Beyond a mere payment and loyalty vehicle, Google is trying to position Google Wallet as a total wallet replacement. As envisioned by Robin Dua, head of product management for Google Wallet, consumers will be able to use the service to electronically stuff all kinds of credentials, cards, tickets and stuff into it, GigaOm reports. “We want you to be able to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone and transact with that as your primary transaction device,” Dua explains in a new developer video.
Social update addicts take heart. Through the formation of a “government-industry” group, the Federal Aviation Administration plans to study the use of consumer electronics devices on flights -- and reconsider it strict ban on gadget use. As The Next Web puts it: “As their number and variety has proliferated, rules concerning their usage in flight have aged.”
Preparing for world domination, Delivery Hero has raised a $50 million Series D round led by Kite Ventures, along with Kreos Capital. Founded by start-up incubator Team Europe, the online take-out ordering service has now raised nearly $100 million. “It seems that the war of the take-outs is well and truly underway,” TechCrunch writes, noting that rival Just-Eat recently raised an additional $64 million from Vitruvian Partners, Index Ventures, Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures.
What does Google make of Apple’s big patent win over Samsung? Keeping a healthy distance from the issue, the search giant says the claims involved "don't relate to [its] core Android operating system,” The Verge reports. That said, “The mobile industry is moving fast and all players … are building upon ideas that have been around for decades,” Google said in a statement.
Streaming music services Spotify and Pandora are growing in popularity, and raking in revenue. The problem? Music royalties are eating them alive. “Even at their level of scale and hype … Spotify and Pandora exemplify the business challenges for digital-music companies,” The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog writes. “Both are losing money, and for largely the same reason: the cost of music royalties.”
The Federal Communications Commission is considering a proposal to tax broadband Internet service. “The move would funnel money to the Connect America Fund, a subsidy the agency created last year to expand Internet access,” The Hill’s Hillicon Valley blog reports. The FCC issued a request for comments on the proposal in April.
Microsoft's Surface tablet isn't scheduled for release until October 26, but it's already popping up in New York City. The outlines of the Windows RT-powered tablet have begun appearing on building walls in the city, similar to ones the company used at the Surface unveiling in June. The street art, showing off a trio of keyboard colors for the device, is similar to guerrilla tactics it used for the MSN launch in 2002 and the Windows Phone 7 debut in 2010.
Groupon confirmed late Thursday that its head of national sales Lee Brown is leaving the company, following other recent sales departures. Raj Ruparell, who has been in the sales organization for the last four months, will replace Brown. His exit comes in the wake of Groupon missing analysts' second-quarter revenue forecast and news that key early investors are bailing out. Another top Groupon salesperson, Jayna Cooke, left earlier this week.
Salesforce.com forecast third-quarter earnings that missed analyst' estimates. The company is boosting spending on sales and marketing to capture business from companies shifting to software distributed via the Web. Adjusted profit will be 31 cents to 32 cents a share for the period ending in October, below analysts average forecast of 34 cents. The push to ramp up business has led to an increase to $4.1 billion in Saleforce.com's backlog of signed contracts it hasn't yet invoiced customers for.
Companies from Zynga to Caesar’s Entertainment are seeking to have online poker legalized in the U.S. Their efforts got a boost this week from a New York federal judge who found that skill plays the larger role in deciding who wins a poker game. The ruling marked the first time a federal judge has directly considered poker's status, even though it's generally treated as a game of chance under gambling laws. The case arose over an electronics dealer running a Texas Hold 'Em game out of a Staten Island warehouse.