Tech wrap: Liberty Media eyes Nook e-reader

May 20, 2011

Some see e-readers as the poor cousin to more glamorous tablets, but that may soon be about to change. Billionaire media mogul John Malone, whose Liberty Media owns DirecTV Group and the QVC shopping channel, may be interested in buying the Barnes & Noble chain specifically for its Nook e-reader, according to a person familiar with the company’s thinking behind the deal.

The Nook is now the second biggest e-book seller, behind Amazon, which only yesterday announced is now selling more e-books than print books. With Liberty as a backer, Barnes & Noble and the Nook may be well positioned to compete against Amazon and Apple.

Hackers set their sights on Sony – again, this time hacking into the company’s Internet service provider So-Net, stealing virtual points worth $1,225 from account holders. This after Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported that Sony was considering re-starting its U.S. based online games service on Tuesday, after shutting it down last month when the company discovered hackers had accessed the accounts of more than 100 million users.

An explosion at a Foxconn factory in China shook Apple shares slightly, sending them one percent lower after local news media said the factory was involved in the production of the iPad2.

And the Reuters Global Technology Summit wrapped up with word that American consumers can soon expect to swipe their cellphones to pay for things as companies will soon begin to roll out their “virtual wallet” technology.

But don’t expect to swipe your smartphone for the latest tablet. “Right now we are looking at areas around low value transactions, as we’re trying to see what consumers want and how much they feel comfortable with, says James Rees from Orange, which launched launched Britain’s first mobile payments service today.

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