The New and Improved Self-Checkout Aisle

If this new application becomes successful for Walmart stores, self-checkout will never be the same. Walmart has announced that they will be expanding their “Scan & Go” program to more than 200 stores across the country, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

scan your items as you go

scan your items as you go

“Scan & Go” sounds like one of the most convenient applications in a law time in my opinion. Here’s how it works according to Walmart’s website: download the app, scan your grocery items as you shop, and then follow the steps at the self-checkout kiosk to pay. Sounds like a piece of cake to me! As a shopper, I hate both waiting in line to pay and having someone else try to bag my groceries for me. With this app, I could check myself out and waste no time waiting for my items to be scanned only when I’m standing at the registar.

This new way to shop has been introduced to Walmart stores quite slowly, and it appears that they will continue that way. While it appears to be successful so far, they plan on really paying attention to customer feedback each step of the way. If it continues to make customers happy, I would venture to guess that we will see this in all 4,000 locations.

One of the biggest drawbacks to this program at the moment is who can use it. Right now, there is an app that is only available to Apple product users, leaving anyone with an Android smartphone out of luck. According to the tribune article, Walmart plans on having an app for Android coming out soon.

The application also has features that allow you to do more than just make the checkout process quicker. It also allows you to keep track of your total price, a feature that could help costumers keep better track of what they buy and how much they spend.

An example of the typical shopping list on “Shop & Go”

If you’re a Walmart shopper, and are looking for a quick and easy shopping experience, this sounds like it has the potential to be everyones best shopping assistant.

Scan and go. (2013). Retrieved from http://wm5.walmart.com/scanandgo/

Wohl, J. (2013, March 20). Walmart expands iphone-based checkout. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-walmart-expands-iphonebased-checkout-20130320,0,2847772.story

Use of New Media in the Vatican

As the Catholic church chose a new Pope this past week, there was a lot of attention on the use of technology in the Vatican. From the resignation of Pope Benedict in February to the selection of Pope Francis this past Wednesday, discussions of new media’s place in the Vatican have been circulating in the news.

Pope Benedict was the first to hold both a Facebook and Twitter account, showing the Vatican wanting to move into the age of social media. And in a smart move by Vatican officials, rather than closing out his twitter account fully after the announcement of his stepping down, it was changed to reflect the beginnings of the new selection process. (Kanalley)

Even with this new technology, the voting process for Pope Francis still upheld the traditions that have been in place since 1914, according to David Morgan of CBS news. Those traditions, which exclude the use of any technology within the voting process, were ironically enforced by the use of technology. Cell phone signal blockers were put in to scramble any messages the cardinals may have been tempted to send out prior to the white smoke billowing from the conclaves decision. (Morgan)

There were a whole host of apps created for those of us anxiously awaiting the announcement, according to Rosa Golijan’s article from NBC news. Your choices range from The Pope App, which sends you alerts and news from the Vatican, to Conclave alert, which tracked Tweets mentioning the conclave, as well as having information about possible candidates and the election process. (Golijan)

This story of the new Pope was told to the world through a whole host of different mediums, demonstrating transmedia storytelling. Whether or not the Catholic church wishes to keep up with the new way that people are getting and sharing their information only time will tell. But even if they wish to keep things as they are, the rest of us are going to continue on the path of new media and technology.

A view of Vatican square as Pope Francis speaks for the first time.

Morgan, D. (2013, March 14). The new papacy and new media. CBS News. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57574283/the-new-papacy-and-new-media/

Kanalley, C. (2013, February 28). Pope twitter account transforms as benedict resigns, tweets deleted. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/pope-twitter-account-tweets-deleted_n_2783825.html

Golijan, R. (2013, March 12). Apps keep track of conclave while the vatican’s under a tech lockdown. NBC News: Technology. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/apps-keep-track-conclave-while-vaticans-under-tech-lockdown-1C8780236

Iphone users Play their Get Out of Jail Free Cards

Until recently, jail breaking an iphone to me always meant someone using an iphone on a network that doesn’t carry it. But I’ve learned there’s a lot more to jailbreak than the phone itself. Softwares are being created and updated constantly for users to “break free” of iOS software.

My question is, why would you want to jailbreak your iphone? A question I would say most people ask of those that choose to change the move away from the confines of iOS software. According to an article by Devindra Hardawar, jailbreaking allows iphone users to install unapproved software on their phones, as well as tweaks to the iOS interface. 

Most of these softwares aren’t compatible with the newest iOS 6 operating system, but first to successfully launch was Evasi0n, which came out early February. Evasi0n, whose icon is above, provides a jailbreak that stays with your phone even after a reboot, something that other jail-breaking systems had failed to do. (Hardawar) Evasi0n was used by over 7 million people in the first four days of it’s launch, but now may be facing push back from Apple software developers.

According to a Forbes article by Andy Greenberg, the latest update for iOS 6 looks to have patch many of the glitches Evasi0n takes advantage of in their software. These kinds of updates keep Apple products from being taken over by jailbreak softwares, and according to Greenberg, the fact that it took so long for a product like Evasi0n to become available shows that iOS may be becoming harder to crack. 

Even as Apple developers constantly update their work to fight the battle with the jailbreak, those on the outside say they will continue to be able to find the gaps and new ways to introduce their own software. (Greenberg) Obviously, I’ve learned through all of this that there is a lot more to jailbreaking a phone than I could’ve imagined. I’m excited to see whether Apple can keep up with the developers who at this very moment are finding a new way into the walls of the iphone 5. 

Hardawar, D. (2013, February 23). Apple’s latest iphone update could kill the popular evasi0n jailbreak.Venture Beat, Retrieved from http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/25/apples-latest-iphone-update-could-kill-the-popular-evasi0n-jailbreak/

Greenberg, A. (2013, February 25). Apple is beta-testing an update that kills evasi0n jailbreak. Forbes Magazine, Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/02/25/apple-is-beta-testing-a-fix-for-evasi0n-jailbreak/