Fast-growing credit card processor Square debuted their latest hardware offering today -- a stand that turns an iPad into a Square-powered cash register. We offer kudos to Square for recognizing where and how people were using their products, though not, like, too many of them. After all, that's what any sensible company would do, and considering there are plenty of third parties already offering stands for this purpose, Square seems a little late to their own party on this one.
A few weeks ago Code.org launched with the goal of getting more young people excited about coding. When they launched there were rumors that they were producing a video with some of the biggest names in coding like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Today they released that video, and sure enough, Gates and Zuckerberg are in there. They're in good company too, with some big name coders from Twitter, Dropbox, and for some reason will.i.am. The takeaway message? Being a programmer now is basically like being a junk bond trader in the 1980s, except the cocaine and strippers have been replaced with free pizza and awesome rumpus rooms, and the bond trading has been replaced with doing something of some utility to society.
Should we be thanking Jack Dorsey? Just days after the Twitter creator's return to the company, Twitter has announced that the infamous, ad- and trend-laden floaty bar atop the official Twitter iPhone app -- the QuickBar to Twitter, the "Dickbar" to its enemies -- has been killed off in the latest Twitter for iPhone update, rolled out for download today. The disdain for the Dickbar (named for relatively new Twitter CEO Dick Costolo -- what were you thinking?) was severe among techies. Marco Arment now-famously wrote that "It’s offensive because it’s deeply bad, showing complete disregard for quality, product design, and user respect, and we’ve come to expect a lot more from Twitter." Though Twitter's removal of the bar implicitly acknowledges the scorn ("After testing a feature and evaluating its merits, if we learn it doesn’t improve the user experience or serve our mission, we’ll remove that feature"), Twitter's blog post announcing the change defended its efficacy:
Rather than continue to make changes to the QuickBar as it exists, we removed the bar from the update appearing in the App Store today. We believe there are still significant benefits to increasing awareness of what’s happening outside the home timeline. Evidence of the incredibly high usage metrics for the QuickBar support this. For now, we’re going back to the drawing board to explore the best possible experience for in-app notification and discovery.So: Score a victory for the vocal mobile Twitter users, at least for now. If the bar does make a comeback post-drawing board session, hopefully it will serve up relevant ads and trends rather than dumping the same ill-fitting stuff on every user. (via Twitter Blog. title pic via BlackWeb)
How is that Dorsey would be able to hold down a top product gig at Twitter and be CEO of a fast-growing startup? "Jack is amazing," said this source. "He works from 5 or 6 am until midnight." --It was considered a big blow to Twitter when bionic programmer and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who built much of the microblogging service's underlying technology, stepped down to focus on mobile payment service Square, for which he currently serves as CEO. The recent "dickbar" controversy has done little to warm the cockles of the hearts of Twitter's power users (just 20,000 of whom a recent Yahoo! Labs study found produce more than 50% of Twitter's content), and Dorsey's recently announced reascension has thus far been widely treated as a Good Thing by the digerati. Current Twitter CEO Dick Costolo announced via Twitter that Dorsey "will be returning to the company day-to-day leading product as Executive Chairman." However, Dorsey's duties as CEO of Square, an up-and-coming service in its own right, will not abate. Hope the guy manages to sleep at some point. Twitter's official statement (via):
Twitter is pleased to announce that Jack Dorsey has agreed to return to Twitter in an everyday role to lead our product development. Jack will also continue in his role as CEO at Square. Twitter's three co-founders --Ev Williams, Biz Stone and Jack-- have unselfishly played whatever role was most needed at the time to nurture the company and help the product reach its full potential. Jack has been involved with the company from day one in various roles. As executive chairman, Jack will dive in to work with more than 450 people, led by an experienced executive team. The timing is fortuitous; not only is Twitter experiencing record growth, but we also now have a new infrastructure that will keep us ahead of that growth and enable us to launch products that will make Twitter more instant, simple and always present.(via TBI, @dickc)