Posts Tagged ‘businesses’
Stores in Denver, CO are gearing up to begin selling marijuana for recreational use early next week. The first wave of 14 businesses and 17 growers received licenses today, The Associated Press reports, the latest in a years-long process to legalize the recreational drug in the state. It was cleared for personal use more than a year ago, but it’s taken longer to get businesses up and running due to a permit process that involves inspections and security requirements. There’s also been a moratorium on sales that lifts next week. More licenses are expected to be doled out as state officials approve additional applications from businesses that hope to capitalize on the policy change.
A Facebook phone isn’t cool, you know what’s cool? An Internet of Things-styled ‘Like’ counter for local businesses who want to proudly display their Facebook page metrics. Admittedly, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but the Fliike, from French startup Smiirl, not only looks cool but serves an interesting purpose by providing a bridge between a venue’s virtual presence and its physical one.
The Fliike isn’t the first product of its kind — digital signage that ties into Facebook has been offered before — but Smiirl co-founder and CEO Gauthier Nadaud says that existing offerings tend to target large companies and international brands with “very complicated and costly installations”. In contrast, Smiirl is gunning for smaller, local businesses. Tellingly, the default Fliike stops short of 100,000 ‘Likes’, though the company is open to producing customised versions.
It also shuns a digital display, using a more mechanical design to increment the counter every time a company’s Facebook page gets a new fan. “Screens are everywhere, that’s why we provide a simple design using mechanical interactions, thus giving [the] Internet some tangible aspect,” says Nadaud.
Making a company’s virtual presence or digital identity tangible in the real world is one way of looking at Smiirl’s mission. More specifically the problem it’s set out to solve is that for a local business there’s no easy or cool way to physically display how popular it is on social networks and to use this ‘social proof’ as a way to drive customers in store. In the same way that people are more inclined to go to a busy-looking cafe or shop, if a business is deemed to be popular online, displaying that popularity can have a similar effect offline.
In addition, Nadaud says that it’s also “very hard to convert a satisfied in-store client into a Facebook-fan or a member of any digital community”. Seeing a business’s Facebook page ‘Like’-count on display, especially if you happen to catch it going up, is a subtle way of encouraging you to also become a fan. Who wouldn’t want to click the ‘Like’ button just to see that happen.
Going forward, the Fliike, which goes on preorder today for €300 plus taxes/delivery but appears to be throttled for now to the first 500 orders, is only the first product in the pipeline. Longer term, Smiirl says it wants to create and build an ecosystem of connected social objects designed for businesses to help them “reconnect their social identities to their physical presence”, name-checking the likes of Instagram and Spotify as other services that could be supported.
Finally, Smiirl, which is self-funded aside from its participation in French non-profit accelerator Le Camping, plans to generate revenue primarily on the margin it has selling each device, though Nadaud hints that the startup has further ideas regarding services that would build on the ecosystem its hoping to create with its connected social objects, thus generating additional and recurrent revenues.
Yelp users have enjoyed advanced sorting for years, but as Foursquare grows beyond basic tips and incentivized check-ins, such search filters are making their way to that site, too. Today’s announcement details a few handy additions, enabling you to locate businesses by price range, available specials and hours of operation. If you’re willing to sign into the service, you’ll see a few more options pop up, letting you find both new haunts and places you’ve saved, along with your friends’ favorite locales. The Foursquare team promises to release more options in the future, and while these latest tools are only available on the company’s website today, they should be hitting your smartphone soon.
Via: The Next Web
Last fall, HP took a small step toward refreshing its ProBook business notebooks when it started offering some of them with AMD Trinity chips. Eight months later, it’s time for a real makeover: the company just announced a handful of new models with a thinner, lighter design and a fresh look. The ProBook 430, 440, 455 and 470 range in size from 13.3 inches to 17.3, and are made of aluminum, with spill-resistant keyboards and a soft-touch paint job. With the exception of the 430, which ships in July with Haswell, they’ll arrive this month with a mix of Ivy Bridge CPUs and AMD Richland chips. (Specifically, only the 14- and 15-inch models will be offered with AMD.)
Other particulars: they all have 1,366 x 768 matte displays (non-touch), with the 17-inch model stepping up to 1,600 x 900. All but the 430 can be had with an optional optical drive; if you skip it, there’s a weighted placeholder sitting where the DVD burner would be. Additionally, the 440, 450 and 470 can be used with a six- or nine-cell user-replaceable battery. Everything comes standard with a hybrid hard drive, but the 430 also has an SSD option. Again, all but the 13-incher will be available this month, for $ 499 and up. So, you can bide your time until then, or you can tide yourself over with that handful of photos below.
Gallery: HP ProBook 430, 440, 450 and 470
Kodak may have offered to sell key parts of its document imaging unit to Brother for $ 210 million, but even that amount is just a small step on the company’s long road out of bankruptcy. The company has been looking for a sweeter deal — and it just found one by settling with its very own UK Kodak Pension Plan. The agreement offloads control of both the document and personal imaging units (read: scanners and film) in return for eliminating a hefty $ 2.8 billion in claims and receiving $ 650 million in ‘considerations’ that include cash. Kodak has already received approval from the UK’s Pension Regulator and expects to submit its plans to a US bankruptcy court on Tuesday. We’ve also confirmed with Kodak that this will supercede the Brother deal as long as it’s approved, so there shouldn’t be any legal entanglements from changing suitors. As such, Kodak is well on its way to a healthier (if much smaller) company.
[Image credit: Pittaya Sroilong, Flickr]
A brand-new industrial robot made to be versatile, safe, and simple to program might take over a number of reasonably unskilled activities on manufacturing lines, helping businesses to contend with low-cost human labor provided in other countries. Called Baxter, the robot is made and produced by Rethink Robotics, a Boston-based company established by former MIT professor Rodney Brooks– unlike traditional robotics utilized in production, it can easily work side-by-side with people, without the need for any type of sort of protective cage.
Baxter includes a display with humanoid facial expressions
According to an article in MIT’s Innovation Evaluation, Baxter includes a screen with humanoid facial expressions, allowing it to suggest to operators that it is hectic, …
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Apple expands Volume Purchase Program to nine new countries, lets businesses and schools buy apps in bulk
Apple has expanded its Volume Acquisition Program to nine brand-new countries outside of the US, a move which might benefit its informative initiatives for the iPad. The Volume Acquisition Program provides developers the choice to offer their applications in bulk to companies and at reduced rates for informative organizations. Although the program was formerly limited to the United States, Apple has announced that it is now offered in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, and the UK. On the condition that application developers opt to provide a rebate for schools and universities, the expansion of the Volume Acquisition Program will certainly assist promote the usage of Apple tablets as informative tools– also if Expense Gates thinks that such …
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Google is bringing the enterprise-friendly aspects of its Apps platform into Google + in order to assist companies work together on projects online. The company’s been making use of the service inside, however feels it’s time to launch, in Google custom, a “full preview” with a complimentary and open beta that’ll run till the end of 2013. The attribute set includes exclusive sharing, admin tools and, most remarkably, hangouts straight incorporated into Calendar, Gmail and Docs– letting you video recording chat with a number of colleagues while you draft that project proposition, or resignation letter. Apps primary Clay Bavor hasn’t mentioned how much the service will cost when the preview period finishes, however we would certainly be shocked if it was much even more than exactly what it currently charges if it’s attempting to snare the Yammer and Salesforce crowds.
Filed under: InternetGoogle offering
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While many of us are thinking about the eventual shift to Windows 8, Microsoft is still trying to convince a number of businesses that moving from XP to Windows 7 is the right decision. To help get its point across, the company sponsored a white paper by analyst firm IDC that looks at the costs associated with the two different operating systems — and it turns out the using XP can be quite a bit more expensive for medium-to-large organizations. According to IDC — which interviewed nine different companies as part of the study — the IT and “end user labor” costs associated with XP can be up to five times more compared to using Windows 7.
“Costs tend to soar when older products are used beyond their intended life cycle,” IDC…
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Amid all the hubbub about the new iPad, Apple has released a new OS X app that’s made for IT administrators to easily manage and deploy the tablets. It’s called Apple Configurator, and with it up to 30 iPads at once can be updated, configured, and more. From the program’s description in the App Store, administrators will have the ability to backup and restore devices, apply custom settings, and install new apps onto devices. One feature of particular note is that users will be able to have their personal settings restored when checking out an iPad and have it all removed again when they check the device back in.
We already knew that Apple saw the iPad as more than just a personal tablet — the company held an entire event earlier this…