This week: Student hacks Samsung Pay, Google Fiber makes a sharp pivot towards wireless internet, and new search ads drive new users in the App Store.
Student Shows Samsung Pay may be Ripe for Hack
While mobile pay grows in popularity, ethical hackers continue to look for system vulnerabilities. A computer-science student recently did just that for Samsung Pay. At the Defcon hackers conference, Salvador Mendoza outlined a number of plausible, albeit difficult hacks targeting Samsung Pay users. One scenario involves using a wrist-mounted scanner to skim tokens, a type of transaction ID, generated by a user’s smartphone. Samsung acknowledged the vulnerabilities and claimed that the risks were no greater than using a standard credit card.
Read more about the newly discovered weaknesses in Samsung Pay at The Verge.
The iPhone 7 Gets a Facelift
Apple made waves when it announced the size increase of the iPhone 6 and then with the rumored return to smaller form with the iPhone 7. Since then, many have waited with baited breath as Apple unveils new visual and functional changes. The latest news? You can kiss the “home” button and headphone jack goodbye. A video recently surfaced purporting to show Apple’s new Lightning Earpods, which insert exclusively into Apple’s lightning port. And the home button will reportedly make way for a pressure-sensitive variant that features haptic feedback. The Apple winds are blowing, and change comes with it.
Read more about the latest design and functionally changes to the iPhone 7 at CNET.
Facebooks Makes Another Attempt to Bring Wi-Fi to India
After a failed attempt to introduce free Wi-Fi to India was shut down in 2015, Facebook is making a second play for Indian connectivity. The company has introduced software that helps local ISPs and entrepreneurs sell internet service in rural areas. The program, called Express Wifi, looks to expand the connectivity of one of the world’s fastest growing countries, with the eventual aim of converting them all to Facebook users.
Read more about Facebooks’ second foray into Indian Wi-Fi at The Verge.
Search Ads Help Drive New Users in App Store
According to market researcher App Annie, the app economy could double in size to $101 billion by 2020. And new ads in the Apple App Store are here to help you capitalize. The company recently announced it would publish display ads for apps in the iOS App Store search results. The ads and back-end management tools are supposed to closely replicate the look and feel of Google AdWords. However, there’s a catch. Users can’t set their own ads. Rather, ads are generated based on keywords found in your app’s page and description, as well as other metadata. So next time you make those updates to your app description, you may want to write a bit more carefully.
Read more about Apple’s unveiling of App Store search ads at Entrepreneur.
Google Fiber Pivots Toward Entirely Wireless Infrastructure
Though metro areas across the United States have closely monitored Google’s laying of fiber optic cable, onlookers may soon be looking to the sky for Google’s newest internet offering. A new FCC filing from Google’s parent company Alphabet shows plans to test internet-disseminating radios around the country. While not entirely a surprise (after all, the company acquired well-known wireless internet provider Webpass in June), the move does show a fundamental shift from the company’s namesake. Possible test cities include Austin, Texas; Provo, Utah; San Francisco, California; Raleigh, North Carolina; and more.
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