Snake game on Nokia phone

Nokia’s shareholders approve sale of handset business to Microsoft

It’s official – Nokia is no longer a phone maker, as shareholders emphatically approved the company’s deal to sell its handset business and license its mapping technology to Microsoft. There will be no more games of Snake played on Nokia phones anymore.

Nokia was once the largest phone maker in the world but was really slow to respond to the smartphone trend, which allowed Apple and Samsung to surpass the company. Nokia will now focus on its networking unit, which builds high-speed mobile data infrastructure for carriers like Verizon, and its mapping division, which provides technology to most of the world’s automotive GPS systems (which Thorn Technologies actually helped develop).

Read more at Reuters.

Super apps Instagram, Vine, and Waze head to Windows Phone

Is Windows Phone (WP) making a dent in the smartphone world? With popular apps Instagram, Vine, and Waze now available on the platform, Microsoft looks like it’s headed in the right direction.

While many devices have received glowing reviews, one of the biggest knocks on WP is that the number of apps available pales in comparison to iOS and Android. But now that these super apps are on the WP platform, that perception may be altered. Regardless, WP has a ways to go, as it currently only owns a 3.6% share of the smartphone market.

Uber integrates with PayPal

Though PayPal has been the defacto online payment method for many, the company has a reputation among mobile developers as a stodgy, dinosaur-like mobile payments processor.

The company is working to change that with the integration of its software developer kit (SDK) into Uber’s on-demand transportation app. This integration allows Uber users to pay for rides directly in the app with PayPal, instead of PayPal’s old method of redirecting the user to their site to log in, then directing them back to the app to complete the transaction.

For PayPal, this may be the start of something big, as Uber is the first to integrate its mobile SDK and provides a high level of visibility among other tech companies for possible integrations. For Uber, this may help simplify transactions overseas, where credit cards aren’t as widespread is they are in the U.S.

Read more at Silicon Beat.

Bitcoin Goes to Washington

Bitcoin has been on a roller coaster ride. And now that the value of the digital crypto-currency hit an all-time high, the U.S. Government is taking note, as the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee held a hearing about risks and rewards of virtual currencies this week.

While the thought of virtual currency is certainly appealing, there has been a lot of illicit activity surrounding Bitcoin that has alarmed lawmakers. First there was the Silk Road debacle and now there’s an online “Assassination Market” funded by Bitcoin.

What’s next for the virtual currency? A university that accepts Bitcoin as tuition? Well, that already happened.

Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add them in the comments.

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Image courtesy of Arvid Rudling on Flickr.