Now you can order Domino’s on Samsung Smart TV From Couch

Domino’s already has made ordering its pizza practically as easy as breathing. You can do it from your smartphone, online, inside your Ford using Sync, and on a Pebble or Android smartwatch. But if you’re plopped down right in front of the couch without as much as one personal digital appliance within arm’s reach? Until now you’ve been sunk — or had to rise.

But Domino’s has launched its first ordering app for Samsung Smart TVs, just in time for the final weekend of March Madness, when the brand expects to sell more than 1.7 million pizzas nationwide, and most of them to fans watching the NCAA men’s basketball semifinals and finals on television on Saturday and Monday.

Domino’s said that it now has enabled customers to order via their Samsung Smart TVs, yet the latest extension of the brand’s AnyWare suite of technology that gives customers the ability to order pizza on more devices and in more ways than ever before.

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Its’ one more way that Domino’s is battling Pizza Hut for supremacy in the digital-ordering arena that has become crucial to the two companies’ sales and efficiency. “The great thing about this is we’re making it as easy as possible for people to keep enjoying whatever experience they’re experiencing, while still ordering pizza,” Dennis Maloney, vice presdient of multi-media marketing for Domino’s, told me. “It’s a major step change in the ordering experience if you don’t have to change anything else.”

Of course, there is some “fine print” involved. Customers who want to order Domino’s via their Samsung smart TV must have one of Domino’s Pizza DPZ -1.95% Profiles from earlier online ordering with a saved recent order — and a 2013 or newer television.

Maloney said that Domino’s is “constantly talking” with all variety of potential tech partners and that this partnership with Samsung arose from such discussions, not a definitive approach from either side to the other. “One nice thing about moving this capability to TVs is that they’re in every household, and a lot of technology is embedded in them,” he said. “We just keep continuing to add to our platform so that anyone can order, anyhow, anywhere.”

Indeed, Domino’s and No. 1 seller Pizza Hut, and to a lesser extent No. 3 Papa John’s, have been absolutely pressing the metal on digital ordering as consumers get used to the convenience of it. The chains love it because it’s more efficient for them, and online orders tend to be significantly larger than phone-in ones anyway.

Contributor: Dale Buss

Google Maps turned your streets into Pac-Man today!

Your streets can be an iconic arcade game right now. Google Maps has a Pac-Man option just in time for April Fool’s Day. With the click of a button, your streets will be dotted with yellow pellets and the four famous ghosts. New York City, with its perpendicular streets, is perfect for Pac-Man’s maze. I zipped around the block for a few minutes, until I ran into Pinky outside Webster Hall. Even though everyone’s streets probably won’t convert into a Pac-Man-like grid, Google might be getting better at gags after years of trying and failing.

New router malware injects ads and porn into websites

ads, porn, router, malware, google analytics, dns hack

A new variant of router malware has been uncovered that injects unwarranted ads and pornography into websites by modifying the router’s DNS settings. Thanks to a clever implementation, this malware can hijack nearly every website on the internet for malicious purposes.

Uncovered by Ara Labs, this variant of router malware intercepts the Google Analytics code found in most websites, redirecting requests to the attacker’s server that sends back ads and porn in response. As so many websites use Google Analytics for traffic statistics, it becomes the perfect target for this sort of DNS attack.

As the malware injects ads and porn into nearly every website a user browses to, the attackers can sell ad spots and generate revenue for themselves. It can be quite a lucrative business if they can infect a large number of routers.

The malware finds its way into routers by exploiting the fact that many people don’t change their router’s default login credentials. It also attempts to send unauthenticated configuration requests to routers, which some models are vulnerable to. Ara Labs didn’t specify what routers are affected, but keeping your router’s firmware up to date and changing the default login credentials are good ways to keep secure.

It’s also worth nothing that traditional anti-virus software won’t pick up router-based malware, as no component of the malware is actually installed on your PC. This makes it especially difficult to combat and remove on a user’s network.

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The changes coming to Facebook

Facebook announced a series of features and updates at its annual F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, and while the news is mostly targeted for developers and app designers right now, it could eventually mean big things for Facebook users.IF

Developers can now add a Messenger button to third-party apps so

Facebook Messenger

Image: Facebook

In the future, for example, a developer could be able to add a Messenger button within a movie ticketing service app, so after a customer makes a purchase, they could share those details and movie times with a friend on Facebook.

For a glimpse at how the first batch of apps will look, click here.

Many of the early partners working with Facebook Messenger are focused on photos and entertainment. Some apps were developed specifically for the platform, while others are building Messenger in as an added feature.

Facebook Messenger Business

messenger business

Facebook unveils Messenger for Business at its F8 conference in San Francisco on March 25, 2015.

Image: Screengrab, Facebook

A noteworthy feature of the growing platform is Messenger Business, which will allow users to communicate with merchants by sending them a direct message or making a reservation and checking shipping information.

People will be able to have personal conversations with companies — specifically, customer service representatives — and be able to make requests, asks questions and get quick responses in an ongoing thread, the company said.

Spherical Videos

Facebook spherical videos

Facebook spent some stage time talking about the future of video on the site. To start, the social network will soon support “spherical videos” — immersive, 360-degree videos that work right in Newsfeed. The videos will run natively in Newsfeed and will be shot with 24 high-resolution cameras.

These videos will also work with virtual reality headsets, like the Samsung Gear VR and, of course, the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. Conference attendees will be able to experience spherical videos in its “Teleportation Stations.”

Embeddable videos, refreshed comments

Facebook is rolling out a new social plugin that lets publishers embed native Facebook videos across the web. This means a video uploaded (and hosted) on Facebook can now be embedded on other websites.

Although you’d think Facebook’s video player would already have the ability to embed videos on other sites, the move is now a part of a larger effort to catch up with YouTube.

Facebook also pushed out another social plugin update to its Comments feature. Users will be able to log into their accounts and comment on a webpage, but now the message will be duplicated on the official Facebook-shared story, too.

Analytics for apps

The company introduced a new Analytics for Apps tool that provides a dashboard of data so developers and marketers can better understand their audience.

The Internet of Things

Facebook introduced a software developer kit (SDK) to support the growing influx of web-connected devices for the home, like smart garage door openers and refrigerators. The company will be opening its mobile app building suite, Parse, to web-connected devices to support the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things refers to products — and, well, things — that are connected to the web. This includes everything from smart thermostats and garage doors to toothbrushes, tennis racquets and even your bed. They collect data about your usage patterns and habits, and typically connect to an app that offers feedback to improve your lifestyle (or your racquet swing, for example).

It’s unclear as of now how exactly Facebook will incorporate Internet of Things technology into its platform, but perhaps dimming the lights at night or opening your garage door could one day all be possible from directly within the social network.

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Facebook is reportedly testing a standalone app for phone calls

Facebook-call

Facebook may be trying to take over your phone app.

The social network is testing a voice-calling app that can screen your calls and show you information about who is calling, according to an image obtained by Android Police.

The app, called “Phone,” will display information about those who call you —presumably based on their Facebook profiles — and automatically block calls that come from numbers that have been previously identified as spam, according to the description in the screenshot. Facebook is known to test new features with small groups of users first, but the leaked image suggests the testing for this app may be limited to internal tests at the moment as it has an “FB-Only” note.

A Facebook spokesperson told Mashable “we are always testing things,” but declined to comment specifically on the Phone app.

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This isn’t the first time Facebook has experimented with voice calling. The company introduced voice calls to Messenger a few years ago and has been testing the feature on the Android version of WhatsApp, both of which rely on either a Wi-Fi or a data connection.

It’s not clear whether the Phone app would be an expansion of these existing voice-calling features or a standalone service, but the description suggests it would work for all voice calls, not just those made over a Wi-Fi or data connection.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

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Twitch: Loads of personal data at risk

amazon, gaming, passwords, compromised, twitch, hack, hacker

Popular video game streaming service Twitch on Monday issued a notice on its blog stating that there may have recently been unauthorized access to some user account information.

The company has reset all passwords and stream keys in addition to disconnecting accounts from Twitter and YouTube. Because of this, all users will need to create a new password the next time they log into Twitch. The Amazon-owned company said it’s also a good idea for users to change their passwords at any other site in which they use the same or even a similar password.

Twitch said it would reach out directly to impacted users with additional details. In one such e-mail obtained by Venture Beat, Twitch said credentials that may have been affected include usernames, e-mail addresses, passwords (which were cryptographically protected), the last IP address a user logged in from and any optional information that a user may have provided.

The latter includes first and last name, phone number, physical address and date of birth. Worse yet, limited credit card information (card type, truncated card number and expiration date) may also have been compromised. Twitch said it does not store or process full credit or debit card information so at least the card number is safe (but not much else it seems).

In addition to creating a new password, applicable users will need to reconnect their accounts with Twitter and YouTube. Twitch isn’t saying much more about the attack as of this writing but we’ll keep our ears open for any additional information on the matter.

Reddit now lets you embed comments on other websites

Reddit stickers

Reddit can be a goldmine of memes and grassroots news, so the platform is today making it easier to share comments on on other sites with embeddable comments.

Rather than copy, pasting and formatting text, you can now embed a small window into your blog or website to link towards comments.

To generate the necessary code simply click on a comment’s permalink page, then select ‘embed’ to generate the code you need to copy. You also have the option to include parent comments.

Reddit says the embeds will display any edits to the original posts however, so if you want to share something potentially time sensitive or that’s likely to be deleted, you’re still better off copying the text or just capturing a screengrab.

Still, it’s a nifty feature that’s sure to come in handy next time you need to link to cute animals or a clever comment.

[Image credit: Eva Blue, Flickr]

A Luxury Smartwatch by Intel, Google, and Tag Heuer Team

In a surprise press event today in Switzerland, Tag Heuer, one of the more notable watch companies in the industry, announced that its next project would make the leap from traditional watches to smartwatches. But it’s not going to do it alone; the Swiss company is partnering with Intel and Google in the hope of giving the watch a technical and fashionable edge in the market.

To help announce the partnership, Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver invited along David Singleton, Android Wear’s engineering director, and Michael Bell, one of Intel’s corporate vice presidents (and more importantly, the general manager of Intel’s New Devices Group).

The trio, along with Guy Semon, Tag Heuer’s general manager, didn’t offer many technical details about the new watch, unfortunately. At the moment, all we know is that it’s coming at the end of the year, with the pricing, specs, and features revealed shortly before the launch. We also know that the device will be running Android Wear, and Singleton confirmed that the partnership will produce the company’s first luxury Android watch.

Android Wear already runs on smartwatches created by LG, Samsung, Motorola, Sony, and Asus, but grabbing a prestigious watchmaker like Tag Heuer definitely gives the platform a new market angle.

But what about Intel’s part in all this? Based on our interview after last year’s IDF with Ellen Healy, Intel’s PR manager for wearables, Tag Heuer would seem to just be the latest partner in Intel’s effort to work with as many reputable fashion brands as possible to increase the demand for wearables (in this case, specifically smartwatches). Bell echoed that same sentiment at the announcement.

“We believe wearable technology is going to take off, but this is not something to be driven by tech companies only,” he said. “We believe that it requires a real partnership between established players in the space who understand customers and fashion and objects of desire.”

But that’s only part one of Intel’s plan. Even though its partners get support by utilizing existing technology, Intel has a roadmap for creating an SoC specifically for its wearables partners. What’s more interesting is that Healy noted that it won’t be just one platform for all of its products, so maybe we’ll see multiple variations of Intel wearable SoCs in the near future.

By partnering up with Tag Heuer, Intel gains another foothold in the wearables market. As long as you buy an Intel-powered wearable device, the company gains a profit. Before Tag Heuer, Fossil announced its partnership with Intel last September, and even with the partnerships, Intel already has its own smartwatch in the market called Basis, which works as a sleep and fitness tracker.

With this latest development, maybe other big watch companies will take the next step and talk to Intel to power their own wearables. It will be interesting to know how this luxury smartwatch will fare compared to Apple’s luxury smartwatch. Both devices are aimed at higher-end consumers, but the approaches are completely different.

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Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 Will Arrive This Summer

Microsoft confirmed today that Windows 10 will launch this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Frustratingly, though, the company isn’t dishing an actual launch date for its hotly-anticipated new platform, but an interesting new nugget of information was let out today.

The company previously voiced its intention to offer free upgrades to “millions” of customers on Windows 7 or earlier, and China — a market synonymous with piracy — is a key focus of that initiative. Speaking at an event in Shenzhen, China, Terry Myerson — Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems — revealed that the Redmond firm will work with three of China’s most prominent software companies — Lenovo, Tencent and Qihoo 360 — to offer free upgrades to their collective customer base. That doubtless spans a huge number of potential users.

But, there’s more, Microsoft is also working Xiaomi — yes, the fast-growing Android phone company — in a partnership that will give selected owners of its Mi 4 the chance to “help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year.”

Xiaomi has a strong community of users — the company pushes software updates weekly and actively solicits user feedback —  and Microsoft is tapping into that to seed a Windows 10 Technical Preview for initial feedback.

A Xiaomi spokesperson told us that this is “an experimental program entirely led by Microsoft,” and we are trying to ascertain more information about the nature of this partnership. It sucks, but Microsoft and Xiaomi are being vague on this alliance, which, though thrown into today’s announcement as a low-key tidbit, could provide a fascinating indication of the future plans for Windows 10 on mobile.