Friday, June 29, 2007

Pluribus


Pluribus is a technology from HP that allows you to 'align' multiple projectors into a mega screen image.
Doesn't require physical alignment of projectors - Doesn't require all the same models - all done in software.
Just get a group of buddies together, bring your projectors, lay them out and 5 mins later have a 40" image on your wall.

Too cool :)


Cheers,
Dean

Apple TV Hack


Hmmm, very interesting hack here;

JAMAN, a P2P movie download company that focuses on indie and international content, has found a way to install its service on AppleTV. Jaman offers both rentals and downloadable purchases, and copyright-protected status will remain in place when content is viewed on AppleTV. Video quality of the downloads is said to be "stunning" compared to videos purchased from Apple. The software will be released within the next few weeks.

So basically Jaman have worked out a way to 'unofficially' offer their content on the Apple TV closed set-top box solution.

Wonder if this will get booted? If it doesn't almost make it worthwhile to buy an Apple TV which I've resisted until now. (also wonder how many calls Jaman have had this week to 'license' their hack to other content vendors).

Cheers,
Dean
P.S. For anyone who watched Studio 60 last night and didn't think it's the biggest mistake in Television that they aren't bringing this show back...you are heartless and have no taste. I cant believe this isn't getting the greenlight for a second season.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What does it really take?



Great article dissecting 4 very different web application companies that are at varying stages of their life cycle. In addition to different age and size, these companies vary in their business models, programming languages and views on approaching the web as a platform.

The article details code line counts, business processes, conversion rates, support requests revenues per customer.

Well worth the read if you are developing a web 2.0 application and think you might have what it takes.


Cheers,
Dean

Faktortel Sucks

BTW before I forget (I've been meaning to post this for the past few days).

Faktortel Sucks !!!!

http://www.faktortel.com.au/ is an Australian voip provider that I use for my Sydney number which diverts here to my asterisk server in NY when I'm in the USA or to my mobile when I'm travelling anywhere else in the world.

I've been a good customer of theirs for about 2 years and apart from a few hiccups here and there have been happy with the service.

14 days ago (and counting) I got a call from a business colleague to say that he was trying to call my Sydney number but that it was saying it's out of service.

Thinking it was just a port glitch I rebooted my server - nope was still down. Checked I could make outbound calls - yep no probs.

Got onto Faktortel customer support only to be told yes there was a problem with Sydney numbers....it occurred 3 days earlier (...and no I didn't get an email or any indication there was an issue) and that they were working on it.

As I write this we are now in day 14!!!!

Faktortel is saying that it's a problem with their upstream carrier and should have been fixed last Friday, last Wednesday and now...tomorrow.

So hopefully web spiders will find this blog post and understand that I think

Faktortel Sucks
Faktortel Sucks
Faktortel Sucks

:)
There - didn't fix the problem but makes me feel a little better


Cheers,
Dean

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

HD TV's Slow Addoption

HDTV Penetration Will Hit 36% In 2007by Erik Sass: By the end of 2007, 16 million high-definition TVs will be sold, bringing the total to 52.5 million in the U.S. That's 36% penetration of households, according to new figures from the Consumer Electronics Association. The irony? Only 44% of HDTV owners actually receive HD programming. Some blame cost, others use the technology for movie and gaming experiences. - Read the whole story...


Wow that figure blows me away it's so low. Basically if people replace their tv's every 5 years (eg 20% a year) then their is no 'rapid' deployment of HD sets, it's just the natural replacement cycle that is growing year on year as it normally would any other TV 'feature'.

I mean I have been dissapointed that out of the 400 or so channels here on Time Warner NY we only have about 20 or so in HD, but based on those figures I can see why networks aren't exactly rushing out to replace everything in HD.

Any comments?


Cheers,
Dean

Microsoft SeaDragon

Wow when did Microsoft become a cool place to work????

I didn't realise when I posted about Photosynth a few weeks ago (http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/microsoft-photosynth.html ) that it held an even bigger secret.






Being able on the fly to deliver information seemlessly regardless of the volume or content type is a huge change from the way OS's currently display data.

There is also a deeper explanation about how Photosynth works in this TED video, astounding and well worth the viewing, (I love in the middle of it when the presenter kind of gets choked up saying how happy he is to work for Microsoft and get this kind of reaction from his demonstration -lol the evil enemy is no longer evil and all that). http://labs.live.com/Photosynth+At+TED+Conference.aspx
Cheers,
Dean

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kindergarten of 1994

http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/education/2007/06/24/2007-06-24_young__restless.html

Wow what a great article. It takes a look at 23 kids from the kindergarten of 1994 and where they have developed to as they finish (or left already) their 13th and final year of schooling.

Some very obvious and very poignant truisms about what makes people(kids) succeed and provide them with the skills they need to flourish in life.

Well worth the read.


Cheers,
Dean

The Day Music Went Silent


For 24 hours today USA based internet radio stations will be silent as an act of defiant protest.
http://www.savenetradio.org/
http://www.lawbean.com/2007/06/23/internet-radio-to-fall-silent-in-protest-on-june-26th/

This isn't a minor list of radicals, major player like Yahoo Music are also participating.
http://www.savenetradio.org/press_room/press_releases/070621-silence.pdf

It's kind of funny in that all it's going to do is drive servers offshore but on the other hand I want to draw attention to the cause as it's a very unfair playing field for internet broadcasters when compared to payments for FM and satellite providers which just screams 'big money lobbyists' are controlling what you can and cant do on the internet which is an issue I feel strongly about.


Cheers,
Dean

Monday, June 25, 2007

Playing by the rules

I love how quickly the USA can move on international trade issues when they want to;
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/22/itc_upholds_qualcomm_phone_ban/

But if you are trying to argue against USA's financial interests then you are up shit creek without a paddle and in for a long long wait while they change the rules (or just ignore them) to suit their own purposes.

Yet another month going past where the WTO has done nothing about Antigua's claims against the USA
http://www.eog.com/news/industry.aspx?id=26450
http://www.gambling911.com/online-gambling-062107.html


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. If you've been living under a rock and dont know anything about this issue you can read some background in these two posts.
http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2006/10/who-is-really-in-charge-of-internet.html
http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/wto-rules-usa-gambling-ban-illegal.html

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Citizens of the world?





http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=463694&in_page_id=1811

Four years ago there was nothing here but unbroken sea. Now there's Andrew Dukes and his luxury mansion - sitting on a palm-shaped, man-made island - the first of about 100 houses to open here.


Hmmm I wonder what the broadband speeds are like?

Seeing 90% of my work is online already makes you wonder why I put up with the noise and dirt of NYC some times.


Cheers,
Dean

Wet Paint

Nice paint job guys, would it have killed you to go another 6" all the way to the floor?

This is exactly whats wrong with NY - and people wonder why the streets are crowded, because the subways are crappy and everyone catches cabs.

Stuff like this drives me crazy and makes me want to move to Europe or anywhere but here.

Hey Bloomberg want to solve congestion on New York roads....? Instead of adding a 'city congestion tax' and making money why not outsource the running and cleaning of all NY subways to someone like Macquarie Bank in Australia - they specialise in public/private partnerships (tollways,airports,water supply etc) - like seriously when was the last time you saw anyone cleaning a subway station floor.


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. Yeh I know I've bitched about it before http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2006/07/quality-of-life-in-ny.html but seriously it's getting ridiculous.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

New York Cop Car

So I was walking past a car today and noticed a NY Cop notice on the dash, (eg normally detective cars have these on the dash when they are parked outside a station etc).














Thinking hang on a minute thats a bit of a weird car to have one of those on the dash I stopped to take some photos.














So do you recognize what model the car is? (all the boys drool - all the girls go huh?)














Yep you go it right - this is a New York Aston Martin DB7 cop car.














So next time you think you can outrun a NY city cop better hope this car isn't the one following you in the chase as it has a top speed of 185 mph (290 kph)














So just how much exactly do New Yorks finest get paid I wonder??


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. In case you are wondering what type of phone I used to take these photos it's a Cingular 8525 also known as the HTC Hermes. It's a Windows Mobile 5 device with full slideout keyboard that is super functional (quad band gsm, wifi, bluetooth etc) almost a little 'too' complicated but if you are a geek it's the phone to have at the moment.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Studio 60 Cancelled


















To whatever idiot at NBC who decided to cancel Studio 60 - What were you thinking???

There's a reason why a certain demographic is turning off their tv's and spending time on the internet or reading or whatever and it has nothing to do with piracy, illegal dvds or whatever other fantasy you can come up with for falling ratings. ..... It's because there is nothing but crap on TV.

Since the West Wing wrapped up (on a high like all good shows should), there has been a lack of intelligent dialog driven tv shows. From the first episode of Studio 60 that I watched I felt home - like a good friend popping over and saying stuff you know in your head before they even finish saying it.

Look we all know it's not as good as West Wing but there's not as much 'star power' as there was in West Wing either - I mean Martin Sheen walks into a room, makes a speech and even I feel like saluting him - He was POTUS.

Having said that Studio 60 was tackling some really heavy current issues as well. Something that no one else is able to.

So tell us where to send the peanuts and we will, but next year when you are sitting around the upfronts wondering why the apathy...remember this email.


Cheers,
Dean Collins

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Americans no longer tallest in the world

http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=3293191
This has been on the news a bit for the last few days, basically Americans are getting fatter and shorter than the rest of the world at a very rapid rate.
Denmark is now currently the tallest country in the world with an average of 6'1".
It was interesting to read on another site how height can change in single generation basically because of bad diet and health issues American's now 'find themselves in'.
Cheers,
Dean
P.S. For the aussies reading this no they didn't mention Australia - though all those 2nd generation greek and italian girls are bringing down our average I'm sure :) so leave them alone haha

Veoh


http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.san&s=62728&Nid=31598&p=416179

Yeh I knew it was coming when I posted yesterday (haven't seen enough to make a decision one way or the other yet though).

I'm super curious to see how this is going to look after making the claim of 6' viewing quality on your TV etc. I mean Joost is ok (and even some of the content isn't bad) but I dont know if it's 6' quality (I only have a 21" screen on my pc and I haven't tried to watch it routed to my tv etc).

Either way interesting times ahead for how we think we watch tv and where tv content actually comes from.

Though there is still a big opening for 'what' tv actually means. I mean lets face it, tv in it's nature hasn't really changed all that much since the first broadcasts 50+ years ago. I think there is huge potential to add new 'elements' to TV (and it doesn't need IPTV necessarily to enable this change). One of my clients is currently looking for funding to add high-touch interactive elements, one of my other projects is what does the definition of a channel actually mean and how videos are grouped determines touch time.

As neat as some of the early reality elements of Survivor or American Idol were or how Current TV has introduced citizen journalism they weren't really that big a step away from what we've always had.

I want to see something big, no something really big, shatter for all time what it means to 'watch' tv.


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. What do you think is missing...if you were the king of Newscorp for a day what would you be doing?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Microsoft Silverlight

Hmmm just came across my first web page that asked me to install Microsoft Silverlight, install went fine but will post some thoughts later (FYI the site was the mashup page of www.popfly.com)


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. anyone using any Adobe AIR applications (the new name for Apollo)

VH1 podcasts

So I was in a cab yesterday when I saw a rooftop advertisement for the podcast of a show that would be something my wife (a non geek) would watch.

It wasn't until a few minutes later that I went WTF??

When did podcasts become mainstream? When was the tipping point that meant specialised Internet audio content which required you to set up a XML feed onto an mp3 player become something that anyone other than a geek would attempt.

And when was it that mainstream media woke up to this and started advertising this form of interaction/"call to action" to the general public.

If they are now targeting my wife...how long before they are targeting my mother which is the true benchmark for middle bell curve adoption (right Mike?)

I think the problem with technology is that we live breath and exist in it until all of a sudden it's just here and we forget how freaking cool it actually is.

Seriously the web has been mainstream for less than 10 years - lol don't believe me go check out what the SMH.com.au site looked like in 1997 here http://web.archive.org/web/19970111111044/http://www.smh.com.au/

When you compare that with how it looks today you begin to realise how ubiquitous a well designed useful website looks to us....yet it's only a relatively new functionality.

Lend me your eyes for a few more paragraphs about what this may mean and why I think through simple extrapolation it demonstrates the collapse of the TV/Cable networks is imminent.....bah not possible - (right?)

Well consider this, if the general public are now being targeted for general non-geek podcasting how much more of an extrapolation can it be that people are "podcasting" television shows direct to a hard drive equipped set-top box fed directly over raw IP Internet.

All you need is some type of xml editorial guide, recommendation or just a very good EPG that allows you to view text/meta data and these "raw videos" or probably more likely a feed that is loosely 'collectively' a channel that has similar shows one after the other sequentially or grouped together under a common brand (or even common sponsor/advertising group).

Your personal video 'butler' will 'spider' appropriate content in a way far better than you could searching aimlessly for yourself.

Check out this aussie startup http://scouta.com/ it's not what I have in mind but it will give you an idea of where the genesis of future EPG's will come from.

Apart from that it's content on demand al la Tivo style pre-cached and downloaded for you before you even new it existed let alone decided to 'record' it.

No wonder Rupert Murdoch arranged to sell a number of his USA affiliates last month...do you think someone at News Corp has shown him an AppleTV box (or god forbid an Akimbo).

As for how to make money from this now.... :) I've got a few ideas if you've got the VC funding.



Any thoughts?


Cheers,
Dean

P.S. So of course I jumped onto the phone while I was editing this to ask my mother in Australia .... Do you know what a podcast is? Only to be told - "of course I do, I download them to my mp3 player and listen to the http://www.abc.net.au/ Radio Australia interviews for when I'm out doing my morning walks".

Lol - good on you mum, you just proved my point.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Email rights oooops

A federal appeals court on Monday issued a landmark decision (.pdf) that holds that e-mail has similar constitutional privacy protections as telephone communications, meaning that federal investigators who search and seize emails without obtaining probable cause warrants will now have to do so.


Oooops turns out the feds do need a warrant after all and cant just turn up to any old ISP and do a massive download (well they can and still will but at least now they can be sent to jail for doing so).


Is it just me or does the USA seems to be coming back to normal? respecting constitutional rights etc

Must be an election around the corner...... isn't that what illegally seized regimes do - seize power and steal all the gold but just before an election introduce populist initiatives and then issue governmental pardons as they flee the country before being voted out?


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. Just came across this well written article http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070619-appeals-court-feds-cant-seize-secretly-seize-e-mail-without-a-warrant.html with more explanation.

Dogs V's Kids

Ok so we know where I fall on this scale :) but I'm wondering what the stats for NYC are? It would have to be close as there are so few kids here (well Manhattan anyway).


American Life
There are
more dogs than kids living in San Francisco: "Nobody beats San Francisco when it comes to doting on dogs. It's a city with luxury dog hotels, rooftop dog cocktail parties, a pet cemetery and City Hall plans to turn dog droppings into alternative energy. And the urban legend is actually true: Dogs outnumber children in the City by the Bay. There are an estimated 120,000 dogs in San Francisco, according to the city's Animal Care and Control department. There are anywhere from 108,000 to 113,000 children, according to U.S. census figures from 2000 and 2005."


Cheers,
Dean

RSS Reader

















So I assumed everyone already knew about RSS readers until this week someone looked over my shoulder when I was reading my customised http://www.live.com/ page and was surprised to learn what it was about and how efficient it is to scan a whole heap of websites in a rapid speed using a RSS reader.

So if you don't use a RSS reader yet go to Live and set up your page, you can then configure your customised layout, as a way of getting started I've included a couple of my custom pages as import links below.
http://www.live.com/?addTemplate=5c27cae2-f376-4be1-8f0a-db7678f93208
http://www.live.com/?addTemplate=f144c75d-7cd4-475b-aff7-3d78bb7b11ec
http://www.live.com/?addTemplate=99a43508-3e58-47ac-8858-61bbc9c091ce
http://www.live.com/?addTemplate=febc03fb-3f4f-4e93-ab80-d83719867077
http://www.live.com/?addTemplate=9e1eda9f-64c0-4fc4-a2be-6a5deda963a1

In it's simplest form the description of a RSS feed is a list of headlines (and often a short description) from a series of articles on a web page.

Instead of needing to go to http://www.smh.com.au/ for me to see whats new online today I just go to http://www.live.com/ and see the new articles, or the new articles of the individual sections that i choose to subscribe to (http://www.smh.com.au/rsschannels/)

Whenever you see a symbol like this or you know that you can download this feed to your RSS reader and have updates sent to you as and when they happen.

If you use Live.com and want to add a feed to your page you right mouse click the link then log into Live.com and in the top left of the page click "Add Stuff".

Then click on advance tab and then drop the url directly into the second box "add gadget by url". You can then drop and drag the gadget onto various tabs and rename/add tabs as you require.

There are also a whole heap of other "gadgets" like weather, international time or flickr etc you can select under the "Add Stuff" tab.

I generally don't add more than a single page on a tab, this way I don't need to scroll down to scan a page.

As well as Live.com, Google and Yahoo also have their own web based RSS readers so check out which one you like the best. Or you can also check out non web based readers that are actually client .exe programs that install on your pc and update themselves each time you connect to the internet so you can read them offline.

I hope this was of interest, if you have any questions email me - or if you have been using RSS for a while and have some comments post them below so other people can read them and learn from your experience.


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. Now you can go and add my blog http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/rss.xml to your RSS reader and always be up to date when I post a new article :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Wasted Marketing Opportunity

So I don't want you to think I spend my entire weekends hanging around bus shelters but....














































So I'd heard about these Bluetooth Beacon marketing advertisements, the idea is that you walk up activate your Bluetooth on your mobile phone and it sends you the "call to action" marketing message.

Hmm..... Sorry Discovery back to the drawing board on this one - it's either not working or they put a Bluetooth poster on a non Bluetooth shelter.

Missed opportunity there which is a shame as I was really curious to see how it would work (having said that I still watch the show - I love it definitely up there in my Top 10).

Seeing that the Bluetooth technology failed us here.....how about a backup using a QR code as well??


Cheers,
Dean

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Truphone blocked by T-Mobile

Truphone is a low cost voip provider for mobile phone handsets (Think vonage but only on your mobile). I haven't used it as it's handset specific application but I've met some of the founders.

Anyway so it turns out T-Mobile have decided to block calls to these numbers http://thomashowe.blogspot.com/2007/06/truphone-gets-blocked.html

It's kind of like the recent 712 area code case against AT&T http://saunderslog.com/2006/10/11/whats-with-the-712-area-code/

Will be interesting to see what happens here and hwo this is resolved (federal, state, or free-market) eg the recent Maine net neutrality law http://www.lawbean.com/2007/06/16/maine-becomes-the-first-state-to-pass-internet-neutrality-legislation/


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. Found a better article with more information http://gigaom.com/2007/06/15/tmobile-truphone/#more-9592

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Micropayments

Just chilling out at home this afternoon catching up on some online reading..one of the sites where you often find the higher end of the IQ gene pool hanging out is Valleywag.

Very interesting discussion going on here http://valleywag.com/tech/essay/the-valleys-impoverished-imagination-263400.php

Hope you find it of use.


Cheers,
Dean
BTW you might also want to read this as well http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2007/01/microsoft-to-implement-micropayments.html

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bush Bumper Stickers

Lol - this hit my inbox and had to be posted.....

1) (On an infant's shirt): "Already smarter than Bush"
2) 1/20/09: End of an Error
3) That's OK, I Wasn't Using My Civil Liberties Anyway
4) Let's Fix Democracy in This Country First
5) If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran
6) Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.
7) You Can't Be Pro-War And Pro-Life At The Same Time
8) If You Can Read This, You're Not Our President
10) Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?
11) George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight
14) America : One Nation, Under Surveillance
15) They Call Him "W" So He Can Spell It
16) Which God Do You Kill For?
17) Cheney/Satan '08
18) Jail to the Chief
19) Who Would Jesus Torture?
20) No, Seriously, Why did we Invade Iraq?
21) Bush: God's Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full of Crap
22) Like Jesus Would Own a Gun and Vote Republican
23) Bad president! No Banana.
24) We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One Language
25) We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them
27) Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Blood
28) Is It Vietnam Yet?
29) Bush Doesn't Care About White People, Either
30) Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Hand basket?
31) You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.
33) Impeach Cheney First
35) When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46 a gallon
36) The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century



Still talking to me? :)


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. Any more you want me to add?

P.P.S. I was out this morning (sat) and found something else on the side of a phone box :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Future 414 Spammers?




















This is a photo of the new OLPC computers being handed out.
Yeh I know it's kind of a bad joke.....but funny at the same time :)


Cheers,
Dean

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

ReCaptcha

I came across this fantastic company today http://www.recaptcha.net/ via http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/11/technology

A CAPTCHA is a program that can tell whether its user is a human or a computer. You've probably seen them — colorful images with distorted text at the bottom of Web registration forms.

reCAPTCHA improves the process of digitizing books by sending words that cannot be read by computers to the Web in the form of CAPTCHAs for humans to decipher. More specifically, each word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is placed on an image and used as a CAPTCHA. This is possible because most OCR programs alert you when a word cannot be read correctly.

But if a computer can't read such a CAPTCHA, how does the system know the correct answer to the puzzle? Here's how: Each new word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is given to a user in conjunction with another word for which the answer is already known. The user is then asked to read both words. If they solve the one for which the answer is known, the system assumes their answer is correct for the new one. The system then gives the new image to a number of other people to determine, with higher confidence, whether the original answer was correct.


How cool is that - kind of like the SETI screensaver, your efforts are going to be used anyway - lets use them for good.

I think it's a fantastic project and will definitely be supporting this in the future.


Cheers,
Dean

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Home Brew "StarTrek Communicator"?

Really interesting article.
http://www.forbes.com/home/digitalinfrastructure/2007/06/08/wireless-fcc-auction-tech-intel-cx_bc_0611wireless.html

By way of background - USA analog TV is being turned off in Feb 2009. (everyone is supposed to move to TV's with digital receivers ..or.. buy a converter).

The spectrum being freed up is very valuable as it goes through walls etc. There have already been calls for emergency services to get access to some of this bandwidth.

The point of the article is to make available some of this spectrum for 'experimental' purposes.

What's exciting is can you imagine a movement like this gaining momentum and someone developing a non carrier device for mobile communication (think battery powered PAN broadband router with a headset/microphone).

That would make the OpenMoko linux gsm handset look positively ancient...and send a shiver down the mobile carriers spine with their highly restrictive attitudes about voip applications running over GPRS.

With the recent announcement that there will be NO iPhone SDK (killing all those plans for AJAX applications) yet another example about how the carriers are killing development in the mobile space.

Anyone out there want to comment about what they think could forward the momentum on a potential "communicator device"?


Cheers,
Dean

P.S. For those of you that have more than just a passing interest in this topic I would like to invite you next Monday the 18th of June at 1.30pm usa est (6.30pm gmt) to join Jerry Michalski on a conference call about 3G/4G Mobile networks/Spectrum Allocation etc.

Details are available here http://www.yi-tan.com/

These Yi-Tan calls are a weekly event every Monday and some of the most interesting, smartest most experienced Technologists/VC's/Future Thinkers join these calls (silently or actively) on a weekly basis.

While Yi-Tan is an open call and anyone is free to put forward their thoughts please also be mindful of the people who are also listening as their time and input is a very cherished resource.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Local Virgins Rule

Ok so for those of you that clicked on a rss feed because of just the title I apologise for the provocative advertising :)

But....this is a topic that i feel really strongly about. Check out these photos





































































So this is a local bus shelter near my apartment that Virgin are sending a direct 'personal' message to the local Upper East Side residents (I also saw a similar massive billboard for the LWS when I was out on the weekend but I didn't have my camera).

How much more do you think it cost them to implement this localised marketing campaign? 10% 20% maybe?

How much higher do you think the response rates are? And even if they didn't get a direct call to action (eg I cant swap to virgin because I require data on my cell not just voice so I'm not a target candidate) did this type of localised advertising catch my attention hell yeh.

Who else reading this blog post that has run a localised campaign? email me to let me know what it was and your thoughts.


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. You might also like to check out this post I made ages ago about a great VW campaign here in NYC http://deancollinsblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/good-advertising-made-great.html

Friday, June 08, 2007

Innovative TV?

I just dont get why cable networks are so reluctant to experiment.

I mean sure we see a little 'innovation' here are there like running the same movie 3 nights in a row so if you miss it no probs on tomorrow or 'marathons' like how Big Love returns this Monday night so they are showing the entire first series this weekend (definitely worth watching if you haven't stumbled across it yet).

But apart from this there isn't really much alternative out of the box thinking.

For example - there are some fantastic dvd commentaries that rock and played on a surround system in 5.1 would allow me to listen to them on the rear speakers while the regular dialoge is played through the front.

Or even better set up shows with alternate voices - like the Sparticus stage show.

I’m assuming it’s something to do with license and not editing the content but if you are 'in the biz' and know that it's not drop me an email as I have a ton of ideas to push the envelope on this.


Cheers,
Dean

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Marketing Borders No Longer Exist.








http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/trouble-brews-over-paris-clip/2007/06/06/1181089150893.html

Hellooooo - I just don't get why people still don't get the Internet.

Your customers now consume products and services on a borderless basis via the Internet. Yet companies continue to think within borders.

I don't understand what is going to bring about the paradigm shift that makes companies aware of their very extensive rights/new capabilities.

For example I was talking with a client this week explaining that although they currently sell a hardware solution today that once they offer their product in an entirely software solution that they should split off the IP and incorporate outside of the USA (Read after me - this is not a taxation issue - they will catch you - do not try) but for credit card processing delivered software, certain jurisdictions offer far better and more favourable rates for doing business. You will still pay tax but you pay it when you remediate the income back into the country.

Where the servers/processing/software IP ownership rights are housed is totally up to you.

So getting back to Mr Singleton and his BondieBlonde beer. Ahmm if you sell a case of beer in Panama - and they have no restrictions on advertising beer in Panama and you host your seductive commercial on YouTube (eg outside Australia) then I'd be telling the 'mormon community standards board' where to go.


Cheers,
Dean

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Johnny Cash owns Trent Reznor

Johnny Cash did a stark cover of the NIN song "Hurt" with a striking video.
In the video shot in his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, the 71-year old Cash appears very fragile with no makeup and no attempt to make him look younger. Trent Reznor was so impressed by Cash's take on his song & quite moved by the video to the point where he said he no longer 'owns' this song...
http://www.rollingstone.com/johnnycash/trentreznor


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. I'm almost afraid to downplay this by posting here but check out the kermit version :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVYTabWaSHI

Powerful Acts

I came across this photo a few years ago and at the time I thought - yeh ok and never really thought about it again.

I dont know maybe wiser/older/whatever when I look at this photo now I go - wow.

How much self control would something like that take? Who among us really could say that we have conviction enough to do something like this.

Suicide is dumb and I'm sure he could have come up with a better idea on how to effect the religious freedom of his country some other way....however you still have to look at this as an example of pure self control and go wow.


June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk from Vietnam, burned himself to death at a busy intersection in downtown Saigon to bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnamese government at the time. Buddhist monks asked the regime to lift its ban on flying the traditional Buddhist flag, to grant Buddhism the same rights as Catholicism, to stop detaining Buddhists and to give Buddhist monks and nuns the right to practice and spread their religion.
While burning Thich Quang Duc never moved a muscle.



Photographer: Malcolm Browne

I currently have this as my desktop background photo this week as a reminder that playing on the court takes real effort and most of what we do each day is pretty much just floating along.


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. I warn you going through all of them is a little tough but you check out other photos of the year at this link.
http://www.worldpressphoto.org/index.php?option=com_photogallery&task=blogsection&id=15&Itemid=115&bandwidth=high

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

YouTube Factoid

I read in an article in Red Herring this morning that You Tube made Google $15m in sales last year (which at a $1.65b purchase price was 100 times revenue).

Now admittedly this is gross sales, so not taking into account salaries, bandwidth, server costs etc BUT at $15m dollars of sales and they haven't really swung into action yet - that's not a bad start.


Cheers,
Dean

Sunday, June 03, 2007

AMP'd Mobile files for Chapter 11

Awww Crap;

http://www.engadget.com/2007/06/02/ampd-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy/

Now everyone is going to trot out platitudes that MVNO's dont work and that mobile carriers shouldn't be getting into content or providing all you can eat services and other non-innovative junk like that.

I'm not an AMP'd user (I have to use GSM because of the amount of international travel I do) but I can certainly say I appreciate the amount of effort they have been putting into content deals and bringing out all you can eat services that are outside the box.

Hopefully this is just a temporary measure - otherwise we are going to be stuck in the dark ages of 'beige' mobile plans forever.


Cheers,
Dean
P.S. I just came across Om Maliks post on this - http://gigaom.com/2007/06/02/ampd-bankruptcy/ a very different take to my own views.

Banned Venezuelan TV Stations Keeps Broadcasting... On YouTube

Great article here about whats going on in Venezuela with the government seizure of the national broadcaster network.

http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2007/05/31/venezuela-dispatch-from-a-surrealist-autocracy/
"As the world now knows, Chavez shut down Venezuela’s respected 53-year-old TV station RCTV, accusing it of “subversive activities.” Out in the streets of Caracas, and in many other cities, people have been taking to the street".

What was really interesting however was this sentence further down.

"Meanwhile, a YouTube channel, created by the news crew of RCTV, continues to post news content, including footage of protests that no other TV channel here is showing. It has had more than 71,000 views in just two days — an enormous number when you consider that Internet penetration here is below 15%. As of this writing, it is number two on YouTube’s “Channels” listing for new subscribers".

It will be interesting to see how Chavez goes about blocking YouTube at the ISP's which I'm sure is going to follow soon. I guess technology has always been used in 'subversive' ways and this is no different but it will be interesting to see how long this can continue - would it be possible to run a 'cable tv network' just on donations alone (I assume the advertisers/sponsors would have to stop supporting the channel).

How long can you survive via Paypal or similar (hasn't the PLA been run on Western Union payments for the last 15 years?).

Like all dictatorships you can have good and bad effects- just look at Singapore and Malaysia as a text book example - one booming economy with no natural resources, no real land mass and starting from way behind the 8 ball in comparison to it's northern neighbour which is now full of sycophants and cronyism.

Life goes on...right Mr Bush?


Cheers,
Dean

Friday, June 01, 2007

Verizon Woos Prince

I was going to make this a commerce free day but I just stumbled upon this article....very very interesting - is that ice I hear cracking under the feet of the labels? Ooops there it goes we just lost the RIAA.

http://www.wirelessweek.com/article.aspx?id=148624
Verizon Wireless is connecting the dots in mobile music with today's announcement of an exclusive arrangement with Prince. In the industry's first artist-direct-to-mobile-music relationship, Verizon is teaming with the iconic performer to revolutionize music discovery and download by exclusively releasing his new single "Guitar". (Click Here for video). The single is from his forthcoming album "Planet Earth," which will not be released until July.


Cheers,
Dean

Coloured Water





Happy Friday everyone - have a great weekend. Something experiential to send you on your way, I stumbled across these during the week and think they are fantastic - I dont know much about the artist but it looks like he licenses prints so go to town.
http://www.pbase.com/fotoopa/water_figures_2007


Cheers,
Dean