Friday, April 29, 2011

99 Designs raises $35m

If this article doesn’t prove that a company is worth exactly what an investor feels it is worth on any particular day nothing will.


http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2011/04/28/why-99designs-raised-3-million-from-accel-partners/

99designs is a “good” platform but not doing anything outstanding (and personally I think their cost of transaction price is a little high for quick and dirty projects), it’s an example that the value of an investment is often driven by as much by who the investor is as to what the actual investment itself is.


Cheers,
Dean

Relax your PSN game scores are ok...

http://venturebeat.com/2011/04/28/sony-reassures-customers-that-their-game-data-isnt-lost/?source=facebook
Sony said today that the malicious attack against the PlayStation Network did not result in the loss of customers’ game data.


lol your identity has been hacked, your credit cards are being used by thieves, your email will be getting spam but dont worry ....your high scores etc are safe.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Auto generated content for Game of Thrones

Saw this article today http://blog.paper.li/2011/04/paperli-partners-with-hbo-on-branded.html
Paper.li Partners with HBO on Branded Fan Newspaper for Game of Thrones

As i've seen more than a few interesting developments from Paper.li i thought i'd check it out.

hmmmm

So, the #GameOfThrnes-Dwejra "sand saga" ends. Local production company fined €36,500 for breaching terms: http://ow.ly/4Gb3V


Not sure HBO would really want this article included in todays edition of the Game of Thrones paper.li
- http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110425/local/Dwerja-sand-saga-cost-local-production-company-36-500.362121
I guess thats the problem with auto generated content.

:(

Facebook elections

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.allfacebook.com%2Fvote-should-candidates-make-facebook-cards-2011-04&h=190d5

Scary that you can buy 1,000 likes for about $3 so what happens when his competitors buys his way in the popular race :)



Cheers,
Dean

Stop trying to make QR codes look pretty !!

qr codes


Reading http://www.centernetworks.com/ over a coffee this morning only to find this - ugh..... must manage blood pressure rising only Monday morning must relax......

Web developer David Szotten had an idea to add a bit of color, branding and design to QR 2D barcodes. Above you can see an example of a QR code that has been converted using his Pretty QR application. David allows you to add a dash of color along with a logo – now that’s hot!
http://www.centernetworks.com/apple-qr-bar-codes


My comments are below

Ugh fail fail fail on so many levels.


Firstly Allen you know i'm a huge fan of QR codes but this is terrible (btw did you try and access the example above? it wont read using my moto droid).

QR code reader software requires there to be variation between the two colours eg black and white is used most often but you could just as easily use Blue and white or red and white - it's the contrast that is key NOT the actually colour.

I'd suspect that what is happening above is the black+orange both equalling + or "1" is confusing the reader against the white or "0".

Now regarding the logo sitting inside of the QR - fail fail fail.
As you already know QR codes have "redundancy" built into them in the form of error correction.This is normally there to allow for a print smudge, camera capture aberration etc.

As you've seen above it's easy to put a "logo" or brand into the Qr code as long as you only wipe out "so much" of the QR code area the code will still read fine. If it doesn't just increase up the error correction redundancy to the point that it works but each time you increase error correction it increases the size of the QR code..... basically making the QR code bigger kind of defeats the purpose of trying to make it pretty in the first place.
 
Here is an idea DONT TRY AND MAKE QR CODES PRETTY !!!
 
If you must do QR code "enhancement" please use Overlay and not embedding. Overlay positions the QR code "within" a logo and builds a surrounding design.

Want to see some examples of what that means - check out www.Cognation.net/QR for my contact details and get in touch.


Cheers,
Dean

Saturday, April 23, 2011

16:9 being put to use on 4:3 ads

Interesting, was watching Frasier tonight and noticed that someone finally came up with an idea of how to take advantage of the side of a 4:3 recorded tv commercial.

WeTV is running fixed panels for 2 of their other tv shows on the sides of any television commercial that is recorded in 4:3.

Obviously the show is recorded in 16:9 so they arent there then but i guess the same thing could happen in an older tv show recrded in 4:3 (they also dissapear for any modern television commercial that is recorded in 16:9 as well).

Interesting that no one else has done something like this before now.

Cheers,
Dean

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wow!!! Who knew Fiona Apple could sing

She totally owns this song. I cant imagine being on the receiving end of this much disdain/psycho love but you know you'd almost tempt risking it. I'm off to go and listen to a few of her other tracks, much respect..

Leonard Cohen

When i get old i can only wish to be half this cool. Leonard is a legend and you just know the ladies love him :)
Have a great weekend.



Cheers,
Dean

Comcast 105

Just saw this posted

Comcast's faster Internet service to cost $200 a month

The Chicago area is one of the first markets to get Comcast Corp.'s new super-fast Internet service, which the company said will allow a user to download a 10-song music album in just three seconds...

105mbs for $105 a month ( <- introductory rate)


How many people read this in the fine print though?
"Comcast has a 250GB monthly data cap in place for Internet customers."

What a joke - whats the point of paying $2400 a year for only 250gb a month. sorry.....but pass.
 
Cheers,
Dean

Barwick v. GEICO

Arkansas Supreme Court Upholds UETA, Declares E-Signed

Waiver of Medical Coverage in Auto Policy to be “In Writing”
By: Patrick J. Hatfield, Gregory T. Casamento, Vita E. Zeltser and Brian T. Casey

In a March 31, 2011, opinion, the Supreme Court of Arkansas affirmed the lower court’s granting of
a summary judgment in favor of GEICO, upholding the applicability of the Uniform Electronic Transactions
Act (“UETA”) to a waiver of minimum medical coverage. The insured’s wife completed the online
application for auto insurance coverage and as part of that online application waived the minimum
medical coverage. After a car wreck requiring the insured to incur medical expenses, the insured claimed
that the electronic signature on the online wavier of medical coverage was not binding on him because the
waiver was not “in writing” as required by the Arkansas Insurance Code. The insured later sought medical
benefits under the auto insurance policy.
More located here-> http://bit.ly/eroZH3

Interesting reading around the validity of digital signatures.

Regards,
Dean

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crappy web engineering for Logitech Harmony One remote software

I loved my Logitech Harmony One remote so much i bought a second one only to find out that Logitech do not allow you to change your Login ID and that for you to change your LoginID you have to call customer support.


I find it crazy that you cant change your UserID or export the remotes settings at all to set up a new account name.

What happens when someone sells their remote?

In my instance i purchased one remote for the living room and liked it so much that i purchased a second one for the bedroom, when i called support i got the run around and told to program the remote again from scratch again with a new username.

I pointed out online in the community support pages that they could clone the account to a new username - first they told me it wasnt possible and then told me he would need to direct me to paid support as the original remote was outside of the 90 support time.

When i pointed out the reason for the support call was my brand new remote and i threatened to send it back due to logitechs sucky web engineering of not being able to change a userid he decided that yes he was able to "clone" the account and asked me what i wanted the new LoginID to be - in my instance i now have setup 2 accounts.
usernamexyz.livingroom
usernamexyz.bedroom

So i guess back to being a happy Logitech Harmony One customer but seriously this is ridiculous that this isnt possible from the customer end.


Cheers,
Dean

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Appliance manuals

Doug Kaye posted this QR idea.


"Products should be stamped with QR codes that when scanned link directly to operating and maintenance manuals. How many times have you tried to track down an online manual for some old appliance or gadget?"

Of course as you know i prefer direct QR codes rather than indirect codes it should link these directly to the manafacturers website and NOT a service provider.


Cheers,
Dean

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unbreakable Part 2

When are they going to make Unbreakable Part 2? I think it would be an awesome franchise to extend into a sequel.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0217869

The storyline in the original just seem to fall into place so nicely at the end for a sequel st the end i assumed it was a given but as it's now 10 years since Unbreakable was released i assume its not going to happen.

Considering how bad Shyamalan movies have been lately....maybe thats a good thing?

   

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hanna

We went to see Hanna last night http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0993842


Had potential but in the end what a piece of junk, worth watching on cable but not worth going to the movies to see (even with the stunning scenery).

As for the "missed your heart" scene at the end wtf was that junk about? did the directors/editors get bored and just go lets do it this way and go and get pissed at the wrap party - though it could have been editing issues with the footage they had left?

Other plot holes you could drive a truck through about not only better ways to achieve to assassination but seriously, doesn't know how to use a light switch but then jumps onto a computer to research DNA - give me a freaking break.

BTW not sure what the relationship is but has to be some relationship with Run Lola Run http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0130827 so many visual relationship cues etc.

Would i watch it on tv again, maybe - am i pissed i paid to see it at the movies, yep. mainly because it could have been a much better movie and had potential for second or third sequel and some of the scenes/filming were just amazing.


Cheers,
Dean

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring...sort of

Hanging out in the park this afternoon with the love of my life - it's spring....sort of.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

7 Sky Media

Interesting article in TG Daily today.

As the battle wages on between the music industry and those who download tracks without paying, it’s clear record execs are having a hard time getting a handle on the situation. Enter 7 Sky Media.
The Danish company is taking a somewhat of a novel approach to "pirated" music by offering music bigwigs a way to monetize unauthorized copyrighted tracks.
"Our software is designed to play all digital files and locate the copyright holders regardless of where the file came from," Bo Sch√łnemann of 7 Sky Media told Comon.dk.
(......more located at -  
http://www.tgdaily.com/software-features/55369-new-platform-designed-to-legalize-monetize-pirated-music)


No comment about how they are handling legal tracks? exactly how do they think they can tell a legal and illegal mp3?

And as a user of this app....does it mean the MPAA can no longer sue me as "i'm paying a license fee" for these tracks through the use of this application?

Where does this leave end users legally? Any thoughts?


Cheers,
Dean

Sick artistic use of Gif's

Came across this absolutely sick artistic use of Gif's i love how someone repurposes a very old existing technology for something new and amazing.
More at http://fromme-toyou.tumblr.com/
http://benjaminste.in/post/4606638233/jamies-animated-photos-are-quite-wonderful

Cheers,
Dean

hmmm dissapointingly just found out blogger doesnt allow animated gif's - you need to click on the photo to see the effect.

Gamification ...it's not a toy - Gabe Zichermann

Gabe Zichermann's new book rocks.
Game-Based Marketing: Inspire Customer Loyalty Through Rewards, Challenges, and Contests



What i like is his book is full of real world suggestions that are easy to implement instead of esoteric ideas. You know how when you read some books you think ok...but how does this apply to me - not this book, by the end of every chapter you realise hmm thats interesting i could use this example here etc.

According to this Venture Beat article - http://venturebeat.com/2011/04/14/by-2015-50-percent-of-companies-will-embrace-gamification-gartner-says of companies will use it in some form or another by 2015 to encourage interaction between companies and their users/customer and even vendors.

We used some of his suggestions on http://www.LiveBaseballChat.com so will be interesting to see how well we can execute on Gabe Zichermanns ideas



Cheers,
Dean

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The revolution has begun

Thats it, i want someones head on a pike.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-real-housewives-of-wall-street-look-whos-cashing-in-on-the-bailout-20110411?page=1

LinkedIn Fail

Got an email today where LinkedIn is allowing people to advertise on their site and offering new advertisers $50 coupon, fair enough i figured i'd setup a MLB campaign for our http://www.livebaseballchat.com/ site.

The reporting/ad uploading looks pretty rudimentary but if it gets results i guess it doesn't matter.

The unique about LinkedIn is you can serve ads to people in specific companies/industries which is neat (similar to the facebook demographics around location/age etc).

Ok here is the FAIL part, minimum bid per click $2.00 - rofl thanks LinkedIn but i'll pass. lol let me know how this works out for you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wall street pundits pushing more BS

You know wall street advisors are clueless when they are touting upside in chip companies for NFC/mobile, lol there isnt even a standard how are they calling a particular chip stock as being a beneficiary.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Verizon Thunderbolt UI felt crap

I just spent 20 minutes playing with the Verizon Thunderbolt - hated the UI, felt less feature rich than my 18 month old Moto Droid. I think i'll hold out for the Moto Bionic.


Unfortunately Verizon counter jerks at Brooklyn Heights are clueless about the 1 year plans being cancelled, 3 out of 4 didnt even know about it and they one that did got all bitchy when i complained about it and said it was a sucky move.

I'm thinking of getting an Atrix on Sprint just to say FU.

Choice

Do we really need this much choice in cleaning products?

Too much headspin for a Sunday morning.


Saturday, April 09, 2011

Aurasma's image recognition

Engadget posted this video of Aurasmas image recognition - http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/09/aurasmas-ar-iphone-app-to-turn-everyday-objects-into-multimedia/#comment-181420113




dumb dumb dumb.

i cant stress how poor image recognition works with real world use.

the reason this is a fail comes down to door knobs. yep thats right door knobs.

when was the last time someone showed you "how to use" a door you hadn't seen used before? that's right you don't, you see a door knob and you know what the UX will be.

The issue with image recognition is unless you can guarantee every print/object/surface in the world is linked to your database when people pull out their scanner and it doesn't work a few times they are going to feel like idiots.

People understand the "practice" of using QR codes, pull out phone/scan/get result - same as door knobs.


Cheers,
Dean
www.Cognation.net/QR

Friday, April 08, 2011

Would you trust TimeWarner to manage your home security?

Your cable provider maintains a data connection into your home, even if you dont use them for internet and use wimax/cell hotspot/steal the neighbours wifi instead to provide your home internet connection there is still a cable box sitting in most living rooms and most of the time it's doing very little.

You can see with the recent timewarner/comcast/verizon value add functionality such as whole house dvr, ipad remote view, comcast remote dvr storage that they are all looking to develop additional functionality (and billing).

So i guess my question is this, if your dvr is sitting there doing very little would you trust your cable company to put in wireless infra-red and motion detectors into your house and then use the dvr as a base monitoring system or do you have so little faith in the "cable company" for things to work properly that there is no way in hell you would trust them to monitor your home security....?

What do you think?


Cheers,
Dean

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Pure viral fantasmagorical humour

Tell me you didnt laught at least once during this.



This could totally be a hit tv commercial if edited down to 15/30 sec slots.


Cheers,
Dean

Monday, April 04, 2011

Degaustation

A friend was in town for only 2 days so we went to Degaustation last night.  

Loved it, had the whole 10 plate chefs selection menu and although the short ribs were average and i personally didn't like the monk fish liver (though my friend loved this plate) i dont think i could find much wrong with any of the other 8 out of 10 dishes.

Sure it's expensive (though for what you get i think still pretty reasonable)

They could also do with an extra 2 feet in space behind the chairs (and 2 feet in the cooking area) but apart from this loved it and yes i'd go back again in a flash.