PayPal Acquires Mobile Wallet Startup Paydiant

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PayPal’s goal of translating its online success to mobile markets makes another leap forward as it announces its acquisition of the Wellesley, MA payments startup Paydiant. While it isn’t necessarily a household name, Paydiant has supported white-labeled, mobile wallet solutions and loyalty programs for companies like Subway, Harris Teeter, and Capital One since it’s inception in 2010. Even more notable than its individual merchant clients is the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), the merchant network behind the development of CurrentC.

Recent strives by technology and payments companies like Apple, Google, Samsung, and PayPal sparked the creation of MCXs CurrentC. With this merchant operated mobile wallet, companies like CVS, Walmart, and Target hope to maintain a competitive landscape in payments services so as to ensure the stability of their own organizations while providing additional means for their clients to pay for goods both smarter and faster. 

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Android Pay opens the door to mobile payments for developers

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On Monday during his keynote at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Sundar Pichai, announced a new mobile payments platform called Android Pay. Unlike it’s predecessor Google Wallet, Android Pay aims to succeed by making the core of mobile payments available to developers as an API rather than a native app. By making the service available for third party usage, Google is soliciting creative thinkers and engineers to find viable use cases for mobile payments without making any of their own assumptions.

By itself, Android Pay equates to one half of the service provided by Apple Pay. While it allows for external developers to enable payments, it isn’t a standalone app for managing credit card details. However, by pairing with the existing application Google Wallet, Google appears to have a suite of applications that provide a comparable foe to it’s Apple counterpart.

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Version Control: Development Insurance

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If you’re just beginning to dive into the world of software, chances are you’ve never heard of Version Control. However, you’ll quickly find that it’s an absolute necessity when building applications. Whether you’re an engineer, product owner, or marketer, it’s an essential aspect of maintaining projects.

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Users Beware – SSL “Heartbleed” Breach Revealed

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Keeping user data secure is one of the biggest challenges in running a large website. Over the years, standards have been created and best practices have been put in place to help with that security. But sometimes, even when you follow all the guidelines and do your best to make sure your website and servers are secure, something unexpected happens. On April 7th, 2014 a major exploit was found in the most used SSL/TLS library in the world. This means that over 66% of websites – including banks, social media, and maybe even your website – were put at risk.

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Introducing ArcBUS

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Arcus Solutions is proud to announce the release of our first open-source project, ArcBUS. This MBTA bus prediction application was developed to give back to the community in the Greater Boston area as well as to showcase some of the software design practices we use in our work. In an effort to make the application accessible to all T goers, we have decided to release the application to the public absolutely free!

For those of you interested in the software practices involved, you can find the entirety of the codebase available on our GitHub page. We have worked to make the repository as lean and readable as possible, but we also plan on writing a series of articles focused on the different processes that went into the application’s development. Though the application doesn’t currently support areas outside of Boston, we welcome any outside contributions to this open-source project that may help broaden its horizons.

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Wolfram Presents New Knowledge-based Programming Language

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Programming can often come across as a complicated and somewhat magical phenomenon to those un-trained in the field. After all, how can writing seemingly random characters instruct a machine to execute tasks with such precision?

As time passes and the field progresses, programming becomes less and less complicated, but somehow far more magical. For example, there are many people who can write HTML to instruct web browsers where to draw boxes or place images, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing that the machines are already programmed with the knowledge of drawing boxes or displaying images at all. Sometimes it seems ludicrous that a string of characters and symbols can express the vast detail and colors involved in a photograph of a sunset. Nevertheless, a recent announcement by Steven Wolfram is sure to make the gap between complexity and magic even greater.

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Can Your Laptop Keep a Secret?

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Modern advances in security have done a wonderful job of alleviating worry for the average tech consumer. Though our information is all over the internet and on more platforms than ever before, we still rest easy knowing that we have a sense of control when we decide who has it or can see it. However, our newfound sense of security doesn’t mean we’re not vulnerable. It only means that malicious individuals have to be a little cleverer. We’ve already covered one particularly interesting exploit in a recent article titled, How cosmic rays can make your site less secure, but today I want to talk about one that’s a little more personal.

Rather than targeting a personal or company website, this attack aims to steal information from your laptop, and you may be at risk simply by leaving your laptop on at your favorite coffee shop. Though you can’t hear it, your computer is whispering sweet, sweet secrets to anyone who passes by. No, your computer isn’t broadcasting your home address or your mother’s phone number, but it’s inadvertently revealing intimate details about how it’s encrypting your data. Your computer literally can’t help it.

Though your data is extremely secure after your device has performed encryption, the actual process of encrypting involves following a very rigid pattern. Your laptop may be extraordinarily quiet, especially compared to machines made over a decade ago, but it too makes subtle noises when performing operations. These noises are those that reveal the details of your phone’s encryption and provide insight into how the process could be reversed.

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How Cosmic Rays Can Make Your Site Less Secure

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At first glance, the idea of cosmic rays leading to website insecurities seems about as far-fetched as alien abductions and big-foot sightings. But in actuality, computer hardware is in constant battle with the elements, much like living organisms. Radiation from natural sources can most certainly have an effect on our own biology, so why not on computer hardware as well?

As it turns out, Raytheon security researcher Artem Dinaburg has already found a way to exploit this degradation, proving that every site is in some way insecure. In fact, the more popular a site is, the more susceptible it is to this sort of cosmic attack.

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