Bloomberg is reporting that AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless are in talks to bring cellphone based payments to the States. Bloomberg cited, “three people with direct knowledge of the plan,” when they wrote that the three wireless vendors “may work with Discover Financial Services and Barclays Plc to test a system at stores in Atlanta and three other U.S. cities that would let a consumer pay with the contactless wave of a smartphone.” Currently, Visa and MasterCard handle 82% of consumer credit card spending; a $2.45 trillion business. The reported system would see payments processed by Discover’s network (currently the fourth largest credit card network in the U.S.) and Barclays would be the bank managing the accounts. The contactless cellphone payment system is already in use in Japan and the United Kingdom. What do you think? Do you see value in a service like this, or is it more inclined to just creep you out? More →
If you use BlackBerry’s App World to download applications, updates, and regularly find new content, you’ll be pleased as punch to know that App World 2.0 has just gone live in beta form. App World 2.0 brings a number of enhancements to the app — some much needed — and even some new payment options. For starters, credit cards are now directly supported instead of having to go through PayPal, and RIM has brought along support for carrier billing. In true RIM fashion, however, this is not available now, and RIM won’t say which carriers will support it. Next up is the ability to drill down different top 25 lists, something much needed. There are now top 25 paid, free, and theme sections. Simplifying the entire user experience is BlackBerry ID, something you can probably guess. It’s a device-independent user ID, something separate from PIN mumbo jumbo, and will streamline your purchasing profile, keep track of your downloaded applications, etc. Not much of a finder/gatherer? Lastly there is QR barcode support in the new version of App World, so look for developers to start using barcodes in promotional materials, emails, really anything. It’s available now on RIM’s beta site below for download. More →
Google updated its Android Developers blog with some legal changes to the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) that suggest carrier billing is on the horizon. According to the posting, Google is introducing new payment options for the Android Market and has added “authorized carriers” as an indemnified party. Developers have been alerted of these changes and have 30 days to accept these new terms. Once this 30 day window is over, Google will be one step getting closer to launching this payment alternative. Any Android users looking forward to carrier billing or do you still prefer the comfort of plastic?
Mozilla is upping the ante — literally — for those who find and report bugs in its Firefox, Firefox Mobile, and Thunderbird programs. Starting July 1, 2010 (yes, it is backdated), eligible security bugs that are confirmed by Mozilla will be paid out with a $3,000 bounty. A bug is eligible if it is critical, and a bug is considered critical when it is: original, remote, reproducible, and “allows execution of arbitrary code on users’ systems, while high severity security bugs allow access to users’ confidential information.” Lucas Adamski, Mozilla’s Director of Security Engineering, had this to say: “A lot has changed in the 6 years since the Mozilla program was announced, and we believe that one of the best ways to keep our users safe is to make it economically sustainable for security researchers to do the right thing when disclosing information.” More →
Microsoft may be biting the hand that feeds them by not paying developers who are selling applications on Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace for Mobile. An increasing number of developers are expressing their angst at Microsoft and its Marketplace payment system which is supposedly not sending out payments for eligible accounts. Some accounts are reported to be incorrectly labeled as “Not eligible for revenue payout” when they have met the $200 payout threshold and other accounts, though labeled as “Eligible for revenue payout”, are not receiving any payouts due to mistakes within the payment system. In the latter case, much confusion exists with the “Eligible for revenue payout” status which applies to accounts that have already received a payment and are setup to receive future payments once the $200 threshold has been reached. More →
We’ve already talked about some of the news from the first day of the 2009 BlackBerry Developers Conference, but another blast of PR from RIM has hit out inboxes, and wow, are we ever excited. The biggest news of the day is that developers will finally be able to unlock the full potential of the latest generation of BlackBerry smartphones — OS 5.0 and hardware permitting, of course — with the latest beta of the Java SDK 5.0 thanks in part to its OpenGL ES support. Still, there’s a lot of things to cover and we don’t want to clutter up our newly redesigned site with a bunch of text, so join us after the jump.