By JP Mangalindan
January 25, 2011

A curated selection of the day’s most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web.

  • Meet Rachel Sterne, New York City’s first chief digital officer. The 27-year-old NYU alum, founder of citizen news portal GroundReport, and former LimeWire employee will be tasked with overseeing and improving New York City’s digital footprint, streamlining existing social-media interactions, creating public-private partnerships, and improving the city’s Web site, (Wall Street Journal)

  • Though its revenues fell 2.6% to $26.4 billion compared with the same time last year, Verizon Wireless also added more than 870,000 new subscribers during its fourth quarter. Analysts predict yet another surge in new subs when the iPhone launches on the carrier early next month. (CNet)
  • Apple is reportedly developing services that will let iPhone and iPad owners use their devices to make purchases. Unlike current offerings from say, Square, which require an external dongle, Apple’s will likely rely on embedded Near-Field Communication (NFC), a technology that can transmit and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches. Expect NFC services to roll out later this year in the iPad 2 and iPhone 5. (Bloomberg and Fortune)
  • There’s further evidence that the iPad 2 will have a front-facing camera. In the latest release of iOS, version 4.3 Beta 2, there are three new icons: FaceTime, Camera, and PhotoBooth. (Gizmodo)
  • On July 1, Facebook Credits becomes a required currency for all FB developers. The deadline also marks a new mandatory 30% revenue share with the social network, which ought to push the social network’s payment revenues up 42%. (Already, roughly 70% of the digital goods transactions on Facebook involve Credits, with more than 350 applications from 150 developers using the digital currency.) (All Facebook)
  • Here are reported full specs for HP’s upcoming 9.7-inch, 1.5 lb. “Topaz” tablet: Dual-core Qualcomm MSM8660 at 1.2GHz, Graphics Integrated Adreno 220 GPU, 512MB DDR2 RAM, 16g / 32g / 64g of storage, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chat, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, accelerometer, eCompass, gyro, light sensor, 2 speakers with Beats audio, and 8-plus hours of battery life. (Gizmodo)
  • Confused about all this 4G mumbo jumbo? Lifehacker’s handy Cliff’s Notes explanation of the next generation of mobile broadband from Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile should clear things up once and for all. (Lifehacker)
  • Twitter will likely triple its ad sales this year to $150 million and reach $250 million next year. 2011 could also prove important to advertisers wondering whether the social network can actually deliver tangible results. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • The first sub-$100 Android smartphone just emerged in the U.S. The T-Mobile Comet, which got a positive review from tech blog Engadget, is now available for $120 with a $25 rebate. (Fortune)
  • Foursquare grew 3,400% in 2010. Here’s a fun breakdown of check-ins throughout the year. And in case you’re wondering, the coolest check-in point just might be the International Space Station. (The Next Web and Foursquare)

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