The idea of a digital music kiosk, where customers can walk up, press a few buttons on a screen, and download music to some sort of portable storage medium (disc, phone, flash card), has been around for a few years now. Starbucks ended a two-year experiment with in-store CD burners back in 2006, and U.K. music retailer HMV began offering free downloads to USB drives from in-store kiosks in 2007.
Twitter is not yet completely mainstream, but several mainstream companies are using the service to communicate with customers and potential customers. Some use it to advertise products, while others use Twitter to field customer complaints.
I looked at how several companies are using Twitter, and have a few guidelines that brand managers can apply to make the nanoblog service work for them. It appears that there are some actions that companies simply must engage in if they want to take advantage of Twitter as a marketing service.
Starbucks: It's about the people Companies are not people. Consumers, for the … Read more
An education professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison education believes that MMOs like World of Warcraft (WoW) can help to produce better real-world citizens.
Professor Constance Steinkuehler outlined her views at a recent campus event.
With about 12 million people playing World of Warcraft alone, MMOGs have become a new "third place" like "Cheers," where everyone knows your name and all that, Steinkuehler said.
Players "hang out and engage with one another in informal social ways," she said. "Most people go for the game and stay for the people."
The "third-place&… Read more
You could down a $5 Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino in ten minutes, and it's gone forever. How many Cafe Mochas do you buy in a week? Tasty as these frothy concoctions can be, it's a fleeting satisfaction, isn't it? An album's worth of music is a repeatable pleasure, something you may enjoy dozens of times over the years. A CD is still a lot cheaper than a week's worth of Starbucks.
Sure, it's a matter of how you want to spend your disposable income, and whatever puts a smile on your face. But when I … Read more
Correction: This post incorrectly stated the number of hot spots Wayport would contribute to the AT&T network, as well as the overall pricing for use of those hot spots. Including Wayport, AT&T will now operate approximately 20,000 hot spots in the United States, free only to customers of certain plans.
AT&T announced plans on Thursday to acquire Wi-Fi network provider Wayport in a $275 million cash deal.
The acquisition will expand AT&T's network of U.S. hot spots, adding locations at hotel chains such as Wyndham, Marriott Vacation Club, and … Read more
Up until this point, The 404 has tried to remain nonpartisan (untrue), never officially endorsing a candidate, but that rule is chucked out the window on today's show. It's a big announcement that's literally no surprise to anyone, but we make it anyway. Lots of election talk today, mostly about free corporate-sponsored junk food you can get for voting. We also talk about GPS chastity belts, marital affair enablers, and the best position to take while docking your iPod Touch. Wilson, you dirty birdy, you.
I had every intention of forcing you to listen to today's show for our official political endorsement, but screw it, I'm going to do it right here and now. The pundits at The 404 have unanimously decided that Professor Charles Xavier is the best hope we have for our nation's successful future. His not-for-profit work with our world's gifted youngsters prove his social skills, his political prowess, and ultimately his potential to be an extraordinary leader in these desperate times. It's time for a change, and we completely believe that Charles Xavier's innate telepathic powers can grab us by the coattails and pull us our of our eight-year rut. Too long has Erik "Magneto" Lensherr been allowed to employ his Brotherhood of Mutants at the political expense of our fair country. We need a juggernaut in the oval office, and Professor X is our man.The 404 is delighted to support Professor Xavier and also very pleased to see him choose Peter Nikolaievitch Rasputin as his Vice President. Peter, or "Colossus" as we've come to know him through the years, has proven his executive talent, toughness, and ability to knock through several layers of brick time and time again. The Prof X/Colossus team is an unstoppable one and we're excited to see what they can do in 2009. If you care about the welfare of this nation, please cast your vote for Charles Xavier and Colossus today. Episode 220 Download today's podcast … Read more
Featured at the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year event in Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, the new Tassimo Hot Beverage System by Bosch fits into both the kitchen's overall theme of user-friendliness and the consumer's modern desire for convenience with class. The brewer is featured as part of a line of new kitchen products that are being showcased as a "new benchmark for kitchen design," according to a recent news release from Kraft Foods.
At first glance, the upgraded version of the Hot Beverage System looks a lot like the original, but there are … Read more
Although it has disclosed that 600 of its coffee shops will be closing up shop in the coming months, Starbucks will be unveiling only a small selection of closures per month.
That doesn't mean that you can't check if your favorite coffee watering hole (or office) is going the way of $2 gas. According to The Seattle Times, employees at stores that are facing closure have been given some extra heads-up to either find new jobs or transfer elsewhere.