NBC Finds Pulse, Gaddafi Trafficking Female Soldiers, Oprah To OWN Network, Zuck Leaves Google+?, Murdoch Backs Away From BSkyB

Popular news app Pulse partners with NBC News. Gaddafi’s female army. Oprah Winfrey will take over as the CEO and chief creative officer for her OWN network. Zuckerberg leaving Google+ rumors, News International withdraws from its satellite broadcaster buyout, and faces online ad withdrawals. This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.


A Bump In PayPal. PayPal has announced its new NFC payment system. Now two users can smoosh phones for a second and confirm cash transfers (how it works, below–funky chill-out room jams sold separately). Your move, Square. –TG


–Updated 2:18 p.m. EST

Elevated Pulse. Pulse, the popular news app for the iPad, iPhone, and Android platforms, is partnering with NBC to deliver news. Featured content includes “NBC News: Decision 2012” and popular sections including Top Headlines, Business and Technolog, the company says. –TG

How Gaddafi Maintains Female Army. Embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is trafficking women from Colombia to be snipers in his female army. We’ve seen pics of his female security detail before, but apparently he’s recruiting from Colombia, Nigeria, and female prisoners in Libya. Proof is in passports recoverd from dead female soldiers. Al Jazeera reports. –TG


–Updated 1:35 p.m. EST

Oprah Does Job Her OWN Self. Remember that time we (and Vanity Fair) celebrated The Oprah Winfrey Network’s CEO Christina Norman as one of the most powerful women in cable? And then a week later, she was let go from OWN? Well, Oprah herself, plus two co-presidents will fill the vacancy left by Norman. Winfrey will become CEO and chief creative officer in the fall. Harpo Studios’ presidents Erik Logan and Sheri Salata become OWN co-presidents immediately. “I am ready to dedicate my full creative energy and focus as the full time CEO of OWN. By aligning the mission, talent and leadership of Erik, Sheri, the OWN team, the Harpo team, along with expertise of David Zaslav, Peter and all of Discovery behind us, we can unleash the full potential of the network,” Winfrey said. (Wonder if we can get her for Innovation Uncensored.) –TG

Updated 1:10 p.m. EST

Zuckerberg Quitting Google Plus? Really? We’re looking into this to check its veracity, but the scuttlebutt is that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook head honcho and surprise Google+ celebrity, is actually leaving the new, rival, social net because of “privacy concerns” and so he can’t be tracked. –KE


–Updated 11:45 a.m. EST

Murdoch Loses Online Ads Too. As well as facing potential revenue hits from the closure of the shamed News of the World newspaper and a ton of bad PR, Rupert Murdoch’s News International is losing more cash as numerous brands and media agency groups have instructed the pulling of all of their digital adverts from all online NI properties–other newspapers like The Sun and the Times. It’s getting worse by the minute. –KE

Updated 11:20 a.m. EST

News Corpse? Facing an ever-growing scandal involving phone hacking and police bribery, News Corp. and its overlord, Rupert Murdoch, have decided it is “too difficult to progress in this climate,” and have withdrawn a bid to buy the massive and influential British Sky Broadcasting company. British Prime Minister David Cameron has ratcheted up his criticism of Murdoch’s media empire and has vowed to dig up all the dirt–including finding out if the scandal reaches all the way to 9/11 victims’ phones. As if that isn’t bad enough, The New York Post, also a News Corp. entity, may have just made the week even worse. –MM

–Updated 10:20 a.m. EST

RIM’s Execs Under Enough Pressure To Squeeze A BlackBerry. RIM’s co-CEOs and co-Chairmen Balsillie and Lazaridis enjoy an unusual status with their multiple hats, but serious shareholder pressure may force them to split up some of these roles (possibly with the aim of re-enervating the management chain). Though it’s releasing a slew of new phones, its tablet effort has failed to impress and the once-king of smartphones is in a big spot of bother. –KE


–Updated 8:10 a.m. EST

HP’s TouchPad Already Discounted, Fragmented? HP’s TouchPad is already on sale at small discounts at Amazon and Best Buy–probably due to decisions by these retailers to try to push inventory off their shelves. Meanwhile HP has revealed a new TouchPad is en route in the Fall with faster 4G broadband support and, curiously, a faster 1.5GHz processor. Smart diversifying move, or slightly fragmenting the brand? –KE

Windows Phone 7–Not Headed For Tablets. Quashing what some had hoped for, a Microsoft spokesman has confirmed that Windows Phone 7’s innovative UI won’t be appearing on tablet PCs. That’s because, according to MS, they “view a tablet as a PC,” and thus expect it to support the same full power potential as experienced on a traditional PC. It’s a nod in the direction of Windows 8, which has networking and printing powers MS sees as important…but is it a sign that, yet again, MS is misunderstanding an evolution in computer use? –KE


Facebook Ditches Its Own App Store, Kinda. Facebook had been trying to mimic Apple a little with its own “App Directory” to act as a central reference point for the long list of apps you can bolt into your profile. But having realized the directory was driving less than 0.5% of app installs, it’s done away with it, and is centering on search instead. Simultaneously it’s simplified how app writers can get apps onto the service–previously they’d needed to get approval. Is this a model Apple should pay attention to? –KE

Facebook Is Desperate–To Be On Your Phone. Insanely keen to get itself wired into your habitual cell phone use, Facebook’s launched an “Every Phone” app that’s designed to bring that blue-tinged Facebook experience to almost any Net-connected phone out there. It’ll work on Java-enabled phones (about 2,500 units Facebook guesses) and they’ve partnered with cell networks around the world to offer limited free access to data so you can get hooked. –KE

[Image: Flickr user dfarber]


[Image: Flickr user massimobarbieri]

–Updated 5:45 a.m. EST