Fort St John Huskies sign on Kimmie for upcoming season

first_imgThe Huskies will be holding their Main Camp at the end of August. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Huskies have started the process of recruiting and signing new players for the upcoming season.The Huskies have recently signed on Logan Kimmie of the Northeast B.C. Yukon Trackers to play this coming season.Huskies Manager, Jeremy Clothier, says Kimmie is a good match for the team as he had a good year with the Trackers and that he fits the team’s program and philosophy as a player.- Advertisement -“He’s a local kid who we watched play with the Trackers this year, had a really good year. I feel he fits our program and our philosophies really well.”According to Clothier, Kimmie had filled-in a couple of times this past season for the Huskies, which makes it an easier transition for Kimmie to join the team.Clothier says we can expect to see more additions to the Huskies team in the coming weeks and months ahead.Advertisementlast_img read more

Kirby Dreher Finishes 2nd

first_imgHeading to the Greens at the Woman’s Amateur Championships in Williams Lake. Fort St. John golfer Kirby Dreher had the lead going into the fourth and final round, but Kira Meixner who was just two shots back of Dreher had an amazing fourth round shooting an impressive 7 under par and taking the lead. Dreher still had an impeccable performance landing at 12 under in the championship. To put that in perspective Sue Kim who took third place was at one under. Kirby and Kira were more that ten stroke ahead of the pack. A Superb performance at the Williams Lake Golf and Tennis club. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Guardiola vows City have desire to retain title

first_img0Shares0000Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus sealed his side’s win at Everton © AFP / Paul ELLISLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Feb 7 – Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City’s 2-0 victory at Everton proved they are determined to win their title fight with Liverpool as the champions returned to the top of the table on Wednesday.It was a far from inspired performance from City at Goodison Park, but goals from Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus ensured they knocked Liverpool out of pole position on goal difference. Liverpool had occupied first place since December 8, but now the pressure is on Jurgen Klopp’s side just five weeks after they could have moved 10 points clear of City.With Liverpool showing signs of nerves after two successive draws damaged their bid for a first English title since 1990, City took advantage in a fixture which was brought forward due to their League Cup final date with Chelsea later this month.It was a crucial victory and City manager Guardiola claimed his players have no intention of letting Liverpool off the hook now.“We come from champions and we are in a situation where we could have given up but it didn’t happen,” Guardiola said.“We gave an incredible game against Liverpool. These players have shown incredible desire and performances for the last two years. How could I question them?“We have played one more game. but it’s the best we can do. The reality is one month ago we could have been 10 points behind when we played Liverpool.“A few days ago we could have been seven points behind. Now we are top of the league. That is the best advice, the lesson is – never give up.“That is a lesson for all athletes. Try to win the games, because life can change immediately.”City struck at the best possible time when Laporte headed them in front in the second minute of first half stoppage-time.The opening goal came from a free-kick, needlessly conceded by Idrissa Gueye as he slid in late on Fernandinho, and taken by David Silva.The Spanish midfielder curled in a perfect delivery which found Laporte unmarked, and only eight yards from goal, for a solid finish.It was the 16th consecutive league and cup game in which Guardiola’s side has scored a first half goal, a run dating back to their first league defeat of the season at Chelsea in early December.And in the context of the title race, it may yet prove to be one of the more important although it took until deep into stoppage-time of the second half for City to claim their second.– Title intrigue –Kevin De Bruyne played in Jesus, whose initial run was blocked by Jordan Pickford, only for the ball to sit up kindly for the Brazilian to head into an open goal.That was enough to stretch City’s goal advantage to seven over Liverpool and set up an intriguing weekend, when Klopp’s team must face Bournemouth 24 hours before the leaders host Chelsea on Sunday.“We have started the week well, (beating) Arsenal and here, now comes a big, big test, a big goal,” Guardiola said.“Chelsea are an exceptional team who have had seven days to prepare. We have to prepare well.“It really is a final for us this weekend. If we are able to take these points, it is a huge step forward.”Having survived a test of their nerve at Everton, City have no time to rest on their laurels.But Guardiola insisted he won’t complain about the hectic schedule.“I used to listen to what older managers – Sir Alex Ferguson, Rafa Benitez – what they said and complained about the schedules and nothing happened,” he said.“I arrived here so I understand the situation. If we played just one competition, the schedule would be better but when you have to play four you have to adapt.“So when the Premier League say we have to play there, we take the bus to play at the right time and, at the right moment, we play the game.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

How did they do? talkSPORT presenters’ start of season predictions revealed!

first_imgRemember back to the start of the season?Chelsea were favourites to become back-to-back champions with Manchester City expected to be the team to run them closest, while Leicester City and Bournemouth were anticipated to be two of the bottom three.Memphis Depay was the new signing everyone was looking forward to watching and there was a genuine debate about whether Eden Hazard was actually better than Cristiano Ronaldo.Steve McClaren was going to bring an attacking, exciting brand of football to Newcastle United but West Ham were looking uncertain following the dismissal of Sam Allardyce and the gamble on Slaven Bilic.Well, who could have predicted what was about to unfold? Certainly not the talkSPORT presenters and pundits – or ANYONE else for that matter!A number of the radio team made their predictions for the final Premier League table all the way back in August.Click the arrow above, right, to see their guesses, featuring the likes of Stan Collymore, Stuart Pearce and more!HOW LAWRO’S PREDICTIONS MATCH UP TO THE ACTUAL FINAL TABLE Matt Holland – Aston Villa and Newcastle fans will wish Matt was spot on with his predictions! Danny Murphy – Like most, Danny picked Chelsea as champions while he also backed former club Liverpool to claim a Europa League place. Micky Gray – Micky had Louis van Gaal leading Manchester United back to the top of the Premier League table and Newcastle with a top-half finish, while Bournemouth are rock bottom. Stuart Pearce – Stuart Pearce’s prediction means not a single talkSPORT presenter thought Tottenham would make the top four or Newcastle or Aston Villa would get relegated! 7 7 Mark Saggers – Saggers received a lot of stick for placing champions Chelsea outside of the top four so he got that correct! The less said about his West Ham prediction, the better though. He is also the only person who backed Liverpool to finish in the top four. 7 Stan Collymore – Click the arrow, right, to see all the other talkSPORT presenters’ predictions – Aside from the Leicester City miracle, Stan couldn’t see Bournemouth surviving or Chelsea’s monumental disaster of a season. 7 7 7 Alan Brazil – Alan didn’t get a single club in the correct position! 7last_img read more


first_imgFEATURES: Famed television pastry chef Paul Kelly from The Great Irish Bake Off is returning to Donegal where he began his career to host a special bake off event for secondary school pupils.Kelly, who has worked in many five star hotels around Ireland and the rest of the world, and is currently Executive Pastry Chef at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, started his career as a commi chef in The Sandhouse Hotel in Rossnowlagh. To commemorate the centenary of 1916, the Great Donegal Junior Bake will feature aspiring chefs from secondary schools all over the county who will have one and a half hours to make a show stopping edible cake that celebrates 1916.The event, which is in aid of Irish Autism Action and St Riaghans National School Parents Association, will be held in The Highlands Hotel, Glenties on 20th May 2016.Doors open at 7. In addition to the bake off, there will be cooking demonstrations from Kelly and local chefs as well as a special 1916-themed play performed by the pupils of St Riaghans.During his visit, Kelly will also spend some time at St Riaghans school where he will meet the children and raise the Health Promoting School flag. Speaking about the Junior Bake Off, Kelly says: I love going back to Donegal and my Passion is Pastry so hosting this competition offers me the opportunity to combine both while at the same time helping to fundraise for a very worthy cause.“I am really looking forward to getting my ruler out, meeting the contestants and having a fun evening with everyone involved.”Paula Roarty, chairperson of the St Riaghans Parents Association, says: “We are very grateful to Paul for his generosity in helping to make this event a reality.“It will be an unforgettable evening for those taking part in the competition and for everyone in the audience.“Hopefully, the competition will be the inspiration for some of the aspiring chefs on the night to go on and forge successful careers in the future.”About Irish Autism Action: Formed in 2001, Irish Autism Action is dedicated to bringing positive change into the lives of those affected by autism and provides a wide range of services including awareness raising, early detection diagnosis, education support, advocacy, counselling, helpline, home based support, transition planning, social housing, research information and advice for families upon receiving diagnosis.An umbrella organisation with 33 member groups and 3,500 individual members in practically every county in Ireland, Irish Autism Action set up Ireland’s first National Diagnostic and Assessment Centre, known as Solas, based in Dublin.It also launched a dedicated National Autism Helpline, operated by parents, providing impartial and confidential information, advice and support for people with an autistic spectrum disorder, their families and professionals.About St Riaghans National School Parents Association: Since its formation in 2005, St Riaghan’s National School Parents Association has been very involved in fundraising and providing financial support for school activities for the children.We have held a number of bric-a-brac and book sales, cake sales and a skip-a-thon to raise funds.In addition to fundraising, the association hosts and finances an Easter Egg hunt every year and also organises a very popular annual summer fun night social event for the children and parents.St Riaghans National School is a two teacher school located in Drimnacrosh, outside Glenties which has just gained its flag as a Health Promoting School with a strong focus on healthy eating and physical activity.TV CHEF PAUL KELLY TO HOST GREAT DONEGAL JUNIOR BAKE OFF was last modified: May 18th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:autismJunior Bake OffPaul KellyTV Cheflast_img read more


first_imgDD LIFESTYLE: Simply putting on fitness gear can help put you in the right frame of mind to start exercising, according to researchers.It also makes your workout more effective.You don’t have to spend a fortune as many high street stores including Penneys, New Look and H&M all stock their own affordable range. Even the supermarkets have a range of gym wear to suit everyone’s pocket.And it doesn’t have to be black leggings all the time. Gorgeous spring shades of peppermint, coral and turquoise and abstract designs are everywhere.Have you completed your first couch to 5k? Have you reached a monthly goal in your training?Treat yourself to that new running vest. You deserved it and worked hard for it. New Look currently have a sale on its sportswear. Some standout offers include:This turquoise colour block vest is now €7.49 (New Look)This blue tribal prints sports crop is also on offer at €11.24 (New Look)This bright pink Move It crop is now €11.00 (New Look)These black abstract print leggings are now €17.00 (New Look) This gorgeous bubblegum pink Adidas keyhole vest is also on offer at Brian McCormick Sport at €19,95Also on offer at Brian McCormick’s Sports Letterkenny are these supercool NIKE FREE CROSS COMPETE PURPLE /BLACK at €69.95Pennys has a range of gorgeous spring colours in its sportswear at the moment. This vest is below is €6.00 and leggings (bottom) are €13.00DD LIFESTYLE: WORKOUT GEAR TO MAKE YOU WANT TO STAY FIT was last modified: April 20th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Brian McCormick SportsDonegal DailyFitness gearNew LookPenneyslast_img read more

Amgen sues over Epogen

first_imgTHOUSAND OAKS – Amgen Inc., the world’s biggest biotechnology company, said Wednesday that it has sued three units of Roche Holding AG, claiming patent infringement of its popular anti-anemia drug Epogen. The suit was filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston against F. Hoffmann-LaRoche Ltd., Roche Diagnostics GmbH and Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. It alleges that the units of the Basel, Switzerland-based company poached six patents related to the manufacture of Epogen, which Amgen developed and replicates as erythropoietin, a glycoprotein secreted by the kidneys that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Epogen, based on work by Amgen researcher Dr. Fu-Kuen Lin, now retired, is given to patients with kidney failure and those on dialysis. Amgen said the Roche units are importing an anti-anemia product called CERA that contains a product covered by its patents. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Thousand Oaks-based Amgen is seeking a permanent injunction blocking this Roche foray into the domestic marketplace. The company declined comment on why the suit was filed in Boston. “I really can’t comment on litigation strategy,” Amgen spokeswoman Mary Klen said in a statement. Roche, in an e-mail, said it had not seen the suit. “We are confident that CERA (Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator) does not infringe any of Amgen’s U.S. patents … Moreover, the U.S. patent office thoroughly examined the patentability of CERA and concluded that CERA is a novel molecule that is patentable in its own right,” the statement said. Its patent was issued in June 2003. Amgen has already prevailed in two other patent-infringement suits involving Epogen. The latest came in October of last year when a federal court judge in Boston ruled in Amgen’s favor in its patent dispute with Transkaryotic Therapies Inc. and Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc. At that time, Amgen said the ruling confirmed the strength of its patent rights. Shiv S. Kapoor, a biotech analyst at Montgomery & Co. in San Francisco, said Amgen has a good reason to aggressively protect Epogen. “It’s a big threat,” he said of possible competition from Roche. Epogen accounts for about 30 percent of Amgen’s total sales, although that is expected to decline to about 26 percent in four years. Roche, if it beats back the Amgen challenge, could snare about $1 billion of Amgen’s sales by 2010, he said. Gregory J. Wilcox, (818) 713-3743 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Old Fourlegs – a fishy tale

first_imgA group of coelacanth drift serenely in a cave off Grande Comore. (Image: Hans Fricke) The coelacanth sketch enclosed by Courtenay-Latimer with her first letter to James Smith. Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer with the fish that started it all – this specimen can still be seen in the East London Kuseum. The Daily Dispatch’s article of 20 February 1939, describing the sensation of the coelacanth find. For a larger version, click here. In 1971 Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer received an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University for her contribution to science.(Images: South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity) MEDIA CONTACTS • East London Museum  +27 43 743 0686 RELATED ARTICLES • Floral wealth in caring hands • Make a pledge to save our seas • SA consumers help rebuild fish stocks • Moz leads in marine conservation • Lions of Ethiopia are one of a kind Janine ErasmusHad it not been for the passion of a self-trained South African naturalist, the discovery of a living specimen of the rare coelacanth around this time in 1938 may never have happened.Eastern Cape native Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer originally trained as a nurse. Although her wish was to work in a museum, there were few opportunities at the time.Her wish did come true – in 1931, without any formal training, she landed the position of curator of the East London Museum, established a decade before and still in existence today. The museum had just moved to new premises, and Courtenay-Latimer was 24 at the time.Her passion for her work was boundless, and her main interest was birds. In her desire to gather unusual specimens for the museum, she did much of the collecting herself.Reports say that she donated her great-aunt Lavinia’s dodo egg to the museum – apparently the only dodo egg in existence today, although this is a debatable issue as DNA tests have not been allowed.In 1935 she and a colleague excavated the almost complete fossil skeleton of the mammal-like reptile Kannemeyeria simocephalus from a site near Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape. This species is said to be the standard against which other similar animals from the Middle Triassic period is compared.Courtenay-Latimer also sent out a request to local fisherman to alert her if they caught anything out of the ordinary.It was this foresight that led to the identification of a fish that had only ever been seen as a fossil and was thought to have died out about 70-million years ago. On 22 December 1938 Courtenay-Latimer received a call from Hendrik Goosen, the skipper of the fishing trawler Nerine, which had netted a catch just off the Eastern Cape’s Chalumna, or Tyolomnqa River.According to the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB, formerly the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology), which runs an extensive coelacanth programme, Goosen had caught the fish alive in 70m of water and was conscientious about keeping it intact for scrutiny by the museum. He also described its colour when caught as blue, although this had faded to grey by the time the ship came back to port.In his diary, Courtenay-Latimer’s father Eric described her wonder and excitement regarding the find. He wrote that although his daughter was busy putting together a fossil collection, she set it aside for the sake of scientific curiosity and went down to the harbour. The 58kg fish she found on the Nerine was unlike anything she had ever read about. Zoological find of the centuryFor help with identification, Courtenay-Latimer turned to a friend, chemistry lecturer and fish enthusiast James Leonard Brierley Smith of Rhodes University in Grahamstown.The academic, after whom SAIAB was originally named, was unable to take her call as he was away at the time, but he received Courtenay-Latimer’s subsequent correspondence on his return and looked at her enclosed drawing of the fish, which had by that time been mounted to prevent it from rotting away.Smith recognised it straight away as a coelacanth but was unable to travel immediately to make a visual identification, a situation that caused him much anguish.“Fifty million years! It was preposterous that coelacanths had been alive all that time, unknown to modern man,” he later wrote in his book Old Fourlegs: The Story of the Coelacanth.When Smith received three scales in the post, his anguish was wiped away. “They leave little doubt about the nature of the fish, but even so my mind still refuses to grasp this tremendous impossibility,” he wrote back to Courtenay-Latimer.Even so, Smith was determined to see the fish with his own eyes and finally, almost two months after the catch, he and his wife made it to East London.“Although I had come prepared, that first sight hit me like a white-hot blast and made me feel shaky and queer, my body tingled,” he wrote in Old Fourlegs. “I stood as if stricken to stone. Yes, there was not a shadow of doubt, scale by scale, bone by bone, fin by fin, it was a true coelacanth.”Smith named the fish Latimeria chalumnae in honour of the young curator and the river near which it was found. When the news broke of the “most important zoological find of the 20th century”, the pair became overnight celebrities.In February 1939 the fish went on display to the public at the museum, attracting 1 527 people, according to the Daily Dispatch. This was the largest crowd that had ever passed through the doors in a single day. That original fish is still in the East London Museum, where it is a popular drawcard.But to see the stately coelacanth in live action, watch this May 2011 video (WMV, 6.5MB) of specimens near Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, showing their vivid blue colour and white spots.Smith played an important role in organising the search that led to the discovery of a second coelacanth, 14 years later, off the coast of Anjouan Island, part of the Comoros group located in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mozambique. He wanted to capture another fish to scientifically confirm its identity, as the internal organs of the first one had been lost during taxidermy.When found, it was thought to be another new species and was named Malania anjouanae in honour of the then South African prime minister Daniel Malan. Malan had loaned Smith an air force Dakota so that he could speed to the Comoros and bring the fish home before it decayed – almost causing an international incident with French authorities in the process.Courtenay-Latimer, South Africa’s zoological heroine, retired as curator in 1973 and died in 2004 at the age of 97. In 2003 casts of her footprints were placed in Heroes Park in East London, a venue that celebrates prominent people from the Eastern Cape, including Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela.Unchanged for millions of yearsThe coelacanth is classified as critically endangered by the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. While the fossil record has revealed some 80 species of coelacanth, there is just one other living species in the genus Latimeria, the Indonesian coelacanth (L. menadoensis).The fish is believed to live to a ripe old age, as much as 80 years according to some scientists who have studied growth rings in its ear bones. It’s thought to have developed during the Devonian period about 400-million years ago, and is in much the same shape today as it was then.Related to lungfishes and tetrapods, or early four-footed animals, the so-called living fossil can grow up to two metres in length and weigh as much as 80 kg.It has a number of primitive distinguishing features that some scientists feel represent a step in the evolution of fishes into land animals. Its paired fins are fleshy and lobed and are supported by bones. This has given rise to the fish’s nickname – Old Fourlegs. Smith published Old Fourlegs: The Story of the Coelacanth in 1956, a book that was later translated into seven languages, although the American version omitted the nickname in the title. It may be read online at the Open Library.The dorsal fin also contains hollow spines and it’s this feature that gave the animal its name – from the Latin cœlacanthus, meaning “hollow spine” (Greek, coeliac meaning hollow and acanthos meaning spine). This was bestowed on it in 1839 by palaeontologist Jean Louis Agassiz on examining a fossil. The coelacanth forages for food at night and hides in caves during the day. Using a special electrosensitive cavity in its snout, known as a rostral organ, the animal can find prey and navigate around obstacles in the dark. Because of the depth at which it usually lives, between 90m and 200m, its eyes are adapted with a tapetum lucidum, a layer of tissue behind the eye that reflects light back through the retina and improves vision in dim light.Another distinguishing feature is the coelacanth’s hinged mouth, thanks to an intracranial joint that allows the front of the head to lift high and the mouth to open remarkably wide when feeding. The coelacanth’s brain is tiny in relation to its body size and occupies just 1.5% of the brain cavity. In a 40kg specimen, the brain typically weights about three grams – this is the smallest brain to body size ratio observed in a living vertebrate.Then, on the outside of its body, its keratin-covered scales are tightly bound almost like armour, for protection. They are known as cosmoid scales and are one of the features pointed out by Courtenay-Latimer in her first letter to Smith.The coelacanth also has a hollow pressurised fluid-filled notochordal canal that runs the length of its body and serves as a backbone. The fish is classified as a vertebrate although it has no vertebrae, but the notochord serves the purpose. The coelacanth gives birth to live young, called pups. Since the first sighting in 1938, live specimens have been seen in the Comoros, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar, Mozambique, Madagascar, and in South Africa’s iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a world heritage site.last_img read more

Liaise: Possibly The Coolest Email Add-On Ever (Video)

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Product Reviews#web Liaise is an email add-on launching today that analyzes the free-text contents of your emails as you write them for task-related information, including assignee, deadline and priority. It then helps you manage all your tasks in an interface beside your email inbox, pulling up all the emails associated with a particular task or person you’re set to meet with, automatically.This impressive tool is launching today at the DEMO conference, where it may very well steal the show. Liaise is currently available only for Outlook, but if you’re an Outlook user then it’s worth your time to download. Outlook user or not, you’ll want to check out the video demonstration below.I really hope that this product will support GMail sometime soon (perhaps with some Google Gears integration?) but for now this is the first software in a long time that’s made me give Windows a second look. This level of automated task-tracking and organization, with minimal interruption to your existing work-flow, has got to offer a competitive advantage. The elegance of the real-time analysis and the usefulness of the language processing, at least in theory on the day the product launches, is the kind of experience that reminds us how much innovation is still possible.The first 200 ReadWriteWeb readers who click this link will get access to download the application. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Square’s Next Move: Jump On A Platform

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#acquisitions#Braintree#e-commerce#Gokul Rajaram#Mobile Payments#online payments#Payments#PayPal#square#Stripe Related Posts PayPal just bought Braintree. But the payments giant wasn’t the only company having conversations with Braintree, a Chicago-based startup known for its appeal to app developers.Square, a mobile-payments company focused on elegant design and smaller merchants, appears to have been interested in Braintree, too.And that suggests that Square is rethinking what it is and how it should play in the vast, convoluted world where money moves.Three People At A Square TableReadWrite recently heard of a meeting between Braintree CEO Bill Ready, Square CEO Jack Dorsey, and Square CFO Sarah Friar. When we asked Ready about the meeting, he didn’t deny it happened—far from it.“I know Jack and Sarah from the industry and have a lot of respect for them for Square,” Ready recently told ReadWrite. “I’ve had a lot of conversations in the past, like I’ve had with a lot of players.”It’s not clear what they discussed, but there’s a lot to talk about. (An exceptionally polite and pleasant Square spokesperson declined to comment.) 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market owen thomas Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… It first helps to understand what the companies do: While they both nominally offer payments-related services, their products and customers have almost no overlap.Square offers a physical credit-card swiper for use with smartphones and tablets and a more integrated cash-register substitute built around Apple’s iPad, the Square Stand. Along with that hardware, it offers a flat-fee payments service.For the consumer, very little changes—they still swipe a credit card, though Square can send receipts by email or text message instead of printing them on paper. Merchants—typically small stores, service providers, and small chains with less than 10 locations—get a simplified fee structure. Though Square has just recently expanded into e-commerce with its Square Market, it primarily helps sell goods and services delivered person-to-person, in the real world.Braintree, by contrast, is a back-end payments processor; its brand is all but invisible to consumers. It started out as an e-commerce alternative to PayPal and other services that let retailers charge credit cards online, but more recently, it’s found a lucrative, fast-growing niche in providing credit-card processing to mobile-app developers.Last year, it bought Venmo, a person-to-person payments-app maker, which gave it a consumer-facing brand. Before PayPal announced its acquisition, Braintree was in the process of turning Venmo into a mobile wallet that let users enter a credit card once into a Braintree-powered app, and then use that card with other Braintree clients without having to reenter it in every app.Touching In PersonWhere Square and Braintree begin to overlap is in the world of services. The same magical idea that lets you order a coffee at Blue Bottle and pay for it by saying your name also lets you pay for an Uber ride by opening up a car door and walking out. In both cases, a charge is made to a stored credit-card number kept securely in an account stored on a server.“We want to carry every transaction,” Square’s Dorsey recently told the San Francisco Chronicle.That ambition can’t be fulfilled if Square merely serves small “micromerchants” in physical environments. It must also tackle the virtual opportunity.A Square OpeningThere are signs that Square is thinking bigger. The Braintree conversation is one—though an acquisition would have strained Square’s resources and challenged its identity.Another sign is Square’s recent hire of Gokul Rajaram to run its product engineering. Rajaram is an expert in software platforms from his years at Google and Facebook.“Platform” is a term often loosely thrown around in technology. Many companies claim to run platforms; few actually do. A true platform provides a system for exchanging value based on a kind of technological codependence. The platform operator provides the underpinnings for other software developers to create useful applications on top of it. Those applications, in turn, build the value of the platform.Today, Square stands almost completely alone. It builds a beautifully integrated system of hardware, software, and services, which lets it move swiftly and decisively when it sees opportunities to improve its product. But it has little interaction with other software makers, which seems like a lonely way to do business.It has begun to loosen its grip. Last year, Square launched a much-publicized partnership with Starbucks, though the actual implementation to date has been disappointing, a kludgy affair involving poorly trained baristas and confusing barcodes. More recently, it announced that its customers could port data from Square’s proprietary Register software to Intuit’s QuickBooks.Those are tentative measures—perhaps tests as much internal as external, to see if Square can learn to play well with others.But eventually, Square must open up.How Square Can Round Itself OutUpstarts like Square cannot count on incumbents like PayPal ineptly missing new opportunities—like the emerging businesses of smartphone and mobile-app payments that let Square and Braintree spring up in the first place. While Square now processes more than $15 billion a year in payments, it’s less than a tenth of PayPal’s size.One obvious product to lead with is its distinctive “pay with name” feature, which it now calls Auto Check In. This could be the basis of a service it offers to other app makers—one that might benefit from Square’s distinctive and trusted consumer brand, which unlike, say, “Braintree” or “Venmo,” many people now recognize as a means of payment. A familiar Square icon would signal to smartphone users a simple message: You don’t have to reenter your credit card here.Square may never have a completely open API, since it trades in people’s finances and merchants’ business data. But it may offer tiers of access, or a system of invitations to select developers who complement Square’s commerce-focused offerings—and who could then build out Square-compatible systems for merchant’s own websites.Courting those developers, a constituency Square has historically ignored, will be a trickier matter. It may need to do an acquisition of its own—perhaps Stripe, another San Francisco-based payments startup with which it shares principles of elegant design, not to mention some prominent investors.Stripe CEO Patrick Collison’s famous devotion to customer service and his intellectual rigor would make for a good cultural fit with Square. The prospective combination of Stripe’s Collison and Square’s Rajaram ought to strike fear into the hearts of PayPal CEO David Marcus and Braintree chief Bill Ready, if they have any sense.Can Square add another side to its business—adding services for app developers to its elegant hardware, software, and payments? Without it, Square seems to be missing a leg.last_img read more