Google, Microsoft earnings illustrate mobile struggle #thecircuit

Google, Microsoft navigate mobile: Google’s bad earnings in an early release may have been the news of the day Thursday but, The Washington Post reported, the real story in the technology industry is that everyone is struggling with the shift to mobile.

The combination of smaller screen real estate and the simple mobility of tablets and smartphones make it hard to keep the advertising business as thriving as it was on desktop PCs.

FTC robo-calling: The Federal Trade Commission is offering a $50,000 bounty to anyone who can come up with a way to effectively block illegal marketing calls.

“The FTC is attacking illegal robo-calls on all fronts, and one of the things that we can do as a government agency is to tap into the genius and technical expertise among the public,” David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, told the Post. “We think this will be an effective approach in the case of robo-calls because the winner of our challenge will become a national hero.”

Banks asked to provide information in cyberwar: Security experts are asking banks to to provide more information on cyberattacks they face, The Wall Street Journal reported. In the past, banks have been hesitant to share information on their vulnerabilities and say that the recent attacks have not breached any personal data.

But attacks, even denial-of-service attacks that don’t steal data, can be indicative of further, more serious attacks on infrastructure, the report said.

Verizon enables app billing on phone bills: Google announced via Twitter that it’s rolling out a service in the “coming weeks” that will let Verizon users bill their carrier accounts for apps, music and other media.

The tweet Thursday didn’t reveal any more details.

Other carriers have already been offering this service. It could help consumers better understand how much money they’re spending on apps each month, but, as CNET noted, the extra charges on consumers’ phone bills could also make bills more confusing.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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