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Lefkofsky Talks About the Need for More Empathy

Lefkofsky Talks About the Need for More Empathy People who have success in the realm of business innovation, like Eric Lefkofsky, may ...


Is Your Password Safe Enough? [Infographic]

Is Your Password Safe Enough? [Infographic]

IsYourPasswordSafe_eHow_FrontPagePasswords are the Achilles' heel of online security. Well, to be accurate, they're one of several heels, making this a really bad analogy. But if you rely on just a couple of passwords for all of your sites, your passwords are easily guessed, or they can be cracked in minutes by a hacker's computer. It's like you have no security at all.

We're here to help. Check out this infographic (click it for a larger view) to see just how secure your online presence is. And after you work your way through the quiz, make sure you're running a password manager that safely remembers all your passwords for you. And flip on two-factor authentication for sites which support it.

After all, you don't want to have this particular problem in common with Jennifer Lawrence.

Decision tree to help figure out how safe your paswords are


Geek Vs Geek: Who Wants to Wear an Apple Watch?

Geek Vs Geek: Who Wants to Wear an Apple Watch?

Apple WatchesWe've been hearing about smartwatches for a few years now, and despite splashy product launches from Pebble, Motorola, Sony, and Samsung, they just haven't taken off. Can Apple do better? Or is the Apple Watch destined to fail along with all of the other bulky, clunky high-tech watches?

Once a month, eHow Tech editor Dave Johnson faces off against Rick Broida, who writes about technology for CNET, PC World, and Wired. Follow along as they tackle this question from opposing corners.

rick_punched_thumb_smallRick: Think back to 2006. You know, right around the time you turned 50. Most cell phones were just that, while a handful of glorified PDAs were learning to make calls. The "smartphone" was really just a meh-phone — and then Apple got into the game. The iPhone showed everyone what this product could be, and in very short order the category changed forever. This history will repeat itself next year with the introduction of the Apple Watch, a game-changer in every sense of the word. I can hear your lame, illogical howls of protest coming, but trust me when I say this is the one. Apple will make the smartwatch a household — a wristhold — item.

dave_punched_thumb_smallPicture of the Visor phoneDave: I know the history of smartphones, but thank you for walking me through it again. Just because Apple was able to see the threads of a fairly obvious product and weaved together the best bits of the Handspring Visor, Nokia smartphones, and its existing iPod, that doesn't mean it'll be so easy to strike gold a second time. Embedding a computer into a wristwatch is tricky business. Most existing options — from Dick Tracy to Inspector Gadget to Microsoft's SPOT watch to whatever abominations have come from Sony and Samsung — show that there's a fine line between useful and horrifying. You can't simply assert Apple will get it right; that's just fanboyism.

rick_punched_thumb_smallRick: I love how people throw out that epithet whenever someone praises a product. By your definition, you're a Pebble fanboy, Sonos fanboy, and, for some reason, Will Smith fanboy. Did I say I loved the Apple Watch or even that I'd buy one? No, I said it's a game-changer. And here's why: fanboys. Apple has a massive installed base of slobbering iEverything lovers who will buy whatever Apple makes, regardless of how much it costs or whether there's a better alternative. Consequently, Apple will sell gazillions of Apple Watches. Presto: new market. But I do also think this wrist-thinker comes way closer to meeting the ideal than any product that's come before it. On paper, anyway.

dave_punched_thumb_smallwatchDave: So yes, Apple has a track record of becoming the market leader after not being first to market — they come in from behind and synthesize good ideas to make something that everyone starts using. Know another company that you can describe exactly the same way? Microsoft. That's literally their MO. Rather than focusing on the company, let's talk about the watch itself. From what we saw, would you say that Apple's hardware likely to take the world by storm? Will your uncle, grandma, and bus driver wear an Apple Watch in, say, 2 years?

Rick: Er, yes, it will take the world by storm, for exactly the reasons I cited above. Turn up your hearing aid, bus driver! As for whether the Apple Watch actually any good, I'm willing to give Apple the benefit of the doubt: When was the last time they produced a truly bad product? The Digital Crown seems like a smart solution to the problem of navigating a watch interface, and I'm especially impressed that the face can recognize both taps and presses. Meanwhile, the Watch covers all the bases: notifications, fitness monitoring, even support for the new Apple Pay. Plus, some gloriously cool customizable watch faces, and no doubt zillions more to come. The only thing that's really going to hurt is the price: "Starting at $349" is not a good sign.

Dave: I'm not arguing that Apple has savvy hardware designers and they have had an excellent track record in recent years. I'm asking you to look past the hero worship — don't give them the benefit of the doubt and really look at what they're offering. I see two huge red flags. The "starting at an average car payment and probably going up from there because we're being really cagey about pricing right now," and the lithium-ion elephant in the room: Battery life. The best we can hope for is to get through a single day. Even Apple, at its own press conference, emphasized charging it every night. You yourself have complained bitterly about smartwatches like the Pebble that require charging even once a week! Will vast armies of people agree to wear a watch that won't work tomorrow if you forget to charge it each and every night?

watch2Rick: I suppose, Borg-like, we will adapt. (Irony! Because, you know, all Apple users are drones?) It's definitely not ideal. High price and frequent charging have been among my top complaints with the current crop of watches. But if you're getting a device that's genuinely useful, that works well and looks good, I guess you have to suck up the sucky battery. And, let's face it, we charge our phones every night, so how is this any different? I actually really love the magnetic wristbands Apple showed off, as they'll make it much easier to get the watch on and off. But I do NOT like the proprietary magnetic connector, because, good god, another cable. So let me ask you, guy-who-buys-everything-all-the-time, are you saying you won't be getting an Apple Watch? Let's see you put that on record!

Dave: Well, I didn't say I wouldn't be getting an Apple Watch. As you just said, I tend to buy all manner of gadgetry that ordinary consumers don't. I have a Pebble smartwatch, one-wheeled gyroscopic skateboard, and an infrared camera for my iPhone. Will I get an Apple Watch as well? Of course! But will I recommend it to friends, family, and readers? Not if you have to charge it every single day, no. The comparison to a phone isn't fair; you can charge your phone throughout the day, at your desk and in your car while continuing to use it. You can attach a battery case to your phone to extend its battery life on the go. You can't do any of those things to a watch, so if it dies, it's a paperweight strapped to your wrist.

The OneWheel self-balancing skateboard

Dave is looking forward to wearing the Apple Watch while riding his OneWheel.

rick_punched_thumb_smallRick: Why would it die? Either you charged it overnight or you didn't. Again, I think it's the kind of thing people will have to integrate into their lifestyles. Will they be willing? That remains to be seen. The bigger question is whether the Apple Watch will fail like most of its predecessors. I say no. Whether it's a killer product or not, the Apple juggernaut will catapult smartwatches into the mainstream, ultimately bringing more and better competition. You, sir, who apparently still think calculator watches are a neat idea, think all new things are bad and want the Watch off your lawn.

dave_punched_thumb_smallDave: I've rarely been so badly (and intentionally) mis-characterized. Let's just agree to check back in, say, six months, and see how the Apple Watch is doing. I predict that, yes, millions of people will buy one just because it has Apple's logo on it. But I also predict that people will quickly lose interest when they forget to take the charging cable on vacation and have a dead watch for a week. Or get frustrated with Yet Another Thing To Plug In every night at bedtime. Unless Apple finds a way to get a week of battery life out of its Watch, I think this is going to be a short-lived revolution.

Who won? We'd love to hear from you. Weigh in with your opinion in the comments, or tweet @davejoh.

What other tech topics would you like to see Dave and Rick discuss? Send your ideas to Dave via Twitter @davejoh. And if you follow Dave, he promises to come to your home and explain something techy to your dad.



How to Make Money Selling Ringtones

How to Make Money Selling Ringtones
How to Make Money Selling Ringtones thumbnail Many cell phone owners seek to personalize their phones with select ringtones.

Cell phones and other handheld devices are becoming more prevalent in our society, and the people who own and use them often try to look for ways to personalize them. Some people buy personalized cell phone covers, while others pay to use specific songs and tunes as their ringtones. Some people even get multiple ringtones that they use simultaneously on the same phone, each signifying a specific caller. With your own website, you can make money by selling such ringtones online.


    • 1

      Get a website. Do this by buying services from a web hosting company such as Blue Host, iPage or Fat Cow. Whatever service you pick, make sure that it is one that allows you to have unlimited traffic. In choosing a domain name, pick something that will appeal to a specific group of consumers.

    • 2

      Open a PayPal account for your website to pay into. PayPal offers services specifically tailored to suit the needs of Internet businesspeople.

    • Become an affiliate with a content service. It would be basically impossible for you to directly sell copyrighted ringtones on your own, as the publishers do not freely license third parties to sell their songs. This content service will give you a percentage of every ringtone sold through your website.

    • 4

      Pick songs that appeal to the same consumer group that you were aiming to target when you chose your domain name. For instance, if you are targeting teenage girls, pick songs that teenage girls tend to like. If you are targeting snowboarders, pick songs that snowboarders enjoy.

    • 5

      Start an advertising program. The simplest way of doing this is going through a pay-per-click service, such as those offered by Google and Yahoo. Many web hosting companies will give you free points for Google and/or Yahoo advertising. Put a few hundred dollars more into the advertising program on top of this. Another way of increasing traffic to your site is by going to Internet communities or blogs that appeal to your consumer base and posting links.

    • 6

      Continue updating your site. Post new songs, pictures and written content regularly, and find other things to sell as well. This will keep your visitors coming back.


Merrybet “Predict & Win” promo produces first set of millionaires

Merrybet "Predict & Win" promo produces first set of millionaires

The recently launched "Predict & Win" promo from Merrybet, Nigeria's leading sports betting companyhas produced its first set of millionaires.  Mr. Lambert Okereafor, a real estate manager from Enugu State won the N4,000,000 jackpot for week 4 while Mr. Oberhiri Kingsley, an IT engineer from Delta state, won the N1,000,000 jackpot for week 5.Continue...

Presenting the winnerstheir cheques at a special event at Victoria Garden City, Lagos, the Chief Communications Officer of Merrybet, Mr. Lanre Odiase congratulated the winners.   He emphasized the commitment of the brand to rewardingplayers for participatingas over a N100,000,000 would be won in the Merrybet "Predict & Win" promo.

Explaining how the jackpot winners emerged, Mr. Odiase said every week, 10 football matches are uploaded on and all players get one free weekly prediction but can pay N100 to get more predictions and increase their chances of winning.  All players had to do was predict if a match would end in a win, draw or loss for the home team for a minimum of 8 of the 10 matches correctly without having to get the exact score line for the matches to score a strike.  A player who scores a second strike wins the available jackpot. This was the Weekly Jackpot category, with N1,000,000 to be won weekly and in a week no one won, the jackpot was rolled over to the next week.

Other categories are the Weekly Highest Point category, which rewards players with the weekly highest for the week with sums of N100,000 for the 1st place, N50,000 for the 2nd place, N30,000 for the 3rd place and the next 100 players getting airtime of N1,000 each.

Most rewarding of all is the Leaderboard category, which kicks off during the English Premier League.  The sum of weekly points for all players are accumulated throughout the season and the player with the highest point gets an astounding N15,000,000, 2nd gets N12,000,000 and the 3rd gets N10,000,000.

Mr. Odiase further stated that with the "Predict & Win" promo being so easy to play, it was open to Nigerians from all walks of life and that ladies were not left out as several female winners had already emerged in the Weekly Highest Point category.  He encouraged Nigerians to take advantage of the promo as becoming a millionaire might just be one prediction away.
The winners were excited and grateful to the bookmaking giant, Merrybet.  They commended the commitment of the Merrybet brand to delivering ground breaking products and making it very rewarding for players.


Picking a new iPhone: there's only one decision that matters

Picking a new iPhone: there's only one decision that matters

It's simpler than you think

Starting at 12:01AM PT (3:01AM ET), you'll be able to preorder the just-announced iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from Apple. If history serves any indication, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will place their preorders this weekend, consuming all of Apple's stock and pushing availability of the devices out for weeks or months.
That's been the same story every year for half a decade, but this time around, Apple is selling two distinctly different iPhones with different sets of features, different price points, and seemingly different cameras. That makes it a little harder to wake up in the wee hours of the morning and just click the buy button like you could in prior years. Based on talking to people in person and on social media networks, it seems that a lot of people are torn between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus and are completely unsure of which one to buy. It appears that for most people, the biggest sticking point is that the 6 Plus could take better photos than its smaller sibling, thanks to its new optical image stabilization system. But the answer is simpler than many people are making it out to be.
The differences between the two devices have been agonized over ad nauseam for the past couple of days, but here are the highlights: the iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch, 1334 x 750 pixel display, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display. The iPhone 6 Plus comes with optical image stabilization (OIS) on its 8-megapixel camera, while the smaller iPhone 6 does not have that feature. And the iPhone 6 Plus has a bigger battery. Apple has also tweaked iOS 8 for the 6 Plus' larger screen with a new landscape homescreen mode.
Both screens are considered Retina HD by Apple, and though the 6 Plus has a higher resolution, both are pixel dense enough to make it difficult to see individual pixels with the naked eye. Unsurprisingly, the 6 Plus is much larger than the 6, measuring 3.06 inches wide by 6.22 inches tall verses 2.64 inches wide by 5.44 inches tall. (If you've ever held one of Samsung's Galaxy Note 3s, the 6 Plus has nearly the exact same dimensions as that.)
According to Apple, the 6 Plus' larger battery will last for 12 hours browsing the web over LTE or up to 16 days of standby. The iPhone 6 is rated for 10 hours of LTE web browsing or 10 days of standby.
Until we have been able to put the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus through our review process, we won't know for sure how much of a difference the 6 Plus' longer battery life makes in the real world (though Apple's suggested guidelines have been reliable in the past). But it's safe to say that the iPhone 6 Plus will last longer between charges than the iPhone 6, and if battery is your number one concern, that might push the 6 Plus ahead regardless of the other differences. For the rest of us, that leaves the actual size of the devices and the OIS feature as the remaining factors.

To understand how important (or not) OIS is in a phone, it's important to understand how it actually works and what it actually does. OIS has been around in DSLR lenses and point-and-shoot cameras for over a decade, and other smartphone manufacturers have been putting it in their devices for years before Apple jumped on board. It is designed to counteract hand-shake and camera movement, by literally moving elements of the camera's lens in the opposite directions of the photographer's movements. This allows for taking sharp pictures with longer shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible. Longer shutter speeds let more light into the camera's sensor, allowing for brighter pictures in low light environments. It's long been billed as the savior for low light photography and it lets you use a really big zoom lens on your DSLR or mirrorless camera without a tripod. OIS is most effective when you have a long focal length, because that magnifies any uncontrollable movements you might have.
OIS only corrects for camera shake, it does not make your subject sit still
But, and here's the key misunderstanding with OIS, it is only able to correct for movement on the camera's side. If you have a longer shutter speed, unless your subject is inanimate and perfectly still, it's more likely that your subject will move in the time that the camera is taking the picture, causing motion blur that the OIS system can do nothing to correct for. You've seen this before, often times when you try to take a picture of a frisky pet or active toddler indoors, they move during the shot, causing a blurry limb or loss of sharpness in key areas such as the face. Having OIS in a camera does not resolve this problem, and in fact, a lot of smartphone manufacturers have exacerbated the issue by relying too heavily on the feature and holding the shutter open for longer than would otherwise be necessary. (I've personally seen this with every smartphone I've reviewed that has OIS, including models from HTC, LG, and Nokia.) And since smartphones have wide lenses, OIS is less effective than it would be on your DSLR with a 300mm zoom lens.
The fact is, most of the pictures people take with smartphones are of other people, which are living, breathing, and yes, moving subjects. The most important factor in getting sharp pictures of people is shutter speed — it needs to be fast enough to freeze the subject.
That isn't to say the OIS feature has no purpose — it's really great for getting sharp pictures of buildings at night or those cool nighttime cityscapes. They aren't moving and will surely sit still long enough for the camera to use a longer shutter speed. OIS can also be effective for stabilizing video. It can also be argued that OIS is more effective in the iPhone 6 Plus (and possibly more necessary) than it would be in the iPhone 6 because its larger size can be more difficult to hold steady.
In Apple's description of the OIS system on the iPhone 6 Plus, it says that it is capable of fusing both long and short exposures in the same shot in an effort "to reduce subject motion." Earlier iPhones, like the 5S (and also the iPhone 6), combined four short exposures to fight handshake and subject motion. The extra step the iPhone 6 Plus does is add the long exposure, but we won't know exactly how much of a difference that makes in real-world practice until we're able to put the phones through our review process. It's possible that the iPhone 6 Plus' system of fusing exposures could alleviate the issues we've seen with OIS in other smartphones that do not do the same kind of processing.
By all accounts, it appears that everything else about the cameras in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the same. According to Apple, they have the same resolution, same sensors, same focus system, same lens, same flash, and same new camera processing features. They also have the same video recording features, including slow-motion, 1080p recording, and something Apple calls "Cinematic Stabilization." But in the vast majority of still photography situations, these cameras are likely to produce very similar results.
iPhone 6 colors
So the real question you need to answer before clicking that buy button is "Do I want a really big phone or not?" The iPhone 6 Plus is a really big phone. It's going to be awesome for watching video, browsing pictures, reading books and comics, browsing the web, and all of the other things that people have been doing on really big phones for years. It will likely take the place of a small tablet for many people. But it doesn't do that without compromises. Just like any other big phone, the iPhone 6 Plus is going to be difficult to use in one hand (even with Apple's software tweaks) and it's not going to slide into your pocket nearly as easily as a smaller phone. Though the iPhone 6 has a considerably larger display than the 5S before it, we've seen that 4.7-inch phones can certainly be used in one hand and they fit in any pocket you wish to put them in. A simple test to see if this works for you is to print out pieces of paper in the dimensions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and try them out in your hands and in your pockets. Here are handy templates for the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 (make sure you set your printer to A4 before printing).
Do you want a really big phone and are you willing to live with the compromises that come with it? Great, you should get the iPhone 6 Plus. If you want a phone that will be easier to manage in one hand and will fit in your pants' pockets with ease, the iPhone 6 offers virtually everything the 6 Plus has in a smaller package.
It's as simple as that. Now comes the really hard question: what color do you want?
Update 9/12/2014, 3:30PM ET: This article has been amended to include a description of how the OIS system works in the iPhone 6 Plus, according to Apple.

Apple is hiding an embarrassing iPhone 6 camera bulge

Apple is hiding an embarrassing iPhone 6 camera bulge

Apple has an unpleasant bulge it's hiding. The latest iPhone 6 has slimmed down to just 6.9mm of metal in what Apple describes as a "streamlined profile," but it has picked up one element that isn’t particularly streamlined: an ugly camera bulge at the rear. You wouldn’t necessarily spot it if you were browsing Apple’s website though. While some images display the bulge clearly, there’s a number where it has simply vanished from sight.

It could be clever lighting, placement, and website trickery, but ultimately it looks like the camera bulge has simply been sliced from view on most profile shots of the phone. Even Apple’s own official iPhone 6 press images have been altered. We get it, nobody wants unsightly bulges, least of all Apple’s latest iPhone 6 smartphone, but it shouldn’t just vanish into thin air. You can view all of Apple’s attempts to hide its iPhone 6 bulge in the gallery below.

The latest Android news, developments, comments and apps involving Google's embedded mobile platform that now features in smartphones, tablets, set-top boxes, cameras, watches and some other rather unexpected places.

Samsung makes business case for Galaxy Tab Active

Galaxy Tab Active_11Samsung has announced a tablet aimed at business use – “built for business,” it says – at IFA 2014 in Berlin. It’s the ruggedized Galaxy Tab Active.
How does it differ from all other Android tablets, I wondered?
As you would expect, mention of Knox is prominent – Samsung’s system for managing secure corporate data access, which is built on Security Enhanced (SE) Android.
The extra security, says the company, “keeps applications and data safe in a professional’s own secure space without the need for a third-party platform and extra cost”.
Anything else?
Its anti-shock covering can withstand a 1.2-meter drop, with the protective cover on, and it is water and dust resistant with IP67 certification.
The remaining highlighted features are also really about durability, for people out in the field rather than in the office, with robust “C-Pen” and a detachable battery for (relatively) uninterrupted working. Also:
The 3.1MP Auto Focus Camera can easily scan barcodes, and the Galaxy Tab Active’s NFC technology saves time on communications and work process management. These essential features can greatly boost productivity, such as with a transportation and logistics managers who can leverage the Galaxy Tab Active to seamlessly connect with a building’s foreman on shipping and receiving.
With an 8” WXGA(1280 x 800) TFT LCD display, it runs Android Kitkat (4.4) on a 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor, with 16GB of internal memory, and support for MicroSD up to 64GB.
The full spec is below. 
LTE : 800/850/900/1800/2100/2600
3G : 850/900/1900/2100
2G : 850/900/1800/1900
1.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
8” WXGA(1280 x 800) TFT LCD
Android Kitkat (4.4)
Camera / Flash
3.1MP Auto Focus (Rear) with Flash + 1.2MP (Front)
Recording : HD (1280 x 720) @ 30fps
Playback: FHD(1920 x 1080) @ 30fps
Content Services / Applications
Smart Tutor (Remote Customer Support Service), Ultra power saving mode
Free Downloadable apps
ChatON, Flipboard, Group Play, S Translator, Samsung Link, Story Album, TripAdvisor, Businessweek+, Side Sync, Barcode Scanner, Hanshow, Hancell, Hanwrite
Google Mobile Services
Chrome, Drive, Gmail, Google, Google Settings, Google+, Hangouts, Maps, Photos, Play Books, Play Games, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Play NewsStand, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube
USB 2.0 High Speed , BT 4.0 BLE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, NFC
Accelerometer sensor, Light sensor
1.5GB LPDDR3 + 16GB internal memory
MicroSD up to 64GB
Dimension / Weight
126.2 x 213.1 x 9.75mm / 393g
4,450mAh (User-replaceable)
Galaxy Tab Active_10_m
- See more at:

Samsung makes business case for Galaxy Tab Active

LG’s Android Wear-based G Watch priced at £180 for UK no comment Alun Williams 9th April 2014 Get news by email LG G Watch LG’s Android Wear-based G Watch LG is to charge £180 in the UK for its first Android-powered smartwatch, the G Watch, and the device will go on sale in July, reports the Daily Telegraph. The announcement was apparently made at the company’s UK showcase in Weybridge, and is the first indication of UK pricing for the Android Wear technology. Matt Warman writes: It indicates that Google will target a much lower price point for its wearable devices that companies such as Samsung have previously aimed at with their Gear smartwatches. LG also revealed a non-functioning demonstration unit, showing a rectangular watch face with no buttons and a plastic strap, in line with their previous mock-ups. It contrasts with the round Android Wear device shown by Motorola when Google announced the software earlier this year. - See more at:

What you need to know about the future of paying for stuff. Editted by ehijoshua

What you need to know about the future of paying for stuff

We've virtualized much of the rest of the modern life -- why not payments? Plane tickets, banking and many other aspects of our lives now live on our phones. Payments still exist in the world of paper and plastic.
Google has Google Wallet; Visa has payWave; MasterCard has PayPass; and American Express has ExpressPay. Apple just announced its own, with Apple Pay. If you've heard of any of these credit card services other than Apple's recently announced system and maybe Google's long-running program, we're impressed. You're in the minority; heck, one quarter of US citizens don't even own a standard credit card, let alone a virtualized one. But virtual payments are more prevalent by the year, and Apple Pay is giving the concept a much-needed publicity boost. So, all that said, let's talk about the future of payment.
Don't throw away your wallet just yet.


When it comes to virtualized payment systems, we're not talking about paying with your credit card number online, or even services like PayPal. We're talking about the act of paying at a physical store with virtual means: your phone, for instance, or some forms of credit card. Perhaps you've got a special key for use at the gas pump, where you wave it near a part of the pump and you're good to go? Same concept, except this is all payment scenarios (at major retail chains, anyway).
Google and Apple are using NFC -- "Near-Field Communication" -- to make this work. That means exactly what it sounds like: You put your phone or card near a reader and the reader accepts payment. We've got a video of Apple Pay in action right here!
Pretty simple, right? What's actually going on behind the scenes is a bit more complex, of course, but the implementation is meant to be painless. Ideally, even more painless than pulling out your credit card. And more secure, too.


Here's where things get technical, so bear with us for a moment. There are two main standards being used: NFC and ISO/IEC 14443. We already know that NFC stands for "Near-Field Communication," but it's worth also knowing that NFC devices produce a very weak radio frequency. This radio frequency is what allows them to communicate with payment systems, and it's that same radio frequency that the ISO/IEC 14443 uses: 13.56MHz.
Technical junk aside, what matters here is that both systems play nice with each other. And that's good, because a variety of credit card companies use the non-NFC system. Since those companies already outfitted retailers with their systems, no major change needs to be made for NFC-enabled phones to simply work as payment all over the USA. The list of vendors signed up for Apple Pay thus far is testament to that: Bloomingdale's, Disney Store and Walt Disney World Resort, Duane Reade, Macy's, McDonald's, Sephora, Staples, Subway, Walgreens and Whole Foods Market.
Google Wallet similarly offers a stand-in for credit and debit cards; enter debit/credit information into the app, and then use the phone as your payment device at participating retailers. And all those retailers where Apple Pay works? Google Wallet now works there too, thanks to the fact that there are established standards for how these payment systems work, and those standards aren't governed by a single company.


Apple Event
As you likely expect, this is a sticky situation. Let's break it down, piece by piece:
  1. Do Google and Apple keep my credit card information? The short answer is no. The longer answer still starts with no, but also points out that your debit/credit information is probably on file with both companies anyway through Google Play and iTunes. There's no reason to believe that either company can't be trusted with keeping that data safe, but Target customers and PlayStation Network users may feel differently.
  2. Could my phone be stolen and used as payment? Also no, at least not easily. In the case of Apple Pay, you need a fingerprint ID to use it. In the case of Google Pay, a PIN is required.
  3. Could my phone be stolen and debit/credit card info removed? Still no. Part of NFC's standardization is an aspect called the "secure element." This is the chip where personal information is stored, securely and encrypted.
The question that really matters here is one of comparative security. Is virtualized payment more secure than traditional means? We'd argue yes, it is. Retailers in the US rarely check identification for debit/credit card use, and matching signatures is a remnant of the past. There are inconveniences that come with the new method -- the inability to lend a family member a credit card, for instance -- but those issues will assuredly work out in time.


B0BKYT Woman paying with chip and pin by man with boxes, low angle view woman; paying; chip; pin; man; box; close; up; color; im
Much of the world outside of the US has adopted a newer form of credit card that uses a built-in microchip and a PIN (sometimes called "Chip and PIN technology"). This "smartcard" has vastly reduced card fraud, but it never caught on in the US. It's certainly an alternative, but not one that's very effective if you don't live in Europe. Smartphones, however, are worldwide.
A similar concept exists in the US, though it uses technology similar to NFC. It's this technology, in fact, that led the charge for virtualized payment in retail stores. It's no surprise that Visa, MasterCard, American Express and a mess of major US banks are on board with the new NFC tech from the likes of Apple and Google -- it's an evolution of technology they're already using.

Apple Confirms HealthKit Bug, Delays Launch

Apple Confirms HealthKit Bug, Delays Launch

One of the biggest new features of Apple's latest mobile operating system iOS 8 is HealthKit platform, the company's first major step into the health and fitness space. While the company has been calling on developers to connect their apps and its data to its hub, you can't download any HealthKit-enabled apps from the Apple App Store just yet.
Apple told Mashable in a statement Wednesday that the company detected a bug in the platform and it's not ready for launch.

"We’re working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month,” a spokesperson said.
The possibility of a delay first surfaced on Twitter, when Brian Mueller — a developer for the fitness motivation app Carrot Fit — said in a tweet that he received a call from Apple about the state of his app, noting it wouldn't be available for download because "HealthKit is just broken and isn't ready to launch."
"Sounds like HealthKit won't be working at all this week," Mueller added, according to Apple Insider. "And there's no ETA for when a bug fix will go live."
He has since deleted the tweets.
In addition to relying on developers to build apps for HealthKit, the company is reportedly working with healthcare providers at Mount Sinai Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins University and electronics health records provider AllScripts, too.
The news comes as Apple launched iOS 8 on Wednesday, a download that required up to 5.7GB of free storage space. As a result, people are scrambling to delete pictures, apps and music in order to make room for iOS. If you're looking to make the upgrade and don't want to delete anything, click here for tips on how to do so.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

iPhone 6 release date, news and features Updated Everything you need to know about the new iPhone 6

iPhone 6 release date, news and features

Updated Everything you need to know about the new iPhone 6 

iPhone 6 release date, news and features
Apple has officially announced the iPhone 6 - the eighth generation of iPhone - at a special event in Cupertino.
As well as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Tim Cook has also treated us to the Watch.
If you want to get a feel for the handset, head on over to our hands on iPhone 6 review, and keep an eye out for our iPhone 6 Plus and Watch early reviews.

The competition has never been tougher for a new iPhone, with the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and Sony Xperia Z3 surpassing the iPhone 5S in terms of size, specs, power and performance.
Apple needs to pull something very special out of the bag to keep itself relevant, so what does the iPhone 6 bring?
We've got all the latest details on Apple's new iPhone right here, just for you.
Check out the new iPhone 6 in our hands on video direct from Apple's event:

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A major revision of the iPhone including entire design
  • When is it out? iPhone 6 release date is September 19
  • What will it cost? From $649, £539, AU$869 SIM-free

iPhone 6 release date

You'll want to know when you'll be able to get your sweaty mitts on the iPhone 6.
The good news is you won't have to wait long, with the iPhone 6 release date set for September 19. (That's a Friday).

iPhone 6
Bigger than 5S, smaller than 6 Plus

iPhone 6 price

In the US, on a two year contract the iPhone 6 starts at $199 for the 16GB model, then it's $299 for 64GB and $399 up front for 128GB of internal storage.
If you're looking for a SIM-free iPhone 6 you'll need to have a lot of money at the ready. The 16GB iPhone 6 will set you back $649, £539, AU$869, the 64GB model is $749, £619, AU$999, while the 128GB version is a whopping $849, £699, AU$1129 SIM-free.
Pre-orders opened on September 12, but demand has been predictably high and Apple warns that even if you pre-order you might not get your iPhone 6 until October.

iPhone 6 design

This is the first of two major revisions for the new iPhone flagship - Apple has overhauled the squared off design which has been with us since the iPhone 4, with the iPhone 6 sporting a more rounded, slimmer body.
In fact it's just 6.9mm thin, making it one of the slimmest smartphones on the market, and rumors about a protruding rear camera lens are also true.
It's slightly heavier than the 5S at 129g, while the body measures 138.1mm x 67mm.
The power/lock key has been moved from the top of the handset to the right hand side, making it easier to hit during one handed use. On the left hand side you get the separated volume keys below a mute toggle switch.

iPhone 6
It's thin. Really thin.
The shell is metal and and the screen subtly curves into it, to create a sense of unity with minimal visible gaps in the construction.

iPhone 6 display

The iPhone 6 has a 4.7-inch LED back-lit display with a 1334 x 750 resolution - it's Apple's new "Retina HD" offering. That means you get a pixel density of 326ppi - the same as the iPhone 5S.
It also pales in comparison to the iPhone 6 Plus, with a full HD 1920 x 1080 5.5-inch screen with a 401ppi display.
But while the pixel density might not have changed the iPhone 6 delivers higher contrast and wider viewing angles than the iPhone 5S and it even features an improved polariser, so that colours look more natural when you use it while wearing sunglasses.

iPhone 6 power

The iPhone 6 packs in an A8, 64-bit second generation processor and a next-generation M8 motion coprocessor too. We're also hearing that the iPhone 6 sticks with 1GB of RAM and has a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, compared to the 1.3GHz dual-core iPhone 5S.
That might not sound like much of an upgrade, but Apple promises that the iPhone 6's CPU and graphical performance are faster than last year's handset even while powering a larger display.
The A8 chip is also up to 50 percent more energy efficient than the A7 and Apple has included a new technology called 'Metal', which is designed to allow the CPU and GPU to work together to deliver enhanced effects and more detailed graphics than past iPhone's have been capable of, so we're likely to see even more impressive games hit the App Store in future.
Moving on to the M8 motion coprocessor, this is a lot like the M7 version found in the iPhone 5S, except that it can now track steps, distance travelled and elevation changes, so it's better than ever at monitoring your activity. In combination with the new Health app this should be appealing for fitness fans.

iPhone 6

iPhone 6 camera

Apple has stuck with the 8MP rear camera on the iPhone 6, but it's not the same as the one you'll find on the iPhone 5S.
A new wide angle iSight lens, true tone flash, f/2.2 aperture, greater noise reduction, digital image stabilisation and a 2 x faster autofocus provide even better images.
There's also a new Apple-design image signal processor built into the A8 chip to improve the way the iPhone 6 handles images.
  • Why photographers should be excited about the iPhone 6 iSight camera
That rear camera can shoot 1080p video (sorry 4K fans), and the Slo-mo video mode has been boosted to give you the option to record in either 120 fps or 240 fps. Videos also benefit from continuous autofocus, plus Apple has added a new time-lapse mode to the mix.
The front facing FaceTime camera has also been given some love. It's actually a FaceTime HD camera now, with a f/2.2 aperture, and a new sensor which allows in up to 81% more light. There's also HDR FaceTime video support, ensuring you're perfectly lit.
Selfies get a boost too, as there's now a Burst Mode which can capture ten shots per second. That along with Timer Mode and improved face detection should make it a breeze to take the perfect mug shot.

iPhone 6
It has a camera!

iPhone 6 battery

With a 50% more efficient processor along with presumably a bigger battery we're hopeful that the iPhone 6 will have a lot of juice.
Apple hasn't revealed the exact battery size but it claims that the iPhone 6 can keep going for up to 250 hours on standby, 12 hours of talk time, 11 hours of internet use or 50 hours of audio playback, which sounds like a modest upgrade over the iPhone 5S.

iPhone 6 connectivity

The iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) sports CAT 4 LTE, offering data speeds of up to 150Mbps and it supports LTE coverage for 20 bands, covering over 200 networks worldwide. The most bands covered by any iPhone.

iPhone 6 operating system

There are no prizes for guessing the software that's running on the iPhone 6.
Apple's latest platform offering, iOS 8, was announced at its WWDC developers conference earlier this year and it's on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
This isn't a total overhaul, but it does add some useful new features and improvements. For example it includes third-party keyboard support, improved OS X integration, more interactive notifications, a new Health app and the ability for third-party apps to use Touch ID.

iPhone 6 Apple Pay

The iPhone 6 largely seems focused on changing and improving what's already there, but Apple Pay is a genuinely new feature. Essentially it uses the iPhone 6's new NFC chip to allow you to make contactless payments.
This isn't a new idea but now that Apple's getting into the game it might finally start to take off, especially as the company has already partnered with Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Don't get too excited about NFC though as for the time being the chip in the iPhone 6 only works with Apple Pay.

Apple Pay

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