Posts Tagged ‘credit-card’
For some time now, Google has been applying its expertise in computing to help nonprofits through its charitable arm, Google.org, and the latest incarnation of that initiative appears to be a new Android app called One Today . Once you install the app, which is available on the Play store but currently requires an invitation to use, you’ll be informed about a different nonprofit each day and given the option to donate a dollar through Google Wallet if you like what you see. It’s a powerful idea, applying the same concept of scale to charitable donations that has been so successful in the mobile app marketplace. It also one-ups Apple, which has faced criticism in the past by not allowing charitable organizations to accept payments… Continue reading…
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Google’s One Today brings app store scale to charitable donating
For two hours yesterday, the website of American Express was unavailable. The company had become the latest victim in a long series of cyber attacks on the United States, likely carried out by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, a group that may have strong ties to the Iranian government. The history of these recent attacks is detailed by The New York Times , but the report suggests that such groups’ success and cyber power shouldn’t be the primary cause for our concern. “We don’t know how they make decisions,” security expert James A.
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The erratic behavior of repeat cyber attackers
Today, payments startup LevelUp announced the availability of a sleek new tool: a newly-refined version of its mobile phone scanner, which can simply take a picture of your screen to initiate a money transfer. The device will debut at the SXSW Interactive conference this week in Austin, TX. All of the conference’s 40 concession stands will play host to LevelUp’s devices, which the company designed using a $2,000 MakerBot in its own office. LevelUp estimates that the process saved LevelUp $30,000 in prototyping fees and weeks of back-and-forth with factories in China
Nerval’s Lobster writes “The Green Grid, which helped popularize metrics for minimizing wasted electricity in data centers, has developed a new method for cutting down on wasted electronics as old servers and other equipment reach their inevitable retirement. The Electronics Disposal Efficiency metric is designed to help minimize electronic waste, specifically servers and other enterprise hardware. It will take a cue from other organizations, including the Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP) Initiative. The Green Grid is trying to build on established regulations that govern the disposal of consumer electronics such as televisions, including the rules governing Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) within the EU. The metric isn’t concerned with whether equipment has been reused or recycled, or where it’s broken down into component parts
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The Green Grid Publishes New Data Center Recycling Metric
An anonymous reader writes “NASA is trying to measure the air pollution by flying a plane at various altitudes over the bay area. The tests are a part of a larger effort led by the DISCOVER-AQ campaign — a multi-year program launched across the United States in 2011 by NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. DISCOVER-AQ stands for Deriving Information on Surface conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality. NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., is the lead center for the mission.” Read more of this story at Slashdot
A road requires brick and lumber. A settlement requires brick, lumber, wool, & grain. A city requires three ore and two grain. A development requires ore, wool, and grain
BitInstant is reportedly set to launch an international debit/credit card based on the BitCoin virtual currency. That’s according to Coding In My Sleep , which has published the transcript of an online chat in which BitInstant co-founder Charlie Shrem allegedly confirmed that the company is in the final stages of developing the card, which would launch within the next six to eight weeks. Shrem also posted a mockup of the BitCoin card, embedded above. According to Shrem, the card will operate as an international MasterCard, and will be issued by two unnamed banks (one domestic, one international) with which BitInstant has partnered. The first 1,000 cards will reportedly be given away for free, with the rest priced at around $10.
After Nuance’s aggressive push to get its voice recognition technology in front of consumers via first-party apps , the company is taking a small turn and offering it to third party apps. The twist here is “Nina,” which is Nuance’s name for a suite of voice-powered “personal assistant” technologies it is hoping banks, insurance companies, and other large corporations will build into their apps. We had a brief demo with the tech via an example banking app and the best way to think of it is pretty much what you’d guess based on a four-letter, female-named voice featre: Siri for apps.
Good news for fans of the highly-addictive Temple Run: Imangi is planning to release addition content for the game and is also working on an update for the iOS app so it supports the new iPad’s Retina display. In an interview with Pocket Gamer, Imangi said that it’s looking to add “more objectives, characters, and power-ups” in addition to the higher-resolution iPad version. However, for those hoping for new environments, you might have to wait a bit. Imangi siad that requests for new environments are among the most popular requests it gets, but that they also would be “a much bigger deal because the whole game was skinned around the temple.” That’s not to say that it’ll never happen, but it doesn’t sound like new environments will be… Continue reading…
We’ve been expecting something big from Nokia for the American launch of the Lumia 900 , and now we’re seeing the beginnings of a bold strategy in the form of the Smartphone Beta Test site. At the top of the page sits a video of Saturday Night Live alum Chris Parnell waiting impatiently for a clock to tick down to April 6th, underscored by a trio of “behind the scenes” videos poking fun at the fragility and antenna issues associated with Apple’s iPhone 4, and the lack of brightness on the screens of other competitors’ devices. The three videos feature our protagonist, Gary, trying to convince some marketing people of the phones’ design flaws, while they call him a baby and recommend investing in mortage-backed securities. “If you ever… Continue reading…
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Nokia uses ‘Smartphone beta’ website to take shots at mobile competitors
jfruh writes “When tech geeks debate the state of the smartphone world, they usually focus on the iPhone and its high-end Android rivals from the major carriers. But Android is rapidly entering the lower-end world of contractless prepaid phones that you can buy at 7-11 or Wal-Mart. 63 percent of prepaid phones sold in 2011 were smartphones, and while they might not offer cutting-edge hardware or easy customization, they do provide a smartphone experience without an onerous contract.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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Smartphones Invade the Prepaid Market
Following the release of PayPal’s Here — a dongle-based competitor to Square’s popular credit card system — it looks like one of the company’s execs is jumping ship to Square to head up its push into international markets. Joining Square as VP of International next week, Alyssa Cutright has been at PayPal for 12 years, most recently as its VP of products for North America, but was also previously in charge of localizing PayPal’s services for international markets with the core payments team. While Square is the incumbent in the mobile credit card payment space, PayPal is already ahead in terms of international access, with Here service available in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong at launch, in addition to the US (the only country…
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PayPal exec scooped up by Square to lead international expansion
Last week at the GeekWire Summit, T-Mobile’s CMO Cole Brodman said that if he could change one thing in the mobile industry, he would get rid of device subsidies. While we were a bit skeptical of how sincere the statement was, it seems Brodman isn’t backing down. In a blog post on T-Mobile’s website, the executive reiterated his stance that subsidies distort the real value of devices and create a “disposable marketplace for some pretty amazing products.” Brodman also pushed T-Mobile’s Value Plans, which he claims represent a break from the subsidy model: customers can buy an unsubsidized phone or bring their own compatible device — such as an iPhone — to the network in exchange for reduced rate plans. While these plans are only a..
GigaOM is reporting this evening that eBay-owned PayPal will announce a credit card-reading dongle at a San Francisco event this Thursday focused on small business. The obvious competitor for such a product is Jack Dorsey’s Square — and coincidentally, GigaOM says that PayPal’s unit may be triangular, which if true could go down as one of the most subtle and creative competitive digs in recent memory. For PayPal, the move into physical card-reading systems is an obvious one: systems like Square and others are getting lots of attention lately as next-gen payment platforms for shops and enterprising individuals who’ve got an iPhone, iPad, or Android device handy. Presumably, PayPal would take a cut of the transaction before forwarding..
Aereo countersues ABC, NBC, CBS, and other networks, seeks judgment that it doesn’t infringe copyrights
Aereo, which seeks to provide streaming versions of over-the-air broadcast networks to paying subscribers on iPads and other devices, hasn’t even launched yet — but it’s already entrenching for what could be a protracted legal battle with the very content providers it hopes to carry. Responding to a suit filed by ABC, NBC, CBS, and other major networks several days ago , Aereo roundly denies allegations that it’s business model is in violation of copyright laws: “Consumers use the Aereo Technology to do no more than what they are entitled to do,” the counterclaim reads, asking for a judgment against the plaintiffs ruling that there’s no infringement. “Indeed, beginning as early as April 2011, Aereo executives met with high-level… Continue reading…
Square, the mobile payment company, revealed its new Square Register iPad application this week. Designed to replace traditional point-of-sales devices at small bricks-and-mortar stores, Square Register uses the popular Square hardware in combination with a free iPad application. The app accepts credit cards and cash payments, and lets merchants track and analyze the history of store purchases.
Square iPad app aims to replace cash registers
When you buy from a large company like Target, you’re not just making a transaction. You’re adding one more data point to what Target calls your Guest ID, a number that’s associated not only with purchases made with a credit card or using a coupon, but with a list of demographic information collected or purchased from an outside agency. That Guest ID, however, isn’t just used to help you find things you already know you want. Instead, it’s being used to predict when customers will be more open to shopping at Target, and what they might want to buy — even if they don’t know it yet. Building on existing research about habit formation, Target’s Guest Marketing Analytics department looks at times when people are open to shaking up their…
Following discoveries that both rooted and stock Android phones are vulnerable to attack , vice president of Google Wallet and payments Osama Bedier posted a letter today defending the service and reassuring customers that it is still safer than traditional payment methods. He cites that Google Wallet is protected by both an in-app PIN and a screen lock (if you have one set up), and in order to maintain security, he recommends that all Google Wallet users keep their phones unrooted, since it’s not hard for a thief to access your Wallet PIN on a rooted phone. Additionally — to help keep stock devices safe following the latest finding that funds could be accessed by simply wiping the application’s settings — the team has temporarily… Continue reading…
Although Valve says there’s still no evidence that the Steam hack last November compromised passwords or credit card data, it looks like the intruders may have more information than we previously believed. Director Gabe Newell has admitted that it’s “probable” the hacker or hackers obtained a backup copy of a file with information about Steam transactions between 2004 and 2008, including user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses, and encrypted credit card information. Newell also said that Valve is in the process of working with law enforcement and “outside security experts” to determine the full extent of the intrusion.
The security of the PIN that protects Google Wallet transactions has been compromised — though most users won’t need to worry about the issue for now, as it only applies to users who have rooted their Android smartphone. The key issue is that the PIN is stored on the device itself instead of in the secure NFC element, although it is in an encrypted format. That means that if your Android smartphone is rooted, if somebody takes your phone, he or she will be able to access to the encrypted file that stores your PIN. From there, it’s a relatively simple matter of running a program that uses a brute force method to guess your PIN.
President Barack Obama is no stranger to fundraising: his 2008 campaign drew a record-shattering $750 million in donations, and many expect his reelection efforts will result in a colossal war chest exceeding $1 billion come November. To aid in that lofty endeavor, Politico reports that campaign staffers with Android and iPhone handsets will soon be wielding Square credit card readers for collecting contributions on the go. Square units will allegedly be distributed to both Obama for America employees and volunteers nationwide, though a date for the rollout hasn’t been pegged as of yet.
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Obama campaign embraces Square for mobile fundraising
In my latest Guardian column, “The internet is the best place for dissent to start,” I look at Ethan Zuckerman’s recent talk on the Internet and human rights, and the way that cute cats create the positive externality of a place for dissent to begin and flourish, and look at the problems this causes: Zuckerman’s
Well, it’s true. Verizon has confirmed to us that it’s adding the $2 convenience fee for paying your bill online or over the phone, and has posted a blurb in its News Center detailing the options available to someone who wants to avoid it. Obviously many customers use AutoPay, which avoids this hassle entirely, but we’re sure there will be plenty of customers frustrated by the fee when it goes live on January 15th. What’s unclear right now is if this constitutes a change in contract terms, which could potentially allow unsatisfied customers to hop off Verizon without a spendy ETF penalty. We’ve asked Verizon to clarify, and we also asked for some more details on exactly why online and robo-phone payments are more expensive to process..
You know how everybody loved that Bank of America monthly debit card fee thing? Or that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you pay Ticketmaster to let you print something out on your computer? Well, Verizon is apparently looking to get in on some of that feel-good action. According to Droid Life ‘s sources, it appears that Verizon Wireless is looking to add a $2.00 “convenience fee” to bills paid online or over its automatic phone payment system. There are a number of still-free workarounds, including mailing an old fashioned check, or Verizon’s obvious favorite: AutoPayment, but this seems a bit like a bait and switch after all the work everybody did to get away from paper billing in the first place
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Verizon might add $2 ‘convenience’ charge for you to pay your bill
Last minute holiday shopping? Yeah, we get it, and we get that at this point it’s not a good idea to pretend you’re going to find the most perfect, personal, and heartfelt present ever. What you can do is order a gift card. Luckily, Walmart’s online store is selling a $50 iTunes gift card for $40.
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Good Deal: $50 iTunes gift card for $40