On today's show, we get a brief appearance of Brian After Dentist, but it's not as fun as we hoped, because the poor guy was actually in pain. So, Donald and I soldier on, discussing how Google TV is probably just plain done for, Net neutrality is under attack from all sides, and how college may be useless for entrepreneurs but it's a crucial nerd breeding ground. Plus, in the future, we'll pay for everything in Jobses. Depressing. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Bank of America has added its name to a list of several financial institutions that have refused to process payments for WikiLeaks as the site reportedly readies a document release that targets the banking giant.
"This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments," the bank announced late yesterday.
PayPal transactions, as well as credit-card payments, incur fees based on a percentage of the transaction amount in addition to a transaction fee. Dwolla transactions cost 25 cents each.
The whole idea is to move cash cheaply--for businesses and for consumers. Dwolla founder Ben Milne says his retail payment kiosk is cheap, too. It's virtual, relying on Web-connected point-of-sale systems on one side and consumers with smartphones on the other. A consumer selects the store he or she wants to pay and enters the amount on the smartphone app; the register clerk can see a payment come in and close the transaction. In the future, Dwolla's mobile app, which is currently very bare-bones, will get location awareness so it will know what store you're in when you go to use the system to send a payment.
But Dwolla is about more than saving consumers and retailers money on fees, Milne says. It's also closely tied in to social networks, today's de facto address books. From the Dwolla site, you can pay anyone in your Facebook or Twitter circle. All you have to do is start typing in their online name to find them.
With Paypal, you can pay people if you know their e-mail address. Back in 1999, the company that eventually became PayPal had a strong person-to-person angle, except instead of relying on smartphones and the Web, the original PayPal made it possible for Palm Pilot users to "beam" money to each other over their devices' infrared links.
Can Dwolla become the next PayPal--the scrappy payment company that's more convenient, more personal, and cheaper to use than the big guys (debit cards, credit cards, and PayPal itself)? And, more importantly, when you're dealing with a service that connects to your bank account, is scrappy what you want?
Angry Birds for Android will soon let you pay to get rid of ads, with the currently undisclosed fee charged directly to your phone bill rather than via Google Checkout. The hugely popular game's Finnish developer, Rovio, wants other Android app makers to use its new system too.
Bad Piggy Bank--which will launch in Finland first, and globally next year--will also let players download the Mighty Eagle cheat. As TechCrunch reports, Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka said the company was "not picking on Android particularly, but I think that the payment method up to now has been less than … Read more
A security firm disclosed holes today in mobile apps from Bank of America, USAA, Chase, Wells Fargo and TD Ameritrade, prompting a scramble by most of the companies to update the apps.
"Since Monday (11/01/2010), we have been communicating and coordinating with the financial institutions to eliminate the flaws," research firm viaForensics wrote in a post on its site. "The findings we published reflect testing completed on 11/03/2010. Since that time, several of the institutions have released new versions and we will post updated findings shortly."
The company had reported its findings … Read more
Zillionz is a toy line that's meant to teach kids how to keep track of their money. It features toys like cash registers, digital piggy banks, and electric coin jars, all of which use kids' real money to help them manage their personal finances and save up. It's kind of a cool idea, even if the private plastic ATM is a little weird.
The latest edition to the lineup is the Zillionaire, a personal-savings machine. It's like a trio of savings jars, each one assigned to a different child or fund, like "new bike," "… Read more
The FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office in southern New York announced charges today against 37 people accused of being part of an international crime ring that stole $3 million from bank accounts by infecting computers with the Zeus Trojan and other malware.
Between federal and state charges, more than 60 people total are being charged in the operation, officials said.
Ten people were arrested today by federal and New York law enforcement officers and another 10 were previously arrested in the U.S. as part of a coordinated takedown, authorities said. Seventeen people are still being sought … Read more
Fortinet said today that it had uncovered new mobile malware dubbed SymbOS/Zitmo, which stands for Zeus in the Mobile, that is most likely designed to intercept confirmation text messages that banks send to customers for online banking. This could allow criminals to thwart banks' two-factor SMS authentication and approve transactions without the victim knowing it.
Zeus typically compromises a computer, either by luring the victim to click on a malicious link in an e-mail or luring the … Read more
Technology is such an enabler. Even when it comes, allegedly, to robbing a bank.
For police in Arlington, Texas, believe they have rumbled an inside job of a bank robbery by stumbling on the cell phone of one of the bank's tellers.
Recently, there was a serious robbery at the Texas Credit Union in Arlington. It happened after closing time, when the robber allegedly emerged from the bathroom in order to relieve the bank of $183,000.
So, what does today's show title mean? If you're a news junkie, you probably already know, but to Jill and Wilson's surprise, even in the financial capital of the country, nobody really knows who the heck Elizabeth Warren is. (In case you don't know, she's the Chairman of the TARP Oversight Committee and will likely be appointed as a "Special Adviser to the President" to run and build the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.)
Warren has been a leading advocate for consumer financial protection for decades and was the person who initially came up with the idea for the CFPA. But what's interesting is that it was really the Internet, "The Daily Show", and social media that has made her into the "Money Momma." Unfortunately for Jill, "Money Aunt" doesn't seem to have the same ring to it. We won't get into other M-related alliterations.
As usual, Aunt Jill has some great advice for anyone who needs a little financial guidance in these trying times. For the tech enthusiast, there's Mint.com to manage and track your personal finances, and the best feature is its capability to automatically categorize your spending on your credit and debit cards. But keep in mind that you are giving up your personal financial information, user names, account numbers and passwords to a third party.
Some bullet points also to follow:
Don't buy actual gold; buy gold-based traded funds. In general, don't buy gold unless you know what you're doing.
Follow Jill at @jillonmoney for daily financial tips. We're still thinking of a Twitter hashtag for her to use. Send us your suggestions.
The First Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit has expired.
Only consolidate your student loans (and loans in general) if you're going to get a lower rate.
You're probably "SOL" if you bought a brand new car a few years ago, are still making payments, and want to get a new car. Jill's advice is to buy used always. She even did, and she definitely makes more money than any of the guys.
Finally, couples who want to start a joint bank account together should find a bank or network that is close by. If you're adventurous look into credit unions. And there are a few banks that don't really have branches but will refund all ATM fees.
If you have any financial questions or just want to send your love to Aunt Jill and The 404, feel free to send us an e-mail at the404 [at] cnet [dot]. Or call us at 1-866-404-CNET (2638) and leave a message. Jill demands that you follow her on Twitter @jillonmoney, or follow us at @the404, @rhapsodyartist, @malusbrutus and @jeffbakalar.Episode 667 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more