Mobile payments have been slow to catch on in the United States and elsewhere, despite strong backing. Apple, Google, and eBay Inc’s PayPal have all launched services to allow users to pay in stores via smartphones.
The weak uptake is partly because many retailers have been reluctant to adopt the hardware and software infrastructure required for these new mobile payment options to work. These services also fail to offer much more convenience than simply swiping a credit card, Samsung executives said on Wednesday.
LoopPay’s technology differs because it works off existing magnetic-stripe card readers at checkout, changing them into contactless receivers, they said. About 90 percent of checkout counters already support magnetic swiping.
“If you can’t solve the problem of merchant acceptance…, of being able to use the vast majority of your cards, then it can’t really be your wallet,” said David Eun, head of Samsung’s Global Innovation Center.
Injong Rhee, who is leading Samsung’s as-yet-unannounced payments project, said the Asian giant will soon reveal more details of its envisioned service. He would not be drawn on speculation the company may do so during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
He said new phones such as the upcoming, latest Galaxy would support the service.
Apple Pay, launched in September, allows iPhone users to pay at the tap of a button. Executives have lauded its rapid rollout so far, including the fact that more than 2,000 banks now support it and the U.S. government will accept Apple Pay later this year.
But Apple Pay requires retailers to install near-field communication and some have been reluctant. In addition, many retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and CVS Health Corp, back their own system, CurrentC.
Samsung had invested in LoopPay, along with Visa Inc and Synchrony Financial, before its acquisition. Terms of the deal, which Samsung negotiated over several months, were not disclosed.
It’s unclear how else Samsung could differentiate its service versus Apple’s or other rivals.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that its pint-sized computer has now sold a whopping five million units.
The announcement came via Twitter, where the official Raspberry Pi account boasted that the five million milestone makes it the big-selling computer manufacturer in the UK of all time.
Just confirmed the big news we’ve all been waiting for: we’ve now sold more than 5 million Raspberry Pis.
— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) February 17, 2015
We think that this means that in just under 3 years, we’ve gone from zero to being the biggest selling UK computer manufacturer ever. Yowza.
— Raspberry Pi (@Raspberry_Pi) February 17, 2015
This comes just two weeks after the firm announced sales of 4.5 million Raspberry Pi computers, suggesting that its latest model, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, has proved popular since it went on sale on 2 February.
Raspberry Pi said previously that it aims to ship three million units of the new model within 12 months, and Tuesday’s announcement suggests that it’s on track to smash that target.
The firm has yet to announce exactly how many Raspberry Pi 2 models have shipped, but we are likely to hear official figures in the next few weeks.
The second-generation device was unveiled at the beginning of this month, improving on the original Raspberry Pi with 1GB RAM and support for Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system.
It also boasts expanded GPIO pins and advanced power management and connectivity, making it possible to connect up to four USB devices, including powered devices such as hard drives.
South Korean smartphone maker LG Electronics Inc said on Thursday that it has not experienced any overheating problems with Qualcomm Inc’s new Snapdragon processor that is powering a curved-screen device going on sale later this month.
“I am very much aware of the various concerns in the market about the (Snapdragon) 810, but the chip’s performance is quite satisfactory,” Woo Ram-chan, LG vice president for mobile product planning, told reporters at a press event for the company’s G Flex2 smartphone.
The comment came after Bloomberg reported a day earlier that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s top smartphone maker, decided not to use the new Qualcomm processor for the next flagship Galaxy S smartphone after the chip overheated during testing. Samsung and Qualcomm have declined to comment on the report, which cited unidentified sources.
Samsung is widely expected to unveil the new Galaxy S smartphone in early March, and Bloomberg reported that the Korean firm will use its own processors instead.
But LG’s Woo said on Thursday that internal tests for the G Flex2, powered by the new Qualcomm processor, show that the new product emits less heat than other existing devices. The new phone is scheduled to start selling in South Korea on Jan. 30.
“I don’t understand why there is a issue over heat,” he said.
HP is about to put out two tablets later this year.
The names are expected to be the HP Pro Slate 10 EE G1 and HP Pro Tablet 10 EE G1 and they were found on the world wide wibble by Notebook Italia,.
Both tablets are powered by an Intel quad-core Bay Trail Atom Z3735F processor. Accompanying the processor package is 2GB of RAM, as well as 32GB of internal storage. Both the Pro Slate and Pro Tablet come with 10.1-inch displays, as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC.
The Pro Slate sticks with Android, while the Pro Tablet opts for Windows 8.1. The tablets mean they will each come with a stylus, but it would appear that the stylus is just a stand in for your finger, rather than doing anything useful.
Pro Slate will set you back $400.00 and Pro Tablet cost $499.
HP has yet to officially announce either device.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will bring a proposal to a vote during the commission’s Feb. 26 meeting, FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said Friday, following a report in the Washington Post.
It’s unclear, however, what form those rules will take. Hart declined to comment further on the net neutrality order Wheeler plans to circulate in February.
Many telecom policy experts had expected the FCC to take action on net neutrality early this year after a year-long fight over the issue.
Nearly a year ago, a U.S. appeals court threw out a large portion of net neutrality rules the FCC approved in late 2010. The court ruled that the FCC’s rules came too close to common carrier regulations when the commission didn’t take the step of reclassifying broadband providers as regulated utilities. The court, however, pointed to a couple if sections of the Telecommunications Act that the FCC could use to pass net neutrality regulations.
After launching a net neutrality proceeding in early 2014, the FCC has received nearly 4 million public comments about proposed regulations. Wheeler originally proposed that the FCC adopt rules that would allow broadband providers to engage in “commercially reasonable” traffic management, and in limited cases, charge Web content providers and services for prioritized traffic.
But many people filing comments, and groups like Free Press and Public Knowledge, called on the FCC to pass stronger rules prohibiting traffic prioritization deals. Many advocates of strong net neutrality rules want the FCC to reclassify broadband as a regulated public utility, while exempting them from some common carrier rules, like price regulation.
Recent news reports have suggested Wheeler is leaning toward so-called hybrid net neutrality rules that would classify a part of broadband service as a regulated public utility.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has announced that all its new smart television products launched in 2015 will be powered by the Tizen operating system, marking a fresh effort by the company to increase the usage of the software platform.
Smart TVs offer additional software and connectivity functions, such as video streaming and web browsing capabilities. Samsung demonstrated TV sets powered by Tizen at developer conferences last year.
“We are focusing our efforts on Tizen right now,” Kim Hyun-suk, Samsung’s president of visual display business, told Reuters in an interview. “We hope that other TV makers will also use it and help build an ecosystem that will help the platform grow.”
Televisions would be an addition to the modest stable of Tizen products, which consists of a few smartwatches and cameras despite years of development and support by the world’s top maker of smartphones and TVs.
The platform represents the most visible effort on the software front by Samsung, which has sought to free itself from Google Inc’s Android platform.
But Tizen has so far failed to take off, due in part to Samsung’s failure to launch a smartphone powered by the system. Some analysts are skeptical about the platform’s viability despite Samsung’s standing as top smartphone maker, especially as Android and Apple Inc’s iOS tighten their grip in the smartphone sector.
Developers say that until there is a meaningful user base for Tizen they will have little incentive to make innovative software applications for the system, deemed crucial if Samsung is to convince wary consumers to try it out.
While the launch of Tizen-based TVs will increase the platform’s user base, it is unclear if that alone will be enough to pique developers’ interest. Users of smart TVs tend to use fewer apps than they would on smartphones.
Still, the operating system is expected to play a key role in Samsung’s smart-home business. Tizen can also run on devices with low computing power such as refrigerators and washing machines, offering a way for users to monitor and control such devices remotely.
Businesses need to take a hybrid approach when it comes to the cloud, Dell has said.
The firm’s cloud strategy leader, Gordon Davey, told V3.co.uk in an interview that cloud computing is “overhyped” and moving an entire IT infrastructure into the cloud would be an unrealistic goal.
Davey also believes that cloud vendors have enticed companies to make major shifts to the cloud without considering a model that works for their business.
“I think it’s definitely a case of cloud as a buzzword is overhyped. The idea of cloud for the sake of cloud doesn’t really stand out,” he said.
“The problem comes from customers that have seen the buzzword and want to get the benefits and are just jumping on the bandwagon because it is an industry hype thing, rather than actually evaluating the benefits that a true cloud can bring, and applying that to their business requirements.”
Davey outlined the need to take a more considered approach, adopting an IT strategy that mixes on-premise infrastructure with cloud components to harness the technology without escalating IT costs and complexity.
“The future is going to be hybrid. It’s horses for courses – putting the right workload on the right platform,” he said.
“It’s that balanced approach that I think we’re going to see much more often, rather than trying to put everything into the cloud and potentially failing.”
Davey’s position is unsurprising given Dell’s approach of acting as a ‘middleman’ between cloud service providers and end users, providing hardware, software, services and consultancy to enable businesses to use cloud computing in a way that works for them.
“We see our role as enabling the cloud industry, being that underlying technology,” he said, going on to detail Dell’s five pillar approach to acting as a cloud middleman rather than developing its own end-to-end cloud offering.
The strategy involves consulting on a customer’s cloud needs, helping provide cloud infrastructure, brokering deals between vendors and users, providing security, and managing how multiple cloud services are deployed in a single business.
Davey claimed that Dell’s strategy will help companies take a more tailored approach to cloud adoption, adding: “A properly deployed cloud for the correct workloads in hugely beneficial.”
Dell is not alone in promoting a hybrid approach to cloud adoption. Microsoft is adding hybrid cloud capability to the next version of Windows Server.
Imagination Technologies will take on the Raspberry Pi with the release of a single-board minicomputer for both Android and Linux developers.
In a bid to power a range of devices in the ever-growing world of the Internet of Things (IoT) space, the MIPS-based Creator CI20 can run both Linux and Android operating systems (OS) and is said to deliver both high performance and low energy consumption.
When it hits the market in January, the development board will target the likes of open source developers, the maker community and system integrators to provide them with tools and encourage them to create a wide range of applications and projects.
The Creator CI20 is based around a system on a chip (SoC) combining CPU, graphics and I/O circuitry, featuring an I/O connector block compatible with that of the Raspberry Pi, meaning it could be plugged into many of the same projects.
The board comes with a 1.2GHz MIPS32-based dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM with PowerVR SGX540 graphics for OpenGL 2.1 and ES 2.0 compatibility, meaning its capable of 1080p gaming at 30fps. It also features Ethernet connectivity alongside 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 plus 4GB storage onboard.
While it’s easy to compare the Creator CI20 to the Raspberry Pi, Imagination’s executive vice president of marketing, Tony King-Smith, told V3.co.uk that the develop board is not intended as a direct rival.
“We’re not trying to compete with devices like Raspberry Pi and Arduino, which many developers will already have, we’re giving them more options, and we believe this is a pretty rich offering,” he said.
King-Smith said that the Creator CI20 is ideal for the IoT revolution because of its embedded wireless capabilities, but also because it is capable of running mature OS such as Linux and Android that support graphical user interfaces.
“This will make IoT interesting, whether you’re looking at a thermostat or a sensor or whatever, it’s a compelling user interface that gets people excited,” he added.
Imagination has also launched a Creator Programme alongside the developer board to stimulate an IoT ecosystem around the device.
“Office 365 Video provides organizations with a secure, company-wide destination for posting, sharing and discovering video content,” said Mark Kashman, a senior product manager with the Office 365 team, in a blog posting.
Kashman touted Video as a tool for internal communications, citing the examples of new-employee orientation, management messaging and worker training. Employees will also be able to contribute to a “Community” section, though most companies will probably frown on cat antic clips.
The service rolls out over the next few days to companies that have registered for Office 365′s First Release early distribution program, then through early 2015 to others.
Video will be available only to subscribers of Office 365′s plans for enterprises — E1 through E4 — and universities (A2 through A4). It will not be offered to consumer subscribers or firms with small business-oriented plans like Business Essentials, Business and Business Premium.
Kashman also said Office 365 plans for government agencies will get Video at some point, but he did not proffer a timeline.
The other requirement is SharePoint Online, an off-premises component of the enterprise and academic plans, but missing from the increasingly popular Office 365 ProPlus, the rent-not-buy plan used by organizations that have decided to retain their back-end services, like SharePoint and Exchange, on premises.
Although Office 365 Video has elements of consumer streaming services like Google’s YouTube, it’s strictly an in-house affair: It will be available only to employees, and then only those whom IT administrators have assigned access rights.
Nosey Google has updated its search engine algorithms in an attempt to restrict piracy web sites appearing high in its search rankings.
The update will mean piracy sites are less likely to appear when people search for music, films and other copyrighted content.
The decision to roll out the search changes was announced in a refreshed version of a How Google Fights Piracy report, which was originally published in September 2013.
However, this year’s updated report features a couple of developments, including changes to ad formats and an improved DMCA demotion search signal.
The move is likely to be a result of criticism received from the entertainment industry, which has argued that illegal sites should be “demoted” in search results because they enable people to find sites to download media illegally.
The biggest change in the Google search update will be new ad formats in search results on queries related to music and movies that help people find legitimate sources of media.
For example, for the relatively small number of queries for movies that include terms like ‘download’, ‘free’, or ‘watch’, Google has instead begun listing legal services such as Spotify and Netflix in a box at the top of the search results.
“We’re also testing other ways of pointing people to legitimate sources of music and movies, including in the right-hand panel on the results page,” Google added.
“These results show in the US only, but we plan to continue investing in this area and to expand it internationally.”
An improved DMCA demotion signal in Google search is also being rolled out as part of the refresh, which down-ranks sites for which Google has received a large number of valid DMCA notices.
“We’ve now refined the signal in ways we expect to visibly affect the rankings of some of the most notorious sites. This update will roll out globally starting next week,” Google said, adding that it will also be removing more terms from autocomplete, based on DMCA removal notices.
The new measures might be welcomed by the entertainment industry, but are likely to encourage more people to use legal alternatives such as Spotify and Netflix, rather than buying more physical media.