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TweakTown News Posts - Page 40

Visa will use smartphone tracking that will help clamp down on fraud

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 10:09 pm

Credit card company Visa plans to release a new location-based feature that will give cardholders the chance to update their location via smartphone. Banks will include the Visa software in their smartphone apps starting in April, and cardholders will have a chance to opt into the program.




When the cardholder's smartphone enters a new city or country, the app updates Visa so they are aware if credit card transactions take place in the new geographic location. This will prevent charges from being declined - and members won't have to call to confirm their whereabouts.


"We will be able to compare the merchant's location to the most recent cellphone location to show it's a less risky transaction," said Mark Nelsen, executive at Visa, in a statement published by the AP.

Continue reading 'Visa will use smartphone tracking that will help clamp down on fraud' (full post)

Smartphone apps able to track physical activity as good as wearables

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 9:08 pm

Wearable supporters promote fitness trackers and smartwatches as valuable tools to help monitor physical activity and general health - but a new study found that most smartphone applications are just as accurate, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.




During a trial conducted at Penn, participants wore the following: a pedometer and two accelerometers, three wearable devices, and two smartphones (one with three apps and the other smartphone running one app. Smartphone data apps tracked step counts that were similar to one another, while the wearables provided greater variance.


"In this study, we wanted to address one of the challenges with using wearable devices: they must be accurate," said Meredith Case, Penn medical student and study author. "After all, if a device is going to be effective at monitoring - and potentially changing - behavior, individuals have to be able to trust the data. We found that smartphone apps are just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity."

Continue reading 'Smartphone apps able to track physical activity as good as wearables' (full post)

Drivers concerned about connected vehicle safety behind the wheel

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 7:55 pm

More than half of drivers are worried about safety concerns related to increased connected services in vehicles, with 56 percent worried about navigation, search and mapping, according to a survey conducted by the deCarta mapping software company.




To provide an accurate - and safe - solution, using location based service (LBS) apps inside of vehicles would give drivers everything they need to determine their location, where they want to go, and how to get there.


"The most important thing to improve safety is to minimize the amount of touch interaction the driver has with the system, or even the amount of time the driver has to look at the map," said J. Kim Fennell, president and CEO of deCarta, in a statement to eWeek. "This means the navigation system should have smarter, clearer voice commands that can guide the driver audibly rather than requiring constant viewing of the route."

Continue reading 'Drivers concerned about connected vehicle safety behind the wheel' (full post)

Xiaomi taking baby steps in United States, but not with smartphones

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 3:15 pm

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi plans to begin offering products to consumers in the United States, but that won't include smartphones any time soon. The company will offer smart wristbands, headphones, earbuds and a few other select items in a custom Xiaomi store - but still doesn't want to rush to compete with Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers in the competitive US market.




"We felt that coming right after launching (the Mi Note) in China was actually ideal, because this is the best product we've ever made," said Hugo Barra, international VP of Xiaomi, in a statement to The Verge. "Our devices are really nice, but this is ultimately nice."


Launching is a big deal for the five-year-old Chinese company, and could help create a roadmap towards future smartphone and tablet product launches. Investors and analysts are curious to see if Xiaomi can eventually crack the US mobile market, which remains the most financially lucrative market in the world.

Report: Google Android under pressure by iPhone, with sales dropping

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 1:30 pm

Google Android smartphone shipments dropped quarter-on-quarter for the first time during Q4 2014, as Apple iOS shipments increased a whopping 90 percent. iPhone shipments rose from 39.3 million up to 74.5 million, while Android sales slid from 217 million down to 206 million, according to ABI Research.




"Google's Android is being attacked by Apple's iOS at the high-end and forked Android and AOSP at the low-end in high growth emerging markets," said Nick Spencer, Senior Practice Director of Mobile Devices at ABI Research. "The Android One initiative has slowed forked Android and ASOP growth outside China, but Apple's success has taken the high-end of the market away from certified Android's premium tier vendors."


Android-powered devices still topped 1 billion throughout 2014 - but a strong sales quarter from Apple shows that it still has plenty of fight left while promoting new iPhones.

Continue reading 'Report: Google Android under pressure by iPhone, with sales dropping' (full post)

Australian cable company Foxtel sees customers surge with price drop

By: Chris Smith | More News: Health, Lifestyle & Travel | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 11:28 am

Thanks to the poor-quality internet provided within the island country of Australia - cable television is most certainly still a viable and very common service seen in many households. Foxtel have cheapened their plan pricing recently, seeing their 12-month contracts start at price of $25 AU per month.




Their basic package options include a multitude of pay-TV channels like Lifestyle, Fox8, MTV, BBC UKTV, Arena, Sky News and Sky News Business, with further channels like Entertainment Plus, Sport and HD offerings adding between $10-$20 AU onto the monthly bill. We've been told by Gizmodo that Foxtel's premium services will still set you back a whopping $130 AU per month - further discovering that this surge in customers is due to their adjusted entry-level prices.


mUmbrella has just released figures showing that Foxtel has added a whopping 118,000 subscribers to their list since these changes have been made - providing them for a 2.9 percent growth in subscription revenue year-on-year.

Continue reading 'Australian cable company Foxtel sees customers surge with price drop' (full post)

Apple increases iCloud security with two-step verfication security

By: Chris Smith | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 10:33 am

Apple has today announced a two-step verification process for iMessage and FaceTime applications, announced in the wake of the massive celebrity leak uncovered late last year.




This new system means that users will be asked to supply their username and password alongside a verification code that Apple will send to a device with granted access to these services. This process has been recommended by computer security experts, with them stating the obvious - a hacker gaining control to your username and password is much easier than doing the former and stealing your phone.


The username and password issues most commonly seen are due to people using the same email and password combination for numerous accounts. This means that if a hacker has access to your iCloud, they likely have access to your Facebook, email, Twitter and more.

Continue reading 'Apple increases iCloud security with two-step verfication security' (full post)

Another great sticker-bombed PC hits our radar - try this one yourself

By: Chris Smith | More News: Modding | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 9:25 am

Thanks to our Facebook fan 'Daniel Ozankan', we've been told about another great sticker-bombed PC project. This CM690 II isn't quite as in-depth as our previously shared HEX GEAR R40 black and white build, but we've shared it because it's something a little more realistically obtainable for most would-be modders (including myself).




We've always been happy to share more simply modded PC builds, there's always $10,000 monster builds out there with multiple GPU's, SSD's and crazy water cooling loops - just like there are a thousand Ferrari's to gawk at online. But how about something you can actually do for yourself?


Janac has gone about modding this Cooler Master CM690II with a 'JDM style' sticker-bomb set, creating a shroud to cover the PSU and radiator - further display the sticker goodness.


Also featuring white cable sleeving and a standard watercooling loop of its own, this build would be a great addition to any gamers home.

Continue reading 'Another great sticker-bombed PC hits our radar - try this one yourself' (full post)

iBUYPOWER announce $5,000 CS:GO invitational - could this be a trial?

By: Chris Smith | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 8:34 am

Not too long ago, almost the whole iBUYPOWER CS:GO squad were handed lifetime CS:GO bans for a match-fixing and betting ring scandal. Unshaken by their previous players' actions, this large-scale North American company announced that they were interested in continuing support for the local CS:GO community.




iBUYPOWER has just announced a partnership with ESEA which will see seven invited teams from North America and one from Canada battle it out for a $5,000 prize pool. In total this prize pot will be split only between the first and second placing competitors, seeing $4,000 go toward the winners.


This is by no means a massive tournament in its own right, but it could quite possibly be a testing ground for a new iBUYPOWER team pickup - especially seeing as they've publicly stated that they "look forward to building a new team to compete on the game's biggest stages".

Continue reading 'iBUYPOWER announce $5,000 CS:GO invitational - could this be a trial?' (full post)

Poor security leads to 1 billion stolen data records in 2014 alone

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 13, 2015 8:12 am

More than 1,500 data breaches led to at least 1 billion data records being compromised in 2014 alone, according to a report from Gemalto. It's a 49 percent increase in data breaches and 78 percent increase in data records theft year-over-year, with attacks expected to increase even higher in the future.




Cybersecurity experts warn that hackers are changing their tactics, with a focus on stealing personal information which can be collected - and used - at later dates. Fifty-four percent of all data breaches in 2014 focused on identity theft, including financial data, which led all other categories - with attack focus beginning to change.


"Not only are data breach numbers rising, but the breaches are becoming more severe," said Tsion Gonen, VP of strategy for identity and data protection at Gemalto. "Being breached is not a question of 'if' but 'when.' Breach prevention and threat monitoring can only go so far and do not always keep the cyber criminals out."

Continue reading 'Poor security leads to 1 billion stolen data records in 2014 alone' (full post)

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