Okay, so we all know that Google is set to unleash their online payment system, probably called Google Wallet, any time now. Coincidentally, eBay has just updated their “Safe Payments Policy,” which includes the following statement:
Not permitted on eBay.com: Sellers may not solicit buyers to mail cash. Sellers may not ask buyers to send cash through instant cash transfer services (non-bank, point-to-point cash transfers) such as Western Union or Moneygram. Finally, sellers may not request payment through online payment methods not specifically permitted in this policy.
Basically, they are saying that if you are a seller, you can ask for check, money order, or Paypal payment (including credit cards) - you can not ask your buyer to pay you through Google Wallet when it launches. Odd - my experience with Paypal, along with horror stories from others, lead me to believe that if you were creating a “safe payments” plan you would stay the hell away from Paypal. What’s that? Oh, yeah - eBay owns Paypal. I get it now.
Read More | eBay
Good to see Cingular taking action by turning on their HSDPA service in a couple of techno-centric cities. Seattle, WA and Phoeniex, AZ are the first areas to get receive the HSDPA love here in the United States. While no HSDPA phones are available for purchase here in the US just yet, I commend Cingular for taking the leap to show that they are ready to jump into this space. Also nice to see Seattle get first dibs compared to how long it took Verizon to get EV-DO turned on here. Cingular’s new networks were up and running in Seattle and Phoenix using Lucent Technologies and in the Dallas/Fort Worth area using Ericsson equipment. They plan to have the network in up to 20 markets by year’s end, which is also when they would make enabled phones and laptop cards available to consumers.
Read More | Telegeography
Not major news, but worth mentioning nonetheless, with the release of the brand new 5th generation iPod with video support, it looks like Apple has quietly discontinued the U2 branded iPod that they have been selling for the past twelve months. Could it be due to the face that the new iPod is already available in black, and adding a red click wheel just isn’t enough of a difference? Judging by the fact that Apple and U2 still are on great terms as evidenced by Bono’s face being displayed on just about every iPod screen image that doesn’t have a track by the Gorillaz playing, I would say so.
How’s this for convenience? By the time this month ends, 7-Eleven stores in Japan will be offering up iPods right along side Big Gulps and Slurpees. While the 5 different iPods the chain plans to sell won’t be sitting back behind the counter next to the cigarette case, customers will be able to place an order for Apple’s popular MP3 player, then return 2-3 later to pick up their new toy. I’m all for doing things the easy way, but I’m also impatient- if I’m going to have to wait 3 days for my Nano to arrive at the local 7-Eleven, I think I’d just head on down to the nearest electronics store an get it right then, no?
Read More | MacWorld
DirecTV have finally started making it known to the masses that they are dumping TiVo in favor of their own homegrown DVR unit by way of a $30 million advertising campaign.
DIRECTV, the satellite television operator, is introducing a $30 million advertising campaign on Monday to promote its highly anticipated digital video recorder.
The campaign, created by the New York office of BBDO Worldwide, is DirecTV’s first widespread public effort to distance itself from TiVo. Of DirecTV’s 14.7 million customers, 2.3 million now subscribe to TiVo. DirecTV, which pays TiVo a monthly fee of $1.13 per TiVo subscriber, hopes those users will switch to its own service.
Even better, the unit is free after rebate through a special promotion right now, and even results in a free DVD player as well. The HD DirecTV DVR still seems to be a DirecTiVo unit.
Read More | DirecTV
Steve Jobs has done it again, and has come out with a product that is simply going to sell a ton. While many of us expected an addition to the iPod line, Apple has instead opted to make what we might have referred to as the iPod video, simply - the iPod. The new iPod is available in 30GB and 60GB models and has a wider 2.5-inch color 320x240 TFT screen. Apple is also making the new standard iPod available in what we like to call “nano Black.” All other features of the iPod remain the same, with the addition of the ability to play MPEG-4 and H.264 encoded video. The price point is not too shabby here either, with the 30GB model costing $299 (holding 75 hours of video) and the 60GB model hitting $399 (holding 150 hours of video.) The new iPods are thinner than the previous models, with the 30GB being 31% thinner than the 20GB iPod, and the 60GB version being 12% thinner than the 20GB iPod (Thank God!)
Read More | Apple iPod
What did we tell you? Sources told us that another iPod announcement wasn’t too far off - although we thought it wouldn’t come until November. That may still be the case, as ThinkSecret believes that Apple is just priming everyone for a PowerBook and Power Mac spec update. That would leave November open for us to be 100% right - but analysts are a-buzzin’, and many believe that the iPod movie or iPod video or Video iPod is a sure bet for the 12th. I mean, why else have theater curtains on the invitation? That being said, there is no reason that Apple can’t make more than one announcement. How about an iVideo Movie Store integrated into iTunes while we’re at it?
It looks like the official death of the VCR will be happening later this month at DigitalLife in New York. You see, TiVo has taken it upon themselves to make funeral arrangements, and be in charge of the funeral itself. Even better, if an attendee brings a video tape and hands it over to TiVo, they will walk away with a free TiVo unit (after agreeing to sign up for a service contract.) Interestingly enough, I find it odd that TiVo has the gall to call another technology dead. I mean, isn’t this like the whole pot-kettle-black thing?
Read More | PR Newswire
In Google’s latest announcement regarding it’s venture into the WiFi market, the search engine giant has submitted a plan that would cover 95% of San Francisco with free wireless Internet access. This submission is in response to the city’s request for WiFi that would cover nearly all of the city, including low and middle income areas. While Google’s plan has not yet been approved, an independent company estimates that such extensive coverage would cost about $10 million dollars.
Read More | Linux Pipeline
A 42-year-old disabled woman from Oregon is counter-suing the RIAA for deceptive business practices, electronic trespass, invasion of privacy, fraud, and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Tanya Andersen filed the suit recently after finding out in a letter received in February that she was being sued for illegally downloading and distributing music on the Internet. The single mother called the number listed in the letter, which was not a law firm representing the plaintiff, but instead the Settlement Support Center, an LLP allegedly set up to coerce payments from people who had been identified in suits filed by RIAA, only to find out that she had been “viewed” downloading gangsta rap at 4:24am using the login “email@example.com.” Ms. Andersen claims that after telling the SSC that she neither downloads music or likes gangsta rap, a representative told her that “he believed that she had not downloaded any music.” He went on to explain that the Settlement Support Center and the record companies would not quit their debt collection activities because to do so would encourage other people to defend themselves against the record companies’ claims. Under the provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. § 1030) it is illegal to break into another person’s private computer to spy, steal or remove private information, damage property, or cause other harm.
Read More | Recording Industry vs. The People