In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology news:
- Facebook’s app makes for easier e-payments
- Warren Buffett’s childhood home available for rent
- Adobe updates subscription offerings
- Another Blue Cross hack
- More Kardashian game entertainment is coming
- The latest way to pay someone from your phone: Facebook
Facebook’s Messenger app will soon let you send your friends money, the latest in a crowded field of services aimed at an increasingly wireless and cashless generation.
Services including PayPal, its Venmo unit and the disappearing-photo app Snapchat let you beam money to friends and family using smartphones linked to bank accounts or credit cards.
Facebook’s entry, announced Tuesday, is free, works with debit cards and is available on Apple and Android mobile devices and on desktop computers.
The world’s largest social network will process the payments and emphasized the service’s security features.
- Buffett’s childhood home offered for his annual meeting
Some fortunate Berkshire Hathaway investors at this year’s annual meeting will get the chance to sleep in the same bedroom Warren Buffett did as a boy.
The home-sharing service Airbnb is offering a free three-night stay at the Omaha homearound the May 2 meeting as a way to promote its services. Shareholders who want to stay at the three-bedroom house must submit short essays and prove they own Berkshire stock.
The crowd that fills Omaha’s downtown arena and several overflow rooms to listen toBuffett answer questions always books every hotel room in the region.Buffett’s childhood home is about 15 minutes away from the arena.
Airbnb is signing up people willing to rent all or part of their homes to help provide rooms for the more than 40,000 people expected to attend this year’s meeting.
Buffett has said he hopes Airbnb can help shareholders who don’t want to pay for the expensive three-night minimum stays that some Omaha hotels require during themeeting. He has long been reluctant to invest in technology companies because it’s hard to predict which ones will thrive, and Berkshire doesn’t have a stake in Airbnb.
- E-signature, mobile tools in Adobe PDF subscription service
Adobe, the company behind the ubiquitous PDF format for documents, is touting electronic-signature and mobile capabilities in a new subscription package aimed at helping individuals and businesses manage their documents.
Tuesday’s announcement of Acrobat DC and Adobe Document Cloud comes as people have more options for creating their own PDF documents. Besides free or cheap software available from third parties, many browsers including Google’s Chrome now come with that capability built-in.
Before, people had to buy Adobe’s Acrobat software for hundreds of dollars. (The company’s Acrobat Reader is free, but can be used only to read PDF documents, not create them.)
Adobe, which is based in San Jose, California, said the new tools go beyond the basic features available elsewhere.
Its e-signature features will, for instance, let parents easily fill out school permission slips. One app lets people photograph a paper form with a mobile device. The app converts that to Adobe’s Portable Document Format and lets the user fill out and sign the form electronically. Adobe said small businesses will be able sign contracts without needing to print and mail documents.
- Premera Blue Cross says data breach could affect 11M people
Premera Blue Cross, a health insurer based in the Pacific Northwest, said Tuesday that it was the victim of a cyberattack that could affect 11 million people.
The company said hackers gained access to its systems on May 5 and that it did not discover the breach until Jan. 29.
The breach could have exposed members’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, mailing and email addresses, phone numbers, member ID numbers and bank account information, the Mountlake Terrace, Washington, company said. The information dates as far back as 2002 and affects users of Premera Blue Cross,Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, and Vivacity and Connection Insurance Solutions.
Claims information, including clinical information as well as the personal information ofpeople who did business with Premera, could also have been exposed.
- ‘Kardashian’ game maker Glu creating Jenner sisters game
Glu Mobile is keeping up with the Kardashians.
The mobile video game developer responsible for the popular “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” game announced plans Tuesday to create a game starring Kardashian half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
The San Francisco-based creator of free-to-play games said the title will feature the likenesses, voices and creative influences of the 19- and 17-year-old “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” co-stars and models, who previously popped up in Kardashian’s game.
“Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” which casts players a Kardashian protege attempting to reach the A-list, has been a hit for the San Francisco-based company. Last month, GluMobile Inc. reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.