We've been intrigued by a Bitcasa since we learned about the service a little over a week ago. The promise of the company is that they offer "infinite storate on your desktop" - a one-stop shop for storing all of your data, regardless of how much data you have. We've heard similar claims in the past from other companies, but they quickly renegged and changed terms to a tiered model. We're used to hearing terms like "unlimited" thrown around by wireless carriers, but even they will start throttling your data (or shutting it off) if you use too much of your unlimited allotment. That's actually why Bitcasa uses the term "infinite" instead of "unlimited" - they really want you to know that they mean what they say. The company was founded by a crew from companies like Mastercard, VeriSign, and Mozy, so it's easy to imagine that things like security and data protection would be taken seriously.
We can't vouch for the service just yet, but we will be getting access soon and will report back with our thoughts. In the meantime, check out the video above, and register for the Bitcasa beta yourself if you want to give the service a try.
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Sprint has announced that its Nexus S 4G smartphone will now be $49.99 after rebate, the highlight of the company's Google Wallet launch.
Customers can visit Sprint.com and order the Nexus S 4G for $49.99 with a new two-year contract or upgrade, Sprint said in a press release, after a $50 American Express gift certificate. However, on the Web site Sprint is currently charging new customers $29.99 for the Nexus 4G, and makes no mention of the gift card.
It can be a bit difficult to tell how often a phone like the Nexus S is offered for free; Best Buy has offered the phone for free after rebate on two occasions, most recently in August. Last December, it launched at $199, or $599 unlocked.
We havn't reviewed the Sprint version of the Nexus S 4G, although it uses the same body as T-Mobile's version, which debuted last December. At 4.9 by 2.5 by 0.4 inches and 4.5 ounces, the Nexus S is a black slab phone that's noticeably smaller than the recent round of devices with 4.3-inch displays. The Nexus looks elegant because it uses more rounded corners and a black bezel, rather than cheaper-looking chromed plastic.
Look, we're as excited about the rapid adoption and potential of mobile NFC payments as anyone, Google, but can we ease up on the sales pitch a bit? If you sign up for Google Wallet, you get asked if you have a Nexus S, and a Citi MasterCard. If you say no, then you get a message saying that you should "consider" acquiring both. Since the Nexus S 4G is a Sprint device, that would mean that I would need to cancel my AT&T contract (or, I guess, have two contracts going) and also apply for a new credit card.
Now that Google Wallet has been announced (Google wallet video breakdown,) lets break down how you'll use this stuff. First, Google has a number of partners on board. Companies like Subway, Macy's, Toys 'R Us, Citibank, MasterCard, Walgreens, First Data, and Sprint. The nice thing about MasterCard is that the partnership means that Google Wallet is instantly compatible with all those PayPass NFC systems that you see in a bunch of places. Google Wallet trials are now live in San Francisco and New York City, and should be available nationwide sometime in the next few months.
As far as devices go, the Nexus S 4G is the only phone that will work out of the gate. However, other phone without NFC built-in can likely just use an NFC sticker, making them compatible as well. One pain here is that you must have a Citi MasterCard alongside a Nexus S 4G right now if you don't want anything else getting in the way. If you don't have a Citi MasterCard, and don't feel like applying for one, then you can set up a Google Prepaid Card, which you then have to fund from your other cards. Kind of a pain for now, but these are the necessary steps that need to be taken in order for us to get to the future, right?
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