The digital wallet soon to be in every pocket

June 1, 2011

Will the smartphone do for retailing what it did for photography?

Like a recession, we never quite see a tipping point when it happens. Tech seems to alter behavior in unpredictable ways. But, in fact, tech makes it possible to form the habits we unknowingly crave. We love TV, but we’re walking away from the TV set. We still make calls at home, but have abandoned land lines. You used to carry a point-and-shoot camera, and you still do — but now it’s in your smartphone.

D9 kicks off in style…LA style

May 31, 2011

If you can say one thing about those folks at AllThingsD, it’s that they really know how to throw a party. This year’s premier U.S. tech conference, at the swanky Terranea Resort in upscale Rancho Palos Verdes just an hour south of LA, brought out the Ferraris, CEOs and fancy gizmos in droves.

Tech wrap: Steve Jobs is back, maybe

May 31, 2011

Apple’s Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who spent months on medical leave, will open an annual developers’ conference on June 6 showcasing the iPad maker’s latest computer software and a new cloud computing service. But it’s unclear if he’s returning from medical leave or simply kicking off the conference.

Tech wrap: EBay sues Google in mobile payment war

May 27, 2011

EBay and its online payment unit, PayPal, sued Google and two executives for stealing trade secrets related to mobile payment systems, highlighting the growing battle between companies vying for a major stake in what has been described as a $1 trillion opportunity. The two executives, Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, were formerly with PayPal and led the launch on Thursday of Google’s own mobile payment system in partnership with MasterCard, Citigroup and Sprint.

Tech wrap: Microsoft backs Ballmer

May 26, 2011

Microsoft’s board stood behind CEO Steve Ballmer, defending its longtime leader after influential hedge fund manager David Einhorn touched off a debate by calling for his dismissal. The fund manager, who made his name warning about the financial health of Lehman Brothers before the investment bank’s collapse, accused Ballmer on Wednesday evening of being stuck in the past, launching the sharpest attack yet by a high-profile investor against the company’s leadership.

Tech wrap: Twitter swallows TweetDeck

May 25, 2011

Twitter confirmed that it has bought TweetDeck, a popular third-party software application that organizes tweets, the short messages delivered through the online social network. Terms were not disclosed but a source told Reuters earlier this month that a deal for up to $50 million was imminent.

A cloudy forecast for digital music

May 25, 2011

Just in time for data caps, your music is going into the cloud.

It’s been a long, strange trip for the mp3 player. Born into relative obscurity, it only became a first class digital citizen when Apple got into the game with the iPod — the first portable music player with an unforgettable name.

Tech wrap: Microsoft carts out Mango phone OS

May 24, 2011

Microsoft announced an update of its Windows phone software, code-named Mango, hoping a host of new features will help it close the gap on smartphone leaders Google and Apple. The update involves 500 new features, including IE 9 as the mobile browser, integrated Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, automated Facebook check-ins, and access to more than 17,000 downloadable applications.

Tech wrap: Sony takes a $3.2 billion beating

May 23, 2011

Sony will post its third straight annual net loss for the year that ended in March after writing off tax credits in the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, the latest in a string of grim headlines on the consumer electronics giant. The firm, which previously forecast a net profit of 70 billion yen for 2010/11, surprised markets on Monday by declaring the need to update investors with revised estimates ahead of its official earnings report on Thursday. Sony said it now expected to post a net loss of 260 billion yen ($3.2 billion). The annual net loss would be Sony’s second-largest ever.

Stop the Scanners: Google halts efforts to digitize old newspapers

May 20, 2011

Google’s has long touted a grand vision of organizing the world’s information. But on Friday, the world’s No.1 Internet search engine acknowledged that not all of that information will make the cut.