McDonalds Adds WLAN to Menu
In a marriage of fast food and fast Internet, 10 McDonalds restaurants in the New York metropolitan area last week began offering an hour of free wireless Internet access with the purchase of an Extra Value Meal.
By years end, the fast-food chain plans to extend this pilot program to 300 restaurants in New York, Chicago and certain areas of California, said officials at McDonalds, in Oak Brook, Ill.
The company behind the technology is Cometa Networks, a wireless LAN hot-spot company founded in December by AT&T, IBM and Intel, along with two venture capital companies.
Customers who want to use public WLANs must have a notebook computer that supports 802.11b. Intel has been trying to make customers want such a notebook by promoting the idea of public hot spots.
Intel also announced plans to fund a marketing campaign advertising the public hot spots at more than 400 Borders Group stores.
T-Mobile USA, which provides these services, has tested its network for compatibility with Centrino.
Kapor Leaves Groove Board
Mitch Kapor has quit the board of Groove Networks after it sold collaboration software to a Department of Defense surveillance project. Kapor, a founder of Lotus Development, said he will remain a Groove shareholder.
A Groove spokesman confirmed Kapors resignation, which occurred in January. The spokesman also confirmed that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a client of Grooves.
Kapor left Lotus in 1987, and the company was purchased by IBM in 1995. Since then, Kapor co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation and invested in several companies, including Groove.
Microsoft to Sell Corel Shares
Microsoft last week said it is selling a 20 percent stake in software maker Corel for $12.9 million. Vector Capital said it will buy 22.89 million preferred shares in Corel from Microsoft.
Microsoft bought 24 million preferred shares in the software company in October 2000 for $135 million. It did not disclose whether it will still hold a financial stake in Corel after the sale.