Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- Square launches mobile payment service at 7,000 Starbucks stores.
- Razer Naga gaming mouse requires always-on Internet connection; license agreement says they can use this to spy on you.
- Four African teenagers invent a urine-powered generator.
Mobile payment processor Square will launch its service at 7,000 Starbucks coffeehouses tomorrow.
In addition to processing credit and debit card transactions, Square's agreement with Starbucks allows customers to make purchases at the coffee shops with Square Wallet, Square's payer app. The launch comes three months after the two companies announced an extensive partnership, in which the coffee giant also announced a $25 million investment in the payment startup.
Square Wallet links directly to customers' credit or debit card accounts, allowing users to tap "pay here" or scan a QR code to pay for purchases … Read more
I think I might need a support group -- I seem to be hooked on gadget snuff films.
The real development in this latest in a long series of face-off videos is the use of a new "drop-bot" that helps ensure a more fair drop of each device. In the past, the fate of each tortured device seemed to depend on a randomly determined point of … Read more
With the holiday season bearing down on the calendar, Jake Vance needs to know how many cupcakes he should make every day. Make too many, and the rats that frequent his dumpsters are happy. Don't make enough, and customers walk away without getting to enjoy their favorite treat.
Vance runs Sweet Avenue, a small bakery in Rutherford, N.J. So small, in fact, that it doesn't make sense to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on point-of-sale software or professional cash registers that are routinely used by larger businesses to generate smart data on sales patterns.
Until even … Read more
Square, a red-hot mobile payments service that allows nearly anyone to accept credit cards, is now available in Canada.
The service works on iPhone or iPad and Android devices, and aims to upend the traditional credit card system -- which has usually required a merchant account -- by charging a flat 2.75 percent fee and letting users take Visa or MasterCard with a dongle that attaches to their mobile devices.
One of George Orwell's famous rules of writing is "Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent."
It seems Square's founder and CEO Jack Dorsey was channeling the famous "Animal Farm" writer in a Tumblr blog he penned today. Known for ruminating on concepts and ideas, Dorsey called into question the tech world's use of the word "user."
"It's time for our industry and discipline to reconsider the word 'user,'" he wrote. "We speak … Read more
At Square, the white-hot mobile payments company, someone must take notes during any meeting involving more than two people, and then distribute them to the whole company. Yet despite that process, instituted by co-founder Jack Dorsey, the company is airtight, with few leaks, especially involving key news.
In a new Forbes profile of Dorsey -- who also co-founded Twitter -- we learn that despite this "astonishing" system, even the most sensitive news has remained safe inside the startup's posh San Francisco digs.
It doesn't matter what the meeting is about: bug fixes, new partnerships, pending contracts, … Read more
PayPal is cutting 3 percent of its workforce, or from 300 to 400 jobs, as new President David Marcus looks to streamline operations and trim costs, according to reports.
PayPal's product and technology groups would be hardest hit by the cuts, which will occur in the next few weeks, Bloomberg said. PayPal currently employs about 13,000 people.
Page, the CEO of Google, leapfrogged Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for the No. 1 spot on Fortune's ranking of young business stars.
The publication notes that since Page returned to the CEO role last year, he has "been bent on proving Google still has its mojo." He closed Google's acquisition of Motorola, streamlined management and closed failing projects. All of that has pushed Google's stock to an all-time high.
Facebook … Read more