Encouraged by nearly 500K digital subscribers, NY Times is making its online paywall twice as high

Here’s some crappy news for cheapskates like myself. Apparently emboldened by the nearly half a million people who signed up to pay for online access to the New York Times, the venerable media company is cutting the number of free articles non-subscribers get from 20 per month to just 10. It’s hoping to drive more folks into paying for digital access, as its revenue from traditional print advertising continues to decline.

Groupon’s new Scheduler feature has potential, but two very big IFs

Groupon today launched a wide beta of its Groupon Scheduler product. The Scheduler is an online calendaring tool that allows service businesses such as spas, yoga studios, contractors and photographers to take reservations online. It’s open to all merchants, not just companies that run deals with Groupon. The daily deals company is billing it as a “free trial,” and it’s unclear whether Groupon will eventually charge for the service. Groupon did not respond to two requests for comment on this story.

Who is protecting the investors in the new crowdfunding bills?

Crowdfunding has gained a lot of press over the last few months with the passing of the crowdfunding bills in the House in November and then again a few weeks ago. The bills have generated numerous opinions about how this will spur economic growth by unlocking capital from investors who have never had the opportunity to invest in startups and making it easier for startups to raise capital.