SAN FRANCISCO--Aiming to help Square Register merchants who have had no standard hardware, Square today unveiled a stand meant to hold an iPad and make for an easy and common point-of-sale experience.
At a press event across the street from Square's office, the mobile payment company's CEO, Jack Dorsey, and Jesse Dorogusker, who leads the Square Register team, showed off Stand, its new hardware intended to give merchants a streamlined way, and a single aesthetic, to accept payments.
The problem, said Dorsey, is that merchants have had no single method to take payments using Square Register. Around the … Read more
Payphones are a dying breed, which will probably make some people yearn for our simple past and others celebrate our tech-filled future.
New York City and two companies, Cisco Systems and City 24/7, announced today that they're officially commencing their plan to transform those endangered species into 32-inch touch-screen information kiosks, a.k.a. "Smart Screens," around the city, according to GigaOM.
The idea was originally introduced in April and the companies have been testing the pilot project over the last few months. Now, the Smart Screens are officially live and a handful of kiosks are … Read more
Streaming video may be cost-effective and convenient, but consumers are still renting more movies via the mail and physical retailers.
People renting DVDs and Blu-ray discs through retail stores, kiosks, and Netflix's mail service totaled more than 62 percent of all movie rentals in the first half of the year, according to NPD Group. In contrast, those renting digital movies via subscription streaming, pay TV video on demand, and Internet VOD added up to only 38 percent.
Though physical discs still lead the rental landscape, their popularity has been waning. Rentals of DVDs and Blu-ray discs dropped by 17 … Read more
"Welcome to McDonald's. My name is HAL 9000. May I take your order?"
McDonalds recently went on a hiring binge in the U.S., adding 62,000 employees to its roster. The hiring picture doesn't look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.
The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald's Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald's could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker.
The touch screens will only accept debit or credit cards, adding to the slow death knell of cash and coins. This all goes along with an overall revamp of McDonald's restaurants worldwide aimed at projecting a modern image as opposed to the old-fashioned golden arches with a slightly creepy (to my taste anyway) clown guy hanging around the french fries.
This puts McDonald's one step closer to opening up its first Alphaville location. At least our new computer overlords will be nice enough to serve us a Filet-o-Fish. Maybe they'll even throw in an iPad with the Happy Meal one of these days.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--If Flix on Stix has its way, you may soon be downloading movies directly from kiosks to a USB flash drive.
Officially unveiling and demoing its movie service at CES this week, Flix on Stix will offer thousands of movie titles--both recent films and older titles--from its upcoming line of kiosks.
Starting in the first quarter, the company will be launching kisoks across shopping malls, supermarkets, bookstores, and college campuses. The kiosks will debut across the U.S. initially, but Flix on Stix says there's been interest from other countries as well.
Each kiosk contains a hard drive … Read more
The convergence of TVs and computers has been promised for decades, but remains largely unknown for most people outside of the tech world. Fortunately, Google aims to change all that with its Internet-connected Google TV Platform.
Google TV promises to let viewers watch video from a variety of sources--so far YouTube, Vevo, HBO, TBS and even our own CNET TV will have apps available. The big broadcast networks like ABC, CBS and NBC are taking a wait-and-see approach. But Google TV promises you even more, with the ability to search and browse the Web, record your favorite TV programs, and even control the whole experience from your cell phone.
Logitech is holding a news conference today for its own Google TV product, the Logitech Revue, and CNET is at there covering all the news as it happens. Check back again next week when Sony launches its own Google-TV powered box on October 12.
Next up on today's show we're calling BS on an image of a public Twitter booth that recently popped up on Russian Livejournal, aka the premiere site for tech news coverage.
America has its own share of Internet kiosks, but we have a hard time imagining the kind of tweet that would require you to drop everything and pay money to send it out...from a park. We could be wrong, though, so send us a photo if you spot a Twitter kiosk in the wild.
This is the second-to-the-last reminder you're going to get about our official Fall 404 Meetup tomorrow, October 7 at the Frying Pan Bar in New York City.
Join us tomorrow from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., and an early thanks to the Pan for hooking it up with $15 wristbands good for open beer, well drinks, and wine for the duration of the Meetup!
We'd like to give them an idea of who's coming, so head over to The 404 Meetup page and RSVP for the event (Meetup.com registration required). We'll see you there!Episode 681 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
We've seen a nonstop parade of cases, docks, and stands for Apple's iPad tablet, but one configuration we would have thought would be a natural is mounting it on a wall. After all, the iPad offers many useful widget-like apps, requires no separate keyboard or mouse, has a large bright screen that can be seen across the room, connects to data wirelessly, and--most importantly--has a long-running battery that can display useful info all day long without recharging.
We kick off today's episode of CNET's The 404 Podcast with a fun story about the Nestle Crunch Hotline number. The company's latest viral campaign offers a series of hidden menus within the prerecorded call center that lets callers choose between English, Spanish, and Pig Latin language options. You can also choose to hear prerecorded knock-knock jokes, "funner game options," and the weirdest feature of all, which lets you listen to the sound of bubble wrap. We attempt to call the number during the show, but the line is so popular that we keep getting busy signals, so call 1-800-295-0051 if you have time to waste after listening to our show.
Jeff also brings us an amazing deal from Dell for the new Alienware M11x. It won our Best of CES 2010 award and, judging by its size, it's comparable to a gaming Netbook. You get an 11.6-inch display and a 1.3GHz Pentium SU4100 processor inside as well as a battery with 2 hours of gaming play and 6.5 hours of standby time. Best of all, the gaming rig comes in at a base price of $799. No, we're not working on the Alienware payroll, but with portable gaming systems dropping in price, the appeal of PC gaming is bigger than ever and we thought our listeners would appreciate this deal. Check it out!Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Although there are plenty of places that rent out time on Windows-based computers, doing so had never been strictly, speaking, legitimate.
The licensing terms for Windows (and Office) prohibit such use even though there are thousands of Internet cafes, business centers, and kiosks that do so. Starting January 1, though, Microsoft added an option for those that wish to rent out Windows or Office to do so by paying an extra fee.