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Verizon Wireless steps toward tiered data pricing

After months of hints, Verizon Wireless is jumping on the tiered data pricing bandwagon, a source close to the company confirmed on Tuesday.

Starting October 28, the company will launch a new promotion that will allow customers to subscribe to a $15 a month data plan, which gives individual smartphone subscribers 150 megabytes of data for the month. The new pricing is only a promotion for the holiday season and is meant to entice traditional feature-phone customers to upgrade to smartphones, the source said. The source was unable to say whether Verizon would continue to offer the pricing after the … Read more

Friendster explains monetization plans

As part of its efforts to better monetize its services, Friendster is looking to expand its brand beyond just a social-networking site to one that encompasses games and location-based services.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia, MOL Global CEO Ganesh Kumar Bangah highlighted social networks, social games and location-based services as three key areas of growth, noting that the company now wants to bring these elements together and expand Friendster beyond just a social network. A Malaysia-based payments company, MOL acquired Friendster last December.

Pointing to Facebook, Zynga, and Groupon as currently the biggest players in the three respective segments, … Read more

Civilization V: Striking a blow for complexity

Hearing tales of everyday regular folk skipping work to play a new game happens a couple of times a year, usually around the release dates of a new Madden or Halo installment. Much more rare is seeing same "taking the day off" messages via Twitter or Facebook in reference to a PC game. That's part of what makes the Civilization series so unique; it's a serious turn-based PC strategy game that manages to have similar mainstream crossover appeal as some of the big-console action hits.

What makes Civilization V even more of an anomaly is that … Read more

Nokia, Intuit to launch marketing service for SMBs

Nokia and Intuit are teaming up to offer small businesses a new service designed to grab more customers through mobile marketing.

Unveiled at Nokia World 2010 on Wednesday, the new service will target mobile subscribers with a series of ads and personalized offers for products and services that they can buy in their own neighborhoods. The goal is to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) better reach and communicate with their local customers.

To push out its ads precisely, the service will tap into such mobile technologies as location-based awareness and mapping, according to the companies.

In order to build … Read more

Hot Potato officially lands in Facebook's lap

Hot Potato, an online "check-in" service that lets users report their whereabouts and activities to friends, announced on Friday that it had been acquired by social-networking behemoth Facebook.

The deal, which has been talked about for several weeks, is the most recent development in Facebook's efforts to juice up the location-based aspect of its hugely popular service, which lets people connect with friends and family via the Web and share thoughts, links, photos, and more.

On Wednesday, Facebook unveiled Places, a feature that enables Facebook account holders to advertise their current location to friends, and lets users … Read more

Facebook goes Places

Links from Thursday's episode of Loaded: Update your Facebook Places Verizon on the iPad Google Chrome Web Store leaks Intel to buy McAffe Personal spy game with the iPhone

Facebook unveils location-sharing feature 'Places'

PALO ALTO, Calif.--Facebook users are about to get a better idea of where their friends are.

At an invite-only press event at the company's headquarters here, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new service called "Places" that will let users share their location with one another and more easily discover what's around them from within the social network.

The feature, which CNET caught wind of ahead of its launch, will begin rolling out to users on Thursday, and centers around mobile devices, which Facebook members can use to send their location to Facebook … Read more

A skillful and secure Web-surfing tool

No longer a fledgling upstart, Firefox is the gold standard of alternatives to the still-dominant Internet Explorer. This browser is full-featured, secure, and lightning fast--although competition is strong and it can no longer be said that Firefox is the fastest browser available. Its killer selection of add-ons remains strong, however, with built-in support for the next generation of themes, called Personas.

Several notable improvements in recent updates keep Firefox abreast of current browsing tech. In addition to improvements made to the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine so that it renders Web applications faster, there have also been other significant under-the-hood changes. These … Read more

Database fixer

Corrupt files can cause the database equivalent of a freeway pileup, leading to lost data and expensive, time-consuming recovery and rebuilding efforts. DataNumen's Advanced DBF Repair (ADR) can repair corrupt database (DBF) files in any version of dBASE, "xBASE," and compatible programs like Visual FoxPro. It can automatically split DBF files and tables when they reach predetermined limits, perform batch fixes, and fix DBF files stored on corrupted media, among other capabilities.

ADR opens as a tiny dialog packing all the essentials into a compact, efficient, tabbed layout with entry fields, selection boxes, and clearly labeled buttons … Read more

Physics based puzzler--with bombs!

You can't turn around in the App Store without tripping over physics-based puzzlers and games with a hand-sketched, graph-paper aesthetic--but Doodle Bomb still manages to be a fun, above-average entry into these two crowded subgenres.

Your goal in Doodle Bomb is to throw bombs--as few as possible--to escape each level. From your torn-out-paper perch, you're trying to blow up a green control panel to open a door and end each level. Along the way you have to blow up blue control panels to activate parts of the environment (such as hinges or wheels) and either avoid or exploit … Read more