Sunday, May 19, 2013

Google Wallet makes payments possible through Gmail

The payment can also be sent to people who don't use Gmail

Google is integrating Gmail with Google Wallet so that users can send payments as a mail attachment, even if the recipient doesn't have a Gmail address.

To send money through Gmail, the user composing the email has to hover over the attachment paperclip, click a $ icon to attach money to the message, enter the amount, and send the mail, Travis Green, Google Wallet product manager, said in a blog post on Wednesday. The recipient will receive an email confirmation that the money was sent immediately after.
The service is free if the user's bank account is linked to Google Wallet or a Google Wallet balance is used to make the payment. Payments can also be made with linked credit and debit cards for a flat fee of 2.9 percent per transaction, for a minimum of US$0.30.
Users will have to be signed in or get a Google Wallet account to send or receive money through Gmail. Although not required to have a Gmail address, the recipient will also be prompted to sign in or sign up for Google Wallet to accept the money. Sending money with Gmail and Google Wallet is only available in the U.S.
The Internet giant is rolling out the feature in the coming months in the country to users over 18 years.
Receiving money is always free regardless of the funding source the sender chooses, Google said. After the money is received, it can be deposited into a bank account or used anywhere Wallet is accepted.
Sending money through Gmail is currently only available on desktop. Another way to send money is by clicking a 'send money' button in Google Wallet online at on desktop or mobile, Google said.
Google has also launched its Google Wallet Instant Buy Android API to facilitate selling of physical goods and services on native Android apps with a two-click checkout option. The application programming interface is designed for merchants and developers who already have a payment processor and are looking to simplify the checkout experience for their customers, Google said in a blog post.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Russia signs international privacy pact

Convention 108 was established to safeguard private data

Russia on Wednesday took a step toward protecting private data by ratifying the so-called Convention 108, established in 1981 and legally binding in 45 countries.

The convention was set up to safeguard the privacy of private citizens. It comprises rules ensuring that data is processed fairly and through procedures established by law, for a specific purpose; that information is stored for no longer than is required for this purpose; and that individuals have a right to have access, rectify or erase their data.
Signatory states must also set up an independent authority to ensure compliance with data protection principles and to help prevent any abuses.
The decision to implement the convention was sent to the Council of Europe by the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the CoE, Alexander Alekseev. It will enter into force on Sept. 1, making Russia the 46th member of the convention.
According to the CoE, the text is drafted in a technologically neutral style and has the potential to become a global standard regardless of technological advances. However it is currently being updated to ensure that its data protection principles are still valid for new tools and practices.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Facebook kills social suicide app Social Roulette 

Mimicking the real-life game Russian roulette, the app gave Facebook users a one-in-six chance of deleting their own account before the social network deleted the app.

A Facebook app that mimicked the real-life lethal game of Russian roulette in deleting user accounts apparently did not leave the social network fired up.
Social Roulette, which launched Saturday, gave players a one-in-six chance of deleting their own Facebook account, a form of social suicide, if you will. If you lost (or won, depending on your level of exasperation with social networking), the app would delete all aspects of the user's account, including posts, likes, photos, and friend connections, before deactivating the account.
According to its description, the app was intended for people looking to burn their Facebook bridges to their virtual relationships, as well as those looking for a virtual thrill:
Everyone thinks about deleting their account at some point, it's a completely normal reaction to the overwhelming nature of digital culture. Is it time to consider a new development in your life? Are you looking for the opportunity to start fresh? Or are you just seeking cheap thrills at the expense of your social network? Maybe it's time for you to play Social Roulette.
With a five-in-six chance of not being deleted by the app, those who lived to post another day would get a message posted to their time line indicating the played the game and survived:
(Credit: Social Roulette)
However, the intent of the app, which was created in a few hours by Jonas Lund, Jonas Jongelan, and NYU adjunct professor Kyle McDonald, seems to run counter to Facebook's goal of growing its user base, leading the social network to block it.

 "It took us four hours to create the project, and it took another four hours after the launch for Facebook to respond by blocking the API key and restricting our ability to create Facebook applications," McDonald told TechCrunch's Josh Constine. "The app was flagged by an automated system for 'creating a negative user experience.' After review, they decided they don't like our logo either. We tried to follow the branding guidelines but we must have misunderstood them."

Facebook declined to comment the circumstances surrounding Social Roulette, saying only that its goal is to protect the user experience.
"We take action against apps that violate our platform policies as laid out here:, in order to maintain a trustworthy experience for users," a Facebook representative said in a statement.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Half of companies will require BYOD by 2017

About half of the world's companies will enact BYOD (bring your own device) programs by 2017 and will no longer provide computing devices to employees.
Ultimately, only 15 percent of companies will never move to a BYOD model, while 40 percent will offer a choice between BYOD and employer-provided devices, according to the report by Gartner analyst David Willis.
While mobile computing helps make on-the-go workers more productive, the average cost of more than US$600 per employee per year for company-provided devices has been difficult for many to shoulde. This along with other factors, such as increased employee satisfaction, has helped drive the BYOD movement, he added.
So far, BYOD adoption is most common in companies with between $500 million and $5 billion in revenue, but there are significant differences according to geography. The U.S. adoption rate is double that of Europe, but the highest rate is in India, China and Brazil, according to the report.
Still, while most IT executives surveyed by Gartner think well of BYOD, only 22 percent "believe they have made a strong business case," according to the report.
Mobility projects "are often exploratory and may not have a clearly defined and quantifiable goal," the report adds. "While there are many mobile applications with a provable return on investment, stumbling onto a breakthrough does not seem like the right strategy."
Meanwhile, although BYOD programs allow employees to use their preferred device, that doesn't mean their employers don't incur any costs.
"Workers with an essential need to use a mobile device in their business expect to be compensated for its use, just as companies typically reimburse for the incremental cost of mileage and travel expenses.
However, there are currently no standard practices for BYOD reimbursement, according to the report. Only about half of today's BYOD programs provide some reimbursement, usually for the service plan associated with an employee's device, and just 2 percent cover all costs, the report states.
Still, "no mobile worker is free,". "More employees and more devices mean more security and management tool costs, more application licenses, more potential problems for an overtaxed help desk to deal with, and more confusion."
Costs associated with that overhead "can easily exceed $100 per worker per year today,". That figure will hit $300 by 2016," largely due to license fees for mobile apps."


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Can Google Glass ever be fashionable?

While Robert Scoble posts pictures of himself wearing Google Glass in the shower, those of a more intellectual bent offer that there are historical reasons why Google Glass may never catch on.


Style, this is not.
(Credit: Robert Scoble/Google+)


When real, normal people get a hold of Google Glass, they might be fascinated.
Equally, they might be underwhelmed. Their sense of underwhelment might increase with every mocking comment they get from other real, normal people.
In any case, Google Glass won't be thrust into the real, normal world for a year. Or even more.
Meanwhile, we have to struggle with the knowledge that tech personality Robert Scoble wears his in the public toilets. During the weekend, he even posted an image of his hirsute, unsuited torso, complete with head and Google Glass on nose, in the shower.
Though some would have been moved to paroxysms of excitement at this sight, others would have had their prejudice confirmed that wearing Google Glass made you look like something of an alien. And not in the sense that Ted Cruz might mean.
I tend to side with those who believe that the nerds have lost their marbles with this notion. I feel sure this is why Google is rumored to be discussing Google Glass design with retro spectacle designers Warby Parker.
This is merely an instinctive human reaction. But a more intellectual reasoning for the potential rejection of Google Glass by what's left of normal society was offered by David Galbraith.
The Scottish co-founder of Yelp suggested that it is the very futuristic look of Google Glass that might be its downfall.
In a far-sighted and rear-sighted analysis at, he offered that the things people find fashionable all have their roots in the past.
Suits are 18th century hunting wear. Jeans are so 19th century. And those painfully ugly chinos and Oxford shirts hail from Yale students before the world started fighting in the 20th century.
If only they could go back there.
"Looking futuristic is cool if you are a spaceman but not for hanging out in Williamsburg," he wrote.
That, of course, explains the proliferation of terribly expensive vintage clothing stores there.
Galbraith went on to explain that Apple's very popular designs have their roots in post-war Germany.
He likened Google Glass to the Bluetooth headset.
I don't know about you, but every time I see someone wearing a Bluetooth headset I want to quietly walk up to them and then scream very loudly in their ear for them to stop.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Google offers clearer search labels after EU probe

Google has agreed to alter its search results in the light of a European investigation into whether it unfairly promoted its own services.

The firm said that it will more clearly label results from YouTube, Google Maps and its other sites.
It also agreed to display links to rivals close to where it displayed its own services on its results page.
EU regulators are asking for feedback and have proposed that the concessions be tested for a month.
If the European Commission accepts them, they will become legally binding for the next five years.
As part of the agreement, Google will clearly separate promoted links from other web search results as well as displaying links to three specialised search rivals "close to its own services in a place that is clearly visible to users".
"The objective of this process is to try to see if we can achieve a settled outcome in this antitrust investigation," said Commission spokesman Antoine Colombani.
But the Microsoft-backed lobby group Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace (Icomp) was not convinced the changes went far enough.
"It is clear that mere labelling is not any kind of solution to the competition concerns that have been identified. Google should implement the same ranking policy to all websites," it said.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

IT Outsourcing to Eastern Europe

IT outsourcing is now far more than just a trend or innovation. Each day more and more companies entrust their IT-related tasks to outsourcing partners benefiting in many ways. Eastern Europe is one of the most effective IT outsourcing destinations. In this article we will talk about peculiarities, principles and main facts of IT outsourcing to Eastern European countries.

Advantages of IT Outsourcing to Eastern Europe
Allowing IT outsourcing companies, located in CEE (Eastern Europe in particular) to solve IT-oriented tasks and issues a customer obtains the following advantages:
  • Considerable budget savings;
  • Ability to focus on core competencies;
  • Extensive experience of an outsourcing subcontractor;
  • Speed increase in projects tasks solutions;
  • Reduced capital investments;
  • Full-time access both to IT innovations and high-qualified IT experts;
  • Internal processes optimization;
  • Improved manageability.