11 paid iPhone apps on sale for free today

No Cyber Monday is complete without a handful of paid iPhone and iPad apps that are available as free downloads for a limited time. We’ve got a terrific batch in store for you today, including several premium apps that have never been made available fo…

THE PAYMENTS INDUSTRY EXPLAINED: The Trends Creating New Winners And Losers In The Card-Processing Ecosystem

bii payments ecosystemUSETHIS

The way we pay is changing dramatically. For example, people are beginning to use their smartphones for every kind of formal and informal transaction — to shop at stores, buy songs online, and even split their rent.

At the heart of these changes in how we pay are thousands of companies competing and collaborating to facilitate transactions.

To understand why the payments industry has faced so much disruption in such a short time, there’s just one key thing to understand: Payments is about transferring information from one party to another, and nearly every stakeholder in the industry benefits when that process runs on digital rails.

But payments is also an extremely complex industry that few fully understand.

In BI Intelligence’s 2016 Payments Ecosystem report, we make it simple, explaining how it works, who the key players are, and where it’s headed.

In this latest edition of the report, BI Intelligence drills even further into the industry to explain how a broad range of transactions are processed, including prepaid and store cards, as well as revealing which types of companies are in the best and worst position to capitalize on the latest industry trends.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • 2016 will be a watershed year for the payments industry. Payments companies are improving security, expanding their mobile offerings, and building commerce capabilities that will give consumers a more compelling reason to make purchases using digital devices.
  • Payments is an extremely complex industry. To understand the next big digital opportunity lies, it’s critical to understand how the traditional credit- and debit-processing chain works and what roles acquirers, processors, issuing banks, card networks, independent sales organizations, gateways, and software and hardware providers play.
  • Alternative technologies could disrupt the processing ecosystem. Devices ranging from refrigerators to smartwatches now feature payment capabilities, which will spur changes in consumer payment behaviors. Likewise, blockchain technology, the protocol that underlies Bitcoin, could one day change how consumer card payments are verified.

In full, the report:

  • Uncovers the key themes and trends affecting the payments industry in 2016 and beyond.
  • Gives a detailed description of the stakeholders involved in a payment transaction, along with hardware and software providers.
  • Offers diagrams and infographics explaining how card transactions are processed and which players are involved in each step.
  • Provides charts on our latest forecasts, key company growth, survey results, and more.
  • Analyzes the alternative technologies, including blockchain, which could further disrupt the ecosystem.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the payments ecosystem.

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How to Stop iCloud Calendar Spam

For the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting an influx of spam calendar invitations to my iCloud account, often from random counterfeit retailers. “Save 20% on UGGs” one says. “$19.99 Ray-ban&Oakley Sunglasses,” says another.

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An Impressive Scrolling Pixel Display Board Built With LEGO

LEGO bricks were used to create an impressive scrolling pixel display board. Builder AncientJames gave some details about the build in a post on the Eurobricks forums. He built a motorized scrolling version and a hand-cranked single letter model that uses punch card style LEGO constructions to program the letters.

via reddit, The Awesomer

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New “Mental Canvas” Drawing App Looks Freaking Amazing

Good on Microsoft for not only dreaming up the Surface Studio, but finding app developers that totally get what it’s capable of and understand how designers sketch. In the last entry, we caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a flythroughs of 3D spaces that had apparently been sketched, plane by plane, in 2D:

That app is called Mental Canvas, and it looks freaking amazing:

To be sure, this looks better-suited for architects and environments designers rather than us industrial designers working on 3D objects—the planar nature of buildings and walls seems the most natural fit for the technology. But that’s just my impression after seeing the video and the flythroughs. We’ll have to wait until this app is in the hands of a DiTullo or Nugent to see what it can do for us.

Mental Canvas is based on technology developed by Julie Dorsey, a Computer Science professor at Yale University, and her research team. As of toda, you can download a player that will allow you to interact with drawings that the development team has created. The app itself will be available when the Surface Studio launches in mid-December.