IFTTT Enables App-to-App Integration, Connects IoT Devices

IFTTT (“if this, then that”), founded in 2010, automates tasks, such as sending an email when a particular stock goes over a certain price, without the need to write code. Thus far, the user has gone to the IFTTT website or app to connect the tasks in question. Now, IFTTT is enabling developers to embed the integration within apps and users to connect the many apps the service supports. Apps will be able to easily exchange information with other apps, making for an even more user-friendly way of employing the service. Continue reading IFTTT Enables App-to-App Integration, Connects IoT Devices

Bots Could Replace Apps for Microsoft, Facebook and Others

Bots are text or language-based user interfaces to a service rather than ones that are graphical, and they’re getting a boost from several big technology companies, especially those that missed out on smartphones and their apps. Microsoft has described a vision of bots that can do everything from book a hotel room to order pizza, and has debuted tools to make it easier for a developer or small business owner to build one. Now, Facebook has plans to roll out a bot store that connects with its Messenger service. Continue reading Bots Could Replace Apps for Microsoft, Facebook and Others

Google Launches Pilot Program for Hands-Free Mobile Wallet

Google launched a pilot for Hands Free, a mobile wallet application that allows a buyer to use her phone for purchases without taking it out of her purse. The pilot, conducted in the southern San Francisco Bay area, is available in a few stores and designated McDonald’s and Papa John’s locations. The cashier’s system can detect the user’s phone; to close the transaction, the user asks to pay with Google and gives her initials to the cashier. The cashier can also detect if the user is the same person in the Google profile. Continue reading Google Launches Pilot Program for Hands-Free Mobile Wallet

Google Clarifies its Ad-Blocking Ban for Apps in Android Store

After a confusing period of inconsistent application of its ad blocker ban, Google just re-approved and republished Rocketship’s Adblock Fast to Google Play. The move appears to indicate that Google has reversed its earlier decision to ban ad blockers from the Google Play store. After that earlier decision was announced, Google pulled apps such as Adblock Fast, but then permitted but simply stalled updates for Crystal’s ad blocker. Google has not commented publicly on how its ad-blocker policy is evolving. Continue reading Google Clarifies its Ad-Blocking Ban for Apps in Android Store

Companies Share Cyberthreat Info on New Facebook Platform

When Facebook launched ThreatExchange in February, the idea was to create a platform where companies could share information on potential cyberattacks, malware and other malicious hazards. Now, the Silicon Valley company says that the number of companies on the platform has reached 90, after 23 joined last week when the application process became easier. Facebook, which isn’t alone in offering a platform for centralized cyberthreats, is continuing its work to integrate these other information-sharing platforms. Continue reading Companies Share Cyberthreat Info on New Facebook Platform

YouTube Stops Using Adobe Flash by Default, Opts for HTML5

YouTube announced it is now defaulting to HTML5 rather than Adobe Flash. A change that has been in development since 2010, the popular video site now uses its HTML5 player by default in the following browsers: Apple’s Safari 8, Google Chrome, Microsoft IE11, and beta versions of Mozilla’s Firefox. The company points to adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming, the VP9 codec, encrypted media extensions, Web real-time communication (WebRTC), and fullscreen APIs as five key technologies that made the change possible. Continue reading YouTube Stops Using Adobe Flash by Default, Opts for HTML5

QuickFire.TV Transcodes Broadcast Quality Video in Seconds

Startup QuickFire.TV helps news and sports broadcasters encode their videos for playback on 20 different platforms at lightning fast speeds, making it faster to distribute video content online. QuickFire claims its cloud-based solution transcodes video ten times faster than real-time, thanks to its complete stack infrastructure with Intel Core i7 processors. QuickFire also offers a set of APIs that allows video producers to create custom workflows and tools for uploading videos. Continue reading QuickFire.TV Transcodes Broadcast Quality Video in Seconds

Twitter Effectively Combats Spam with New BotMaker System

Twitter unveiled its new BotMaker system this week, designed to address its growing spam problem. The machine learning models and other techniques traditionally used to classify messages as spam do not always work with the real-time nature of Twitter, so the company developed BotMaker, which scans messages as part of bulk data analyses. According to Twitter, the system has resulted in a 40 percent reduction in spam since it was rolled out and now handles billions of events each day. Continue reading Twitter Effectively Combats Spam with New BotMaker System

Kits for Internet-Connected Devices to Hit RadioShack Shelves

RadioShack plans to stock DIY kits in its retail locations that provide consumers with the ability to create an array of connected devices. New York startup LittleBits has been selling sets that allow users to connect, for example, a sound detector to a LED light, for illuminating a small space every time a radio is turned on. LittleBits now offers its $99 Cloud Starter Bundle that connects gadgets to the Internet, while companies such as Bug Labs and Electric Imp are also offering ways to create connected devices. Continue reading Kits for Internet-Connected Devices to Hit RadioShack Shelves

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