MyMagic+, a $1 billion experiment in crowd control, data collection and wearable technology, could change the way people play -- and spend -- at the Magic Kingdom. But not everyone is singing its praises.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 10, 2014 10:30AM

Bloomberg Businessweek on MSN MoneyWalt Disney World readies full rollout of MyMagic+ as MagicBands become available for annual passholders (Courtesy of Walt Disney World via Facebook, www.facebook.com/WaltDisneyWorld)
By Christopher Palmeri, Bloomberg BusinessWeek


Jason McInerney and his wife, Melissa, recently tapped their lunch orders onto a touchscreen at the entrance to the Be Our Guest restaurant at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort and were told to take any open seat. Moments later a food server appeared at their table with their croque-monsieur and carved turkey sandwiches.


Asks McInerney, a once-a-year visitor to Disney theme parks: "How did they know where we were sitting?"


The answer was on the electronic bands the couple wore on their wrists. That's the magic of the MyMagic+, Walt Disney's (DIS) $1 billion experiment in crowd control, data collection, and wearable technology that could change the way people play -- and spend -- at the "Most Magical Place on Earth."


If the system works, it could be copied not only by other theme parks but also by museums, zoos, airports and malls. "It's a complete game changer," says Douglas Quinby, vice president for research at PhoCusWright, a travel consulting firm.

 

Hotels and restaurants are increasingly fighting back against negative online reviews -- by suing the writers. So be careful how you phrase your disgust with that disappointing dinner.

By TheStreet.com Staff Mar 7, 2014 1:01PM

Yelp sticker on a New York restaurant window (c) Scott Eells via Bloomberg/Getty ImagesBy Robert McGarveyMainStreet


The trickle of lawsuits that have been filed by restaurants and hotels over negative reviews posted to sites such as Yelp (YELP) and TripAdvisor (TRIP) is about to become a torrent. That's the opinion of many experts who say this now is inevitable.


"Businesses that generate income from Yelp and TripAdvisor will be more and more aggressive about how they protect themselves," said James T. Hunt, an attorney with Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt in New York.


TheStreet.com logo"The rapid growth of online reviews has certainly led to an increase in lawsuits against reviewers," said Josh King, general counsel for legal marketplace Avvo.com, which features reviews of attorneys by clients.


Bad reviews can translate into lost revenues and that has become a prod for businesses to file suit to silence critics.

 

Under pressure from anti-violence groups, the social media site said it will remove illegal offers to sell firearms across state lines or without background checks.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 6, 2014 11:34AM

A customer inspects a handgun © Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Rex FeatBy Jeff Elder, The Wall Street Journal


Facebook (FB) on Wednesday announced new restrictions on promoting guns on the social network, amid pressure from groups favoring gun control.


The Wall Street Journal on MSN MoneyIn a blog post, Facebook said it would remove offers to illegally sell guns without background checks or across state lines. Facebook will notify users offering to sell guns of relevant laws and limit the visibility of posts and pages about gun sales to users 18 and older. When users search for guns on its Instagram site, Facebook said it would display messages about gun laws.


Facebook said it would rely on users to report posts and pages offering to sell guns. It said the changes will be implemented over the next few weeks. "We will respond to posts that signal attempts to evade the law so we can delete them," a spokesman said.

 

The dusty, dying retailer once represented the cutting edge of computing.

By TheStreet.com Staff Mar 5, 2014 2:09PM

People walk past a RadioShack store in Manhattan on July 26, 2012 in New York City (© Mario Tama/Getty Images)By Dana Blankenhorn, TheStreet


If the old guy in the office looks wistful today, or your dad seemed a little nostalgic over his breakfast eggs, the reason may be RadioShack (RSH).


Why should anyone care about a musty, dusty, dying retailer that Tuesday reported an operating loss of $166 million for a single quarter, a $400 million loss for the full year and a 19 percent decline in same-store sales? One that also plans to close up to 1,100, or about one-fifth, of its stores?


Especially one that TheStreet's own Herb Greenberg has a "hate affair" with?


Well, it's like this, kid.


TheStreet.com logoBack before "Star Wars" came out, when Fleetwood Mac was a supergroup, when I had some hair on top of my head and when hobbyists built their own computers from parts, RadioShack was an important place.

 

Despite a publicized push to transfer some production back to the US, it appears manufacturing jobs aren't the only ones difficult to move back home.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 4, 2014 12:22PM

A man walks past an Apple logo displayed above a street at a shopping mall in Beijing © Ed Jones/AFP/Getty ImagesBThe Wall St. Journal on MSN Moneyy Eva Dou, The Wall Street Journal


Apple's (AAPL) move to transfer some production back to the U.S. has been in the headlines, but that doesn't mean the iPhone maker is scaling down its China operations.  In fact, it's still expanding.


The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Apple is poaching engineers from rival smartphone maker HTC and other Taiwanese tech firms, to build up its teams in Shanghai and Taipei.


The move is a reminder of the realities of globalization and the current limitations of factory automation. Industry executives and analysts agree that costs for robotic arms have to come down quite a bit before it would be cost-efficient to switch en masse to automated assembly lines for devices like smartphones and tablets. Until that happens, building an iPhone remains a labor-heavy process that is likely to stay in countries with cheaper labor such as China.

 

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