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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Android Pay: How Google aims to challenge Apple with its new pay-with-a-phone system

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San Francisco: Google unveiled its pay-with-a-phone system for Android devices, ramping up its challenge to Apple in mobile payments.

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3 Ways Google's Android Pay Is Better Than Apple Pay

Android Pay, unveiled at the Google developers conference in San Francisco, brings together mobile carriers, payment networks, banks and retailers to allow smartphone users to use their handsets instead of payment cards.
Android Pay brings together mobile carriers, payment networks, banks and retailers to allow smartphone users to use their handsets instead of payment cards.
Google engineering vice president Dave Burke said Android Pay would work in more than 700,000 US retail outlets that accept contactless payments.
"We are at the start of an exciting journey, we are working closely with payment networks, banks and developers," he said.
Similar to the Apple Pay system unveiled last year, Android Pay will allow consumers to store credit card information on their handsets along with loyalty cards and other data.
For extra security, Android Pay will generate a one-time "token" or virtual account number so the actual credit card data is not revealed in a transaction.
"Users can simply and safely use their Android phone to pay in stores where you see an Android Pay logo," Burke said.
"We are focused on simplicity, security and choice."
Google said in February it was teaming up with the mobile phone payment firm Softcard to ramp up its efforts in the emerging sector.
This will allow Google Wallet to become a pre-installed "tap to pay" app on Android smartphones.
No date was announced for the roll-out of Android Pay but the Google statement said it would be "available on Google Play for download soon."
Apple's iOS and Android rule the global smartphone market, and the companies are eager to be at the potentially profitable heart of shopping or other financial transactions as consumers go increasingly mobile.
'M' for major?
Google announced that enhancements being built into a new "Android M" version of the mobile operating system include support for fingerprint-checking, which would match the feature built into Apple's latest iPhones and iPads for security.
"The things they announced today are good, but the 'M' doesn't stand for 'Major,'" Current Analysis research director Avi Greengart told AFP at the gathering.
"Some of the improvements are Google playing catchup in payments and fingerprint recognition."
Apple Pay also works with Apple Watch, essentially allowing users to pay with the waves of a wrist. The Android team gave no indication if their new Pay feature will extend to smartwatches.
Google did show off a slew of upgrades for Android-powered smartwatches, such as gesture controls and being able to distinguish between actions such as push ups and golf club swings.
"We love watches," Android Wear director David Singleton said during an on-stage presentation.
"They have always been this incredible mix of beauty and technology."
He said Google is partnering with an array of hardware makers to add to the current line-up of seven different kinds of Android smartwatches.
There are more than 4,000 applications tailored for Android-powered smartwatches.
The Apple Watch is fueling the emerging smartwatch market and is expected to be the top seller in the segment for next few years, according to a market research report released early in May.
Fun, functional or hip applications made by the kinds of software wizards packed into the Google developers conference here are seen as vital to the popularity of smartwatches and smartphones.

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3 ways Google's Android Pay is better than Apple Pay

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Android Pay vs Apple Pay
Believe it or not, Google's Android Pay makes it simpler and more rewarding to pay for things with a phone than the already easy-to-use Apple Pay.
With more than one billion active Android users, that's going to give mobile payments a big boost in 2015, at least in the US. This is no half-hearted Google Wallet.
At Google IO 2015, I tested the reinvented contactless payment system on a Coca-Cola machine and a mock online store in the press room.
The result? One 20oz bottle of Coke and three ways the better-late-than-never Android Pay is slightly better than Apple Pay.
Android Pay
The stacked card interface looks a lot like Apple Pay
Android Pay vs Apple Pay

1. It's literally more rewarding

Google wants to help the world buy a Coke and maybe teach everyone to sing its praises. It's doing that with a little extra reward right at the machine.
Android Pay, already loaded on my Nexus 6 at a special Coke vending machine, used the built-in NFC chip that's now common among Google-powered phones. It's the same tech Apple uses.
I held the phone to the machine's NFC reader, and a stacked credit and debit card interface popped up automatically. I tapped my virtual card on the phone to pay, and I was done. It looked almost identical to Apple Pay's design.
What's different? Among the card options is the ability to use MyCokeRewards points to pay for the soda (or a healthier beverage like water). Who turns down an earned Coke and doesn't enjoy it?
Google is integrating retailers' loyalty programs right into Android Pay and says this feature is going to be bigger than just soda machines. It's an idea the iPhone's Passbook app doesn't fulfill nearly as well with little-used and more cumbersome QR codes.
That's going to be an incentive, especially when I'm at local retailers. On aniPhone 6, I often need to get out my loyalty card or recite my phone number, even if I'm paying with Apple Pay.

2. Passwords aren't a hindrance

Android Pay
Android Pay requires a lockscreen password, whether it's a pattern, pin or face unlock. Only, its rules are more user-friendly than what's found on an Apple Pay-enabled iPhone.
Its tap-to-pay method of completing a transaction doesn't require that hit-or-miss fingerprint on smartphones. That's why enabling a phone's lockscreen is a must.
This makes Android Pay a little bit faster with no queue displeasing "Let me redo it." It uses a system-level lockscreen as its security, not a second payment ID for authentication.
Worried about Android eliminating this redundancy? Android M is going to push phones to add a fingerprint sensor. Most Android phones don't have Touch ID-equivalent hardware.
It was sort of funny to hear the Motorola Atrix from 2011 get a nod during the Google IO keynote. There's not much else out besides Samsung's few fingerprint-enabled phones.
Android Pay
What's even better? I'm told that when you disable a password-protected lockscreen, the credit cards don't automatically erase like they annoyingly do with an Apple Pay-linked cards.
That's an annoying requirement of Apple Pay for iPhone and, more precisely,Apple Watch. It forces users who sometimes disable the lockscreen temporarily to add and re-authenticate their credit cards all over again.

3. Way more compatible phones

Android Pay works with a lot more phones than Apple Pay - a lot more - much to the dislike of iPhone owners who don't yet have an iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Android Pay
Google's casting a much wider net with support for all Android 4.4 KitKat phones with NFC chips, not just its own Nexus devices.
That means the Galaxy S4, HTC One M7, LG G2, original Moto X and Nexus 5, all released in 2013, will work with Android Pay.
That covers a lot of people.

Android Pay stores, credit cards and banks

Google is playing catch-up, but Android Pay store locations number 700,000 in the US - too many to list. There are also 1,000 Android apps that plan to use the mobile payment platform.
Android Pay stores list
McDonald's, Chipotle and Subway have fast food covered, while major retailers include Best Buy, Macy's and Walgreens. Coke rival, Pepsi, also signed on, in case you were wondering.
Basically, anywhere you see the new Android Pay or generic NFC logo, your phone will let you make a purchase without swiping your card. That should keep it on par with Apple Pay.
Android Pay credit cards debut cards and banks list
Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover are all onboard with Android Pay too, and nine major banks like Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Capital One are here.
Credit and debit cards can be enabled right within bank apps as well, giving users a second way to add their information for Android Pay.

But will Android Pay be a success?

Android Pay is a little more streamlined than Apple Pay, but that in no way means Google's new mobile payments push is going to be as much of a success or better.
First, it's only being promised for the US. Like iPhone's digital wallet, Google is staying silent on its UK and Australian launch plans. Country rollout may decide the winner, especially when it comes to China and India.
Android Pay
Success! Until Apple Pay catches up, maybe in iOS 9
On one hand, Google's security is akin to Apple Pay. Its tokenization method means retailers never see your actual credit or debit card number, just a virtual account number. On the other, Android users have proven to be more susceptible to hijacking and data mining apps.
Then there's the fact that while Android Pay is getting a bigger push than Google Wallet, it won't get as much attention out of the gate with one single device launch. And Apple could add these Coke and other loyalty rewards iniOS 9 and catch up in an instant.
Nevertheless, you can't deny the appeal of a free Coke and tap-to-pay after bypassing the lockscreen. Right now, it's refreshing to see Google pushing new ideas forward.
Android Pay is set to be coupled with Android M when the new operating system update launches later this year, while phone users with Android 4.4 KitKat and above can expect it "soon."

Geo TV Hacked and Defaced by Veteran Pakistani Hackers

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Geo_TV

Geo TV, arguably the the largest TV station of Pakistan, was hacked moments ago by a hacker group that calls itself “G-Force”. Hackers said that attack on Geo TV website is result of unjust Pakistani system that is targeting Axact while ignoring so many other important matters.
G-Force is a group of veteran hackers who had fought Pakistan’s first cyber war with India back in 1997. However, they had been quite for a long now, until few days back they revived through a twitter account and noted that they will target all non ProPakistani elements.
Defaced website of Geo TV read that FIA and all other law enforcement agencies got active against Axact with-in few hours of NYT article and the main accused was arrested with-in seven days of initial report. Hackers, while appreciating LEA’s role, questioned that why other important issues couldn’t be resolved with such pace, for example:
  • May 12, 2007 incident in Karachi, where dozens of citizens were slaughtered in broad daylight
  • Baldia Town Fire: Over 300 people burnt live
  • Model Town massacre: Citizens were killed in front of TV cameras, live transmission, but where was this speed that LEA’s have shown in Axact case?
  • Saulat Mirza accusing Altaf Hussain and other senior members of MQM for taking orders for killing people, but no has questioned anyone.
  • BBC published many documentaries of murder, corruption, money laundering of Mr. Nawaz Sharif, Altaf Hussain, Asif Zardari an other political leaders, but none of them have been brought to justice? why?
G-Force further questioned Pakistani media that why only hatred and negativity is spread? Hackers said that reporting news is one thing, but media cooks up news and shapes them as they want, all for commercial gains.
G-Force said that they will keep hitting back until things aren’t straightened in Pakistan.
At the time of writing of this story, Geo TV’s home page is showing “Under maintenance” message.
Below is the screen-shot of hacked Geo TV home page, which has been replaced now with “Under Maintenance” message.
Geo_TV_Hacked

21 Best Ad Networks For Publishers (2015 Edition)

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Whenever someone talks about monetization, invariably, the first thing that pops up into the mind is Google AdSense. And while there’s nothing particularly wrong with that—it is, after all, the world’s largest ad network, but to sit on an assumption that AdSense can’t be outdone by anyone else isn’t wise.
The ad tech industry is highly disruptive and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Google has competitors who give them a good run for their money.
It may take a lot of hit and trial to figure out which ad network, or even combination of ad networks, generate the highest revenue for you, but when you finally do figure it out—it would have been well worth the effort.
Here are a few networks that you must check out in 2015.

1. AdBlade

adblade 1

AdBlade is a premium, brand-safe ad network with a focus on quality over quantity. Fox News, Hearst Corporation, Yahoo!, and ABC are among the 1,000 or so publishers that comprise the network. AdBlade supports standard IAB units, as well as proprietary NewsBullets® units that claim to deliver up to 3x better performance.
Model: CPM, CPC
Minimum traffic: 500,000 monthly impressions

2. AdCash

adcash
AdCash is one of the foremost advertising networks and provides high-quality ads from leading brands and exclusive pricing models designed to effectively monetize their online content and increase revenue. AdCash supports all industry standard as well as exclusive display formats such as site under, footer, interstitial, slide-in, background, and more. It has over 1,000 ad campaigns running on its platform—the big inventory means better ad targeting.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA
Minimum traffic: None

3. Advertising.com

advertising
Advertising.com, is the technology, data and insights arm of AOL Advertising. It has relationships with 70+ of comScore’s Top 100 ad-supported sites, with a publisher network spanning 30+ content verticals and monetizes nearly 2 billion ad impressions per day on average. If you’re looking for a specific set of advertisers, Advertising.com offers ad blocks by advertiser, industry, media, and category to ensure the best fit for your site.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA
Minimum traffic: 300,000 monthly impressions

4. BidVertiser

bidvertizer
Though your mileage may vary, Bidvertiser is an ad network with an interesting monetization model: In addition to earning money for each ad that is clicked, the publisher also earns additional revenue when the click leads to a conversion (i.e. sale) for the advertiser. BidVertiser supports multiple ad formats including banners, skyscrapers, rectangles, and mobile. You can use the provided point-and-click tool to customize the layout of these units to match your website’s look. A bidding system ensures that publishers always get the highest possible revenue from each unit. Using the reporting interface, you can easily monitor your ads performance, clicks, click-through rate, and the total amount you’ve earned.
Model: CPM, CPC
Minimum traffic: None

5. BlogAds

blogads
An ad network that specifically caters to bloggers, BlogAds represents thousands of premier blogs such as PerezHilton, DailyKos, Wonkette and Cute Overload. Set up is easy and you can manage multiple sites from one account. BlogAds offers a high level of control over your advertising by letting you determine which ad sizes to offer, set your own prices, customize the appearance of ads, and accept or reject ads. There are no monthly fees; instead, BlogAds keep 14% of sales made to your readers. Most common IAB ad sizes are supported. It’s worth a try if you’re a blogger who wants to try an alternative to AdSense.
Model: CPC, CPA
Minimum traffic: None

6. Chitika

chitika
A popular alternative to AdSense, Chitika has over 350,000 publishers on its network and serves over four billion ads per month, making it one of the largest ad networks in the world if you were to go by those metrics. Its proprietary targeting and optimization technology uses programmatic buying to serve precisely the right ad, at the right time. The approval process for new publishers is usually pretty straightforward and takes little time.
Model: CPC
Minimum traffic: None

7. Clicksor

clicksor
Clicksor serves over 900 million ad impressions on over 100,000 specialized websites that comprise its publisher network. In addition to regular banner ads, Clicksor also offers in-text ads, rich media, interstitials, and pop-unders as alternative ad formats. Under the hood, Clicksor scans the text on your website and serves ads using the latest contextual technology, resulting in a higher click-through rate. Installation is a breeze with Clicksor’s plugin for Blogger, WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla that you just need to download and activate to get going.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPV, CPI
Minimum traffic: None

8. Conversant (ValueClick Media)

conversant
Conversant runs campaigns for 5,000+ brands every month, increasing the chances of finding an ideal fit for all content verticals. A real-time publisher interface offers fully transparent campaign reporting along with activity and revenue data. Their cross-platform advertising solutions ensure that publishers are able to maximize their revenue from mobile devices. In addition to standard display, they offer ads in multiple other formats such as in-text rollovers, static, rich media, banners, over the page and more.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA
Minimum traffic: None

9. Creafi Online Media

creafi 1
Creafi Online Media serves over 300 million ad impressions daily and hinges its USP on advanced audience targeting methodologies such as behavioral targeting, retargeting, and semantic targeting. When advertisers can customize who sees their ads based on behavior and context using these tools, ad performance shoots up and it’s a win-win for both them and the publishers. To publishers, Creafi offers multiple ad formats and revenue streams and a greater degree of control over ad inventory.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPV
Minimum traffic: 1,000,000

10. Epom Market

epom market
Epom Market is a cross-platform ad network associated with leading advertisers and publishers in over 40 countries across 15 verticals. The network serves 13 billion ad impressions reaches an audience of 320 million unique monthly visitors per month. It offers category-targeted, mobile, and local ads to ensure better user targeting, which lead to higher eCPM rates. In addition to standard banner ads, Epom also supports footer, in-text, and mobile-specific ad units.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA, Auction
Minimum traffic: 500,000

11. Haxhax

hax hax
Haxhax is a premium, brand-safe private marketplace with over 100 handpicked premium publishers serving video, rich media, mobile and traditional display. Haxhax provides comprehensive reporting, multi-screen ad servicing, and an auto-invoicing system to get your payouts on time.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPV, Auction
Minimum traffic: 500,000

12. Infolinks

infolinks
Traditional banner ads have one big problem that results in big revenue losses: A lot of users either consciously or subconsciously ignore them because ads are usually viewed as an intrusion. Infolinks is an ad network that gets around this problem by offering an innovative set of ad formats called InFold (overlay ads), InText (text links ads), InTag (tag cloud ads), and InFrame (banner ads in margins and frames) that result in better SEO, less intrusion, increased relevance, and better space utilization.
Model: CPC
Minimum traffic: 500,000

13. Media Nexus

medianexus
Media Nexus is an ad network that works with fortune 500 and global brands, with some being exclusive to their network. This means that ads served by the network are usually of high quality and add to a user’s experience (instead of taking away from it). The network serves six distinct verticals and offers publishers monthly payments, a dedicated account manager, high eCPMs, and 100% fill rates.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPV
Minimum traffic: 5,000,000

14. Media.net

media net
Media.net serves ads from the Yahoo! Bing contextual ad network, which comprises of a large pool of national and local advertisers, ensuring a 100% fill rate across all verticals and ad formats. Some of Media.net’s publishers include Forbes, Elle, Reuters, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and more. The network supports standard IAB sizes and has access to high quality ads from all major DSPs. In addition to display units, Media.net also supports desktop interstitial, in-content native, and mobile docked ads.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA
Minimum traffic: None

15. PropellerAds

propeller ads 1
PropellerAds support banner ads in all standard sizes such as 728×90, 300×250, 160×600, 120×600, and more apart from onclick and in-banner video ad formats. If the ads are positioned strategically, you can expect CPMs as much as 1-2$ for US and UK inventory. They have 3,000 active campaigns worldwide and perform manual checks to remove all unsafe and suspicious advertisers—ensuring high ad quality. Publishers get the benefit of a 100% monetized inventory, in-time payouts, a personal account manager, and detailed real-time reporting.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA
Minimum traffic: None

16. PulsePoint

pulsepoint 1
PulsePoint is an ad network that processes 110 billion ad transactions each month across its platform. They’re big on data-driven ad optimization—crunching about 20TB of it every day. Their proprietary contextual ensures better ad targeting and increase relevance, giving publishers the opportunity to monetize impressions buyers would normally overlook. There are no sign up fees or hidden costs.
Model: CPM
Minimum traffic: None

17. Revenue Hits

revenue hits
Revenue Hits uses contextual and geo-targeted ad serving technology to deliver better revenue for their publishers across different types of properties such as websites, mobile sites, add-ons, widgets, toolbar, and many more. It serves over two billion ad impressions each day with a promise of 100% fill rate across all geographic regions. Other than display ads, Revenue Hits also lets publishers monetize their website using text ads, pop ups, apps, widgets, XML feeds, and other custom formats.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA, CPV, Auction
Minimum traffic: None

18. Tribal Fusion

tribal fusion
The CPM rates of Tribal Fusion is amongst the highest in the industry and they offer reliable payments, dedicated account manager, real-time reporting, and free ad-serving technology. You can control the content of ads by blocking ad categories (i.e. gambling, religious, political, alcohol, flashing, warning, etc.) or by specific advertiser domain names. Based on content of the website, Tribal Fusion’s server finds the best advertiser-audience fit in real-time, benefitting both the advertiser and the publisher.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA, CPV
Minimum traffic: 500,000

19. Undertone

undertone
Undertone specializes in providing several high-impact ad formats in addition to standard IAB—including IAB rising stars, several video formats, and its own range of flagship display formats designed for higher user engagement. This coupled with the fact that many of Undertone’s proprietary ad units use your ad inventory in non-traditional ways, ensuring there’s no cannibalization of existing ad products, means that Undertone can offer CPMs 100%-1500% higher than traditional display ads.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA, CPV
Minimum traffic: 500,000

20. Vibrant Media

vibrant
Vibrant Media is another ad network that offers specialty ad formats such as in-text, in-image, lightbox, storyboard, mosaic, and brand canvas in addition to the standard IAB display ad units. Depending on your needs, you can choose to use Vibrant Media as your primary display ad network or you can employ their native ad solutions to increase revenue without changing your existing ad configuration. Ads are responsive so they can be delivered across multiple platforms seamlessly.
Model: CPM, CPC
Minimum traffic: None

21. WWW Promoter

wwwpromoter
WWW Promoter offers publishers high fill rates, competitive CPMs, advanced targeting, and efficient ad serving using its proprietary ad serving technology. They focus on building a network that comprises of trusted brands and advertisers, eliminating the possibility of low-quality ads being served. The inhouse ad platform has a reporting tool that helps publishers track their CPMs in real-time.
Model: CPM, CPC, CPA, CPV
Minimum traffic: 1,000,000
Let us know if we missed something in the comments below!

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