Whole Foods to use Square for checkout

Whole Foods is partnering with Square to let customers pay for groceries through iPads and smartphones.

The grocery chain plans to roll out technology from Square, a mobile payments start-up led by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, at select stores, the companies announced Tuesday.

Whole Foods’ sandwich counters, pizzerias and coffee, juice, wine and beer bars will soon be installed with Square Register, an iPad-based system through which cashiers ring up payments and swipe customer credit cards. Customers can also download Square Wallet, a smartphone app linked to their credit cards, and pay by scanning a QR-code (a unique, square-shaped black and white image) to pay instantly.

This is Square’s second partnership with a national retail chain — Starbucks also accepts payments through Square Wallet.

— Mohana Ravindranath

big data
Twitter to grant data access to researchers

Twitter is piloting a data grant program that would let researchers access the company’s historical database of public tweets. The site’s more than 200 million users produce more than 500 million tweets a day.

In the past, a handful of researchers have been granted access to tweets to predict flu outbreaks and assess the geographic spread of trends. Interested researchers can request a grant through Twitter’s Web site.

A small group of proposals will be selected while the company decides how to scale the program.

“To date, it has been challenging for researchers outside the company who are tackling big questions to collaborate with us to access our public, historical data. Our Data Grants program aims to change that by connecting research institutions and academics with the data they need,” the site says.

— Mohana Ravindranath