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MasterCard Launches MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway to Spark Mobile Commerce Globally

Itau Unibanco, Redecard are the first financial institutions to utilize new mobile payments processing platform

MasterCard announced the introduction of the MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway, a mobile payments processing platform that enables financial institutions and mobile network operators to deliver end-to-end mobile payments solutions through the MasterCard Worldwide Network.

Itau Unibanco and Redecard, along with mobile network operator Vivo, will be the first to use the MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway to deliver mobile payment solutions to the banks' customers in Brazil. The service will give consumers the ability to use their phone as a mobile wallet and link their existing credit, debit or prepaid MasterCard or Maestro card accounts to their mobile phone to fund mobile-initiated payments.

The Mobile Payments Gateway is a turnkey mobile payment processing platform that allows issuers, acquirers, merchants and mobile network operators to quickly and cost-effectively provide customized mobile solutions in developing payments markets by tapping into the MasterCard Worldwide Network, the payments industry's only fully globally integrated network.

As a result, banked and unbanked mobile consumers gain access to a wide range of MasterCard Mobile payments solutions that provide greater payment convenience and security over cash--using their mobile phone to make purchases, send and receive money between family and friends, transfer funds between accounts, pay bills, deposit funds such as payroll or social benefits, top up mobile airtime, load value to prepaid accounts, get cash from ATMs, and keep track of their balances and activities with mobile alerts.

MasterCard is working with Smart Hub, Inc. (SMART HUB, a subsidiary of Philippine-based Smart Communications, Inc.) to leverage its mobile payments technology to develop the MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway. Requirements for development of a mobile payments infrastructure vary from market to market. By integrating SMART HUB's capabilities, MasterCard has created an open mobile payment processing platform through the MasterCard Payments Gateway to facilitate the launch of MasterCard Mobile payment solutions in developing markets.

MasterCard is helping to transform financial services with mobile innovation to fulfill a global market need. Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), an independent policy and research center housed at the World Bank, and the GSMA Association report that there are more than 4 billion people worldwide who have a mobile phone, but far fewer mobile phone users have a bank account- with the number to grow from 1 to 1.7 billion by 2012(1).

The Mobile Payments Gateway enables them to benefit from secure and convenient mobile payment services that were previously unavailable to them. At the same time, participants in the mobile payments value chain can realize the significant potential for mobile growth outside of the markets they traditionally serve--providing opportunities for financial institutions to introduce payment and financial services to unbanked consumers and mobile network operators to offer value-added services for mobile payments.

"The MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway is complementary with the existing Redecard solutions and we are honored to be part of this project," says Roberto Mediros, President and CEO of Redecard. "This platform reinforces our leadership in mobile payments solutions. This is a breakthrough for mobile payments around the globe. Democratization and innovative solutions have always been priorities for Redecard and the MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway is precisely aligned."

"Vivo, the largest mobile operator in Brazil with over 48 million customers, is a natural choice for this partnership, due to its installed user base and broad service outreach, in more than 3,400 cities nationwide," according to Hugo Janeba, Vivo's Executive Vice President of Marketing and Innovation. "This is an important service we are glad to offer to our customers, empowering their connectivity so they can make the most out of their mobile phones. The mobile payments market is an expanding opportunity in the local scenario and we are sure this initiative will be a success."

"While in the region there are some mobile payments solutions in the market that help unbanked mobile users transfer money or top-up prepaid accounts, these solutions have been limited in providing the breadth of payment transaction services for the underserved consumer to completely manage their finances," said Richard Hartzell, president, Latin America and the Caribbean region, MasterCard Worldwide.

Following the launch in Brazil, MasterCard will introduce MasterCard Mobile payments solutions through the Mobile Payments Gateway in select markets around the world.

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com.

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Computer / Tech Headlines:

Apple Launches the iPad- prices starting at $499

On January 27, 2010, Apple® introduced iPad, a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more

The iPad's responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch(TM) display lets users physically interact with applications and content. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds-- thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook.

The new iPad includes 12 new innovative apps designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store. iPad will be available in late March starting at the breakthrough price of just $499. Continue reading about the new Apple iPad.

Computer and Video Games Topped Holiday Shopping and Wish Lists

Forty-two percent of American adults plan to give or hope to receive a computer or video game this holiday season, according to a new report released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The poll, conducted by KRC Research, also found that 52 percent of respondents believe that with the current economy, video games are a good option for family entertainment this holiday season. Continue reading about computer and video games for this holiday season.

Computer and Video Game Industry Tops $21 Billion in 2008

December Software Sales Help Set New Record

Overall computer and video game industry hardware, software and peripheral sales climbed to $21 billion in 2008, with entertainment software sales comprising $11.7 billion of that total figure -- a 22.9% jump over the previous year -- the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today. The industry set the new record, calculated by market-research firm NPD Group, on the strength of a December sales month in which industry revenue ($5.3 billion) topped $5 billion for the first time in any single month. By comparison, as recently as 1997, the industry generated $5.1 billion over the entire year. Continue reading.

New Apple products announced at MacWorld 2009

Apple Store made several exciting announcements today during the keynote speech at the MacWorld expo! Apple Store just unveiled. Read more.

Roxio Turns Digital Memories Into Stunning Keepsakes With New Online DVD Service

Roxio has introduced a new online service that enables consumers to create and share stunning multimedia slideshows on professionally produced DVDs.

The new Roxio PhotoShow DVD service allows consumers to quickly turn personal photos and video clips into an expressive multimedia slideshow. Users can also create personalized disc and cover artwork based on a pre-designed style. Finalized projects are then produced, tested, packaged and shipped from a professional DVD production facility. Continue reading about the new PhotoShow DVD Service.

Stereoscopic 3D Gaming History Made at SIGGRAPH 2008

Packed to the brim with an estimated 800 audience members, true 3D gaming was demonstrated for the first time on professional Real D projection equipment using iZ3D LLC stereoscopic drivers at SIGGRAPH 2008 via a joint presentation by Neil Schneider, President & CEO of Meant to be Seen and Mark Rein, VP and Co-Founder of Epic Games.

Similar to the experience movie goers get in 3D theaters, consumer gamers use S-3D technology at home for superior game immersion, visual beauty and game enjoyment.  In video games, stereoscopic 3D hardware makes explosions fly out of the screen and adds a depth that makes the screen look like a window rather than a flat projection.

“Stereoscopic gaming is inevitable.  It's not so much a question of added realism or emersion, terms that I find too nebulous to define.  Stereoscopic 3D gaming is more fun - that's why it's here to stay," said Lenny Lipton, Chief Technology Officer of Real D, and the inventor of the original CrystalEyes Glasses that laid down the groundwork for many of the modern consumer 3D solutions available today. Continue reading...

Turn you monitor into 3D using WiiRemote. Make a head tracking device at home using a Wii remote controller and IR LED's. Simple instructions. Also, Apple to develop a 3D remote for Apple TV. Watch a video how to make your TV 3D with instructions.

RealPlayer Now Available for Intel(R) Atom(TM) Processor-Based Netbooks and Nettops. From the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), digital entertainment services company RealNetworks(R), Inc. is announcing the availability of its popular RealPlayer(R) on Intel(R) Atom(TM) Processor-based netbooks and nettops. By working with RealNetworks, the netbook and nettop OEMs can bundle a Moblin-optimized media player that includes the most sought-after media format support, decreasing their development, legal and administrative costs and reducing time-to-market. Continue reading...

Spore, from Electronic Arts,to be released September 7

With Spore, play any way you choose in the five evolutionary phases of Spore: Cell, Creature, Tribe, Civilization, and Space.

Grow, evolve, interact with and battle other cultures, and conquer the planet. Visit literally millions of planets full of other player's creations. Single-player game provides unlimited worlds to explore and play around. Read more...

Apple Updates iMac for 2008: Now with Faster Processors & Faster Graphics Option

BLOCKBUSTER(R) Rolls Out Retail Games, Hardware and Accessories Nationwide. Stores Also to Carry More Rental Game Platforms, Titles and Copies. Customers can go into any U.S. corporate-owned BLOCKBUSTER store and purchase video game titles, hardware and accessories for the Sony PS3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS game systems. In addition to expanding its retail games offering, Blockbuster is adding more game titles for rental with more copies than before across all platforms. Continue reading...

AT&T and Starbucks Begin Nationwide Wi-Fi Rollout

PLAYSTATION (R) 3 To Support New Interactive Blu-ray Movie Features (BD-LIVE) With Upcoming System Software Update; PS3 (TM) Owners Will Soon Enjoy Downloadable Movie Content, Games And More With Blu-ray Disc (TM) Profile 2.0; PS3's Interoperability With PSP (R) Will Also Be Enhanced. Read more...

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Sony Online Entertainment Leverage Expertise in the Computer Entertainment Industry

DVD Retailers Herald Acceptance of Single Format for High-Def Discs. The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) heralded a significant milestone in the enhancement of consumers' home entertainment experience: the acceptance by the marketplace of a single format for high-definition discs- Blue-Ray. Continue reading...

Microsoft Announces Availability of New Zune Accessories at Retail

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Apple Launches iTunes Plus; Higher Quality DRM-Free Tracks Now Available on the iTunes Store Worldwide (5/30/07)

World's First Dual-Format High-Definition Disc Player Now Available from LG Electronics at U.S. Retailers (2/5/07)

Microsoft Launches Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 to Consumers Worldwide (1/30/07)

Roxio Launches Toast 8 Titanium at Macworld Expo (1/8/07)

Roxio Launches MyDVD 9 Studio Premier
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Samuel L. Jackson Back to Host Spike TV's 2006 Video Game Awards the Year's Biggest Celebration for Gamers (11/9/06)

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Apple Releases $899 Education Computer for 17-Inch iMac (7/7/06)

Google Checkout Integrated With Volusion Shopping Cart Software (6/29/06)

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Nike and Apple Team Up to Launch Nike+iPodGlobal (5/23/06)

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2006 Flashforward Conference and Film Festival (5/11/06)

Sony Computer Entertainment America Lowers the Price of PlayStation 2 Computer Entertainment System to $129.99 (4/20/06)

Apple Provides Volume Limit Setting for iPod (3/29/06)

PLAYSTATION 3 Launches Worldwide in Early November 2006 (3/16/06)

Sony Computer Entertainment America Announces New PSP (PlayStation Portable) Model for $199.99 (3/16/06)

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New Mac mini Delivers Performance Up to Four Times Faster (3/1/06)

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