iFive: Google Offers Debut, Cell Phones And Cancer, Nokia Shuts Online Stores, Schmidt On Macs vs. PCs, Lodsys Sues Developers

A four-day work week seems to speed by, doesn’t it? To help it on its way here’s iFive, our super-speedy roundup of the early news:

1. Google offers, the business model backbone behind Google Wallet NFC credit cards, kicks off tomorrow.
Its launch city is Portland, Ore., which will presumably act as a beta test
case for Google’s plans before Offers and Wallet gets a broader launch
in more cities later in the year. Eric Schmidt demonstrated it at D9,
showing how users could get up to 50% discount at retailers like Floyd’s
coffee–without needing to achieve a threshold like users of Groupon


2. The World Health Organization has kicked off a storm with a new report entering the debate on cell phone use and health risks. The WHO now lists cell phones in the same “carcinogenic” list as car exhausts, but simultaneously assures that there’s no adverse health risk established as yet. The decision came after WHO scientists reviewed other studies into the health risks, and conclude there’s “possible” danger.

3. Demonstrating exactly how much of a sticky spot it’s in, Nokia has shuttered its online stores in France, Spain, and the Netherlands. While other European stores remain open offering Nokia hardware directly, it’s likely that these three markets represented those where Nokia was faring worse at the hands of resellers who subsidize the price of the phone and thus beat Nokia’s own prices.

4. Speaking at the D9 conference, Google’s ex-CEO Eric Schmidt made a number of controversial statements, but the biggest will enrage Microsoft: If you worry about security “you could get a Mac instead of a PC” he suggested, noting Apple’s platform suffers far fewer attacks–though he’d advocate using Chrome browser for added protection. Schmidt also belittled MS as a competitor, noting it wasn’t a key threat because it wasn’t innovating the customer experience enough.

5. Lodsys, the patent lawyer firm suing app developers for violation of its patents tentatively related to in-app purchase, has responded to strong assertions from Apple that its licensing of Lodsys’s IP covers its developer community by denying this claim. It’s moved forward some actions in case Apple gets legally aggressive, and has added more developers to its target list. Meantime, it’s saying it’ll compensate firms it wrongly targets with $1,000. Is this all about the money, perhaps?



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