A Bunch of New Ways to Pay with your Mobile

Now, several new services will be launched around Europe where you will be able to pay with your mobile device on different credit or bank card terminals. One of these services have children and young adults as their main consumer group.

Since last summer, it has been possible to pay with your  mobile phone directly through credit card terminals around nordic country Sweden with the help of an app called “SEQR”. Now the company's new product “SEQR Go” who caters to children and adolescents - will be released later this year.

How does it work then?

A parent may transfer funds to their child's virtual account, and then the child can pay the retailer by "bliping" the cell phone at the the card terminal. However, this requires an Android phone, and both the terminal and the phone need to have so-called NFC technology integrated - which allows the phone and the card terminal to "talk" to each other without physical contact. Fortunately this technology has been integrated in Android-compatible phones for quite some time now; so if your kid have a relatively new Android phone - this shouldn’t be a problem. 

Only the money that has been put on the account can be used, which means that your children can not use money that don't exist “physically” on the account.

- “The app will be equated with cash”, says Peter Fredell, CEO of Seamless, the company behind the app.

Parents can of course also keep track of the receipts to see which transactions that have been made, or not been made. So if your newly 18 year old youngster have been playing some Live Blackjack, you will be notified :)

Many are perhaps wondering what would happen if your phone is lost or stolen? Can someone else use the mobile to shop for you or your child’s money?

- “To start with, almost everyone has a PIN-code on their phone. And for a transactions of over 200 Swedish Kronors (around £ 20) an additional PIN is required”

Last week the mobile payment service “Samsung Pay” was launched  in Sweden. This function is integrated in Samsungs latest phone models, and so far, some of the bigger banks in sweden are on the train with this new technology. “But more banks are joining as we speak”, says Oscar Happy, head of Samsung Pay in the Nordic region - which comprises of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. A combination of the techniques NFC and MST are used here.

- “At the moment it works on virtually all card terminals in Sweden”, Oscar ads

To secure the payments some safety measures are required by the user, including fingerprints. No age limit is required from Samsung's part. However, such a limit can be implemented by the card issuer- when the service needs to be connected to a debit card or something similar. 

- “This makes things so much easier and smoother”, says Bengt Nilervall, transaction-expert at the Swedish Trade Federation.

He sees advantages for both customers and merchants, and mentions that the long checkout queues can go faster, as an example.

According to Nilervall there are currently NFC technology in about 15 percent of the country's Debit card terminals, and the goal is to reach 50 % in 2017. “There are more mobile payment services, such as Apple and Android Pay, - unfortunately not yet here in Sweden.”

Guest Article by Andre Utas

Revealed: The top Christmas gadgets of the last decade

Smart watches set to top tech-savvy Christmas lists … From games consoles to tablets and wearables, the top technology Christmas gifts of the last decade chart how the world has advanced. The way we game, read, track our fitness and work has been revolutionised since 2005. As Christmas approaches, what better way to celebrate trends in technology than to take a look at the most successful technology products of the past ten years?

2005
Back in 2005, 1.1 million of us sent Shane Ward to the Christmas top spot, and number one on everyone’s Christmas list was the brand new Xbox 360. Demand hugely outstripped supply, with hundreds of gamers queuing for hours in the rain to lay their hands on the console, which sold out in hours. The Xbox franchise has continued to delight gamers; 9 years later, Microsoft announced that Xbox 360 sales stood at 84 million units sold, with lifetime game sales for the platform at $37.7 billion. On last calculation, Xbox 360 gamers have logged more than 88 billion hours of gameplay, which is equivalent to more than 100,000 centuries.

2006
2006 saw Daniel Craig’s first outing as Bond in ‘Casino Royale’, and Sony’s fight back against Microsoft, in the shape of the Play Station 3. First introduced in 1995, the Play Station and Play Station 2 are still the best-selling home game consoles in history. To date the four Play Station versions have sold a total of 344 million units.

2007
2007 was the year gaming got physical, with stocks of Nintendo’s Wii finally becoming widely available to buy. Named a ‘revolution’ by Forbes Magazine, which claimed that the Wii ‘has re-invented video gaming, making it more social, more intuitive and surprisingly physically engaging…it’s potentially the device that will make video gaming as widely enjoyed as board or card games.’ Since launch, it’s sold more than 100 million units.

2008
It’s hard to imagine life before the smart phone, but 2008 was the year the 3G iPhone hit our shores. Now in its 12th incarnation, over 500 million iPhones have been sold, currently making it the best-selling smartphone of all time.

2009
The Amazon Kindle took technology into a new realm, revolutionising the way we consume new and enduring classic literature. The Kindle 2 was launched in 2009 and by early the next year the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, stated that "millions of people now own Kindles” and that “six Kindle books were being sold for every 10 physical books". Kindle remains the undisputed leader of the e-reader. The company is famously secretive about sales figures but 2013 estimates put sales of all Kindle devices at roughly 44 million.

2010
Pre-2010, the thought of receiving a tablet for Christmas was understandably unlikely to be anywhere near the top of anyone’s list. That all changed with the unveiling of the iPad in January 2010 by then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In contrast to earlier tablet PCs, the iPad was marketed as a consumer device that would fill the gap between smartphones and laptop computers. Over 292 million have been sold to date.

2011
2011 was a momentous year for Brits, with the union of Prince William and Kate Middleton. In the world of technology, all eyes were on the launch of the first commercially successful ‘phablet’, the Samsung Galaxy Note. Whilst some media outlets questioned the viability of the device due to its 5.3-inch (135-mm) screen, the Note received a positive reception, selling 1 million units in two months.

2012
2012 was the year that London was Olympics-obsessed, Facebook debuted on the stock market, Felix Baumgartner jumped from space and the iPad went mini. Lighter and thinner than its predecessor, the iPad Mini reportedly sold three million units in the three days post launch.

2013
Sony’s next generation console, the Playstation 4, launched in November 2013. Six months later, 7 million homes world-wide owned a PS4. Having lost several previous battles to Nintendo’s Wii, Sony was finally winning the games console war.

2014
To 2014 and wearable technology; namely the fitness tracker. Sales have risen 250% year-on-year and from mid-2014 to mid-2015, the wearable industry grew by a massive 223%. At this rate, it’s possible that the market will actually reach the predicted $74 billion mark by 2025.

2015
2015 is undoubtedly the year of the smartwatch, combining fitness tracking, time keeping and connectivity in one package. The global smartwatch market has the potential to reach $32.9 billion by 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate of 68% between 2014 and 2020. It’s thought that 135 million wearable devices will be sold by 2018 – 68 million of them smart watches. Few other industries have such growth perspectives, and the potential to revolutionise how people communicate, monitor their health, work, and interact with their surroundings.

James Jie, Managing Director of Huawei UK and Ireland says, “It’s fascinating to see the impact that technology has had upon our lives during the past decade. In the recent past we saw technology as either fitting in with our work life – for instance PCs – or play, in the shape of games consoles. Now those boundaries no longer exist as technology is embedded within our daily lives. This is no more evident than in the rise of wearable technologies such as the Huawei Watch, which combines connectivity with style.”

Jie continues, “At Huawei, we invest 10% of our sales income into research and development to ensure that we are driving new technology forwards. In 2014 alone, we invested $1.2 billion into R&D. The Huawei Watch embodies our unfailing ambition to deliver an all-connected future across wearables, vehicles and smart phones. Looking back at the past ten years, it’s amazing how far technology has advanced and we look forward to being at the forefront of new advancements for years to come.”

For more information, please visit: http://consumer.huawei.com/minisite/worldwide/huawei-watch/

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B: This post was sponsored by Huawei.

A Look at the Origins of Casino Games

Casinos have been around for centuries in one form or another and since the advancements in technology; the industry has changed from the way we play games through to how we play them. There is a primal instinct in all of us that enjoys gambling and the excitement quickly gets the adrenaline running and online casino gaming is now a huge industry, ensuring that any games is available at our fingertips 24/7. 

Let’s look at the top three casino games that have changed throughout the years.

Slot Machines

Slot machines have always been one of the most popular types of games available in casinos and they are just as user-friendly online as they are in an actual casino. From basic beginnings as one-arm bandits that were first invented in the 1800s up to the online slots that are widely available nowadays, slot machines now have more reels and pay lines than ever before to ensure they remain one of the most exciting games on the market. It’s not all about luck, and maths plays a part in the outcome of every spin. The themes and symbols used have also evolved and the technology used is now more sophisticated, as the once mechanical reels are now operated by a random computer number generator.

Roulette & Craps

Table games have changed massively throughout history. Games such as roulette became a huge hit in the mid-19th century. Roulette was derived from a famous mathematician called Blaise Pascal who created the roulette wheel as he experimented with perpetual motion. The wheel is now one of the most easily recognised symbols in the world of gambling and casinos and as such, is also one of the favourite games choices for avid gamblers. Found online and in casinos worldwide, it is one of the more exciting games available and big wins in roulette are common. 

Craps is a simple game that involves throwing dice but it has an interesting history, which dates back to when ancient Egyptian witch doctors used to throw stones marked with numbers together with bones to determine who lived and died when people were sick. It has come a long way since its terrifying and dangerous early days and there are now three versions of the game available namely: casino craps, street craps and online craps. Players must wager a bet on the outcome of the number that will be rolled by the dice, and while largely a game of chance, it proves to be a hugely popular once. 

Card Games

The history of card games is a long one with many of today’s games dating back to games that were played back in the 1300s. The original decks of cards used very different symbols and images on them and they used to be carved from wood rather than paper. Poker and Blackjack were among the first card games invented by the French and the latter began with players attempting to get as close as possible to the total of 31 rather than what we play nowadays where 21 is the target. Poker has become a worldwide gaming phenomenon and is one of the most popular casino games today, whether played online or in a casino. 

Casino games are always evolving to ensure players have something new and exciting to focus on and as technology continues to move forward at a fast pace, who knows what lays in store for the new generation of avid gamblers.

Glasscubes Collaboration and Project Management Software

Smart-minded creative groups, businesses, charities and other teams are all benefitting from the wave of cloud-based document sharing and project management tools that allow for remote working, team efficiency and major savings on costs.

In particular, there is a very special offering from Glasscubes, whose extremely intuitive and complete setup represents superb value to small and mid-sized businesses. 

So below you'll find a round up of why we at Geekanoids are so impressed with Glasscubes' solution for better collaboration.

• Cost The price structure for Glasscubes is the best in the industry. Even where alternative software packages offer a similar suite of high-quality tools for teamwork, there's no comparison when it comes to how the contracts are managed. Glasscubes provide huge flexibility to their customers (no fixed, long-term contracts), and huge storage at very low prices.

• Security Clearly this is an essential issue for any group that handles sensitive information. Glasscubes' infrastructure for storage and security is operated using 2048 bit encryptionand Interxion's data facility in the heart of London's financial centre.

• Workspaces The hub of a group's online interaction, the workspaces are customisable, and provide huge advantages over more traditional methods for exchanging information and files, messaging and project management. Conversations are threaded and avoid the problematic email experience of important pieces of information getting lost in a long chain of comments. Documents are version-controlled, which means individuals can always be sure that they are accessing or working on the correct amended version of a file. Meanwhile, tasks are reported and easily traced throughout a project's development.

• Customer services Glasscubes' UK-based technical support receives excellent feedback and reviews from customers. They provide email, online chat and telephone support to customers of all sizes (many companies will limit their support for customers that fall below a certain account-size threshold), with a super-quick 3-hour response time.

With such a powerful set of benefits to be gained from moving from a paper-led office culture to a smart online one, the opportunity to enhance a team's ability to interact, develop and close out projects with high-level collaboration software will be an exciting prospect for team leaders and business owners everywhere.

WD Re-Designs World's No. 1 Selling Portable Hard Drive

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) company, and world leader in storage solutions, today introduced the new, redesigned My Passport® Ultra portable hard drives and My Passport for Mac drives. With the My Passport line now in its 7th generation, the My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac portable hard drives are now available in capacities up to 3 TB and in four stylish colours - Classic Black, Brilliant White, Wild Berry and Noble Blue. WD is also introducing a new optional accessory – WD Grip Pack – a soft band, available in a variety of colours, which encircles the drive, offering consumers an easy way to personalise their My Passport drives.

“With more photos being taken than ever before, it’s critical to have a high capacity, reliable external storage solution that you can carry everywhere,” said Tony Tate, general manager and vice president of Content Storage Solutions at WD. “The latest generation My Passport drives deliver an easier automatic back-up experience, hardware-based encryption for security and higher capacities than ever before. Consumers can keep all their content in their pockets, while expressing their personal styles with the colours and WD Grip Pack.”

My Passport Ultra portable drives come in 3 TB, 2 TB, 1 TB and 500 GB capacities and feature 256-bit AES hardware encryption – delivering a high level of security with no impact to write-speed or CPU activity. If your My Passport Ultra falls into the wrong hands, the 256-bit AES hardware encryption protects users’ files, folders, photos, videos and music with a password known only to them. USB 3.0 compatibility provides fast data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second, while being backwardly compatible with USB 2.0. My Passport for Mac portable drives are available in capacities of 3 TB, 2 TB, 1 TB and also feature 256-bit AES hardware encryption with USB 3.0 connectivity.

Sold separately, the WD Grip Pack accessory for My Passport Ultra is available in five colours (smoke, slate, grape, sky and fuchsia) and, when wrapped around one of the four colours of My Passport Ultra drives, enables consumers to create a total of twenty possible colour combinations. The WD Grip Pack comes with a colour-matched 18-inch flat USB 3.0 cable, creating a stylish complete solution. 

My Passport Ultra’s built-in WD Backup software is a simple-to-use application with focus on reducing frustration when setting up a backup plan to preserve data. Since 31% of devices have had malware at some point, having your data safely backed up onto a secondary device like a My Passport drive is critical to preserving precious data.

Pricing and Availability

My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac portable drives are available today in the WD store at wdstore.co.uk  and at select retailers, including Amazon (My Passport Ultra: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W8XXRPM, My Passport Ultra for Mac: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WJOVDYM) and distributors. My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac have a Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) ranging from £59.99 up to £159.00 depending on capacity (3 TB capacity available next month). Both the My Passport Ultra and My Passport for Mac will offer a 3-year limited warranty. Terms and conditions of WD’s limited warranty may be found at support.wdc.com/warranty. WD Grip Pack accessories will be available in June and will have an MSRP of £9.99. 

1. 3 TB will be available next month
2. Colours only available on the My Passport Ultra 
3. Password must be set in order to use encryption.