Converting a cellphone into a credit card reader is nothing new, but transforming one into a box office for live events could shake things up a bit — or, at least provide a bit of friendly competition for NFC-based alternatives. In Ticketing has just launched InHand Box Office software for use at live events. The company claims to be one of the greener ticketing outfits out there, and plans to turn your iPhone or iPod touch into a device capable of wirelessly processing payments (and printing out paper receipts, unlike Square or PayPal Here) at independently run concerts or festivals. Potentially reducing time spent in line and preventing congestion at the entrance translates into more people inside the venue, and using your phone instead of a difficult-to-establish credit card merchant account should reduce the friction in throwing such an event. As long as you tend to carry the appropriate iDevice with In Ticketing’s ! new app installed, you can marry it to that iAPS Sled you see above to create your own personal CC processing machine. The only issues? Convincing Gotye to play your house party instead of Coachella next year, and that awkward lack of support for Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.
In Ticketing increases options for venues and promoters, as long as they’re using iOS originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 26 Apr 2012 07:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Sony Music Unlimited, the all-you-can-hear music subscription service that represents Sony’s answer to Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody and so on, added a crucial new feature to its Android app on Thursday: the ability to store music on an Android smartphone or tablet so that music fans can play it back without using a WiFi or wireless data connection.
We say “crucial” for a number of reasons – among them that cellphone providers are capping the amount of data you can stream each month (here’s how AT&T’s “unlimited” plans stack up, for example). Offline playback is also key for planes, subways, highways, and other places people like to listen to music but have a hard time streaming it. It also saves your battery, because the music only has to travel from your phone’s or tablet’s local memory to your earphones, instead of through your phone’s power-hungry WiFi or cellular radio.
In essence, it lets you take full advantage of the economics of a streaming service without sacrificing the convenience of downloads.
Our initial focus for the Music Unlimited service was to use our advantages of having great ‘living room’ products such as the PlayStation 3 and Bravia Internet Connected TVs to create a great in-home music experience. We accomplished that – evident by our one-million-plus active user base. However, we always knew that music mobility is a key part of our consumers’ lives and that having music available when they are not connected – on planes, on road trips – is an important part of the experience. So, in response to our customers’ wishes for offline playback, we wanted to make sure we came out with this feature as quickly as possible.
Sony Music Unlimited streams music to the home devices he mentions, as well as the Sony Music Unlimited app for Android and Android tablets, all from the same account, free for up to 30 days. The update that adds this offline playback feature rolls out today.
Image: Netfalls – Remy Musser / Shutterstock
Hey Carriers. We need to talk. You know how you said you were going to start throttling high data usage users in hopes to preserve bandwidth? That’s bullshit, apparently. It’s only because you want to get us onto tiered data plans so you can charge us overages. With hate, everyone.
Seriously. Validas, an analytics firm, analyzed 50,000 cellphone bills from AT&T and Verizon to see if throttling was a necessary evil to conserve bandwidth. However, the numbers point to no. Instead, Validas guesstimates that it’s because carriers would rather have us on tiered data plans for the overage fees. According to Validas:
“When we look at the top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans — and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off. So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint does seemingly fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data for its customers.”
The point being, throttling the Top 5% of unlimited data users seems to be unnecessary because the Top 5% are using the same amount of data on their tiered plans anyway. Go figure, carriers trying to squeeze a dime out of a nickel. [BGR]
If Kenneth G. Lieberthal were anything but a China expert at the Brookings institution, his travelling-in-China security procedures would read like the product of a paranoid mind that watched too many spy movies as a kid:
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings “loaner” devices, which he erases before he leaves the United States and wipes clean the minute he returns. In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, “the Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop.”
Talk about overkill, right? Well he’s not alone. The Times reports that these seemingly paranoid precautions are par for the course for just about anyone with valuable information including government officials, researchers, and even normal businessmen who do business in China.
But what about the rest of us? I may not have any valuable state secrets or research that needs protecting but that doesn’t mean I want the Chinese government snooping on my internetting when I visit my grandparents (especially when the consequences can be so severe). In the past, I’ve relied on a combination of VPNs, TOR, and password-protecting everything I can, but now it sounds like even that isn’t enough. Or maybe it’s totally overkill given my general unimportance in the grand scheme of things. Dear readers, I ask you, how much security is enough when it comes to the average person on vacation? [NY Times]
What looks like the card slot from a Chase Bank ATM is actually a sophisticated card skimmer removed from a branch in West Hills, California. And police believe a 3D printer may have been used to create it.
Those green bulbous card slots that were supposed to make it very difficult for a card skimmer to be attached to an ATM have turned out to be just a minor inconvenience for sophisticated thieves. Investigators believe this skimmer—which perfectly fits over the ATM’s regular slot— was created from a mould that came from a 3D printer. Which means those behind this particular ATM scheme had some very expensive tools at their disposal.
In addition to being a perfect replica of the ATM’s standard card slot, this skimmer incorporates a small pinhole camera that starts recording the PIN pad whenever a card is inserted. On the underside is a series of holes that investigators believe allowed the thieves to download data and footage, but the complex electronics on the inside may have been salvaged from a cellphone, giving this skimmer wireless connectivity. So in the future, like in many situations, make sure you take a good look at the hardware before you stick your thing in the slot. [KrebsonSecurity via BoingBoing]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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