Companies & Sectors
Flipkart acquires PhonePe
Bengaluru : E-commerce company Flipkart on Friday said it has acquired Unified Payments Interface (UPI) startup PhonePe, which was founded by its former employees.
 
PhonePe, founded by Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, allows users to transact with a unique identification and mobile phone number or virtual payment address, eliminating the need to share other voluminous banking details.
 
"In contrast to the present payments process, which involves entering numerous account/card details and multi-level interventions, UPI will provide a highly secure hassle-free digital payments experience," said a Flipkart statement. 
 
Without specifying the acquisition value, Flipkart CEO Binny Bansal said, "Payment has been one of the biggest hurdles for mass adoption of online shopping in India. UPI has the potential of transforming the entire payments ecosystem in the country."
 
Scheduled to go live in April, PhonePe will transition into Flipkart but will operate as an independent business unit, the statement added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Android malware doubled in 2015: Report
New Delhi : Smartphone security is the new concern as cases of Android malware were reported to have doubled in 2015 as compared to 2014, said a new report which warned that, in 2016, more hacks on smart technologies could result in fatal privacy damage.
 
The annual security report from security software company Trend Micro Inc. also noted that the rise in Android malware is owing to the aggressive adoption of smart technologies.
 
"Android's 'MediaServer' component took a lot of hits in 2015. Vulnerabilities found in the component can be exploited to perform attacks using arbitrary code execution. Such attacks could force a device's system to go on endless reboot, draining its battery," Trend Micro said in a statement.
 
The hacks can render Android devices silent and unable to make calls due to unresponsive screens, constant rebooting, making the device totally useless.
 
Some other Android vulnerabilities include the susceptibility of the Android debugger Debuggered that can expose a device's memory content. 
 
The Samsung SwiftKey Keyboard vulnerability had a pre-loaded malicious code masquerading as additional language packs that put over 600 million Samsung Galaxy-series phones at risk. 
 
With the emergence of vulnerabilities like iOS Quicksand and AirDrop, even Apple's phones took some hits in 2015. These proved that iOS users could potentially be hit with malware. 
 
Although there are no current solutions designed to protect Internet of Things (IoT), the report suggested that in order to keep devices protected from attacks, developers need to be able to push regular updates and patches to close off any holes attackers can exploit.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Asia likely to face severe water crisis by 2050: Study
New York : the continent that houses roughly half the world's population, will face a "high risk of severe water stress" by 2050 if the current environmental, economical and population growth persists, warns a new study.
 
The study points out that water shortages are not simply the results of climate change and environmental stress. 
 
"It's not just a climate change issue. We simply cannot ignore that economic and population growth in society can have a very strong influence on our demand for resources and how we manage them," said one of the researchers Adam Schlosser, a senior research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in US.
 
"And climate, on top of that, can lead to substantial magnifications to those stresses," Schlosser added.
 
The findings, published in the journal PLOS One, showed that the median amounts of projected growth and climate change in the next 35 years in Asia would lead to about 1 billion more people becoming "water-stressed" compared to the present time.
 
To conduct the study, the scientists built upon an existing model developed previously at MIT, the Integrated Global Systems Model (IGSM), which contains probabilistic projections of population growth, economic expansion, climate, and carbon emissions from human activity. 
 
They then linked the IGSM model to detailed models of water use for a large portion of Asia encompassing China, India, and many smaller nations.
 
The scientists then ran an extensive series of repeated projections using varying conditions. 
 
In what they call the "just growth" scenario, they held climate conditions constant and evaluated the effects of economic and population growth on the water supply. 
 
In an alternate "just climate" scenario, the scientists held growth constant and evaluated climate-change effects alone. And in a "climate and growth" scenario, they studied the impact of rising economic activity, growing populations, and climate change.
 
The study gave the researchers a "unique ability to tease out the human (economic) and environmental" factors leading to water shortages and to assess their relative significance, Schlosser said.
 
The IGSM model also allowed the team to look at how, under the same variables, scenarios change according to countries. This is particularly useful to come up with country-specific strategies, in order to avoid water stress.
 
"For China, it looks like industrial growth (has the greatest impact) as people get wealthier. In India, population growth has a huge effect. It varies by region," explained lead author Charle Fant, researcher at MIT.
 
Other variables, such as water supply networks into and out of the different areas, and the way population is distributed around said supplies should be examined, the researchers said. 
 
"We are assessing the extent to which climate mitigation and adaptation practices - such as more efficient irrigation technologies - can reduce the future risk of nations under high water stress," Schlosser said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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