Facebook reportedly planning money storage and transfer services

Facebook is reportedly planning to take a step into financial services, allowing users in select regions to store money online to use for making payments and transferring funds to others. According to the Financial Times, Facebook could obtain regulatory approval in Ireland to begin offering these services as an "e-money" institution within a matter of weeks. This approval would apparently...


The inventor of everything

It’s a sunny morning in Camarillo, California, and the fields along Pleasant Valley road are full of berry pickers in colored sweatshirts moving swiftly to gather ripe fruit. I take a left turn down Calle San Pablo into an unassuming industrial park, the research and development center for Cool Planet, a young company that claims it can use leftover plants to produce a miraculous fuel: a $1.50 gallon of gasoline that also bolsters sustainable agriculture and even combats climate change.

I’m here to meet Mike Cheiky, the founder of Cool Planet and a prolific inventor and entrepreneur. In 1975, he started Ohio Scientific, one of the earliest personal-computing companies. He followed that with a string of startups whose innovations included biofuels, touchscreens, batteries, voice recognition, and fuel injectors.

Cheiky’s ventures have always done well raising money. Two weeks ago Cool Planet announced a $100 million round of funding from names like Google Ventures, British...

An inventor and entrepreneur accused of selling 'snake oil'


Walmart plots a low-price takeover of the organic food market

Ask 10 different people to tell you what constitutes organic food and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Ask them whether organic is better, however, and nine of them will say that it is. That’s the data coming from Walmart’s internal research, which found that 91 percent of the...

Wordpress owner Automattic buys Longreads

Automattic, the company behind publishing platform Wordpress.com, has acquired the curation service Longreads for an undisclosed price, the companies announced today. Longreads serves up one magazine-length recommended story per day through its website, Twitter feed, email...


Comcast has very bad reasons for wanting to buy Time Warner Cable

Comcast wants to own the internet — or, at least, the cables that carry it to most Americans’ homes. Yesterday, the company laid out its arguments for acquiring Time Warner Cable in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission. The merger, announced in February, would let Comcast take over markets that include, among other places, parts of New York, Texas, and Southern California. This would give Comcast a stranglehold on the US broadband market, but it’s not a sure thing yet....

Google uses death of Windows XP to push Chromebooks on businesses

Microsoft ends support for Windows XP today, and Google is using the opportunity to promote Chrome OS as a replacement. It's beginning to offer a number of discounts on its Chromebooks for Business program that will run through the end of June, with hopes that businesses finally being forced to switch away from the classic operating system will look to Chromebooks instead of new PCs to replace it. It's a small gesture by Google — just a...

Amazon claims it has surpassed Hulu to become third largest video site

Amazon's been trying to turn Instant Video into a major player in the streaming space, and it looks like its dedication is starting to pay off: Amazon says that Prime video streams have nearly tripled year over year, and it cites video-delivery firm Qwilt to say that Instant Video is now the third largest video site overall, behind Netflix and YouTube. If correct, that would mean that Amazon has jumped ahead of Apple and Hulu to take the...

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