Linkages

Booting Up: Countdown to the Ashton Kutcher Jobs Film

This guy. (Photo: Screenrant)

Not only is Starbucks accepting payments via Square, the coffee conglomerate is now also selling the Square credit card reader for $10 at its retail locations. [New York Times]

Spotify has suspended its music download service in the U.K. Users can still stream music, but are sent to an unhelpful FAQ page when they attempt to purchase it. [Pocket-Lint]

Kim Dotcom says the U.S. “planted” evidence, encouraging him to keep copyrighted files on the Megaupload servers but then punishing him when he did so. [Ars Technica]

That indie Steve Jobs film, that will star Ashton Kutcher and be an inevitable flop that we will still watch anyway, is slated for release in April. Who wants to go with us? [Wall Street Journal]

The New York state comptroller is suing microchip company Qualcomm for data about its political expenditures with the hopes it can bring more transparency to corporate political spending. [New York Times]

Linkages

Booting Up: Even a Billion Dollars Isn’t Cool Edition

So close to this, you guys. (Photo: Pinterest, duh)

Actually, being in the billion dollar startup club kind of sucks. [New York Times]

Any person with children who purchases a computer in the U.K. will be forced to apply anti-porn safety controls to it, because there’s absolutely no way kids who want to look at porn will be able to get around that. [Daily Mail]

Cisco balls so hard they just dished out $1.2 billion in cash for Meraki, a wifi startup. [TechCrunch]

How did nerds impact the election? Turns out 30,000 Redditors registered to vote after President Obama linked to a voter registration page in his AMA. [The Atlantic]

According to U.S. search results, Americans care more about Twinkies than the Israel/Gaza conflict. We are all the worst. [Virtus Machina]

Kickstarted

Kickstarter To Open In The U.K. Without Any Help From Amazon

kickstarter-logo

Kickstarter announced today that the U.K. version of its crowdfunding platform would launch on Wednesday, October 31st. A very spooky day for a launch–or perhaps it’s just an excuse to dress up like the king and queen of England? Starting today, starving film students and wacky designers who live overseas can start registering their projects and get them approved, so that they can be ready to launch on the 31st.

To go along with the international expansion, the site also just added a streamlined international shipping option for both US and UK projects. The update makes it clear to international backers when the creator is asking for more money to cover the cost of international shipping. Read More

Shakeups

Hungover After an Expansion Bender, Lot18 Pulls Out of the U.K., Lays Off Six

Mr. James (Photo: Lot 18)

Yesterday, Lot18–the members-only site for flash sales of wine–announced in a statement distributed to wine industry publications that it will permanently shutter its U.K. operations, effective at the end of the week. That includes laying off six full-time employees.

Apparently, British oenophiles are hard customers to come by these days.

The statement explains the closing: “The supermarkets’ stranglehold on the UK market proved too powerful for us to compete with and we have not experienced the anticipated growth rate.”

For those keeping score at home, this is not the first time Lot18 has dropped the axe on a significant number of employees. Back in January, the luxe startup let go of 15 percent of its staff–its first stumble following an explosive expansion. At the time, Lot18 CEO Philip James told Betabeat, “A lot of this is a natural part of the way a business grows and evolves.” Think he’s currently eating–or perhaps swigging–his words? Read More