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They Hacked McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines—and Started a Cold War


ItemDate=2021-07-13 00:43:25 Status=publish

TopicTaglist=['G2', 'G3', 'G12', 'V3']

#Discussion(IoTStack) [ via IoTGroup ] #product :


Of all the mysteries and injustices of the McDonald’s ice cream machine the one that Jeremy O’Sullivan insists you understand first is its secret passcode. Press the cone icon on the screen of the Taylor C602 digital ice cream machine he explains then tap the buttons that show a snowflake and a milkshake to set the digits on the screen to 5 then 2 then 3 then 1.

The secret menu reveals a business model that goes beyond a right-to-repair issue, O’Sullivan argues. It represents, as he describes it, nothing short of a milkshake shakedown: Sell franchisees a complicated and fragile machine. Prevent them from figuring out why it constantly breaks. Take a cut of the distributors’ profit from the repairs.

“No one at McDonald’s or Taylor will explain why there’s a secret undisclosed menu " O’Sullivan wrote in one of the first cryptic text messages I received from him earlier this year. As O’Sullivan says this menu isn’t documented in any owner’s manual for the Taylor digital ice cream machines that are standard equipment in more than 13 000 McDonald’s restaurants across the US and tens of thousands more worldwide. (Take a moment now to search Twitter for “broken McDonald’s ice cream machine” and witness thousands of voices crying out in despair.) But after years of studying this complex machine and its many ways of failing O’Sullivan remains most outraged at this notion: That the food-equipment giant Taylor sells the McFlurry-squirting devices to McDonald’s restaurant owners for about $18 000 each and yet it keeps the machines’ inner workings secret from them.

What's more Taylor maintains a network of approved distributors that charge franchisees thousands of dollars a year for pricey maintenance contracts with technicians on call to come and tap that secret passcode into the devices sitting on their counters. The secret menu reveals a business model that goes beyond a right-to-repair issue O’Sullivan argues. It represents as he describes it nothing short of a milkshake shakedown: Sell franchisees a complicated and fragile machine. So two years ago after their own strange and painful travails with Taylor’s devices 34-year-old O’Sullivan and his partner 33-year-old Melissa Nelson began selling a gadget about the size of a small paperback book which they call Kytch. Install it inside your Taylor ice cream


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