bedding sets and other things they can’t easily carry for long distances. Instead, they’ll place those orders online — and often with Target competitors like Amazon. But now, Target will allow urban customers to shop in-store, and have their purchases delivered to their home that same day. The service makes sense for Target stores in cities, where there aren’t often parking lots available to shoppers, and whose customer base tends to ride the subway, bus or train, or bike or walk home. When they want to buy more than they can easily carry, they tend to order a taxi or an Uber to get their purchases home. That’s why Target is rolling out this home-delivery option only to select locations. The feature will debut in nearly 60 stores in five major cities — Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. — by the end of this month, the company says.  To take advantage of the service, customers will shop as usual and check out at the register. There, they’ll tell the cashier they’d like to take home delivery and pay the $7 flat fee. (Cheaper than some cab rides, Target notes). Customers then choose their two-hour delivery window and provide their address along with other relevant delivery information. When the process is complete, they’ll leave their purchases at the store, and return home to accept delivery during their window. Oversized items, like furniture, will cost $25 for delivery

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Target tests a new loyalty program with 1% back, Shipt discounts and free next-day delivery

Target has begun to test a new loyalty program, “Target Red,” that combines discounts on delivery with cash back on later purchases. The program will serve as an alternative to the existing REDcard program which requires customers to sign up for a Target credit or debit card. With Target Red, customers instead earn 1 percent back on purchases that they can redeem on their next visit, as well as receive 50 percent off a Shipt membership, and free next-day delivery through Target Restock. The retailer had  acquired same-day delivery service Shipt in December for $550 million, and has continued to operate it as usual, after adding Target to the list of available stores, of course. It’s also now helping to push customers who were shopping rival grocers on Shipt over to Target by pricing its own items the same as they are on the Target website, while others remain marked up. Meanwhile, Target Restock is the retailer’s own entry in next-day delivery, which allows consumers to fill a box with everyday essentials – like household goods and pantry staples – and take delivery for $4.99 per box. (For comparison, Prime Pantry is now $7.99 per order, unless paying a $4.99 per month membership, which makes order over $40 ship free.) However, Target Restock is only available in select metros at this time – following an expansion last fall, it now reaches over 70 million people,  Target said. Target Red loyalty program members will be able to waive that $5 delivery fee on Restock, and can take half off the cost of the typically $99 per year Shipt membership, too. More importantly, perhaps, is the one percent back, as a way to lure in shoppers who won’t sign up for REDcard. Target REDcard is already quite popular – as of the company’s latest earnings, it accounts for 24 percent of sales, with 12.7 percent from Target Debit Card, and 11.4 percent from Target Credit cards. But those figures aren’t climbing much these days. That’s where Red comes in.

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Pennsylvania sues Uber over 2016 data breach

Uber may be trying to clean up its image with new services like Uber Health, but its past mistakes keep coming back to haunt it. Back in 2016, Uber was the target of a cyberattack, which exposed the personal information of 57 million people. It took...

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Ethereum fixes serious “eclipse” flaw that could be exploited by any kid

Enlarge (credit: Armin Kübelbeck ) Developers of Ethereum, the world's No. 2 digital currency by market capitalization, have closed a serious security hole that allowed virtually anyone with an Internet connection to manipulate individual users' access to the publicly accessible ledger. So-called eclipse attacks work by preventing a cryptocurrency user from connecting to honest peers. Attacker-controlled peers then feed the target a manipulated version of the blockchain the entire currency community relies on to reconcile transactions and enforce contractual obligations. Eclipse attacks can be used to trick targets into paying for a good or service more than once and to co-opt the target's computing power to manipulate algorithms that establish crucial user consensus. Because Ethereum supports "smart contracts" that automatically execute transactions when certain conditions in the blockchain are present, Ethereum eclipse attacks can also be used to interfere with those self-enforcing agreements. Like most cryptocurrencies, Ethereum uses a peer-to-peer mechanism that compiles input from individual users into an authoritative blockchain. In 2015 and again in 2016, separate research teams devised eclipse attacks against Bitcoin that exploited P2P weaknesses. Both were relatively hard to pull off. The 2015 attack required a botnet or a small ISP that controlled thousands of devices, while the 2016 attack relied on the control of huge chunks of Internet addresses through a technique known as border gateway protocol hijacking . The demands made it likely that both attacks could be carried out only by sophisticated and well-resourced hackers. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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