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Monday, 28 March 2011

NYT Paywall, Google Mobile Payments & Facebook Movies: This Morning’s Top Stories

Welcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening in the digital world. We’re keeping our eyes on four particular stories of interest today.

New York Times Paywall Launches Today

The New York Times subscription paywall will go into effect in the U.S. and worldwide beginning 2 p.m. today.

Google To Begin Testing Mobile Payments

Google Inc. is partnering with MasterCard Inc. and Citigroup to enable Android smartphone owners to make purchases by waving their devices at checkout counters, sources have told the WSJ.

Warner Bros Adds More Titles to Facebook Movie Rental Service

Warner Bros. has added five new titles to its $3 Facebook movie rental service: Inception, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Yogi Bear and Life as We Know It.

Widespread Wi-Fi Coming to London Underground by 2012

The London Underground is inviting telecom companies to bid for a contract that will bring Wi-Fi to 120 of London’s stations by June 2012..

Further News

Group messaging startup GroupMe has launched GroupMe Featured Groups, a new feature that enables brands to both create and engage in group messaging conversations about them.
All 21 tracks of Snoop Dogg‘s latest album, Doggumentary, were released on the artist’s MySpace page this weekend.

Google Working on Wave-to-Pay Mobile System for Android [REPORT]

Google has teamed up with Mastercard and Citigroup to create a near-field communication mobile payment system on Android phones, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing several people familiar with the companies’ plans.

On the customer end, the technology would allow payments simply by waving an Android device in front of a NFC reader. To do that, owners of Citigroup-issued debit and credit cards would have to activate a special Android app (in development for one current and many upcoming Android devices, the WSJ claims).

This is where Google comes in: It would offer retailers data about their customers and help them deliver targeted ads and discounted offers to Android users near their stores. Instead of getting a cut of the transaction fees, Google would make money by selling these ads.

VeriFone is also involved in the deal. Its role would be to deliver NFC readers that enable these kinds of payments to retailers around the country.

The new mobile payment system is expected to be released this year.

The report comes hot on the heels of many rumors that Apple is working on a similar mobile payment system for iOS devices. To be able to do that, Apple would have to include NFC functionality in the iPhone 5, but Apple hasn’t officially confirmed any details about the upcoming device.

[via WSJ]

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