Facebook Makes Decision to Shutter Services Platform Parse

Facebook announced yesterday that it plans to shutter Parse, its toolkit and support platform for mobile developers the company hoped would serve the Internet of Things and lead to a cloud business that could compete with Amazon, Google and Microsoft. Parse provides developers with support and tools that enable programmers to write code rather than spend valuable time maintaining the back end. Users of the platform include developers at productivity app Quip and Expedia’s travel website Orbitz. The social giant paid a reported $85 million to acquire Parse in 2013. Continue reading Facebook Makes Decision to Shutter Services Platform Parse

Intel Technology Debuts Multifactor Security for Business PCs

Intel unveiled Authenticate, a technology that introduces a new, heightened level of security and computing performance. Authenticate makes it easier for multifactor authentication by which users put in place up to four safeguards before they are able to log in to their computer. That could be any combination of a password, fingerprint, set of numbers on a touchscreen or presence of an authorized employee smartphone. Authenticate is already built into new versions of Intel’s Core chips, which are used in business PCs. Continue reading Intel Technology Debuts Multifactor Security for Business PCs

ABC Developing Original Programming for Streaming Initiative

ABC is said to be exploring a new approach to streaming original content online. Rather than launching a standalone subscription service similar to CBS All Access or NBCUniversal’s upcoming comedy offering Seeso, the network is reportedly planning to introduce new series exclusively through its WatchABC app. In addition to offering expanded original programming on an alternative platform, the Disney-owned network could also use the model as a means of trying out new concepts and talent that could eventually make their way to broadcast television. Continue reading ABC Developing Original Programming for Streaming Initiative

Instant Access to NBC Shows and Highlights with Roku App

NBCUniversal has launched a free Roku app that offers television viewers access to day-after-air full high definition episodes and highlights of their favorite NBC shows, including new fall series such as “Blindspot,” “Heroes Reborn” and “The Player.” While no provider login is required for select new series, authentication will be needed for access to returning NBC shows and older content. The network also plans to make late night programming — including “Saturday Night Live” and “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” — available as full episodes and as clips. Continue reading Instant Access to NBC Shows and Highlights with Roku App

Apple TV Remote Also Offers Features for Home Automation

Apple just came out with a new Apple TV remote with integrated Touch ID, which utilizes fingerprint sensors to authorize and block users. In addition to TV-centric capabilities, the new remote offers the ability to enter a channel without punching in a password and to allow authorized people to make iTunes purchases. What makes this TV remote truly different is its ability to control in-home electronics. Over the years, rumors have been rife that Apple’s end game for Apple TV was as a home automation hub. Continue reading Apple TV Remote Also Offers Features for Home Automation

MasterCard to Test Using Facial Scans for Purchase Approvals

MasterCard plans to test a new program this fall that will experiment with using facial scans to approve online purchases. Consumers will photograph themselves with their smartphones at checkout, an approach MasterCard believes will be easier than remembering passwords. The company also believes it will help combat fraud. While SecureCode was used in 3 billion transactions last year, passwords can still be forgotten, intercepted or stolen. As a result, a number of companies have been turning to biometrics as a solution. Continue reading MasterCard to Test Using Facial Scans for Purchase Approvals

FIDO Certification is First Step for a World Without Passwords

Official FIDO certification for 31 products — from physical devices to login services — has been issued to 18 companies, marking the first certification under the new spec that aims to foster alternatives to password authentication and provide new opportunities for interoperating services. Systems compatible with FIDO can accept logins from any certified device, such as a fingerprint reader or voiceprint detector. Google’s all-purpose login service was certified as a universal two-factor server, and Yubico received certification for two USB security keys. Continue reading FIDO Certification is First Step for a World Without Passwords

Alibaba Tests Dotless Visual Codes to Fight Counterfeit Goods

Alibaba is facing a growing problem with counterfeit goods that has led to some top brands taking legal action. The Chinese e-commerce giant is debuting a solution in the form of unique tags similar to QR codes. The company is working with Israeli startup Visualead to introduce dotless visual codes, which can be used to scan products to prove their authenticity and then automatically destroyed so they cannot be used more than once. Customers will use Alibaba’s Taobao mobile app to scan the codes when they receive their orders. Continue reading Alibaba Tests Dotless Visual Codes to Fight Counterfeit Goods

Bodyprint Scans Body Parts to Authenticate Smartphone Users

Yahoo Labs researchers have developed a new technology called Bodyprint that works as an alternative to the fingerprint scanners used in high-end smartphones to authenticate users. With Bodyprint, users can convert the screen on their smartphone to function as a biometric scanner capable of detecting users’ ears, fingers, fists and palms when pressed against the screen. The technology has reportedly produced impressive results in classifying body parts and identifying users. Continue reading Bodyprint Scans Body Parts to Authenticate Smartphone Users

Is Television Being Held Back by Traditional Cable Bundles?

While television continues to migrate online, live sports have been slow to follow. Many people are still tethered to their cable subscriptions because they want to watch their sports live. As soon as sports programming breaks from bundles and is streamed online, more consumers may become cord cutters and abandon their cable subscriptions altogether. Meanwhile, Canada has become one of the first countries to require companies to dismantle their cable bundles and allow customers to choose their channels. Continue reading Is Television Being Held Back by Traditional Cable Bundles?

Apple Pay Mobile Payments Service Experiences Growth in Fraud

Banks are scrambling to tighten security measures as Apple’s mobile payments service experiences a growing incidence of fraud. Criminals are lifting credit card numbers and stealing identities through Apple Pay by reportedly exploiting vulnerabilities in the verification process. Some banks may make it too easy for customers to authenticate numbers when adding cards. According to one expert, fraud may account for about 6 percent of Apple Pay transactions, compare to only 0.1 percent of credit card-swiping transactions. Continue reading Apple Pay Mobile Payments Service Experiences Growth in Fraud

NBC to Offer Free Live Stream for Super Bowl Sunday Fans

NBCUniversal plans to offer a free digital video stream beginning at noon on February 1 and running into the evening that will include the Super Bowl, pre-game coverage, the halftime show, and an episode of “The Blacklist.” NBC’s “Super Stream Sunday” will be available for desktop PCs and tablets via NBC Sports Live Extra and the Sports Live Extra app. (The NFL gave exclusive rights to live-stream on smartphones to Verizon Wireless.) Additionally, viewers will be able to enjoy the free NBC stream without having to provide their pay TV subscription info. Continue reading NBC to Offer Free Live Stream for Super Bowl Sunday Fans

Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Cable industry executives gathered at the NCTA Cable Show to discuss growing competition from online video content providers, and the need for cable TV to improve delivery systems of cable programming across all devices. By improving the consumer experience and video-on-demand services, cable companies hope to “protect their turf” from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. Also, leaders in the cable industry recognize the need to find a solution for rising cable TV prices. Continue reading Cable Execs Call for Action to Challenge Online Competitors

Google Acquires Audio-Based Password Company SlickLogin

Google has acquired sound-based password company SlickLogin, only five months after the startup launched at TechCrunch Disrupt. The service, currently in beta testing, was designed as a password alternative or an extra security layer for existing passwords. Google’s acquisition could lead to the audio-based technology being used to log in to Android phones, Chrome browsers, Gmail or Google+ in the future. Specifics of the deal have yet to be announced. Continue reading Google Acquires Audio-Based Password Company SlickLogin

Fox to Preview Authentication Service by Streaming Super Bowl

Fox plans to offer a special one-day preview of its Fox Sports Go service by streaming Super Bowl XLVIII free to tablets and PCs. To promote the online and mobile authentication service, Fox will stream the NFL championship game between the Broncos and Seahawks, its halftime show with Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and related programming. The live stream will be available on Sunday, February 2 for iPads via the Fox Sports Go app and for desktop PCs at FoxSportsGo.com. Continue reading Fox to Preview Authentication Service by Streaming Super Bowl

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