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Showing posts from October, 2015

Apple Pay Hitting Canada And Australia In 2015, Spain And More In 2016

Apple Pay is pretty nifty, but it’s a whole lot less useful outside of the US and UK — as in, it doesn’t work yet. That’s changing soon, it seems. On their earnings call this afternoon, Apple committed to rolling out Pay support in four new countries — two of which will get it this year. According to Tim Cook, Canada and Australia iPhone owners should get Apple Pay support by the end of 2015. Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong, meanwhile, will get support some time in 2016. One catch: it sounds like these locations might only open up to American Express card holders — at least at first. Cook mentioned the newfound support while outlining a partnership with American Express; no other card providers were mentioned, making the deal seem a bit exclusive. In the US, meanwhile, most major credit cards are supported.

Why Apple Pay Is Our Best Hope To Stop Online Fraud

How to join the networkHeists used to be so much effort — you’d need a gang, machine guns, a getaway car and long, meticulous planning. Nowadays, all you need is a couch, a laptop and some stolen data. When the barrier to entry is so low, it’s no surprise thatonlinefraudis a huge problem. In fact, according to the authoritative annualTrue Cost of Fraud reportfrom LexisNexis/Javelin Group,fraudlosses as a percentage of revenue for retailers grew to 1.32 percent in 2015, nearly doubling from 2014. To make matters worse, the past year has been a perfect storm for online criminals, which will sharply escalate the rate of e-commerce fraud in the coming years. Hacks of T-Mobile/Experian, Ashley Madison, Chase, Anthem Blue Cross, OPM and many more released huge amounts of sensitive personal data like names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers onto the dark web. These PII (personally identifiable information) leaks were compounded by payment data leaks: milli…

Introducing a New Course on Developing Android Apps for Auto

Android Auto brings the Android platform to the car in a way that’s optimized for the driving experience, allowing the user to keep their hands on the wheel, and their eyes on the road. To learn how to extend your existing media and messaging apps to work within a car, we collaborated with Udacity to introduce a new course on Ubiquitous Computing with Android Auto.


Designed by Developer Advocates from Google, the course shows you how to take advantage of your existing Android knowledge to work on this new platform. The best part is that Android Auto is based on extensions to the regular Android framework, so you don't need to rewrite your existing apps to support it. You'll learn how to implement messaging apps, by using Notification extensions. You'll also learn how audio players just work on Android Auto when you use the Android media APIs. In both cases, we work through some simple Android samples, and then show what changes are needed to extend them for Android Auto. F…

Skype adds new video message filters for wild and crazy fun with Android update

Pre-Orders For The New Apple TV Are Now Live

As promised by Apple CEO Tim Cook last week, pre-orders for the new Apple TV have begun today. The new device, which is the first to feature an App Store for third-party applications and games, as well as a new touched-based remote, and Siri integration, is available in two different storage capacities. The 32 GB Apple TV is $149, while the larger 64 GB version is $199. The first orders will begin shipping on October 30th. This fourth-generation Apple TV is available for order in 80 countries, though Siri support will be limited to around a dozen. Included in the box are the Apple TV and remote, as well as a lightning-to-USB cable and power cord. Apple is also selling additional Siri remotes for $79 and extra “Remote Loops” (aka wrist straps) for $12.99. AppleCare coverage for the new hardware is $29. The remote control is one of the device’s more interesting features, as it lets you do things like fast-forward and rewind by pressing on the touch-sensitive trackpad. And you can also …

Blue Releases A New Set Of Headphones

I’m a big fan of the Blue Mo-Fi headphones. They sounds great and I can wear them all day. But they’re too large to travel and have a built-in preamp, which requires recharging. Enter the Lola. This little set of cans sound like a perfect lower-cost alternative to the Mo-Fi. The Lola headphones are slightly smaller thanks in part to the lack of built-in preamp. Thankfully they still rock the clever hinge system that makes the Mo-Fi headphones sit so comfortable but the whole mechanism is a bit smaller this time around. Inside the headphones are the small 50mm drivers found in the Mo-Fi headphones. The Lola headphones will hit retailers in November at $250, which is $100 less than its big brother. This places the new set in line with basic models from Beats and others where it should set its self apart from the rest thanks to the innovative and attractive construction.

Walmart Is Looking To Get Into The Drone Delivery Game

Not content to let Amazon (the world’s No. 1 retailer) have the corner on the drone delivery market, today Walmart announced its own plans to enter the quadcopter package-delivering fray. Walmart applied for permission with U.S. regulatory agencies today for permission to test drones for package delivery. The moves comes almost a year after online retailer Amazon announced its own drone-based delivery program, Prime Air. In an application under Section 333 of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Modernization and Reform Act, first uncovered by Reuters this evening, Walmart applied for an exemption which will allow it to commercially operate Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) under certain circumstances. The company’s application sought exemptions to conduct outdoor unmanned aircraft flights as part of a research and development effort centered on using unmanned aircraft for operations. The sphere of domestic drones has been a bit of a wild west in regards to applicable legislation, but r…

Ditch The Faux Hoverboard And Commute With Gi FlyBike, A Foldable Electric Bike

Forget electric skateboards and faux hoverboards, one startup is trying to convince commuters to stick to the good old-fashioned bicycle. Meet the Gi FlyBike, a folding electric bike that can travel up to 40 miles on one charge. The bike, which is now available on Kickstarter, will also be for sale on Amazon Exclusives, the e-commerce company’s online store featuring “up-and-coming brands”. Started by three friends from Argentina, Gi FlyBike was conceived after a public transportation strike left the entire country without transportation. So how does an electric bike work? While riders still pedal, they are assisted by an electric engine that will propel them to a maximum speed of 15 mph. The motor also works on hills and rough terrain, meaning riders aren’t limited to the street. The bike itself is made of aircraft grade aluminum, and weighs 37 pounds, allowing it to quickly fold in half for storage or car travel. Having a battery pack strapped to the back of a bike presents a great…

Going Green is Good for Dell and the Environment

David Lear, executive director of corporate sustainability at Dell, courtesy photo It turns out going green is good for Dell and not just in a feel good way.
The company not only has greatly reduced its impact on the environment through recycling and cutting carbon emissions in the last decade, but it has generated profits in the process. Actor and Filmmaker Adrian Grenier, who serves as Dell’s first Social Good Advocate, said he only agreed to do the job if Dell pledged to do real work with measurable results. “But also, to be realistic, we’re all business people, as an entrepreneur myself, we don’t want to be Pollyanna about it,” Grenier said. “We want to make sure that we are making money as well as doing good.” Adrian Grenier, photo courtesy of Dell Grenier spoke Wednesday morning with Dell Chief Marketing Officer Karen Quintos during the keynote presentation at Dell World 2015 at the Austin Convention Center.
Dell has taken 30 million plus pounds of packaging out of the waste stre…

Microsoft new Lumia phone render Leaked

Microsoft unveiled three new smartphones just a few weeks ago, the Lumia 550, Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950XL, now new rumors suggests that they may have a new mir-range smartphone on the books. The new Windows smartphone that currently has a codename of Saana, is reported to be the Lumia 650.  New renders of this new device leaked this week shows what this new Microsoft smartphone may look like.
On the Lumia 650 specifications, rumours suggests: Windows 10 OSQualcomm MSM8909 Snapdragon 2105″ 720p display8Mp camera2000 mAh batteryIncludes Glance Screen supportNo dedicated camera buttonmicroSD card slot

Huawei Overtakes Xiaomi To Top China’s Smartphone Market For First Time: Report

Huawei, the Chinese tech firm that produces smartphones in addition to networking equipment, became the top seller of smartphones in China for the first time during the last quarter. That’s according to data from research firm Canalys, which said that an 81 percent surge in sales year-on-year pushed Huawei past Xiaomi, which held the top spot during the previous quarter of business. Canalys made the announcement as a precursor to the release of its full figures for Chinese smartphone sales in Q3 2015, so we don’t yet know where Apple, Samsung, or others rank for the three-month period. Crucially, nor do we have sales/marketshare figures. For example, it seems likely that Canalys is comparing sales-in figures for Huawei (i.e. channel and consumer sales) with sales-out (direct to consumers) for Xiaomi. A fair match, because that’s how they both do sales, but worth noting all the same. Despite jumping the gun with a media release devoid of any details — it’s a little worrying to see that…

Android Marshmallow could be making its way to a car infotainment OS

2016 Honda Accord with Android Auto™ The Android Compatibility Definition Document (ACDD) has already spilled the beans on a few of the latest requirements made on OEMs when they want to use the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system. Ars Technica has been delving deeper into the document and has found references to an automotive infotainment version of the OS that would run directly on a vehicle’s own processing hardware. What about Android Auto? Well, Android Auto isn’t an operating system, it is a smartphone projection standard. This means that your handset uses an app to broadcast a user interface onto your car’s touchscreen. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect to see any mention of this system within the ACDD. In total, there are 13 mentions of “Android Automotive” within the document. As you can read from the snippet below, the latest document actual refers to a vehicle head unit running Android itself, which is quite different to Android Auto. Although, some vehicle man…

Lumia sales are in the toilet, Surface revenue is down

Microsoft has just released its Q1 FY2016 (Q3 CY2015) earnings report, posting revenue of $20.4 billion, operating income of $5.8 billion, net income of $4.6 billion and earnings per share of $0.57 (all GAAP figures). The software giant's numbers beat analysts' expectations, which has added around 10 percent to its stock price in after-hours trading. Here are the highlights of the software giant's quarter. Microsoft has divided its earnings in three categories, namely Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. The good news comes from Intelligent Cloud, where revenue is up by eight percent, while the bad news is in More Personal Computing, where the poor performance of Lumia and Surface devices lead to a 17 percent decrease in revenue, year-over-year. Revenue from devices decreased by $1.8 billion -- or 49 percent, year-over-year -- thanks to a decrease of $1.5 billion in Phones revenue and a further $236 million in Surface revenu…

Kinetic Battery Startup Ampy Raises Seed To Shrink To Fit Wearables

Kinetic charging battery startup Ampy — which makes a wearable spare battery pack charged by human movement — has closed an $875,000 seed round led by Clean Energy Trust and NewGen Ventures. Angel investors including Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871; Steve Olechowski, co-founder of FeedBurner; and John DiNardi, co-founder of Norlux also participated. The Chicago-based startup says it will be using the new funding to work on shrinking its tech to fit wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, with the aim of expanding beyond its original consumer-focused proposition of a spare battery that can be charged while you walk/run/cycle. “On integration [into wearable tech], we have prototyped it and proved the concept. We are now working on looking at our customers’ (wearables companies) needs in terms of not only size and power, but durability, comfort, etc,” CEO and co-founder Tejas Shastry tells TechCrunch. The challenge is clearly whether it can shrink its magnetic charging t…

eBay Q3 Earnings Beats Expectations Following Its Split From PayPal

eBay reported its third-quarter earnings today — its first as a separate company from PayPal — and beat investor expectations with earnings of 43 cents per share and $2.1 billion in revenue. Investors were looking for $2.09 billion in revenue and earnings of 40 cents per share. The report sent eBay shares straight up, with the company’s stock rising 9 percent in extended trading. In the second quarter this year, eBay’s standalone revenue was $2.11 billion, and in the same quarter last year the company’s revenue was $2.15 billion. Prior to the earnings report, shares of eBay were up around 2.5 percent on the year. Still, the numbers are not as good as the prior year. Revenue was down 2 percent year-over-year, and the company’s earnings per share fell 6 percent year-over-year. The company reported GMV of $19.6 billion, compared to GMV of about $20 billion in the same quarter the year earlier. eBay isalso selling off its enterprise unit, essentially splitting off both PayPal and eBay en…

Asus to make its own Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality glasses.

Taiwanese PC and smartphone maker Asus is considering building its own version of Microsoft HoloLens holographic computer, Cnet reports. Asus chairman and head of Microsoft Windows and devices revealed to the news site that the Taiwan-based company is in talks with the Washington-based firm for an Asus Hololens headset, which may cost less to consumers as against the $3000 price tag currently on the developer's version, the prototype.

Microsoft  is ready to team up with any PC maker on a version of its Hololens computer but Asus chairman Jonney Shih says he's "still evaluating" what form any potential Asus augmented-reality glasses will take.'' If Asus eventually makes its own version of Microsoft Hololens augmented reality glasses, it would be the first PC maker  outside the shores of America to do so.

Microsoft HoloLens, which will ship to developers in 2016, is an augmented reality headset that allows you to interact with 3D objects in the real-world as you …

YouTube Red, A $9.99 Site-Wide Ad-Free Subscription With Play Music, Launches Oct 28

Today Google is rolling its Play Music on-demand service into a new $9.99 subscription for ad-free viewing across all of YouTube that will launch October 28th in the US and globally soon. However, iOS users will be charged $12.99 to cover Apple’s in-app purchase tax. The new service replaces Google Music Key and gives user a simple way to instantly watch or listen to YouTube video and Play Music content on-demand without ads. YouTube Red won’t be its own app,  just a tier on existing YouTube and Google accounts. YouTube Red will split subscription revenue with the rights holders of content people consume through the service. YouTube managed to sign-on most of the independent creators, record labels, TV networks, and movie studios to the program.  A YouTube exec told reporters at today’s launch event that YouTube is paying out “the vast, vast majority of revenue”. Still, there’s bound to be some creators who feel slighted by the deal or coerced into it. And any partnered creator who d…

New Calendar illustrations in 30 languages

Your calendar is more than just a list of dates and times — it’s your life! That’s why Calendar adds illustrations to many of your favorite events automatically.

Today we're improving these illustrations in two ways. First, you'll find over a dozen more of them for events like weddings and Halloween parties. Second, illustrations will now appear in 30 languages--from Dutch and Finnish to Catalan and Korean--giving our global community of users a new way to celebrate their day.
You be the artist
We’ll be making more illustrations soon, and we want your help creating them. Just tweet a photo of an event you love with the hashtag #makethemost. We’ll select our favorites as inspiration for the next set of Calendar illustrations.