Tag: PayPal

Just Innovate, says Visionary Elon Musk

Founder of Silicon Hills News

BbWDU6vCMAAmfHNAt Dell World, Elon Musk discussed how he’s changing the world through electric cars and space exploration.
Musk is a true leader, a risk taker and a visionary, said Michael Dell in his introduction.
“A passionate believer in technology and innovation to lead society forward,” Dell said.
Musk arrived for his keynote address at Dell World at the Austin Convention Center in a bright red Tesla with the song “Baby You Can Drive My Car” blaring from the auditorium speakers.
David Kirkpatrick, founder of Techonomy, interviewed Musk and asked him what motivates him.
Musk, cofounder of PayPal, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, said he likes technology and things that have the potential to change the world in a positive way.
“There needed to be an acceleration of electric vehicles,” Musk said. “If it was left up to the big car companies we wouldn’t see electric cars, at least not for a long time.”
The movie, “Who Killed the Electric Car” which documents how General Motors crushed the development of the EV1 in the mid-1990s, also motivated Musk to create Tesla, which almost led him into bankruptcy.
Musk recounted how he closed on the financing to keep Tesla in business in the last hour of the last day before he would have to file for bankruptcy. It was Christmas eve in 2008, he said.
“We would have gone bankrupt if we didn’t close the round,” he said.
Musk had put all of his money into Tesla and he even had to borrow money for living expenses from friends. Even though he believed in the company’s mission, he didn’t know whether the company would make it. But he saw a need for electric cars sooner and not later.
To reduce the impact of carbon emissions on the world’s atmosphere, people have to act early, Musk said.
Tesla manufactures about 600 vehicles per week, Musk said. It makes a sports car, which costs more than $120,000 and a luxury sedan.
“I don’t know a rich person that doesn’t have one or want one,” said Kirkpatrick.
Musk also showed a video of highlights from SpaceX, which designs and makes spacecraft and rockets. He splits his time between running SpaceX and Tesla Motors.
“You’re succeeding where governments have failed,” Kirkpatrick said.
Musk said he’s had some good fortune, which has helped him to pursue his ventures. He’s also worked with talented people, he said.
“If you can get a group of really talented people together and unite them around the challenge, and have them work to the best of their abilities, then the company will achieve great things,” Musk said.
Musk has money, which has helped him, Kirkpatrick said. But there are a lot of people with money who don’t have the vision and the will and who don’t apply themselves to change the world like Musk has done, he said.
“I think people self limit more than they realize,” Musk said.
The number one thing people should do is they should just try to innovate, he said. It’s also beneficial to cross-pollinate across different industries, Musk said. That can provide unique insights, he said.
Later in the interview, Dell joined the two on stage. He said the world needs more people like Musk out there taking big risks.
Dell also has a Tesla. He ordered it and one day it just showed up at his house. He enjoys driving it, he said. Dell also had a Tesla on display at its exhibits showcase at the event.
Tesla is a public company, but Musk said he doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about the stock price.
“It’s a distraction,” he said.
The stock market is “manic depressive,” Musk said.
Musk also said the public should collectively seek to advance the state of media today. He called mainstream, traditional newspapers, a “microscope on misery.” He said the media seem bent on finding and promoting the worst possible things that happen every day. The news is actually much more positive than what’s portrayed in the daily newspaper, he said.
“I get my news on Twitter,” Musk said.
Dell said he uses news feeds and alerts to stay on top of the news online.

PayPup Wins PayPal’s Battle Hack in Austin

Founder of Silicon Hills News

Jeff Linwood, winner of Battle Hack Austin with his app, PayPup, which allows people to adopt dogs from shelters and donate to their medical expenses.

Jeff Linwood, winner of Battle Hack Austin with his app, PayPup, which allows people to adopt dogs from shelters and donate to their medical expenses.

Jeff Linwood, a software developer with Biscotti Labs, loves dogs. He and his wife even adopted one from the Austin Pets Alive shelter.
But helping one dog wasn’t enough, he said.
He wanted to do more, but he couldn’t adopt any more dogs. That’s where he got the idea for a mobile phone app to help match dogs with potential owners.
He signed up for the PayPal Battle Hack competition, held last weekend at TechShop in Round Rock, and he spent Saturday and Sunday working on the project.
It paid off.
On Sunday night, PayPal announced PayPup, Linwood’s app, won Battle Hack. The mobile phone app lists all dogs available for adoption from Austin Pets Alive along with a donation button for each dog to help pay for medical expenses.
Linwood, who also works as an adjunct professor in journalism at the University of Texas, received a laser-etched glass trophy and an 4.3 pound 21-inch solid steel axe trophy.
PayPal will fly him and nine other city winners to the world finals in San Jose in November for one last hack-off where one team will receive a $100,000 grand prize.
So far, PayPal has had competitions in New York, Miami, Seattle and now Austin in the U.S., said Jonathan LeBlanc, developer evangelist at PayPal. It has held international Battle Hack competitions in Tel Aviv, Moscow and Berlin. It still plans Battle Hacks in Washington, DC., London and Barcelona.
“We chose Austin for its innovative culture,” LeBlanc said. “The city is known as a place that is changing the technology industry and creating start ups.”
More than 150 people signed up for the Battle Hack. At TechShop, the hackers had access to laser machines, 3-D printers and all kinds of software and hardware throughout the weekend.
They also had plenty of food and many teams stayed up for days on end.
Tap to Pay, a hardware hack that turns a Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized computer that plugs into a keyboard, and mobile phone into a mobile payment system, received second place. Lana Jones and Alejandro Vidal created Tap to Pay. They met at the event and worked until 4 a.m. Sunday morning to finish their hack.
“It allows for small transactions on the fly,” Jones said. A kid can use one at the lemonade stand to take payments from customers, she said.
Jones programmed a Raspberry Pi to communicate with a mobile phone to allow for payments anywhere with a simple tap of the phone on the device. It only costs $35.
Trust in Dragons, a crowdfunding platform for non-government organizations that ensures transparency and accountability with gamifaction features, received third place.
The focus of the Battle Hack competitions is to reconnect with PayPal’s developer community, said LeBlanc with PayPal.The company’s developer tools and API were focused primarily on web transactions until recently when the company began to focus more on mobile payments.
“What we are seeing with the Battle Hack competitions is a complete culture shift at PayPal,” LeBlanc said. “PayPal’s President David Marcus has made it clear that our goal is to fix and make better our infrastructure for the developer community.”
The sponsors of the event included Twilio, SendGrind, Microsoft and Nokia. They also gave out sponsor prizes to the teams.

The other teams pitching their projects at the Austin PayPal Battle Hack:

SafeWalk – an app that scrapes the latest crime data and mashes it up with Google maps to show people a safe route home.

TipTastic – an app that lets people tip food truck operators, musicians, street performers, artists or anyone. It’s geared at people who don’t carry cash but who like to tip.

Green Building – real time monitoring of energy consumption in a building, which charges people for over-use.

DoGooder – a mobile phone and web-based app that turns volunteering and donating into a game with levels, badges and the ability to achieve Superhero status.

Missing Hippo – a mobile phone app that integrates GPS with maps and enables people to find lost pets and collect rewards.

ForwardFundr – a crowdfunding app for donating money and volunteer hours to beautification projects in a community.

AUsome Carpool – a mobile phone app which makes chipping in for carpooling easier.

Tabbedout now allows bars and restaurants to accept Paypal

Just in time for South by Southwest, bar patrons can now access their PayPal account to pay for a bar tab thanks to Austin-based Tabbedout, the mobile payment solution that enables customers to open, view and pay their bar or restaurant tab with their phone.
No need to carry around a bunch of credit cards during the insanity that is SXSW. Instead, Tabbedout works on any iPhone or Android mobile phone. The free app lets you settle a bar or restaurant bill with PayPal at select Austin locations.
“PayPal is enthusiastic about giving our consumers the choice to make payments any time, anywhere and in almost any way they want,” Scott Dunlap, vice president of emerging opportunities for PayPal said in a news statement. “Being offered within the Tabbedout mobile app is another way we’re delivering consumers a fast, secure way to pay without ever pulling out their wallets.”

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