Fujitsu launches laptop with contactless palm authentication

TechWeekEurope reports that Fujitsu has launched a laptop that scans the palm to authenticate its user.

“Vein authentication” uses image recognition and optical technology to scan the normally invisible vein pattern of the palm, back of the hand and fingers. It works by radiating the hand with near-infrared rays. The deoxidised haemoglobin in the palm veins absorbs these rays, thereby reducing the reflection rate and causing them to appear as a black pattern. This vein pattern is then verified against a pre-registered pattern to authenticate the individual.

So the next time you see people holding their palm at their laptop, know that they are not asking their laptops to talk to the hand.

Apple’s iPhone, iPad used in 82% of mobile sales on Black Friday

IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark group reports that iOS devices are used to do 82% of mobile Black Friday shopping.

IBM reported that iOS devices accounted for more than 4.5 times the total sales of Android or over an 80 percent share of mobile-oriented sales (above), with 17.3 percent of all online sales occurring on an Apple mobile device versus just 3.75 percent on Android products.

The reports also showed an increase in consumers using mobile devices to shop.

In general, smartphones drove twice as much traffic as tablets, but tablet users actually placed 1.5x as many sales, accounting for 13.2 percent of online purchases compared to just 7.8 percent for smartphones.

Facebook testing feature to surface old posts

AllThingsD reports that Facebook is testing a way to resurface past News Feed posts.

Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,”

“When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.”

Indie Platformer Badland finally available on Android

AllThingsD reports that Frogmind’s Badland is now available on Android.

The addicting and arty game launched on iOS in March for $4, and last month came to BlackBerry World at the same price. But, after talking with other mobile developers, Frogmind decided to go free-to-play for the game’s Android release, adding 15-second interstitial ads and two in-app purchases: One just removes the ads, while the other removes the ads and unlocks the second half of the game, for a total of 80 levels.

I really like Badland. To say that it is addictive is an understatement. I got it when it was first released on iOS and I was sucked into the game until I completed it.

I suspect that Frogmind chose this business model on Android to appeal to the different kind of buyers in the Google Play store. With the popularity of its iOS and BlackBerry versions, I believe that making the app available for free will propel it to further success on Android.

It is a no-brainer to download the game since it is free. Go get it now if you are on Android. I won’t be surprised if you end up paying to unlock the full game.

nio Card wants to be your Bitcoin debit card

Is this Kickstarter project how we’ll be spending our Bitcoins in the future?

nio Card – The world’s first Bitcoin payment smartcard

The headline feature of the Nio Card is its ability to transfer Bitcoin payments using NFC. A tap of the card against an NFC-enabled smartphone is enough to send or receive BitCoins, and for added security, no transactions are possible unless it’s connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. No worries about it being stolen and the thief draining your Bitcoin account. As both the card and your phone are linked together, either one will sound an alarm should they drop out of range.

Can Kik displace the current messaging giants?

Despite the messaging wars still being in its infancy, it was common to see other messaging apps like Kik and PingChat a few years ago. Nowadays despite WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LINE, WeChat and many others dominating, Kik is still very much in the game and worth keeping an eye on .

Forget Snapchat and WhatsApp for a second – Kik is the dark horse of the Internet

A lot of people, of course, don’t believe in the mobile Web. Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook’s biggest mistake was betting too much on HTML5. Many developers and users think that native applications provide a faster, smoother experience than can be found with Web apps. But Kik, which in April put the final pieces into place for its HTML5 platform, has created a super-charged mobile browser that uses cacheing and background downloading to provide a fluid user experience. That opens up the sort of monetization opportunities currently being exploited by WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk – in-app purchases, payments, games, virtual items, brand relationships, ecommerce – but it places them in the context of the open Web, mostly free from the restrictions imposed by devices, app stores, or operating systems.

I’m particularly fond of this article on Kik that I read a few months back.

Swably aims to be the Napster of mobile apps

Peer-to-peer sharing of apps? That’s probably a developer’s nightmare, and it might just come true. The good news is that app piracy is already rampant on Android, and the Android Play Store is still going strong. Could the music industry have over-hyped the dangers of Napster?

Google Nexus phones vulnerable to denial-of-service attack via SMS

Swably, as he called it, is a peer-to-peer sharing app that allows users to upload and share free Android apps straight from your phone to anyone else using it. It’s meant to be especially useful for developers who can’t gain a foothold in the major app stores, but could also be used by less scrupulous users to share paid apps for free. The current beta app has about 4,000 combined active users on both the English and Chinese versions.

In case you’re wondering, it most likely will face some legal challenges due to the possibility of piracy. Swably’s solution?

“They said, ‘if you can get good traction, then we can get you a good lawyer.’”

Nexus phones vulnerable to SMS attack

It’s a little surprising that this attack seems to only work on Nexus devices, since phone manufacturers should theoretically be taking similar stock ROMs that the Nexus devices use and customize it from there. Of course, this attack has not been tested on all the major phones out there yet, so it’s possible that it could still affect some non-Nexus devices. Hopefully it’ll be fixed soon.

Google Nexus phones vulnerable to denial-of-service attack via SMS

The most common behavior is that the phone reboots, he said. In this case, if a PIN is required to unlock the SIM card, the phone will not connect to the network after the reboot and the user might not notice the problem for hours, until they look at the phone. During this time the phone won’t be able to receive calls, messages or other types of notifications that require a mobile network connection.

According to Alecu, a different behavior that happens on rare occasions is that the phone doesn’t reboot, but temporarily loses connection to the mobile network. The connection is automatically restored and the phone can receive and make calls, but can no longer access the Internet over the mobile network. The only method to restore the data connection is to restart the phone, Alecu said.

Samsung defends Galaxy Gear as a ‘small green tomato’

BGR reports Samsung executive David Eun responded to criticism of the Galaxy Gear saying it is a work in progress.

“What we’re dealing with is small green tomatoes,” he said of the Gear’s first-generation growing pains. “And what we want to do is take care of them and work with them so they become big, red ripe tomatoes. And what you want to be sure of is that you don’t pluck the green tomato too early and you want to make sure that you don’t criticize a small green tomato for not being a big, red ripe tomato.”

That is another way of telling consumers who bought the Galaxy Gear that Samsung’s marketing team succeeded in getting them to pay $300 for an unfinished product.

Apple accounts for 63% of worldwide ad impression share, 32% for Android

Apple Insider reports on the worldwide ad impression recorded in the third quarter of 2013.

According to fresh data from ad buying platform and mobile DSP Adfonic, Apple’s iOS accounted for 63 percent of all global impressions during quarter three, a three percent boost from the quarter previous. Despite having a vastly larger marketshare, Android dipped six points to finish the three-month period with a 32 percent ad impression share.

Interestingly, Samsung’s older models account for more impressions than its latest models.

Broken down by device, Apple’s iPhone generated a huge 35 percent of all ad impressions, while the iPad followed with a 21 percent share and the iPod touch hit third with six percent. A sprinkling of Samsung products trailed the Apple pack. The Galaxy S3 managed only three percent, the S2 hit two percent and the Galaxy Ace and S3 mini brought one percent each.