A little of this and a little of that

On July 24, a teacher from Nebraska found a two-carat brandy colored diamond. Of the 226 diamonds found this year, this one is the largest.

The Crater of Diamonds is the only park in the world that lets the general public search for diamonds. Among the notable finds since its opening in 1972: the Strawn-Wagner, a 1.09 ct. D flawless, and the Esparanza, an 8.52 carat that ended up being cut live by a local jeweler. He found it after only about 2 hours of searching.

He put it in a brown paper bag and he and his wife took it to Diamond Park Discovery Center and handed it over for confirmation of their find. They were told it was a beautiful pear-shaped diamond with smooth curved facets and a lovely metallic shine to it, the color of brandy and about the size of a jelly bean. Park personnel told him the heavy rains had probably unearthed it has it was sitting on top of the ground. 14 inches of rain had fallen and several smaller stones were found. The teacher, Josh Lanik, said he named it the Lanik Family diamond, in honor of his trip to the park with his family, and for now, they will keep it.

BREACH AT CAPITAL ONE

According to the indictment, Thompson exploited a misconfigured firewall in a cloud server used by Capital One. She allegedly used a Tor browser, which anonymizes a person’s online activities, to gain this access. She also used a virtual private network known as IPredator to further obscure her activities, according to the indictment. Ms. Thompson is a former employee at Amazon until 2016.

Paige A. Thompson, the experienced engineer was able to exploit a flaw in an application firewall stored on an Amazon Web Services cloud server to gain access to the information This case is still unraveling but for sure will bring up major issues with big tech companies.

The incident involved theft of more than 100 million customer records, 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 linked bank details of Capital One customers, according to court filings in Seattle. But the Capital One incident is significant beyond the numbers, because it was allegedly carried out by a lone wolf, usually, the hackers are several in number. It was also noted by someone in the know that Capital One has very good security practices in place, but there will be a further investigation to see if there was anything Capital One could have done to prevent it. These breaches are becoming quite prevalent. I can’t help but think has anyone’a personal information been missed?

RETURNS ARE COSTING RETAILER MORE THAN THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY

A 95 per cent spike in e-commerce returns is prompting brands from Amazon to Nordstrom to re-evaluate lenient return policies. This is an incredible increase in returns and it is costly.

10 per cent of online returns are donated or incinerated, and items that are restocked must be hand-evaluated for potential damage, and then steamed or dry cleaned before being restocked. These are something the consumer does not think about and decides oh well I can return it.

US returns alone create 5 billion pounds of landfill waste and 15 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, equivalent to the amount of trash produced by 5 million people in a year, according to one estimate. One would think if the public was made aware of this they would be a little more careful with their ordering. The problem is they probably don’t care.

Retailers lose a third of their revenue to returns, says RSR Research retail analyst Paula Rosenblum. Fashion-focused retailers are hit particularly hard as customers swap in-store dressing rooms for the privacy of their own homes. California e-tailer Revolve did $499 million in sales last year but spent $531 million on returns, after accounting for processing costs and lost sales. The number does not account for the retailer also covering the shipping costs of returns. Revolve declined to comment on whether it’s working to resolve this discrepancy.

There has to be some answer here for the retailer. But there are those customers and a lot of them who may order the item for a one time affair and then return the item during the allowable time period. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, and I for one would like to see the consumer pay for it in some fashion. Then the people who can’t seem to make up their mind. Annoying at best and most of them end up returning something.

The sad truth is retail is afraid to say no returns, whether it is online or brick and mortar. With store closings and the competition so fierce it is hard not to accept the return. Maybe educating the consumer on the cost of returns would help in some fashion, probably not.

Thank you JCK Magazine, Vogue Business and CNBC