Archive for April, 2011

VeriFone Claims Victory Now That Square Is Adding Encryption to Its Card Readers [eMoney]

April 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A day after Square announced it had received an investment from Visa , it said it would be adding an additional level of encryption into the card reader that plugs into smartphones. But don’t read too much into that. The decision has everything to do with obeying Visa’s best practices and nothing to do with the accusations of security flaws raised last month by VeriFone, the 900-pound gorilla in the space. Does it mean VeriFone’s concerns are just a teeny-weeny bit valid? “Absolutely not,” said a Square spokesperson. “Of course, Square meets or exceeds all current industry standards. We are confident that Square already reduces the overall risk in the payments ecosystem….As Square is everywhere, we wanted to work with Visa to raise the bar on security for the next decade.” The feather-ruffling started last month when VeriFone issued a fairly bold attack on Square , the San Francisco venture-based company founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. VeriFone wrote an open letter to the industry alleging security flaws in the product and also produced a video detailing how easy it would be to steal a cardholder’s information using a Square card reader. Square’s response was that the claims were not fair or accurate and that they overlooked all of the protections already built into your credit card . A lot of comments on this site and others felt the attack was unnecessarily harsh and pointed to VeriFone’s insecurity with their position in the market. While admittedly unconventional, VeriFone’s CEO Doug Bergeron explained his reasons in a lengthy interview . “We collectively need to create new technology to reduce fraud, whether you are a venture-backed business or a big business

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NFL Draft Ratings Take a Hit

April 29, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A tough roster of broadcast competition may have sacked fan interest in the NFL Draft, as preliminary Nielsen data suggests that ESPN took a hit with its Thursday night coverage. According to Nielsen overnights, ESPN’s presentation of the NFL Draft averaged a 4.4, down 17 percent from the 5.3 it notched during last year’s first round coverage. A year ago, ESPN set a record with its draft opener, averaging 7.29 million viewers on April 22 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:20 p.m. That same night, NFL Network delivered 1.03 million viewers. Early estimates suggest ESPN’s first round of 2011 draft coverage averaged 6 million total viewers. If those numbers hold, Bristol’s deliveries will be down 18 percent year-over-year. While NFL Network’s overnights suggested a corresponding decline, the live-plus-same day delivery (1.04 million viewers) was a slight improvement over last year’s average.

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FTC Reportedly Prepping for Google Search Probe [Voices]

April 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

By John Murrell With the Justice Department’s wrestling match with Google over the ITA acquisition now wrapped up , it’s time for the Federal Trade Commission to jump into the ring. Sources tell Bloomberg the agency has alerted an assortment of tech companies to start gathering information for use in a probe of the search sovereign’s search sovereignty, a subject also of great interest in Europe .

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Mackie zeroes in on ‘Z,’ ‘Gangster Squad’

April 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Thesp harnesses breakout role in 'Locker' -- Two years after his breakout turn in "The Hurt Locker," Anthony Mackie's reaping fresh rewards with a pair of high-profile projects. He's received an offer to star opposite Brad Pitt in Par's "World War Z," and is nearing an offer to join WB's "Gangster Squad" with Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin.

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Early Adopter: Facebook Snags a Journalist, But What Will Vadim Lavrusik Do? [Voices]

April 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

By Drake Martinet, Associate Editor, All Things Digital Tech giants have always gobbled up journalists and media-types, but most of those folks end up in the PR department. But, as of Wednesday, Facebook has brought aboard a media-mind who won’t be fielding calls from AllThingsD.com reporters wondering about the Winklevii. Vadim Lavrusik, former community manager at tech and social media Web site Mashable, has joined Facebook’s media partnerships team, where he will be, “Journalist Program Manager.” Lavrusik is a graduate of Columbia Univeristy’s journalism school and did a brief stint at the New York Times, before heading to Mashable–a site probably most famous for massive numbers of social media followers. Lavrusik’s move from social media-heavy news site, to news guy at a social media giant isn’t that surprising, but what exactly is his job anyway? I headed over to Lavrusik’s coming-out party–the social networking giant called it a journalism meetup–at Facebook’s Palo Alto HQ, to find out how true he plans to keep to his journalist roots, and what his hopes are for the future of journalists on the Facebook platform. After some nervous looks from Facebook PR staffers, Lavrusik agreed to do a little video and be grilled on what Facebook means for journalism, and what his first order of business will be, once he unpacks his moving boxes at its New York offices. [ See post to watch video ]

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An Apology From Sony [Voices]

April 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

By Nitrozac and Snaggy

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Erin Burnett Officially Moving to CNN

April 29, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CNBC’s Erin Burnett is officially headed to CNN, where she will be an “anchor and chief business and economics correspondent,” according a press release from the network Friday. In the release, CNN said, “Burnett will anchor a weekday general news program and will contribute to CNN’s coverage of national and international breaking news events and contribute reporting to CNN.com.” Burnett, who began her journalism career at CNN (which she called “the world's preeminent news organization”), said in a statement that the move is “like coming home.” She will begin her new job at CNN headquarters in New York this June. As yet, there's been no word as to what time slot she'll take over.

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Nokia Siemens Closes Motorola Deal [Digital Daily]

April 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Its legal spat with Huawei resolved , Motorola Solutions today completed the transfer of its telecom network equipment business to Nokia Siemens . Valued at $975 million in cash, the deal includes the transfer of about 6,900 employees to Nokia Siemens, and will make it the third-largest wireless infrastructure provider in the United States and the leading non-Japanese wireless vendor in Japan.

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NBC pumps up ‘Voice’ star power

April 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Top News: Peacock also skeds 'Love Bites' in June -- NBC is adding star power to its promising new unscripted series "The Voice." In addition, the network has scheduled fall-season holdover "Love Bites" for June 2, the network confirmed.

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HBO Comes to the iPad, a Couple Days Early [MediaMemo]

April 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

HBO Go, the pay cable channel’s Web service, doesn’t formally launch on the iPad until Monday. But no need to wait: You can download it now at iTunes . As advertised, the free app is a mirror of HBO’s existing broadband service: It lets the channel’s subscribers stream a very deep catalog of HBO’s shows and movies, on demand, via both Wi-Fi and wireless networks. It will also work on Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as 20 phones running Google’s Android; it won’t work on tablets running Google’s newest Honeycomb OS, though. (Demo video from BTIG’s Rich Greenfield at the bottom of this post) The two catches: The service is available to most cable customers, with the exception of Time Warner Cable and Cablevision subscribers. Time Warner Cable says it’s working on a deal; Cablevision won’t comment. It’s a very deep catalog–1,400 titles, including the complete run of great series like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire”–but it will still have gaps that could frustrate HBO’s most avid users. I’d like to try David Simon’s “Treme” again, for instance, but I can’t get last season’s episodes; just the new ones that started airing last week. Some of you will bemoan the fact that you have to be a cable subscriber to get this–there’s no broadband-only option, a la Netflix and Hulu Plus. But that’s the point: Parent company Time Warner is completely wedded to the cable industry and wants to build as many incentives as it can to keep you there, too. Still, this stuff is lightyears ahead of where the cable business was just a couple years ago, where paying subscribers had no way to get these shows except on their TVs, or by buying it again on DVD or iTunes. And if you really are a dedicated cord-cutter, and a patient one, you may eventually get your way: I can imagine a scenario where HBO does offer this stuff directly to consumers, and if it happens within a few years, I won’t be completely shocked.

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