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The mobile payments ecosystem is on the rise in the United States, with Apple Pay helping bring much-needed attention to the surging industry. However, it looks like Americans are unsure what to make of mobile payment security, especially after several notable point-of-sale (PoS) data breaches.
Twenty-four percent of survey respondents believe mobile payments are more secure than debit and credit card payments, though 27 percent feel there are more issues, according to 451 Research. Consumers want to use mobile payments that are available to them, and with Apple Pay only available to iPhone owners, there is room for multiple companies to make an impact.
"The introduction of Apple Pay has catalyzed a wave of strategic moves across the mobile payments ecosystem," said Jordan McKee, senior mobile payments analyst at 451 Research.
We reported back in August last year that Sony was being sued for falsely advertising its PlayStation 4 exclusive Killzone: Shadow Fall at 1080p, but Judge Edward M. Chen of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, while in agreement with both parties, dismissed the lawsuit "with prejudice".
This means that the plaintiff cannot file another legal action on this matter at anytime in the future. The terms of the dismissal were filed under seal, with each side of the argument needing to settle their own legal fees. Last year, Douglas Ladore from California filed a lawsuit against Sony for Killzone: Shadow Fall. Ladore was suing over the marketing that Sony deployed for the PS4 launch title, as it said the game would be running at 1080p, and it did not.
Killzone: Shadow Fall's multiplayer had "a technological shortcut that was supposed to provide 'subjectively similar' results" to the native resolution of 1920x1080, said Ladore. Guerilla Games had used a "temporal reprojection" technique for the multiplayer side of Shadow Fall, which according to the studio, produces an image that is indistinguishable from a 1080p version "most of the time".
It looks like Apple could be in some trouble, with the Department of Justice looking into their business practices as the launch of Apple's upcoming music streaming service.
Apple's music streaming service is said to cost $7.99 per month, but with Spotify enjoying a large chunk of the music streaming user base with its 60 million plus users. Out of these 60 million users, only 15 million of them subscribe for the ad-free version of Spotify. So while Apple is trying to get its new music service off the ground, the company has reportedly been approaching the music industry to make labels "force streaming services like Spotify to abandon their free tiers".
This is Apple's tactic: attacking their competition from behind the scenes, in a move drastic enough to involve the Department of Justice. This means Apple is very scared of Spotify, and so it should be. The Verge reports: "Getting the music labels to kill the freemium tiers from Spotify and others could put Apple in prime position to grab a large swath of new users when it launches its own streaming service, which is widely expected to feature a considerable amount of exclusive content. "All the way up to Tim Cook, these guys are cutthroat," one music industry source said".
Microsoft is continuing its retail takeover with Microsoft Stores throughout the United States, but the Redmond-based OS giant has just announced that its 'first Microsoft flagship store outside of North America' will be at Westfield Sydney, in Australia.
Rumors were circling that it would be built in the UK, but Microsoft has decided to take the retail experience Down Under. The company hasn't said when the store is opening, teasing that they "can't reveal too much now" but if you want to keep up with the new Microsoft Store that's headed to Sydney, you can follow Microsoft on Facebook.
The bitcoin cryptocurrency remains an extremely volatile currency, with values sliding from $1,100 down to $200, as the demise of several bitcoin exchanges generate huge headlines. By midday Sunday, a single bitcoin was valued at $240, still showing a significant amount of volatility.
There are a growing number of bitcoin-related startups focused on helping foster a strong bitcoin community - with Goldman Sachs and IDG Capital Partners investing $50 million to help look at possible bitcoin investments.
Financial institutions, initially showing hesitancy to embrace bitcoins, are quietly trying to learn about the bitcoin ecosystem. Some European banks have opened up their checkbooks to support bitcoins, providing much-needed financial support to startups.
GoPro is facing increased competition and has been described as a "one-trick pony" by one analyst, despite the company reporting higher sales and profit - leading to the company's stock shares increasing 12.6 percent to close the day last Wednesday. However, the company will face increased pressure from a growing number of companies interested in making similar products.
"You have rising competition that I think over the next few years is going to be a much more level playing field," said Jason Rotman, managing partner of Lido Isle Advisors, in a statement made on CNBC.
Even so, GoPro could find success in its international expansion plans: "I think they've just scratched the surface for international penetration," said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, on CNBC's "Closing Bell."
Cloud computing company Salesforce is reportedly speaking with advisers regarding a possible takeover, with rumors pointing towards Oracle opening up the checkbook. Even if Oracle doesn't make a move, and Microsoft, IBM, SAP, or another company steps in, Oracle believes it is in a win-win situation.
"We never comment on these kinds of things. We've never had a deal leak," Catz said in front of the media. "If it's acquired by someone else, it's probably good for us, two be honest. Everyone brings their own stuff to these things, especially someone big enough to acquire them."
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is a former executive at Oracle, and remains friends with Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison. If a takeover doesn't occur, Ellison previously stated that his company would leapfrog Salesforce as the No. 1 software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider by the end of the 2015.
With Furious 7 being in cinemas across the world for around a month now, it has grossed over $1.3 billion making it one of the most successful movies of all time. It was only 12 days ago that we reported it had crossed the $1 billion mark, too.
Furious 7 has become the fourth most successful movie of all time, pushing Frozen and Iron Man 3 out of its way, as well as the last Harry Potter film to get its place in history. Entertainment Weekly's Jonathan Dornbush reports: "These totals are, of course, unadjusted for inflation. When that's taken into account, Deathly Hallows: Part 2 would still sit above Furious 7 for the time being-but the global ticket sales for the action film represents the incredible forward momentum Furious 7 has carried in the month since its release". He continued: "Furious 7 became the biggest film at China's box office, and will likely rank among the highest earners in the U.S. for 2015 when the year comes to a close".
One of the more interesting facts on Furious 7 and its $1.3 billion haul, is that most of it has come from international ticket sales. Furious 7 has only made $323 million in the US, compared to The Avengers which pulled in $623 million domestically, Furious 7 is a much bigger hit outside of the US.
To help generate interest in his Tidal online music service, Jay Z will host a concert featuring songs that haven't been performed in more than 10 years. To win tickets to the Tidal X: Jay Z B-Sides concert, which will be on May 13, Tidal subscribers must submit a playlist through the struggling music service.
This is a clever marketing effort by Jay Z, after he took to Twitter to defend the Tidal music service. Even though it has support from major musicians, streaming music listeners still prefer Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, and other competing services.
Over the weekend, Tidal streamed an acoustic show featuring Jack White from Fargo, North Dakota. Tidal has 770,000 subscribers, paying either $9.99 or $19.99 per month for a subscription.
What anime do you think President Obama might like the most? In a video posted by Mashable, the big-wig was seen conducting a speech thanking Japanese people for things that he appreciates.
Alongside mentioning anime, karate and manga was the commonly-used trend of emoji's was touched upon - nothing about the eggplant though.
This lighthearted speech was designed in order to help solidify the political relationship between Japan and America, however we're just here wondering if he likes Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball Z.