Smartphones serve a wide ranging number of functions, and companies hope to see consumers embrace mobile payments. As the number of mobile payment services continues to increase, there is great fragmentation among which services retailers accept, while consumers appear to be waiting to see what happens.
Apple Pay and the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) look to have the largest amount of support - and as they battle one another - other rivals will continue to show their wares. However, it's going to be difficult for smartphone owners to find one service, test it, and fall in love with it while there are so many questions that still need to be answered.
Mobile spending in 2019, including online, in-person and person-to-person, will account for just 1 percent of the $16 trillion consumer spending in the United States, according to Forrester Research estimates.
Much like most other equipment launched into space, the NASA rover Opportunity utilizes tried-and-true flash memory for data storage on its trek across the surface of Mars. Flash memory isn't as susceptible to vibration as other forms of data storage and operates better in temperature extremes, which works out great for equipment hurling its way through the cosmos. The rigors of spaceflight and the surface of Mars can push even the most durable equipment to the edge, as witnessed by the latest round of memory failures onboard the Opportunity rover.
Scientists reformatted the flash memory on the resilient little rover over the weekend, but things didn't go quite as planned. Now the rover is suffering from amnesia events and system resets. NAND is a persistent memory technology, it can retain data even without power, unlike RAM. The rover stores all data collected during the day in its onboard RAM memory, but when the rover 'sleeps' at night that data is typically copied over to NAND flash storage. The problems encountered during the flash formatting have placed the rover in a RAM-only mode, and data has to be beamed off to Earth each night before sleep. Scientists are working diligently to code a workaround that will avoid using one of the seven banks of NAND that is experiencing the issue.
Go big or go home! LG Electronics plans to show off a 55-inch 8K display during CES 2015 next month, and the screen will promote a beautiful 7680x4320 resolution (33.2 million pixels). The display prototype will be used to test potential mass production of the model, and wants to see how visitors react to the screen.
"With the know-how acquired from making the prototype, if LG finds good grounds to commercialize the display for mass production, it will do so," according to a source speaking to CNET. "LG has already finished up approving the technological viability of the 55-inch, 8K display, and is now starting preparation to commercialize it to make it a product."
The consumer market is barely becoming comfortable with 4K UHD, but manufacturers are pushing ahead to make us drool with 8K models. LG showed off an insane 98-inch 8K TV prototype during IFA 2014 earlier in the year, so it looks like the Korean giant wants to make sure it has plenty of UHD displays available.
Baidu maps used on desktops, laptops and mobile devices will be powered by the Nokia Here service outside of China, with an aim to help Chinese travelers. The deal, which will impact Baidu's desktop versions, Google Android and Apple iOS mobile mapping apps, will roll out in Taiwan - with other countries to be included in the future.
"Every day, millions of people count on HERE to explore the world and discover new places whether at home or on the go," said Bruno Bourguet, SVP and Head of Sales for the HERE program, in a press statement. "Together with Baidu, a new customer for us, we want to help the growing number of Chinese tourists get the most from their travels."
Nokia wants to compete with Google, OpenStreetMap and TomTom in the online mapping department, as the company continues to revamp itself. Here is available on Microsoft Windows Phone and Android already, with an iOS release expected sometime in early 2015. Nokia has worked with Microsoft, Amazon, Garmin, Moreover and Yahoo in the past, while also offering its services to BMW, Mercedes, and other automakers.
Interest in drones continues to transition from military and government purposes towards commercial and private use, and there is great potential in potential life-saving drones. Alec Momont from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands showed off a prototype drone that swiftly delivers a defibrillator to a person suffering a heart attack.
The ambulance drone can reach a location based on GPS from a mobile phone within 4.6 square miles in just one minute, with emergency personnel speaking to people on the scene using audio and video. Of course, there will be safety concerns, even with first responders on the way - as you're never really sure who will be using the defibrillator - but this type of technology can be fine-tuned - and shows great potential.
Half of US American adults binge-watch their favorite TV shows, watching episodes back-to-back, a new PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey discovered. The survey also found that 60 percent of Americans watch at least three or more episodes of a TV show once per month or more, with younger generations binge-watching content on a more frequent basis.
"They are binge-viewing just to keep up," said Matt Lieberman, PwC entertainment, media and communications director, in a statement to The Huffington Post. "We heard stories of consumers filling up their DVRs with their favorite series and also starting/stopping online subscription services just to get to their favorite content."
It would make sense that consumers binge-watch TV, as many broadcasters show multiple episodes - or marathons - of popular TV content. Not surprisingly, Netflix has helped video viewers evolve into binge-watchers, unveiling entire seasons of popular TV shows - if not the entire TV series - at once.
Google in traditional fashion are releasing a bunch of 'best of' and most popular information articles and graphics looking back at their 2014 calendar year of operations. We've recently reported on the best Google Play Apps of 2014, here's their most popular Google Entertainment options.
This graphic also illustrates the fastest growing apps of 2014, alongside random social information including the most searched for actor and articles that had the widest appeal. This information has been claimed by some as a tool to help you catch up on entertainment news that you may have missed in 2014 - either way you'll be able to visualize the biggest stories as reported below.
Early this morning, local time, news was spread by the mainstream media on a hostage siege taking place in Sydney's inner CBD involving 'Muslim Extremists' laying claim to an unknown number of hostages. If you're unaware of what's going on, one of the reputable news sources covering this unfortunate news (News.com.au) released a very simply laid out 'what we know' on the matter.
In light of local business evacuations and people rushing away from this threat, users began noticing that popular rideshare app Uber was charging users around the CBD a $100 AU to flee safely to their homes, this is said to be a "result of automatic surge pricing meant to get more drivers online" as according to News.com.au.
Mashable first reported on this issue, being sent screenshots of Uber's iOS application charging a $4/minute, $9.59/KM, $100 minimum cost, being clearly labeled in bold writing as "4.0X the normal fare".
The Guardians of Peace hacker group, which has taken credit for compromising Sony Pictures Entertainment, has offered to withhold compromising data: employees only need to email them their name and business title to be spared. The unique correspondence comes ahead of another promised round of published email correspondence between SPE employees.
Here is what the group said in an email: "Message to SPE staffers. We have a plan to release emails and privacy of the Sony Pictures employees. If you don't want your privacy to be released, tell us your name and business title to take off your data."
The message also has an ominous warning to SPE executives: "The sooner SPE accept our demands, the better, of course. The farther time goes by, the worse state SPE will be put into and we will have Sony go bankrupt in the end."
DARPA has developed something that is quite amazing: a self-guided, mid-flight-changing .50 cal projectile. This allows snipers to hide behind cover, and still hit their target with accuracy - even if they move.
The project comes from DARPA's "Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordinance" (EXACTO), with the team having the job of "developing more accurate military artillery that will enable greater firing range, minimize the time required to engage with targets, and also help reduce missed shots that can give away the troops' location".
A few months ago now, DARPA tested the .50 cal bullet at a distance of 1.2 miles, with the projectile using optical sensors on its nose to pull in-flight information. It also featured an internal electronic system that controls the fins on the projectile, which fling out in-flight, as they can't be seen in EXACTO photos. The video above shows a live testing of DARPA's impressive guided bullet, with the rifle intentionally aimed to the right of the target. The video shows that the projectile finds its target, changes its flight path on-the-fly, and then connects. DARPA's EXACTO team recently conduced the first successful live-fire tests using the in-flight guidance of .50-caliber bullets, which means it could be close to being used by snipers in the field.