The Isis Wallet mobile payment system has changed its name to Softcard as the company doesn't want to share the same name with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. Company officials noted that it was thinking of a name change over the summer, saying it doesn't want any confusion related to the group that has ramped up its use of brutal tactics to scare rivals and attract new recruits.
Softcard is currently backed by Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, and hopes to move forward and continue operating normally. The company said the Isis Wallet will work the same following the name change, and mobile users will see the app update without any major feature changes.
"Our search for a new name has been rooted in our founding vision: to use the power of the mobile phone to help consumers find a safer and better way to shop, pay and save," said Michael Abbott, Softcard CEO, in a statement. "But we also wanted a name and visual identity that had the power, flexibility and simplicity to define our category."
Goodwill issued a public update regarding a data breach that was uncovered in late July, with no evidence of malware on retail store point-of-sale (POS) systems. However, a third-party vendor was affected and that opened the door to customer names, payment card numbers, and expiration dates to be accessed by cybercriminals.
The forensics investigation said the malware attack took place between February 10, 2013 to August 14, 2014 - and there appears to be very little fraudulent activity noticed by customers.
"We continue to take this matter very seriously," said Jim Gibbons, Goodwill CEO and president, in a public statement. " We took immediate steps to address this issue, and we are providing extensive support to the affected Goodwill members in their efforts to prevent this type of incident from occurring in the future."
Intel has unveiled the My Intelligence Communication Accessory (MICA), a luxury smart bracelet that will be available at Barney's in time for Christmas. The bracelet has water snakeskin and semi-precious gems in a design that features a touchscreen display for wearers to interact with.
The only hardware features currently available from Intel is that it includes a 3G cellular radio. However, it will support SMS messaging, messages sent to the bracelet and calendar reminders from your mobile phone.
"The wearables market currently exists in two categories - sports wearables that track performance and wearables that are pretty much a cell phone crammed into a small space," said Aysegul Ildeniz, Intel new devices VP, in a recent interview. "We have to grow the pie collectively. We need to go after audiences not addressed currently by wearables and make them much more aesthetically pleasing."
The demand for phablets, smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches, will hit 175 million units this year, surpassing an estimated 170 million portable PCs that will ship this year, according to IDC. Looking ahead to 2015, the phablet market should see 318 million units shipped, which will be significantly higher than an estimated 233 million tablets forecasted to ship during the same period.
The phablet market first became a major player in 2012, and has continually carved out its own market share, as Samsung and Xiaomi help drive growth - Apple's looming phone announcement should only help drive phablet growth higher.
"Clearly, mobile computing is a space where consumers are still trying to figure out what mix of devices and screen sizes will suit them best," said Tom Mainelli, IDC Devices and Displays Program VP, in a press statement. "What works well today could very well shift tomorrow as phones gain larger screens, tablets become more powerful replacements for PCs, and even smartwatch screens join the fray."
There's currently a class-action lawsuit regarding the debacle of Aliens: Colonial Marines, which was close to a conclusion last month when Sega agreed to shell out $1.25 million. But, that is all up in the air right now.
A month after Gearbox filed a motion distancing itself from any form of financial obligation, which would see them not paying some $750,000 which would bring the total settlement to $2 million. Sega responded with its own motion, where it said that Gearbox was just as responsible for any payout responsibility. It gets pretty dirty, with e-mails, contracts and much more between the two companies.
There were many letters that saw Gearbox releasing many screenshots, videos and much more details on Alien: Colonial marines that had not been approved by Sega. Sega's thoughts on this had not been good when it got to October 2012, with a Sega PR rep blaming "persistent panel leaking" of game details on "Randy [Pitchford, Gearbox director] doing whatever the fuck he likes."
Where will Tesla Motors build its gigantic battery factory? According to CNBC, the electric car maker will be building it Nevada. A Tesla rep spoke with Business Insider, where they said: "We look forward to meeting with Gov. (Brian) Sandoval and other legislators in Carson City at 4 p.m. tomorrow to announce a major economic development."
Tesla Motors' CEO and modern day Tony Stark, Elon Musk, has said that the Gigafactory is a critical piece of its plans to mass-market a Tesla car, as well as lowering the cost of carbon-neutral power. Musk said he wants to double the world's supply of lithium-ion batteries before the end of the decade, which should see a reduction of power pack prices. Musk has said that Tesla has plans to open more than one Gigafactory in the future.
The electric car maker has already broken ground on a prospective site outside of Reno earlier in the summer, which was done by the name of "Project Tiger." The Tahoe Reno Industrial Center is currently home to e-commerce facilities owned by Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Zulily. The new Gigafactory will see Tesla hire over 6,500 workers, estimating to cost up to $5 billion.
Most will remember Matrox, a company that dealt in mainly professional video cards that were great for multi-monitor setups before the likes of AMD's Eyefinity and NVIDIA's Surround Vision technology hit the market. Well, Matrox is coming back, and is releasing GPUs that are powered with AMD technology.
Matrox's next-gen video cards will be powered by Radeon GPUs, with the announcement stating that "key features of the selected AMD GPU include 28nm technology with 1.5 billion transistors; DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.2 compatibility; shader model 5.0; PCI Express 3.0 and 128-bit memory interface." We should expect Matrox to be using a lower performance GraphicsCore Next (GCN) part, something from the Cape Verde GCN family. We could also see Matrox lean toward AMD's FirePro W600 cards, with Matrox sprinkling its custom-developed software applications such as Matrox PowerDesk on top.
This is an interesting move, as it frees up R&D that Matrox would spend on hardware costs, leveraging AMD's technology and putting more of its time into the software side of things. It helps AMD, as AMD can sell countless GPUs at higher "professional" prices, increasing their share of the professional market with AMD-powered Matrox cards.
There's a new version of the popular Temple Run game coming out, with Temple Run VR being announced for the Gear VR headset from Samsung. The new Temple Run VR moves the games into the snow-topped mountains, all in immersive virtual reality.
Co-founder of Imangi Studios, Keith Shephard, said: "We are incredibly excited to be a part of this revolution in gaming, and we jumped at the opportunity to work with Samsung and Oculus to make Temple RunVR. Virtual reality opens up a whole new world of possibilities for us to create amazing experiences. We've truly been able to transport players to another world and let them viscerally feel the thrill of the chase."
There's no release date for Temple Run VR just yet, but it is one of the biggest games announced for the Galaxy Note 4-powered Gear VR headset. We should expect the Gear VR and Temple Run VR to be released later this year.
Our man on the ground at IFA 2014, Johannes Knapp, has gone hands-on with the new Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. We take a closer look at the beautiful 5.7-inch 2560x1440 Super AMOLED panel, and much more.
We see the fingerprint sensor on the home button on the Note 4, as well as the heartbeat sensor on the back. A 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, while the 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera will have your selfies taken care of. For more details on the Galaxy Note 4, check out our post on it as Samsung announced it in Berlin, Germany.
Samsung unveiled its Gear VR headset at IFA 2014 yesterday, its new VR headset that it worked closely with Oculus VR on. The Gear VR requires the newly-announced Galaxy Note 4 smartphone to work, with our man on the ground at IFA 2014 taking a closer look.
One of the big benefits of the Gear VR is that it is completely wireless, compared to the multiple cables that require the Oculus Rift to work. There's one that is strapped to the Rift itself, then multiple other cables that need plugging in (two from the positional tracking camera), one for power, and a USB port.