Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is a Nokia E70 better than the iPhone?

Well someone seems to think so (...and I have to agree).

(link probably not safe for work - those of you without a sense of humour please dont read....those that do click away).

Funniest thing I've seen on the web this week.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Australian tax dollars hard at work

I was just emailed this video by a friend of mine in Australia.

Oh yeh, your Australian tax dollars hard at work.

What a dickhead.

The really scary part is look how empty all the seats around him are....obviously he wasn't the only one that spent a few hours in the bar over lunch...he was just the only one to come back early'ish', but not early enough.



RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right - a self-replicating machine.

Look at your computer setup and imagine that you hooked up a 3D printer. Instead of printing on bits of paper this 3D printer makes real, robust, mechanical parts.
To give you an idea of how robust, think Lego bricks and you're in the right area. You could make lots of useful stuff, but interestingly you could also make most of the parts to make another 3D printer. That would be a machine that could copy itself.
RepRap is short for Replicating Rapid-prototyper. It is the practical self-copying 3D printer shown on the right - a self-replicating machine. This 3D printer builds the parts up in layers of plastic. This technology already exists, but the cheapest commercial machine would cost you about €30,000. And it isn't even designed so that it can make itself.

Not counting nuts and bolts RepRap can make 60% of its parts; the other parts are designed to be cheaply available everywhere. This is an interesting coincidence: we can make 60% of our proteins; the other parts are evolved to be cheaply available everywhere...
The primary goal of the RepRap project is to create and to give away a makes-useful-stuff machine that, among other things, allows its owner cheaply and easily to make another such machine for someone else.
To increase that 60%, the next version of RepRap will be able to make its own electric circuitry - a technology we have already proved experimentally - though not its electronic chips. After that we'll look to doing transistors with it, and so on...

Below is a timelapse video of the first RepRap device being built.

Blog is located at ;

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


LOL New York's finest at it's best......

This reinforces my opinion that there is something wrong with a lot of NYPD cops.

It's probably stress related working in one of the worlds 'stressiest cities' but thats no excuse.

I'm not a fan of Australian cops etc either but if you interact with an Australian police person generally you'll get a happy smiling face at best, polite but short answer at worst. Asking direction of a NYPD cop you'll get a snarl at best and arrested and thrown into a van at worst.

Wonder what is going to happen to the cops job because of this.


Flip this site

great article in the NY about flipping websites

Dave Hermansen did not own a bird or a cage when he bought, an online store, for $1,800 three years ago. He simply saw a Web site that was “very, very poorly done,” and begged the owners to sell it to him. He then redesigned the site, added advertising and drove up traffic. Last December, he sold it for $173,000.
Mr. Hermansen, 30, is among the latest wave of entrepreneurs who, like the day traders and real estate investors before them, are looking to make a lot of money without much effort.
More here

Anyone know of any other Web Site Marketplaces apart from


Australians have great taste in coffee

Starbucks Closing Up More Than Two Thirds Of Its Australia Stores This Week
84 stores operate in Australia, 61 will close by Aug. 3 :)

I feel bad for the people loosing their jobs but with much better coffee being available this doesn't surprise me at all.

Will be interesting to see in the USA if this vacuum is replaced with more upmarket more 'european orientated' cafes to take Starbucks place.

For those of you in New York who have now idea what I'm talking about, go down to 643 Broadway at Bleeker and order a Latte at "Corner Shop" and tell me you cant taste the difference.

It's run by a guy from Melbourne and the funniest part about this story is that we just wandered in there years ago when we first got to NY. Ordered coffee and was like wow this is really good coffee, and was there about 2 or 3 more times before we heard the managers accent.

Not as good as City Grind in Bligh St Sydney but it's a beacon of hope in this wasteland of dishwater called New York.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Gannett Invest in Mogulus

If you haven't come across Mogulus before then you've been living under a rock.

When they first came launched their 'tv station in a box' software technology i wrote about how this is a perfect example of how web 2.0 or whatever you want to call it is making all of us more efficient and more productive simply be effectively reducing the cost of tools.

Being able to mix/edit videos, provide graphic overlays etc and basically do everything that a reasonably priced video mixing desk is able to do....all for free (or for freemium eg 1 x 15-30second commercial every 8 mins) is fantastic.

(oh and if you want to do live mobile crosses to "in the field reporters" you can use QIK another freemium tool, to stream live cell phone video to the Mogulus mixing desk).

Interesting to read today that Gannett have just kicked in $10m investment into the company

What caught my eye was the quote at the end
In March, Max told us that he figured most video streamers were going to have to find a way to charge users, because advertising appears unlikely to pay the bills: "If it doesn't work, then I'm not sure how long their VCs will want to pay video hosting bills with no business."

So my question of the day is..... "Would you pay $10 a month to allow people viewing your YouTube content to view the content with better quality streaming?"
(eg publisher is subsidising better quality for the viewers looking at their videos).

With tens of thousands of videos being uploaded every day you would have to think a reasonable percentage would be interested in paying more for better quality downloading?

Or are people that are concerned using Veoh and other platforms like that etc.


BTW: Do you think YouTube would really be as interesting if they got rid of the 96% as suggested by Ashkan Karbasfrooshan

Mobile Web Wars

For those of you interested in mobile web development check out the
ustream pre-recorded video link of the TechCrunch Mobile Web Wars
Roundtable - it's 2 hours in length.

The participants on the TechCrunch Mobile Web Wars Roundtable are:

David Rivas, Nokia, Vice President of Technology Management for S60 Software
Walt Doyle, CEO Ulocate
Tom Conrad, CTO Pandora
Greg Yardley, CEO of Pinch Media
Bart Decrem, CEO of Tapulous
David Hornik, partner, August Capital
Jed Stremel, Director of Mobile at Facebook
Guy Ben-Artzi, Founder of Real Dice and CEO of Mytopia
Jason Devitt, CEO of Skydeck
Gannon Hall, CMO of Kyte
Sam Altman,CEO of Loopt
Marc Davis, chief scientists of Yahoo’s mobile group
Omar Hamoui, CEO of AdMob
Richard Wong, partner at Accel
Andreas Weigend, people & data (former chief scientist, Amazon)
Tatsuki Tomita, SVP of Consumer Product, Opera
Mike Rowehl, chief architect SkyFire
Mary Ann Cotter, CEO, Cooking Capsules
John Faith , GM and VP of Mobile for MySpace

Interesting thoughts that 'i' took out of the video;

Not a single developer is going to be building iPhone only application development - they are ALL continuing to develop for other platforms.

That a lot of easy cross platform growth is being made by web based (eg browser based) applications.

The 'ease' of distribution of applications using the apple app store has been 'perceived' to be easier because the carriers got out of the way. The jury is still out as to whether one 'overlord' has been replaced with another.

Lol I loved at about the 40 minute mark how the editor of Techcrunch shut up one of the panelist who was 'poo pooing' Android and saying how much it sucked and how hopeless it was by saying in 6 months from now I'm going to put your face next to that quote when you are raving how good Android is.

One of the comments I really hadn't considered is why does Japan have a much higher rate of mobile content consumption....'and they dont have iPhones'. What exactly is it that has finally enabled an 'excited consumption of mobile content'.

One of the comments that followed that is possibly it's related to the simple fact that the iPhone was bundled with flat rate data. It's finally cheap enough and 'unthinking' enough to just jump online and access whatever you want without worrying.

There is a lot of concern that Android becoming fractured; because it's so 'open' the carriers and handset vendors have the choice of how it's implemented....what happens when variations cause applications to fail.

Interesting comment at 1.05 around Facebook and location based information.... they are concerned about not doing it will err on the side of caution. Interesting that they are going to behind the scenes track that you are using an iPhone and therefor will be be 'floating up' into your facebook feeds what apps your friends are downloading.

Great comment at 1.10 around micro billing for transactions between 50c - $2, this i really really agree is fantastic. This is what I believe the developers are chasing.....whether they actually make money is yet to be seen. I personally think too many are expecting to advertise 'only' on the istore and be found.... I'm waiting for the pendulum to swing the other way and for people to realise that they are being lost in the wash and they need some other way of being 'found' by potential customers.

Carrier 'transaction taxes' for payments of offline goods using premium sms etc is solely being held up 'by short sighted carriers'.

Good comment by Richard Wong a VC at Accel about the 'ingredients' for really good enterprise vertical apps on multiple mobile platforms so he is looking forward to more of these being launched.

Wow i had no idea that you cant install a new browser on the iPhone. great comment about everyone being stuck on ie.5 without open competition.

Interesting question from Robert Scoble about the lack of travel apps - equally interesting response from the developer that stupid apps, games etc are the low hanging fruit. My personal thoughts are maybe this is where developers can 'differentiate' themselves from the masses.

lol funny European/USA juxtaposition at 1.45 around privacy and government overview.

Great comment about application and concept cloning/theft and how what keeps you ahead of everyone else is simply execution.

My own personal take is that it's simply processor speed and data speed and really no more than that. Yes iPhone raised the UI barrier - but there are other areas like multi-tasking apps where they failed.

Either way...may we live in interesting times :)


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Instinct V's iPhone

lol I love that they actually offer video embed as part of this marketing campaign.

I'm not an Instinct user but here I am sharing with you and it's 30 seconds of your life you just cant get back :P

There's a few more including Live TV...also missing on the iPhone

Unfortunately as I'm a 'citizen of the world' you'll never catch me with an inferior cdma handset...though I hear Santa might have got my letter about the latest HTC :)


Friday, July 25, 2008

Foxconn F'cked

Lol Foxconn motherboards are screwed ....... this is why you cant f'ck with your customers in these hyper connected times.....your customers can bite you faster than you can say 'poor customer service'.

Foxconn deliberately sabotaging their BIOS to destroy Linux ACPI
Edit: Please tell Foxconn what you think of their behavior:

Digg, Reddit, and Slashdot.

Lol someone somewhere is having a really shitty weekend.


I win the Ooma Bet

So guess what - today is the 25th of July 2008 and it's exactly 12 months since I made a bet with Thomas Howe that Ooma would still be in business a year later.

We bet a steak dinner and it's time to pay up Thomas :)

Here are the reason I knew that Ooma wasn't a flash in the pan

1. Ease of use and design (so sorely lacking in a large number of basic projects I see) their ATA is 'the' best designed ATA I've seen.

2. Ease of uptake, keeping original number is such a barrier to entry to SkypeIn and similar ITSP providers.

3. Ease of implementation in their business model (peer to peer using existing ethernet/internet infrastructure with zero billing - how easy is that).

All of these point above are basic but sorely lacking so often in a lot of the business models/product launches I get asked to be involved with. Success really is 1,2,3 and just getting started one foot after the other most of the time.

You can read the original post here in case you are interested.

I suppose I should also include point 4. Anyone who can score with Demi Moore must have more than half a brain (Ashton Kutcher is on the board of Ooma and had a hand in the marketing and product design).

So Thomas..... when are you next going to be in New York so i can book some reservations?


P.S. Thomas has replied on his blog... looks like he is offering a hot dog only :(
shame to hear that Thomas Howe is such a welsher and a poor looser.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Municipal owned fiber

The small town of Monticello, Minnesota seems an unlikely spot for a battle over city-owned fiber-to-the-home. The town, which is a distant commute to Minneapolis, thought it could better attract residents and business by building its own fiber-optic network. After a couple years of due diligence, the town held a referendum; 74 percent of voters agreed to fund the $25 million scheme. The city sought the needed municipal bonds, but the day before it closed on them, the local telco filed suit to stop the plan. Its claim: taking out bonds to build a fiber network is illegal.

My comment on this build out isn't whether the 'tax free' nature of the bonds are uncompetitive, (personally i think the muni should issue 'taxed' bonds to put this infrastructure implementation on an equally competitive playing field with the carrier).

My comment on this article is in the very last paragraph -

Local control, choice of ISP
Assuming the lawsuit can be dealt with, Monticello hopes to build fiber lines to each home and business in town with the goals of:

  • choice of service provider
  • competitive rates
  • local service
  • local ownership
  • economic development
  • economic returns to the community
Monticello's solution is to build an interconnect facility of its own where ISPs can come in and link up to any fiber user who wants their service. The city maintains the lines and the connection facility, but doesn't need to become an ISP.

This is exactly the way ALL FIBER should be rolled out.

In Canberra, Australia the Transact network is deployed this way, upstream content providers can even deliver VOD services from the central Interconnect facility to set-top boxes in the residents homes.

Makes a lot more sense than ripping up the pavement multiple times for parallel cable runs (or even worse competing technologies).

What do you think?


Where has all the news gone....?

This is one of those posts I've been thinking about writing for a while but thinking.... don't worry the situation will change soon and it wont make sense to write it.

For at least the last 3 months every few weeks I think about writing this statement;

"Where has all the news gone?"

If you are in America you don't need to read anymore you know exactly what I'm talking about - For those of you elsewhere I'm talking about the total absent lack of news about any other topic other than the 2008 USA presidential election.

Yes, the primary run offs started out earlier this election, more than ever before, and yes it was a little more interesting in that you had both a black man and a white woman running (which is a good thing for the country but probably means in the next election we'll have a "black / female running" 4 years from now......Unfortunately it will be Condoleeza 'I speak fluent french better than you' Rice's turn to run..... (so with the possible election of the anti-christ herself plan for a rash of toads to fall from the sky and a plagues of boils to curse the country in 2012).

But now that Barrack and Hillary have settled who's wearing the pants it's just gotten worse.

I would estimate at least the first 10-12 minutes of every 30 minute news broadcast is dedicate to the election. This wouldn't be so bad but whats worse is "they are saying nothing at all".

And if I see one more 'friend/spokesperson of ....X....' come out and say something totally non-committal like "well of course I think 'X' is interested in making sure xyz but all aspects need to be taken into consideration blah blah blah".

Like these people aren't even officially speaking on the candidates official platform it's just like...I think or I expect.

Come out with something solid - take a 1 page add in every metropolitan paper and be done with it already. No wonder the presidential candidates need to raise so much money for campaigning it's because of all the time they waste saying absolutely nothing concrete at all.....just in case they piss off some faction of voters pushing a single campaign pledge.

I wouldn't mind so much, but such a large percentage of airtime is being allocated to this and pushing all the other news out of the cycle.

You know one thing I loved about Paul Keating as Prime Minister is that when he had something to say he would come out at a news conference and say "sit down scum bags I've got 5 minutes to tell you something I'm going to take 3 questions and then we're done" and no one could ever 'misconstrue' his direction.

I think this reflects a bigger issue.

I just don't get how naive Americans can be about how tenuous their position is in the global economy.

All of the press lately around Fannie and Freddie collapsing has been about "how do we prevent home prices falling and help out sub prime mortgagees", not a single news story I've seen lead with the statement;

"Maybe sub prime mortgagees should have been given loans they couldn't afford in the first place".
"WTF do we do when the Chinese ask for all their USA treasury guaranteed securities back?"

..... And I'm yet to meet an American who understands the concept that if their house goes up in value...they have to work harder and longer hours to pay for the next one.

Could just be me or could be the lack of their news coverage.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

MS Vista refund checks

Cute article about getting refunds for undesirable Vista pre-installations.

I wonder if the manafacturers are prepared for the flood of calls they are about to get?

Nice touch about the EFF donation - the irony of it is fantastic.


Moving to Brooklyn Heights

Yeeeehhh, just got an email to confirm the co-op board approved us on the purchase of our new apartment at 135 Henry St, Brooklyn Heights (of course :)

We’re shooting for a closing date on Friday the 8th of August with construction starting on the Monday after; Will probably take about 2-3 weeks and moving day around the 1st of September.

Lots of photos to follow soon. For those of you in NY – the BBQ will be the weekend after we move in :) assuming we finish construction ok.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Radar Magazine - The Billy Letters

This is the funniest article I've read in ages - well worth checking out. I had tears running down my face from laughing.

In the late '90s, pop-culture historian Bill Geerhart had a little too much time on his hands and a surfeit of stamps. So, for his own entertainment, the then-unemployed thirtysomething launched a letter-writing campaign to some of the most powerful and infamous figures in the country, posing as a curious 10-year-old named Billy.
To his surprise, replies soon started pouring in. Everyone from Dick Cheney to Charles Manson replied.

Responding to Billy's idea for a "Hustler for kids," Larry Flynt wrote back encouraging the fourth grader to "Hang in there. You'll be 18 before you know it."

Let me know if you enjoyed it.
P.S. Yes I spent 5 minutes trying to work out if Charles Manson wrote some type of code into the capitalisations etc.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Viral Marketing for Vauxhall

What a great demonstration of Viral Marketing - here it is less than a few hours since something 'leaked'(eg setup) a few hours ago in London and the blogosphere are already posting articles about it.

Details in the last link but read some of the others first.

Lol the press briefing isn't even scheduled for another 36 hours.

U.S. Patent Office Rejects All Ninety Five NeoMedia Patent Claims

Oh Wow breaking news - It's a great freaking day for the EFF :)

U.S. Patent Office Rejects All Ninety Five NeoMedia Patent Claims

Hey Streetstylz and all you other Neomedia flunkies - when you read this post think of me :)

This is a really big deal - 95 out of 95 patent claims all rejected, wow this is too cool and has put a smile on my face for the whole weekend.

Wonder what Ogilvy (and others) are thinking backing the wrong 'indirect' technology now. When Neomedia go bankrupt or are countersued out of existince all those marketing campaigns will cease to work and all the time and effort invested will be wasted.

Direct connect 'license free' QR codes are the way to go - paying license fees for a technology that Denso opensourced and made free in the 1990's is just dumb.

For those of you that want to read more detail check out the EFF site that links directly to the USPTO ruling


Electric Car That You Want To Own

Move over Prius, here is an electric car people actually want to own.

Petrol version out now but twin 500 hp electric motor version due 2009



How cool is this video;

It's a time lapse of a roadtrip from Texas to Ontario, Canada.

I love how the scenery changes as they drive along - very worth your while to watch the whole way through.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun.”

The year was 1974: gas prices were high, inflation was rampant and an unpopular Republican occupied the White House. McDonald’s introduced a spirit-lifting jingle: “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun.”

Now it is 2008, and McDonald’s is reviving it as a TV commercial. The company has asked consumers to write their own songs using the exact words of the jingle, and submit them to a contest on . The official reason is this year’s 40th anniversary of the Big Mac, but the then-and-now cultural similarities are not entirely lost on the company.

This article shows great ideas are timeless;

Check out this link -

It's a flawless example of UGC implemented into a branding campaign, McDonalds truly are exceptional marketers.

it's the perfect execution of current technology with an older but still relevant branding concept.

You know sometimes it's easy to point at companies and say if only I was that big then I'd be a 'marketing hero' ....they got there by doing really great work - I cant commend them enough.

BTW Track 4 got my vote - what do you think?


Blue Pulse is an Australian company, now west coast refugee, doing the PR rounds at the moment.

No real secrets in this interview more a fluff pr piece but great to see yet another aussie mobile company making waves over here.

It's surprising there aren't more mobile messaging platforms out there as when you think about it SMS is really nothing more than passing straight text with no conversational functionality or dialog and really 'expensive text' at that, even at only 5 or 10c a message, it's definitely ripe for replacement.

The issue is obviously going to be fragmentation.....and for investors whats hot today can be usurped tomorrow by some kid in Bangalore working out of his parents garage and steal all of your fickle users with yet the next development in social messaging.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MediaMonkey Rocks !@!

Finally I have settled on a replacement for MusicMatch. MediaMonkey rocks and is a great replacement to the botched up Yahoo takeover of MusicMatch.

For those of you who 'love' i-Tunes you have no idea how crappy it really is (though it does have good 'synch' functions).

In comparison MusicMatch which has been around for years is a much better application and able to scale with bigger music libraries.

Unfortunately as this earlier post shows the MusicMatch founders decided to cash out by selling their user base to Yahoo who then screwed over its user base royally.

They forced users to do a one way upgrade to the Yahoo music player platform (eg you couldn't get back the original musicmatch software) which was sub par and had buggy issues.

Yahoo then turned off functionality for MusicMatch users who didn't upgrade like single track super tagging and recently killed off all disc cddb access entirely.

Even funnier is recently Yahoo 'onsold' the user base yet again to Rhapsody (lol must of been sick of people complaining on their forums).

For the last year I had tried 4 or 5 various alternatives but kept coming back to MusicMatch which even with the reduced functionality was still better than the alternatives until last week...

Check it out and download the free version. It pretty much only took me 2 or 3 days before I realised I was happy to pay for the full version, lol though ominously I paid yet again for the lifetime upgrade option.... again. (inside joke for musicmatch users who said they didn't mind yahoo taking over the product but for those of us that paid for lifetime upgrades we didn't realise that meant downgrades as well).

Love some of the add-ons like remote web browser control (so i can use a laptop to turn up down change song etc my main media pc).

Be aware this is a bit of a steep learning curve in learning how to configure all the options but after you live with it for a few days you'll love it.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NYSIA July Monthly Meeting summary

Last Monday I got the opportunity to represent Amethon at the NYSIA July Monthly Meeting.

Just a quick thanks to the organisers of NYSIA (Howard Greenstein and team) and to Ed Martino for being an excellent host and asking all the relevant questions to get to the bottom of this months issue panel discussion.

"Mobile - The Opportunity for Developers and Business People"
Mobile is burgeoning, with new opportunities on RIM, iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile and other new platforms. What are the things developers, content providers, and business people should be thinking about in this new environment? Join Author Vishy Gopalakrishnan, Vodafone's Ed Martino, Research in Motion's Tyler Lessard, Nokia's Eric John and Amethon's Dean Collins at this discussion of all things Mobile.

I wasn't able to remember all of the points we discussed but I've tried to put together a relatively comprehensive list of links for the topics we covered, if you think of any more feel free to reach out and I'll add them to the list.

I haven't placed them in any particular order apart from starting with Amethon :)
Mobile Analytics Product Brochure rev 1.0
Trust me you'll also find this article of interest if you think Apple has mobile content sewn up;
If you want a basic overview of CSC's in the usa check out one of my blog posts

Augmented Reality

QIK Streaming video right from your phone
Mogulus Live Broadcast (LBS kid tracking application)
Voice Mashups
and if thats not enough and you want to look towards the future...check out


Monday, July 14, 2008

YouTube product placements

Great article in the washington post today

I love this part in particular;

Product placement and corporate sponsorships have been seeping into new, user-generated turf lately. This year, Sprint Nextel is offering a few bucks to people who incorporate a new Samsung phone into a home video and post the results to YouTube. The first 1,000 videos to incorporate the Instinct phone get $20 apiece, and one grand prize-winning entry will win $10,000.

I've often advised people to take full advantage of YouTube and all it has to offer - basically it's a public resource and any day you get to move video hosting off your site so they have to foot the bill is a great day.


Kath and Kim

Firstly I'd like to apologise to any American eye balls that happen to fall across this TV show.
And in case you dont work out from the sarcasm of the Dateline USA's definitely not Australia's number one show...I cant believe it's still even on.

US television is running ads for the American version of 'Kath and Kim' as analysts predict the show will flop: "Each year, New York-based firm Horizon Media analyses the new shows for the all-important American autumn TV season and predict what series will be hits and what will be misses and quickly axed. NBC's Kath & Kim was circled as one of the expected weak performers. The bad press comes as the US TV network begins to promote the series ahead of its October 9 debut." (On-air promotions bill it as Australia's "number one show".)


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Securitization Markets

Reading this article today

An interesting question popped into my head;

If fannie and freddie are the way USA mortgage lenders have securitised 42% of USA mortgages how does it work in other countries?

This affects Jodie and I directly as we have a deposit 'out' in the market sitting in escrow, just waiting for the co-op interview in order to close and although we have 2 commitment letters the rates are not locked in at all...... yeh I know - shitty position to be in.

In Australia I thought Rams, Wizard, banks etc securitised on the debt market directly eg. no quasi government entity buying up packaged securities.

Now here is my second question.....if fannie and freddie didn't exist wouldn't it be better for the average home owner?

Sure interest rates would be higher but then idiots wouldn't be bidding up the price so much in the first place, so although there wouldn't be as much capital growth tied to increasing sale wouldn't cost you as much in the first place.

And although this may sound your salary is tied to cost of living/raises/comparable job offers etc and not the price of housing having a cheaper mortgage is actually just making you a slave to the system in real dollar amounts for a longer period of time right?

What am I missing?


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Whats wrong with 500 Apple iPhone applications?

Well basically 500 developers all cant come up with 4 out of 5 star applications and there is going to be a ton of crud.

The paradox of distributing apps on iStore is because it's so easy to develop on iPhone and you dont have the efforts of learning to program on Brew or WinMo that you are going to have sub par stuff appear, I wonder how Apple is going to handle this over time and what this means for the community in the long run.

Check out;

An even better article to read is this one;
Can point 3. be for real that you cant "cut & paste" on an iPhone

P.S. just found this article about 'aaa name changes'

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Legal update: Domain name gold rush on the horizon

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for the internet domain name system, has recently approved draft proposals that would see the biggest ever expansion of domain name choice.

Under the draft proposals anyone would be allowed to apply for a generic top level domain (gTLD), resulting in an unlimited number of gTLDs. Currently, there are a limited number of gTLDs, including .com, .net and .gov (and, and in Australia), which are strictly controlled by ICANN and each country’s internet regulatory authority (for example, .au Domain Administration for .au domain names). ICANN has introduced several new gTLDs, such as .biz, .travel and .asia, but the draft proposals could allow gTLDs such as .ebay and .yahoo


I cant work out if I think this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I definitely think that we need non latin characters - this was just silly. I also think that .XXX should have been implemented years ago (but not restricting adult to just this domain - that would be a restriction of trade).

My question is how will people remember of all the domains? it's almost like reason TLDs are encouraging this is because if you want to prevent cybersquatting you'll need to buy more domains :)


Telstra wake up it's called 3G for a reason

A friend of mine in Sydney emailed me this today

Their base plans have a 5MB limit?

Do Telstra realise that it's not the 1990s anymore? It's called 3G for a reason you know to encourage you to browse and download.

Whats worse is even at the highest dataplan of 3gb a month you are paying $125 for data (or $40 a gb) - NO Unlimited Plans!!!

Telstra should be nationalized by the Australian government and turned into a national asset – the excused used can be that at these pricing levels they are a threat to the future economic development of the country.

I wonder if governments globally are wondering if it really was such a smart idea to sell off their national carriers in the 80's and 90's - Does anyone know which countries have retained control and keep prices low enough to stimulate the economy?


This is exactly the problem with 2D codes in the USA

This is exactly the problem with 2D codes in the USA;

The attached pdf is an example of a pissing match between Scanbuy and NeoMedia supporters in response to one of my blog posts.

Excuse me while I keep my feet nice and dry and stick to working with QR codes that are free and require no license so I dont have to pay fees to people who support actions like this.

Uggh I feel like taking a shower and sending the EFF more money so they can bust another fake patent. EFF busts neomedia patent

This will be my last post about either of these companies - dont bother posting comments, you'll be ignored.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ogilvy doesn't get it

Yet another 'expert' marketing company that just doesn't get it.

I love how marketing companies who are supposed to be advising clients just dont get technology themselves, and just hanging a shingle out and branding yourself Neo@Ogilvy (so web 2.0) doesn't mean you are going to be making the right decisions on behalf of your clients.

NeoMedia Technologies today announced that OgilvyOne Worldwide has deployed two of NeoMedia's innovative mobile products -- NeoReader(R) (barcode scanning application) and NeoSphere(TM) (code management platform) -- for the launch of neo@ogilvy, its integrated digital and direct media company in Malaysia. The launch has been planned and managed by Rezonanze, NeoMedia's strategic partner in Asia and a leading interactive branding and marketing consultancy.
For the launch of its new division neo@ogilvy in Malaysia, OgilvyOne Worldwide invited brands and advertisers to attend a special reception. The OgilvyOne invitation featured a 2D barcode that linked to neo@ogilvy WAP pages.

So basically Ogilvy has been suckered into using a proprietary 2D format that all other QR readers deployed cant interact with.

And yes while NeoReader now runs on over 100 handsets, QR readers have been deployed on a far greater number of makes and models.

I just dont get it - what is it that is causing these interactive agencies to sign up with closed 'dead end' 2d codes. If NeoMedia goes into bankruptcy tomorrow all the campaigns deployed and all of the investment into 2d technology by Ogilvy has made will be useless.

It's like building your own email client that can only send emails to other people who have the same client.
Can you imagine Gmail that can only send email to other Gmail users leaving all the other readers Outlook, Yahoo mail, Hotmail etc in the dark?

Where is the sense in that?


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

An alternative president?

After all the smack talk I've made about current political choices to vote for, someone challenged me recently to do something about it.

What do you think


Nike in store mobile hyperlink competition

Nike in store mobile hyperlink competition

The campaign, which The Hyperfactory created with ad agency McCann Erickson, starts with a series of hidden codes all throughout Hong Kong in Nike flagship stores and at MTR subway stations. Consumers must find the markers and point their camera phone at them, which will summon an image of a Nike soccer shoe and ball on their screen and reveal a special code unique to that location.

Great marketing concept - very similar to the campaign I blogged about a few months ago

Shame they chose to go with a proprietary mobile 2D code technology and not QR codes. Nothing that they are doing with the Nike specific proprietary code couldn't be implemented with QR codes.....someone at McCann Erickson 'got sold a pup'.


Bango moving to page tags?

Looks like Bango are moving away from url redirection mobile analytics to page tags.

".... Bango Analytics currently focuses on campaign tracking where we use link redirection technology to accurately identify and record individuals clicking on your mobile ads and marketing campaigns. In the next couple of weeks we will launching our page tracking technology which uses a simple image tag to track site navigation....."

Wow I wonder how this will affect people who have deployed their page redirection technology into their websites (in order to implement Bango you need to 'modify' your content).

I'm sure they aren't going to dump it straight away - but this looks like they have made the decision that they are giving up on url redirection (which I always thought was a clumsy way to implement mobile interaction with your mobile websites).

So basically this leave 7 or 8 vendors using page tags for mobile analytics (which has a whole set of issues for some mobile browsers anyway) and Amethon's Mobile Analytics, which is the only vendor using Wireline Capture. Whilst it does require a dedicated server within the data center network its the only solution that doesn't require any modification to the mobile website content.

For those of you who haven't checked out Wireline Capture is basically packet sniffing. It's the only way to see 100% of the http packets travelling to and from the handset browser to the mobile webserver content.

Interesting to see how the market handles this announcement.


Obama boycotts the Olympics in his mind....

Did you hear Obama’s comments on the Olympics today and saying how if he was president he wouldn’t attend “unless China modified their stance on human rights between now and the start of the games”….(lol like a month away)... sorry not that I get to vote but his position as a ‘politician’ has been firmly cemented in my mind, he’s basically going to say and do anything he can to get the presidency.

I never expected the second coming of christ like some people were proclaiming him to be but if you asked me who would have been ‘better’ at doing the standard politicians job….I would have preferred Clinton.


NASCAR leads TV 2.0

Yeh I know what you are thinking....NASCAR ...not interested and not something perceived to be on the cutting edge.

Yeh maybe, but watch this video and read the article, you'll see it leaves every other 'television sport' for dead in terms of their inventiveness when it comes to interactive tv and the way TV 2.0 should be.

It's going to be interesting to see if any of the networks implement 'interactivity' into their Olympics coverage this year.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Chrylser "Hot Spots"

Chrysler Offers uConnect Web Factory Mobile Internet
The concept of uConnect Web is pretty simple; using a broadband router it picks up cellular-based 3G broadband internet, which allows passengers on board to sync up their wifi-enabled devices to the internet. That means if you're out on a road-trip as a passenger, and you've got a laptop, you can surf websites on-line, download files, get weather updates and write e-mail.

What a great concept.

I did some consulting for a setop box manafacturer a few years ago who wanted to build an automotive 'sync' function that you could select from your set top box the ability to 'send' video content from your DVR to your car so you could watch it on the road next time you were driving.
I've still got some concept documentation if anyone is interested.

Having your car being able to access this content via raw wifi or 3g eliminates the need for a 'garage based access point'.

Dont think this is cool - ask any parent who has had incar entertainment systems with a selection of The Wiggles dvd's stored in the glovebox permanently.

Of course as the cartoon below's going to bring it's own security issues. lets just say I dont want my engine management hooked into this wifi network.

Head Tracking VR

Head tracking VR from a wii remote;

How cool is that video demo; until the front target slides out of view to the right of the display it really does look like it was sitting 'in front' of the tv screen.

Would have been interesting to see from a different POV eg. someone sitting in another living room chair to see what the see at the same time. eg have 2 video's running side by side.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

QR Codes are 'Ugly'

This is a comment that I've heard before.

I just posted this comment below on a website that was discussing the advantages of 'embedded hidden codes' over 'Ugly QR' and thought it would be worth posting here as well.

(btw they aren't in case you didn't work out I was being ironic).

Hi Muto,

It's great that ‘any’ dialog is happening in Australia about the various 2D code technologies BUT I have to step in and comment here.

Your recommendation for people to use MyClick photo recognition invisible code technology is flawed. Hopefully you won’t delete this post but publish my comments so people reading your blog will understand the following points.

The first issue with MyClick (and numerous other 2d code vendors) can be found in the first sentence of their website.

"MyClick is a ground breaking and patented"

"Patented"= Equals license fees - there are no license fees or royalties required with QR code usage. None whatsoever and this is why QR codes has the widest spread usage of all 2D codes.

The second issue with MyClick (and numerous other 'photo recognition' vendors - lol love to know what they all have patented as there are so many of them) can also be found in the first sentence of their website.

"photo recognition Mobile Marketing Platform"

People often say QR codes are ugly but those that do haven't studied the human psyche of interaction.

QR codes are designed to be obvious. They are designed for people to visually recognise them and interpret “this is what I am meant to do here to 'interact' with this object”. They are designed so that people know what will be the outcome of that interaction.

For those of you that are 'look and feel' orientate people (for some reason it’s always magazine people instead of newspaper people) who think that QR codes are ugly and this ‘defined interaction’ is crap and meaningless, sure no problems – next month print your magazine so that the pages open left to right instead of the (western) norm of right to left and see how important ‘expected object interactions’ are.

Dean Collins

Saturday, July 05, 2008

QR codes in the SMH

it's exciting to see via Ross Dawsons blog today that the Sydney Morning Herald is doing an article on QR codes usage (obviously PR spin from the Telstra qr codes launch this week).

Whats funny in the article is that they display an iPhone which you cant install a reader onto without jail-breaking the handset and installing the software illegally :)

Yes it's only something a geek would notice and the iphone does make for flashy graphics.....but you have to wonder :)

BTW want to see a QR code working on an iPhone - sshhhh, it's not possible :)
(see below)

It's been a great week though - even though I'm on the other side of the world I've picked up 2 QR consulting projects for Australian clients.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Green Cards

Happy 4th of July everyone.

It's been a weird week here in New York. Our green cards arrived on Monday which wasn't totally unexpected as we'd been waiting so long but at the same time they came out of the blue.

It really caught me by surprise how it affected me, I didn't think it was going to be that big a deal, but when they arrived in the mail it finally hit me, I'm a "permanent resident of the USA"……. I've never wanted to throw my things into a bag and catch the first plane home so badly :(

Although we probably wont be staying any longer than we planned (can you believe it's almost been 4 years already?) maybe 3-4 more years but the cool thing is that no more lines at the airport and also Jodie isn't restricted in staying with the employer that brought her over here (Because I am on a L2 that was never an issue for me).

Either way it's a nice thing to have and has given me a new appreciation of people who have 'immigrate to Australia' and what they went through.

Work is great here but missing Bronte Beach and good coffee in a big way, planning on being back in Feb for holidays for a few weeks but at the moment it seems so far away.

If you are in a café drinking a great latte then think of me and send me a camera phone photo of it as well :) it might help me last until Feb 09.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

The missing 'links': Looking towards an augmented reality

You probably arrived here via a hyperlink. We hardly think about it now, but the hyperlink is a neat trick. It turns a word in a browser into an object that leads to more information.

Once you start "linking around," it gets addictive. Some suggest that all the hopping from one link to another influences how we think.

Lol - I love this quote
"One blogger wrote she wants to "right-click" on people to discreetly learn more about them"
I so know exactly what she is saying.

I think a lot of this is going to come from cell phones rather than HUD's but eitherway great article and worth the read.

Video production changed this week

Check this out

It doesn't look like much of an article does it, pretty unassuming and although it mentions 2 powerhouse movers (Google + Seth MacFarlane) it belies how massive a change to online video this is.

Sure we've had Joost come along, then the network branded sites such as Hulu but this new project is as big a change as the "made for tv movie".

Family Guy if you've never watched it is as hot as The Simpsons was before they went mainstream....hopefully Family Guy wont be 'dumbed' down for mainstream but it might be.

The fact that he is producing content "just for the ads" is ironic in that it's what TV is and has always been about but this is a radical change for online video. And the best part is Cavalcade doesn't even have to pay for distribution....content owners are going to lovingly host it with the hope of drawing viewers to their sites for their other content.

I think the last paragraph sums it up
"Cavalcade could also have a lasting effect on how writers and producers approach video content in the future. If Google and McFarlane's experiment in bite-sized, highly distributable content pays off, it could lead to a change the way writers think about and structure the stories they tell. "

P.S. interesting article i just came across about Hulu - projected for between $45-90 millions dollars this year.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

iPhone Apps: To Pay or Not to Pay?

It's probably been a while since you bought new software. That's because so many tech firms — buoyed by ads placed in Web-based applications like the Google Docs word processor and the thousands of apps on Facebook — can now afford to give their programs away for free. But don't expect the same deal when you're shopping for add-ons to bling out your iPhone. On July 11, Apple will launch its hotly anticipated iPhone App Store — and it'll be anything but a bargain.

SO what do you a copy of bejeweled (I cant believe this is still around, talk about write once run many) worth $9.99?

Are you writing apps in the hope of being paid?

Are you willing to pay for apps? For i-phone users what would you pay for that you currently dont have?


QR code background briefing paper

It's been with great interest that as an expat I've been watching the launch of by Telstra.

As a consultant who has briefed clients in the past about the QR space (check out I assure you that QR codes have been used in Australia for a long time.

And yes Telstra's rhetoric is way over the top BUT the deployment of QR readers directly onto handsets by a carrier has always been a barrier to utilization.

With Telstra getting into this in a big way my advice to clients is to leverage their marketing spend and take advantage of this.

For those of you that are interested in QR use the search term "QR" in the top left hand box and you'll find 10 or so articles about the history of QR and it's deployment globally in successful campaigns.

Whats surprised me on the calls over the last few days is the basic lack of understanding around what QR codes can actually be used for - I think it's one of those things that they have been around forever but marketers have never really looked that closely at them so I've posted a background briefing pdf at

Hope you find it of interest - if you've seen some other QR campaigns you thought were really clever post details of them in the comments.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's just like a Tivo ...sort of...

Great post on the TV Board website today.

Called up to speak with a sales representative to find out about the new offering, which she understood included all of the movie channels and sports packages along with a DVR. The conversation went something like this:
“I don’t need your DVR, I already have a TiVo,” she said.
“Our DVR is the same as TiVo but it comes free with our service,” the sales rep adamantly replied

(more)... - obviously the post explains the multitude of differences.

My comment to the post was this;

Great post Mitch - my question would be why do you think Comcast and TimeWarner are so behind in functionality they do offer on their set top boxes?
I’d love remote access to content stored on my set top from either my pc in the office or my laptop while out and about - there is nothing ‘technicially’ preventing the cable companies offering this.
In addition Time Warner indicated they were going to offer multi-room dvr’s any day now……two years later I still haven’t seen it here in New York.