Tag: Starbucks

Google and Starbucks join forces

Friends of the UK taxpayer, Google and Starbucks have decided that they have more in common than an Irish tax-haven.

Starbucks has said it has partnered with Google that will allow it to offer its customers a super-fast method of shipping funds overseas a faster wi-fi service.

In August, Starbucks stores will start getting up to 10 times faster network and wi-fi speeds. And over the next 18 months, Starbucks will convert more than 7,000 US stores to the upgraded service.

It is not clear when they will ship the service to off-shore branches.

Starbucks and Google want to work together to co-develop the next generation of Starbucks’ digital network.

It is not clear what the deal is costing Google and Starbucks. No doubt someone will write it off somewhere. 

One day every Starbucks will be a betting shop

That’s what the chap from www.betcafe.biz said just now. I don’t know how corporate Aemrica will react to that – betting is not necessarily that easy in America.

With any corporation like Ladbrokes it’s very difficult to change, and disruptive companies make this happen. Ladbrokes is 100 years old.  He’s not saying all Starbucks will be betting shops.

Peecho was the next to present. Peecho is going to turn the printing business upside down, it claims. Digital data will literally explode and a lot of it is waiting to be sold as tangible product.

Martijn Groot, the CEO,  wonders why more companies aren’t selling  2D and 3D printing. But he said that the Peecho print button will connect its application to the rest of the world.

A document lives online and visitors decide whether they want a real copy or not. It is instant printing. So it is global production and local production, he said. Peecho is here. It will launch its first Facebook application this year. It offers a code you can paste into your own page.

Sponsorpay was next up. It “rewards users for engaging with advertising contents” – you can either pay for it with credit cards or you can do it the Sponsorpay way, which rewards you with virtual goods or virtual currency. It is worth billions, said Mr Banerjea, the marketing guy at the company.

Advertisers want to be involved in online and mobile games. Its products are Social Performance Advertising and BrandEngage. Its banner delivers one in 17,000. Its completion rates for videos are 94 percent. Advertisers include Vodafone and other big corporations. Virtual cash. Sheesh. It is being funded by rubber boot maker Nokia right now. Sponsorpay.com.

Next up is Xavier Aubry, the CEO of Appear. Smartphones for IT managers are a nightmare, Aubry says. There are lots of operating systems and they need to be managed. There is also the nightmare of connecting to some back end system or other including the infamous SAP “back end”. Smartphones are not very ergonomic either, unless you count the Apple iPad 2, of course, but that’s not a smartphone.

Context is often overlooked and you have no idea what you’re trying to do with it.

Reminds me of Intel’s Genevieve Bell, who told me a few weeks ago that my smartphone should nourish me. Fat chance. Appear is trying to send out the right info to the right user at the right place and at the right time, rather than you being bombarded by rubbish.

Facebook Places Deals tries to edge Foursquare out of Europe

Facebook is expanding its location-based service, Places Deals, to five countries in Europe, setting up some major competition for the likes of Foursquare and Groupon.

The the big five Zuckerberg’s gang is targeting are: the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Others will have to wait a bit longer before the service is available for them.

Two names that will be offering deals through the European service at launch are Starbucks and telecommunications operator O2, but this list is likely to expand rapidly over the coming weeks and months.

Foursquare already has a large presence in Europe, as does Groupon. In fact, they service many more European countries than Facebook is today – but the hybrid model and Facebook’s dominance as the social networking medium of choice for most means the new European service could really give rivals a run for their money.

Foursquare has previously claimed that Facebook Places was “boring” and not a threat, but when we look at the figures involved it paints a different picture. According to Bloomberg, around 200 million of Facebook’s half a billion members use Places Deals, suggesting that it is doing reasonably well. The fact that it was previously only available in the US means that this figure is likely to jump with the move into Europe.

Facebook claims that its service is very different to that of group buying website Groupon, because the location-aware element means that deals are offered based on the current location of the shopper.

Starbucks gives away wi-fi with overpriced coffee

Coffee shop chain Starbucks said that from tomorrow all wi-fi access in its establishments in Canada and the USA will be free. Or rather at no charge, ‘cos you’ll still have to buy a smoothie or something.

The move only applies to store owned Starbucks, and not franchisees.

starbucks said if you’ve a wi-fi laptop, tablet or a mobile phone, you’ll have unlimited access to the internet without needing a user name and the like. You’ll need a frothy coffee or a smoothie, however.

Starbucks uses AT&T in the USA as the provider of its wi-fi in 6,800  coffee shops. In Canada, its 750 coffee shops have wi-fi provided by Bell.

Starbucks didn’t say that it planned to do the same outside North America but it is going to cooperate with Yahoo later this year to create a digital network that will give customers free access to a number of paid sites and services.

Ballmer is not the richest CEO wizard in the world

While there have been calls for the axe to fall on the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve “there is a kind of hush” Ballmer, it seems that his salary is falling behind those of his peers.

The Seattle Times  ran a yarn about the 20 highest-paid chief executives in the Pacific Northwest. What was interesting is that “the Voice” of Microsoft didn’t even make the top 20.

The top of the list was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, whose total 2009 compensation of $14,971,152 while James Bianco of Cell Therapeutics was a Number two with $12,592,030.

Clearwire CEO William Morrow collected $11,657,360 and Micron Technology CEO Steven Appleton netted $8,190,239 and Nike CEO Mark Parker $7,113,383.

Ballmer, on the other hand only managed a measly $1,265,833, according to a Microsoft filing with the US  Securities and Exchange Commission.

What is perhaps strange is Ballmer’s lieutenants would have made the list, had they been CEOs. Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell, former Entertainment and Devices Division President Robbie Bach, Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner all made more cash than their supreme Dalek.

Still Steve can take pride in the fact that he is still one of the richest people in the world. He ranked Number 33 on Forbes’ 2010 list. Forbes estimates that on a good day Steve is worth $14.5 billion.

We guess if you are already sitting on a huge pile of cash, and Microsoft shares, your salary is basically paying you to keep or increase its value.  In other words you are being paid to keep being paid.  

Twitter chases the cash

Twitter is expected to reveal its plan for making cash from the social notworking site, today.

The New York Times said the plan is not exactly rocket science as it just means that it is going to stick adverts on the site.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo apparently told it that users would not see ads they did not find useful. We would have thought advertising and useful were two works that only an advertising department sales person could stick in the same sentence.

The program dubbed Promoted Tweets, will show up when Twitter users search for keywords that the advertisers have bought to link to their ads.

Twitter will show promoted posts in the stream of Twitter posts, based on how relevant they might be to a particular user.

Outfits signed up to run ads, including Best Buy, Virgin America, Starbucks and Bravo.

Costolo said that the idea behind Promoted Tweets is that we want to enhance the communications that companies are already having with customers on Twitter.

Again, we say anyone who thinks advertising should be part of any conversation has spent too long hanging around sales and marketing.

Twitter has been slow to turn its user base into cash. It has been making cash so far by licensing its stream of posts to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Adverts will let businesses insert themselves into the stream of real-time conversation on Twitter to ensure their posts do not get buried in the flow.

Apple owns your soul, warns human rights group

The Electronic Frontier Foundation   is warning that Apple’s iPhone Developer Program License Agreement is a demonic pact that basically gives your soul to Jobs’ Mob. 

The outfit had its lawyers give the Agreement the once over and thinks that people would be crazy to sign it. The agreement is not supposed to be made public, which is a sure sign that something is wrong with it.

Fortunately  NASA wrote an app for the iPhone and the the EFF was able to use the Freedom of Information Act to ask the space agency for a copy of the license agreement dated March 17, 2009.

Apple insists that the agreement “prohibits developers, including government agencies such as NASA, from making any ‘public statements’ about the terms of the Agreement.”   So it prevents developers telling the world+dog how bad it is.

Another section makes it clear that if you use the iPhone SDK to develop your app, you can’t sell it anywhere but Apple’s own App Store.  This means that if your App gets rejected by Jobs’ Mob you are not allowed to  distribute it through Cydia or Rock Your Phone.

Other dodgy clauses seem to prevent  developers from tinkering with any Apple software or technology or ‘enabling others to do so.’  This stops iPhone developers from making iPods work with open source software.

The best clause is that  Apple can “revoke the digital certificate of any of Your Applications at any time. This means that Apple essentially has a “kill switch” built into the App Store and they can remove your app from it at any time.  It just depends on Steve Jobs’ mood.

You do have the option to sue Apple if it does anything evil or illegal to you but the maximum you are  allowed to sue them for is $50 dollars.    Which can buy you a whole latte in a Cupertino Starbucks

You can see the secret agreement here and if you are dumb enough to sign it there is a property we would like to sell you here