Craigslist Goodies

Thriving Cronut Black Market Emerges On Craigslist

A cronut-pushing cat. (Photo: Craigslist)

Cronuts are hot right now. So hot, in fact, that a couple of regular Paulie Walnuts are amassing the delicious pastries and selling them on Craigslist at up to five times the original price.

The croissant-donut hybrid is sparking Magnolia-Bakery-in-2002 levels of buzz, although most have never even lain lips on its flakey, sugary layers. Cronuts are found at Dominique Ansel Bakery in SoHo — but only for a few minutes after the opening at 5 a.m., after which point they’re sold out.

But thanks to some Craigslist schemers, the hungered masses throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and sometimes Staten Island can get their mitts on the half-breed pastries. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: PayPal is ‘Kinda Thinking About’ Using Bitcoin

Googlers? (Photo: ConferenceBike)

The bizarre tale of Google’s takeover of Provo’s fiber network is getting even weirder. The search giant billed the Utah city $500,000 to locate where the wires are hidden since the company that installed them didn’t keep proper records of where they were buried. [Ars Technica]

Matthew Keys, the beleaguered former Reuters deputy social media editor, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he conspired with Anonymous to break-in and attack websites of his former employer, Tribune. His next court date is June 12. [Huffington Post]

“Anytime I’m at a dinner or an event, social or business, people are buzzing about Tinder.” And with those words spoken, a Times profile of the dating app was born. [New York Times]

Google houses more than 1,300 colorful bikes in a warehouse near its Mountain View headquarters for employees to use because there’s no perk not offered there. Were you expecting anything less? [Wired]

PayPal said that it’s “kinda thinking about” introducing Bitcoin as a form of payment in its system. [Silicon Angle]

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is officially on Twitter. No word if he’s #TeamFollowback. [TNW]

Linkages

Booting Up: Apple Thinks You Should Be Able to Marry Whoever You Want

(Photo: flickr.com/jaxed)

Several big tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Intel have publicly declared their support for gay marriage. They’re part of a corporate group that’s reportedly planning to file an amicus brief in support of overturning California’s Prop 8. [Bloomberg]

Yahoo would like you to know that its new, anti-work-from-home police has absolutely nothing to do with you (unless you work at Yahoo). [Mercury News]

“While hanging with my 12 year old cousin the other day, I unknowingly entered into the world of Tweenstagram, a vastly different space than the Instagram I have grown to know and love (and refresh too often).” Do go on. [Wisdom of Pearls]

Max Levchin, one of the cofounders of PayPal, is launching a new mobile payments startup with the chipper name of Affirm. “You will essentially be putting a purchase on a digital tab, and we are going to make it work for us by looking at all available data to determine if you are someone who will pay it back.” [AllThingsD]

Former Square COO Keith Rabois, who left in the wake of sexual harassment accusations, has landed at Khlosa Ventures as a VC. [AllThingsD]

Visiting Dignitaries

Mark Zuckerberg, the State of California Would Like You to Pick Up Your Unclaimed Checks

Happy Holiday$! (Photo: ITechBook.net)

However broke the state of California may be, it’s also sitting on a treasure trove of unclaimed property that’s valued at over $6 billion. Holders like “corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies” are required to report any unclaimed property annually to the state comptroller’s office. That means if you’ve forgotten about bank account contents or uncashed money orders, they’re sitting around with the comptroller. Read More

Law and Order

ICE Launches Project Cyber Monday 3, Knocking Sellers of Counterfeit Goods Offline

Website seized! (ICE)

Anyone searching for cheap, counterfeit sports memorabilia, media, clothing and jewelry today may be disappointed. In conjunction with other law enforcement agencies around the world, U.S. authorities have taken down 132 domain names as part of their Project Cyber Monday. This marks the third year for the project, which goes after sites identified as sources for fake, illegal goods.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a statement about the take-downs, which noted authorities targeted sites meant to fool unwitting consumers “into unknowingly buying counterfeit goods as part of the holiday shopping season.” Read More

It's All About the Bitcoins

WordPress.com Is Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

(Photo: Wordpress)

WordPress.com, which hosts close to 58 million blogs across the world, announced last night that it will now accept payments for upgrades via Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer digital currency. The blog hosting platform says its mission is to “make publishing democratic,” and because PayPal and other payment companies block access in a fair amount of countries, the company has decided to accept Bitcoin, enabling users without access to PayPal to still purchase WordPress upgrades. Read More

Insurgents

Tech Insurgents 2012: Alex Taub and Michael Schonfeld

Mr. Taub and Mr. Schonfeld

The Credit Card Killers

With an ever-crowded financial tech market and companies like PayPal and Google Wallet elbowing for industry dominance, the race to kill the credit card is heating up. But among the standouts is Iowa-based mobile payment startup Dwolla, thanks to an innovative pricing structure and a growing New York presence helmed by Michael Schonfeld and Alex Taub. Dwolla has raised money from two New York venture capital firms, Union Square Ventures and Thrive Capital. (Josh Kushner, a Thrive principal, is also part-owner of Observer Media Group.)

Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Braintree Gets a $35 M. Boost, TED Gets Trippy, and Real Estate Gets Gamified

Jon Carin rocks (Photo: wikipedia.org)

Brain Boost This morning, Braintree, a Chicago-based online payments company announced, a $35 million series B round of funding. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). By investing in Braintree, new investors join Accel Partners and others and the company’s total funding is now set at $70 million.

Braintree acquired the beloved bill splitting app, Venmo, back in August and has kept it independent so far. Braintree allows businesses to accept payments from costumers, but Venmo allows consumers to make payments to anyone. It’s a natural fit for both parties.

Braintree’s client list includes fast-growing startups like Uber, Fab.com, Airbnb, who use it, “through periods of rapid growth without disruption to their ability to accept payments,” the company said in an email to Betabeat. They also name-checked competitors like Stripe and PayPal, noting that one “big difference is that merchants receive their funds typically in two days with Braintree, vs. seven days with Stripe.” Read More