Google's mobile-payments plan (week in review)

Google unveils its plan to turn your phone into a mobile wallet, while Microsoft unwraps a slew of updates for its Windows Phone 7. Also: Apple battles MacDefender.

Google wants to turn your smartphone into a mobile wallet.

After months of rumors, Google introduced Google Wallet and Google Offers , services that will combine coupons and discounts and payments at the time people buy things through their phone. The company says it plans to bring all parts of the retail experience together to make "tomorrow's best shopping experience."

Coupons for items you buy regularly will pop up on your phone, or an item that the store you're shopping at is out of will pop up on the phone and let you buy that item online. When you go to a store's cashier, you can wave your phone over a terminal, which will charge your card.

Google Wallet uses NFC, or near-field communication, technology. NFC is a chip technology that, when placed in two different devices, lets small amounts of data be sent over very short distances between them. This can include data such as credit card information, train ticket info, and a coupon bar code.
•  How secure is your wallet in Google's hands? (FAQ)
•  Can Google put all the pieces together?
•  How Google's event unfolded
•  Most people OK buying goods via mobile devices

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Microsoft unveils Windows Phone updates

Microsoft unveils 500 new updates to its Windows Phone mobile platform at an event in New York City.
•  Microsoft: Making smartphones smarter and easier
•  Windows Phone 7's 'Mango' tied to new online Marketplace
•  Hands-on with Windows Phone update
•  A look at Windows Phone 7 Marketplace for Mango

Ballmer: Windows 8 will debut in 2012

Speaking in Japan, Microsoft's CEO reveals that the next-generation OS will launch next year along with "Windows 8 slates, tablets, PCs." But did he jump the gun?
•  Microsoft to showcase new tablet OS next week?
•  Top fund manager: Ballmer must go

AT&T to Congress: T-Mobile buy good for consumers

The phone giant's CEO defends the proposed acquisition to lawmakers, who question the company about market concentration and potential job losses
•  For AT&T merger, Sprint dusts off its Christmas list
•  AT&T to roll out LTE to 5 markets this summer

Apple posts MacDefender removal info, promises fix

Apple has finally acknowledged the MacDefender malware with instructions to remove the software, along with promising that a future version of the Mac OS will protect against it.
•  Updated rogue AV installs on Macs without password
•  Scam targets Apple App Store customers

Wireless providers exempted from data-logging plan

New bill, first reported by CNET, says wireless providers won't have to comply with extensive data-logging requirements backed by law enforcement.

City of Taipei wants more info on PSN breach

The Law and Regulations Commission in Taipei, Taiwan, writes letter to Sony asking that PlayStation customers get a better guarantee that a similar breach won't happen again, according to IDG.
•  Report: Sony Music Japan, Sony Ericsson hacked
•  Sony set to revive PSN in Japan

Apple updates its iOS retail app with in-store tools

Tweaks to Apple's retail store application for iOS add new features for customers using it inside of Apple's retail stores.
•  Apple throws weight behind devs on patent issue

Apple enlists iPads for retail signage

Apple starts rolling out a new system that makes use of iPads in its retail stores to display information about nearby products, taking the place of printed materials.

Compact new Nook gets touch screen, lower price

Barnes & Noble unveils a compact new $139 Nook, cutting the price on earlier models. The new Nook won't run apps, but the company says it's got several improvements for the core job of reading books.
•  Hands-on with new Nook: Better than the Kindle?
•  Amazon unleashes Kindle 3G With Special Offers
•  Kindle battery life doubles overnight

Microsoft and Facebook team up to fight child porn

The world's largest social network has joined the PhotoDNA program, which was developed by Microsoft Research with help from Dartmouth College.
•  Study: Half of Facebook's walls enjoy profanity

Also of note
•  Twitter acquires popular client TweetDeck
•  Former Blockbuster CEO tells his side of Netflix story
•  NASA picks Orion-type capsule for deep space missions

 

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