CES: IBM Pushes Watson Brand with New Product Integration

Move over, Siri. Some new consumer products will include the artificial intelligence platform and “Jeopardy!” winner, Watson. IBM announced at CES 2016 that it has partnered with Under Armour to use Watson in the company’s fitness app to help make suggestions based on health data. Watson will also power a new robot from the Japan-based SoftBank company. The Pepper robot is designed to provide an interactive experience that would replace the kiosks in retail stores, banks and hotels. Continue reading CES: IBM Pushes Watson Brand with New Product Integration

Apple in Talks with Banks About New Money-Transfer System

Apple is in talks with banks to develop a new payment service to allow an iPhone user to send money to another iPhone user, most likely bypassing Visa and MasterCard by working directly with banks. The talks are at an early stage and no one involved would comment on the evolution of the plan. But multiple sources confirm Apple’s talks with the country’s largest banks and that the company is serious about moving forward. Unknown is whether credit card companies are engaging Apple or waiting for the company to contact them. Continue reading Apple in Talks with Banks About New Money-Transfer System

Retailers and Banks Battle Over Adoption of Chip Technology

With the introduction of credit cards with an embedded security chip, the banking and retailing industries are battling over issues of security, fraud and the cost of adoption. For years, European banks have issued credit cards with both the chip and a PIN; U.S. banks are foregoing the PIN and relying solely on the chip and an in-person signature. Retailers argue they are absorbing the high cost of adopting the chip technology and paying interchange fees, without reaping any of the benefits of lower fraud. Continue reading Retailers and Banks Battle Over Adoption of Chip Technology

Could Facebook Patent Be Used to Approve or Deny Loans?

Facebook just filed for a patent that tracks how users are networked together. The patent can be used to prevent people from sending spam to those they’re not legitimately connected with. But the patent filing also describes a less savory possibility: that banks and other lenders could examine the credit scores of those in your network when deciding whether or not to make a loan to you. For some experts, at least, this conjures up visions of housing discrimination, aimed at the poor and people of color. Continue reading Could Facebook Patent Be Used to Approve or Deny Loans?

Greenlight VR Maps Today’s Virtual Reality Industry Ecosystem

Greenlight VR, a San Francisco-based business intelligence startup specializing in the virtual reality industry, has created a business map of significant VR players. The rising prospects for virtual reality as a mainstream medium has seen new demand for ways of better grasping the scope and nuances of the industry’s emerging and rapidly evolving landscape. The database profiles hundreds of VR businesses from around the world — from fledgling startups to the established companies entering this space — organized by 22 categories across 11 sectors. Continue reading Greenlight VR Maps Today’s Virtual Reality Industry Ecosystem

Google Developing New Service for Paying Bills Within Gmail

Google is working on a project called “Pony Express,” which plans to enable Gmail users to receive and pay bills within their email. The service — whether it is named Pony Express or something else — is reportedly slated to launch in the fourth quarter. Google is working with vendors that provide billing services for insurance and telecom companies, utilities, etc. It is not clear whether the company plans to monetize the service, but it could provide Google with data for entering new industries and targeting advertisements. Continue reading Google Developing New Service for Paying Bills Within Gmail

New Apple-IBM Partnership Unveils First Apps for Enterprise

Apple and IBM released 10 apps this week designed for businesses and governments. The apps are the first to come out of the tech companies’ new partnership and target sectors such as air travel, banking and retail. Apple is looking to put new life into its lagging iPad sales by drawing business users, while IBM hopes to catch up in the mobile space. The two companies are working with 50 corporations to create apps for Apple mobile devices; the next round is slated for release early next year. Continue reading New Apple-IBM Partnership Unveils First Apps for Enterprise

Dish Network Executive to Take Over LightSquared Wireless

LightSquared, a wireless company that filed for bankruptcy in 2012, proposed a new restructuring plan that would give Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen 60 percent of the new equity in addition to $1 billion in junior debt. J.P. Morgan Chase, a LightSquared lender, would come away with 31.9 percent of the equity and a seat on the board of directors if the investment bank provides $189 million in funding. The restructuring plan is intended to raise between $750 million and $1 billion. Continue reading Dish Network Executive to Take Over LightSquared Wireless

Why Analysts Are Concerned About the JP Morgan Data Breach

In an era of system hacks becoming more common, JP Morgan is the latest to report a massive breach of customer information. While the company believed a few weeks ago that only one million accounts were affected, it now reports that 76 million households and 8 million small businesses were part of the data breach. While recent breaches have largely involved retailers, some analysts are more concerned about the JP Morgan case, especially since banks tend to have more sensitive data about their customers. Continue reading Why Analysts Are Concerned About the JP Morgan Data Breach

End of an Era: Larry Ellison to Step Aside as Oracle’s Chief

Oracle announced yesterday afternoon that Larry Ellison has agreed to step down as chief executive officer, concluding what Businessweek described as “one of the most entertaining and profitable runs for a leader in business history.” Ellison, who turned 70 last month, has run the company since co-founding it in 1977. He will remain chairman of Oracle’s board and will become the chief technology officer. Oracle execs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd will share the CEO responsibilities. Continue reading End of an Era: Larry Ellison to Step Aside as Oracle’s Chief

Kumo Aims to Break TV Bundle by Offering Specific Channels

Kumo, a startup that hopes to offer consumers access to individual channels rather than entire bundles, has raised $50 million in financing. The company may face significant hurdles, since content creators and owners have historically avoided this type of model, fearing a negative impact to their revenue streams. Unlike Aereo’s failed attempt at pairing an antenna with a cloud storage service, however, Kumo is reportedly working to license content for its a la carte approach. Continue reading Kumo Aims to Break TV Bundle by Offering Specific Channels

Forrester Sees Growth in Use of Big Data Despite Confusion

In a survey of 259 marketing and business development execs in finance, retail and consumer products, Forrester Research found that one-third of the respondents were confused about big data, and only 9 percent plan to implement related technologies in the next year. Forrester also found in a parallel survey that 452 technology execs at the same companies claimed they were more familiar with big data. Despite the confusion, the report encourages companies to take advantage of data supplied by Internet users and connected devices.

Continue reading Forrester Sees Growth in Use of Big Data Despite Confusion

Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

A new study from Accenture found that as our finances move to new digital platforms, younger generations place more trust in Internet and retail brands than they do with traditional banks. The study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 would consider doing their banking entirely online while also getting their financial services from non-traditional providers. Topping the list, 46 percent of respondents in this age group said they would be likely to bank with PayPal. Continue reading Study: Younger Consumers Interested in Branchless Banking

ScreenHits to Launch Free Website for Showcasing TV Pilots

ScreenHits, an online marketplace for international buyers of film and television content, plans to launch a free service for consumers that will feature TV pilots that have not been picked up. The approach aims to introduce a new source of revenue for producers and studios. The Pilot Showcase service is scheduled to go live with 50 pilots on July 1. The pilots will be made available with advertising, and viewers can pre-order any shows that get greenlit as full series.   Continue reading ScreenHits to Launch Free Website for Showcasing TV Pilots

Yahoo No Longer Honoring ‘Do Not Track’ Requests by its Users

In a blog post this week, Yahoo announced that its privacy policy will no longer recognize when users activate “Do Not Track” signals in their browsers. Although users purposefully use this setting to indicate they do not want companies to monitor their online behavior, the tracking is necessary for Yahoo to create a more personalized experience for its users. The move is part of larger strategy by CEO Marissa Mayer to brand Yahoo as a “personalization company.” Continue reading Yahoo No Longer Honoring ‘Do Not Track’ Requests by its Users

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