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Copy-protected Coffee Pods?

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • March 24, 2014 - 1:21 PM

Yes. A coffee-maker has decided to model its next-generation devices after another piece of tech everyone loves: printers. Ars Technica on the new Keurig:

it makes sense to look at another analog product with its own rights management and interoperability issues—printer ink/toner cartridges. Each printer company jealously guards its model of cartridges, doing everything it can to make them proprietary and unrefillable, because, of course, the real money in printing is in selling the ink/toner at a large profit . . . 

When asked how Keurig might do this with a coffee pod, Stoltz speculated that the pod and the coffee machine would have to perform a handshake similar to that of Lexmark's printers and cartridges. "I imagine you could do this with the equivalent of the RFID chip they put in subway tickets," said Stoltz. "My guess is that a chip that could do this could be very small and very cheap.”

I think they’re underestimating the potential for customers to desert the brand entirely. Look for the term “massive write-off” to appear in future stories about the project.

HISTORY It’s an old page, but I found it yesterday and hence assume it’s new to everyone else in the world: a tour of Minnesota small-town movie theaters. You can spend some time on Google Street View finding contemporary images in context.


View Larger Map

That’s a Leibenberg and Kaplan, like all the great movie theaters of Minneapolis. A complete list of their work is here - Google away!

ART Many different takes on the works of Stephen King, including some icons that may take a while to figure out. Any guesses?

Langoliers, I believe. 

VotD Boom!

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