PayPal Can Now Be Used for Purchases in Google Play Store

Late last week, Google added new payment options to the Google Play Store, including the ability to use PayPal for the purchase of apps, music and movies. Paypal can now be used as a payment method for Google’s virtual storefront in 12 countries including the U.S. While this is the first time Google has offered the PayPal option (Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store has featured the option since its inception), the payment method can only be used for digital content, which excludes devices or accessories. Continue reading PayPal Can Now Be Used for Purchases in Google Play Store

Board Game Sales Increase Despite Electronic Game Success

While most people may assume that the success of electronic gaming has negatively impacted the traditional board game industry, the result has actually been the opposite. Technology has brought new tools that can create tabletop games with 3D figures and other tangible advances. In the past few years, sales of tabletop games have dramatically increased. Dan Shapiro, who has worked at Microsoft and sold a company to Google, recently created a board game for children and found crowdfunding to be beneficial. Continue reading Board Game Sales Increase Despite Electronic Game Success

NAB: Panasonic to Preview 4K VariCam with New Image Sensor

During the NAB show in Las Vegas in two weeks, Panasonic plans to preview a newly developed 4K version of its VariCam digital camera. The Varicam 35 — designed for film, TV production and live event coverage — will feature a new super 35mm MOS image sensor that supports 4096 x 2160 using Panasonic’s AVC-Ultra codecs for 4K. The company says the camera, scheduled for fall availability, offers 4K, 2K and HD capture, in addition to 4K RAW output. Continue reading NAB: Panasonic to Preview 4K VariCam with New Image Sensor

Biz Stone Aims to Revolutionize Social Search with Jelly App

Biz Stone has an impressive track record with helping launch various social products, including Xanga, Blogger, Twitter and Medium. Stone’s most recent undertaking is Jelly, a question-and-answer app though which users can ask their social media friends — and friends of friends — questions about anything, using text and images. While the app has the potential to change the makeup of Internet searches, some critics have been skeptical of the need for what essentially serves as a mash-up between Quora and Instagram. Continue reading Biz Stone Aims to Revolutionize Social Search with Jelly App

Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Square has announced a new partnership with Whole Foods, that will bring its payment technology to the upscale grocery store. Whole Foods will use iPads mounted in the Square Stand holder at the specialty food and beverage counters that line the stores’ walls. Customers will have the option to pay for their orders by card, or with payment credentials saved in the Square Wallet app on their smartphones. This is Square’s biggest deal since its partnership with Starbucks in 2012. Continue reading Digital Payment Company Square Signs Deal with Whole Foods

Amazon to Introduce Kindle Checkout System for Retail Stores

Amazon plans to offer brick-and-mortar retailers a new checkout system using its Kindle tablets, expected to be available as early as this summer. The development stems from Amazon’s acquisition last year of certain tech and engineers from GoPago, a startup known for its cloud-based mobile payment platform. The move could provide Amazon with a significant growth opportunity. However, it also faces numerous competitors in the checkout system space.  Continue reading Amazon to Introduce Kindle Checkout System for Retail Stores

Canon Unveils New Vixia Camcorders and PowerShot Cameras

Canon unveiled new models of its Vixia camcorders and PowerShot cameras at CES, including the $300-$450 Vixia HF R52, HF R50 and HF R500 camcorders with 57x zoom; the $400 Vixia mini X compact personal camcorder with 12.8 megapixel sensor; the $250 PowerShot SX600 HS with 18x optical zoom and 16-megapixel CMOS sensor; the $200 ELPH 340 HS with 12x optical zoom; and the $350 PowerShot N100 digital camera, which includes a new “dual capture mode.” Continue reading Canon Unveils New Vixia Camcorders and PowerShot Cameras

Rdio Shutters Video Streaming Site After Six Month Experiment

Six months after Rdio launched its streaming video platform Vdio, the startup has announced it will discontinue the service. Prior to its launch, most reports suggested Vdio would compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon. However, the platform was more similar to on-demand video rental services such as Google Play or iTunes. Explaining it was not able to “deliver a differentiated customer experience,” Vdio is shuttering and offering users reimbursement for purchases. Continue reading Rdio Shutters Video Streaming Site After Six Month Experiment

Google Unveils New Prepaid Debit Card Using Google Wallet

Google is now offering a prepaid debit card that can be used in stores and at ATMs. Using Google Wallet, consumers will be able to access funds just like they would with a regular debit card. The Wallet Card will be accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted, and is free without any monthly fees. The card will also provide Google with consumer information like what was purchased and for how much — even the name and address of the consumer would be recorded. Continue reading Google Unveils New Prepaid Debit Card Using Google Wallet

SD Association Announces Next-Gen Ultra High-Speed Spec

To address the anticipated needs of professional and consumer 4K recording, the SD Association recently announced a new specification and branding designed for memory cards capable of handling 4K video. According to the group, “a new Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class 3 (U3) symbol will indicate products capable of recording 4K2K video and will operate exclusively on SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices and SDHC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices.” Continue reading SD Association Announces Next-Gen Ultra High-Speed Spec

Gifts Program: Facebook Replaces Physical Goods with Digital

Due to a lack of user demand, Facebook will shutter its physical gifting service that launched less than a year ago. Responding to higher customer preference, the company plans to shift its Gifts program entirely to gift cards and digital goods, since more than 80 percent of gifts sent on Facebook have been digital. The move is also likely due to the complicated delivery operation involving physical goods, including inventory tracking, fulfillment and customer service. Continue reading Gifts Program: Facebook Replaces Physical Goods with Digital

Will Online Services and Apps Replace Local Bank Branches?

More banking is done digitally today and new financial services are emerging from a variety of companies. Banks themselves are using third-party services for their customers. Banks may have a diminishing role in consumers’ financial lives, giving rise to companies that provide banking and other management services. Critics say banks are slow to innovate, while others suggest they are taking a careful, combined approach with physical and digital services. Continue reading Will Online Services and Apps Replace Local Bank Branches?

Twitter Tests TV Trending Feature and Upgrades TweetDeck

As part of its ongoing effort to generate more traffic and potential advertising revenue, Twitter is testing new ways of bringing more television content to its platform. Currently, the company is testing a new feature in which links to TV shows appear as Twitter cards in a user’s Timeline. The cards’ click-through feature provides links to the show, related tweets and accounts that might be relevant to fans of that show. Separately, the company has announced that several updates to TweetDeck will make it faster and more convenient to use. Continue reading Twitter Tests TV Trending Feature and Upgrades TweetDeck

Google is Testing Personalized Local News for Google Now

Google is testing a local news service as a feature or content “card” in Google Now, its intelligent personal assistant that is currently available in newer Android versions, and in the newest Google Search app for iOS. Local news is a logical addition to Google Now since the personal search assistant’s main purpose is to provide information that is “contextually relevant” to the user, based on interests, time of day, and location. Continue reading Google is Testing Personalized Local News for Google Now