Monday, March 31, 2008

Amex drops FOB

Amex Decides Express Pay Fob Doesn't Add Up - The Wall Street Journal
American Express is abandoning its "Express Pay" fob--a payment device that attaches to a key chain--six years after it began testing it. It plans to focus on its traditional cards instead--installing computer chips in them that allow customers to hold the card up to an electronic reader instead of swiping it through a device.
"We have actually found that our customers prefer to use the contactless technology through our traditional cards" rather than the key fob, says Richard Flynn, a svp who oversees "cardless" payments at AmEx.

Card issuers have been encouraging merchants to install the new readers, which are supposed to speed customers through checkout lines. Fast-food restaurants and drugstore chains have been among the most enthusiastic merchants to try the new technology. A report issued by Aite Group estimates that some 40,000 merchant locations are already equipped with contactless readers.

Interesting decision. Thought this may provide some insights or provoke discussion from some of you.
Are there amex fob users reading this blog?
Does anyone feel they have they answers to RFID or other contactless payments?
Do you feel that a RFID enabled payment system on your mobile handset is the solution?


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Dottie Hope

I just saw the most raw performance (and I mean raw in a good way) I've ever seen on stage.

A friend of ours here in New York, Laurie Sanderson has been talking to me for the last 2 years about a 90 minute monologue of her life that she performed a few years back and I've always been "sounds nice" etc.

For a short run she's performing this show again at a small theatre on the lower east side called La Mama I just went to see it tonight and it blew me away so I wanted to share with you in the hope that some of you reading this might get to see it during one of the next 3 shows next week.

The show is called "Dottie Hope" and the tickets are $20 at

So the official synopsis is below;
Dottie Hope is Laurie Sanderson's riveting true story of hope and survival in Hells Kitchen in the 1970's and 80's. Dottie Hope is the pen name Laurie adopts when she is 5 years old and writes letters to God asking for help and guidance in her tumultuous life. When her pool shark father, her hero, spirals down into an alcoholic and pill-popping haze it turns the family upside down, leaving a little girl few outlets for sanctuary. When she discovers the glamour of Studio 54 she is easily seduced into the chaos, befriending Andy Warhol and eventually becoming the first Fiorucci girl at 16 years old. She finally develops her own identity and builds confidence while cleansing herself from past demons--until it all suddenly comes back to her again.

But here is what you'll really see.

Laurie basically rips her soul out on stage and shows the audience the very best and worst of her life growing up here in New York.

You'll see her beating and bloody heart being twisted and tormented by people in her life who should know better, but also elation and raw uplifting quirkiness that just makes you smile.

For 90 minutes you will be transfixed how one person is able to switch in an instance from a monologue to a dialog between two characters and totally be transfixed and absorbed in a way where you believe both people are there on stage in front of you.

You get to see someone act in a way that is rarely ever seen and in such a small intimate theatre it's truly an experience. What makes it more unusual is to see it being performed by an 'unknown' (though how long that continues to be the case remains to be seen).

Laurie lived 'an interesting life' in the 70's and 80's experiencing all that New York had to offer, watching her recreate scenes effortlessly you'll be transported to a time where people made statements just in their existence.

You can check out more at but as there are only 3 more shows try to get to see one of the performances in case they don't extend the performance for a longer run.

Hopefully someone out there who has the power to share this with a wider audience will read about this as although my experience watching Dottie Hope was special because it was such an intimate small experience it really deserves to be shared with a wider audience.


Saturday, March 29, 2008


wow check out

I've known abaout twittervision for a while and whilst I check it out from time to time not being a huge twitter convert have found it a little banal.

But flickrvision really adds a new dimension to flickr, it shows flashes all over the world and sometimes these photos really are of true brilliance.

I dont know what it is about Flickr but for some reason it seems to really attract true photographers rather than just the average snap happy photo.

Being able to see these shots tied to a geogrpahical area real time (albeit it displayed real time and not actual photograph real time) is a new level of functionality for flickr.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Metric System

Came up in conversation today...... According to a survey taken by USMA many years ago, the only other countries that have not officially adopted the metric system are Liberia (in western Africa) and Burma (also known as Myanmar, in Southeast Asia).

......oh and of course the USA :)

Check out the USMA website if you think this is ludicrous and that the time for the USA to adopt the metric system is long overdue.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Comcast gives up

"PHILADELPHIA - Comcast Corp., an Internet service provider under investigation for hampering online file-sharing by its subscribers, announced Thursday an about-face in its stance and said it will treat all types of Internet traffic equally.

Since user reports of interference with file-sharing traffic were confirmed by an Associated Press investigation in October, Comcast has been vigorously defending its practices, most recently at a hearing of the Federal Communications Commission in February."

A bit concerning that further into the article they state this
"Comcast said that by the end of the year, it will move to a system that manages capacity without favoring one type of traffic over another."

Probably moving to a metered system with tiered limits on download volumes - which I'm totally cool with, user pays is fine BUT just let me choose what I want to download/upload.

This hasn't affected me personally as I'm on Time Warner, but I think Comcast has been seen as a test case and others may have followed, so this reversal can only be seen as a good thing.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ding Ding Ding Ding we have a winner

And the winner is......

"Goodman Media International" or

Yes it's true they are the idiots that brought you 'eco luxury vodka' and at 3.53pm Monday afternoon using the google blogsearch term Vodka360 they stumbled across my little bit of the internet - I wonder what they thought.

"GMI public relations firms to all good ideas and great marketing concoctions :)" least we know where to send the dead cats to now.

Oh and if you have stumbled across this and have no idea what I'm talking about


Monday, March 24, 2008

Nice Mashup -

Jeff Pulver has knocked together a nice IP TV mashup;

No business model associated at the moment, and I think they are going to run out of squares really quickly with all the tv content going online.

But a great example of knocking together a quick and dirty mashup.....wondering whats going to happen once they throw up a business model in front of it?


The Internet Bah!

Lol - I love the Internet Wayback machine and other ways about looking back in time online to see just really how stupid we actually are.

It's a great way to stretch your mind 'forward' as well - when you start to think about how little we really do know and how we aren't really much more than ant's running around like crazy thinking we are making progress while acting all self important - it frees your mind up to think outside the square and move into a more paradigm shift about what is and isn't feasible.

I think my favourite quote is this
"What the Internet hucksters won't tell you is that the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don't know what to ignore and what's worth reading."

Sounds like some famous last quotes of some editors and hard copy writers I know.

BTW - WTF do I know about predictions Vodka 360 could really become the next biggest thing to drink and sold all over the world while cleaning and greening our lives :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

WTF is 'Eco' Luxury Vodka

I mean seriously any idiot that buys this Vodka 360 deserves to be ripped off.
Go here for more barf material

I'm sure somewhere in NY there is some 'money' guy impressing his queens girlfriend and paying way more than he should and I don't place the blame on him but place is solely at the feet of the marketing company like a dead cat should be.

Seriously there should be some code of morals among marketers that says next time someone comes into your office with an idea as stupid as this you should be bound by a code of conduct to laugh their ass back onto the street where it deserves to be regardless of how fat the invoice will be.

Van also have a lot to answer for as well for that billboard....enjoy that summer home of yours in the Hampton's.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

CD User Experience

So I doubt anyone in the music industry will actually read this but I have to vent.

Has anyone reading this blog recently had "an enjoyable cd opening user experience"? I mean seriously how hard is it to open the wrapping/stickers/crap that is associated with a new cd in order to play it and enjoy it.

I think it's once of those crappy tasks in life that is just annoying enough to piss people off but because we do it so infrequently it's just something we brush off.

The only problem is I tend to buy my cd's in big lots - I'll go crazy on amazon and order 10-12 at a time about 4 times a year and it's pretty rare for me just to walk into a store to buy 1 cd.

So every time I get a delivery I then have to spend about 3 minutes a cd, unwrapping that shitty plastic wrap that you can never find the seal for. Then I have to break that sticky thing on the top- that never peels off correctly so always require 2 sides plus the top. Then you have to peel off those paper stickers they put on the front of the case like "new" or "top 10 for 2008" or like whatever.

And if they can invent post-it note sticky formula - why it is that the gum they use on those paper stickers never really comes off no matter how hard you try.

I'm sure Moby or Madonna have their cd's hand delivered to them in a padded envelope from a record exec straight from the printer but for the little people., paying for the experience of listening to a new cd get crappy frustration before you can enjoy listening which kind of bums out the experience.

P.S. yes I know downloads are going to save the world......for now I like my music drm free and on something where my right to listen doesn't change when I replace a hard drive or something like that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Immersive Subway Advertising

I was on the Shuttle subway last week (the one that runs from Times Square to Grand Central and back) when I took these pictures.

Swiffer has done an amazing job in 'immersive advertising'.

The entire subway car (and the whole train I'm assuming) are covered walls and ceilings. Not just regular advertising but every surface on the all 4 walls and ceiling.

It visually feels like you are walking into a swedish sauna and although it still smells like crap (you know a regular NY subway) it's an incredbly effective advertising campaign.
I still dont want to buy their product (it's a pretty average product-we've tried it before) but as far as moxy/kudos for their marketing team, great job.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

AdClub Meetup

I’m going to be speaking at Adclub this month on behalf of one of my clients

AdClub is a once a month event held here in NY with about 200 of the 'brightest and smartest' from the Madison Avenue advertising agencies.

So if you have an interest in mobile wap sites and mobile analytics or one of the other speakers topics be sure to come along.

It’s mainly targeted at advertising agencies so if you are in the space it’s always an interesting network event.

The Advertising Club of NY March - Marketing Goes Mobile
March edition of the Advertising Club Meetup will focus on mobile marketing. Presenting are Phil Miano (Microsoft Mobile), Dan Mason (ESPN Mobile), Dean Collins (Amethon Solutions), Bob Horne (Cellit Mobile) and Zoombak.
When: Tue, Mar 18 from 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
Where: Microsoft Office - 1290 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10104 (map)
Add to your calendar: Outlook Google Yahoo Apple iCal Click here for more details


BTW here is the deck that I used on the night. Hope everyone had a good time and got something worthwhile from the presentation.

Monday, March 17, 2008


So time to get back to work but wanted to say thanks to all of the organisers of BarCampNYC3.
It was a great weekend with lots of people learning and sharing.
Photo attribs for the montage above from all the people above who posted at be sure to check out some of the other shots.


Friday, March 14, 2008

Yeehaa BarCampNYC3 is finally here

I swear I've been grinning all week. The thing that I look forward to living in New York about the most is finally here.

It's an all weekend geekfest from Saturday morning at 11am until 6pm Sunday - 31 hours straight through (probably with no sleep courtesy of redbull).

I'll probably posting updates here but if you google or jump on flickr with the tag "barcampnyc3" you'll find a ton of online content.

Like a kid in a candy store :)


Alex Lodico Ensemble

This is what I love about NY.

I caught the S subway this evening and at the 42nd street end is a 6 piece Jazz band with an absolutely hammering trombone player.

There was about 20-30 people just standing around and listening. I captured it on video but my cell phone just doesn't record loud music well.

I bought a cd from them for $10 and have uploaded 4 of the tracks into the "music of the day" box on the bottom right.

Apparently they are called the Alex Lodico Ensemble - dont know if they play gigs around town but they sure know how to fill a train station.


Update - 31st March 2008
P.S. someone just emailed me this YouTube link to a clip at Penn Station

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Baseball Training

Ahh it's so cute....and a great sign that Spring is finally here.

Kids were out training on the baseball diamond at the park across the road from our apartment yesterday afternoon.

It's a good things will be getting back to normal around here and we can finally get out of the house and become normal human beings after winter again.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Compulsory license fees for CD's - do they vary?

Reading this article about Prince and wondering if compulsory music licenses for cd's vary country by county?

...and whats to stop me 'mastering and creating cd's in Russia but importing them to the USA', or if thats illegal then just selling them online and shipping them in by post one at a time.

BTW in case you want to have a listen check out


Oprah Crash

A lot of news was made a few weeks ago about how Oprah's web cast failed and what this meant for 'supersized webcasts'.

Great to see Shelly Palmer did a review of what went wrong and debunked a few myths about the fallacies of web casting.

I love this graphic as a straight to the point example.

Check out the full story here for more info.


Friday, March 07, 2008

New Theme Song

I think I'm going to adopt this as my new theme song.
Check out more at

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Net Neutrality

What do we want "NET NEUTRALITY"

When do we want it? "NOW AND FOREVER"

This video from Four Eyed Monsters was emailed to me by a friend of mine. I hope this inspires you enough to pass this same message on to your friends, and more importantly your congress person if you are in the USA (or your carrier if you are elsewhere).

This video should be compulsory viewing for everyone in public office !!


CBS online streaming minutes

Shelly Palmer the man the legend of all things tv posted this earlier this morning.

CBS is streaming the most online video of the major networks, according to comScore’s latest data. In December, the network streamed 104 million minutes of content. NBC streamed 62 million minutes, ABC streamed 28 million and FOX did a lowly 2 million minutes. In related news, NBC released data showing that 77% of online NBC Rewind viewers use the service to complement regular television viewing. The network also claims it is seeing an increase in brand recall rates and that viewers find the online video ads less disruptive than traditional TV ads.

My question is this;
  • As a percentage of users that are in the CBS geographical location and have a PC with broadband connection - how many minutes per potential viewer did this work out to be.
and bonus part:
  • What can CBS do to increase the number of people viewing online?


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The New Music Business Model

"It looks like Trent Reznor's new Nine Inch Nails album experiment is a success. Among the various options he gave fans, the most expensive was the $300 Limited Edition Ultra Deluxe Package. It took just over a day for that package to completely sell out, earning Reznor $750,000 in revenue from just that option alone."

Now I know Trent Reznor is a known 'commodity' so it was always going to do well but.... $750,000 in revenue from a limited edition package sold via their own website with no 'music execs' or RIAA getting their thats a new business model for music.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Google SOC2008?

If you know of anyone who fits the criteria for Google Summer of Code who has an interest in 2D QR codes and web development applications ask them to get in touch in the next 24-72 hours (closes on march 12th).

Sorry for the late notice but have been having discussions on suggested applications that would be suitable for funding and now working against the clock.

Details here;

+61-2-9016-5642 (Sydney in-dial).

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sprint flat rate voice AND DATA

finally one of the wireless carriers is biting the bullet and offering not only flat rate mobile voice BUT ALSO flat rate data.

After the announcements from Cingular and Verizon about flat rate voice last week this one ups the ante yet again.

(and it's about time too).

Having flat rate data with Cingular has been great plus for me as i'm never afraid about how much is too much, but with these new kinds of flat rate services I might be tempted to switch (though not to Sprint as I only use GSM handsets not interested in cdma).

P.S. This is what competition is all about - I fear it will be a long time before we see something like this in Australia with our duopoly so unfortunately yet another reason i cant go home yet.

Central Park North

I don't know how I've never noticed it before as have walked around the northern end of the park a heap of times but was out enjoying the winter afternoon sun on Sunday and something about the windows on the other side of the road opposite the northern end of Central Park caught my eye.

Yep the Lincoln Correctional Facility (with apparently 400 cells as my research elsewhere has since found out), this isn't a holding facility but a long term prison.

Nice views of the park across the road (check out the insert), hopefully these people are doing something nice to get these digs and views as a reward for good behavior.