Time Warner Still Sucks On Friday, Mayor Bloomberg made a big move toward ing promise to expand broadband in New York. He launched ConnectNYC, a contest for small businesses that will award free fiber cable wiring (overall value of up to $12 million) to 240 local businesses across the five boroughs over the next two years. But will it make slow cashiers go faster?
All Your Dwollas Belong To Us Dwolla, the way to pay people via smartphone, just rolled out a cool feature called MassPay. It allows you to pay up to 2,000 people at once, which is great for business owners or degenerate gamblers who have a lot of friends. Payments under 10 dollars are free, while anything higher than that requires a small fee of 25 cents per transaction. Parking Panda, VHX and Major League Gaming have all pledged to start using the service immediately.
Finna FinTech Startup Weekend is teaming up with the FinTech Innovation Lab and the NYC FinTech Startups meetup to put on the first ever FinTech Startup Weekend. It’s set to take place on November 2 to 4 at Alley NYC. Throughout the weekend, there will be mentors, including VCs, lawyers and designers, stopping by to give teams advice on what they’re doing.
Nick Gavronsky, an OpenFin employee who helps run Startup Weekend with Frank Denbow, spoke to Betabeat and said that he was surprised by the response the event is getting. “We’ve noticed over the last year or so that FinTech is growing and there’s a need for engagement and bringing that community together–as well as around enterprise in general,” Mr. Gavronsky said.
FinTech weekend, he said, is “not really like a hackathon, it’s more for first-time people” who want to start building something.
Costumes for a Cause! WeWork is organizing a Halloween party this coming Monday, October 29th benefiting Charity: Water that cofounder Matt Shampine promises will be a “crazy” good time, including “a lot of surprises and five hours of open bar.” Better yet, you can feel good while throwing them back: WeWork will be matching everyone’s donations to the event. WeWork generously offered Betabeat readers a 15 percent discount off the ticket price, which starts at a $35 donation. Just enter the discount code “betabeat” when you RSVP. While you figure out your binders of women vs. bayonets costume choice, here’s a video WeWork put together to get you in the party mood.
Sexy Canadians Songza, the music streaming app that has a playlist for every mood, just reached 1 million users in Canada. To celebrate, we’re going to listen to the “cold” playlist. The Songza team used its data and found that Canadians and Americans both chose “Mellow” more than any other mood. Americans’ next most popular category was “Happy,” while Canadians’ second choice was “Sexual.” The sexual playlist only works correctly if you’re sleeping with Canada’s finest export, Ryan Gosling.
Group Talk IRL Group messaging service GroupMe just launched a new service called Experiences. It lets you meet up and plan adventures with your groups and even helps you split the bill. The first round of experiences include a brunch at one of Todd English’s restaurant and a zombie survival practice on Halloween. Sounds spooky enough for us.
Chatroulette With a Purpose Onswipe held its hackathon this weekend, and the overall winner created something really awesome. BlahBlahLearning is a language learning platform that works over video chat. A pair of speakers who are each learning the other’s native tongue are given five minutes to speak in one language, then five minutes to speak in the other. Take some notes, Airtime, these guys have the right idea.
Man Starts Blog internet gadfly Rex Sorgatz has just launched a personal project called Viewsource. He’s posting one YouTube video a day and sharing his thoughts about it. The site has a really pretty layout, and Mr. Sorgatz’s commentary is pretty spot-on. This one about Michael Richards is a pretty good read.
You Owe Us One Foursquare is hiring a PR director. If you get this job and you first found out about it through Betabeat, then you have to give us exclusives for the entirety of your career. It’s only fair.
Publicidad Jun Group, the opt-in video advertising platform, has announced that it has new capabilities to specifically target the much-coveted Hispanic audience on the web. Jun Group says that it can now prescreen users to determine if they’re Hispanic and/or native Spanish speakers. In total, the company provides ads to 10 million Hispanic or Spanish-speaking users.
Advertise More, Save the World Pontiflex, another advertising platform, just released a new tool called AdLeads that helps nonprofits advertise themselves to prospective donors. The best part about the service is that organizations only have to pay when a person actually signs up to hear from them. They never waste money on wasted clicks or impressions.
College Admissions Suck Applying to college is the worst process in the world, but luckily things just got a bit easier thanks to Unigo. The site gives a free 15-minute private consultation to set you up with a plan, and then users can subscribe to Unigo’s online college counseling services. If your child’s guidance counselor is a total idiot, then this looks like a good option for you.