It’s the cold war you never knew about – one that actually dealt with cold and creamy treats everyone holds so dearly. This cold war was filled with secret codes, legal threats, and of course, betrayal. Wired News had the opportunity to hear from the couple who started it all – Jeremy O’Sullivan and Melissa Nelson – and get their side of the story.
It all started with McDonald’s notoriously broken yet beloved ice cream machine – and the entire story behind the mystery and injustice behind it. The McDonalds’ franchise is a loyal customer to the Taylor Company’s soft service ice cream machine – causing ole’ each of Ronald’s franchises thousands of dollars each month for maintenance and servicing fees. The ice cream machine Taylor invented was specifically designed for McDonald’s’ specialty ice cream cones and McFlurries. However, this comes with a catch: the precise settings and finicky overengineered parts cause monthly financial losses with its infamous days that any-one part decides not to work causes the whole machine to reboot.
O’Sullivan and Nelson innovatively decided to create a gadget the size of a paperback book, which they called Kytch, to hack the Taylor machine’s hostile dairy extrusion appliance and offer access to all its user-unfriendly maintenance secrets. Wired writes, “The device not only displays all of the machine’s hidden internal data but logs it over time and even suggests troubleshooting solutions, all via the web or an app.”
So what could be wrong with artificial-intelligence gadgets, fixing ice cream machines across the country? For one, it could be the realization for the Taylor Company that they won’t stay McDonald’s and other fast-food chains single supplier for ice cream machines. It’s official: the McDonald ice cream machines have been hacked, after all, we are all screaming for ice cream!
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