Data Sheet—Tuesday, August 2, 2016


My ears were ringing with abandon as I left the rock show I attended last week. It was a fantastic time by every measure—good company, great music, beautiful venue. As we descended flight after flight on our way out of the theater, I asked my longtime friend, who bought the tickets for both of us, how he’d like me to pay him back. “No big deal,” he said. “Next time we see each other. I don’t do any of that Venmo stuff.”

At 31 years old, my buddy is an anomaly. Most people under around age 35—I cringe just thinking about the “M” word—have no problem using peer-to-peer payments, which allow people to exchange money using only a phone number or email address. It’s one big reason why Forrester believes the market will reach $17 billion in transaction volume by 2019.

But not my friend. He has resisted.

Banks want to change that—and in doing so, put PayPal-owned Venmo on notice. Yesterday some of the biggest banks in the U.S. joined forces to support peer-to-peer payments between their customers. Meanwhile payment network operators like Visa and MasterCard have been maneuvering to secure their own piece of what is quickly becoming the payment network of the future. The lesson here? The war for your wallets is on, man. For the moment, it’s not monetized. And tantalizingly, it’s entirely undecided.

Yesterday morning I gave in and wrote my buddy a check, stuck it in an envelope, and dropped it in the mailbox. I figure he’ll get a kick out of the gesture. If nothing more, it seems like an appropriate way to repay him for tickets to an act that peaked in 1993.

Have a great day.

Andrew Nusca is deputy digital editor at Fortune. Reach him via email.


Microsoft raises $19.75 billion in record-making bond sale. The seven-part offering was the software giant's largest bond issue ever, as well as the third biggest corporate one this year. A big chunk of the proceeds will go toward its $26.2 billion takeover of social networking company LinkedIn. (Reuters, Bloomberg)

Salesforce buys Microsoft Word-killer. It will pay $582 million for Quip, a startup founded by former Facebook chief technology officer and Google engineer Bret Taylor. (Fortune)

Verizon is really serious about the Internet of things. It is offering $2.4 billion for fleet-tracking software company Fleetmatics, one of the few cloud companies that is actually profitable. The deal comes one month after the telecommunications company bought Telogis, a fleet software company that counts General Motors and Mack as customers. (Fortune)

Apple and Samsung lead shrinking tablet market. Global shipments were just 38.7 million devices in the second quarter, off 12.3%, according to IDC. Something to watch: More Android tablet makers are also selling Windows systems. (Fortune)

This new IBM chip looks for cancer. It is working on new technology that sorts cells in blood and other bodily fluids to detect abnormalities before they become tumors. The concept isn't new, but IBM's approach can filter smaller particles than previously possible. (Fast Company)

San Francisco council tables tech tax. The city was considering a proposal to charge technology companies an extra 1.5% payroll tax. The idea was to put the money toward more affordable housing, but an analysis suggested it might exacerbate the issue. (Fortune)


Hewlett Packard Enterprise replaces cloud chief in another big reorg. Senior vice president Bill Hilf, a former Microsoft executive, is out. His successor is Mark Interrante, a senior engineer who has been in charge of the cloud team's research and development activities. The restructuring also resulted in the resignations of Manish Goel, who was in charge of HPE’s storage business, and Robert Vrij, who was managing director of sales for the Americas. (Fortune

RIP, education tech catalyst Seymour Papert. The South African-born computer scientist, 88, was a force behind One Laptop Per Child. Before that, he is credited with creating Logo, a programming language for children. A sample of the philosophy Papert developed during his decades at MIT's Artificial Intelligence lab: “In the past, education adapted the mind to a very restricted set of available media; in the future, it will adapt media to serve the needs and tastes of each individual mind.” Papert's career was cut short 10 years ago after he was struck and severely injured by a motorcycle. (New York Times, Fortune)

Google refutes charges of age discrimination. Two programmers claim they were passed over for jobs simply because they were over 40 years old, a claim the tech giant denies. The plaintiffs are trying to turn this into a class action lawsuit. (Computerworld)



Fitbit flexes its fiscal muscles. The fitness tech company doubled its sales and marketing expenses during the first quarter, and analysts are watching closely to see whether this will become a habit. The estimate consensus calls for revenue of $578 million. (Wall Street Journal)

Share this newsletter: editions.


Here's One Thing Amazon Must Do to Keep Its Cloud Mojo Going Strong, by Barb Darrow

A Combined Tesla and SolarCity Could Save $150 Million Annually, by Katie Fehrenbacher

AT&T's Top Union Gets More Confrontational, by Aaron Pressman

When Will More Unicorns Merge? by Erin Griffith

How Google Plans to Own Rio Olympics Coverage, by Don Reisinger


What your next work laptop should look like. Two notebooks and a notebook-tablet hybrid from Dell, HP Inc., and Samsung claim to be the thinnest in their class. Our friends at research firm FeibusTech put them through their paces. (Fortune)

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy.

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