iFive: Twitter’s Value Doubles, Al Jazeera’s Social Show, Verifone Embraces Wireless Payment, PS3s Impounded, China Hacks France

Welcome to the start of the week–let our iFive summary bring you up to speed with the early tech news:

1. Is there a new Net technology bubble underway? Twitter‘s just undergone a recent round of share auctions, which suggests investors peg Twitter’s value at $7.7 billion, over 200% of the equivalent value the social net firm had at
the end of 2010. Has Twitter’s value really skyrocketed that quickly in
just a few months?


2. Riding high on its role in the Middle East uprisings, particularly in Egypt, and tapping into the richest digital meme of the moment, Al Jazeera English is planning a new talk show called The Stream that’s all centered around social networking. The channel says it’s been in the works for a while, but the timing is incredibly apt–and the concept, where the flow of the show is shaped by producer’s choices of tweets and Facebook wall posts, is fascinating.

3. Big-name point-of-sale hardware vendor Verifone has revealed plans to include NFC (wireless payment tech) in all its new payment devices from now on, in an attempt to embrace the coming wave of NFC smartphones, which may be broadly welcomed by consumers if the success of systems like Groupon is any sort of indication. Verifone’s decided to push ahead, despite “merchant resistance.”

4. Sony’s PlayStation 3 console is revolutionary, but also controversial: It allegedly contains “stolen” tech, unlicensed, from LG electronics relating to its Blu-ray abilities. LG successfully petitioned the European courts to block imports of PS3s, and the first boatload of “tens of thousands” is now freshly impounded in a Dutch shipyard, putting millions of dollars of Sony profits on hold. Sony’s pursuing legal counter-attacks, but the act is sure to reignite a debate about patent reform.


5. China is yet again in the crosshairs for high-profile hacking: The French government has confirmed
its computers came under a prolonged cyberattack, mostly traced back to
computers in China, with the intention of grabbing files relating to
the G20 summit. It seems the hackers were trying to get private data on
international economic politics, and it’s the first attack of its sort
on France’s official computers. The secret service is now involved.

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