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13
Oct

TD Canada Trust Lends Credence to Apple Pay Launch in Canada Next Month


Just one month before Apple Pay is rumored to launch in Canada, large bank TD Canada Trust briefly provided evidence of the forthcoming launch by prematurely listing the iPhone-based mobile payments service as a method of payment on its website, as spotted by blog iPhone in Canada. The link has since been removed.

Apple Pay was briefly listed under “Ways to Pay” at the bottom of TD Canada Trust’s website, but the link now leads to a blank page. When it was live, the page said that Apple Pay will soon support TD Canada Trust debit and credit cards, with purchases subject to a $100 transaction limit like other contactless payments in Canada.

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In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in negotiations with the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC and National Bank of Canada about a potential November launch of Apple Pay in Canada. The six financial institutions combined account for more than 90% of Canadian bank accounts.

Apple Pay launched in the United States last October, and expanded to the United Kingdom in July.

TD Canada Trust has around 11 million customers in Canada.


13
Oct

Starbucks starts testing in-building delivery in New York City


A Starbucks Corp. Location Ahead Of Earnings Figures

Starbucks is no stranger to delivery, thanks to a hand from Postmates. However, the bean-slinging company is taking matters into its own hands with a new delivery option. The “Green Apron” service is in the testing phase inside the Empire State Building in New York City. The idea here is that Starbucks has its own setup in the building and can drop off coffee and food orders in 30 minutes or less. Don’t expect a full-on retail location where you can sit and sip in, though, as the kitchen is dedicated to delivery orders. On the surface it may seem like overkill to have a dedicated Starbucks for one building, but when you factor in the thousands of caffeine addicts that work there, it makes a lot of sense. There’s a dedicated website where orders are placed and the customer is able to specify a meeting spot (the reception desk, for example) to pick up that PSL. While the service is a trial for now, the company could expand it to other large office buildings or packed urban areas in the future.

[Image credit: Craig Warga/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Source: TechCrunch

13
Oct

Play as Jason in the first official ‘Friday the 13th’ game since 1989


When Gun Media’s Wes Keltner and Ronnie Hobbs announced Summer Camp, a slasher-inspired horror game set in a creepy campground, it was already more than an homage to Friday the 13th. The developers were open about their love of ghostly, hockey-masked murderer Jason Voorhees and they had even recruited Friday the 13th veterans to work on the game. This included actor, director and special-effects creator Tom Savini, the man behind the mask in Friday the 13th parts 7-10 Kane Hodder, and the film’s original composer Harry Manfredini.

“Basically, we were a Friday the 13th video game; we just didn’t have the license,” Hobbs said. Five months after the announcement of Summer Camp, Friday the 13th creator and director Sean S. Cunningham reached out to the team with his blessing — and, after a few meetings, the license to the Jason Voorhees franchise.

“We were blown away and humbled at the same time,” Hobbs said. “I’ve wanted to create a Friday the 13th video game nearly my whole life, so to hear him validate our work on Summer Camp was the highest honor…. He said if this license will make your game better, then I’d love for you to have it.”

Now, Hobbs, Keltner and their band of horror-movie masters are building the first official Friday the 13th game since 1989. And there’s another first: You’ll get to play as Jason.

Friday the 13th is an asymmetrical multiplayer game, where one person is Jason Voorhees and seven other players are counselors attempting to escape Camp Crystal Lake. The counselors represent a slew of familiar horror tropes, including a cheerleader, a nerd, a jock, “the girl next door” and “the edgy guy.” The counselors have to sneak through the grounds, in groups or alone, though Jason can hear when players move and instantly show up directly behind them, machete in-hand. For the counselors, it’s a game of stealth, strategy and luck.

Jason is incredibly powerful and he’s designed to take out counselors in the most creative ways possible. Here’s how Gun Media describes playing as Jason on the game’s Kickstarter page (launched today):

You get to stalk camp counselors in Camp Crystal Lake and brutally kill in new and inventive ways (as well as some that will seem all too familiar). Grab a counselor in a choke hold, pick them up off the ground, and smash their face into a tree. Repeatedly. Or how about lifting a counselor up above your head as they kick and scream, holding them aloft long enough to walk near a rack of farm spikes to slam your victim down upon them? Yes, you get to do that because that’s what Jason does. He’s an unflinching, brutal killing force; the ultimate predator, and for the first time ever YOU control this horror icon.

To Hobbs, creative violence is the crux of Friday the 13th.

“Going too over-the-top in the gore department isn’t really a concern to us right now,” Hobbs says. “In fact, the slasher genre is more about creative kills and practical effects than all-out gore. We have Tom Savini leading this department, so expect to us to be very faithful to the slasher genre. In the end, I’m sure the ESRB will make sure we don’t go too far overboard.”

To be clear, Friday the 13th probably won’t be a “T for Teen” kind of experience.

Cunningham, the series creator, will be involved in the game as well, offering thematic support and direction. “We love showing him the progress we’re making and even more so love hearing his opinion,” Hobbs says.

Friday the 13th is seeking $700,000 on Kickstarter starting today, and it’s in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. For Hobbs, it’s all a dream (or maybe a nightmare) come true. He’s excited to build a game that puts players in Jason’s shoes.

“But actually what intrigues me just as much, if not more, is the ‘killer vs. victim’ dynamic,” Hobbs says. “This is a staple of slasher films and something we’ve yet to see fully realized in the video game industry.”

[Image credits: Gun Media]

13
Oct

Facebook testing YouTube-like dedicated video hub


Facebook has been pushing video pretty hard lately and today is sharing its plans on making sure users have even more ways to watch tiny movies of their friends and from pages they follow. The most compelling of these experiments is a dedicated video tab that shows all the videos shared by folks and entities someone follows. It’s bit like a cross between Instagram and YouTube within the social networking company’s main app. This new feature will be tested on a small group of users to see how they respond to having almost instant access to videos without having to wade through political postings by family members and their friend’s baby bump photos.

In addition to the dedicated tab, Facebook is also testing a bunch of other video features. One of these is Suggested Videos, a YouTube-like way of surfacing videos that you might find interesting based on what you’re currently watching. It’s also testing a way for folks to watch while still having access to the rest of the newsfeed. And finally, it’s experimenting with a save button for those moments when you can’t watch a clip and would like to bookmark it for later viewing.

Like Instant Articles, all of this adds up to more ways to keep you inside the Facebook experience. The fewer instances you’re pushed out of the newsfeed, the happier you make the company and its advertisers. The tests are being tried out on iPhone with web testing coming soon and Android support coming in a few months.

Source: Facebook

13
Oct

Uber’s new app gives drivers more incentives to pick you up


Uber's Partner app for drivers

You might care the most about Uber’s app for customers, but the drivers’ app matters a lot, too — after all, you won’t get a ride if cars aren’t waiting for your request. Appropriately, Uber has revamped the driver app to make it far more informative and give workers more reasons to offer you a lift. The software provides a real-time status feed with notes, tips and (most importantly) extra chances at making money. It also has an always-available activity map that shows drivers where they’re most likely to get customers, even when surge pricing isn’t involved. Earnings and ratings are easier to understand, too. You may never catch more than a fleeting glimpse of this app, but it could make all the difference if you get a timelier trip home from a driver eager to make a buck.

Source: Uber Newsroom

13
Oct

Samsung Europe to move its HQ to Poland


samsung galaxy logo mwc 2015 1

The sale and solicitation of corporate headquarters is nothing new, with everyone from BlackBerry to Nokia to Sony having tangled with tepid sales. Samsung Europe, currently based out of London, England, will soon be moving its headquarters to Warsaw, Poland according to a new report published by The Korea Herald.

Despite the Korean conglomerate’s refusal to comment on the matter, numerous sources reportedly confirmed the move’s authenticity. According to one source, “Samsung is laying off employees in Europe. The relocation seems to be part of its business restructuring amid sluggish sales.” “Mobile communications and other key business divisions have already started moving. The relocation will finish within the year,” said another insider, who requested anonymity. Last year’s European sales saw a decrease of 22.7 percent, falling from 52.67 trillion won in 2013 to just 42.95 trillion ($37.36 billion). This is believed to be a result of rivals – especially those OEMs from China – taking advantage of the weakened value of the Euro.

samsung galaxy note 5 review aa (9 of 32)

The news marks yet another important milestone in Samsung Europe’s tumultuous recent history. Last December it shuttered its flagship UK store amid poor earnings, and just this August, surprised the continent upon revelation that its flagship Galaxy Note 5 would not see release there, at least for 2015.

It is suggested that this new action may signal a change in the OEM’s European focus: rather than seek to dominate the premium market in Western Europe, it may instead opt to focus on the developing markets in Eastern Europe. Complimenting this theory are the numerous rumors that Samsung is preparing to release its Tizen powered Samsung Z3 phone in the region.

Galaxy Note 4 Android Lollipop

Poland got Lollipop on several Samsung smartphones before any other country.

Readers may be aware that Eastern Europe – Poland in particular – has often seen a heightened priority with respect to Samsung’s business strategy. Poland was the first country in the world to have the Galaxy S5 Lollipop update pushed to devices, for example, and then for the Galaxy Note 4 as well. Even neighboring Russia was initially to be the first country to receive the original Samsung Z, before it was canceled.

According to the report, Samsung has “operated a manufacturing plant after it acquired a local home appliance maker, Amica, in 2009. The company also runs a research and development center in the country.” This would definitely serve to explain the relocation decision, as does cheaper operating expenses and a smaller immediate market to contend with.

13
Oct

Republic Wireless to launch the Moto G (2015) later this month


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Republic Wireless, the carrier that prides itself on switching between cellular and WiFi networks, is ready to offer another Motorola device to customers at the end of October. The carrier will begin selling the Moto G (2015) on October 27 in two color options and storage sizes. This is in addition to Republic Wireless already offering the Moto E (2015) and Moto X (2014).

motorola_moto_g_2015_republic_wireless_coming_soon

The carrier announced today that the Moto G will be priced at $199 for 8GB and $229 for 16GB of internal storage, a small increase over buying the handset from Motorola directly. Both storage sizes come in either black or white; therefore, it’s clear that Motorola is forgoing Moto Maker access for Republic Wireless customers this time around.

Combined with Republic Wireless’ affordable plans, the Moto G is an insane value. The carrier has plans for as low as $5 per month if all you need is calling and texting over WiFi alone. People that need much more from a carrier can spend $40 per month to get 2GB of data and unlimited calling and texting. Just keep in mind that Republic Wireless operates on Sprint’s network.

Source: Republic Wireless

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13
Oct

Sony releases Android Marshmallow, adds Xperia Z5 to Open Device program


sony_devices_marshmallow_banner

Sony has been one of the more open companies when it comes to providing resources for ROM developers who want to build for Sony devices and that trend is continuing with the release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Sony announced they have added device configuration, software binaries and build guides to their Open Device program for AOSP Marshmallow.

According to Sony, the files and resources now available can be used to build Marshmallow based releases for all Qualcomm based Sony Xperia devices from 2014 and forward. That includes the Xperia Z5 which is being added to the program with this latest release. Developers can use these materials not only for custom ROMs, but to learn, build and test new features in Android. Sony encourages developers to contribute back to the community by submitting their work back upstream via their GitHub.

source: Sony

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13
Oct

Sprint expands its Direct 2 You coverage to seven new locations in the United States


sprint-logo

Earlier today, Sprint announced that it has now expanded its Direct 2 You coverage to an additional seven markets in the United States, which are as follows: Charlotte, N.C., Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City.

For those of you out there who’ve never heard of Direct 2 You, it’s a free service offered by Sprint, which gives customers the opportunity to order a new smartphone and have a qualified technician drive it to their home for configuration. In addition to setting up the device, the expert will also transfer all content from the old handset.

Sprint also stated it will expand Direct 2 You to more US cities in 2016.

Source: Sprint

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13
Oct

Andrew Bell’s Warty Witch figurine is coming next week


andrew_bell_dead_zebra_halloween_witch_android_figurine

Andrew Bell of Dead Zebra has another Android figurine for fanatics to get their hands on. Next Monday, the design studio will make its Halloween-themed Warty Witch available to those interested. The Warty Witch, as with anything from Dead Zebra, is extremely detailed. She has a broomstick, potions, stockings, a hat, wrinkles, and… warts. Basically, she looks just how any person would imagine a witch would look in the world of Android.

The Warty Witch will be live on Dead Zebra’s site at 11:00AM ET on October 19. This figurine will pair very well with last year’s Lucky Lucy cat that Andrew Bell & Co. designed.

Source: Andrew Bell (Twitter)

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