Square to replace its digital wallet app with one that lets you order dinner

Square pulled its Wallet app from the App Store Monday in order to make way for something new: Square Order . With Wallet, you could check in to a restaurant and pay your bill using just your name. With Order, you can still pay, except now you can select your artisan grilled cheese while en route to the cafe down the street and complete the transaction on your phone, bypassing the line entirely. It's not just for restaurants either -- we took it for a test drive in February , where we purchased a scarf from Uniqlo. Square followed that trial with beta testing in several take-out restaurants in the San Francisco and New York, which is also where Order is launching today. If you don't live in either city, you won't be able to use the app for now. However, you can get roughly the same experience on the web through Square's recently announced product Pickup . It's not unlike what some other services like PayPal, GoPago and OrderAhead are already doing -- the difference is Square can offer the experience for its existing merchants using the point of sale system they already have set up. As for Wallet, being removed from the App Store doesn't mean it isn't going to work anymore - yet. Square says it plans to support the app at least until Order is available everywhere. When it is, the company will reach out to customers who are still using Wallet and encourage them to make the switch, after which it will likely get rid of it for good. By that time, we can't imagine anyone will complain. Because what's better than telling someone to put your triple-extra-hot-latte on "Bob?" Not spending 20 minutes in line waiting for the opportunity. Filed under: Wireless , Mobile Comments

NIST’s Draft To Remove Periodic Password Change Requirements Gets Vendors’ Approval

An anonymous reader writes: A recently released draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's digital identity guidelines has met with approval by vendors. The draft guidelines revise password security recommendations and altering many of the standards and best practices security professionals use when forming policies for their companies. The new framework recommends, among other things: "Remove periodic password change requirements." There have been multiple studies that have shown requiring frequent password changes to actually be counterproductive to good password security, said Mike Wilson, founder of PasswordPing. NIST said this guideline was suggested because passwords should be changed when a user wants to change it or if there is indication of breach. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Formlabs’ second-gen pro 3D printer is 50 percent faster

Formlabs' Form1 was a top dog among 3D printers when it first shipped, but others have stepped up their game in the past year. It's about time for an upgrade, don't you think? Appropriately, the company has just unveiled the Form1+, a big improvement to its now-familiar design. The new edition of Formlabs' pro-grade machine is all about raw performance -- a more powerful laser lets it print up to 50 percent faster, and its control system produces finer, smoother sculptures. It should be more reliable, too, thanks to an improved resin tank that better preserves your material. The new printer costs the same $3, 299 as the original, which doesn't exactly make it a casual purchase. However, you shouldn't despair if you're an existing Form1 owner. Formlabs is offering a factory upgrade program that brings your hardware up to spec for a more down-to-Earth (if not exactly trivial) $749. You can order the revamped device today in the US, and Europeans can pick one up in July for €2, 799. Filed under: Peripherals Comments Source: Formlabs

Watch Olympus’ Dope Image Stabilization Work Like Magic

Olympus’ 5-axis image stabilization is some of the best out there. The system makes images that would ordinarily be too blurry to use suddenly shake-free. This video captures a view of what the system looks like under the hood. It’s hypnotizing. Read more...

This Laser Printer Creates High-Res Color Images Without a Single Drop of Ink

Anyone with a color printer knows that selling replacement ink cartridges is the quickest way to become a millionaire. But what if your printer never needed a single drop of ink to produce color images at impossibly high resolutions? A new laser printer can already do that by etching microscopic patterns onto sheets… Read more...

These Ultra Close-Up Images of Saturn’s Rings Are Mind-Blowing

Though NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is sadly nearing the end of its mission, the brave li’l orbiter is putting on quite the grand finale . Cassini, which is currently in its ring-grazing phase around Saturn, has just sent back some stunning images of the gas giant’s many rings. Read more...

235 apps attempt to secretly track users with ultrasonic audio

Ultrasonic beacons ( previously , previously ) let advertisers build an idea of when and where you use your devices: the sound plays in an ad on one device, and is heard by other devices. This way, they can associate two gadgets with a single user, precisely geolocate devices without aGPS, or even build graphs of real-world social networks. The threat was considered more academic than some, but more than 200 Android apps were found in the wild using the technique . In research sponsored by the German government [PDF], a team of researchers conducted extensive tests across the EU to better understand how widespread this practice is in the real world. Their results revealed Shopkick ultrasonic beacons at 4 of 35 stores in two European cities. The situation isn't that worrisome, as users have to open an app with the Shopkick SDK for the beacon to be picked up. In the real world, this isn't an issue, as store owners, advertisers, or product manufactures could incentivize users to open various apps as a way to get discounts. From the paper: While in April 2015 only six instances were known, we have been able to identify 39 further instances in a dataset of about 1,3 million applications in December 2015, and until now, a total of 234 samples containing SilverPush has been discovered. We conclude that even if the tracking through TV content is not actively used yet, the monitoring functionality is already deployed in mobile applications and might become a serious privacy threat in the near future Apparently it's not very effective—consumer speakers and mics aren't designed with ultrasonic use in mind and the authors say noise, audio compression and other factors "significantly affects the feasibility" of the technology—but the intent is clearly there on the part of advertisers and appmakers to make a stab at it. Annoyingly, there doesn't seem to be a list of the apps that are doing this, but there is a reference to a McDonalds app. If an app asks for access to your device's microphone, camera, etc., and you don't know why, delete the app.

Why World Hunger Is Going to Fall to Its Lowest Levels Ever This Decade

By 2026, there’s going to be a lot less hunger worldwide—and that’s something to celebrate. The reason is not that we’re growing more food, however. Food is just getting cheaper. Read more...

Only 36 Percent of Indian Engineers Can Write Compilable Code, Says Study

New submitter troublemaker_23 quotes a report from ITWire: Only 36% of software engineers in India can write compilable code based on measurements by an automated tool that is used across the world, the Indian skills assessment company Aspiring Minds says in a report. The report is based on a sample of 36, 800 from more than 500 colleges across India. Aspiring Minds said it used the automated tool Automata which is a 60-minute test taken in a compiler integrated environment and rates candidates on programming ability, programming practices, run-time complexity and test case coverage. It uses advanced artificial intelligence technology to automatically grade programming skills. "We find that out of the two problems given per candidate, only 14% engineers are able to write compilable codes for both and only 22% write compilable code for exactly one problem, " the study said. It further found that of the test subjects only 14.67% were employable by an IT services company. When it came to writing fully functional code using the best practices for efficiency and writing, only 2.21% of the engineers studied made the grade. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Slooh’s stargazing telescope livestreams now free to view

If you enjoy watching nature livestreams (and let's face it, who hasn't put on a panda cam at least one or twice while toiling away), then you may love today's announcement. Slooh , an online astronomy community that has a network of telescopes, is now making virtual viewing free. Slooh's aim is to bring outer space to your fingertips ; it owns two telescopes in Chile and seven in the Canary Islands. It allows its paid members to book time to control these telescopes. You can secure 5 reservations per month (5–10 minutes in length) for $5 per month or an unlimited number of reservations for $25 per month. Other Slooh members can sit back and watch online, but until today, they were required to pay for the privilege. Now the organization has opened up viewing for free; all you have to do is register to view live streams of outer space. Right now, some of Slooh's telescopes are offline due to dust in the air, and obviously when it's daylight at a telescope's location, it will be dormant. To join Slooh's community, you can register on their website. You'll be taken to a payment page, which offers a 30-day trial of the $5/month tier, but you can move ahead with a free account by clicking the "Continue Exploring the Community" option. You can't control the telescopes, and the number of photos you'll be able to take is limited, but hey, it's hard to complain about a free account. Via: The Verge