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In the News 2-16-11

Insomnia? Your phone can help.

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If you have an Android phone and you have trouble falling asleep, this one’s for you. Mizo Software Solutions [2] has come up with a great app: Relax and Sleep. This application is a free sound-generator that lets you create your own custom sleep soundtracks with ease.

With Relax and Sleep, you have city noise, crickets, white noise, air conditioners, frogs, the sound of fans, music, rain, thunder, oceans, and more to mix together as you wish. The app lets you adjust each track individually so that the thunderstorm doesn’t overpower the sound of the fan, or vice versa.

After you have mixed your perfect “lullaby”, then all you have to do is save it to one of the preset slots. You can then set the timer to count down until it’s time to go to sleep. (It probably goes without saying that it has a built-in alarm clock.)

You can get the Plus version for $1.99, which has more of the same that the free version has. You can try it for free to see if you like it before you purchase it. For the record, I saw nothing but great reviews for this application.

And to think that I was worried about people texting while driving. I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but sleeping while driving probably isn’t so great of an idea, either, ya think?


Hey! You owe me ten bucks. What, no cash? Will that be debit or credit?

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That’s right. If you have an iPhone, an iPad, or an Android phone, you can actually accept credit or debit cards right there in person with your phone, and a card reader called Square [4]. All you have to do is go to their website, sign up to get your free card reader in the mail, and start accepting debit or credit cards.

You will pay the following when you accept a credit or debit card:

2.75% + 15¢ for swiped transactions
3.5% + 15¢ for keyed-in transactions

In regards to fees, this is from Square’s website:

“There are no activation, gateway, monthly, early termination, hidden fees or any additional costs to use Square. Every credit or debit card we accept (Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Discover) have the same flat rate. These fees are static and do not change depending on how much the transaction was for. As our fees are taken out of each transaction as they occur, there is no fee schedule. Square also does not require a contract upon signup and since we only charge per transaction, it doesn’t cost you anything if you don’t use it!”

To be able to accept credit and debit cards, you do have to qualify by having a U.S. bank account, a U.S. physical address (you may use a P.O. box for shipping but not for activation), and a Social Security number. (Businesses need an EIN number.) You then link Square with your bank account by entering in your routing and account number, and you’re all set.

But it doesn’t end there. With Square, you can track cash payments given to you, as well.

Let’s talk about the guy who owes you ten bucks. From within the Square app, you type in the amount that you are being paid, with the option to label the transaction, like Reimbursement: John. You then tap Charge (it’s on the top right) and then tap on Cash.

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You’ll then be asked to input an amount. Square will even tell you how much change to give someone back (if John only had a twenty dollar bill, for example; see the screenshot below.)

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Tap on Tender and you will be prompted to deliver a receipt by text or by e-mail. (Now John can remember when he paid you back).

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Have a rewarding week…

~ Lori Cline