Are we about to see a kinder, gentler Islamic State? Probably not but it seems the ruthless terrorist organization has decided that publishing videos of its members beheading civilians might be a little too damaging to its reputation. Arabic language publication All4Syria.info reported recently that ISIS has ordered its members to stop filming and posting beheading videos online because many Muslims find the scenes “disgusting” and because many children also find them scary. You don’t say! More →
They say truth is stranger than fiction. And sometimes, well, sometimes truth and fiction overlap in the craziest of ways.
During the season 5 finale of Game of Thrones, a once-proud Cersei Lannister was forced to march for miles through Kings Landing completely naked to atone for her sins. All the while, townspeople spewed vulgar insults in her direction while simultaneously hurling unspeakable objects her way. The scene, which went on for minutes on end, was dramatic and intensely emotional.
The sadistic fanatics of Islamic State are basically the worst people in the world, which is why just about everyone would love to see them dead in one way or another. Via Mashable, pop reggae singer Shaggy is using his own special blend of outside-the-box strategy to give advice to the American government on how to defeat ISIS once and for all. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, Shaggy’s plan also happens to be absolutely terrible. More →
DeviceFidelity on Monday announced that even more special iPhone cases containing its near field communication (NFC) technology for Isis payments will be available in AT&T stores beginning January 31st. The Incipio Cashwrap case was already leaked last week, and was officially announced on Friday, after being demoed at CES 2014. On top of that case — which has support for iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s and will be available in multiple colors for $69 — AT&T will also stock various other models including the Isis Ready Case ($65), the Isis Ready Charging Case that also packs an extended battery ($85), and the rugged Otterbox Defender Series Mobile Wallet Case ($129). More →
AT&T is apparently getting ready to launch an iPhone accessory that will turn the smartphone into an Isis-ready, NFC-enabled device. Even though the iPhone doesn’t actually have a near field communication (NFC) chip inside, which would allow users to use the device for NFC mobile payments, a leaked image provided by Engadget shows a special iPhone case – the Incipio Cashwrap – which contains a micro-NFC chip complete with a secure element that could be used for wireless payments via the Isis service. More →
ISIS, the joint mobile payment venture that is backed by AT&T (T), T-Mobile and Verizon (VZ), announced on Monday the official launch of its Mobile Wallet service in Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City, Utah. The service already supports nine smartphones available through the three major wireless providers and is expected to offer 11 additional devices by the end of the year. More →
ISIS, the joint mobile payment venture backed by AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile, was previously set to debut in select markets at the end of September, but undisclosed delays continued to push the launch date back. According to a purported internal memo obtained by TmoNews, however, it looks as if the service will launch on a trial basis on October 22nd for select T-Mobile customers in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. In order to use the Mobile Wallet service, users will need a special ISIS SIM card that will be compatible with the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II and Galaxy S Relay 4G. It should be noted that rooted devices will not support the service, just as rooted devices are unable to use Google Wallet. We’ve posted a second image after the break. More →
ISIS, the joint mobile payment venture that is backed by AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile, was previously set to debut in select markets at the end of September. Various delays have once again pushed the release date back, however, and the company confirmed as much to CNET. Ryan Hughes, head of marketing for ISIS, declined to disclose what caused the delay, saying only that the project was going through a “punch list” of objectives and it wouldn’t be too long. “Our focus has been on making sure when we launch we do it properly and do it right,” the executive said, adding that he will reveal additional “market momentum news” in October. Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 5, which was announced yesterday, lacks an NFC chip, however Huges doesn’t see it as a setback because of the wide variety of smartphones available with the technology. He also disclosed that the group is working on a case that will add NFC capabilities to the iPhone. More →
The joint mobile payment venture known as ISIS that is backed by AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ) and T-Mobile is on track to debut in September. The group initially planned to roll out its services in the first half of 2012, but various delays have pushed back the launch date. “The focus has been: Get it right, make sure it’s secure,” Brad Duea, senior vice president of product management at T-Mobile USA, said in an interview with Bloomberg. ISIS uses NFC technology to allow users to make purchases with their smartphones, although it can also be used for other things as well. T-Mobile plans to use the technology to allow customers to download applications and content by tapping their phones against a special receptor at a store or concert venue, for example. An ISIS spokesperson confirmed the service will be available this summer, which officially ends on September 21st. More →
Global sales of NFC-equipped smartphones increased tenfold to 30 million units in 2011, according to a report from Berg Insight. The research firm estimates that by 2016 there will more than 700 million handsets with NFC capabilities. In 2011, several leading handset vendors released more than 40 NFC-enabled devices. “Even though it will take some time before the stakeholders agree on business models for payment networks, other use cases such as reading tags and easy pairing of devices may well be compelling enough for handset vendors to integrate NFC in mid- and high-end devices already today,” said André Malm, a senior analyst at Berg Insight. Google has already launched its Wallet service, as Apple, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile ready their own payment platforms. Previous estimates stated that more than 50% of all smartphones will be NFC enabled in the next two to three years with the help of Apple’s upcoming iPhone, which has long been rumored to include the technology. Read on for Berg Insight’s press release. More →
Visa on Monday announced a “one-stop” mobile payment solution that looks to compete directly with Google Wallet and the carrier-backed ISIS payment system. After a consumer purchases a “Visa-certified” NFC-equipped smartphone, he or she can contact the company and activate the handset for mobile payments. The device will be securely linked with a user’s bank account and can then be used to make mobile payments anywhere Visa’s payWave system is accepted. “In the same way we have enabled the secure provisioning of payment cards for decades, we are now using mobile technology to securely provision mobile payment accounts over the air,” Visa’s Head of Mobile Products Bill Gajda said. “Financial institutions, mobile network operators, and even transit operators now have a simple, secure process to activate payment applications at scale and make mobile payments part of everyday life for consumers around the world.” The company announced that Intel Atom-powered smartphones and tablets will be the first Visa-certified devices to allow mobile subscribers to securely make NFC purchases. Read on for the company’s press release. More →
Mobile payment joint venture ISIS, a partnership between Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, on Monday announced launch partners and availability. The service will become available in mid-2012 starting with locations across Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas. Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard have entered into agreements to offer credit, debit and prepaid cards alongside the service. “Today’s announcement is testament to the vision and commitment of Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard to make mobile commerce a real and positive experience for their customers,” said Michael Abbott, CEO of ISIS. “Mobile commerce is more than a new way to pay; it’s about extending the relationships consumers enjoy with their banks and merchants into a powerful and convenient new form factor.” Read on for the company’s press release. More →
Intel doesn’t have much of a presence in the mobile phone market right now, but that could change soon. The Santa Clara-based company announced recently that it has reached a deal with Inside Secure in which the French chip maker will supply Intel with NFC chips for upcoming products. “We are highly interested in NFC but we are not announcing any product plans at this time,” an Intel spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal, noting that Intel might include Inside Secure’s technology in future reference designs. Google Wallet emerged as one of the first NFC-based mobile payment systems to launch in the United States, but it’s only available on one handset, the Nexus S, and is only currently supported by Sprint. Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T have invested in a joint initiative called ISIS that is only in the testing phase right now, although Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said ISIS will begin a “significant rollout” in the coming year. More →