iPhone 7 May Retain Headphone Jack; B of A ATMs getting Apple Pay; Twitter Acquires Another Machine Learning Company

Some new leaked pictures from a generally reliable source indicate that one of the biggest…and most hated….rumors about the iPhone 7 may not be true. Engadget.com says snaps from Chinese repair shop Rock Fix show a lightening port assembly that includes the beloved 3.5 mm audio jack. Also shown in shots are a dual SIM tray and 32 and 256 Gig chips, indicating that the base phone will be 32 gig, not 16, and there will be 256 Gig memory option.

9to5mac reports that Bank of America has some ATMs in place that allow withdrawing cash using Apple Pay. One was spotted in Redondo Beach with the Apple Pay logo and an NFC reader. You can’t make deposits with it, but of course you can already make those using B of A’s app on a smartphone, as well as do transfers between accounts. So far, it only works with B of A’s own cards, not others. Chase and Wells Fargo have also announced adding Apple Pay to ATMs but none have been seen yet.

Twitter has bought Magic Pony Technology for 150 million, according to TechCrunch.com. They use neural networks….basically machine learning…to improve images and videos. The technology can also help develop graphics for VR and AR. Twitter already had bought machine learning tech companies Whetlab and Madbits.


Citi Tests Iris Scanning ATM Tech; Startup Rolls Out Uber for Trucks

A lot of people first saw them back in the 60’s in James Bond’s “Thunderball,” and now Citigroup is testing iris scanners for their ATMs. Engadget.com reports that the financial giant will scan customers’ eyeballs with the bank patrons’ smartphones instead of using PIN numbers. They estimate that this could cut dragging out your cash down to a 10 second transaction. No timeline was given on when or if Citi will roll the iris scanning system to the public. The tech is from Diebold, which has something of a spotty record when it comes to voting machines, so Citi may be waiting to gauge if the public will be comfortable with an eye scan to draw out their hard earned cash.

We already have Uber and Lift for on demand rides and some small package delivery, so how about on-demand trucking? A startup called Convoy has raised $2.5 million from Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff, and some other heavy hitters, according to geekwire.com. It will concentrate on local and regional trucks on demand. Like with Uber and Lyft, it will be smartphone based. If someone needs some freight moved, they can key it in and a truck and driver will show up. For the indy truckers, it will get rid of the broker middleman and his cut, plus get them a job in minutes, saving lots of time. For the customer, pricing information is calculated instantly based on distance, weight, and other variables — and available trucks, all of which are pre-approved by Convoy, licensed by the government, and carry cargo insurance. The company also provides customer service to ensure that shipments are completed.