Square producing 10,000 card readers a day

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's latest project, Square, which plugs into mobile devices and allows users to process payments, is getting bigger.

During an interview with VentureBeat's founder Matt Marshall as part of this year's Demo Fall conference here, Dorsey explained that the company was now producing some 10,000 scanner units a day, which allow Square users with a smartphone and the Square software (which is free) to run credit card payments from just about anywhere.

Dorsey compared the speed of Square's rollout, which was put on hold in late-June while the company … Read more

Foound launches Foursquare of the future

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--I enjoyed the Foound presentation at Demo Fall 2010. Amid a morning full of demos of highly functional products, this one seemed to be actually fun, in addition to being in a hot and potentially profitable market.

Foound is a geosocial app, but unlike check-in services such as Foursquare and Gowalla, which tell your friends where you are, Foound tells them where you plan to be and who you want to be there with you. It's Evite for the smartphone generation. The app is small, visually simple, and unencumbered with silly frills.

Its mobile integration is … Read more

'Smart' credit cards get closer to consumers' wallets

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--I've been seeing demos of credit cards with rewritable magnetic stripes since I started covering start-ups in 1998, but it appears that Dynamics is going to be the first company to actually get this technology into the hands of consumers. At Demo Fall 2010, I saw a quick (and, to be clear, incomplete) demo of two kinds of credit cards that can have their magnetic stripes rewritten on the fly.

First, CEO Jeffrey Mullen showed a two-accounts-in-one card. The user could press a button to switch the card from one account to another. Second, he showed … Read more

Turning everyday garbage into gasoline

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Among a hotel ballroom full of enterprise, cloud, and mobile apps, one product stood out at Demo Fall 2010: The gas pump at the E-Fuel stand.

An upgrade from the EFuel100 Microfueler we covered in 2008, which converted sugars and discarded alcohols into ethanol fuel, the new MicroFusion Reactor can process nearly any "cellulosic waste" into ethanol. Said waste is pretty much anything that'd otherwise go into a compost bin.

CEO Thomas Quinn explained the fuel pump part of the Reactor in the video in this post, as well as a companion product, an … Read more

Trailmeme creates retraceable, social Web history

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--When it comes to bookmarks, most browsers use the same system for organization: folders and tags. A new Xerox-incubated company called Trailmeme is taking a different approach by putting Web pages in a nested hierarchy that can show how they're related. The goal is to create a browsing experience with context, and one that can be shared with others.

Trailmeme, which launches as part of the Demo conference taking place here this week, is not a replacement for your browser's bookmarking system though. It's more of a tool for creating self-guided trips of Web … Read more

Demo's shifting focus: Businesses or consumers?

Instead of building fast with lots of servers, lots of customers, and hopes of revenue, many new start-ups--mindful of the recovering economy--are taking a downright old-fashioned approach: make money first, grow later.

Whether that will play out at the Demo conference, which begins in earnest Tuesday in Santa Clara, Calif., is debatable. But in recent months, the buzz-worthy start-ups have had a decidedly more traditional view than Web 2.0 heavyweights like Facebook and Twitter, founded just a few years ago with the principle that you build your audience, then you make your money.

There is, in fact, a shift … Read more

Veebeam unveils PC-to-TV offering

If there's been an underlying theme to consumer electronics in the past year, it's been this: audiences are looking for easier ways to view Web video on their big-screen TVs. That's really the promise of widget- and app-enabled TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and Roku boxes, as well as the coming wave of specialized products such as Boxee, Apple TV, and Google TV. And it's exactly the market for which newcomer Veebeam is aiming as well.

Veebeam can most accurately be described as a PC-to-TV video streamer. Plug the included USB dongle into your laptop, and … Read more

Beautiful Epic Citadel demo live, free in App Store

Aside from Game Center, Epic Games opened plenty of eyes with its beautiful-looking swords-and-castle-exploring game demo at Apple's iPod-themed music event. Although the full game won't be released for a while, a free demo has hit the App Store to show skeptics how impressive the game's graphics really are.

We downloaded Epic Citadel for a peek on our iPhone 4, and it is admittedly a thin experience: you're limited to wandering around the city with dual analog virtual pads and looking at the pretty scenery. However, the graphics are truly as impressive as what was witnessed … Read more

preGame 25: Multiplayer preview

Today on preGame, we'll take a look at the multiplayer modes of two highly anticipated shooters: Medal of Honor and Crysis 2. It's no secret that the Modern Warfare franchise has changed the face of online military-based shooters and with the two gameplay trailers we'll screen today, we think that change is as apparent as ever.

A few technical difficulties prevented us from demoing our scheduled game today, Shank. Fortunately, we'll be able to show you the graphic novel-inspired beat-em-up downloadable title next week, along with a chance to win one of two codes redeemable for … Read more

preGame 24: Metroid: Other M; Kane and Lynch 2

Today on preGame, we'll take a look at Metroid: Other M, and Kane and Lynch 2.

It's been a while since we've featured a Wii title on preGame, but the latest installment in the Metroid franchise is a totally new take on the series and something we're excited to preview. Metroid: Other M combines 2D, 3D, third-, and first-person action in a way we haven't yet seen on the Wii.

Next we'll roam the gritty streets of Shanghai in Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days. A complete departure from the original, Dog Days also … Read more