The 5 Biggest Things In Tech You Missed This Week: 10/2


(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things that happened in the world of technology this past week and why they’re important for your business (and mine). Did you miss them?

Merchants are still not getting the whole EMV chip thing.

Effective October 1st the credit card industry is now requiring merchants to accept cards that have encrypted EMV chips. Astudy released this week by The Hartford found that 86% of small merchants still did not have point of sale systems that are compliant and 50% weren’t even aware of the requirement.

Why this is important for your business: If you do not have point of sale equipment that can accept an EMV chip card in your store, and a fraudulent transaction occurs, you will now be held responsible for those charges by the credit card company. There will be a cost for upgrading your equipment but your potential liability could be much greater. You can read more about this change here.

Samsung Pay launches in the U.S.

Per this report and related to the above, though the U.S. is shifting to EMV-based credit and debit cards, which are more secure that the traditional magnetic stripe cards, there will still be a transitional period where not all customers’ cards have been upgraded to the chip-and-PIN technology, and not all point-of-sale terminals will support EMV transactions. In other words, magstripe transactions will stick around for some time. That, Samsung hopes, will give its mobile payments service the edge in the near-term. And as payment terminals move to support EMV and NFC technology instead, Samsung Pay will continue to work with them, too. Samsung Pay, the device maker’s competitor to rival NFC-based payment services including Apple AAPL +1.82% Pay and Android Pay, is now live in the U.S. following its earlier launch in South Korea, where it saw over $30 million in transaction volume during its first month. Samsung Pay offers a way for consumers to pay using their Samsung smartphones via either NFC technology, like Apple and Google GOOGL +2.29%’s solution, or by emulating a magnetic stripe card.

Why this is important for your business: The mobile payments market continues to confuse your customers. And credit cards, particularly the ones using EMV chips will continue to be popular for some time. Samsung Pay is a great way for your business to bridge this gap and offer both solutions to your customers.

Twitter TWTR +6.20% is considering changing its 140 character rule.

Per this report: Twitter is building a new product that will allow users to share tweets that are longer than the company’s 140-character limit, according to multiple people familiar with the company’s plans. It’s unclear what the product will look like, but sources say it would enable Twitter users to publish long-form content to the service. In addition to the long-form product, execs have been openly discussing the idea of tweaking how Twitter measures its 140-character limit by removing things like links and user handles from the count, multiple sources say. In the past, Twitter has tinkered with the limit in other ways. Twitter Cards are still beholden to the 140-character limit but are intended to help people (and advertisers) share lots of information, and Twitter added a “retweet with comment” option in April to give people more room to comment on tweets they share. The company also lifted the 140-character rule on private messages back in June.

Why this is important for your business: While Twitter’s popularity varies from industry to industry, some companies rely on the service heavily for their communications and marketing. If you’re one of those companies, your messaging will be significantly impacted if you’re allowed to tweet more and longer stuff. Some also believe that losing the 140 character limit will take away the one thing that makes Twitter so unique and could therefore hurt the company … and indirectly your company if you’re a big Twitter user.

Apple’s business-related revenue hits $25 billion.

Per this report: Chief Executive Tim Cook said Apple’s revenue from its so-called enterprise business reached $25 billion in the 12 months ending in June. He didn’t elaborate on what Apple classifies as enterprise business but said the figure didn’t include revenue from people who use their own Apple devices for work. “This is not a hobby,” said Cook, speaking at a conference organized by business software provider Box Inc. “It’s a very small amount compared to what the opportunity is.” The $25 billion figure represents about 11% of Apple’s total revenue in the 12 months ended in June. It would make Apple one of the 10 largest sellers of technology to businesses, and is about half of Microsoft Corp.’s $52 billion in sales to corporate customers during the same period.

Why this is important for your business: Apple was once just considered a platform for education and artists. But clearly, and now definitively, that is not the case. Of course the company remains mostly consumer focused, but growing its segment of business technologies and partnerships is a priority for the company’s CEO. This means more Apple products for the enterprise and more resources and technology options for your business. Meanwhile, Google is now taking on the iPad and Surface with its new Nexus Pro too, so the battle of business technology continues to widen among the giants.

Your next battery may be powered by … a mushroom?

Per this report: The anodes in the lithium ion batteries that charge our devices are made of graphite, a material that’s expensive to produce and leaves a trail of toxic waste along the way. But as researchers are now discovering, portabello mushrooms — biodegradable by nature — might do the job even better. Their molecular structure is sturdy enough to store energy while porous enough to enable efficient energy transfer. And while graphite slowly decays due to electrical damage, the high potassium salt concentration in mushroom skin actually improves its capacity over time. In the future, the humble portabello mushroom might power everything from our smartphones to our cars.

Why this is important for your business: You and your people depend on so many devices and they all have limited battery power. And this affects productivity and profits. The longer the battery life the better your business will run, so long live the mushroom!


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