SHELLSHOCKED The run-up to Christmas just got rudely interrupted by the seriously nasty Shellshock Bash computer bug, which affects Mac and Linux operating systems, as well as online retail, government, bank and even military internet servers. Translation: this is a Very Bad Thing. Security patches are available. Make sure yours is in place or risk havoc at the peak of the trading season. Read more (The Independent)


GETTING THERE BIT BY BIT Bitcoin is squaring up to be the payment method of choice this Christmas. A new bank, Circle (founded by ex-Netscaper Jeremy Allaire), offers a simple interface and promises all Bitcoin deposits will be fully insured. The service’s web app launches next Monday, with Android and iOS apps to follow. A game changer – get in now. Read more (The Guardian)


FIVE GOLDEN RULES Christmas gift buyers are the most adventurous, prepared to dabble in foreign brands to get their hands on unique gifts for their loved ones. As UK e-tailers already sell to nearly every country in the world, here are five top tips to make the most of selling internationally as the fat man prepares to load up the sleigh. Read more (Open to Export)


WISH UPON A HASHTAG Who’s that canoodling under the mistletoe? Why, it’s those cooing turtledoves Amazon and Twitter with their hashtag Christmas shopping tool, #AmazonWishList. See a tweet with an Amazon product link, reply with the associated hashtag et voilà, the product’s on your Amazon Wish List and a notification tweet from @MyAmazon is in the box. Read more (Amazon Strategies)


ONE MORE WISE MAN FOR WALMART Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram, has joined Walmart’s board of directors. His digital expertise will, says Walmart, be ‘invaluable’ to the chain’s ecommerce efforts (so far, still losing to Amazon). It’s an odd choice, given that Instagram has never been profitable and has very few advertisers. Who else is afraid of the Big Bad Bezos? Read more (Mashable)


STIFF COMPETITION FROM FACEBOOK Facebook competitions are great for engaging customers. They’re also an easy way to get your brand page shut down if you break FB’s rules. It kills us when even major brands get it wrong. Before you dive in, contact us or brush up in detail on the current rules. And remember, they’re a moving target. Read more (Ambition Digital)


A LITTLE TLC WITH YOUR T&Cs Online shoppers are drawn to the words ‘Free Shipping’ like grandmas to sherry. With all the controversy about abuse of personal data online, however, more than 62% of consumers now actively search for the ‘Published Privacy Policy’. Take care that your festive e-campaign’s T&Cs are customer friendly enough to maintain brand loyalty. Happy ethical trading. Read more (SEO Chat) 


SNOWBALLS TO IT ALL Stressed out already by all the e-commerce Christmas prep? Well, get ready to panic because the big day falls on Thursday this year, so your last delivery day is likely to be about a week earlier than usual. Santa’s e-helpers will be severely tested. Last year, we let off steam by throwing virtual snowballs at The Boss, and 2,000 others did too. Try it. Read more (Snowpixel Fight)


3D INSOLES FOR YOUR STOCKING World-record holder Paula Radcliffe made her long-distance comeback in Worcester City’s 10k race – wearing personalised 3D printed insoles from RS Print. If you’d like some in your Christmas stocking, check out RS Lab stores in Belgium and watch out for other RS Print openings in Europe this autumn. Read more (3D Printing Industry)


NEUROTiQ IS COOL THIS CHRISTMAS Dear Santa, I’ve been very good this year (I have multiple witnesses) and, well, I want this: NEUROTiQ from Sensoree, a knitted 3D print that lights up in different colours representing different moods, as relayed from the brain by an EEG sensor. This year’s party must-have? Pray someone likes you enough to drop it down the chimney. Read more (3D Printing Industry)