Archive for the ‘Google News’ Category

I came across this video and thought that it was very interesting and addressed some great points such as:

What will the future of mobile payments look like?

Will NFC ever become a major player in the world of technology?

Will Google be the next big bank?

What do you think?

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If you check-in more than once a week, you need Checkin King.
With one app check-in to Facebook, Foursquare, Google, and Gowalla with Checkin King. Here is what the press is saying about Checkin King:
“Checkin King makes checking in to any or all of those services as easy as one click.” – Phandroid
“How to check in to multiple location services with one click” – CNET
“43 Best New Android Apps” –
Another great way to encourage fans to check in at your establishment is to post a QR Code sticker on your business entrance.  You can order stickers for Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Plus, Yelp and more by clicking here

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Hi everybody! Who else out there uses short URLs when making QR codes that direct to websites? I’m sure a lot of you have come across the tip that writing less information into your codes keeps them simpler and easier to scan, especially at a small size. However, I haven’t seen anyone say ‘*make sure you leave ‘http://’ in front of the URL that you generate your QR code with!*’. Maybe that’s because it seems super obvious – after all, it’s the prefix that allows a URL to be read as a hyper link in the first place. But browsers are changing, and so are QR scanners. I use Google chrome, which did away with the once-ubiquitous prefix altogether. 

So let’s say I want to make a QR code that directs to a web page and I copy the URL from my address bar in Chrome and paste it into any QR generator. Or let’s say I am trying to keep my code small and I shorten my URL at, where ‘http://’ is left off as well (see link section /below/ the generator). Then I test my code with Barcode Scanner and other Android QR readers and it totally works! So I think ‘Great! I don’t even need ‘http://’! That’s 7 less characters in my code!’ Or maybe I don’t even notice I left it off…

Long story short, I’ve done all of the above and I had no idea it was a mistake until I asked a coworker of mine to test some sample QR stickers I had ordered for our company. I’d personally tested lots of readers on my Droid, but she had an iPhone, so I was curious. She downloaded the first free scanner that came up in the iPhone app store,* QR Reader for iPhone*, and it scanned my code as plain text on a notepad, without even the capability to copy and paste it into a browser (p.s. short URLs look REALLY stupid this way)! And I repeat, THIS IS THE FIRST FREE QR SCANNER THAT COMES UP IN THE IPHONE APP STORE, so I imagine it must make up almost half of the scanners in use today. 

She downloaded another one and it worked just fine, but what I learned is that there is still software out there that needs ‘http://’ in order to recognize a link. Most programs fill it in on their own, and I assume that is the direction things are going, but we’re not there yet. So don’t make the same mistake I did and end up potentially losing half of your audience! Double-check that 
http://; is part of your code before you even make it! If someone goes 
to the trouble to scan your code and all they get is “ “,
written on a plain text notepad, I have a feeling you’re not going to 
get the result you want.

Sarah Weis is an artist and Creative Director of i^3 hypermedia, a 
digital production and post-production studio in Chicago.


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With announcements by Google, Amazon, Mastercard, Sprint, and the 2012 Olympics Committee in the last few days, everyone is talking about near field communication (NFC) payments. As we transition to these contactless phone payments, the burden of security will shift from card-issuing banks to a new set of players: software developers, retailers, and consumers.

Everyone’s been talking about the companies involved in these new payments, who is investing in the technology, and how it will be used. People aren’t talking about the security implications, and which of the four involved parties (developers, banks, retailers, or consumers) should be responsible for our data security. As we saw last week in the Epsilon breach, our information is out there, and it’s not nearly as secure as we would like to think.

Who should burden this responsibility? Are software developers the gate-keepers of our information, or should financial institutions continue to be responsible for security as they have been with credit and debit cards? The issues are complex, but the time to discuss these issues is now. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have announced plans for NFC by the beginning of next year. Sprint one-upped them by announcing they will have NFC contactless payments in place by the end of the year, beating other providers to the punch.

A recent article and poll by Software Advice explorers these issues and asks readers to voice their opinion on the security implications of NFC. You can check it out here.

What’s your take on NFC? How do you think the technology will fare, and how will it affect QR codes?

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Silicon Valley is looking to replace your worn-out wallet.

And some of the biggest names are looking to replace your credit and debit cards with a technology called near-field-communication (NFC) on your smartphone to make your purchases.

NFC lets devices transmit data such as payment information, loyalty points and coupons by tapping them against specially equipped cash registers.

In 2014, 340 million global mobile users will use mobile payments, with such transactions totaling $245 billion, up from $32 billion last year, according to Gartner.

The number of phones with NFC will double in 2012, from 35 million shipped this year, consultant ABI Research estimated.

A lot of companies are betting that 2011 is the year NFC takes off in the US, and are working on their own NFC payment solutions.

Here are some of the solutions being thought of by the major players:

* Google: The search giant has a leg up on the competition through its Android operating system, which already includes NFC support.

Google has reportedly entered into contract talks with Mastercard, VeriFone and Citigroup to study an NFC payment system that could launch later this year.

* Apple: The iPhone maker is thought to be adding NFC to the iPhone 5. Apple has been testing an NFC system on its corporate campus, but is still undecided on its rollout.

* AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile: Three of the major wireless networks teamed up late last year to form Isis, to enable the use of NFC technology in their phones.

* Amazon: The e-commerce giant is reportedly exploring the idea of its own mobile payment service to compete with Apple and Google.

Amazon already has Amazon Payments, and has popular apps on both iOS and Android, but it doesn’t have an NFC product.

* Microsoft: The software giant is eyeing getting into the mobile payments game.

It hopes to get NFC into its mobile OS later this year.

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Posted by on 4/3/2011

Google adds button to back search results, ads


Google Inc. likes how Facebook gets people to share their recommendations so much that it’s adding its own option for endorsing search results and online ads.

The “+1” button announced last week represents the Internet search leader’s latest attempt to make it easier for its users to share their insights with their online contacts.

Someone who wants to endorse a particular search term or an ad simply hits the +1 button. When people in that person’s Internet circle uses the same search term or sees the same ad, they’ll see the person’s endorsement next to it.

The +1 button initially will begin appearing next to search results and ads for a relatively small number of Google users. Anyone who wants the +1 feature sooner can sign up at

IDC sees smartphone market growing


With more and more consumers and business users clamoring for smartphones, the global market for these handsets is slated to grow nearly 50 percent this year, research firm IDC said.

IDC expects the market to grow 49.2 percent in 2011, with smartphone makers shipping more than 450 million smartphones, up from 303.4 million shipped in 2010.

Growth last year was “exceptional,” helped by many people buying smart phones that they’d held off on buying in 2009 due to the shaky economy, IDC senior research analyst Kevin Restivo said in a statement. This year, growth will still be notable, but will taper off somewhat from last year, he said.

As for which smartphone operating system will reign, Framingham, Mass.-based IDC thinks Google Inc.’s Android software will wrestle the lead from Nokia Corp.’s Symbian software.

For 2011, IDC expects Android smartphones to make up 39.5 percent of the market, while smartphones running Symbian will account for 20.9 percent. Apple Inc.’s iPhone is expected to make up 15.7 percent of the market and Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry software are expected to make up 14.9 percent.

Officials target apps for checkpoints


The attorneys general for Delaware and Maryland have joined the call for companies to stop providing smartphone applications that let users know where drunken-driving checkpoints are.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said Monday they have sent letters to Google Inc. and Apple Inc., asking them to ban applications that can be downloaded onto the iPhone and Android phones.

The request is similar to one made by four U.S. senators in March. That letter prompted Research In Motion, maker of Blackberry phones, to pull a similar application from its online store.


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