Money in a Minute: Headlines for March 10, 2011

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In today's news: North Dakota's got more oil, a Google exec may be the next secretary of Commerce, credit cards could have LCD screens soon, Tesla's rolling out an electric sedan next year, and Microsoft's hands-free controller broke a world record.

OIL: Billions of barrels of untapped U.S. oil

In North Dakota, a new source of oil may produce up to a million barrels per day — but getting it out requires a controversial process. “Many fear oil, gas or fracking chemicals could migrate up to the water supply,” CNN Money reports, adding that “many water wells have already been contaminated.”

GOVERNMENT: Obama considers ex-Pfizer CEO, Schmidt for Commerce

The president is looking toward executives at two of the world’s largest tech and pharmaceutical companies — Google and Pfizer — to fill the position of secretary of Commerce. The move may be a way to “counter criticism from some corporate leaders over administration policies on regulation and health care,” Bloomberg reports.

CREDIT: The credit card of the future ‘talks’ to you

MasterCard is looking at producing cards with LCD screens, which can keep users instantly updated on their finances. Such cards could display “current balance, available credit, recent transactions, even special messages from banks or coupon codes from merchants,” MSNBC reports.

CARS: Tesla’s $58,000 sedan coming next year

Tesla Motors is branching out from the sporty electric Roadster to offer a “Model S” electric sedan next year. That $58k price tag is for the base model, which “will have a driving range of 160 miles,” CNN Money reports, but you can upgrade for “about $20,000 more” to a model that goes twice as far on one charge.

TECH: Kinect breaks Guinness record, sells 10 million systems, tops iPhone and iPad

The fastest-selling consumer electronics device isn’t from Apple, it’s from Microsoft. The Kinect, a video game accessory that allows players to use a motion-sensing camera instead of a controller, has sold an average of “133,333 units per day (since November 4),” PC World reports.

Stacy Johnson

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