bww-tablet

By way of Engadget, we learn that Buffalo Wild Wings has begun swapping out their existing NTN gaming stations for far more interactive (and less bulky) Android tablets. Beyond gaming, these new devices also provide a conduit to the serving staff:

Buzztime’s BEOND tablet lets Buffalo Wild Wings Guests order food, request songs and television programming, play games (both multi-player and arcade-style), and pay the bill. The seven-inch Samsung Galaxy touchscreen tablets are pre-loaded with games and music options. With a mix of complimentary and paid content, the BEOND tablets enable multi-player, multi-location gaming; guests may play popular trivia and poker games against other individuals, another table or even other restaurant locations.

Fortunately, BWW tables are already stocked with hand wipes… as we imagine this could get messy fast. (Might it make more sense to use our own devices?) And, having flown Virgin America, I do like the idea of summoning drink refills via touchscreen. However, we suspect the primary reason for visiting a Buffalo Wild Wings outpost is still for the food… yet, sadly, both Sriracha wings and Coke Zero were recently dropped from the menu.

ceiva-homeview

Remember Ceiva? One of the original digital photo frames… that incorporated Internet connectivity (!) to receive pushed pics from remote family as we did about 10 years ago for Mom. Apparently the company is still alive and kicking, having just pushed the Ceiva HomeView widget station thru the FCC.

While the Ceiva HomeView (SHR558) is capable of displaying photo slideshows, its primary selling point is a window into your home, via partnerships with energy companies and new wireless capabilities.

Homeview’s hi-res display ensures your personal photographs are always beautifully presented. Our clever use of ZigBee technology means you’ll also have access to your home’s energy use in real-time. CEIVA Homeview gets instant updates directly from your electricity smart meter through a wireless connection. Of course our whole system, from photo sharing to thermostat adjustments, is available remotely through our free Homeview and photo apps.

repeal-hybrid-tax

I’m not much of a letter writer (these days), but something about our former governor’s hybrid and electric vehicle tax rubbed me the wrong way. He argued that tax revenues were or would be down due to a reduction in gasoline purchases and these lost funds are necessary for ongoing road maintenance and whatnot. While that seems logical on the surface, the remedy struck me as punitive. And, if the state were concerned with equity, they’d tax owners by miles driven against vehicle weight – which probably provides a more direct correlation to road wear and tear. “Hybrid” also strikes me as an artificial, inelegant line in the sand… given my coworker who drives a hybrid Chevy Tahoe that is less fuel-efficient than say a gas-only Toyota Camry. Also, in something of a policy contradiction, early hybrid vehicles were granted HOV lane exemptions… which were indefinitely extended in 2012 by the very same administration.

The annual tax was originally proposed at an even $100 but, due to some sort of miscalculation, was later passed at $64 and went into effect last July. Amidst some noise, from folks such as myself, an effort to repeal the tax started working its way through the Virginia legislature earlier this year, Continue Reading…

hdmi-roku-stick

As we revealed about a week ago, Roku will shortly release an updated Streaming Stick. And, by way of TechHive, the $50 price point, retirement of MHL, and power via microUSB details have all been confirmed.

Sadly, there’s no mention of Miracast screen mirroring functionality… but Roku’s mobile apps will soon inherit the streamer’s universal search capabilities. The “New” Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI Version) is now available for pre-order with shipping and store availability expected in early April. While the new HDMI Roku Streaming Stick will replace the Roku 1 on Best Buy’s shelves, as indicated by BBY Insider, that $50 model will remain in Roku’s lineup (for those without HDMI).

dishworld While DISH may have acquiesced on the ad skipping front, in return they have inked one of the very first deals to offer “live” programming via the Internet:

The extensive and expanded distribution agreement grants DISH rights to stream cleared linear and video-on-demand content from the ABC-owned broadcast stations, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2, as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering.

Of course there’s no telling when DISH might launch a web television service and certainly others (Verizon, Sony) are pursuing similar. But this represents the first time a major content provider has indicated publicly that they’re willing to play ball. So the sea change begins.