Archive for the ‘Money’ Category
Snapchat has been in talks for another funding round that values it at up to $3.6 billion, AllThingsD reports.
This is coming just months after closing a Series B round of $60 million that valued the company at $800 million.
If this funding happens, Snapchat (with 200 million photos being shared daily) will become more valuable than Instagram when Facebook purchased it last year.
After dumping the penny last year, Canada is taking another step towards the fiscal future with the launch of the world\’s first publicly-accessible Bitcoin ATM next Tuesday. As Wired reports, the landmark machine will be installed outside of a coffee house in downtown Vancouver, allowing members of the public to exchange their Canadian Dollars for Bitcoins, or vice versa.
Machines that exchange physical currency for Bitcoins have made quite a few appearances at industry shows and conferences, and there\’s more than one company attempting to put Bitcoin ATMs in public places. The machine to be installed in Vancouver this week comes from Nevada-based Robocoin. To comply with Canadian law, the machine will check your identity using palm prints, photographs, and ID verification, and will only allow for a maximum of CAD$3,000 (around $2,700) worth of transactions per user per day.
We’ve always heard that it is better to give than to receive. And the research is there to prove the old adage is right. A post at PsyBlog has links to several studies about this phenomenon.
But why? Why is it that spending our money on others—prosocial spending—makes us happier?
It’s partly because giving to others makes us feel good about ourselves. It helps promote a view of ourselves as responsible and giving people, which in turn makes us feel happy. It’s also partly because spending money on others helps cement our social relationships. And people with stronger social ties are generally happier.
Fingerprints Instead Of Credit Cards? YC-Backed PayTango Aims To Make Payments Work Through Biometrics | TechCrunch
As a mechanism for payment, the credit card remains just as hardy as ever. It has so far defied the threat of mobile phones, and less plausibly, QR codes, among many other forms of payment.
One YC-backed startup is betting that fingerprints and other forms of biometric identification may be the payment method of the future though. Called PayTango, they’re partnering with local universities to offer a quick and easy way for students to use their fingerprints to pay instead of credit cards.
The four-person team is basically almost fresh out of Carnegie Mellon University. The co-founders, Brian Groudan, Kelly Lau-Kee, Umang Patel and Christian Reyes, graduating later this summer and have experience in human-computer interaction and information systems.
They built an initial prototype with a fingerprint scanner and credit card reader with off-the-shelf parts for between $1,500 and $1,700. They’re bringing the costs down after iterating on it for 10 weeks and they have a working version of it at three locations on the Carnegie Mellon campus.
“The very earliest product was just basic,” said CEO Umang Patel. “But it was a great product to get out there and users responded to it very early on.”
The on-boarding process for users is really easy. They touch the fingerpad with their index and middle fingers and if they’re not in the system already, PayTango automatically detects that. It will ask them to swipe a card to associate with their fingerprints and then enter in their cell phone number. That sign-up process made it fast enough for 100 students to sign-up within four hours on campus.
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Andrew Haldane, a member of the Bank’s financial policy committee, said the Occupy movement was correct in its attack on the international financial system.
The Occupy movement sprang up last year and staged significant demonstrations in both the City of London and New York, protesting about the unequal distribution of wealth and the influence of the financial services industry. Members of the movement occupied the grounds of St Paul’s and remained camped there for more than three months until police evicted them in February last year.
“Occupy has been successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason; they are right,” Mr Haldane said last night. Mr Haldane, the Bank’s executive director for financial stability, was speaking to Occupy Economics, an offshoot of the Occupy movement, at an event in central London.
In a speech entitled Socially Useful Banking, he said the protesters had helped bring about a “reformation” in financial services and the way they are regulated.
Partly because of the protests, he suggested, both bank executives and policymakers were persuaded that banks must behave in a more moral way, and take greater account of inequality in wider society.
WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says Congress should let the payroll tax cut expire at the end of the year and instead work toward comprehensive tax reform.
“I would hope that we would not extend it,” Pelosi said of the tax cut, during a Friday sit-down with reporters.
The whole point of extending the payroll tax cut was to only do it for a year or two to ensure economic stability, she said. Now that things have stabilized, she continued, it’s time to get moving on bigger changes.
“Let’s deal with the budget issues. Let’s put the tax code on the table, simplify, make more fair and close a lot of the special interest loopholes that are in there,” Pelosi said. “I would not be among those advocating” to extend the cut, she said.
WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – A deeply divided and unproductive Congress wrapped up its final business before November’s elections early on Saturday as the U.S. Senate passed a stopgap measure to fund federal programs and avoid an Oct. 1 government shutdown.
The 62-30 vote on the funding bill, which now moves to President Barack Obama’s desk to be signed into law, was delayed by days of partisan bickering over votes on unrelated measures aimed at boosting both Democrats’ and Republicans’ political fortunes.
For the new fiscal year which begins on Oct. 1, the $524 billion measure slightly raises discretionary spending – which funds government agencies and everything from defense to national parks – from current levels.
The world inside Mark Zandi’s computer model feels pretty familiar. It’s full of people who are worried about the economy. Their homes are being foreclosed on. They’re paying more for gas. Something like 13 million of them can’t find jobs.
Zandi is the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, and he built his model to predict what’s going to happen in the real world. When he plugs what he thinks is going to happen in the real world, his model spits out a pretty grim result: Four years from now, the unemployment rate will be 6.6 percent. That’s lower than today, but still much higher than the 5 percent rate that was typical before the recession.
Twitter surprised and impressed civil liberties groups this summer by taking a stand on behalf of an Occupy Wall Street protester’s privacy. Ordered by the judge in a New York criminal case to dredge up and hand over deleted tweets from activist Malcolm Harris (@destructuremal), Twitter fought back and appealed, arguing its users own their own Twitter data. Groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU joined the fight on Twitter’s side.
The government, though, played dirty. Judge Matthew Sciarrino, Jr. this week told Twitter on Tuesday that if it didn’t fork over Harris’ data within three days, it would face contempt of court and a stiff fine. That’s not the dirty part. As Sciarrino noted, “I can’t put Twitter or the little blue bird in jail, so the only way to punish is monetarily.” The dirty part is that Sciarrino claimed that, in order to determine the appropriate fine, he would need Twitter’s financial records from the past two quarters. That’s anathema for a private startup clawing to keep its competitive edge, as Sciarrino surely knows.
The company’s response was predictable. “They’re going to tweet like canaries,” the New York Post reported this morning. Indeed, Reuters reports that the company asked the judge “pretty please” one last time in court on Friday, then gave up the goods. Harris’ records will remain under seal pending another appeal from his own lawyers next week.