Attempt at your own risk: For an entire week, I left all my cash and credit cards at home to see how well wallet-free mobile services work in the real world.
Apple Pay has gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks, but there are lots of other mobile-payment systems. Google Wallet uses a similar wireless technology called NFC, or near-field communication. Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts have apps that generate bar codes for their stores. A phone case called LoopPay mimics the signals produced by card swipes so you can pay with your phone just about anywhere credit cards are accepted — at least in theory.Full Story
A project dubbed "SolaRoad" gets underway in the Netherlands this week, testing roadways as a potential canvas to collect solar energy. Fittingly for the cycle-crazy Dutch, the first SolaRoad is a bike path not far from Amsterdam.
The path is built of massive, Lego-like modules of solar panels embedded in concrete, each with heavy-duty glass on top protecting them from wear. An additional rough translucent plastic coating ensures bikers don't slip.Full Story
When the lights change at the Shibuya crossing in Japan's capital, one of the world's busiest pedestrian thoroughfares, hundreds of people with their eyes glued to smartphones pick their way over the road.
Despite being engrossed in the latest installment of Candy Crush or busy chatting with their friends on messaging app Line, most manage to weave around cyclists, skateboarders and fellow Tokyoites.Full Story
President Barack Obama on Monday embraced a radical change in how the government treats Internet service, coming down on the side of consumer activists who fear slower download speeds and higher costs but angering Republicans and the nation's cable giants who say the plan would kill jobs.
Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to more heavily regulate Internet providers and treat broadband much as it would any other public utility. He said the FCC should explicitly prohibit Internet providers like Verizon and AT&T from charging data hogs like Netflix extra to move their content more quickly. The announcement sent cable stocks tumbling.Full Story
Cybersecurity firm FireEye warned Monday that hackers could trick owners of Apple gadgets into installing applications that steal information.
US-based FireEye maintained that "masque attacks" made possible by a vulnerability in software running iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices posed "much bigger threats" than a recently disclosed WireLurker flaw patched by Apple.Full Story
Japan's NEC on Monday unveiled a technology that sniffs out even the most convincing counterfeits by reading microscopic patterns on everything from a luxury purse to a metal bolt.
The technology can be also be used to trace the origin of mass-produced offerings by reading so-called "object fingerprints", or three-dimensional surface irregularities, the firm said.Full Story
Twitter plans to set up shop in Hong Kong early next year, focusing on ad sales instead of the one-to-many messaging service banned in China.
The San Francisco-based service that has served as a platform for dissent and free speech wants to tap into booming growth in Greater China by selling ads to businesses such as exporters.Full Story
Microsoft announced Thursday it was making its Office software suite available for free to users of rival mobile operating systems from Apple and Google.
Users of Apple iPads and other devices and those with Android tablets will be able to use the apps to store documents without a subscription, Microsoft said.Full Story
Spanish police arrested 10 people accused of glorifying terrorism and inciting attacks by the Basque group ETA in Twitter and Facebook messages, authorities said Thursday.
The suspects are accused of "using social networks to commit suspected crimes of glorifying terrorism by ETA and of humiliating the victims of terrorism", the interior ministry said in a statement.Full Story
Internet retail titan Amazon on Thursday introduced a home virtual assistant always at the ready to answer questions, fetch news, play music or help with to-do lists.
The cloud-based brains referred to as "Alexa" are built into Echo speakers and seen as a challenge to "Siri" virtual assistants in Apple's coveted mobile devices.Full Story