Palacio del Gobernador (Merida) Panoramic Images & Fernando Castro Pacheco Murals

Two additional panoramas: Staircase Courtyard.

Wikipedia on Fernando Castro Pacheco:

Between 1971 and 1979 Castro Pacheco completed 27 murals for the governor’s palace in Mérida, Yucatán. These murals depict what some consider the realities of life in the Yucatán after the Spanish conquest as well as images and myths of native Maya tribes indigenous of the Yucatán region. The murals depict scenes of work and torture that the native peoples of the Yucatán endured under Spanish control. The reality of early henequen workers are seen in El henequen. A traditional creation myth of the native tribes is also depicted by Castro Pacheco in his work Hombres de maiz. The murals are oil paintings on large format canvas.

Lonely Planet.

Wikipedia on Merida.

RIP: Cash Registers?

Green Tea. Salad. Oatmeal. Soup. Fruit. Yogurt. Bacon Cheddar Muffin (caught my eye at a sprout style coffee shop, but not for me). These are just a few of the items I’ve purchased when on travel using increasingly popular iPad “cash registers”. Interacting with them more frequently, I’ve begun to catalog installations and reflect on their use.

The term “cash register” [wikipedia] understates much of what the iPad and the supporting cloud software is actually doing. I often ask the attendant or proprietor how they like the iPad + software combination. The most popular response – admittedly, unscientific – is the ease with which they can manage their products and prices. One manager mentioned how difficult it was to reconfigure pricing and products on their previous Windows based “cash register”.

Apps + Cloud

The examples I’ve witnessed use a “cloud” based service: NCR “Silver”, Square and ShopKeep to name a few. The proprietor configures and manages the POS (“Point of Sale”) iPad system from a browser or a management app. Changes are often available immediately. The iPad provides a fast, touch interface to cloud-based data processing. In some ways, this phenomena is a return to the client/server era of the 1990’s.

Google Trends “iPad POS”

Google Trends “iPad Cash Register”


I observed a number of clients selecting their contact record to tag a purchase for the store’s affinity program.

This points out another benefit of iPad Point of Sale Apps: clients can often enter or update their own information, saving staff time. The iPad stands quickly rotate so that the customer can complete their information and request a receipt – via email.

I observed one cafe with “black box” 7″ tablets tied to a POS system. Presumably we will see more payment service bundling, particularly from Google, Amazon and others.


The cloud is not perfect, it’s not for everyone” – so said the owner of a multi-generation successful restaurant – still using traditional cash registers. I asked this fellow if he considered an iPad cash register app/service?

“You know, the cloud has flaws from privacy to business risk. I’ve looked and looked (and looked) for an iPad POS app that keeps my data local and have yet to find one. I want to control my data.”


One can imagine many interesting business and service combinations from banking, crm, delivery and ibeacons. New user experiences will emerge, perhaps including “frictionless” purchases via emerging credential services ala Touch ID.

iPad POS system growth is yet another indicator of the iOS eco-system’s strong developer appeal.

The next logical step is to eliminate – or make irrelevant – the physical “cash register”, moving the order and payment process to the client’s device such as a smartphone and/or iPad. Perhaps the POS vendors, or one of the eco-system platforms will create and grow a pervasive location aware payment service that interacts with iBeacon-style devices.

Cloud Financial Data
I concur with the proprietor concerned about cloud financial data.

On a related personal data matter, I recently contacted Automatic to see if I might use their auto data tracking device and app without moving all of my information to their services (and “business partners”). I received this response:

This is technically possible, but not as easily done. As long as you have a data plan on your phone, it will upload data to our servers for processing. The only way to prevent it entirely is to not be connected to the internet at all. You’ll still need to connect initially to create an account for the setup process though.

Without an internet connection, trip recording may not work flawlessly all the time as some of it is dependent on our servers for processing. You won’t be able to install any firmware updates for the Link and other features of Automatic won’t work without a connection. Check out this topic in our Community for more information.

Customer Success

An optimist, I am hopeful that we will see more user controlled data options, soon.

I suspect within 5 years (3?) the iPad cash register app model will be old news, largely replaced by location aware client devices.

Notes: The photos above were taken with my iPhone 5s, with the exception of the first, which was taken with my Sigma DP2m. The wood iPad POS stand was my favorite. It was found in a rather high-rent tea cafe.

Black Swan? A Blackberry Store

I snapped this photo in Charlotte while quickly changing planes recently. Its presence caused me to do an about face as I had not previously seen a Blackberry branded retail store – nor did I ever expect to encounter such a place.

RIM was once a high flyer, but, via this informative Horace Dediu chart, has been unable to address the iPhone led smartphone disruption.

Black Swan Theory.

Brian S. Hall has been following the Smartphone wars for some time.

The Sky Is on Fire! Your Complete Visual Guide to the Northern Lights

Rebecca Rosen:

Over the past week, Norway has been witness to some jaw-dropping light shows, the result of an M8.7 class flare and a coronal mass ejection in a direction pointed toward Earth. Many Norwegians shared their photos of the northern lights — or “nordlys” in Norwegian — on Flickr, where we reached out to them for permission to republish them here, in the gallery above. Through Flickr, we can see halfway across the world, to the skies above Trondheim and across Norway.

The Rise of the Craft Film

Steven Walsh:

Before prohibition the seaside landscape of beer was flourishing. Variety was truly the spice of life, and every locale had its own. Styles traveled from the old world, and were enjoyed in the new. Then the 21st amendment happened, and the fields were burned, and salted. A once flourishing industry was destroyed, and all that remained was a weakened few. Before the microbrew revolution, 3 players came to dominate the entire empire. The feudal consumer was left to choose between three piss colored lagers all tasting exactly the same. They obtained these thrones through a brutal war. Expensive marketing budgets boasted a generic flavor that was at best, not offensive. As large corporations tend to do, the players got big, and they earned power. They used this power to influence policy in an effort to maintain their oligopolistic positions.

It’s hard for me not to draw parallel lines between Hollywood today, and big beer. Today only 6 studios produce nearly the entirety of our big screen entertainment. Much like beer they rely on marketing to drive their product. A script can be great, but if a studio can’t find a sure way to market it, it’s dead. The result is a series of the same movies over and over again. We put up with these movies, because when we go to the theatres, much like the bars of yesterday… there just aren’t any other choices. There is something happening though. The home-brewers are starting to talk to each other!