Saturday, October 19, 2013

Square Market launches, provides easy online storefronts for small businesses

Local businesses can now sell online with Square Market

SAN FRANCISCO – June 26, 2013 – Today Square, the company making commerce easy for everyone, introduced Square Market, an online marketplace for businesses to sell everything from handmade jewelry, housewares and merchandise, to yoga lessons and beauty services. Square Market provides local businesses across the U.S. the ability to sell their products throughout the country to anyone, anywhere.

Square has enabled millions of businesses to use the Square Reader and free Square Register app on their mobile device to process payments, run, and grow their business. Now sellers can reach more customers and sell more goods by setting up in the Square Market.

"We're focused on making easy-to-use tools for merchants that create an incredible experience for their customers - no matter where they are. Creating an online marketplace is our next step in making commerce easy for everyone," said Ajit Varma Square's Director of Discovery. "Square Market makes local businesses accessible to customers down the block and across the country."

Sellers no longer need to waste money on expensive website development, complicated fees, or complex inventory management. Square Market enables anyone to open a store for free with items, photos, and a profile for their business. Sellers can post items directly to Twitter for their followers to discover and share. Square offers one low fee of 2.75% per item sold and there is no charge to list items.

Many Square businesses are already selling their items in the Square Market.

Standard & Strange, American-made men's apparel, began using Square for pop-ups and trunk shows before opening an Oakland-based retail shop in 2012. "We're small and it would have been really tough to make a go at eCommerce on our own," said owner Neil Berrett. "Running an online store is like having a whole other business. Square makes it easy with a simple solution, and we are featured along with other great brands."

Indie electronic band The Limousines sells their albums to fans across the country on Square Market. "In a world where retail space is getting harder to come by, we've got a gorgeous, user-friendly storefront that's open 24 hours. The backend couldn't be more intuitive and the money from sales automatically goes straight to our bank account," Eric Victorino of the Limousines said. "Being in a band is an unpredictable adventure, but selling our music should be cut and dry - it is, thanks to Square."

Square is making sophisticated, big-business tools simple, easy to use, and available to anyone. Visit to create a store in the Square Market to start selling online today.

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Nokia to stream its New York Lumia event, teases 41 million reasons to tune in

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Nokia to stream its New York Lumia event, teases 41 million reasons they're probably pixels

For anyone that won't be attending Nokia's incoming New York event, you won't have to sit in silence until the news breaks, because the entire event will be streamed from Nokia's own Conversations site. There's nothing going on at the link yet, but you can at least bookmark it for now and we'll be there in person to report on all the important announcements, presumably including a photo-loving, zoom-reinventing new Windows Phone.


Abortion Rights Movement Gets Sting Video Artist to Call Its Own

Pro-life activist Lila Rose made a name for herself filming undercover videos at abortion clinics (in the style of her mentor James O’Keefe), getting at least one Planned Parenthood employee fired. Now, the abortion rights movement has its own sting video artist, Salon’s Irin Carmon reports.

Katie Stack, a 24-year-old abortion patients’ advocate and pro-choice activist in Ohio, has been secretly recording conversations in pregnancy crisis centers. Crisis pregnancy centers are the free quasi-clinics run by pro-life groups that advertise to desperate pregnant women and win abortion search results, but don't provide abortion care and in fact actively dissuade women from getting abortions. (They outnumber abortion clinics in this country.) At one center, Cleveland’s Womankind, Stack was told Plan B would cause hemorrhaging (nope) and asked why she was having sex if she wasn't married. Stack told Salon the difference between her videos and Rose's is that Rose's are "promoting the myths and the fears that the antiabortion movement," whereas she is "just going in there and letting them talk.” Talk is a generous word for the nonsense she catches on video. 

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Dramatic Filibuster Beats Texas Anti-Abortion Bill (Eventually)

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, left, who tries to filibuster an abortion bill, reacts as time expires, Tuesday, June 26, 2013, in Austin, Texas. Amid the deafening roar of abortion rights supporters, Texas Republicans huddled around the Senate podium to pass new abortion restrictions, but whether the vote was cast before or after midnight is in dispute. If signed into law, the measures would close almost every abortion clinic in Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) Wendy Davis, minutes before midnight.

Well over 100,000 people watched via livestream as Texas state senators voted on a bill that would enact some of the nation's strictest abortion restrictions, but hours after the legislative session ended at midnight, it was still unclear if the measure had passed. Democrat Wendy Davis filibustered for more than ten hours on Tuesday, with abortion rights advocates rallying behind her in person and online, using the Twitter hashtag #standwithwendy. Just after 10 p.m., Republicans managed to end her effort, alleging that she violated parliamentary rules three times. Then Democrats tried to run out the clock by appealing the decision. The session ended with Republicans passing the measure minutes too late as shouts and applause from abortion rights supporters drowned out what was happening on the floor.

In the Texas Senate, a filibuster can be ended after a senator is given three strikes for violations. Republicans objected when another lawmaker helped Davis with her back brace, and accused her of going off topic twice by discussing Planned Parenthood's budget and the state's recently enacted law requiring a sonogram before an abortion. While those topics sound fairly relevant, the point of order was sustained by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, triggering a messy debate as Democrats sought clarification and tried to stall for time.

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte asked to have the points of order explained to her, saying she had been at her father's funeral earlier in the day. Ten minutes before midnight, she said, "Mr. President, at what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?" The comment sparked wild applause that grew into deafening cheers:

Amid the chaos, Republicans huddled around the Senate podium to take a vote. They originally claimed that the bill passed 19-10, with voting taking place just before midnight, but Democrats insisted that the bill didn't pass until 12:02. After hours of wrangling, with Democrats threatening to challenge the vote in court, lawmakers emerged from a Senate caucus meeting and admitted that the vote came minutes too late. (But it's not over: Texas Governor Rick Perry can still call a second special session in which the bill is likely to pass, with Democrats running out of options.)

Last night, after admitting defeat, Dewhurst told reporters, "I didn't lose control of what we were doing," and said the legislation was defeated by "an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics."

Not to mention one pink sneaker-clad state senator, who ended the day with a well-deserved sit:

This post has been updated throughout.

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Melissa McCarthy Worried About Her Weight Until She Realized It Was a Waste of Time

Like many women, Melissa McCarthy had phases of stressing out about her weight. (It probably didn't help that red carpet interviewers couldn't find anything better to gush over than her "voluptuousness" and how "we love to eat.") "At 20 you don't have any responsibilities, so of course you're a shallow narcissist. You can't appreciate anything, you're so self-absorbed," she tells More magazine, adding that she's fluctuated between "every size in the world," including a 6. "I bought into it — I should be taller, thinner, have better hair. But I think that's part of being young ... Now, especially with kids, you lose any sense of time or energy to worry about all the little stuff. It's like the chip was taken out." And thank goodness for that, because she has more important things to do, like be goddamn hilarious.

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Kate Moss Debuts Versace’s Crazy Bumblebee Coat

You may recall that the fall runways looked something like this: fur coat, fur mittens, fur collar, unrecognizable fur thing, more fur. So it's no surprise that the season's ads take a similar direction, with models draped in soft pelts and little else. Kate Moss alone has already appeared in several: Less than 24 hours after she was photographed (along with her body double) parading around a Stuart Weitzman fashion set in fuzzy gray outerwear, her new Versace campaign — which shows her in the label's spectacularly ostentatious bumblebee coat — came out today. 

Versace's black and yellow furs were some of the season's most extraordinary, which is saying a lot, considering Alexander Wang's outrageous mittens and Altuzarra's fascinating skunk coat. Part zebra, part hornet, part taxi cab, and part goodness knows what, this fur apparently merited Kate getting a brunette dye job. Donatella described it thus to Elle: 

[The] Versace campaign for Autumn/Winter 2013 is stripped back to the raw power of the clothes and models ... There's no set, no distraction, just the provocation, glamour and attitude of our fashion.

Raw power, indeed. Hopefully some lucky body double got to take it out for a spin, too.

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