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Visa finally gets on board with optional credit card signatures

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As more and more credit card companies announced an end to the need for signatures on credit and debit card receipts, major player Visa kept holding out. Until today.

Finally, Visa announced Friday it was making signatures “optional” in North America starting in April.

Visa’s move, which keeps signing an option for now, is a little different to MasterCard, Discover, and American Express who are straight-up eliminating the need for something on the dotted line. But it’s essentially dumping signatures unless retailers decide they still want one. Read more…

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Business

Unlike Apple, this phone maker put a fingerprint sensor under its touchscreen

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With the move to edge-to-edge screens and narrower bezels, there’s just no room to put a fingerprint sensor on the front of a phone anymore. Phone makers have moved them to the side or back, or removed them entirely. 

But things don’t have to be this way. At CES 2018, Chinese phone maker Vivo showed off the world’s first phone with a fingerprint sensor embedded underneath the touchscreen.

Vivo’s been working on putting a fingerprint sensor underneath the screen for the last couple of years, and now it’s finally made one that’s ready for production.

The company had already announced last year it had developed the “in-display fingerprint scanning” technology for a prototype phone. That version used an ultra-sonic sensor and was created with support from Qualcomm.  Read more…

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Business

This smart lock is powered by the sun

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The Internet of Things is going green. 

Brinks (a division of hardware manufacturer Hampton Products) has announced that it is taking preorders for its ARRAY Smart Deadbolt, a heavy-duty lock you can operate with your smartphone. 

Unlike many smart locks, however, which require standard cylindrical batteries, ARRAY draws from a proprietary lithium polymer battery. This connects to an onboard solar panel, meaning it can be powered directly by sunlight. 

Don’t worry: If your lock is in a shady place, you can still charge its battery the normal way.  Read more…

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Tech

Still living under the tyranny of the password in 2017

 When I lost access to my Google account recently, it left a gaping hole in my digital life and showed me just how tenuous the link to our online world can be. One thing I learned from the story I wrote last week about my experience was that I was far from alone. I got more than a dozen emails and tweets from folks who had been similarly locked out of Google, Facebook or Amazon Prime, and… Read More

Business

Edward Snowden’s new app turns your old Android device into a stealthy security monitor

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If you happen to have an old Android device lying around and a reason to worry about people messing with your business, Edward Snowden has an app for that.

Haven is an open-source project that Snowden developed in conjunction with Freedom of the Press Foundation and Guardian Project. You can find directions and links for downloading and installing it on the latter organization’s Github page.

This isn’t your typical security app. 

Haven doesn’t lock down a single device or prevent tampering; instead, it repurposes an Android device — an old, unused one, preferably — and, using an assortment of built-in sensors, turns it into a multi-functional security gadget. Read more…

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Tech

Edward Snowden’s new app turns any Android phone into a surveillance system

 NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden is among the backers of a new surveillance app that helps guard against computer hijackings. Haven is an open source app that will run on any Android phone, particularly inexpensive and older devices. It operates like a surveillance system, using the device’s camera, audio recording capability and even accelerometer to detect movement and notify a user.… Read More

Tech

AWS has a post re:Invent surprise as it enters the single sign-on market

 Steve Jobs used to famously end his keynotes with “there is one more thing…” AWS decided to wait a week after their re:Invent conference ended to announce their more thing when it quietly released a single sign on product for the AWS cloud yesterday. While the announcement was pretty thin on details, it appears to be focused solely on providing single sign on for the AWS family… Read More

Business

Discover won’t force you to sign for purchases anymore

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Forget signing your name on credit and debit card purchases with Discover.

Starting in April, the credit card company won’t require a signature after buying something in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean.

Chip technology — along with biometrics and multi-factor authentication — has made signing a receipt a redundant security measureMasterCard announced it was ditching signatures back in October. 

Discover said the change may require some merchants to change their Discover point-of-sales systems since pens and electronic signature screens won’t be necessary. Read more…

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Tech

Forever 21 tells customers that some credit card numbers may have been stolen

 This week, the clothing retailer Forever 21 disclosed to customers that it was hacked earlier in 2017. While the company has not yet offered many details about the intrusion, we know that it is looking into a portion of credit card transactions between March 2017 and October 2017 that were conducted over machines that appear to have been insecure. “Because of the encryption and… Read More

Tech

Dashlane universal password manager comes to Linux, Chromebook and Microsoft Edge

 Dashlane, a popular password manager than now reaches 9 million users, is launching today on Linux, Chromebook, and in Microsoft Edge for the first time. The company before required users to install its desktop software to work with web browsers, but with today’s release of Dashlane 5, the software is available as an extension that works directly in the browser. The update also… Read More

Tech

PSA: Don’t share your old AIM screen name

 Hello it’s the fun police! Were you having a nice time engaging in nostalgia about the death of AOL Instant Messenger? Was it fun to look back on your old AIM login, how young you were, KrazyKat99, without a care in the world? Yes, we at TechCrunch were also tempted to indulge in this requisite millennial nostalgia exercise! I do not blame you, but I will warn you. Sharing old… Read More

Tech

HYPR raises $8 million to prevent another Equifax hack

 The recent Equifax hack is yet another reminder that major corporations are still leaving themselves susceptible to attacks. There are countless cybersecurity startups looking to fix this problem, but HYPR believes its decentralization approach is key. Its authentification technology secures traditional passwords and also biometrics like fingerprints, faces and voices. The New York-based… Read More