Civic Launches New Free Service Aimed at Stopping Identity Theft Before it Happens...

The average consumer owns approximately three credit cards, but every consumer, average or not, is at the same risk for identity theft. For this reason, tech startup Civic has launched a new service aimed at avoiding identity theft before it ever happens. The fresh, new company is aiming to overtake similar protection services such as LifeLock by focusing on a broader market than just credit monitoring. At the same time, it will allow customers to respond to fraud alerts in real-time in order to prevent attempts before they even occur. Currently, most credit companies and protection services only offer monitoring services, which alert customers to fraudulent activity after the fact. This opens up a slew of opportunities for fraud to continually occur and continually bring frustration to customers. However, Civic is planning to change that by alerting users in real-time via push notifications on a smartphone, texts, or emails when their Social Security Number or credit information is being used. Unlike current monitoring services, this will allow a customer to immediately deny any transaction that looks suspicious. However, this technology may not stem the tide of fraud crimes committed right away. It’s estimated that nearly 6 million fraud and cyber crimes were committed last year, which provides a concerning figure for the public. “Together, these offences are similar in magnitude to the existing headline figures covering all other crime survey offences,” John Flatley, of the ONS, said. “However, it would be wrong to conclude that actual crime levels have doubled, since the survey previously did not cover these offences.” According to the data published in the ONS survey, online consumers are more likely to be a victim of fraud than any other type of crime. Thankfully, Civic’s program has arrived at a time when...

Microsoft Unveils New Video Service ‘Stream’ for Businesses...

Early this week, Microsoft launched Stream, a new video service for businesses everywhere. The program aims to give businesses that want the ability to share video internally the same kind of tools and flexibility that YouTube offers consumers, but with the additonal benefits of added security that businesses typically expect from their document management services. The service is currently available as a free preview to interested enterprises. James Phillips, Microsoft’s corporate VP of its Business Intelligence Products Group, reported that all it takes to get started with Stream is an email address. The user experience in Stream, like Vimeo and YouTube, takes cues from consumer services and includes a number of social features, including likes, comments, and recommendations. Microsoft has previously offered a video service in the form of Office 365 Video but claims to have built up from that to create a more consistent and efficient program. “Microsoft Stream builds upon the learnings success of Office 365 Video and over time the two experiences will converge with a seamless migration to ensure a consistent experience both within and outside of Office 365,” Phillips wrote in a release statement. While avoiding paper can already save organizations an average of 11.5 cents per billing statement, Microsoft’s innovations provide the opportunity to save time and money. However, the office isn’t the only place Microsoft has been making waves lately. Thanks to a new partnership between Microsoft and Boeing, Cortana is set to take to the skies. Microsoft and Boeing announced a partnership that will involve transferring the flight company’s digital offerings over to Azure, which Microsoft claims will allow the servers to get smarter. “Centralizing Boeing’s digital aviation applications on Azure will allow Boeing to analyze a large set of data provided from multiple sources,” a...

New Medical Technology May Boost Survival Rate of Gunshot Victims...

Gunshot wounds are getting deadlier as weapons and ammunition get stronger, but there is new technology helping surgeons save these victims. While it is difficult to prepare for a mass casualty event, trauma surgeons are trained to handle it. However, with stronger weapons come more severe injuries. “With higher velocity bullets, it transfers more energy to the tissue, there’s more tissue damage, more bleeding and when you have more bullets then yeah they’re more severe,” said Dr. David Ciesla, director of the trauma program at Tampa General Hospital. “The guns themselves have higher-capacity magazines so people come in with more wounds, more gunshots than they used to,” Ciesla continued. The tragedy in Orlando this month has given medical professionals a vivid and jarring reminder of the damage that guns can do. “It’s almost like time stopped,” Dr. Joshua Stephany, a medical examiner in Orlando, told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Wednesday in his first media interview since the incident. “TVs were playing in the background; strobe lights were blinking; drinks had just been poured, food half-eaten, checks about to be paid. It was truly like time stood still.” More than 60% of cell phone owners find themselves checking for notifications even if their phone isn’t ringing or vibrating, but for doctors in the Orlando area this weekend, the ringing was non-stop. At Tampa General Hospital, physicians are seeing fewer gunshot victims than they used to, but the wounds do tend to be more severe. The good news: new technology is helping increase the survival rate of those patients. “A lot of these innovations have come from battlefield casualties, what the military medics and surgeons have learned, you know, in times of war,” said Ciesla. The most important of these innovations was...

Logitech Introduces New Touch Screen Remote to Control Your Entire House...

Remote owners everywhere wince at the thought of losing the remote to their brand new stereo. Imagine the fear induced by losing a remote that controls everything in your home. According to BetaNews, Logitech is integrating all of the remotes people use on a daily basis into one single device, called the Harmony Elite. It’s a touchscreen remote that promises to rid homeowners of the need to carry dozens of remotes for each of their devices. Logitech hopes to capitalize on the recent trend of “smart homes” (homes with remote-controlled appliances) that has been gaining popularity among more middle-class consumers. These homes can be equipped to link televisions, lighting, temperature control, and other functions into one single remote. “As with other hub-based Harmony remotes, you can manage your entire smart home with the Logitech Harmony Elite. Features such as one-touch Activities, gesture controls, motion-activated backlighting and custom Favorites coupled with an improved button layout and dedicated home control buttons mean navigating your entertainment and connected home is easier than ever,” Logitech said in a statement. How often do Americans lose remotes really, and how likely are they to find them in some of the most unusual places? A recent survey found that over 4% of people find missing remotes in the fridge or freezer, while almost 2% found their remote control all the way outside or in the car. You may just find your Harmony Elite outside if you plan on traveling with it, which is completely plausible. The company promises that the remote will be able to function regardless of where you are. “You can easily control devices inside closed cabinets, through walls or even when you’re away from home,” said Logitech. According to CultofMac.com, the Harmony Elite will carry an introductory price...

Apple Brings Ad Blockers To The Mainstream With Safari Update...

Digital publishing platforms, from the Gray Lady of Journalism (aka the New York Times) to new media upstarts like Gawker, are struggling to convert online traffic into real-world revenue. Facebook recently began experimenting with publishing content directly on its platform, betting that consumers want to consume content through apps. That puts Apple in a unique position, as arguably the most influential Silicon Valley titan. With a single update to its homepage, for instance, Apple could change the way millions of people find content altogether. And that’s why many digital publishers are nervous about an announcement buried beneath the news about the new iPhone and Apple TV. Coming soon, Apple users will be able to block advertisements when using Safari on iPhones and iPads. Already, many web users use ad blockers on laptops and PCs. Such software and browser extensions may improve the user experience when browsing the web, but they also deny many companies crucial advertising revenue. “If you are a medium or small-sized website operating on very tight margins, this could make or break the business,” said Stephen Chester, with the Interactive Advertising Bureau in the United Kingdom. “Particularly news organisations — whose revenues are under fire at the moment as their print circulations diminish but online audiences grow. Those organisations are having to reshape to adapt to the digital world and ultimately this could break them or put them at risk.” Chester is hardly the only tech writer criticizing Apple’s ad blocker announcement. In USA Today, among many, many other sites, columnist Michael Wolff said that ad blockers “impair digital media.” The move could also have ripple effects beyond advertisers and digital publishers. About 65-70% of consumers have visited a brick-and-mortar store after seeing a local advertisement online. Plus, many users are...

There’s Now a Search Engine For Running Shoes...

When people search online, they usually know exactly what is is that they’re looking for, and search engines know how to get it for them. That’s why the majority (75%) of people never go past the first page of search results, but what if the very best results are elsewhere? That’s what ShoeKicker was designed for. The search engine helps runners find the absolutely best deal on a specific pair of shoes, sifting through over 10,000 pairs of running shoes. The engine was created out of necessity, when founder Imran Khoja needed to buy a new pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires, but couldn’t find a store in the area that stocked the shoes in his size. “I was getting desperate. I thought, this has to be a tech problem,” Khoja told Runner’s World Newswire. “These shoes have to exist somewhere on the Internet. What if there was a superfast way to scour the web to find them?” So he gathered up three friends, and spent nights and weekends building a way to do just that — ShoeKicker. The site launched in mid-August with a searchable database that’s got 14 brands and 17 retailers. It’s like the Orbitz of the running shoe industry. Taking size and width into account, ShoeKicker compares the prices of over 10,000 different shoe models. All a user has to do is enter their desired pair of shoes, and let the site do its thing. It’ll show them which retailer has the best price after its hunt, linking to the store’s site so that the user can buy the shoes. In less than five seconds, runners who know exactly what pair of shoes they need can find and buy them. Although Shoekicker is designed to cater to the picky runner, it...