Facebook Debuts Payments System For Its Platform, Apps

Facebook unveiled Facebook Pay, a system to enable payments across its own platform as well as Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The user will be able to send money to people, shop and donate to fundraisers. According to the company, Facebook Pay, which is completely separate from the company’s newly released Calibra wallet and Libra cryptocurrency network, is built on “existing financial infrastructure and partnerships.” Facebook Pay for Facebook and Messenger will debut in the U.S. this week. Continue reading Facebook Debuts Payments System For Its Platform, Apps

Libra Is Challenged by European Commission, U.S. Senators

Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra has faced another setback, this time in the European Union, which plans to introduce legislation to prevent it from competing with Europe’s single currency. European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis, in charge of regulation, said Libra is a systemic risk to the Euro, “both from the perspective of financial stability and the protection of financial investors.” In the U.S., two Democratic senators urged Mastercard, Visa and Stripe to reconsider their support of Libra. Continue reading Libra Is Challenged by European Commission, U.S. Senators

Facebook Cryptocurrency Gets Backing From Major Players

Mastercard, PayPal Holdings, Uber Technologies and Visa are among the more than a dozen companies that have agreed to back Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, codenamed Project Libra. Each company will invest $10 million and be part of the Libra Association, a consortium to control the virtual currency, said sources. The invested money will fund the currency, which will be linked to a collection of government-issued currencies to make it more stable. Facebook has been developing the project in secrecy for over a year. Continue reading Facebook Cryptocurrency Gets Backing From Major Players

Password-Free Logins Getting Closer to Becoming a Reality

WebAuthn, with the approval of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO Alliance, just became an official web standard for password-free logins. After W3C and the FIDO Alliance first introduced it in November 2015, WebAuthn gained the support of many W3C contributors including Airbnb, Alibaba, Apple, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, PayPal, SoftBank, Tencent and Yubico. With WebAuthn, which is supported by Android and Windows 10, users can log-in via biometrics, mobile devices or FIDO security keys. Continue reading Password-Free Logins Getting Closer to Becoming a Reality

Google Opens Titan Security Key Availability to All Consumers

At its Cloud Next 2018 conference, Google debuted the Titan Security Key, its version of a FIDO (Fast Identity Online) physical device to authenticate logins over Bluetooth. Now, only a few weeks after the announcement, Google has made it available for purchase at $50 in its Google Play Store. Google Cloud enterprise customers have been able to access the Titan Security Key for the past two months. The product comes with a USB key, a Bluetooth Low Energy key, and an adapter for devices with USB Type-C ports. Continue reading Google Opens Titan Security Key Availability to All Consumers

Tech Firms Sign a Cybersecurity Pledge to Protect Customers

Led by tech titans Facebook and Microsoft, more than 30 tech companies have signed a Cybersecurity Tech Accord as part of their efforts to protect customers from cyberattacks and “the misuse of their technology.” According to the agreement, tech companies pledge not to assist governments that initiate attacks against “innocent civilians and enterprises.” Among the signatories are companies that power Internet technology and information infrastructure, including Cisco, Cloudflare, Dell, HP, LinkedIn, Nielsen, Nokia, Oracle, Symantec and VMware. Continue reading Tech Firms Sign a Cybersecurity Pledge to Protect Customers

Facebook Messenger Unveils Native Bot Payments, Webview

Out of Messenger’s one billion users, 300 million people are now using its audio and video calling features every month. This represents tremendous growth from Facebook’s first trials with VoIP audio for Messenger in 2013, and video calling in mid-2015. More recently, Facebook launched Instant Video for live connections in Messenger and group audio calling, with hints on plans to introduce group video calling. The idea is that multimedia options will always be part of the ongoing conversation. Continue reading Facebook Messenger Unveils Native Bot Payments, Webview

Silicon Valley Titans Invest $1 Billion to Establish AI Nonprofit

Several Silicon Valley technologists and tech companies will invest at least $1 billion in OpenAI, a nonprofit research center in San Francisco with a long-term goal of creating open-source “artificial general intelligence,” a machine capable of performing any task that a human can. Among the investors are Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman. One chief focus of the group’s members is to ensure that the resultant technologies augment rather than replace humans, and are used for good. Continue reading Silicon Valley Titans Invest $1 Billion to Establish AI Nonprofit

Stripe’s Relay Simplifies E-Commerce on Apps and Social Media

Stripe, a startup already valued at $5 billion, just introduced easy-to-use tools that enable retailers to sell goods on Twitter and e-commerce apps including ShopStyle and Spring. Dubbed Relay, the new tools strip away the complications and expense of adding a “buy button” on Twitter and other apps. Stripe says a retailer can add that button with Relay in as little as 30 seconds. In addition to Twitter, Stripe has also partnered with Facebook and Pinterest, although neither company has yet to launch Relay. Continue reading Stripe’s Relay Simplifies E-Commerce on Apps and Social Media

InMobi Launches Miip, a New Interactive Advertising Technology

India-based InMobi launched a new advertising technology this week called Miip (pronounced Meep), which features an animated monkey that follows users through apps and provides useful suggestions for products. The recommendations typically involve items that users may be interested in purchasing, and are suggested through a text bubble. Over time, InMobi hopes that users will become more inclined to click on a pop-up or even provide feedback if the monkey makes useful suggestions. Continue reading InMobi Launches Miip, a New Interactive Advertising Technology

Quip Launches New Desktop Version of its Productivity Software

Quip, a company founded by Google vets Bret Taylor and Kevin Gibbs, recently released its mobile creation and collaboration tool for desktop computers. The toolset enables users to connect desktops and mobile devices to the cloud for a version of distributed computing, usually the purview of large data centers. Part of an emerging trend to use as much computing as possible, Quip’s solution has similarities to Amazon’s Silk browser in the Kindle, which has features of local and cloud computing. Continue reading Quip Launches New Desktop Version of its Productivity Software

Pinterest Adds E-Commerce to Discovery with New Buy Button

San Francisco-based social bookmarking site Pinterest announced yesterday that it plans to introduce e-commerce to its platform with “Buyable Pins,” which could go a long way to justify the company’s $11 billion valuation. Pinterest, popular with users for discovering and sharing real world things through a digital scrapbook approach featuring “pinned” items, will allow interested sellers to add “buy” buttons to items they post. The product’s early retail partners include Cole Haan, Ethan Allen, Macy’s, Kate Spade and others. Continue reading Pinterest Adds E-Commerce to Discovery with New Buy Button

Pinterest Looks to Help App Discovery and In-App Purchasing

Social bookmarking service Pinterest is adding new features that will allow people to download new apps and purchase their favorite furnishings and clothing directly from the site or mobile app. Pinterest teamed up with Apple to launch “App Pins” last week, so that users can discover new apps as part of their searches and download them without leaving the Pinterest app. Since the service is used by many for discovery, Pinterest may also integrate a “buy button” into pins as early as this year. Continue reading Pinterest Looks to Help App Discovery and In-App Purchasing

Course Reversal: eBay Plans to Spin Off PayPal Biz Next Year

Facing new competition in the mobile payment space, including the recently unveiled Apple Pay, eBay announced yesterday that it plans to spin off its PayPal business into a separate publicly traded company in late 2015. This is an about face by the online retailer, which had defended keeping the companies together after investor Carl Icahn aggressively pushed for a separation. EBay now says that a split will provide both companies with better competitive positions and allow them to focus on strategy. Continue reading Course Reversal: eBay Plans to Spin Off PayPal Biz Next Year

Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

Facebook has launched the TODO project (“Talk Openly, Develop Openly”) to help streamline the process of executing open source software projects, a major concern in a new era of cloud and mobile computing. Since Monday’s announcement, more than 30 companies have joined the initiative including Google, GitHub, Dropbox and Twitter. The TODO project plans to streamline the process of releasing and updating software, as well as develop a common set of tools for these programs. Continue reading Facebook’s TODO Project Aims to Steer Open Source Software

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