This week Uncle G excited merchants and consumers alike with the announcement of mobile payments, got into some legal trouble once again, and discussed some ill-fated APIs. 

Google Launches Wallet NFC Payments Program, Get Ready To Pay-on-the-Go

Google Wallet was announced this week, aiming to push the whole pay-with-your-mobile thing via 300,000 excited merchant locations.

Just a day later, PayPal filed a law suit against Google over the hiring of a PayPal executive, Osama Bedier, who is now Google's VP of payments. The suit claims that Bedier was being poached by Google while negotiating for PayPal to handle sales in Google's Android application market. Bedier is accused of having "misappropriated PayPal trade secrets by disclosing them within Google."

Another Google exec, Stephanie Tilenius is accused of recruiting Bedier, breaking a contractual agreement with eBay. 

Still, word 'round the way says the mess won't affect the service launch.

Google to Power Product Search with Sparkbuy Acquisition

The Internet giant handed over some dough this week for a six-month-old electronics price comparison website called sparkbuy

The product search engine and comparison site — originally focused solely on laptops — allowed users to enter which criteria were most important before listing relevant laptops, and filtering options were available to further break down results. “[U]sing traditional search engines such as Bing and Google to search for laptops, TVs or other electronics is kind of like trying to find a ‘needle in a haystack," explainedsparkbuy CEO Dan Shapiro.

Now, the assumption is that Google will use the power of sparkbuy to boost Google Product Search, the company's own shopping engine. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Google Correlate 

Until now, your trend has only been as useful as your search term.

The new Google Correlate allows you to upload an existing data series and see the corresponding search results. 

The Internet giant used the flu as an example. They started by uploading several years of flu activity data from the U.S. CDC and found that people search for related terms ("cold" and "flu") in patterns that correlate to actual flu rates (see the entire example here). 




Google Schedules API Shutdown

A few unloved/abused Google API's are being shutdown:  Blog Search API, Books Data API, Books Javascript API, Image Search API, News Search API, Patent Search API, Safe Browsing API (v1 only), Translate API, Transliterate API, Video Search API, and Virtual Keyboard API.

While a few others are being deprecated: Code Search API, Diacritize API, Feedburner APIs, Finance API, Power Meter API, Sidewiki API, and Wave API.

The news will certainly come as a disappointment to programmers that have worked to include related facilities in their applications, but Google says that it will suggest alternatives to developers so that they can achieve similar functionality.