IBM offers Apple Pay for WebSphere Commerce

apple-pay-logoOne of the biggest problems with eCommerce sites is the trust factor and checkout process, which leads to abandoned carts. Apple Pay eliminates the need to provide so many details on the check out screen along with excellent security measures that protect the buyer. Apple Pay can easily be installed using a solution pack where it then becomes a payment option in your store fronts.

Consumers will no longer have to manually enter personal details, track down credit cards and share specific payment information when checking out. With Apple Pay on the web, they can securely complete purchases with a single tap of their finger while at home on their Mac or on the go using their iPhone or iPad. – link

Bob’s review of the Apple Watch

I wasn’t sure if I would ever get the Apple Watch but when my health plan offered one at an amazing price I had to give it a go.

First off, I researched the size of the watch I should get. After watching a video on YouTube I realized I should get the larger 42mm one and boy was I correct. I am an average sized guy and as you can see from the picture my wrists are not huge. The 42mm ended up being perfect but I did opt for the smaller band that came in the package. So basically if you are a man you will most likely want the bigger face.

My favorite thing about the watch is the activity monitor and sports application. Because I bought this through my health insurance I am actually reporting all of my activity to their application. This will then allow me to receive my rebate at the end of the year without manually entering work outs. So the problem is, I am basically addicted to the statistics now. I find myself going for another walk or working out just to get the next medal or achievement. It is also interesting when I was sitting all day watching the NFL playoffs I was told multiple times by the watch “Time to get up!”, reminding me of how lazy I am – at least on a Sunday. It is interesting that I could run for 3 miles and workout for 40 minutes (lifting weights) and this records as a Light Workout! Anyway, looking at your actually physical activity is very interesting to me and being pushed to do more than I did the day before actually works.

My next favorite feature is the remote camera. This is where you can set your camera down somewhere, walk away and take the picture by looking at your phone. Below is a picture of my Apple Watch connected to my phones camera:

Apple Watch Camera

It wouldn’t be a review if I didn’t review the battery. I have been wearing my watch daily for about 3 weeks. It looks like I average about 50-60% usage a day. I could probably go two days if I really stretched it or knew I wouldn’t be able to recharge for a bit I might be able to go three days or more. I really wanted to monitor my sleep with a sleep application but I didn’t see any app that does motion plus sleep time. (I want to know how restless I am between times). So given the battery basically uses 50% or more juice a day I just put my watch on the charger each night.

Using my phone for navigation on business trips is great!  I just set my phone up, start the navigation and my watch takes control from there. I get reminders (audio and physical) for every turn and its very easy to quickly look down on your wrist versus holding or grabbing the cell phone. It is much less distracting and keeps both hands on the wheel. You can even start navigation right from  your watch:

Apple Watch Navigation

Lastly, I don’t hold my phone as much any longer. I get notified for text messages, emails, etc and instead of picking up the phone I just look at my watch to decide if I need to respond. This has really changed my cell phone behavior, basically if I am in the house I no longer carry my phone around. I have even texted via the audio translation to text feature and I think it has worked better than the iphone! If you can get passed the fact you look like Maxwell Smart (a.k.a. Agent 86), this is a pretty nice gadget addition.

My Good and Bad on the new language Swift from Apple

apple-swift-logoI am a tech geek, I love coding and I certainly love learning new languages. My first look at Swift is only through the eyes of reading the manual, yes, some people like reading novels I like reading manuals. I have yet to download and play around with it so this is a more of a blind analysis than a hands on review. So let’s start with what I really like about the language.

The Good

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iMessage on my Mac stopped working and I fixed it with this…

Can you tell I am on vacation with three blog posts in less than 24 hours?

Anyway, this problem has gone on for about a week for me and since I am on vacation I decided to solve it. After scouring the net and mostly the Apple support site I got some clues about what the problem might be. About a week ago I upgraded my Flash player and I also ran into some KeyChain problems because of my password change. The solution for me was to Block all sites from storing information on this computer in the Flash Player settings:

Screen Shot 2013-11-26 at 9.28.27 AM


Then I deleted all certificates related to Apple in my Keychain panel.

I am going to play around and turn the Flash Player setting back on because I just can’t believe this is part of the problem. It does make sense that my certificates got corrupted during the password change.

iOS7 update – one good and one really bad change

apple-logo1I have been using the iOS 7 update for a few days now and outside of the total change in color scheme (which I am not completely sold on yet) there are two things that I have noticed to be worth mentioning:

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Will corporations move to fingerprint reading on devices for authentication?

fingerprintWith the launch of the new iPhone 5s I am sure many IT security people are working to figure out whether or not to support fingerprints to get access to the device.

My company has a pretty stringent password policy for my mobile devices and most of my friends and family make fun of me having to enter such a long password every five minutes.  I would love nothing more than to move to a fingerprint reader, however, I have some reservations about the technology.

This is clearly the way to go in my opinion but I am hesitant because I am not 100% it is secure at this point. Some of the early signs of image manipulation and spoofing have caused this concern. I think “spoofing” is going to be the least concern.

The reader on the iPhone is a capacitance finger print reader. Meaning it reads the conductivity of the subdermal layer (just below the dermis) and essentially generates an image from the subtle differences in your print. This in the end would be a very different picture than an actual finger print picture.

Lastly, can this “fingerprint” be used later on by the NSA? Will they simply get a massive collection of fingerprints right out of the gate?  What about apps accessing the finger print image?

Apple went out of its way to explain that your fingerprint data is stored on the A7 ARM chip, not in iCloud, and not anywhere else online. – link

Check out that article which talks about these kinds of threats, I found it very interesting. At the end of the article it clearly eludes to the NSA problem. If there are API’s that have to read and write the finger prints then clearly there will be a way for “someone” to get this data. I will keep researching around for how Apple is preventing such access but if  you find something first please comment here!


WebSphere Commerce welcomes iOS to its arsenal!

This isn’t part of the originally planned “Twelve Days of Commerce” but it fits in well!

A few weeks ago IBM announced a native application for Android based devices. Being an Apple guy myself I have been waiting to announce this. WebSphere Commerce now has a native iOS application that uses the same REST base services the Android version uses. Even better, this solution is published as Open Source – talk about a great way to learn the WebSphere Commerce API’s!

You can check out the announcement and offering on the IBM site. You can also learn about the new offering on the InfoCenter.

Ridiculopathy and the web

Not to be confused with Radiculopathy; Ridiculopathy is “The state or chronic condition of being pathologically ridiculous” according to Urban Dictionary. After reading this article I think the article and its author can be labeled as this state.

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Apple saves Java!

Oracle and Apple® today announced the OpenJDK project for Mac OS® X. Apple will contribute most of the key components, tools and technology required for a Java SE 7 implementation on Mac OS X, including a 32-bit and 64-bit HotSpot-based Java virtual machine, class libraries, a networking stack and the foundation for a new graphical client. OpenJDK will make Apple’s Java technology available to open source developers so they can access and contribute to the effort.

Check out the article here.