Google+ Open To All, Personalized Sports Radio From ESPN And Slacker,”Minority Report” Ads In-Bound, Facebook’s “Want” Button

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Google+ Open To All, Personalized Sports Radio From ESPN And Slacker,”Minority Report” Ads In-Bound, Facebook’s “Want” Button

Instagram Updates iPhone App, Big-Style. Mere moments after a concept update to boost Instagram’s powers hit the Web, Instagram itself has issued version 2.0 of its iPhone app, adding in some seriously-boosted powers. Among the new features are real-time filters, so users can see what a special effect will look like before they click the shutter, a refreshed UI and photos that support the higher-resolution camera in the iPhone 4. –KE


–Updated 1:45 p.m. EST

AP Debuts Best-Selling Apps Chart. Starting today, the Associated Press is going to send out a weekly chart summarizing the most-downloaded apps from Apple’s App Store alongside its usual summary of top-selling music tracks and albums. The list will have four items–top 10 free and paid apps for iPhone, and the same for iPad–and places apps ranking alsongside music in importance. –KE

Google+ Open To All. Google+, Google’s attempt to open a Facebook-like social network, is now officially open to all, and comes just at the same time as Google opens a Hangout facility for Android phones with front-facing cameras. Recent reports suggest the early adopters of Google+, including perhaps CEO Larry Page, aren’t using it anymore. –KE

T-Mobile Says It’s Not Getting iPhone 5. T-Mobile’s Chief Marketing Officer reports that his network isn’t getting an iPhone 5 for its network this year, via a leaked memo to his company’s staff. This calls into question some earlier rumors that numerous U.S. networks were going to be getting Apple’s phones this year, further expanding availability in one of its core markets. –KE

ESPN And Slacker Launch Personalized Sports Radio. ESPN and Slacker Radio have teamed up to allow users to personalize their sports radio experience. It’s the first time ESPN has partnered with a radio service to stream personalized content. A version of ESPN content, ESPN Radio, is available for free and paid subscribers to Slacker can access all ESPN content, on the web and Android devices, (and on iOS devices pending Apple’s approval). —NS

AmEx Buys Online Gaming Payments Outfit. American Express has handed over $30 million to buy virtual currency firm Sometrics. The small firm, just four years old, is successful in the market of supplying in-game virtual currency processing options as well as dealing with the real-world transactions needed to fuel in-game economics and supplying software houses with detailed analytics. It’s the latest play by AmEx to embrace the digital pay space. –KE


–Updated 7:30 a.m. EST

Immersive Labs Plans “Minority Report” Ad Displays. Inspired by the famous Tom Cruise movie, startup Immersive Labs has just raised over $800,000 to develop digital advertising signs that can recognize viewers. Using digital camera and face recognition tech, Immersive’s systems will try to determine age and gender as well as crude measure of ad engagement and then will tailor the displays to the viewer’s likely needs (not to their individual ID). –KE

Facebook “Like” Getting “Want,” “Read” Bedfellows. According to sources associated with Facebook, the social network is poised this week to release additional extra-site APIs to add “Read,” “Watched,” and “Listened” buttons to the Internet experience of billions of netizens. The buttons increase the grandularity of the “Like” button, and they’ll be closely followed by a “Want” button that may drive Facebook’s e-commerce intentions. There’s no sight of an oft-requestedDislike” button. –KE

–Updated 5:10 a.m. EST


Google Launches Google Wallet. Google is letting out the first public version of its smartphone-based payment system, five months after its first announcement about Google Wallet. The Wallet app is available as a over-the-air update for Sprint Nexus S 4G smartphones, and can be used as an electronic version of your Citi MasterCard or via a Google Prepaid Card. Google also announced that it will add Visa, American Express, and Discover credit cards to Google Wallet, thereby widening the reach of its new service.  —NS

NASA Budgets $1.6 Billion For Space Taxis. Over the next two years, NASA will spend $1.6 billion on launchers, spaceships, mission operations, and ground support–complete systems that will transport American astronauts to the International Space Station. The funding will add to the budget of private space companies currently backed by the U.S. space agency, who are building commercial space transportation systems for U.S. astronauts. —NS

Updated 4:30 a.m. EST

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