Payment service jumps ahead of Visa, Master Card dates to shift to chip cards
Square, a company that helped open mobile payments up to the masses, released news today that it would be expanding its device offerings with a reader for chip-based credit cards, now frequently used outside the US. While the company states that typical Europay, Master Card and Visa (EMV) solutions are costly, it will release an affordable model to enable sellers to accept the secure payments.
Server allows Mac Pros to be installed horizontally in a rack with additional devices
Sonnet Technologies announced that its rackmount system for the newest version of the Mac Pro is available starting today. The xMac Pro Server, features a Thunderbolt 2-to-PCI Express expansion system housed inside a custom 4U enclosure. A mobile expansion unit has also created, to allow additional options to be installed without taking up any more rack space.
'Global' switchover will cost nothing extra over normal replacement cycle
Automaker Ford has announced that it will transition at least 9,300 corporate employees from BlackBerry models and flip phones to iPhones over the next two years. The change, which will cost the company nothing above the normal cost of a replacement cycle, is a blow to BlackBerry, but the Canadian smartphone maker can take solace in the fact that Ford chose BlackBerry's QNX for its next-generation Sync infotainment system, replacing a previous Microsoft-based one.
May build on iBeacons, Passbook, Touch ID and partners to create truly seamless, secure system
A new report is claiming that Apple is accelerating its plans for a grand "digital wallet" mobile payments system, which could even be ready to debut in the same time frame as the expected "iPhone 6." The company is said to be in talks with Visa to create a partnership agreement that would allow consumers to pay for goods and services using only their iPhone, leveraging the "secure enclave" portion of the A7 chip and Touch ID to create what would be expected to be a seamless mobile payment system.
Qplay video streaming app and device from TiVo to be shut down next Friday
TiVo's video service, Qplay, is due to be shut down on July 25. The company provides a media streaming TV adapter and mobile video app, and has only been running for six months. According to its blog, Qplay states that it is "not possible for [it] to keep developing and running the service. Users who have purchased a TV Adapter device can receive a refund upon request, if made prior to July 25 at 5PM PST.
Button limited to small and medium-sized businesses, built with privacy in mind
Less than a month since Twitter began testing a "buy now" button on the social media service, Facebook has jumped into the arena to offer its own "buy" button. The new feature is being tested with a small number of businesses as a way to drive commerce directly to those involved, without requiring people to leave Facebook to complete a transaction.
Google Earth aerial images can be purchased, previously only viewable with API
Google opened up a new path for businesses looking for aerial photography this week, with an addition of Google Maps for Business imagery. The service now grants customers the ability to purchase aerial photos used in Google Earth from the continental United States, reducing the need for business to collect and store their own.
New AppleCare tailored for enterprise, IBM to sell iOS devices with custom apps
[Updated with text from Tim Cook's memo to employees] In a surprise move, Apple and IBM have announced a new partnership that will see the enterprise giant working with the iPhone maker to bring more than 100 industry-specific enterprise solutions to the iOS platform as native apps for iPhone and iPad, as well as see IBM selling and leasing iOS devices pre-loaded with industry-specific solutions to its business clients. The exclusive deal also includes new AppleCare service and support plans tailored for enterprise, and IBM enterprise cloud services optimized for iOS.
RackMac Pro allows two Mac Pro computers in 4u of rack space
Upgrade component maker Sonnet is debuting a pair of new Thunderbolt devices at this year's IBC2014 industry conference. New this year are the RackMac Pro dual-Mac Pro rackmount solution for Apple's cylindrical computing powerhouse. Additionally, the company is also releasing the Thunderbolt Pro P2 Card Reader, commonly used in high-end digital video cameras.
Norway, Sweden, Hong Kong among new places
Apple's Volume Purchase Program is coming to 16 more locations in the near future, according to pages on the company's Business and Education sites. Most of the new regions are in Europe, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland. Also joining in are Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Racing game Grid 2 Reloaded Edition to be released this summer for OS X
Feral Interactive has announced that its multi-discipline racing game Grid 2 Reloaded Edition will be released for Mac gamers this summer. Featuring "World Series Racing," players aim to become the star driver of the league by facing off against international drivers from local clubs. Races are set in a variety of locations, such as mountain roads and city streets of Paris, Miami or Hong Kong. Each vehicle option varies in respects to its gearing, torque and weight distribution.
Hospital management, smart homes, retail, enterprise use all expected to grow
A new report from ABI Research claims that the technology behind Apple's iBeacons is set to expand on a massive scale over the next five years, thanks to new applications that will make use of the "indoor GPS" abilities and personal notification services of Bluetooth LE-powered beacons. While Apple is the best-known "brand" of Bluetooth-enabled sensors with its iBeacon hardware and technology catching on, the study says Apple is unlikely to get into making the actual hardware that will generate $500 million a year by 2019.
Google Drive for Work subscription, Google Docs mobile app changes detailed
Google announced a number of changes to Google Drive and Google Docs as part of its Google I/O keynote yesterday. As part of a more serious effort to take on Microsoft in enterprise, Google has launched a subscription to Google Drive for Work, providing unlimited online storage to business customers for $10 per month per user, among other extra new features.
Denver to start as mobile Tegra chip, Tesla GPUs used to supplement ARM-based servers
In 2011, Nvidia announced that it would be developing a 64-bit processor with the "Denver" project code name for servers. This week, it appears that the company's view of servers in the future changed, causing the company to look toward ARM chips. Rather than Denver being built for server use, the company says that the chips will make an appearance in the mobile line of Tegra processors.
Search giant plays with the idea of a domain registration services for small business
As is Google tradition, another feature it is testing was recently released to the public while still in a beta phase. Google, recognizing the need for businesses to start an online presence with a website, is jumping into the domain registration business with Google Domains. Starting with a small test group, Google is exploring the customer needs that can be fulfilled through the service.
Hosting company returning what data it has, left financially crippled by attack
What started as a denial-of-service-attack (DDOS) has resulted in critical loss of data for code-hosting company Code Spaces yesterday. Code Spaces has decided to throw in the towel when someone deleted the majority of customer data after gaining access to the company's Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. The company, which was left compromised and unable to restore data, made the decision to completely shut down.
Technology from Y-Combinator backed startup to be used for enterprise applications
Cloud file storage company Box announced yesterday that it is acquiring file streaming startup Streem for an undisclosed sum. The technology behind the cloud-to-desktop streaming service will be integrated into Box's cloud offerings. Streem's four-person team will fold into the Box team to work on content management solutions for enterprise.
Flash storage company looks to boost enterprise offerings with Fusion-io purchase
Flash storage company SanDisk announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire flash technology company Fusion-io. The cash deal will see the flash enterprise company enhance SanDisk's business ventures, adding flash memory and storage hardware to SanDisk's existing products. The deal was made for a reported $1.1 billion.
Security-minded BBM Protected adds extra layer of encryption on messaging
BlackBerry is attempting to reassert itself in the business messaging market, by offering a version of its service with enhanced protection designed for regulated industries, such as government agencies or financial services. BBM Protected is the first launch in its eBBM suite of apps, using a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library to secure the message between both participants, on top of the company's existing BBM security model.
Service touts security, speed, low bandwidth requirements
Troubled cloud computing company OnLive has announced CloudLift Enterprise, a new cloud-based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). The OnLive CloudLift Enterprise service offers businesses the ability to stream latency-sensitive graphics-intensive applications -- such as high-definition interactive demos, simulations and 3D programs -- from the cloud to virtually any device with little, if any, lag.
Rugged box features Core i7 processor, 4K display options in small format
A new small-format computer has been released by Stealth Computer, a company that specializes in industrial, rugged machines. Introducing a high-powered mini-PC into its existing line up of small PCs called the LPC-681, Stealth looks to add versatility to enterprise computing. The small PC features a fourth-generation mobile Intel Core i7 inside of a steel chassis that can be held in one hand. Stealth says that it is the first mini-PC from the company to offer 4K capabilities.
Moovit transit app introduces Lyft integration pilot in all covered cities
Transit-planning app, Moovit, has announced its latest update, which integrates a pilot for carpooling service Lyft. Moovit provides information from transit agencies as well as crowd-sourced data from passengers travelling with the app active. Available for both its iOS and Android apps, Moovit now includes the ability to request a Lyft pick-up while planning a trip.
Pro x2 612 gives business computing flexibility in desktop replacement, single tablet options
Computer manufacturer HP has unleashed a new tablet PC that is poised to fit in with the growth of computer options in the enterprise sector. The HP Pro x2 612 gives buyers a new level of flexibility, says the company, the first of its kind at the business level. With the PC, business customers "will have a computer that they can use at their desk, or something they can carry with them without having to change machines," according to a press release. The core of the machine is a 12.5-inch touchscreen Windows 8.1 tablet that can be placed into a keyboard dock to give enterprise users a desktop replacement.
New drive line boasts five year warranty, promises of long drive life
Intel today announced a line of solid-state drives (SSDs) utilizing PCI Express (PCIe) with NVM Express (NVMe) technology for substantial performance gains over SATA SSDs and traditional hard disk drives. The Intel Solid-State Drive Data Center Family for PCIe is tailored towaard data center operations and includes the Intel SSD DC P3700 Series for write-intensive applications, Intel SSD DC P3600 Series for mixed workloads and Intel SSD DC P3500 Series for read-heavy uses.
Expansions in messaging, device enrollment program, further integration of iCloud
During Apple's WWDC presentation, Craig Federighi unveiled new improvements in the upcoming iOS 8, giving enterprise clients more tools and reasons to stick to Apple hardware. Numbers from the presentation put the iPhone and iPad in the hands of 98 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500. New features will include expanded messaging options, device support and iCloud expansion.
Office products, Microsoft Azure, salesforce1 integration planned
Late yesterday, Microsoft and salesforce.com announced a strategic partnership to create new solutions that connect salesforce.com's customer relationship management apps and platform to Microsoft Office and Windows. The new partnership will allow users to collaborate on Office content from within Salesforce using Office Mobile, Office for iPad and Office 365, as well as form a coherent cloud offering, combining the best features of both companies for enterprise customers.
Librify to launch an invite-only e-book service, Target to act as retail partner
Social e-book platform Librify has announced the upcoming launch of a new membership based service. Offering access to a "book club-like" experience, e-books will be accessible via a membership subscription, or purchased individually. Members can access book club management features as well as social features that aim to help organize and promote book sharing with friends. Target's partnership is retail focused, and combines Librify's e-book offering with Target's "Club Picks", which will be elaborated upon during its unveiling at Book Expo America this week.
Online code education platform announces new partnerships in five countries
Codecademy, an educational startup aiming to provide accessible learning of programming code, has announced expansion into five more markets -- the UK, France, Brazil, Estonia and Argentina. Agreements with educational and government groups have allowed Codecademy to be available on a localized level, with partnerships including work on customized programs, and non-English language content. Presently, Codecademy courses remain free.
Facebook introduces free downloads of anti-malware software
Facebook has announced that it has added downloadable anti-malware software to its abuse detection and prevention systems. Provided in conjunction with F-Secure and Trend Micro, Facebook's new service is aimed at Windows users with infected devices. A pop-up notification appears upon signing into Facebook on an infected device; the app sends scan notifications within Facebook, and when the scanning is completed, the software uninstalls.
Makes Messages Server more stable
Apple has posted a minor update of OS X Server, v3.1.2. The patch deals with several sub-components, including Calendar Server, which has received unspecified improvements to import, invite, and group scheduling functions. Messages Server should be more stable while chat rooms are in use.
Nine countries added to Rdio's service availabilty
Music subscription service Rdio is now available for use in 60 countries. Featuring music from around the world, users can stream music of their choosing both online and through its mobile app for iOS or Android. Rdio's new markets include Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia. In light of achieving 60 countries, Rdio has compiled a playlist of international music.
Integrates with Groupon personal apps
Group discount service Groupon has revealed Gnome, a new point-of-sale platform based around the iPad. Each Gnome station is able to act as a regular POS terminal, handling cash, credit, and debit transactions, as well as inventory. Special features are designed to make it easier to run Groupon campaigns though, including integration with the company's mobile apps. When a person with the app enters a store, Gnome should automatically recognize it, allowing someone to redeem a Groupon offer without a printout or even pulling out their phone.
Android enterprise app to remain active as company folds into Android team
Divide, a company known for developing corporate software for managing Android devices, has announced that it has been purchased by Google. Divide, formerly known an Enterproid, allows management of personal Android devices in the bring your own device (BYOD) market by separating personal and business data and securing it. Google Ventures had been a previous investor in the company in its latest round of funding.
Google Play now accepting PayPal as payment for digital goods
PayPal is now an official payment option for purchasing digital content within Google Play. Though a direct competitor with Google's own Wallet payment service, users can activate the new payment option by clicking "Add PayPal" and typing in one's login details. Google Play has also expanded its carrier billing and gift card availability to more regions, including Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.
Apple tablet accounts for 92 percent of business tablet activations and rising
The latest quarterly study by business-oriented mobile services company Good Technology continues its general conclusions over the past four years -- that iPhone and iPad dominate the enterprise and business mobile tech arena. In the latest report, the iPhone is down slightly but still holds a majority share, while the iPad continues to grow as Android tablets continue to fade from businesses. More importantly, custom app development continues to center around iOS devices.
Software makes 40 percent of revenue, future growth to come from initiative change
Symantec's Senior Vice President of Information Brian Dye says that anti-virus "is dead" in a recent article from the Wall Street Journal. The company plans to shift its outlook away from anti-virus software to take on the ever-evolving world of cyber attacks and malware. The intent will be to follow the new protection mindset that focuses on less of preventing, and more on containing the damage.
Yezz announces Billy 4.7 phone, operating Windows 8.1
Mobile device manufacturer Yezz has announced its latest smartphone, the Billy 4.7. Based on Windows 8.1 OS, the Billy 4.7 is a dual-SIM device with a 4.7-inch IPS screen and 1280x720 HD resolution. Featuring a 13.1-megapixel camera and 4G HSPA+ network capability with HSDPA+ 42.2 Mbps data speed, Billy 4.7 is aimed at a versatile audience. The phone's body is comprised of lightweight aluminum, with scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 2. The total phone's thickness is measured at 7.2mm (0.28 inches). Anticipated to be available in June through Amazon, Yezz's Billy 4.7 will be priced at $250.
Supply-demand ratio improving after long wait times
Apple has altered the expected shipping times on its standard Mac Pro configurations down to 3-4 weeks, an improvement over the recent drop to 3-5 weeks seen in late April. Apart from a short window when the units were first announced, the new ship times are the best yet seen for Apple's thoroughly-redesigned workstation computer. At the beginning of April, ship times for the Mac Pro were estimated at five to six weeks, showing steady improvement towards supply-demand balance.
Drive uses MLC, gives 400MBPS transfer speeds
Flash storage specialists SanDisk Corporation today announced the Optimus Max Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) solid state drive (SSD), the industry's first 4TB SAS SSD. The new 2.5-inch 19nm eMLC-based SSD is capable of up to 400MB per second read and write, with up to 75,000 read operations per second, and 15,000 write operations per second.
Spotify app for Android receives revamp, new aesthetic
Spotify, a subscription-based music streaming platform, has begun to roll out a newly updated version of its Android app to accompany the previously-released update for iOS. Featuring an over-all new look, Spotify now sports a darker palette, an improved Browse feature and its Your Music tool. Your Music allows users to save songs and albums to their personal Spotify library instead of requiring playlist creation. All compatible Android users of Spotify are anticipated to have received the app update within the next few weeks.
Movie streaming BitTorrent app now available on Android devices
Popcorn Time, a BitTorrent for streaming movies has announced its upcoming launch for Android devices. Popcorn Time allows users to watch pirated video content for free, including TV shows and movies. Any video can be viewed as many times as desired, offered in the highest quality possible, with subtitles available. The source code for the Android version of Popcorn Time will soon be available on GitHub.
App monetization company announces advertising exchange built for in-app video
Vungle, a company devoted to promotion and monetization of apps through in-app video trailers, has announced today its new in-app advertising exchange for mobile content. The exchange will allow mobile publishers to run ads from multiple ad networks and ad buyers. Vungle Exchange aims to serve high-resolution, high-bitrate 15-second video ads within applications, as well as low-latency ad content for rapid advertisement delivery. Advertisers will have control over where their content can run, as to protect brand safety. Vungle Exchange is currently in closed beta with premier partners; those interested in more information can register to access further details.
Sony's Xperia Z2 to initially be released in US via online store
Sony has confirmed that its Xperia Z2 smartphone will be initially released in the US by way of its online store. Offering a 20.7-megapixel rear camera and a 5.2-inch screen, the latest Sony flagship phone has generated a considerable amount of enthusiasm. The Z2 will be available for purchase this summer as an unlocked version.
Do-it-yourself site launches new service for connecting with local repair shops
Electronics do-it-yourself repair resource Fixya is launching a new service that offers users the ability to connect with local repair shops and service providers. Named Fixya Pro, small businesses can generate traffic in their area through the site by listing what services they provide to what regions, and including their contact information. Businesses can post a free listing by signing up for a Fixya Pro account.
LinkedIn to remove ability to run polls in its Groups feature
Social networking platform service LinkedIn has announced that it will be discontinuing the ability to conduct polls in its Groups feature. According to TheNextWeb, polls were introduced to Groups in late 2011, but the feature is now considered to be obsolete by LinkedIn as to create space for more efficient service elements. Polling will be retired as of May 15; until then, users can post questions and receive polling results.
Playstation Store puts 30 games on sale for $1 each
Sony has announced a flash sale on its Playstation Store, offering 30 games on sale for $1 each. Classic titles such as Braid, Everyday Shooter, Gotham City Impostors, Plants vs Zombies and more are available for PS3, PSP and PS Vista. The Playstation Store's flash sale runs until April 21 at 7AM PST.
Launches mobile app to help users design, implement iBeacon-based 'SensorTags'
Veteran embedded chip and automotive systems maker Texas Instruments has announced plans to incorporate Apple's iBeacon technology in many of the company's forthcoming Bluetooth products, saying that "there are many more applications that could benefit from the technology" beyond its presence popular use in retail shops, restaurants and stadiums. TI will be adding iBeacons to its SimpleLink line of automotive micro-controllers, and it WiLink navigation systems.
TransferWise money transfer app now available for Android
London-based startup TransferWise has launched a native Android app, allowing users to transfer money between currencies. A peer-to-peer service, TransferWise facilitates direct money transfers to users in other countries. Six months earlier, TransferWise had released an iOS native app, with the "app" for Android users available on Google Play until today being only a shortcut to its website. Free to download, TransferWise for Android is compatible with Android 2.3 or later.
Sony announces upcoming massive multiplayer game to launch in next 4-6 weeks
Sony has announced the upcoming release of a new massive multiplayer survival zombie game, based on an Internet hoax from 2009. Entitled H1Z1, the game plays off of a hoax that claimed that the "swine flu" virus, H1N1, has mutated into the cause of a phenomenon that turns the dead into zombies. Set 15 years after the virus first affects people, Sony's emphasis will be on player ownership and building a variety of objects, including weaponry and houses. H1Z1 will be made available on Steam's Early Access for $20, though beyond the 4-6 week estimate there is currently no official release date for the game.
Facebook reduces "Like-bait" posts, spam, repetitive content from News Feed
Facebook today announced its intention to reduce the clutter on its News Feed feature, by reducing stores that users report as spam, or dislike. According to the company's newsroom release, Facebook will focus on content considered "like-bait", when a post explicitly asks reader to like, comment or share it to gain distribution; frequently circulated content, that becomes repetitive throughout a feed; and spam links, such as when a post claims to be a photo album or other content, and upon click-through is only advertisement. Facebook's engineers claim that this content reduction will affect the small set of publishers who frequently and intentionally creating feed spam, and not the majority of publishers on Facebook.