From: Craig Phillips <>

Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 7:35 AM


Subject: Cocktail Talk - Urban Smart Apps(es)



Cocktail Talk


April, 2014

Cocktail Talk


Welcome to CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".


Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world. Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.


Cocktail Talk is archived on


Currently, on Cocktail Talk - Urban Smart Apps(es)


Urban life is different than life at the country manor, especially when it comes to getting around. It doesn't matter if you live, work, shop, sight-see or vacation in the city, you have to get from A to B and back to A, and there's an App for that. Several come to mind, let's call those Smart Apps(es).


Chicago is an ideal city to live, work, shop, sight-see and vacation so let's talk about Hailo, Uber, ZipCar, and Divvy, which are available there.


You register with these services and have all the protection of your credit card company in case something upsets you. No money changes hands, even tipping is built in, you don't even have to carry your credit card. You can even split a fare so you're not always paying for your deadbeat friends. You even get a quote before you book.


Hailo gets you a cab, tap-tap. No walking to stand on a corner flailing your arms only to see passengers in the back of the approaching cab. Hailo drivers are all licensed in the city of Chicago and approved by Hailo. With a built-in tip and fares being handed to them I can't imagine any driver willing to screw up anyway. I have my built-in tip a little higher than most, hoping that I get preferential treatment when cabs are dispatched. 


When you're finished with dinner and ready to go to the next place for drinks and entertainment, tap-tap for a cab, pay the bill, and walk to the curb. You can get home safely that way too. Hop out of the cab and your receipt comes to your phone in an email.


If you need a little more flash, maybe it's a date, or a business thing, and you want to impress, Uber gives you "Black Cars". You get to pick between Black Car, SUV or Luxury Car depending on your wants or needs, tap-tap and within minutes your car and driver arrive.


The trains to Chicago dump you somewhere in the South Loop on Wacker, tap-tap a Black Car picks you up and takes you to Water Tower Place to shop the Magnificent Mile. You shop 'til you drop and stagger to Gino's for pizza. Once rejuvenated tap-tap a Black SUV picks you up, and your mountain of gifts, and drives you back to the train. 


Maybe you have lots of stops and want something that's yours for the day, or half a day, or a few hours at night. Maybe you want to lock your stuff in the trunk while you bounce around the city, Zip Car can do that for you.


Zip Car has cars parked (indoors) all around the city that you can rent by the hour or day. You pay $6 a month to be a member and you get a Zip Card. When you rent a Zip Car, tap-tap, your Zip Card gets programmed to unlock the doors and ignition. Zip Car pays the gas and insurance so you are good to go. All you have to do is return it to where you got it and, get this, the parking spot is reserved for you.


Divvy rents bicycles. You can be a member or just buy a one day pass. Using the App you find a location, or maybe you're standing in front of it, and you dip your key or enter a code at the kiosk to unlock a bike. You peddle to where you want to go, dock (return) it in the nearest Divvy Bike station, and walk away. When you're ready just repeat the process to go to the next destination, or back to point A.


Each leg of your journey should be less than 30 minutes station to station. You aren't renting one bike for the day, you are renting several bikes to make your day. Why would anyone want the hassle of one bike anyway? It's not like they're hard to find.


There are hundreds of stations, one at the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Millennium Park, Art Institute, Cultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Art, Water Tower Place, Cadillac Palace Theater,  Willis (Sears) Tower, and Zanie's Comedy Cub to name a few. Divvy even has 24/7 phone support.



See what these Smart Apps(es) have to offer, or not, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.




Thank you for reading,



Craig Phillips

CN Consulting, Inc.




CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!



CN Consulting Inc. (CNCI) is an independent consulting company formed in 1990 and located within easy reach of both Chicago and Milwaukee.


CNCI maintains a select client base providing consulting services concerning the use of information technology. We persistently look for advantage to our clients in added value and reduced cost made available by advancing technology.


CNCI does not have financial interest in any given product or product line. We evaluate current and emerging technologies solely based on their benefit to our clients. CNCI implements the solutions it recommends and readily partners with companies that offer products and services to the advantage of our clients. CNCI offers complete client support with singular accountability.


We maximize the benefit of our clients' existing technology, systems, and platforms while integrating the benefits provided by new technology.


Business Continuity and Business Development are our goals with Continuity being the foundation of Development.


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