tech in the spotlight
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 28, 2012 04:13 PM
Above, watch Microsoft's new Windows 8 promo and below, the winners of its first Windows 8 app contest, introduced by Windows president (and prolific blogger) Steven Sinofsky:Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2012 02:02 PM
Isis may be the ancient Egyptian goddess of nature and magic, but she would surely have her lid flipped if she were given a digital wallet that only needs to be tapped in order to pay for something.
Such is the power of Isis, the name of the mobile commerce joint venture launched by a trio of U.S. mobile operators — AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless — to bring financial services brands' credit, prepaid, and banking customers to mobile. The venture this week signed Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard US, expanding on charter credit card members Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
It's a "testament to the vision and commitment of Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard to make mobile commerce a real and positive experience for their customers," stated Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis. "Mobile commerce is more than a new way to pay; it's about extending the relationships consumers enjoy with their banks and merchants into a powerful and convenient new form factor."
Sprint, the fourth major player in the U.S. mobile-phone industry, has instead partnered with Google on its Google Wallet, which PC Mag notes has some kinks to work out. PayPal is also promoting its digital wallet to retailers and other businesses.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 27, 2012 12:29 PM
The United States Postal Service is in the midst of massive layoffs and soul-searching about its future, as it looks to cut 35,000 jobs as a way of dealing with its $18.2 billion annual loss, but it's still trying to innovate in a digital era when hand-delivered mail seems quaint.
The U.S. Postal Service has just launched a new mobile application for iPhone users that lets the device's camera scan barcodes on shipping labels for "quick, easy and convenient tracking of their packages and other mail. The application stores the label numbers so customers can easily recheck the status of their shipments. The scanner function is available on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 24, 2012 03:21 PM
This week saw the iTunes store add an iPad app that will make guitar, rock and Beatles fans gently weep.
Keeping the Beatles' b(r)and alive and well on digital, George Harrison's son Dhani this week showed Conan O'Brien a new iPad app that catalogs his dad's iconic collection of guitars, with narration by the late guitarist talking about why he loved particular brands and guitars, and how they were used on the Beatles and solo songs they were featured in.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 24, 2012 12:19 PM
Like one-third of the Super Bowl advertisers this year, Tide is partnering with Shazam in a first for a P&G brand to offer a free download of a tune: Savoir Adore's cover of Men Without Hats' Pop Goes the World, a nod to the new Tide Pods tagline, "Get ready to pop your laundry." The yet-to-be released commercial will debut during the Oscars telecast on ABC Sunday night.
Find out more about how the dissolvable detergent packs work below.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 22, 2012 05:58 PM
Apple is revisiting the approval process for products in its apps store after a fake Pokemon game went all the way up to No. 2 in its Apps Store this week.
"Pokemon Yellow," which cost 99 cents to download, made its debut on Friday and soared in popularity, but there was one problem, as CNN reports: it was published by Home of Anime rather than the actual owner of Pokemon, Nintendo.Continue reading...
brand vs. brand
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 22, 2012 10:44 AM
Microsoft takes a swipe at Google (personified as a fast-talking salesman; check out the sly tie with Google's colors) with the viral video above that's being promoted on Twitter with a #Googlighting hashtag.
The spot's description: "What happens when the world's largest advertising business tries to sell productivity software on the side? Beware the Googlighting Stranger. Learn more at WhyMicrosoftProductivity.com"
follow the money
Posted by Shirley Brady on February 20, 2012 03:29 PM
As if there were any doubt that mobile wallets are the future, Barclays just launched what it's calling Europe's first person-to-person service for sending and receiving money using mobile phone numbers, and saw 20,000 Brits sign up in the first two days. The bank's free mobile app, powered by Pingit, is free to download and use, and promises secure transfer of funds in seconds, which will show up immediately on customers' bank statements.
The Barclays Pingit mobile payment system is available to any UK resident with a UK registered mobile number, users must be 18 or older and need an Android phone, BlackBerry or iPhone smartphone with with web access. Barclays current account customers can send up to £300 a day to family, friends and small businesses. Non-Barclays customers with a current account can receive payments, and "soon they'll be able to send money too," according to the bank.Continue reading...