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Mobile payments designed to generate interest for tech companies

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Apple, Facebook, Samsung, Google, and more tech companies want to cater to consumers interested in making mobile wireless payments - even if that means they won't end up generating large revenue directly from mobile pay.

 

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Traditional credit cards, banks and other processing companies take a small percentage, typically up to three percent per transaction, and rely on a large volume of daily transactions. Tech companies, however, want to get mobile users to become loyal to their respective services - though Apple Pay offers a fraction of each processed sale to banks.

 

"I've been surprised it's taken this long," said James Wester, research director at IDC, in a statement published by TIME. "Now consumers are seeing the mobile device as part of their financial lives. We've reached the point where paying with your phone is completely normal, or normal to enough people."

Sports can benefit from wearables, help drive interest

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Wearable manufacturers can pitch their products to a wide possible customer base, but attracting athletes could be of major focus in the future.

 

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Many endurance athletes already rely on heart rate monitors and GPS units, but companies hope devices that are able to track additional metrics, such as skin temperature and respiration, are appealing. The hardware is important, but companies must create appealing partnerships so that all collected data can be easily observed by active consumers.

 

Instead of trying to create a product to compete with trusted GPS units, wearable manufacturers may try to make clothing, shoes, sunglasses, and other athletic gear smarter.

Continue reading 'Sports can benefit from wearables, help drive interest' (full post)

Healthcare breaches taking center stage in 2015, and could get worse

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Hackers want to steal the personal information of US residents, and are finding healthcare companies especially vulnerable to attack. Both Anthem and Premera have suffered data breaches so far in 2015, and experts are concerned the problem will only get worse.

 

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Since 2009, more than 1,100 separate data breaches led to personal data of more than 120 million people to be stolen, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

 

"We are certainly seeing a rise in the number of individuals affected by hacking/IT incidents," said Rachel Seeger, spokesperson for the HHS's Office for Civil Rights. "These incidents have the potential to affect very large numbers of health care consumers, as evidenced by the recent Anthem and Premera breaches."

Continue reading 'Healthcare breaches taking center stage in 2015, and could get worse' (full post)

Web-connected cars on the rise, and trend will continue growing

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

More than 86 percent of vehicles will have Internet connectivity by 2017, according to the IHS research group. The trend will only continue in the future, as it's predicted that every vehicle sold in the U.S. will be connected by 2021.

 

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General Motors, Ford, Tesla, Nissan, BMW, and other automakers offer a variety of different connected features, ranging from infotainment systems to streaming radio. In addition, it's becoming easier to sync smartphones and other mobile devices, so hands-free calls, navigation, and other apps can be utilized.

 

"It's a sign of the times we live in where personal wireless connectivity is kind of a part of life," said Richard Wallace, director at the Transportation System Analysis of the Center for Automotive Research, in a statement to CBS News. "We just want to be able to get such data out of the cloud wherever we are and whenever we want it."

Continue reading 'Web-connected cars on the rise, and trend will continue growing' (full post)

HBO, Showtime trying to get special streaming deal from ISPs

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Online Video | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

HBO, Showtime and Sony are speaking with major Internet service providers (ISPs) in an effort to get "specialized services" as they look to launch online streaming video services.

 

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Ideally, the streaming services don't want to use the Internet's "main thoroughfare" and would rather see their streaming video be allowed special treatment - so instead of facing normal Internet congestion, they could provide more reliable Internet pipelines.

 

The FCC prevents this type of preferential treatment, but a deal could be granted based on the "specialized services" effort.

Continue reading 'HBO, Showtime trying to get special streaming deal from ISPs' (full post)

IBM: Mobile app developers aren't focusing enough on security

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Apps | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Even though mobile apps are becoming more popular in the workplace, ensuring the apps are secure isn't a major priority. Companies must ensure that apps are properly tested to make sure only authorized users have access to data, even if that makes bring your own device (BYOD) a bit more complicated.

 

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"Building security into mobile apps is not top-of-mind for companies, giving hackers the opportunity to easily reverse-engineer apps, jailbreak mobile devices and tap into confidential data," said Caleb Barlow, VP of mobile management and security at IBM, in a statement.

 

Security verification is important, and companies that neglect this process leave themselves open - especially when apps access company Wi-Fi networks, and are used to share corporate documents. Even worse, clever hackers are finding new ways to breach confidential networks, relying on unsecure mobile apps as an entry point.

Greatfire.org anti-censorship group in China suffers major DDoS attack

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Greatfire.org, a Chinese non-profit group designed to help users circumvent the "Great Firewall of China," endured a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. The group is facing charges up to $30,000 per day for bandwidth from traffic related to the cyberattack, it says.

 

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The group's website reported traffic 2,500 times higher than usual - and while it's unknown who is behind the attack - it wouldn't be surprising if the Chinese government was found to be responsible. Greatfire.org has received public criticism from China, which is notorious for strict control of access for its growing number of Internet users.

 

To help keep its services online, Greatfire.org has hosted websites on major tech companies, such as Amazon, which would receive far too much public criticism if they started censoring data.

Continue reading 'Greatfire.org anti-censorship group in China suffers major DDoS attack' (full post)

Chinese military rejects accusations it hacked Register.com

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Web.com's Register.com was reportedly victimized by a coordinated cyberattack, and the Chinese military was reportedly responsible, according to a story published by the Financial Times. The hackers had access for around one year, though it doesn't appear client data was taken or there was a significant disruption to day-to-day activities.

 

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However, Chinese officials deny being linked to the attack: "The relevant criticism that Chinese military participated in Internet hacking is to play the same old tune, and is totally baseless," according to a statement released to the Chinese Defense Ministry, submitted to Reuters.

 

The Chinese government has a sophisticated cyberattack program, and enjoys launching a number of cyberespionage campaigns against the United States and other western targets. Meanwhile, the Chinese government reports being a victim of international cyberattack, including many attacks that reportedly originate from the United States.

Target customers might have hard time collecting class-action payout

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Target may have agreed to a $10 million class-action lawsuit settlement, but trying to actually collect payment could be rather difficult. Consumers trying to cash in will need to submit documentation of fraudulent losses, which can be rather hard to prove.

 

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Many fraudulent charges are caught by a bank or credit card company - and even if a charge isn't caught - the bank or credit card company typically takes care of fraud-based purchases.

 

"The law generally does not compensate consumers for their hassle," the USA Today learned. "In terms of being able to document that and say, I as a consumer have suffered legal damages, that's a very tough putt for a consumer."

Continue reading 'Target customers might have hard time collecting class-action payout' (full post)

Fitbit CEO: Don't worry about wearables causing cancer to wearers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: 1 week, 2 days ago

Fitbit CEO James Park doesn't buy into long-term health care concerns over smartwatches and other wearables, despite a recent New York Times story.

 

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The story noted that similar to smartphones, wearables could be linked to cancer, due to radiation being emitted - but Park and others believe this type of research needs to be more carefully examined.

 

"In general, cell phones are definitely a very different beast than the low powered wearables," Park said in a statement to TIME. "The transmit energies are orders of magnitude higher. So if people are comfortable wearing Bluetooth headsets, I think wearables are even less of a concern because Bluetooth headsets are also close to your head. Wearables are not, unless you happen to sleep right on top of your wrists."

Continue reading 'Fitbit CEO: Don't worry about wearables causing cancer to wearers' (full post)

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