Visa to offer new mobile payment service in India

Global payment technology major Visa Inc will provide a new mobile payment service in India from September through smartphones, an official said here on Wednesday.

“Our new payment platform mVisa will enable Indian consumers pay for various services through smartphones from next month,” Visa chief executive Charlie Scharf told reporters here.

The new service will be first available in this tech hub on a pilot basis through four select banks and will be extended to more cities subsequently.

The banks are Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and State Bank of India.

“The new platform will also usher in a cashless and cardless system to enable customers purchase goods, pay bills and transfer money to their kith and kin, at ease,” Scharf said at a product preview.

To avail the service, Visa customers have to download the mVisa form into their smartphones and link their Visa debt, credit or prepaid account to the application.

“On activation, customers can pay for retail purchases online by transferring funds from their account to the store’s or its owner’s account,” Scharf said.

Users can also pay utility bills and transfer funds to other Visa account holders through mVisa.

The service will also be available to 20,000 merchants across Bengaluru who can be notified through SMS that payment has been made.

“Payments via mobile handset, tablet or smartphone are projected to touch $3.3 trillion by 2018 worldwide,” he said.

The company’s Indian subsidiary also opened its new technology centre where about 1,000 software engineers will work over the next one year.

The present facility with 450 engineers is Visa’s second largest outside the US.

“The India centre with similar centres in Singapore and the US will help us to accelerate development of next-generation payment solutions,” Scharf added.

Astronauts Will Eat Space Lettuce for the First Time Next Week

In a rather science fictional moment, the Expedition 44 crew members on the International Space Station are about to eat the very first space crops. On Monday, a batch of red romaine lettuce will be harvested from the Veggie plant growth system on the ISS orbiting laboratory. Cosmically delicious.

It’ll probably be the most scientific harvest festival the human race has ever seen. The astronauts will carefully clean the greens with citric acid-based sanitizing wipes before dividing the spoils precisely in half. One half of the space bounty will be eaten fresh, while the other will be packaged, frozen, and shipped back to Earth for scientific analysis.

The lettuce seeds were planted on July 8th by astronaut Scott Kelly. By harvest, they’ll have spent 33 days growing inside Veg-01, a light bank that includes red, green and blue LEDs. Red and blue light are the two most important parts of the spectrum for photosynthesis. Green light is actually rather useless, but even in space, food aesthetics matter. To avoid producing crazy purple space plants, the engineers behind Veg-01 decided to add green to the mix.

Scientists Finally Created A White Laser-And It Could Light Your Home

Scientists Finally Created A White Laser-And It Could Light Your Home


sers have been advancing science and threatening move characters since the 1960s, but you may have noticed they always have a distinct color. Now, a team of scientists has developed the world’s first white laser.
A team of researchers from Arizona State University has shown that a new breed of semiconductor lasers can emit light across the entire visible spectrum, providing the full range of different colors that are required to make white laser light. These new lasers are made from three sheets of semiconductor, each just a few microns in thickness, that are held in parallel. Each of the sheets can emit one of the three elementary colors – red, green or blue – and depending on how their output is tuned, they can produce any color in the spectrum. When their entire output is combined, that means they can also produce white laser light. The result is published in Nature Nanotechnology.
It’s not just a pleasing laboratory finding, either. The researchers point out that lasers are brighter and more energy efficient than even LEDs, so they could – in theory at least – be used to create new kinds of lighting and display systems. While researchers at Sandia National Labs had mixed light from different lasers to give the effect of a white laser light in the past, the new development shrinks the hardware down to a single unit, making it a very real possibility for lighting and displays. (It’s worth noting that the Sandia research showed humans eyes are comfortable with laser lighting.)
White laser light could also be used for visible light communication, sometimes referred to as Li-Fi, where information is encoded at ultra-high frequency in the light that illuminates a a room. Until now, the requirement for white lighting in buildings has demanded such systems use LED light, but the Arizona State team suggests that the use of laser light could enable the technique to be pushed further, making it 10 to 100 times faster.
But we may be getting ahead of ourselves. There are still some challenges to overcome before white lasers become a domestic reality-not least the fact that the current device is powered by light rather than electricity. Still, a first is a first-we just hopes it’s not the last we hear about white laser light.



Windows 10 Will Kill The Installation DVD, Finally

If you’re one of those quaint people who still uses ‘physical media’ to install new versions of operating systems, Windows 10 could have a big shock in store for you: USB drives replacing the clunky old re installation DVDs of yore.

The idea that Windows 10 would be shipped (mostly) on USB drives rather than traditional DVDs was hinted at by leaks earlier this week, and is now confirmed: USB versions of Windows 10 Home and 10 Pro are listed for pre-order on Amazon already, running $120 and $200 respectively. Microsoft also confirmed to Venture Beat that Windows 10 will be available for purchase on USB drives “shortly after” launch.

Windows on USBs makes an obvious amount of sense: most cheap (or thin-and-light) Windows laptops shipped in the last few years have skipped out the DVD drive, which has left home-made USB installation drives the only option. That said, this isn’t the final farewell for DVDs: you’ll still be able to buy Windows 10 on DVD.

Someone Is Finally Suing Samsung Over Its Bloatware

For years, Samsung (and other Android manufacturers) have been crapping all over Google’s simple software design with layers of gratuitous bloatware. So, in the proud American tradition, a Chinese consumer protection group is suing Samsung and Oppo for ruining everyone’s lives.

As the Shanghai Daily reports, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission has filed two cases, one against Samsung and one against Chinese manufacturer Oppo, alleging that the companies sell smartphones with pre-installed apps (true) that are difficult or impossible to uninstall (very true), and typically annoy consumers (yup).

Bloatware isn’t a problem unique to Samsung or Oppo – far from it, sadly – but the commission chose those two following a study of 20 smartphones, which found that Samsung and Oppo were the worst offenders. They found the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 had 44 apps installed prior to purchase, while the Oppo X9007 had 71.

The commission’s end goal is reasonably modest: to make smartphone manufacturers disclose on the packaging what apps are preinstalled, and provide information on how to remove them. With any luck, this would have the same effect as adding images of diseased lungs to cigarette packaging: shaming people into stopping this horrific blight on humanity. #homesearchindia