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Old Dec 9, 2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Square Debuts New Card Reader Developed by Former Apple Lightning Connector Designer




Square today unveiled a newly redesigned Square Reader, which is approximately 45 percent thinner than the previous version and more accurate at reading credit and debit cards thanks to a new slightly wider but tapered design.

As noted by Wired, Square's new ultra thin card reader was developed under the direction of Jesse Dorogusker, who was Apple's Director of Engineering for iPhone, iPod, and iPad Accessories up until 2011, when he left to become Square's VP of Hardware.

Before leaving Apple, Dorogusker headed the development of Apple's Lightning connector, the two-way plug that replaced the 30-pin connector in Apple products beginning with the iPhone 5.

To develop the thinner card reader for Square, Dorogusker was forced to move away from stock components and develop proprietary hardware such as a new custom read head that is able to read two bands of data from the magnetic stripes on credit cards, resulting in greater swipe accuracy.

Dorogusker and his team concentrated on improving the "feel" of swiping, incorporating additional tension in a spring that attaches to the read head for a more satisfying credit card swiping experience. They also developed a custom chip, allowing the team to shrink the Reader's size while improving its performance.

Quote:
In terms of the design of the internals, though, the chip offered another fantastic advantage: an opportunity to ditch the Reader's battery. The old version relied on a coin cell, which added around two millimeters to the overall thickness of the device. With their own chip, though, Square was able to be much more efficient in their use of power, to the point that they could draw all they needed from the smartphone via the audio jack. As a result, the new Reader dropped the battery and two millimeters along with it. "For the nerds on the team, that is crazy awesome," Dorogusker says.

It shows how a smart approach to a single component can yield all sorts of advantages. "It cascades through," Dorogusker says. "Designing our own electronics got us better performance, got rid of the battery and got rid of our biggest field issue all in one go."
Wired has a full rundown on the design process behind the new Square Reader, which is well worth reading.

The new Square Reader can be purchased from retail stores beginning next year, but it is immediately available for free from the Square website. The accompanying Square Register app can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Square Debuts New Card Reader Developed by Former Apple Lightning Connector Designer
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 12:36 PM   #2
XboxMySocks
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"Dorogusker and his team concentrated on improving the "feel" of swiping, incorporating additional tension in a spring that attaches to the read head for a more satisfying credit card swiping experience."

....
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 12:36 PM   #3
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Yet it still spins when you try to use it.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 12:37 PM   #4
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I love square card reader... I can't wait to try this one!
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 12:42 PM   #5
egeek84
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Let me know when it works with Otterbox cases
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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let me know when works with iPhone 5S and the Powermat case where I don't have to take off my case to use it..
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 01:01 PM   #7
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Hey Square...

Why don't you focus some effort on your horrendous e-commerce? It's severely lacking and has cost my lots of money. How? First, you can't do partial refunds on orders. It's either all or none. Second, the e-commerce orders EXPIRE. What? Yes, so if you are out of stock on something or run into an issue, the order will expire and automatically refund the customer even while you are trying to complete the order. I was looking for a way to do a partial refund and finally decided to send the customer a check. We were then able to ship the product, but the stupid order expired AFTER the shipment was made which meant we GAVE the user money AND sent him a product for FREE. Now we are trying to beg the customer to pay for what we shipped.

Seriously people, don't use square for e-commerce. It's terrible.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 01:10 PM   #8
BSben
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Isn't the magnet stripe a thing of the past? I thought chip and pin had replaced that system years ago. Anyway, as far as card readers go, it does look quite nice.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 01:29 PM   #9
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Why no chip & pin or PayPas?
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 01:32 PM   #10
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Isn't the magnet stripe a thing of the past? I thought chip and pin had replaced that system years ago. Anyway, as far as card readers go, it does look quite nice.
The UK is light years ahead of the US in this regard. I remember a few years ago my old boss had to special order a card with a chip in it for his trip to the UK. I've started seeing some terminals that have wireless icons on them (I guess this is for the RFID) but I've never seen someone use it.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 01:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by egeek84 View Post
Let me know when it works with Otterbox cases
or give up on cases like Jerry Seinfeld said: “Why don’t you walk around with a helmet on, too?" Jerry needles. "Why don’t you get yourself a big styrofoam helmet?”

http://www.macworld.com/article/1168..._seinfeld.html

Their reader seems to be the most popular despite other companies introducing different form factors. I personally like the iPad reader version for POS. For a small business this device may be too bulky for mobile stations.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by macduke View Post
The UK is light years ahead of the US in this regard. I remember a few years ago my old boss had to special order a card with a chip in it for his trip to the UK. I've started seeing some terminals that have wireless icons on them (I guess this is for the RFID) but I've never seen someone use it.
I don't think they are as popular because people feel that they are not a secure, as you can build an RFID skimmer about the size of a packet of gum and then simply walk through a crowd of people while you pick up users' credit card details. there were several articles posted on ars and slashdot, about this when the first couple of credit cards started to roll out, when my bank gave me one of these, I had them re-send me my updated credit card without this feature.

otherwise you gotta walk around with a bunch of tin foil wrappers on your cards.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 01:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by XboxMySocks View Post
"Dorogusker and his team concentrated on improving the "feel" of swiping, incorporating additional tension in a spring that attaches to the read head for a more satisfying credit card swiping experience."

....
The original Square reader, which I've been using for about a year, has really poor tactile feedback. It has very little resistance, and it's hard to tell whether the card has been successfully read or not. It seems the new one is more "satisfying" and assuring to use.

I don't own a business, but I just use it for splitting bills with friends and the occasional fundraiser. Easy to use, reasonable fees.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 02:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by egeek84 View Post
Let me know when it works with Otterbox cases
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveLV702 View Post
let me know when works with iPhone 5S and the Powermat case where I don't have to take off my case to use it..
Just buy a headphone jack extender.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 02:05 PM   #14
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Can they read chip cards yet? Because they're going to start phasing out magstripe transactions in just over a year here in Canada.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 02:13 PM   #15
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I'm so glad my unsatisfying card swiping experiences are now a thing of the past.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 03:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by BSben View Post
Isn't the magnet stripe a thing of the past? I thought chip and pin had replaced that system years ago. Anyway, as far as card readers go, it does look quite nice.
This is another one of those things where Europe just doesn't see the light like the U.S. with regards to the watching out for the consumer and general citizenry.

In the U.S. the banks who issue credit cards can deduct 1/2 their credit card theft amounts from their tax payments and then the other half is passed along directly to the consumer in increased costs (and secondarily through the government and the tax break) - this way the U.S. banks don't have to worry about trying to prevent credit card theft because the costs associated with it don't affect their bottom line - as a result credit card theft in the U.S. has exploded and we just keep doing the same thing. There is some talk of chip cards coming in the U.S. years down the line - but its just the chip part of the card not the PIN part, so it won't provide any more security than the current magnetic strip and possibly less if the chip can be read at a distance (this way U.S. banks don't do the pin part which provides the additional security and would demand a slightly more expensive card and reader). This enhances shareholder value for U.S. banks and is much more advanced than the European way of doing things (chip and pin, which reduced theft at the store level by a large amount after it was implemented long ago).

Its much like mobile network infrastructure in Europe vs. the U.S., and again here the U.S. shows its foresight and looks out in the best interests of its citizens. In most of Europe, each country just has one mobile network that all carriers share the cost of and then they must compete on price and service. Here in the U.S. we decided to have each carrier build its complete own mobile network infrastructure (for many given areas this results in 3 or 4 complete duplicate mobile infrastructures for the same area that had to be built and payed for with costs passed on to the consumer). This results in much higher costs for U.S. consumers (than if we just had one network where costs were shared) as we have to pay for each independent infrastructure through our bills (and is why U.S. mobile costs are so much higher than most of Europe) and cannot easily move to another provider as the networks (phones) are often locked and not compatible and exemplifies the foresight and intelligence with which the U.S. does nearly all its business related planning (often called "The Special Interests doctrine").

Oh, did I mention much of this is a result of the superior way the U.S. lets its businesses pay for politician's election campaigns and as a result they often literally write the legislation that regulates them - this is often known as "The Fox guarding the Hen House doctrine" and is practiced with great enthusiasm by both parties, some call it ugly names like official corruption, but multinational companies love it. U.S. president's often appoint former lobbyists for a particular industry to regulate that same industry, obviously because of their superior knowledge of that same industry sector - the banking industry for the last 20 years is a great example that shows how well that works and the new head of the FCC who regulates media/cable and in particular ensures that the network neutrality law is protected, was a former lobbyist for the media and cable companies (probably looking forward to returning to that industry after his stint serving the general citizenry as a government official) and was just quoted as saying he thought it'd be great for companies to have to pay to get good performance on a cable companies internet line to the consumer after the consumer just paid to get access to the internet on that same line - collecting revenue from the consumer as well as the company on the internet to get to the consumer is known as the "Double Billing doctrine" and enhances shareholder value as well).

These examples show the obvious advantages of the U.S. way of doing things (and there are so many others, the U.S. Medical Industry is another great one - a $7 inhaler in Europe is over $300 here in the U.S. because the U.S. govt gave that company a new patent since they changed the type of propellent used in the inhaler which is non-reactionary and doesn't affect the medicine's interaction with the patient - talk about enhancing shareholder value and watching out for the general citizen).

Chip and Pin isn't a panacea but its much better security than what we have in the U.S., but there isn't a chance we'll see it here because it costs a little more and banks here are insulated from the costs of credit card fraud...this is the superior U.S. way of doing things...
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 04:22 PM   #17
KeepCalmPeople
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Originally Posted by scottwaugh View Post
This is another one of those things where Europe just doesn't see the light like the U.S. with regards to the watching out for the consumer and general citizenry.
...
...
, but there isn't a chance we'll see it here because it costs a little more and banks here are insulated from the costs of credit card fraud...this is the superior U.S. way of doing things...
Careful there sonny, business people doing things together for the common good is, well, it's socialism! In the US what we do may cost the consumer more, but we love competition!
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 05:00 PM   #18
PinkyMacGodess
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This must be first gen and third gen because the reader I had is no where as bulky as the one on the left. Just sayin'...

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunarworks View Post
Can they read chip cards yet? Because they're going to start phasing out magstripe transactions in just over a year here in Canada.
Yet American Express phased out the chips in their cards a few years ago. No one had the technology to read the chip, except the Virgin Megastores that I was ever aware of. I did see a snazzy blue card yesterday that someone was trying to use at the grocery that had a chip. I almost asked to see their card. I still have an American Express chip reader that was made available to merchant account holders. Never used it... I'd rely on a chip reader a hell of a lot more than this Near Field voodoo. I can spend my money a lot easier than anyone else can by just reading my butt...

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottwaugh View Post
This is another one of those things where Europe just doesn't see the light like the U.S. with regards to the watching out for the consumer and general citizenry.

In the U.S. the banks who issue credit cards can deduct 1/2 their credit card theft amounts from their tax payments and then the other half is passed along directly to the consumer in increased costs (and secondarily through the government and the tax break) - this way the U.S. banks don't have to worry about trying to prevent credit card theft because the costs associated with it don't affect their bottom line - as a result credit card theft in the U.S. has exploded and we just keep doing the same thing. There is some talk of chip cards coming in the U.S. years down the line - but its just the chip part of the card not the PIN part, so it won't provide any more security than the current magnetic strip and possibly less if the chip can be read at a distance (this way U.S. banks don't do the pin part which provides the additional security and would demand a slightly more expensive card and reader). This enhances shareholder value for U.S. banks and is much more advanced than the European way of doing things (chip and pin, which reduced theft at the store level by a large amount after it was implemented long ago).

Its much like mobile network infrastructure in Europe vs. the U.S., and again here the U.S. shows its foresight and looks out in the best interests of its citizens. In most of Europe, each country just has one mobile network that all carriers share the cost of and then they must compete on price and service. Here in the U.S. we decided to have each carrier build its complete own mobile network infrastructure (for many given areas this results in 3 or 4 complete duplicate mobile infrastructures for the same area that had to be built and payed for with costs passed on to the consumer). This results in much higher costs for U.S. consumers (than if we just had one network where costs were shared) as we have to pay for each independent infrastructure through our bills (and is why U.S. mobile costs are so much higher than most of Europe) and cannot easily move to another provider as the networks (phones) are often locked and not compatible and exemplifies the foresight and intelligence with which the U.S. does nearly all its business related planning (often called "The Special Interests doctrine").

Oh, did I mention much of this is a result of the superior way the U.S. lets its businesses pay for politician's election campaigns and as a result they often literally write the legislation that regulates them - this is often known as "The Fox guarding the Hen House doctrine" and is practiced with great enthusiasm by both parties, some call it ugly names like official corruption, but multinational companies love it. U.S. president's often appoint former lobbyists for a particular industry to regulate that same industry, obviously because of their superior knowledge of that same industry sector - the banking industry for the last 20 years is a great example that shows how well that works and the new head of the FCC who regulates media/cable and in particular ensures that the network neutrality law is protected, was a former lobbyist for the media and cable companies (probably looking forward to returning to that industry after his stint serving the general citizenry as a government official) and was just quoted as saying he thought it'd be great for companies to have to pay to get good performance on a cable companies internet line to the consumer after the consumer just paid to get access to the internet on that same line - collecting revenue from the consumer as well as the company on the internet to get to the consumer is known as the "Double Billing doctrine" and enhances shareholder value as well).

These examples show the obvious advantages of the U.S. way of doing things (and there are so many others, the U.S. Medical Industry is another great one - a $7 inhaler in Europe is over $300 here in the U.S. because the U.S. govt gave that company a new patent since they changed the type of propellent used in the inhaler which is non-reactionary and doesn't affect the medicine's interaction with the patient - talk about enhancing shareholder value and watching out for the general citizen).

Chip and Pin isn't a panacea but its much better security than what we have in the U.S., but there isn't a chance we'll see it here because it costs a little more and banks here are insulated from the costs of credit card fraud...this is the superior U.S. way of doing things...
Um, sorry to disagree but in our merchant account agreement it was spelled out that if *they* accept a card for payment that turns out to be *bad*, the ENTIRE amount of the charge is deducted from the merchant account, which means that THE MERCHANT pays for the bad charge... Period... It's one of the reasons we dropped the merchant account. Plus no clients used it for payment anyway...
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 05:27 PM   #19
mdelvecchio
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Originally Posted by SteveLV702 View Post
let me know when works with iPhone 5S and the Powermat case where I don't have to take off my case to use it..
how on earth do you expect it to work with outlier cases?

not every device is designed for every use case.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post
Why don't you focus some effort on your horrendous e-commerce? It's severely lacking and has cost my lots of money. How? First, you can't do partial refunds on orders. It's either all or none. Second, the e-commerce orders EXPIRE. What? Yes, so if you are out of stock on something or run into an issue, the order will expire and automatically refund the customer even while you are trying to complete the order. I was looking for a way to do a partial refund and finally decided to send the customer a check. We were then able to ship the product, but the stupid order expired AFTER the shipment was made which meant we GAVE the user money AND sent him a product for FREE. Now we are trying to beg the customer to pay for what we shipped.
you do realize this is a rumor website, not Square's support, right? try sending them an email. just a thought.

Last edited by Doctor Q; Dec 9, 2013 at 07:04 PM. Reason: removed quote of since-deleted post
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 05:35 PM   #20
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"Dorogusker and his team concentrated on improving the "feel" of swiping, incorporating additional tension in a spring that attaches to the read head for a more satisfying credit card swiping experience."

....
A credit card reader is like a fine wine; a little bit of cinnamon coupled with a particularly unctuous texture can do wonders to a properly calibrated credit card (for those who can afford it).
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 06:23 PM   #21
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This is too funny!

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Originally Posted by mdelvecchio View Post
look, square works very well at what it does -- cheap credit card processing for small business. no longer do we have to rent a monthly POS system and paid high fees. for that I'm happy. if you need a system that does refills for drinks and augmented reality too, thats great,more power to you. Enjoy that app "appay" then. but realize you may be an outlier, not everybody needs that amount of functionality.
I guess that makes me an outlier too, cause I'd rather have more to less if it is well organized. Haha. Going to go download appay then!

***Update***
It appears this hilarious conversation has been deleted by MacRumors. Sorry y'all. You missed out on some truly funny internet bashing!

Last edited by dibs1234; Dec 9, 2013 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Conversation no longer there
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 06:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by mdelvecchio View Post
regardless of your use case for....endless pasta. to me that feature it useless and offers my business no value. so square stays.
Every business needs endless pasta. MacRumors is rolling it out for Demis next week!
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 07:34 PM   #23
stuckwithme247
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OK, it's free and I want one, but how do you order the new one? The article says it's available immediately on the Square website, yet I go to the news section on the site, main site, etc. and there is no mention of it...
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 07:56 PM   #24
CFreymarc
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Originally Posted by FrizzleFryBen View Post
Yet it still spins when you try to use it.
I like the spinning. You can position it at any angle to swipe the card. This has sped up many a transaction. Just wish it played music based on the encoding of the magnetic striped card.
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Old Dec 9, 2013, 08:06 PM   #25
CFreymarc
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Originally Posted by KeepCalmPeople View Post
Careful there sonny, business people doing things together for the common good is, well, it's socialism! In the US what we do may cost the consumer more, but we love competition!
And who defines what is "common good" for the masses? When you have some sort of central authority stating what is "good for the people" is inevitably a self-serving elite.

Let the free market sort it out and those who can't produce or adapt is roadkill. That makes a strong and "good" society.
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