TLDR: Google is discontinuing their payment processing for Chrome extensions, so we are creating a new account/payment system. Please sign up here so we can contact you regarding this transition and ensure it goes smoothly!

The Scoop

Ever since we launched this plugin five years, we have used the payment system that Google provides in the Chrome Web Store. We were recently informed that Google is discontinuing their payment service, effective February 2021.

The Challenge

This leave us with very little time to create an entirely new payment processing system, and to communicate these changes to you, our customers.

Further complicating matters, we have…

close up image of clock arm pointed at the number 2
close up image of clock arm pointed at the number 2

We launched Read Across The Aisle in early 2017, in reaction to the outcry about filter bubbles that followed the 2016 Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as President. Our goal was to help people take a look at their media diets and help them discover some news sources that can they might not see in their social media feeds.

When we went live, we featured just a handful of news sites in our app, and one of the main things we heard was that people wanted to be able to add in even more sources. But of…

Alt text: photo of books displayed on iPad

Since ebooks came on the scene nearly 20 years ago, researchers and reading enthusiasts have wondered whether they would supplant paper books, or whether paper books would outlast them. Research studies have continued to show mixed results, with ebooks unable to clearly overtake paper. Our recent study shows a continuing strong preference for paper books over ebooks.

This is somewhat surprising, as modern ebooks platforms are so much better than the early versions from the early 2000s. We can now enjoy:

  • high resolution ereader devices (early devices were low-res)
  • custom typefaces like Bookerly (made by Amazon), which are designed specifically…

Like many Stanford students, Eva Hangartner is accomplished and multi-talented: she graduated from the prestigious Bronx High School of Science in New York City (where she competed in track and swimming), she speaks German and Arabic, and she is now pursuing a major in history. When she finishes at Stanford, Eva plans to work in the field of refugee support and advocacy.

Unlike most students at Stanford, Eva is legally blind. She was born with a congenital condition known as cone dystrophy, which she was diagnosed with at age three. Cone dystrophy is a progressive condition that becomes more severe…

Night Mode is getting popular: Reddit just redesigned their website and included a Night Mode, and Apple’s new MacOS will come with a Night Mode as well.

BeeLine has offered Night Mode color schemes in our browser plugin for years, but until now it had to be manually activated on each page. Today, we are pleased to announce a new feature, Night Mode Auto-Detect. This feature will automatically detect when you are reading in a night mode environment and apply a compatible BeeLine color scheme.

BeeLine’s Night Mode works with websites that have Night Mode (Ars Technica, Reddit, Outlook), as…

alt text: 404 error on the BeeLine Reader extension for Google Chrome

I woke up Sunday morning to an email from Google saying that the BeeLine Reader extension for Chrome did not comply with the following requirement:

Provide a link to your privacy policy in appropriate field [sic] in the Chrome Web Store Developer Console and on the inline installation page (if applicable).

I know Google is cleaning up the Chrome Store a bit, and I’m all for this. I can see how they’d want extensions to link to the governing Privacy Policy — and in fact we already told people where our Privacy Policy is. We said (I’m paraphrasing here since…

Sometimes the best pitch is the shortest. A one-sentence pitch that actually gets read is better than a 2-paragraph pitch that goes unread. I learned this lesson the hard way after pitching my startup to a number of websites that showcase new startups. The good news: when I used a super short pitch, not only did my startup get showcased, one of the sites even asked to license our technology for use on their website!

The Startup Pitch Grind

I came across a list of sites that feature startups and opened up a couple dozen browser tabs with the most promising ones. Each day…

Has your credit card number changed since your BeeLine subscription last renewed? If so, you may have received a notice from Stripe (our payment processor) letting you know that your payment method needs to be updated.

This is really easy to do! Just shoot us an email (, and we’ll send you a secure link where you can update your credit card info.

— Nick and the BeeLine Reader team

A few months ago, the Wall Street Journal’s “google loophole” disappeared. But despair not: there’s a new way to get free access to the WSJ website — and all you have to do is climb out of your filter bubble to get it.

TLDR: Get our iOS app or Chrome extension (both free) from our website. (And yes, it’s totally legal, thanks to a partnership with the WSJ.)

Read Across The Aisle: A Tool To Combat Filter Bubbles

We launched the Read Across The Aisle project as a way to help people assess and escape their filter bubbles. Our tools, which have been called “a fitbit for your filter bubble,”…

The Information Superhighway is Lined with Billboards — We’re Here to Help

Reading on the web is distracting. Not only are you bombarded by email dings, calendar reminders, and Slack notifications, the very website you’re reading is preventing you from focusing.

How? By surrounding the one thing you care about — the body text on the page — with a rotating cast of colorful icons, calling out to you:


Focus Mode: Blinders for the Internet

We’re helping people focus while reading by literally dimming these online distractions. …

BeeLine Reader

Easier and faster reading on-screen. Backed by NewSchools Venture Fund and honored at the United Nations Solutions Summit.

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