TechSummit Rewind #049

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Apple: iTunes Radio stations will require Apple Music subscription starting Jan. 29


Apple has announced that the ad-supported iTunes Radio stations available in the US and Australia are going away on January 29. Beats 1 will be Cupertino’s “premiere free broadcast” going forward. All other radio stations (like algorithmic stations Charting Now and Pop Workout) will require an active Apple Music subscription.

Apple discontinuing iAd App Network for developers on June 30


On Apple’s developer news blog, the company has announced that they are closing the iAd App Network on June 30.

Targeted at smaller publishers, the network let developers pay reduced rates to feature advertisements from their App Store apps across the iAd publisher network.

According to Apple, developers will need to make a new campaign from scratch using iAd Workbench to continue advertising on iAd until then. New apps will not be accepted into the iAd App Network Program.

Developers will still be able to show iAd banners in their application; but inventory for App Store apps to advertise will no longer exist.

Google rolling out app promo codes in the Play Store

Google Play Store

Google has added promo codes as an option in the Google Play developer console. That means you’ll be able to input a code and get a free game, app, or in-app content.

Developers will be able to generate up to 500 free promo codes per quarter, with unused codes not rolling over. Codes can be handed out for any paid app, game, or in-app purchase content.

Devs can set expiration dates for their promo codes or pause the promotions. These promotions can last for up to a year.

318 Hyatt hotels infected last year with payment data stealing malware

Hyatt Birmingham

According to Hyatt, 318 of the company’s 627 properties were infected with malware between Aug. 13 and Dec. 8, 2015. However, some locations may have been affected as early as July 30.

These hotels are in 54 countries including in the U.S., U.K., China, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, Russia, and Canada.

According to Hyatt, following an investigation, “signs of unauthorized access to payment card data from cards used onsite at certain Hyatt-managed locations” were discovered.

While malware was exposed mainly at restaurants, some spas, parking, golf shops, front desk reception systems and sales offices were also impacted.

According to the company, the malware was designed to steal financial data including cardholder names, card numbers, expiration dates, and internal verification codes used onsite to verify transactions. The malicious code harvested credentials as they passed through Hyatt’s infected payment processing systems.

“Please be assured that we take the security of customer data very seriously. We deeply regret the inconvenience and any concern this may have caused you.”

-Chuck Floyd, Hyatt global president of operations

The company is in the process of notifying customers by mail or email when cardholder names were taken, and have notified authorities. However, they cannot notify everyone who may have been affected due to a lack of contact information.

Hyatt is offering a year of credit monitoring via CSID to potential data theft victims.

“While customers can confidentially use payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide, any payment card that was used onsite at an affected location during the respective at-risk dates could still be subject to fraud even if you have not yet seen fraudulent activity. We are continuing to work closely with payment card companies to identify potentially affected cards so that the banks that issued those cards can be made aware and initiate heightened monitoring of those cards.”


Jawbone raises $165 million funding round as Sameer Samat returns to Google

Jawbone Up2

Jawbone has raised $165 million in new funding, as its president Sameer Samat is leaving the company to return to Google.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Sameer back home. He’s a talented executive who will be a perfect match for Google Play, an exciting and rapidly growing area for us.”

-A Google spokesperson

Samat will be working for Google Play head Jamie Rosenberg, handling product, engineering and user experience.

In Samat’s place, CEO and cofounder Hosain Rahiman will take up some duties, along with CFO Jason Child.

Jawbone’s new funding is coming from the Kuwait Investment Authority, along with existing investors like Sequoia Capital.

Jawbone has raised $1 billion to date.

Microsoft reveals new HoloLens details


At a Tel Aviv event, Microsoft technical evangelist Bruce Harris shared new details on the company’s HoloLens VR headset. The headset will begin shipping to developers this quarter.

According to Bruce, any universal application that can currently run Windows 10 will natively run out of the box on HoloLens. The device is “totally wireless,” using WiFi and Bluetooth for communication.

Its battery can get you up to 5.5 hours of usage under lighter use, with 2.5 hours of heavy usage expected.

Hololens’ field of view is similar to a 15-inch monitor about two feet away from your face for the sake of cost and battery life. According to Harris, the company intends to expand the field of view once it makes sense from a pricing perspective.

Harris also confirmed that Microsoft is manufacturing the device outside the U.S., unlike with its Surface Hub display.

IBM acquires IRIS Analytics


IBM has acquired IRIS Analytics, a company that applies cognitive computing models to combat payment fraud.

According to IBM, the acquisition will boost the firm’s analytics and counter fraud technology portfolio.

“Defenses against financial crime are in critical need of innovation and improvement. As the payments industry evolves with new payments methods such as chip and PIN, mobile payments and immediate payments, the ability for financial institutions to accurately make decisions about what is suspicious and what is legitimate before the payment is executed is required.

“The combination of IRIS technology with IBM’s Counter Fraud capabilities creates a comprehensive solution for real-time payment fraud prevention.”

-Constantin von Altrock, IRIS Analytics CEO

Supreme Court will hear Microsoft appeal over Xbox lawsuit



The Supreme Court will decide whether Microsoft must face a class action lawsuit by disgruntled Xbox 360 owners who say the console has a design defect that scratches game disks.

Estimote raises $10.7 million funding round


Beacon company Estimote has now closed a $10.7 million Series A funding round.

This will help the New York-based company scale to meet the needs of its current customers, and fund R&D efforts related to their next steps.

The round was led by Javelin Venture Partners, and included new investors Homebrew, Box Group, Digital Garage, Commerce Ventures, and a group of strategic angel investors. Existing investors from Estimote’s seed round also participated.

“Return customer revenue has increased on average 40 percent quarter-on-quarter over the last eight quarters dating to Q4 2015.”

-Steve Cheney, Estimote co-founder

With the additional funding, the company also plans to grow its team of 50 based in New York and Krakow, Poland to include new hires in product development, engineering, R&D, on the business side, and in sales. It also plans to open a San Francisco office.


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