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Mobile Technology News, October 22, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • This Free App Will Solve Math Problems For You
    Need more help with math problems than a calculator can provide? There’s now an app for that.

    PhotoMath promises to help solve simple linear equations and other math problems by “reading” questions with the help of your smartphone camera.

    photomath

    But an answer isn’t all you’ll get from this free app. PhotoMath also provides a step-by-step guide of how each problem is solved, a feature that some consumers have lauded as a potentially useful tool for students, parents and educators.

    “If you can’t figure out the answer and this app can show it to you step-by-step then this is precisely best used by people trying to learn math,” wrote one Redditor on Tuesday.

    Another noted that “if you’re a parent helping with homework, knowing [the correct answer] and how to get there would be sweet.”

    Some netizens, however, have pointed out that the app might prove a little too tempting for students looking to cut corners.

    “Wet dream of high school math students, but perhaps not such a good idea?” Kontra, CounterNotions.com’s blogger, wrote on Twitter.

    “Equation solving is a learned process. Once you short circuit it, it’s problematic,” he said.

    PhotoMath is now available for iOS and Windows mobile devices. An Android version will be available in 2015.

  • How To Remote Desktop To Your PC From Windows Phone

    There are times where you want or need to access your Windows PC from afar.  It isn’t often mind you unless you are doing remote support or the like but sometimes you need to find that file you left on your PC desktop instead of uploading to OneDrive.  After all, if you had it in OneDrive, you could easily access it from your Windows Phone. Microsoft makes a Remote Desktop app for Windows Phone and it works flawlessly for just such a need.  The app is a free download but there is a little bit of configuration you need to

    The post How To Remote Desktop To Your PC From Windows Phone appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Google Street View Takes You To Gombe National Park, Home Of Jane Goodall's Chimpanzees
    In 1960, when famed primatologist Jane Goodall first stepped foot into what is now Gombe National Park in Tanzania, she was immediately awed by the wonder and beauty of the place.

    “I found myself thinking, ‘This is where I belong,’” Goodall said. “Together — the chimpanzees, and the baboons and the monkeys, the birds and insects, the teeming life of the vibrant forest, the stirrings of the never-still waters of the great lake — formed one whole.”

    Thanks to Google Street View, you too can explore the wilderness of Gombe National Park, and even catch a glimpse of some of the chimpanzees that Goodall, together with her eponymous conservation and research institute, have been studying for decades.

    chimpanzee street view
    Chimpanzee in Gombe National Park

    baboons lounging
    Baboons lounging on a beach in Gombe National Park

    In a blog post Tuesday, Google explained that they used Street View Trekkers — backpacks outfitted with a camera system — to collect “thousands of 360 degree images along the narrow paths of the park.”

    Among the many photographs Google captured include ones of Lake Tanganyika and Goodall’s home as well as shots of baboons grooming on a beach and chimpanzees (including one named “Google”) hanging out. Google also managed to document areas near Gombe that have been impacted by deforestation.

    jane goodall house
    Jane Goodall’s home. According to Google, Goodall lived in this house for almost the entire course of her work in Gombe. She is said to still stay in the house when she visits.

    lake gombe
    Lake Tanganyika

    google chimp
    Chimpanzee named “Google” in Gombe National Park. Google was named “after the longstanding partnership between the Jane Goodall Institute and Google,” the tech company said.

    The Jane Goodall Institute and Tanzania’s National Parks partnered with the tech company to make this Street View experience possible. The images will be used in both future research and as a teaching tool.

    Lilian Pintea, the Institute’s vice president of conservation science who helped Google capture images in Gombe, called Street View “a new tool in our toolbox” that enables researchers to “monitor and share with the world what is happening with the chimpanzee habitats” in the forest.

    “It complements high resolution satellite imagery, community forest monitoring using mobile technologies and field researchers’ data by providing a historic record on the ground with which everyone can relate,” Pintea said, per the Institute’s blog.

    Explore Gombe National Park for yourself at Google Street View here.

    (H/T: Mashable)

  • Future of TV: Funding the Future of Networks
    If you have any doubt that video is the biggest untapped next phase of the web, just take a look at the capital that is funding a long list of content-centric startups. The quality of the entrepreneurs, and the size of their ambitions should, at the very least, prove that there’s a big collective bet being made that the future of video is going to be exponentially larger that its current state.

    A prime example is Jason Kilar, the former CEO of Hulu — whose new venture Vessel has raised a rumored 75 million dollars from a group of ‘a’ list investors including Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Benchmark’s Bill Gurley and Greylock Partners’ David Sze. Kilar partnered with Richard Tom, Hulu’s former CTO to found the venture. It’s not surprising to see Bezos supporting the venture, given his interest in video and the fact that Kilar started his career at Amazon.

    2014-10-22-vesse.png

    “As a team, we are unusually passionate about the intersection of media and technology; we see an opportunity to improve media, particularly next-generation video,” the founders said, as quoted in Variety.

    So, what is Vessel? According to several individuals with knowledge of the product Kilar is building a subscription service for video — pretend YouTube and Hulu had a baby — as reported by The Wrap.

    The Vessel team is meeting with content creators — both makers for YouTube and other platforms. But clearly they’ll have to provide either rare video (ie: not available on YouTube) or some other exceptional value in order to garner subscription dollars. The rumors suggest the service will be freemium, engaging advertising but also sVoD dollars as well. Much like the combo of Hulu and Hulu Plus offers levels of service with ads riding along even on the paid service. And the service is said to be mobile first, which should be good news for advertisers.

    Kilar isn’t the only one betting that consumers are ready for choice, and ready to pay for it. My friends Jon Klein and Jeff Gaspin have teamed up to launch TAPP, a sVoD service aimed to provide what they call the nation’s top thought leaders in the fields of sports, politics, religion, relationships, entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, fitness and their own channels. The idea is to build channels around personalities with super-fan followings.

    “In addition to great content, TAPP channels will offer a rich layer of consumer engagement for the super fan,” said Gaspin. “We believe subscription services offer a superior business model while complementing current content offerings.”

    2014-10-22-Tapp2.png

    Both Gaspin and Klein have a long history in the coming together of TV and tech. Klein was the founder of The FeedRoom in 1999, an early innovator in online video platform space. Before founding The FeedRoom, Klein was an executive vice president at CBS News, where he oversaw prime-time programming including 60 Minutes, and 48 Hours. Klein was named president of CNN/U.S. in 2004. And Gaspin began his career at NBC, and moved to Vh1 to run programming. He returned to NBC in 2001 and was named President of NBC Universal Cable and Digital Content in 2007.

    “There will be long form content for those viewing TAPP on PCs and smart TV’s, and easy to access sharable, snackable content for mobile video users on the go,” said Klein. “And by building in big data capabilities from the ground up, we aim to eliminate much of the guesswork of traditional television programming.”

    TAPP has launched 3 channels so far, and if their early days are any indication — they’ll be taking risks with categories that wouldn’t make their way into todays cable marketplace. The Sarah Palin channel launched on July 27th, 2014. Klein told The Daily Beast: “We’re not out to make a reality show.” We’re out to make a channel that provides you with all the dimensions of her personality. People are nuanced. They have different layers and different levels. Too often people in public life are reduced to easily digestible cartoons… What we’re excited about is giving voice, for literally thousands of people who are out there, to someone who’s got passion and something to say and has a rabid audience that wants to hear it.”

    Palin is a profit participant in the venture, not getting any money up front. If other political channels are any indication, it could be substantial. The Blaze, Glenn Beck’s digital channel, boasts 300,000 subscribers who each pay $10 a month, landing $36 million in in subscription dollars, and that’s before ads are sold.

    Next up for TAPP; the Herman Cain channel. “We’re delighted to expand the TAPP roster with a personality whose following is as passionate as Herman Cain’s,” said Gaspin. “His millions of listeners and social media followers will now be able to get to know and interact with Mr. Cain in a deeper and more meaningful way.”

    TAPP investors include Discovery Communications and Demarest Films, Daniel Leff’s Luminari Capital, and individuals — including Eric Schmidt, Exec Chairman of Google and investment bankers Ken Moelis, Peter Ezersky and Michael Huber. The size of the round was not released.

    Meanwhile, YouTube execs are heading out on their own. Dean Gilbert, who was VP, Global Head of Content and Operations at YouTube is now leading a new venture — Victorious. (www.GetVictorious.com)

    2014-10-22-victorius.png

    Still it’s a platform that lets online stars create their own personally-branded mobile apps, and at least on the surface seems like it’s not a direct competitor to YouTube. Victorious brings together online feeds from YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and given them the tools to add advertising, e-commerce and merchandise sales around their content. The company has YouTubers Michelle Phan, Boyce Avenue and Ryan Higa signed up.

    “We can pull in media and centralize assets for a creator’s hub on the star’s own personally branded Victorious-based app”, CEO Rogoway told deadline.com, “They also can publish exclusive content there. I don’t think we’re in a hits-driven business. We’re in an engagement-driven business. It’s not just a place to watch and leave.”

    Meanwhile, there’s tons of funding news on the content front. Culture Machine has raised 3.5 Million led byZodius Capital. Culture Machine is the company of former Disney-UTV exec Sameer Pitalwalla and former YouTube exec Venkat Prasad.

    And Jukin media has just raised 1.2 million in additional capital. Jukin finds trending videos on YouTube, and then acquires and licensees them to networks, individual TV shows and advertisers. While Jukin earns money from videos on YouTube — 700 million views monthly — that’s not their only revenue source. Jukin also distributes and licenses content through partners including ABC, NBC, MTV, Yahoo, AOL and other broadcasters, publishers and platforms. According to comScore, Jukin’s YouTube network reached 18 million unique viewers in the US in August, 2014.

    But the largest single investment in the video space may turn out to be the 1.3 billion dollar deal Yahoo made to acquire Tumblr in the spring of 2013. Business Insider reported that, according to several sources, “Yahoo executives believe Tumblr should become the company’s answer to YouTube. In this vision, Tumblr would become the exclusive distributor of videos from YouTube stars like JC Caylen, JennXPenn, Teala Dunn, Ricky Dillon, Connor Franta, JackJack and Bethany Mota.”

    This after reporter Peter Kafka published a report on recode that suggested Yahoo was working to attract popular YouTube stars to the platform. Clearly Yahoo has the cash to pay up for some of the post popular stars, post the influx of Alibaba cash. The question remains, will YouTube stars take the cash, and the risk that their audience won’t follow them? A short term payout, no matter how large, has to be a risky venture for YouTube’s young and growing star stable.

    No matter how you handicap the companies that are driving exploration in to the video space, the collective consciousness is clear on the outcome. TV is no longer going to be a one-size-fits-all play. The new revenue streams, and new content sources are sure to combined with emerging delivery mechanisms to drive the birth of a new era in TV. And that is sure to be a good thing.

    Other video raises include:

    – Pond5, which raised 61 million.
    – Vidyo raised 20m in a series E, total raised $139 since 2005.
    – Vox 34M
    – SundaySky 20M
    – Wochit 11M
    – Studio Now 5M
    – Vungle 17M
    – MedaiKraft 23M
    – Tastemade 25M
    – MiTu 10M
    – Machinima 18M
    – All Def Digital – Russell Simmons – 5M
    – Kaltura 47M
    – Fuisz 2.1

    Steven Rosenbaum is serial entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker. His book Curation Nation, helped set the trend, and CurateThis! comes out Nov 4th. He is the CEO of Waywire.com (enterprise.waywire.com)

  • GT Advanced, Apple strike deal to 'amicably' part ways
    After much bickering in court during bankruptcy proceedings that took Apple and Wall Street by surprise, former sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies has worked out an agreement with the iPhone maker that will let it pursue its plan of winding down operations at its Mesa, Arizona plant and laying off nearly 700 employees. Though Apple had initially said it would work to preserve the jobs involved, the deal instead offers incentives to certain employees to help wind down the plant, and provides a way for GT to pay back the money it owes Apple.



  • Concern raised over UK use of drones
    The use of drones in the UK will rise over the next 20 years, raising “significant safety, security, and privacy concerns”, a report says.
  • VIDEO: Creating a $110 earthquake detector
    Creating an earthquake detector out of everyday household parts
  • Can data predict the perfect entrepreneur?
    Why being over 40 makes you the perfect entrepreneur
  • Woman Tricks Men With Misleading Photo (NSFW)
    You guys know there’s actual porn on the Internet, right?

    A woman fooled some Redditors into gratifying themselves to a picture that looks like female cleavage but is in fact … well, click to reveal the truth if you dare (NSFW.)

    CLICK HERE TO SEE

    nullo

    The poster then published all of the private messages she received from over-eager dudes who were apparently slobbering all over the picture of her husband’s butt and wrote ““To all of those LOVELY gentlefolk on Gone Wild last night…with love, from ‘Posh’ 😉 .”

    One person even sent her a picture of a panda for some reason. Mostly she just got creepy messages. The Daily Dot has them in all their creepy glory

    Hat tip: Reddit

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  • My STEM Story: Lessons in Denial
    When my family moved to America from British Bermuda, I was still in elementary school, having completed first form, the equivalent of first grade, at the Bermuda High School (BHS) for Girls. Uniform and uniformed, I marched in step with the other girls, just as my mother had done through her entire schooling at BHS. Yes, I did stand out as the only Jewish girl in the school, or anywhere on the island. But generations of my family were well-known on the island, so the singularity was tolerable. Inserted into a New York City suburb, I was delighted to find that this particular oddity was completely irrelevant. Unfortunately, an ongoing confidence crisis took its place.

    Longing to fit in, I embraced America’s freedom of expression, jettisoned my BHS uniform, and begged my parents for every fashion fad I saw. Painfully, I came to understand that my classical education marked me far more than my clothes did. Even at age seven, my British accent, diction, spelling and vocabulary were unmistakable. Ridiculed at recess, misunderstood in class, and assaulted walking home, I went from rage to withdrawn, from arrogance to self pity. I felt alone and timid, marooned on an unforgiving, unrelenting Long Island, as I never was on the island of Bermuda. Yet, this was the ’50s, and I didn’t stand out as odd among the girls in my class for my lack of confidence or my weepy moments. It would be decades before women wrote about the self-assurance gender gap and published articles such as “The Confidence Gap” would be common place (The Atlantic, May 2014).

    While I was confused about America’s mix of freedom and conformity, I was oblivious to America’s confusion about what to do with me. I was placed in second grade, but quickly put into a combination third and fourth grade which I considered another quirky Americanism. I learned decades later that my mother prevented my being put even further ahead so that I wouldn’t be a total oddity. I eventually translated my British English into American, and found nothing odd about studying another foreign language, French, as a preteen. Nor did it seem unusual to study mathematical set theory in elementary school from a text book so experimental that it didn’t yet have a cover. A budding intellect was insignificant compared to matching a pace of life so fast that putting a proper cover on a book was a bother.

    I was unimpressed when a group of us junior high schoolers were sent to the high school to take science. Our advanced science cohort trudged up the hill together, so I thought it was no big deal. The years of advanced math felt like another college requirement gotten out of the way early. Surely, I was no more than an arithmetic plodder sitting next to Judy, my friend the mathematics genius. Unlike me, Judy didn’t need a slide rule for math tests in those days before computers; she could do the math in her head. We both began careers in community organizing after college, but Judy eventually acquired a PhD in mathematics, and now teaches Applied Statistics in academia, having retired from the world of corporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

    My graduate degrees are in religion and urban planning. I ran nonprofits, including Jewish Federations. I later became an award-winning, bestselling author, editor of the American Diversity Report, and cross-cultural consultant. When I started writing a series about women in STEM, Judy was an obvious interview choice. Touching base again was both a pleasure and a revelation.

    When I asked Judy what it was like to be a math genius she laughs, “You should know.” Given my clueless response, she reminds me that I sat next to her in all those math classes through all those years of high school. “So what?” Judy gently reminds me, “Only four girls went through those advanced math courses, and you and I were also in the advanced science classes.”

    Judy and I chose a math elective that included some matrix algebra and basic computer programming when it was first offered in 1966. Her mother, the math teacher, and my mother, the Hebrew teacher, were like-minded in seeing computers as the future. As usual, Judy excelled in the class, while I recall limping along. My inability to embrace a math whiz persona didn’t seem odd as scholarly pursuits in my family centered on history, culture, and languages. The HS counselors never suggested focusing on STEM, although they did inform me that my IQ was higher Einstein’s. I hid that fact, along with my acceptance into Harvard as long as possible because the reaction was usually hostility rather than admiration or congratulation. The response can be summed up as, “Funny, you don’t look a genius,” and from the Ivy-League bound males, “I guess you can go out with me now.”

    My mindset definitely needs adjustment. For many years, I’ve lectured women about valuing their accomplishments. Now, it’s time to take my own advice. Maybe I shouldn’t laugh off the memory of being dragged out of a beginning statistics class in graduate school and deposited in the advanced classroom. Maybe I should stop dismissing as pure chance that I ended up as a webmaster, website creator, and online writer/researcher/editor. Maybe it wasn’t an aberration when I dis-assembled and repaired an office computer. Maybe it’s time, or past time, for a self image do-over.

    Are women in STEM particularly prone to this lack of confidence? Many STEM women appear semi-conscious about their choices as noted in earlier articles in this series. Their career paths often feel random, a matter of luck, or the lack thereof. The confidence deficit is is a popular explanation, but my experience compels me to offer another explanation, or at least a different wording. I see the phenomenon as protection against hostility, discrimination, and harsh, personal criticism. In short, it is not simply an issue of confidence, but of self survival, requiring great courage to confront.

    Judy shares her career choices and is quite analytical about her field and the competition with male co-workers. She talks about getting her PhD at Colorado University, working in the university system, and sharing an office with another nontenured professor. They both received a corporate job offer, but her offer was only 59% of his. Judy says, “At the time, NOW (National Org of Women) had published that on average women were making 59% of what men made. What a coincidence! When I reported this coincidence to the recruiter (accompanied by a pie chart of course), we had a good laugh and he raised the offer.” Doing the math for the recruiter meant an offer of more money and status, but she suspects that her compensation remained less than that of male peers with equal credentials.

    “Women have to be better, but also more careful.” Judy describes how women can get into trouble with supervisors for having too many ideas. The PhD may not have gotten her the money she deserved, but it did act like a coat of armor, there was less conflict, less questioning of her work when she was the only woman in the room. Nodding my head, I express empathy which prompts Judy to points out similar issues in my clashes with Harvard professors, civic leaders, and even male family members. Yes, the consequences of appearing threatening are broad and deep. Apparently, the survival strategies of avoidance and denial are virtually instinctual.

    It’s not surprising that many women steer away from STEM degrees or STEM careers. Or that many women who start STEM degrees drop out. Or that numbers for career women in technology industry are dismal. A good start in addressing the invisible STEM women might be to reject the explanation of lacking confidence. Rather, see their behavior as voting with their feet, intellect and talent. They are doing what is necessary, consciously or unconsciously, to preserve their personal integrity, their family, and their ability to fight another day. The confidence rationale stereotypes women as non-assertive, risk-shy, nurture-oriented personalities. That stereotype isn’t often publicly embraced as it was when Microsoft’s CEO suggested that women shouldn’t ask for raises, but will receive recognition through good karma. Are STEM women truly surprised by this? No wonder young women think twice about a STEM career.

    What personal contributions should we make to the promotion of Women in STEM? My own role to date has been to write about the issues and magnify the voices of these women. It’s time for that role to change and to revitalize my STEM roots. As the new Research Coordinator to the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I’ll weave my award-winning writing skills into the STEM world. I plan to follow the advice of Mahatma Gandhi and hope others will do the same, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

  • To Siri, With Love
    Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri. Gus has autism, and Siri, Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” on the iPhone, is currently his BFF. Obsessed with weather formations, Gus had spent the hour parsing the difference between isolated and scattered thunderstorms — an hour in which, thank God, I didn’t have to discuss them. After a while I heard this:
  • Glowy Zoey's LED Minnie Mouse Costume Will Light Up Halloween
    Last year, photographer Royce Hutain, who goes by Visual Burrito on YouTube, created an amazing — and adorable — LED suit for his toddler to wear on Halloween. The video of her wearing it went viral.

    Now, dad is back with an even cooler costume — it’s his little girl, who he calls Glowy Zoey, as light-up Minnie Mouse.

    “Zoey was a huge hit when we went to Disneyland,” Dad wrote on YouTube. In the description for the video, he explains how he made her costume, also mentioning that after last year’s success, he “found [himself] in the LED stick figure costume business.” He now sells costumes on his website.

    Hutain’s creation is seriously impressive, but don’t worry parents, you don’t have to be an electrical mastermind for your kid to look cute on Halloween. Here’s proof:

    More Halloween Ideas: See costumes for families, couples, moms-to-be and more.

    More amazing Halloween ideas over on Pinterest!

    Follow HuffPost Parents’s board Halloween on Pinterest.

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  • Group Builds Novel Sexual Assault Reporting System — By Talking To Survivors
    A nonprofit company says it has designed an online system for reporting sexual assaults, for use by colleges and universities. What it has going for it that others don’t: It was created with the input of rape survivors and student activists.

    The third-party sexual assault reporting system is called Callisto, and was designed by nonprofit Sexual Health Innovations for use by higher education institutions. Callisto allows a victim to file an incident report online, to “receive a clear explanation of their reporting options, and then either directly submit the report to their chosen authority or save it as a time-stamped record,” the company said in its description.

    Sexual Health Innovations, whose advisory board includes sexual assault survivors and activists, public health officials and college professors, set up a Crowdrise fundraising page this week to get the Callisto service off the ground. As of Tuesday afternoon, the page had collected $1,250 toward a goal of $10,000, but organizers say they need to raise significantly more — as much as $200,000 — to staff it adequately.

    The Callisto system would allow reporting victims to choose to have their perpetrator reported to authorities immediately if the accused has also been reported as an assailant by another user. The initial victim would also get a notification in the event that an additional report is made. But no other individuals or administrators would have access to the database to see whether any single person is listed as either an assailant or victim. Founder and Executive Director of Sexual Health Innovations Jessica Ladd said this is to maintain privacy and to prevent false reports.

    But what’s unique is that the system itself was developed after more than a year of collecting feedback from sexual assault survivors, including Ladd, who said she experienced sexual violence in college and went through the reporting process.

    “The reporting process was not very empowering, but that’s where the idea came from,” Ladd told The Huffington Post.

    Callisto was developed with input from the anti-sexual assault advocacy and activist groups End Rape On Campus, Futures Without Violence, Know Your IX, Surviving in Numbers, the Clery Center, Faculty Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

    Ladd said developers interviewed 43 college sexual assault survivors and more than 100 other individuals, ages 18 to 30. She also suggested that, based on their interviews, had a system like Callisto been in place at the time of their assaults, the rate of reporting among their interviewees would have tripled.

    “We want to be clear: This is by survivors, for survivors,” Ladd said, “and us understanding and having empathy for the trauma that survivors go through after a sexual assault and just how scary the reporting process is.”

    Multiple studies show that between 20 percent and 25 percent of women experience sexual assault by the time they graduate from college, but few report it. Less than 5 percent of completed and attempted rapes of women in college get reported to the criminal justice system, according to one Bureau of Justice Statistics/Department of Justice report, and the number drops still further for other types of sexual assault. Since so few are reported at all, however, experts suggest the small numbers included in annual college crime statistics paint a false picture.

    “We’ll probably have to choose a happy medium between what the schools say they need to accurately understand the problem on the campus, without threatening the anonymity of survivors,” Ladd said, suggesting that Callisto could deliver relevant statistics via an updating dashboard of most recent reports or through annual reports.

    “We want to make it very clear to survivors they control who it’s reported to and when,” Ladd said.

  • Apple Pay loyalty program may be coming in time for holidays
    A loyalty program for Apple Pay may be ready to go in time for the holidays, says Bank Innovation. Some retail sources had previously suggested this was unlikely, in part because of doubt about the prospects of a large shift in customer behavior happening right before the holiday season. Real-world market demand may be pushing up the timetable for a loyalty offering, however.



  • 6 Smartphone Etiquette Fails to Avoid
    Remember that time you were finally in a restaurant enjoying a nice quiet dinner and the woman at the next table started screaming? It took you time to realize, after your heart slowed, that it was just another phone call. An important one, as it turns out, featuring her divorce lawyer. One she should be taking outside.

    It’s not that I can’t empathize. We all have smartphones glued to our bodies like another appendage. It’s probably the most vital device we’ve got and I for one can’t imagine life without it. But how do we learn to use our phones respectfully or at least without offending everyone around us?

    If you’re anything like me, you’ve been on both ends of some really rude smartphone behavior and the emotions it has evoked have ranged from embarrassment to annoyance to rage. Of course we know better, but still, we can all benefit from a reminder lesson in cell phone etiquette now and then.

    So, to check yours, take the user test below to find out if you’re one of these six smartphone offenders. No one needs to learn how you fare. Except, hopefully, you.

    1. You’re the Text Addict

    There you are, out for lunch you can hardly taste, spending your free hour nodding blankly at your companion, constantly asking for a sentence repeat. Now and again, you smile with a Huh? face, and never at quite the appropriate moment. That’s because it’s hard carrying on four other conversations simultaneously — by text. It’s not your fault, either. When someone sends you a message, your fingers seem to have OCD. A will of their own. Despite you, they just have to reply.

    2. You’re the Oversharer

    We get that you can’t use your hands easily while you’re sweating like a champ on the Stair Master. But does the entire gym really need to hear you fight with your sister on speaker? Sounds like a juicy story and I’d be pissed, too, but believe it or not, some of us come here to escape drama. Or we plug into the Y & R right on the treadmill. Besides, chances are, after your workout, we’ll all be treated to the abridged version of this battle on Facebook anyway.

    3. You’re the Anti-Vibrator

    You know there’s a vibrate button on there somewhere darn it, but where is the little sucker? Leave it to you to “forget” to turn your phone off again — in a movie theatre, at a wedding, during a concert. Worse, you don’t have the normal ring that says Oops, sorry! Yours is always some crazy song from the ’80s no one should ever hear again, like “Call Me!,” something that screams HEY, PEOPLE, CHECK ME OUT! I’M STILL ON!

    4. You’re the Cell Yeller

    Whenever you find yourself in a crowded space, like a diner or airport lounge, and the volume is turned up around you, you’re not even one bit daunted. All you do to compete is SHOUT INTO YOUR PHONE. Well, what other choice do you have if you want to be heard? Never mind that you’re murdering the eardrums of every person without a mile radius not to mention that poor sucker on the other end of the call.

    5. You’re the Mood Kill

    Ahhhhh. You’re sitting by the lake, but you can’t hear the crickets — or feel the breeze or feed the ducks (There were ducks?). You need to be connected to your virtual lifeline 24/7 and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a holiday weekend or you’re on the dock to celebrate your brother’s 50th or sitting on the outhouse toilet. If the phone rings, you’re answering it.

    6. You’re the Text Driver

    The light is red, but you’re not budging until the rest of us honk you into action. Heaven forbid you let Instagram happen without you for 60 seconds so you can focus on getting to where you need to go. PS: If you’re texting while the wheels are actually moving, you are basically driving drunk and should surrender your iPhone forever. Full stop.

    Picturing yourself or someone you know? Share with whoever needs your help. It’s never too late, you know.

    Do you have any cell phone pet peeves to add? Now’s your chance!

    Originally published on BrazenWoman.com

    BrazenWoman is the only lifestyle blogazine written for women 35+ by women 35+. Our site is all about you, with stories you’re interested in reading. Hey ditch the hot flash cocktail and get your lipgloss without a side of diapers. Are you ready to be brazen?

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  • The Cybersecurity Prescription For Small And Growing Businesses

    It seems that more and more headlines these days are dominated by the latest cybersecurity breach. Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan and others have all been the target of sophisticated hackers and cyber thieves trying to steal customers’ sensitive personal and financial information to exploit or sell on the black market. Yet while attacks on global banks and big retailers grab the world’s attention, small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs are at serious risk as well.

    If you are a small business owner thinking that “these kinds of security breaches could never happen to me,” you are mistaken. According to Symantec’s 2013 Internet Security Threat Report, 31 percent of cyber-attacks committed in 2013 targeted companies with fewer than 250 employees. As the evolution of technology and integrated networks continues at a rapid pace, the interconnected economy that is helping drive growth for so many small businesses is also creating vulnerabilities that threaten to outpace the ability of many entrepreneurs to protect themselves.

    Even so, there is some good news. Just as diet and exercise, regular doctor visits and health insurance are critical elements of a holistic plan to keep your body healthy, there are important steps that small business owners can take to vaccinate their business against infection, strengthen their network’s immune system, and protect their data and that of their customers or clients against invasive, foreign viruses that threaten their enterprises.

    In recognition of October 2014 as the 11th annual National Cyber Security Awareness month, we are prescribing a three step program of best practices that every small business and entrepreneur should follow to improve the cyber health of their company:

    1. The One-Two Combination Punch: Encryption and Tokenization

    Everyone knows that diet or exercise alone is not enough to keep one physically fit, but combining the two is a time-tested way to stay healthy. In the same way, small business owners need to combine the right technologies to create a cost-effective strategy that reduces risk and maximizes return on their cybersecurity investment. The combination of encryption and tokenization is an effective strategy to minimize security weaknesses, address authorization vulnerabilities and protect sensitive stored data.

    Encryption occurs at the point of sale in the credit card terminal, encoding a card’s number when it is received by the merchant, so that even if hackers access the data, their numbers are useless and cannot be used. Tokenization is a technology that protects the cardholder by creating a “token” that replaces the credit or debit card number so the real number and identity is never transferred. Using encryption and tokenization together protects customer data and thwarts even the most sophisticated thieves, minimizing fraud and protecting the cardholder even after the purchase is validated.

    2. Inoculate Against the New Superbug: Updating Your Security Technology

    Just as advances in medicine and technology are necessary to stay ahead of mutating viruses that are adapting to resist today’s drugs, it is important for small business owners to keep their security technology and software systems up-to-date to protect against aggressive criminals. New point of sale systems and devices and EMV technology (which stands for Europay, Mastercard and Visa, a global standard for inter-operation of integrated circuit or “chip” cards) are critical to protecting cardholders and the business. EMV technology replaces the magnetic strip on credit and debit cards with smart processing chips that enable more robust verification to protect against consumer-level fraud. As EMV becomes more the standard more widely, businesses are upgrading and replacing their point-of-sale card terminals and devices to ensure compatibility with this cybersecurity innovation.

    3. Talk to Your Cyber Health Professional: Consult Your Financial Institution or Processing Partner

    October is not only National Cyber Security Awareness month, but it is also the beginning of flu season. Did you get your flu shot? Maybe it’s also time for your annual physical and check-up. There is no better time for small business owners to reach out to their trusted partners at their preferred financial institutions and processing partners for a check-up on the health and security of their business systems.

    These trusted partners can help small business owners better understand their data security responsibilities, review available solutions and implement a plan to ensure long-term business protection. The partners are responsible for keeping clients informed of potential risks and consequences and arming small businesses with the technologies to keep clients and customers safe and secure. Financial institutions and processors can help implement the necessary measures to deploy a comprehensive security program to ensure small business owners and customers are protected from criminals so merchants can conduct business with confidence.

    Whether or not you have been infected in the past or if you are experiencing symptoms today, now is the time to make sure you, as a small business owner, are immunized and inoculated against looming cyber threats. Utilizing encryption and tokenization, updating to EMV-compatible point-of-sale technology and consulting with your financial institutions and processing partners are the key ingredients necessary to keep your business healthy and growing, today and into the future.

  • Is Online Dating TOO Easy?
    We have all heard of online dating at some point. Whether it’s from a friend who found a significant other through online dating, or a parental figure warning us about the dangers of meeting strangers online, everyone has had some experience with it. Websites and apps like OkCupid, Tinder, Zoosk, Match, eHarmony and countless others set out with the goal to have people with similar interests meet and hopefully be right for each other. There are countless other niche websites like Christianmingle or JDate that focus on matching people with specific beliefs and ways of life, but I’ll be focusing on the main websites and apps.

    Dating websites and apps are meant for people who have tried real world interaction and have had no luck finding their match that way. Online dating can be seen by people as a sad and pathetic fallback, but I strongly disagree. Meeting people, let alone ones that you like, in the real world is difficult, and these devices are just a catalyst for meeting people. My issues lie in how easy online websites and apps make meeting people. The app does the heavy lifting part for you, which is actually finding the person in the first place. Ultimately, people don’t use them for dating all the time. Many people use it as a hook-up device to just meet someone attractive and not be concerned with a connection. There are plenty of apps that have tried this and failed, but, in the end, there is one app that stands out for its outstanding amount of use and stories that come from it.

    Tinder is a mobile device app whose goal is to find matches between people in the same geographic area. The stories I have heard from friends about Tinder are absolutely hilarious sometimes. There are plenty of stories of friends finding each other and joking about going on a date, but one extreme story made my day. I was talking to a friend I had met at camp who informed me that they are stuck in “the worst class in existence.” When I asked what the class was about, she said, “Oh, the class is fascinating! I have an issue with the teacher…” This sounded stranger and stranger, and the reply I got when I asked what her issue with the teacher was had me laugh harder than anything else had in a long time. She said that the day before school, Tinder had some glitch and caused her to get matched with some middle-aged man. She found out the next day that the man she got matched with was none other than her teacher. “We both know what happened, but neither of us have talked about it, and it’s gonna be horrible and really awkward for the rest of the year.”

    I don’t expect Tinder to disappear anytime soon. It has set itself up as a semi-reliable matchmaking device that makes meeting people beyond easy. All you have to do is wait for matches to come up and you can chat with them if you so wish. The only real issue with Tinder, and some other sites, is that it makes dating TOO easy. In the past, you would have to wander up to the person you liked and blurt out some embarrassing sentence that they would laugh at, and then it would take time and patience before something would come to be. Now, with online dating and Tinder, you skip all of the steps of finding and actively pursuing each other. Now it’s simply “Oh! This app said we’re good for each other! Want to meet and talk?” There’s a certain amount of convenience that Tinder supplies that realistically shouldn’t exist in the long run, but to each their own.

  • Review: Kenu Airframe Plus
    Simple, stylish and effective, the Kenu Airframe + portable car mount is the latest addition to Kenu’s lineup. Released earlier this year, the Airframe + takes the same basic design of the Airframe and gives it a little extra stretch in order to hold larger 6-inch phones. In our review we thoroughly put the Airframe + to the test to see what exactly it is that puts the “plus” in this portable car mount.



  • Sasha Grey Reads Filthy Texts, Can't Believe They're For Real
    In her work as a porn star, Sasha Grey presumably heard it all.

    Or maybe not.

    The now-mainstream actress recites unwelcomed sexts for laughs on a new edition of Creepy Text Theatre. While delivering the clueless come-ons, posted on Reddit and elsewhere from dating sites, Grey asks, “This sh–t’s real? Where do you guys find this?”

    Our thoughts exactly.

    H/T Uproxx

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