mastercard payments

MasterCard Rolls Out Gadget Payment

Credit card company MasterCard is working with diverse innovators to launch a program that would make mobile payments possible from any device. The technology – announced this week in Las Vegas – works with gadgets as unsuspecting as a GM car key fob. MasterCard plans to bring mobile payments to “a wide array of consumer products across the automotive, fashion, technology wearables and yet-to-be-imagined categories,” stated a story in Top Tech News. The program is supported by technology from NXP Qualcomm, and “puts in place a standard for expanding secure contactless and embedded payment options globally,” said MasterCard. Mobile payment

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cell phone rates

Government’s wireless promises fall short?

You hear plenty of promises from our political leaders. Government reform, tax cuts, foreign policy and spending, the list goes on and on. But how often do you hear a political party pledge to tackle your growing mobile phone bill? In 2008, Canada’s Conservative government did just that. And now, in the midst of a federal election campaign, its failure to make real gains is drawing the ire of consumer advocacy groups. “The Conservative government’s plan to increase cellphone affordability has been half-measured and ineffective,” fired Steve Anderson, director of Open Media, in a recent Toronto Star story. “Despite years

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AT&T Announces Wi-Fi Calling

This week AT&T launched Wi-Fi calling on recent iPhone models running iOS 9. The U.S. carrier first needed to acquire approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before it could offer this feature. The in-demand service allows users to make calls without cell reception or even internationally if permitted by the carrier. Wi-Fi calling isn’t exclusive to AT&T; T-Mobile and Sprint already offer Wi-Fi calling on certain devices. T-Mobile piloted the project back in 2007, without permission from the FCC. However, T-Mobile goes a step further by allowing its customers to make Wi-Fi calls to “virtually anywhere,” while AT&T has

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Ontario Government Sells Provincially Owned Telecom Company Ontera

The government of Ontario is receiving criticism for selling provincially owned telecommunications company Ontera. Why? The sale resulted in a loss of $61 million. Despite the controversy, Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle says it was a “necessary decision” which will be positive for taxpayers. Bell Aliant purchased the company in question for $6.3 million, whereas the Ontario government paid $6.5 million for the consultants, lawyers and others advising them on the sale alone. The loss, according to a Public Accounts report comes from a “disposal of shares of Ontera” because “the government provided a one-time contribution of $52,092,000 to support

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Privacy-Focused Android Device Blackphone 2 Launches

Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2 is now available for purchase. The Android-based device comes pre-installed with a variety of apps focused on security and privacy. The apps allow users to make encrypted calls, send private texts, control what information the phone’s apps can access and maintain separate profiles with varying security levels. The phone itself comes equipped with a 5.5 inch Gorilla Glass screen, an octa-core processor, 3GB of Ram, 32GB of storage and a 13-megapixel camera. “People and enterprises want to take back control of their privacy but too often they don’t know how, or they feel they must compromise

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Samsung Pay a Hit in South Korea

In its first month of use in South Korea, Samsung Pay has done incredibly well. The service which allows its users to pay for items with their smartphones at participating vendors has proven to be both popular and profitable, according to the smartphone maker. Samsung reported more than $30 million in transactions were made between August 20 and September 20. More than 1.5 million individual transactions have occurred and approximately 36 percent of Samsung users in South Korea are actively using the service, with ten percent using it every day. “Although the details on Samsung Pay usage are constantly being

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Moto X Play Available in Canada

Friday, August 21 will mark the debut of Motorola’s Moto X Play in Canada, with support from Bell, Telus, Koodo and Sasktel. The device features a 5.5-inch 1080p LCD display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. Wind Mobile and Videotron will also be offering the Play within the next week. The Moto X Play will cost around $400 when purchased outright and is aimed at the mid-range market. The device has been designed to offer near-premium specs at a reasonable price. Unlike last year’s Moto X model, it is expected that carriers will offer the Play for between

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Sprint Introduces Free Calls, Texts to Canada and Mexico

According to a recent announcement, Sprint is updating its Open World international calling program to include free mobile calls and texts to and from Canada and Mexico. This will be included in monthly customer cellular plans without additional roaming charges. Customers will also receive up to 1GB of free 3G data when traveling in Canada and Mexico. Sprint’s Open World program already offers roaming in 34 countries, as well as five cents per minute domestic calls to Latin America, the Dominican Republic and over 180 other countries when added to a domestic service plan. Customers also get 1GB of free

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Samsung to Update Android Security Monthly

Samsung recently announced its new security update process for Android that will provide up-to-date protection from mobile security vulnerabilities. The company is promising regular over-the-air security patches “about once per month.” In their announcement, the world’s largest smartphone maker made mention of Stagefright, an Android vulnerability revealed last week that affected approximately 95 percent of devices running Google’s operating system. The hole in security had the potential to allow a hacker to remotely access a user’s Android smartphone using only their telephone number. Samsung stated they worked with carriers to provide security patches to Galaxy devices affected by Stagefright. The

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Sprint’s All-In Plan Hits Video Streaming Snag

Sprint’s video streaming limit on its alleged “All-In” plan created controversy among customers, causing the U.S. carrier to rethink its fine print. Sprint recently introduced its new “All-In” plan to consumers, using David Beckham as its prime advertising tool. Beckham, a friend of CEO Marcelo Claure, can be seen in the company’s new commercial pitting the All-In plan against a seemingly inferior AT&T plan. All-In costs $80 per month and includes a $20 lease on handset as well as $60 for unlimited text, phone, and data services. “If you went to a restaurant that advertised a cheeseburger for 99 cents,

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