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Month: May 2012

As Facebook Rumors Swirl, Opera Plays Up Its Social Cred In New Opera Mini 7 Browser For ‘Basic’ Phones

Talk about coincidence. Just earlier this week, in a post on Facebook and the possibility of buying web browsing company Opera and facial recognition company Face.com, we highlighted how a new version of Opera Mini would feature much stronger social integration — specifically aimed at the feature phone segment — both key points for Facebook. Today, Opera came good with a full release of that Opera Mini browser, Opera Mini 7 (but still has no official comment on those acquisition reports). As expected, the new browser is aimed not at Apple and Android-based smartphones but more “basic” devices — specifically those built on Java ME, Nokia’s S60 and BlackBerry (yes, Opera categorizes RIM’s smartphone as basic). Opera is using the release to incorporate some new, key social features on a new Smart Page to increase the time spent by users on its own pages and in its browser. The Smart Page contains several new features that are all about social browsing. For starters, it provides a one-page summary of news from a user’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, directly from the home page of the browser. Other features include links to a user’s most-visited sites; links to relevant content based on your browsing history; and suggestions for news sites to follow with the option of adding those to the Smart Page as well. The Smart Page will now also include other features...

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YC-Backed GoCardless Launches PayLinks, A Bitly For Payments

GoCardless, the Y Combinator-backed startup founded in 2010 by Oxford graduates Hiroki Takeuchi, Tom Blomfield and Matt Robinson, is today launching a new product called PayLinks which aims to be something like a Bit.ly for payments. With its dead simple interface, anyone can create a shortened, tweet-friendly link in around 60 seconds, the company claims, allowing you to start collecting money online immediately. These payments can either be one-off requests (throw in on the keg!), regular/subscription-based (subscribe to my blog!), or pre-authorized. The latter, which makes sense for B2B scenarios, lets a company collect a pre-authorized amount over a pre-determined period of time. The U.K.-based service is interesting because it doesn’t send these payments through the traditional credit card networks. Instead, GoCardless has built an API wrapper around the bank transfer process – that is, the “interbank transfer,” which is also known as an “Automated Clearing House” payment. That means the payment amount is automatically deducted from one bank account and transferred directly to another without having to go through credit card network or without you having to write a check. It’s the same kind of thing that powers the online “Bill Pay”feature your bank offers. Since GoCardless’ launch in February, the company has signed up over 2,000 businesses to its service and is now growing at a rate of 50%+ every month, company co-founder Matt Robinson tells us. And...

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IT Services Consolidation: CGI To Buy Logica For $2.6B (And Crashes Logica’s Site In Process)

Some enterprise IT consolidation afoot, and a sign of the business crunch that the enterprise market has witnessed in the last year. CGI Corporation, an IT services firm based in Canada, has made an all-cash offer of $2.6 billion (£1.7 billion) to buy UK rival Logica, a deal that would create one more IT services powerhouse to rival the likes of IBM, Accenture and KPMG. The offer represents a premium of 60 percent on Logica’s closing share price yesterday. Logica, one of Europe’s biggest IT services firms, has hit the rocks in the last year, with profit shrinking to £32.7 million ($50.6m) from £192.9 million ($299m) the year before on the back of IT cuts in the public sector, a key vertical for the company. It also laid off some 1,300 people in 2011. And margins for IT services — a challenge for all IT services companies — shrank to 2.2 percent from over eight percent in Logica’s main UK business. On the news of the deal this morning, Logica’s website crashed. It appears to be live again now although working very slowly. Logica’s chief executive is Andy Green, who joined the company in 2007 after heading up BT Global Services, the enterprise IT services division of the UK’s incumbent telecoms operator. CGI says it has around 31,000 users of its services, while Logica has a client base mainly focused on large...

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Get Sylvester 4: Nigel Sylvester – Attainable

The fourth episode of Get Sylvester — the web short series featuring days with pro BMX rider Nigel Sylvester is live. In #4 “Attainable,” Sylvester pays a visit to the Gatorade Sport Science Institution to get better insight on his physical and mental capabilities as an athlete. Then, it’s off to Times Square for a celebrity flag football game where he bumps shoulders with Mark Sanchez, Justin Tuck, Matt Ryan, and Jadakiss. Always busy, never resting, Sylvester understands the importance of taking the unique opportunities he has now, to build on, and invest in greater opportunities in the future. Article source:...

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Y-3 2012 SLY Shandal

Whether you choose to call it a shoe or call it a sandal, Yohji Yamamoto prefers to call it the Shandal — another unorthodox and distinctly futuristic creation from the designer’s 2012 Y-3 collection for adidas. The metallic silver SLY Shandal uses an athletic mesh upper fastened to the shoe’s serrated rubber outsole via a bungee cord and a series of hooks. And it wouldn’t be a Y-3 shoe, without a little luxurious leather. The pair is lined with goat leather and features subtle cow leather accents throughout. Look for the SLY Shandal at Y-3 stockists this fall. Article source:...

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