Virtual Drinks on Facebook Become Real With Bartab

Tired of sending virtual sheep to Facebook friends? Webtab is turning virtual drinks into real ones with its Bartab service. One dollar Bartab credits become redeemable drink tickets sent through Facebook. The bar gains free social advertising, plus Bartab users tend to stay for more drinks.

Location Is the New Shopping Assistant

Point Inside today announced a Find-It application specific to the Meijer retail chain. The software, for both Android and iOS handsets, uses Point Inside’s mapping solution to provide shoppers the instant location of any of the more than 100,000 items sold by Meijer.

New Smartphones Arriving Faster, But With More Bugs

The smartphone market is moving so quickly that consumers are finding improved devices just a few months after they bought the “latest and greatest” handset. But a disturbing trend is growing as device makers keep cranking out new devices: more smartphones are shipping with major bugs.

Join Us Tomorrow: Disintermediation in Publishing

We’ll be talking about this week’s news and other big changes at our GigaOM Pro bunker event, “Author to Audience: Disintermediation in Publishing.” The room is at capacity, but we’re livestreaming the event and will also have the video archives available to GigaOM Pro subscribers.

Connected Workers Going iPad for Productivity

The mobile workforce carries more devices, stays connected longer and expects to be productive on tablet devices, according to the latest iPass study. Given a choice, workers would carry a smartphone over a laptop, but a growing number plan to purchase an iPad for enterprise work.

VSS Gets $20M to Keep an Eye on Corporate Networks

VSS Monitoring, a network traffic monitoring company, has taken $20 million in funding from Battery Ventures. The funding was the first for the company which was founded in 2003 and the funding will be used for R&D and company expansion. Its investors call it a unicorn.

Inkling Says the iPad is the Textbook of the Future

Inkling, a startup that launched last week and also closed a Series A round of funding, says that the iPad is the future of the textbook. The company’s software turns the iPad into an interactive textbook with video and even 3-D images that can be rotated.

Mobile VoIP Comes to BlackBerry Devices

TringMe, a VoIP startup, has introduced a new VoIP application for BlackBerry OS (works with BlackBerry OS versions 4.2 to 5.0) that can make calls over Wi-Fi. It allows for single-click, worldwide conference calling and when there is no Wi-Fi, it uses the cellular network.

Visa Testing NFC Memory Cards for Wireless Payments

Visa and Bank of America are reportedly partnering for a trial program that will allow customers to pay for purchases using only a smartphone. Although the wireless payment battle is far from over, Visa’s solution has an advantage because consumers can use their existing handsets.