American Express launches Amex Pay mobile payment solution in India

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American Express has introduced the ‘AMEX Pay’ mobile payment solution in India that allows eligible Cardholders to make contactless or QR code-based payments to merchants using the mobile app. The AMEX IN mobile app is available for Android and iOS.  The Eligible  Cardmembers need to log in to the ‘Amex IN’ mobile app and then register for Amex Pay. Once you have your card registered for Amex Pay, you can make a contactless payment. All you have to do is simply tap your device at a merchant’s contactless terminal. There is no need to open your Amex Mobile App to make a contactless payment. [HTML1] In order to make QR Code payments, just select the ‘Pay with Bharat QR’ option on the AMEX IN app, then scan the QR code, enter the amount if it is not pre-populated, enter your Card PIN then you should see the transaction successful message. You do not need to log in to your account to scan and pay using Amex Pay. All American Express credit or charge Card are eligible to use Amex Pay. You can use Amex Pay for payments wherever American Express contactless payments are accepted. Users can also make QR-Code payments wherever you see the American Express logo on a …
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Is Blockchain the Solution to the Crisis in Digital Advertising?

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Presented by: PreVUE Blockchain by DashBid

Last November, with concern about “fake news” and social media manipulation at a fever pitch, news broke about another kind of online trickery: A ring of criminal hackers was found to be stealing somewhere around $ 500,000 a day from the buyers of online advertising. The operation, dubbed “Hyphbot,” impersonated media operations like the New York Times and Forbes and then sold views and clicks that were actually generated from fraudulent sites by automated bots from malware-infected PCs.

It was a dramatic instance of a much broader epidemic. One stunning estimate, made in early 2017, put the annual amount of ad fraud worldwide at $ 16.4 billion. That number represents a huge loss for advertisers and clients, who are spending money that has no impact on consumers. But ad fraud also has much larger economic and social impacts, including implications for the health of global democracy. How much good reporting, for instance, could Time or The Guardian have done with even a tiny fraction of that $ 16.4 billion in stolen ad revenue?

The good news is that there may be a solution to all of this, and it’s just over the horizon. Blockchain, the same technology that helped create the digital currency Bitcoin, could solve many of the underlying problems that make ad fraud possible.

A Frustrated Dream

To understand why blockchain is potentially useful for preventing online ad fraud, you first have to understand why such fraud happens and the big promise it’s undermining. First, flash back to the information desert that was pre-internet advertising. Old media like print magazines, billboards, and even television offered relatively little data about who saw an ad. They generally only provided volume and broad demographics, both with a pretty substantial time-lag. Most ad sales were, and many still are, based on the prestige of a publisher or broadcaster and good salesmanship, more than on measurable results.

But by the 1990s, it started to seem that digital ads could change all of that. They would allow precise, real-time tracking not only of how often an ad was viewed, but the characteristics of its viewers, and even whether a viewer went on to engage with an ad or buy a product. It was thought this would dramatically increase the effectiveness of advertising. It would also make everyone a potential publisher — blowing the doors off the media establishment and letting everyone from solo bloggers to remote freelance reporters make ad money from their creativity and drive.

The problem is that it’s easy to subvert such a system, given the radically open structure of the internet. Anyone can connect to the internet from anywhere, and that openness makes tracking or confirming identity very difficult. Hyphbot was able to sell all those fake ads by simply creating domains that superficially mimicked those of prestige publishers, and there was no easy, automated way to distinguish them from the real thing.

To paraphrase a prescient New Yorker cartoon from 1993 on the internet: Nobody knows you’re a dog watching a heartwarming Colgate video thousands of times in a Russian basement.

The problem is worsened by the structure of the online advertising market. Most sales for display and video ads are “programmatic.” That is, at least partly automated. For the dream of data-rich internet advertising to scale up, it has to work this way. However, the architects of the sales process also sit between buyers and sellers – often in many layers. Because of a general lack of transparency in these operations, there are many opportunities for fraudulent ad inventory to enter the ecosystem.

Due to these drawbacks and failures, the dream of trackable, countable online advertising has only come true in a tragically limited sense. Facebook and Google have captured huge amounts of data about their users and solved some fundamental digital identity problems (though both have been fraud targets themselves). Because advertisers can target audiences based on trustworthy data from Facebook and Google, and buy fairly trustworthy views directly from them, they have come to dominate advertising online, with a combined 60% market share  in 2017.

That’s worrisome, and not just for publishers who would love to have more revenue from direct ad sales. For advertisers, Google and Facebook are hardly sexy destinations, and they offer relatively little variation in how they present ads. They’re particularly bad at doing what television and magazine ads have been good at for so long, which is giving a company or product a public personality. Such branding efforts lay the groundwork for long-term sales by making a brand seem sexy, comforting, or fun.  But the text bubbles, display ads, and 15-second videos that Google and Facebook traffic in truly suck at branding.

This shortcoming is just one example of a much deeper problem. Domination of online advertising by a few players, exacerbated by fraud in programmatic advertising, is bad for advertisers. It’s also bad for our economy and society, because it narrows our options for communicating.

In his new book “Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data,” Oxford economist Viktor Mayer-Schonberger makes the case that richer information flows, including targeted ads, are poised to accelerate the global economy dramatically by more efficiently connecting buyers and sellers. But Schonberger also says that a mix of different targeting algorithms is necessary for that to happen. Without many players, even the smartest markets would be subject to inefficient faults. A Google-Facebook duopoly of advertising, in short, is a real threat to a better future.

Fighting Ad Fraud With Blockchain

How do we fix the flaws – weak identity and poor transparency – that make open-market programmatic advertising so vulnerable to fraud? One notable effort in this direction is ads.txt, a new kind of metadata that publishers can use to “whitelist” trustworthy resellers of their ad space. But this has drawbacks, including requiring trust in publishers, which leaves a potential hacking vector in place and does nothing to police robotic views.

Blockchain technology may be a much better solution. First, the blockchain’s distributed, open, and secure database allows multiple actors in a supply chain to track custody in a way that’s completely transparent and auditable. This approach to ad tech parallels efforts underway in the shipping industry, where blockchain may help keep counterfeit or otherwise questionable goods out of the supply chain.

Second, and more radically, blockchain promises a more open solution to the identity problem than Facebook and Google’s walled gardens. IBM, for instance, is currently developing a blockchain-based digital identity solution that it hopes will be shared among governments and businesses. It or something like it could become a major linchpin of an updated digital ad environment, because it could confirm that an ad appeared on a real site and that a real person viewed it.

This is the first of three pieces we’ll be publishing on blockchain and ad fraud, and in the next two we’ll be diving deeper into precisely blockchain solves these problems for advertisers, while also opening up new possibilities for publishers and even audiences. But the fundamental truth is clear: Online advertising isn’t working, and it needs to, for everyone’s sake.

The preceding communication has been paid for by DashBid. This communication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to sell shares or securities in DashBid or any related or associated company. None of the information presented herein is intended to form the basis for any investment decision, and no specific recommendations are intended. This communication does not constitute investment advice or solicitation for investment. Futurism expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any direct or consequential loss or damage of any kind whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from: (i) reliance on any information contained herein, (ii) any error, omission or inaccuracy in any such information or (iii) any action resulting from such information. 

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South Korea’s Solution to the Plague of “Overtime Culture”: Shut it Down

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In South Korea, it’s not abnormal for workers to slave away for 12 hours a day. Workers burn themselves out to show they are diligent and dedicated. The country’s crazy work culture fueled South Korea’s economic boom, but it’s now taking a toll on its people — birth rates have plummeted (Korea stands at the bottom of the OECD countries for fertility rate), while suicide rates have risen.

The government has decided that things need to change. It’s already reduced the maximum working hours per week from 68 to 52. And now, the government has launched a mandatory shutdown of all employees’ computers at the end of each week the ultimate target is for all computers to be shut off by 7 PM every Friday,  the BBC reports.

The report doesn’t mention how, exactly, offices are supposed to implement the plan, nor penalties for employers and employees that don’t comply. But the measure, which will be rolled out over the next three months, doesn’t exactly seem draconian. So, what’s all the fuss about?

For comparison, let’s glance at some stats about workers in countries like Germany, Denmark or Norway. There, workers spend between 1363 and 1424 per year at the office. For workers in South Korea, however, that time at work looks more like 2069 hours. So for them, starting the weekend at 7 in the evening is a big shift.

Yes, South Korea’s situation is somewhat extreme. But it’s not the only nation that could do with a hard look at its work culture. Employees in the U.S., for example, spend an average 1783 hours at work every year. That’s more than the 1713 hours of the average worker in Japan, which is often labeled a “workaholic” society.

In the U.S., Amazon is free to impose “mandatory overtime” and push its employees to work up to 60 hours a week, according to numerous Glassdoor reviews (the policy came under scrutiny in countries such as the U.K.). The U.S. is also the only country in the developed world that doesn’t grant paid leave to new mothers, who face discrimination or financial hardship if they decide to take time off after giving birth.

Keeping people at the office for so many hours doesn’t mean they’ll actually get more done. After your productivity peaks, research shows, you get tired, are more likely to make mistakes, and may even get sick. But if the message isn’t sinking in, it’s mostly for cultural reasons.

In many countries, working longer hours is an indication of a better worker. The fact that you may just be spending half of your day on Facebook (or other social media site of your preference) doesn’t seem to make a world of difference to the average manager.

The post South Korea’s Solution to the Plague of “Overtime Culture”: Shut it Down appeared first on Futurism.

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FogHorn Systems and Google Cloud team up to offer IIoT solution

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FogHorn Systems and Google Cloud have come together to expand business impact of Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications by combining the capabilities of Cloud IoT Core and FogHorn’s Lightning edge intelligence and ML platform.

This integration leads to the creation of a model foundation for optimising distributed assets and processes in several industries including manufacturing, O&G, mining, connected cars, smart building and smart cities. The partnership also aims to ease the deployment of IIoT applications.

The combined solution will be available at Google Cloud Next, from July 24 to 27, in San Francisco.

Antony Passemard, head of IoT product management at Google Cloud, said: “Cloud IoT Core simply and securely brings the power of Google Cloud’s world-class data infrastructure capabilities to the IIoT market. By combining industry-leading edge intelligence from FogHorn, we’ve created a fully-integrated edge and cloud solution that maximizes the insights gained from every IoT device. We think it’s a very powerful combination at exactly the right time.”

The FogHorn Lightning platform is a compact, advanced and feature-rich edge intelligence solution that can deliver low latency for onsite data processing, real-time analytics, ML and AI capabilities.

David King, CEO at FogHorn, said: “Our integration with Google Cloud harmonises the workload and creates new efficiencies from the edge to the cloud across a range of dimensions. This approach simplifies the rollout of innovative, outcome-based IIoT initiatives to improve organizations’ competitive edge globally, and we are thrilled to bring this collaboration to market with Google Cloud.”

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Blockchain: “not solution to 90 percent of problems”, warns expert

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Blockchain specialist Denis Baranov, principal consultant at consultancy group DataArt, has warned the UK’s Institute of Directors of the dangers of jumping on the blockchain bandwagon.

“In about 90 per cent of cases, blockchain is not the solution for an individual company or organisation, and there is a better answer,” he said.

While the distributed ledger technology could have a transformative effect on some processes, it would be dangerous to follow the hype and jump onboard for the wrong reasons, he added.

IoD meets the IoT

Denis Baranov

Baranov was a panellist at an IoD event in London this week, Volatile cryptocurrency and game-changing blockchain: What does the future hold?, moderated by broadcaster and technology journalist David McClelland.

The discussion presented an uncertain outlook for cryptocurrency in its current form, but sent a strong message that blockchain is “coming of age” for a range of business applications.

Despite that, Baranov – an early blockchain innovator and consultant to industry – warned against falling for AI-style hype and making big strategic errors.

“We already have big data and many solutions,” Baranov said. “Just as with AI, where lots of people said, ‘Our company should get some AI because everyone is getting AI’, when it often isn’t the appropriate solution, some are now saying ‘Blockchain, I must get some blockchain’ because everyone has it.

In about 90 per cent of cases blockchain is not the solution for an individual company or organisation, and there is a better answer.

“However, for 10 percent, blockchain makes perfect sense and is a powerful addition, creating transparency, accountability and huge competitive advantage. The key is knowing what this technology is, does, and can do.”

Blockchain doesn’t play well

Baranov explained, as a distributed technology, blockchain does not work well in isolation, adding that, “blockchain is a community.”

On data aggregation as a barrier against the use of blockchain technology, Baranov said that in many cases a hybrid technology that incorporates blockchain is the best solution, bypassing the issues created by the attachment of heavy data loads.

Read Internet of Business’ own, equally cautious, report on blockchain applications here: IoT 101: How blockchain will transform manufacturing and supply chains.

Baranov emphasised the importance of starting the decision-making process by examining the business case, rather than bringing in the technology for the sake of it, as many have done with AI.

• Also on the panel was cryptocurrency consultant Matthew Baldock of Portsmouth Crypto, who explained that cryptocurrency is only anonymous in theory, as blockchain makes it both traceable and accountable. He added that the Bitcoin Lightning Network – which has gone live this week after beta testing – is highly controversial in the crypto community and generally disliked.

• Jonathan Beddoes, co-founder of Giftcoin, a blockchain start-up that aims to enhance transparency and trust in charities, presented the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) soon to be launched by his company.

Internet of Business says

We have published a number of in-depth reports recently on both blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The strong theme in all of these is to compare the hype, ideology, and – in some cases – complete lack of common sense of the technologies’ more evangelical fans with their real-world impacts, such as processing power, energy, and basic physics.

But at the same time, we are clear about the technologies’ potential value, their advantages, their promise, and their future at the core of the Internet of Things – and share some inspiring examples.

As is the case with AI, blockchain and crypto present unique challenges, which make them distinctly different to other waves of technology innovation, such as cloud services or mobility. Just as AI challenges traditional notions of accountability and responsibility, so blockchain and crypto shine a light on longstanding concepts such as value and trust.

In some cases, they propose a superior alternative to systems that have become corrupt and abused over decades – even centuries. But at the same time, they need to be anchored in the real world of physics, value, time, and good sense.

As ever with new technology: put strategic business need first, and technology second.

Read more: IoT 101: How blockchain will transform manufacturing and supply chains

Read more: Cryptocurrencies failing, claims Bank of England. But is it right?

Read more: Qarnot QC1: An IoT heater that mines for cryptocurrency. Hot idea?

Read more: IoT firm deploys blockchain to transform pharmaceutical shipments

Read more: Opinion: Use blockchain to build a global data commons

The post Blockchain: “not solution to 90 percent of problems”, warns expert appeared first on Internet of Business.

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IAS Launches Mobile In-App Solution to Protect Brands in Programmatic Environments

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Integral Ad Science, a measurement and analytics company, has just announced the availability of first-to-market technology that allows programmatic buyers to target mobile in-app inventory that is brand safe, fraud-free, and expected to meet a given viewability goal.

Through key integrations with top programmatic platforms, IAS is increasing transparency to a channel that has become increasingly attractive to advertisers.

Eight in 10 US mobile digital display ads are traded programmatically, an amount that will rise to 85.2% by 2019 [eMarketer]. However, the advantages of programmatic can only be fully realized when traders are armed with the ability to protect brands in digital environments and optimize towards quality inventory – brand safe, fraud-free, and viewable.

Until now, there have not been controls in place to address these key areas when advertising on mobile apps. The ability to target environments that are not only aligned with their brand values, but also provide opportunities to be viewable to real consumers, is critical to fulfill final business goals.

IAS’s mobile in-app pre-bid segments have solved for that for the first time. Their technology allows traders to define the content categories they need to be protected against based on customized risk thresholds, and then only target the apps that meet those brand safety expectations.

“Programmatic offers advertisers powerful opportunities to make the most of their digital dollars and, for many years, buyers have been able to easily optimize those opportunities across web-based campaigns with IAS data,” said David Hahn, CSO of Integral Ad Science. “Now, by offering mobile in-app segments to our customers, we’ve extended that flexibility and control to drive more of their automated buys, and keep up with the momentum in the marketplace towards in-app advertising.”

The post IAS Launches Mobile In-App Solution to Protect Brands in Programmatic Environments appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Hoopo tries a low-power geolocation solution

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New, low-power ways to track your cattle will make cows part of the internet of things.

Location has been a mainstay of the mobile internet for more than decade. Using GPS in phones has enabled all kinds of innovative applications, from Waze to Uber.  But GPS isn’t a match for the internet of things. It hogs battery power, doesn’t work well indoors, and GPS modules are expensive to put into products.

Which is why a crop of startups and big companies are trying to find other options for locating devices that won’t cost a lot or drain batteries. And it would be awesome if they worked well indoors — or better yet, in three dimensions, so you could see if an object was on the fourth floor or the fifth. Hoopo is one of the startups that thinks it has mastered this challenge.

Hoopo uses existing low-power wide-area networks to track goods and services in a set area. It uses triangulation to find tiny tags placed on pallets, vehicles, or whatever other equipment a client wants monitored. Currently, Hoopo’s technology can work on LoRa networks, although it isn’t confined to that radio standard.

The Israeli company has raised $ 1.5 million to build out its tags and the necessary gateways. Its CEO, Ittay Hayut, says he sees a market for tracking things as diverse as cattle on farms to managing medical equipment in hospitals. Hayut’s contention that the IoT needs low-power location tracking technologies is a common one.

Other companies are trying to get granular location without GPS as well. For example, PoLTE uses triangulation of cellular signals to determine the placement of a device. It recently raised an undisclosed Series A round, although the company has existed for at least the last nine years. PoLTE doesn’t use tags, but instead uses a device’s SIM card. It sells its software and an appliance to run its software to carriers that then implement it into their networks.

The operators then sell the location services as part of their IoT solutions. PoLTE has signed deals to get its software into a variety of modems and can deliver location data between 2 meters and 6 meters. It’s not able to offer location in three dimensions yet, but is working on it.

Locating things without sucking up a lot of power will go beyond letting companies track people and assets. It could also lead to new ownership models for expensive gear and expand our understanding of the world. For example, loaning out a ladder to a neighbor is easier when you can see exactly where that ladder is. Or in the case of the environment, low-power tracking lets us monitor small creatures that a GPS module might overwhelm.

So while initial use cases will be around asset tracking and fleet management, low-power geolocation will enable a new wave of startups and innovation in the years to come.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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Airplane Noise Can Be Reduced With a Simple Solution

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If you’re one of the many residents of the Boston area who likes to spend rare warm evenings out on the porch, you’re probably familiar with the interruptions that come with it: the scream of an airplane zipping overhead every few minutes, headed to or from Logan International Airport. Thanks to more precise navigation software, airplane noise has become concentrated over several routes like these around the country, with certain neighborhoods seeing plane after plane roar overhead all day.

After studying this problem around Boston, one Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor suggested a simple solution: just slow the planes down.

In a study jointly funded by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and MIT, aeronautics professor John Hansman found that slowing the speed of departing aircraft by just 30 knots (about 34 miles per hour) would significantly reduce noise heard below.

A community group mapped Boston Logan Airport flights departing to the northwest from 2013 (in green) and 2015 (in red), after the FAA began using new routes. Precision navigation concentrates planes over certain neighborhoods, creating new noise issues. (Data source: Massport) PHOTO: KENT JOHNSON
Flights departing Boston’s Logan airport from 2013 (green) and in 2015 (red), after the FAA began using new precision navigation software to determine routes. (Data source: Massport) Image Credit: Kent Johnson

For a typical Boeing 737, Hansman estimates the slowdown would add only about 30 seconds to its climb to 3 kilometers (10,000 feet), and burn roughly seven additional gallons of jet fuel.

Community efforts seem to suggest that it would be worth the time and slight increase in expense. Neighborhoods across the country are already fighting the routes brought on by precision software, so much so that Chicago has experimented with rotating runways and Phoenix has sued the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Yet there’s one factor that the MIT study doesn’t seem to have considered: the environment. Air travel is widely cited as one of the biggest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Boston’s Logan airport alone sees an average of 16,500 departing flights monthly; if every plane experienced the same fuel increase Hansman expects for a 737, that would mean an extra 115,500 gallons of jet fuel burned every month. Going by U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA) estimates, that means a over 1100 additional tonnes of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere monthly — from one airport alone.

An FAA working group is currently evaluating the recommendations of the MIT study, and considering slowing departing jets from a speed of 250 to 220 knots (288 to 253 miles per hour). Certainly, there’s no need for millions of people to spend their lives waking up to the deafening roar of passing planes. Yet given that we already know climate change will have an outsize impact on future generations — even making air travel itself more difficult and expensive — here’s hoping aviation experts can find a way to strike a balance between quieter skies and a healthier planet.

The post Airplane Noise Can Be Reduced With a Simple Solution appeared first on Futurism.

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Making The Grade: Apple needs an Identity Management Solution to take over schools

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Making The Grade is a new weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


An e-mail account is one of the first things you get when you are hired at a school as a faculty member. It’s your identity. It’s how you contact people. It’s how they contact you. For all the other excellent communication services in 2018, e-mail is still essential.

It’s also an area that Apple continues to ignore for anything outside of personal use.

If you aren’t in the education world, I’m going to tell you something you may not know: G-Suite (Google’s enterprise server for Gmail-type services) is free for schools. It’s been free since at least 2009 (as far back as I’ve been working in education). On top of this, they include unlimited storage.

Why does this matter to Apple? For every iPad that is deployed to a staff member, that person also has an email account. The two most common providers in education today are Google and Microsoft.

more…

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HyperDrive is a sleek solution to our biggest issue with newer MacBooks

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When Apple decides to change things, you can bet your wallet will feel it. And no changes in recent memory have proved more difficult on my finances than Apple’s decision to shift its entire laptop lineup to USB-C. The change was a welcome one, I just wish we had a bit of a period to segue, since many products still haven’t caught wind of the awesomeness that is USB-C. Personally, I have four USB-C ports, which is enough i/o for just about anyone. The problem isn’t in the number of ports, though, it’s in the requirement to buy dongles for…

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