[Image: Walmart Stores on Flickr]
Drums Of Pretzels, And Now Concert Tix, At Walmart. Ticketmaster just did a deal to sell concert tickets via video displays at Walmarts in 13 states. It gives fans a “way to learn about upcoming events, purchase and take home tickets without leaving their neighborhood,” Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard said in a statement. A typical deal: N.C. Walmart shoppers save an undisclosed sum on a four-pack of tix to Journey, Jason Aldean, Incubus, and Toby Keith shows in Raleigh and Charlotte. –TG
–Updated 4:20 p.m. EST
Twitter Is $800 Million Richer. Twitter’s just landed an $800 million venture funding deal, led by Russian VC firm DST Global. So say the rumors anyway, but if it’s true it could be the largest such deal in history, and it would push Twitter’s value up to $8 billion–more than double its value at the end of its December funding round. It’s also worth remembering DST invested $400 million in Facebook back in 2009. –KE
Skype Arrives In, Quickly Exits iPad App Store. A full-featured Skype iPad app briefly arrived in the iOS App Store yesterday evening, bringing Skype’s trademark voice and video VoIP powers to the camera-equipped iPad 2 to rival Apple’s own FaceTime. But just as quickly as it arrived, it was removed by Skype, who say it was up “prematurely.” This is confusing–Apple’s in control of iOS app approval, and Skype must certainly have submitted the app officially. Much speculation abounds that it’s due to Microsoft’s involvement in Skype. –KE
–Updated 7:45 a.m. EST
An image of New York taken from the ISS yesterday by astronaut Ron Garan, and tweeted to the world below from Space.
Facebook’s New Ads API–Did Everything Just Change? Facebook late yesterday released an official API (programmer’s tool kit) for Adverts. The system had been in private beta since 2009, and it lets developers create, acquire, and run ad campaigns on the social network. It’s global roll-out is significant, because it could result in more sophisticated ad campaigns on Facebook as well as more ads, and possibly even a small associated industry in managing the tech and campaigns. How it will change the user’s Facebook “experience” will take time to understand. –KE
LivingSocial Aims East. Daily deals site LivingSocial is making a big play for an Asian presence with the acquistion of South Korea’s Ticket Monster, the largest of its acquisitions thus far and significant thanks to Ticket Monster’s size, rapid growth, 60 daily deals, and its own recent acquisition of Integrated Methods–a Malaysian company only back in June. –KE
U.K. Police Confident They Have LulzSec’s Topiary. In a classic play last week, it began to look like U.K. police had been duped by maneuvers inside hacktivist groups LulzSec and Anonymous into arresting the wrong target. But the authorities have now stated they’re confident Jack Davis, an 18-year-old from the remote Shetland Islands, is LulzSec key man “Topiary.” LulzSec seems to have gone quiet since Davis’ arrest, but suggestions that such a diffuse group is history may be too naive.
Airbnb’s Disaster Inspires More Insurance. Germany-based 9Flats, a popular European apartment sharing service very much like Airbnb, is now offering a maximum of €2,500 in damage protection insurance for a reasonable €3.50 per night. It’s probably a reaction to the “ransackgate” fiasco that’s hit Airbnb recently–along with a lot of negative publicity, and though the amount doesn’t sound like much, it’s the first provider in Europe with this business model to provide protection. –KE
Judge Bars Firm From Suing Apple. A judge in Texas has barred Personal Audio from suing Apple again for patent infringement, after it successfully extracted $8 million in compensation from Apple recently for a patent relating to iPods playlists. PA now say other Apple gear is also in violation, but the judge has said the $8 million is enough for all past and future uses. Will it set a precedent? Apple’s status as one of the world’s richest companies is attracting a lot of attention, and recently app developers have clubbed together to defend against a patent suit from non-manufacturer Lodsys. –KE
–Updated 04:50 a.m. EST
Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Airbnb’s Worst Tenant Ever, Apple vs. Samsung in Australia, Carbonite’s Cloudy IPO