Wireless cash, tickets and more

NCR Canada Ltd. last month introduced a concept called the Freedom ATM, to better understand how wireless technologies may work with ATM machines in the future. The machine, which was developed by NCR’s Advanced Concepts Lab in Dundee, Scotland, is a keyless, screenless egg-shaped ATM which is based on infrared and Bluetooth technologies, according to a press release. Requests for cash withdrawals can be typed into a mobile telephone or PDA at home or at the office. Then, the consumer can walk up to the ATM, enter a security PIN number into the mobile device, and point the device at the machine to receive the cash. The company notes that cash is not the only thing the machine could be used for. Concert or travel tickets could also be ordered via the handset and be later picked up through the machine. And, as the ATM is compatible with broadband mobile connections, the company even suggests it could be used to download data such as MP3 files while users are collecting concert tickets.

Web-based music to go

So you don’t know what to do with all that music you’ve downloaded? Not to worry – take it to go! Sony of Canada Ltd. has introduced its own brand of a portable digital music player, the NW-MS9 Network Walkman. The unit measures 3.2″x1.5″x.62″, weighs 2.3 ounces, and has no moving parts – meaning it is skip-proof – according to company. Users download songs from the Internet or copy tracks from CDs and save them to their hard drives. That music is then transferable to the Network Walkman via a USB port. Sony’s NW-MSN9 features the company’s own MagicGate Memory Stick removable media (SDMI compliant) and comes bundled with OpenMG Jukebox 2.0 management software. The 64MB MagicGate Memory Stick card can store up to 120 minutes of music in high compression mode, the company says. Available now at Sony’s retail store chain, authorized dealers and online at, the Network Walkman is priced at $499.99.

Now you win…and now you don’t!

Potentially hundreds of ecstatic AOL users who thought they had won up to US$10,000 were in for a shock – when they discovered that they hadn’t. Dulles, Va.-based America Online has said that the false messages concerning prizes were generated through a computer glitch, according to one report. One user played a trivia game when she was told she had won US$10,000, and even called a few times to verify that she was in fact a winner. She was assured each time that she was, but was later informed that due to a computer glitch, she was not in fact a money winner. Instead AOL told her she would be getting a gift certificate from a U.S.-based chain of stores, as well as some free AOL service.

Start-up launches digital media delivery service

Launched at the beginning of this month, start-up Kontiki plans to make some waves in the area of digital media. The company, which was founded by various ex-Netscape employees and

founders, recently announced its Kontiki Delivery Network. According to a press release issued by the new company, the offering enables users to receive digital media – such as video, audio, software and games – directly to their PCs, simply with a click of a mouse. The company is also targeting its offering to enterprises, saying that businesses “can leverage their existing digital assets by distributing them through the Kontiki Delivery Network to improve and manage customer relationships, educate employees and partners, build audience loyalty and create new revenue streams.” The Kontiki Delivery Network stays on a user’s PC and acts as a “container” for any digital media files that the user requests. The offering also enables users to schedule in advance what they want to download, and even make reservations for upcoming releases (such as for a movie trailer), according to the company. The product is currently in private beta testing, and will be available as a public beta this fall.