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With the Samsung Galaxy Note8 now officially out in the open, Malaysians looking forward to owning the new flagship phablet will be glad to know that Samsung Malaysia will be opening and structuring a special pre-order package for the Malaysian consumers.

 

The pre-order period will begin on September 5 and end on September 10, just several days before the launch of the phone in the country. The local pricing has yet to be announced, but given the dates, it is possible that Samsung will only announce it at the start of the pre-order period.

 

That being said, what we do know is that consumers will have four color variations to choose from: Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Maple Gold, and Deepsea Blue.

 

Flytrex, an Israeli drone logistics company has collaborated with on-demand goods service AHA to develop a delivery route for drones in Reykjavík, Iceland. Flytrex  is working with the local transport authorities, training its staff, as well as solving the remaining parts of the drone delivery equation. Flytrex is also building a cloud-based network that the drone delivery system runs on. 

 

Right now, Flytrex and AHA are using a modified DJI Matrice 600, also known as a hexacopter to deliver food and other items between two areas of the city that are divided by a wide river. Fundamentally, someone at AHA loads the delivery onto the drone, sends it across the bay and it will be taken by the delivery driver once it is across. This makes it so much easier for delivery drivers, as they normally would have to use routes around the bay, which consumes more time. As a result, deliveries can effectively be made in a couple of minutes. 

 

The Matrice was revamped by Flytrex to equip a cargo compartment, allowing it to transport packages up to three kilograms for up to ten kilometers. This is ideal for AHA as it transports on-demand goods such as beer, hamburgers and sushi. Flytrex CEO Yariv Bash intends to execute actual drone deliveries using many routes across Reykjavík by end 2017, meaning that drones would head straight to recipients’ doorsteps. The drones will be lowered to the ground via a wire as opposed to it actually landing. Bash also adds that he perceives Flytrex to be drone agnostic, implying that more competent drones are able to be deployed as they enter the market.

 

The video below shows how the drone deliveries in Iceland are carried out.


 

The ai Corporation has launched its global transaction-monitoring service, allowing companies to outsource their fraud management functions.

 

The new outcome-based fraud service model, which combines man and machine learning technology, will allow companies to outsource their fraud management to ai’s team, under a performance-based contract. The company will be fully responsible of implementing a customer’s fraud prevention strategy and will offer clear performance indicators. 

 

This will also make the ai Corporation fully accountable for any fraud losses and will be compensated in line with successfully stopping fraud. The service is distributed via the cloud and can be implemented without major upfront IT costs.

 

The company said that the service will be deployed following an initial base cost, after which companies will not be charged more for using the product until it achieves the promised performance.

 

Founded in 1998, The ai Corporation (ai), which is FCA approved, provides solutions for fraud and risk management. The company has also invested in developing business intelligence from payments data. In 2016 ai purchased a payment gateway and now also offers all its solutions in via managed services.

 

PayPal has announced a new deal with Skype that will allow users in 22 countries worldwide to send money to other Skype users through an updated version of the Skype mobile app.

 

This extends PayPal’s potential reach by a sizable amount – the Skype app has been downloaded over a billion times to date, and has approximately 300 million monthly active users.

 

To use the feature, users will need to be on the latest version of the Skype mobile app. Then select “Find” on the top bar while in conversation with a friend or family member, and choose the “Send Money” add-in, just type in the amount to send, confirm the payment, and hit send to complete the transaction.

 

The feature is designed for sending money between friends and family – not payments for goods or services from a business. And like PayPal’s peer-to-peer payments on other platforms, the rates are the same. That is, sending is free when you use your PayPal balance or debit card in the US If you choose to use a credit card instead, the fee is 3.4 percent of the transaction amount plus USD 0.30.

 

This is the latest in a series of partnerships PayPal has announced in recent months, as it works to solidify its position. The company has also recently announced integrations with Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Baidu; and extended its partnership agreements with Citi and Chase. And on the technology side of things, PayPal has introduced instant bank transfers, Siri integration, support for payments in iMessage, Slack, and Microsoft’s Outlook.com.

 

The full list of supported markets includes: the US, the UK, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

 

 

China-based ecommerce company, JD.com has disclosed plans to partner with smaller e-commerce players in Indonesia, according to sources from DEALSTREETASIA.

 

Indonesia is fertile ground for ecommerce businesses, with a potential ecommerce market of USD 65 billion by 2020, according to Macquarie Research. This growth is also driven by the country’s legal framework, which now allows 100% foreign ownership in ecommerce companies for investments above USD 7.53 million.

 

JD.com, among other China-based ecommerce companies, has taken note of the ecommerce sector’s potential in Indonesia. According to inside sources, cited by DEALSTREETASIA, the company is planning to partner with several Indonesia-based online retailers as well as to invest in several ecommerce niche players.

 

Potential partners among the smaller ecommerce companies are Fabelio, an online furniture marketplace, and Laku6, a used phone ecommerce website.

 

JD.com already has a presence in the archipelago offering deliveries to all of Java through its Indonesia website. It also plans to expand to the island of Sumatra by the end of 2017 and the company is investing heavily in its delivery network. According to DEALSTREETASIA, JD.com wants to build warehouses across every key city in Indonesia.

 

Samsung Pay has announced that users will be able to use PayPal in-app, in-store and online.

 

Users can add their PayPal accounts to Samsung Pay and use their PayPal wallet anywhere Samsung Pay is accepted. And because it uses proprietary MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology, which allows you to use Samsung Pay at terminals that don’t accept NFC, it’s accepted in many places. Merchants will also be able to accept Samsung Pay online through PayPal’s Braintree.

 

Using PayPal wallet with Samsung Pay is only currently available in the US. However, Samsung is working on expanding PayPal wallet support to the 18 other markets it serves, including Spain, South Korea, China and India, soon.

 

PayPal has been moving more and more into mobile payment methods. With these integrations, you may soon be able to use your PayPal account just like a real bank account.

 

WhatsApp will soon facilitate instant money transfer via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transaction system, shows a new beta update by the mobile messaging platform.

 

According to a blog website WABetaInfo, WhatsApp was finally giving shape to its plans towards bank-to-bank transfer using the UPI system.

 

In the new version ‘2.17.295’ through the Google Play Beta Programme, it says: “WhatsApp Payments: the immediate bank-to-bank transfer with UPI.”

 

The official “WhatsApp Payments” section for Android is still under development. “In order to use WhatsApp Payments, you will have to accept the WhatsApp Payments and Bank Terms and Privacy Policy,” the blog added.

 

Launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), UPI facilitates the instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform. With over 200 million monthly active users (MAUs), WhatsApp has been in the news for working towards a UPI-based interface in its platform.

 

According to media reports, WhatsApp is already in talks with the NPCI and a few banks to facilitate financial transactions via UPI.

 

Some mobile messaging platforms like WeChat and Hike Messenger already support UPI-based payment services.

For years now, Linux has earned a reputation as a popular platform among IT enthusiasts. It’s attracted everyone from system administrators to experimenting students. Yet, not enough is said about Linux power as a programming platform. Here are five reasons why this open source operating system should be at the top of your list when choosing a development environment.

 


1. It’s Free

No need to fork out a small fortune to buy software or wonder whether your copy is licensed. Linux is free and this makes it practical for budding novices and seasoned gurus alike. 

The fact that it’s free also takes away the pressure to ‘make it work’. When you purchase software, you have a sense of obligation to make sure your investment was not in vain. A free OS gives you the freedom to tap into your programming creativity since you have much less to lose. 

 

2. Easy to Install

An average computer user has never installed an operating system. Some users may not even understand the concept of an OS and would see it as too technical a subject. 

As a programmer though, installation of the OS and applications is a fairly basic skill. You already have the foundation knowledge required to search for an appropriate Linux distro, download the ISO, burn it onto a USB drive, and follow the screen prompts. Installing Linux isn’t much different from installing Windows.

 

3. Tinker at Will

If you’re going to develop your programming skills, you’ll want to take advantage of any chance to put your technical knowledge to the test. Access to source code is one area Linux has a major advantage over proprietary systems such as Windows. From the kernel to the graphical interface, nearly all parts of the Linux OS can be tweaked.

Whereas very few people will attain the ability to understand every aspect of Linux, the freedom to experiment is one of the best ways to learn. Understanding the source code also gives you the background knowledge necessary to build great applications.

 

4. Supports Major Programming Languages

Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Java, C and C++ are just some of the major languages supported by Linux. There are a few disappointments such as Visual Basic which only works on Windows. For the most part though, any language that is not purpose built for a specific OS will work on Linux.

In instances where the language isn’t installed by default, you can obtain the packages from the distro’s repositories.

 

5. Linux Knowledge is a Desirable Skill

Every organization values multi-skilled personnel since this reduces the overall number of persons they need to hire. Whether it’s a programmer knowing how to work with a 1000 ft cat 6 spool or one who has no problem overseeing an enterprise server, extra skills curry favor with potential employers.

If you are looking for a programming job and are keen to have a leg up on other applicants, understanding how Linux works will be an added advantage.

Even if you are already using another development environment, it doesn’t hurt to find out whether Linux is a better fit for your programming needs. You’ll grow your technical skills and save a considerable amount of cash in the long-term. The investment does pay off.

 

 

The Google I/O conference this year saw the announcement of the Mi Box, the first 4K capable Android TV set top box to be available in the U.S. The announcement comes as Android TV is getting a makeover, with a bevy of new apps.

 

The Mi Box is certainly not the company’s first foray into making set-top boxes, as it has sold over 10 million smart TVs and set-top boxes in China since 2013.

 

Inside, the Mi Box is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and Mali 450 GPU backed by 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash. This enables it to display 4K UHD content at 60 FPS. The set-top-box also supports the latest HDR10 standard and the updated HDMI 2.0a specification.

 

Mi Box ships with the official YouTube app, with more apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Pandora, Vudu and more available on Google Play. It also comes with a Bluetooth remote control that supports voice search and commands.

 

With the Mi Game Controller, which is sold separately, users can also play games on the Mi Box.

 

Sadly, there is no information regarding price and availability of the Mi Box, but it is certain that this set-top box will be available to the U.S. market first.

China’s central bank has ordered online payment groups to operate through a centralized clearing house, a move likely to undercut the dominance of Ant Financial and Tencent by forcing them to share valuable transaction data with competitors.

 

China is the world leader in mobile payments, with transaction volumes rising nearly fivefold last year to Rmb59tn ($8.8tn), according to iResearch. They are now widely used for everything from high-street shopping to peer-to-peer lending. 

 

In addition to generating fees directly, online and mobile payments are a source of valuable data that can be used for such purposes as targeted advertising and credit scoring. 

 

Now the People’s Bank of China is requiring all third-party payment companies to channel payments through a new clearing house by next June, according to a document sent to payment companies on August 4 and seen by the Financial Times. 

 

“The launch of this clearing house is a one-sided loss for the payment institutions. Originally, payment data were proprietary information for them. Now it’s connected to the clearing house, which will probably share it with other partners,” said Zhang Yi, fintech analyst at iResearch, a consultancy.

 

Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of Alibaba Group, is the market leader in mobile payments, with its Alipay unit processing 54 per cent share of all transactions in the first quarter of the year, according to iResearch. WeChat Pay, linked to Tencent’s mobile messaging app, held a 40 per cent share. 

 

Mr Zhang believes the central bank wants to aid commercial banks in obtaining customer data and prevent Alipay and Tencent from gaining excessive market power. 

 

Hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers and businesses have linked their Alipay or WeChat Pay accounts to their commercial bank accounts, enabling third-party payments to be credited and debited seamlessly. 

 

But, unlike swiping a bank card, when an Alipay or WeChat user makes a purchase, banks do not obtain crucial payment details such as the merchant’s name and location. Instead, the bank record shows Alipay or WeChat as the recipient. 

 

Currently, payment groups maintain separate bilateral relationships with commercial banks to facilitate payments to or from users’ bank accounts. But the latest PBoC instructions require all payment companies to connect to the clearing house by October 15 and to channel all payments through it by June 30, according to the document. 

 

“We are actively participating in the preparation work and will complete the adjustment according to the requirements of central bank,” Ant Financial spokesman Anna Wang told the FT. 

 

The PBoC and Tencent did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. 

 

Seven units of the PBoC own 37 per cent of the clearing house, known as the Online Settlement Platform for Non-Bank Payment Institutions, according to Caixin, a financial news website. Payment units of Ant Financial and Tencent each own 9.6 per cent, while 36 smaller third-party payment companies own the remaining equity. 

 

Established last year, the clearing house has capital of Rmb2bn. It began testing in March and around 300 commercial banks are already connected. 

 

Beyond data sharing, the new clearing house will also enable the PBoC to monitor online payments directly without requesting data from processors, strengthening their ability to detect money laundering and other illicit transactions. 

 

“Some third-party payment companies have used their licences to create channels for illegal payments. There really is a need to strengthen anti-money laundering and other regulation,” said Wang Pengbo, analyst at Analysys International.