Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Paying With the Wave of a Cellphone 137

holy_calamity writes "Tech Review discusses how it will soon be possible to pay in stores by waving your cellphone over a contactless reader, thanks to new handsets due next year, and RFID stickers and cases offered today by firms including Visa. It's convenient for shoppers, but a major driver of the technology is the opportunity for retailers to gain access to their customers' cellphones and social networks for marketing purposes."

Google Patent Proposes $2 Fee To Skip Commercials 434

theodp writes "A day after Google debuted its new Google TV website, the USPTO issued U.S. Patent No. 7,806,329 to the search giant for its Targeted Video Advertising invention. Among other things, the patent proposes having viewers take 5-10 minutes to 'fill out a consumer survey and perhaps to provide additional information such as a mailing address survey before starting the program' to avoid having to watch 10 minutes of commercials. 'As another alternative,' the patent continues, 'the broadcaster may offer the users an option to pay $2 (such as through a micro-payment system, such as GBuy) to exchange for skipping all commercials.' More from the patent: 'The system may allow a user to skip all of the promotions that they want to skip, but may also require the user to fully watch at least four promotions before the program will continue. Likewise, the system may require the user to follow activities that generate a certain amount of advertising revenue or advertising points (e.g., that may correspond directly or indirectly to advertising revenues) before the program will continue.'"

Will Your Car Tell You To Put Down the Phone? 349

crimeandpunishment writes with this story from the AP: "We know it's dangerous to text while driving, or talk on a cell phone without using a hands-free device. What if our car knew it as well, and warned us about it? Our cars buzz and beep at us when our seatbelts aren't buckled ... now there are new applications in the works that could lead to a warning if we're driving with a cell phone in our hand."

Google To Challenge Facebook Again 197

Hugh Pickens writes "Google is set to make a fresh attempt to gain a foothold in the booming social networking business, seeking to counter the growing threat that Facebook poses to some of its core services. USA Today reports that the search giant is upgrading Gmail to add social-media tools similar to those found on Facebook, including photo and video sharing within the Gmail application, along with a new tool for status updates. According to reports, Google is planning to give Gmail users a way to aggregate the updates of their various contacts on the service, creating a stream of notifications that would echo the similar real-time streams from Facebook and Twitter. Google's decision to exploit the heavily-used Gmail service as the basis for its latest assault on the social networking business partly reflects the failure of Google's previous stand-alone efforts to enter the social networking sector. Its Orkut networking service, though launched before Facebook, has failed to gain a mass following in most parts of the world, despite success in Brazil, and its acquisition of Twitter rival Jaiku ended in failure after it scrapped development of the service." Update: 02/09 19:32 GMT by KD : It's been announced as Google Buzz; CNET has a detailed writeup.

Craig Mundie Wants "Internet Driver's Licenses" 427

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer, called for the creation of an 'Internet Driver's License' at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying, 'If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.' Of course, there are quite a few problems with this. For starters, internet use cannot yet cause death or dismemberment like car accidents can; and this would get rid of most of the good of internet anonymity while retaining all of the bad parts, especially in terms of expanding the market for stolen identities. Even though telephone networks have long been used by scammers and spammers/telemarketers, we've never needed a 'Telephone Driver's License.'"

Google Proposes DNS Extension 271

ElusiveJoe writes "Google, along with a group of DNS and content providers, hopes to alter the DNS protocol. Currently, a DNS request can be sent to a recursive DNS server, which would send out requests to other DNS servers from its own IP address, thus acting somewhat similar to a proxy server. The proposed modification would allow authoritative nameservers to expose your IP address (instead of an address of your ISP's DNS server, for example) in order to 'load balance traffic and send users to a nearby server.' Or it would allow any interested party to look at your DNS requests. Or it would send a user from Iran or Libya to a 'domain name doesn't exist' server."

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!