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Google Ventures into Mobile Payments; Intuit Prepares for Entrepreneur Day

This week's tech news roundup has the latest developments at Mountain View companies.

Every week, Mountain View makes news with technology developments, discoveries and sometimes controversies.

Today, Mountain View Patch brings you “Bits and Bytes,” where we’ll relay the past week’s news highlights from our backyard giants, start-ups and small businesses alike.

Now you can shop without your wallet–with Google Wallet, a service expected to be available to the public for the first time later this month. The tech giant hopes to convert your smartphone into a virtual credit card or a payment device. It uses a technology called Near Field Communication (NFC), a short-range communication systems that can transmit secure credit card data within a range of about 1.6 inches. Users of Samsung Nexus S Android phone on Sprint network can look forward to this new technology very soon.

The Federal Trade Commission or FTC has sharpened its Google probe with antitrust regulators zeroing in on several key areas of Google’s business–including its Android mobile phone software and Web search related services. While Google has denied its engagement in unfair or illegal competitive practices, officials continue to investigate whether Google prevents smartphone manufacturers that use its Android operating system from using competitor services or if Google grants preferential placement to its own products on its website.

Intuit, business and financial management solutions’ provider, invites start-ups and innovators to participate in its third annual Entrepreneur Day. Intuit is seeking companies that can help support its mission of improving the financial lives of its millions of customers. The application deadline is September 9, and the event will be held at Intuit's headquarters in Mountain View on October 6.

According to Elance quarterly Online Employment Report, the market for online work has picked for programmers, illustrators and content writers. Online contractors earned a record $34.3 million, up from $30.7 million in the previous quarter. Businesses hiring online and freelance professionals sparked a 23 percent increase in a single quarter in both the population of contractors and employers working online.

Couchbase, the NoSQL database company, secured $14 million in a Series C round of funding led by Ignition Partners, with participation from the company’s existing investors Accel Partners, Mayfield Fund, and North Bridge Venture Partners. This brings the company's total funding to $30 million.

Mountain View-based business research and consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan, honored Verint® Systems, Actionable Intelligence® solutions provider, as recipient of its 2011 North American Customer Value Enhancement Award for excellence in proactively delivering value to customers.

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