Apple Expected to Debut Laptop Upgrades at June Conference

With a plan to unveil upgrades to three laptops at its annual WWDC conference in June, Apple hopes to boost sagging iPad sales and push back against rival Microsoft. Among the upgrades, the MacBook Pro will get a faster Intel Kaby Lake processor; the 12-inch MacBook will get a faster Intel chip; and the aging 13-inch MacBook Air, which still enjoys robust sales, may get a new processor. The Mac laptops are responsible for 11 percent of Apple’s $216 billion in annual sales, whereas the iPhone accounts for two-thirds of sales. Continue reading Apple Expected to Debut Laptop Upgrades at June Conference

Wells Fargo Bets on Biometric Security to Replace Passwords

If Wells Fargo is right, the traditional password will be gone in five years. To prepare, the company has been mentoring startup EyeVerify in an accelerator program since 2014. This July, Wells Fargo will debut EyeVerify’s software to corporate clients. Those executives authorized to use commercial bank accounts will be able to use their iPhone camera to take a selfie, and the Eyeprint ID software built into the bank’s mobile app will read their eyes’ veins and other markers to match with a stored template. Continue reading Wells Fargo Bets on Biometric Security to Replace Passwords

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

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

Findaway Launches Tablet Specifically Designed for Libraries

Findaway launched its Playaway audio player in 2006, a device that came pre-loaded with one audiobook. Despite distribution deals with Borders and Barnes & Noble, the product failed to gain traction, likely due to the lack of customization options. However, since libraries are in the business of passing one item from person to person, the device had some appeal. Now the company is introducing its Playaway Launchpad, designed specifically for the children’s sections of libraries. The device comes pre-loaded with educational apps developed by app maker Fingerprint. Continue reading Findaway Launches Tablet Specifically Designed for Libraries

Google Unveils Android M, Project Brillo, Google Now and More

Although somewhat lacking in major device announcements, this week’s Google I/O developers conference featured some interesting news. Google unveiled Android M with simplified permissions, support for its Android Pay mobile payments system, and a promised boost to battery life and charging times. As expected, the company announced Project Brillo, its “underlying operating system for the Internet of Things,” and Google Now, which aims to “make the smartphone smarter.” The company also introduced Google Photos and a new version of its Google Cardboard VR viewer. Continue reading Google Unveils Android M, Project Brillo, Google Now and More

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

President Obama Introduces Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

The Obama administration has proposed new legislation, the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act that intends to fill in the gaps between current federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Video Privacy Protection Act to provide consumers with added control over how companies use the personal data they collect about individuals. However, some privacy advocates are already arguing that the proposed legislation does not go far enough and provides too much control to companies. Continue reading President Obama Introduces Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

2015 HPA Tech Retreat Unveils Expanded Session Schedule

The Hollywood Post Alliance has announced the final schedule for the 2015 HPA Tech Retreat, February 9-13 in Indian Wells, California. The Tech Retreat is a gathering where engineering, tech and strategic business leaders join top creative talent to explore and debate the most compelling topics facing the media and entertainment industry today. This year’s event will feature more than 45 sessions, 75 breakfast roundtables, 100 speakers and 30 new product demos. Pre-conference registration closes Monday, February 2. Continue reading 2015 HPA Tech Retreat Unveils Expanded Session Schedule

Intel Showcases Three Key Areas of Focus for Future PC Tech

While Intel did not match its usual pace of introducing new microprocessors this year, the company did report significant signs of growth for PCs. At a Southern California event on Tuesday, Kirk Skaugen of the company’s PC chip business discussed three key strategies, including the elimination of external wires, ways to make passwords obsolete, and enabling new types of user interface. Skaugen also addressed Intel’s focus on changing the way users command PCs, including the use of 3D camera tech. Continue reading Intel Showcases Three Key Areas of Focus for Future PC Tech

Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics lost global market share for the first time in four years, falling to 31.2 percent of the market. Samsung’s profit margin on smartphones remained at the same 19.8 percent from last year, but the rising costs of smartphone component parts will make it difficult to maintain the same profits. Meanwhile, Apple’s market shares are also slipping, as affordable alternatives from Lenovo and Huawei are on the rise in the smartphone market. Continue reading Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint reader, released with the iPhone 5s, includes a sensor the thickness of a human hair, a sapphire crystal button, capacitive tech and complex data analysis. Alabama-based startup IDair believes it can replicate the quality of the Touch ID with a simpler approach that uses existing smartphone cameras to capture images of users’ fingers. IDair’s tech uses an algorithm the company has patented to convert the image into a means of identification. Continue reading Startup Develops Secure Method to Access Data on Your Phone

Apple Could Make Shopping Easier with Mobile Payments Service

Apple is reportedly looking into ways to expand into a mobile-payments service that would go beyond the iTunes store. Down the line, it might compete directly with the likes of Google, eBay’s PayPal and Square, which have become ubiquitous in mobile payment processing for physical goods and services. For Apple, that would likely mean consumers would be able to use their iPhones or iPads to make in-store and online purchases with greater ease. Continue reading Apple Could Make Shopping Easier with Mobile Payments Service

Apple Gears Up to Unveil iPad Updates Prior to the Holidays

Apple is expected to hold its next invitation-only event on Tuesday, October 22. On the eve of the holiday rush, Apple is preparing to unveil a slate of updates including the company’s fifth-generation iPad, the new Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks. The new 9.7-inch iPad is expected to be thinner and lighter, featuring Apple’s latest A7X processor and possibly its new Touch ID fingerprint sensor. A second-generation iPad mini is also anticipated. Continue reading Apple Gears Up to Unveil iPad Updates Prior to the Holidays

Replacing Passwords: Innovative Forms of Security Emerging

Technology companies have realized that passwords are not always the most convenient form of security and are seeking alternatives. The new iPhone, for example, features fingerprint scanning while Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system is optimized for fingerprint-based biometrics. Passwords are often long and complicated and difficult to remember. However, new security innovations are emerging that could lead to people relying less on passwords. Continue reading Replacing Passwords: Innovative Forms of Security Emerging

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