Square is the mobile payment firm that made a name for itself in the credit card processing industry with a tiny card reader that works with the iPhone. The company is set to make a big purchase of a food delivery company called Caviar this week. The tip comes from a source claiming to be familiar with Square's plans.
Caviar is a food delivery firm located in San Francisco that allows customers to order meals that are delivered to the home or office. The meals ordered come from restaurants that don't normally offer food delivery.
The deal is reportedly valued at $90 million and is a being funded with stock only. That means no cash is changing hands. Square already has a food pickup feature called Square Order. The Caviar tech could be integrated into Square Order allowing users to browse pickup and delivery options in their area.
When the NFL kicks off this year in the US, teams will be replacing the old school black and white photos used for decades to study opponent formations with high-tech tablets. The tablets will take to the sidelines as part of a partnership between the NFL and Microsoft.
The tablet system is known as the Sideline Viewing System and is one of the new technologies being introduced this year. Using the tablets, teams will be able to study color images of formations of opponents from the sidelines.
This marks the first time that players and coaches have been able to legally use technology on the sidelines during a game. This year the refs will also get wireless communication gear so they don't need to huddle to talk. Coaches will also be wearing new Bose headphones.
NASA has announced that it plans to send several pieces of equipment to Mars early in the next decade. The gear will include seven instruments that will be placed on a Martian rover, with two of the devices designed specifically to see if the atmosphere on the planet can be used to make oxygen.
The oxygen NASA wants to generate isn't for some sort of terraforming of the planet, rather NASA wants to generate the oxygen for use in making rocket fuel. The goal of the oxygen-making instrument is to see if NASA might be able to support bigger missions to Mars in the future.
Astronauts that eventually walk the surface of Mars could also use the oxygen made to breathe while on the planet. The test device being sent to mars will be called Moxie and has the ability to make three quarters of an ounce of oxygen an hour. If the process works, a device one hundred times the size will travel to Mars in the 2030s.
Apple has been granted preliminary approval on a proposed settlement for an eBook price fixing case brought against it by states and consumers. The main charge in the case is that Apple led a conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books. The judge presiding over the case said that the proposed $450 million settlement is "within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable."
The settlement will see Apple pay $400 million to states and consumers with $50 million in attorney's fees. The settlement still requires final approval from courts. Apple is currently appealing the decision, and if it does win, it will pay nothing under the settlement.
If the case is kicked back to judge Denise Cote for a retrial, Apple will pay $50 million plus $20 million in attorney's fees. A judge had previously ruled that Apple conspired with five major publishers to fix prices of e-books in response to competition from Amazon.
The smartwatch market is hopping right now with Samsung producing several different smartwatches and a number of other products available as well. The wearables market is growing and rumors continue to suggest that Apple is getting into the market with its own product. HP has teased a new smartwatch that it will be offering designed by Michael Bastian.
The watch is the result of cooperation between HP and the luxury marketplace Gilt.com and will launch later this year. Gilt brought in Michael Bastian to design the watch while HP is heralding the tech behind the wearable. Not much in the way of details are available on what hardware the watch will use.
What we know at this time is that the software on the watch is going to power a round screen. Wearers will be able to use the watch to control music and see notifications from their smartphone. Reports indicate there will be three different strap options. Pricing is unknown at this time.
Microsoft has filed suit against Samsung in the US after Samsung failed to make a patent royalty payment last fall. The missed payment came after Microsoft announced that it intended to purchase Nokia's handset business. The suit was filed in a Manhattan federal court.
Microsoft is seeking monetary damages from Samsung, but it is unclear what those damages are. The suit alleges that Samsung refused to make the agreed to payments to Microsoft once the intention of buying Nokia was announced.
Samsung had made payments for an entire fiscal year before the Nokia purchase was announced. Samsung claims that the Nokia purchase violated the licensing agreement in place with Microsoft. Samsung apparently paid the payment late, but has refused to pay interest.
The Wireless Power Consortium has updated its Qi specification to version 1.2, something that allows the new Qi standard to blast its wireless powers up to 45mm, or 1.77 inches away. The current standard is only capable of 7mm, or 0.27 inches, so this is quite the increase.
Better yet, Qi 1.2 chargers and receives will be backwards compatible with Qi 1.1 devices, so a Qi 1.1 receiver (such as your Qi-capable smartphone) will be able to enjoy a power transfer range of up to 30mm. The Wireless Power Consortium has said that Qi 1.2 is capable of pushing out an incredible 2000W of resonant energy through the air for powering kitchen appliances.
This means we will eventually see kitchen top appliances being powered without cords, which will be great. The new version 1.2 standard also allows for a single inverter to power multiple coils, which should see much more affordable multi-device chargers.
The Mozilla Foundation has made a mistake that left the credentials of about 76,000 developers using its Mozilla Developer Network vulnerable to hackers. During a sanitation process on the server where the data was stored, some sort of error cause an emergency dump of the data on that server to be sent to a backup server.
That emergency dump is something that many servers do to prevent data loss. The catch is that the backup server where the data was dumped was unencrypted. That means that the details of those 76,000 developers were available to be copied by anyone along with 4,000 encrypted passwords.
Mozilla has removed the data now, but the information sat there for a month before developers noticed the issue. Mozilla says that the passwords would not work and that it hasn't seen any sort of breach using the data.
It wasn't that long ago that rumors were circling that Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion, and then Google took a turn offering up $4 billion, but now it looks like we're finding out why Snapchat held off.
Snapchat Inc. is reportedly in talks with investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. for a round of funding that would see the company valued at $10 billion. This might not seem like that high of a number thanks to Snapchat seeing over 700 million "snaps" per day, and over 500 million stories viewed daily. Snapchat competes directly against Facebook, and even more so now that it was adding mobile messaging features to its service.
Snapchat's previous round of funding saw the company raise over $100 million with investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, Benchmark, Institutional Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners and SV Angel.
Mary Jo Foley, who is usually pretty good with rumors about Microsoft, has some more information on the next version of Windows, currently known as Windows 9. We should expect Windows 9 to be released in April 2015, which would see the next update to Windows 8.1, 'Update 2', should be released this month, with Update 3 only coming with a few improvements. We could see Update 3 scrapped if Microsoft diverts its energy toward Windows 9.
When it comes to Windows 9, there's an interesting spin on Microsoft's upcoming OS: it could be a free upgrade to Windows XP, Vista and 7 users in order to get the adoption of Windows 9 much, much higher than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. This wouldn't just be a great thing for Microsoft, but for the entire industry as it will shift many more copies of its OS, which would convince people to upgrade or possibly buy a new PC.