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Talk of the Day

Published August 29, 2006

In a hurry? Automat idea is back for a new generation

Before there was McDonald's, there was the Automat. Now a fading memory, the Horn & Hardart Automat in its heyday served up lamb stew and pie to millions of New Yorkers who dropped a coin into a slot and opened a small glass door to fetch their food. Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revive the tradition - with a few modern twists - when they open Bamn Automat in New York City today. Less than a restaurant but more than a wall of vending machines, Bamn will feature a menu featuring teriyaki chicken sliders, pizza dumplings and mac-and-cheese pockets. Wedged between Japanese restaurants and tattoo parlors, the 600-square-foot Bamn is composed of a well-equipped kitchen and a tiny storefront decked out in cotton candy pink neon. The technology is similar to the Horn & Hardart Automats, with columns of coin-operated window boxes. Most items cost less than $3. The store will be open 24 hours and will aim to attract New York University students, bargoers, tourists and local residents.

Google offers businesses suite of free services

Google Inc. is offering free customizable e-mail and calendar software to businesses and universities in a bid to lure more corporate customers and develop a new source of revenue. The service is called Google Apps for Your Domain, and Google will offer a paid version by the end of the year that comes with extra support and lets customers opt out of receiving ads next to their e-mail. The service includes Google Talk, software for placing phone calls over the Internet, and Page Creator, which lets companies or individuals create Web sites. Google considered offering e-mail to organizations after noticing employees at other companies were forwarding mail to their Gmail accounts. Google also uses a customized version of Gmail for internal communications.


[Last modified August 29, 2006, 00:13:06]

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