Saturday, September 30, 2006

Why Apple Will Change TV

The iPod shares a similar price point and feature set with the iTV. That helps provide some clues of what the iTV will be able to do. Both need primarily to decompress audio and video from a hard drive, but instead of creating output for headphones and a small display, the iTV will use digital audio ports and component video, or its HDMI AV connector.
Why Apple Will Change TV

Thursday, September 28, 2006

43 Pounds of Life's Work

This morning I heard a story on NPR about a writer who left 43 pounds of unpublished manuscripts and writings to his friend when he died.

The writer had written several stories in the 1950s and 60s, sent them to various publishers but had been rejected time-and-again. He finally gave-up writing, thinking of himself as a failure.

This man had studied creative writing in college and was a good writer. However, for whatever reason, publishers didn't deem his stories marketable or publishable.

The story made me wonder if this would happen in the modern Internet era that we live in. Today, anybody can be a published writer.

Blogs such as this one and numerous other sites on the Internet give each and every one of us the necessary tools to express ourselves and tell our unique story to the rest of the world.

Now, there is no reason for a writer or creative artist of any kind to be unpublished, to be dependent on the whims of a gatekeeper who can accept or reject the work because it does not meet their criteria of what's acceptable.

The creative professional of this era need not leave 43 pounds of unpublished works when they pass on. He or she can be content in knowing that they have left their mark where it will be possibly seen, hear or read by millions of people around the world.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What's Art in the New Tech World?

Yesterday I got into a discussion with a few friends regarding what constitutes art in the new technological world. Where does theater, performance, painting etc. fit in?

Is online video on YouTube and Google Video art? Are the pictures and images on Flickr art? Are blogs as a way of expressing ourselves art? And is playing a character (an avatar) in a virtual world like SecondLife art?

I think it is. This is the medium of choice for the our generation. When people express themselves through these Emerging Media venues, I think it can be considered as art. It might not appeal to everyone's sensibilities but it's an expression never-the-less.

So let's stop debating whether it's art or not, but just accept it for what it is; individuals expressing their creativity using a new medium.

iPod puts books in palm of hand

A Philadelphia-based company called iPREPpress LLC has been transferring books to a format that can be moved to an iPod, compressed so they don't put too much of a squeeze on your kid's favorite tunes.
iPod puts books in palm of hand

Girl sells ad space on her future MacBook Pro

Why didn't I think of this! I guess, if you are a cute young woman you can get away with this kind of stuff.
Leah is a clever one though. While some pay for their brand new Macintosh computers, she has devised a way in which you pay for her new computer. Leah.. is selling ad space for $150 a square inch on the lid of the laptop. Each ad will be laser etched into the machine. To sweeten the pot, for the individual who buys the most space will get her old 'Zip Drive (250 GB!)' autographed by her "with love."
Infinite Loop: Woman sells ad space on her yet-to-be-bought MacBook Pro

MSN to air live webcasts of concerts

Very interesting move by M$.
The move to offer major live performances online is the latest move by Microsoft to drive both consumer and advertiser growth on its sites with a range of new entertainment and media features to challenge or differentiate itself from rivals including Yahoo Inc., YouTube Inc. and News Corp.'s MySpace.
Microsoft's MSN to air live webcasts of concerts

MySpace launches voter-registration plan

Now if we can figure-out a safe, secure way to vote online (using PCs & Cell Phones) we may have more voters voting.
The youth-heavy online hangout is launching a voter-registration drive to engage its members in civics. In partnership with the nonpartisan group Declare Yourself, MySpace is running ads on its highly trafficked Web site and giving members tools such as a 'I Registered To Vote On MySpace' badge to place on their personal profile pages.
MySpace launches voter-registration plan - Yahoo! News

Companies tap cell phones for podcasts

This article talks about new companies that are creating businesses around features found on most cell phones these days, turning them into valuable business and social networking tools.
Many people are just getting used to snapping pictures, listening to music, watching videos, sending text messages and getting e-mails over their cell phones. It turns out the phones can handle much more.
Companies tap cell phones for podcasts - Yahoo! News

Google Video to feature university lectures

The University of California at Berkeley said on Tuesday that it is using Google Video to deliver college courses, including lectures and symposia, free of charge, the first university to have its own featured page on Google Video [].

"Coursecasting" is a growing trend in educational technology, enabling students and the general public to download audio and video recordings of class lectures to their computers and portable media devices. Berkeley has been offering a limited set of material since 2001.
Google Video to feature university lectures - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

M$ Tries To "Wallop" MySpace

A Microsoft Corp. spin-off on Tuesday said it will take on Internet social networks and, touting tools users can buy to craft better-looking Web pages.
Microsoft spin-off to take on MySpace, Facebook - Yahoo! News

CinemaNow offers new DVD for download-to-burn

Online movie service CinemaNow on Tuesday said it will offer a version of Universal Picture's 'The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift' that customers can download onto a blank DVD the same day it is available in stores.
CinemaNow offers new DVD for download-to-burn - Yahoo! News

Digg Founders Launch Internet Television Network

"Truly revolutionary Internet television isn't about cutting and pasting television programming onto a computer," said Jay Adelson, CEO of digg and Revision3. "It's created by having your ear to the ground -- knowing what the new generation of Internet consumers wants -- and mastering the latest technology to deliver it. It's a whole new model for the video broadcast industry"
Digg Founders Launch Internet Television Network - MarketWatch

Don't forget to check-out

Indie films + iTunes Store = Good Match

With only one major studio (Disney) signed on board at present, it would seem Apple’s decision to sell full-length videos on iTunes would be a boon to indie filmmakers and consumers. Sites like iTunes and YouTube could help the indie film market flourish. There are lots of talented and budding young filmmakers out there who don’t have big budgets—or the desire to make “blockbuster” films...

The iTunes Store could offer a high-profile site for the buying and selling of a variety of videos and movies. Besides helping indie filmmakers, it could provide another avenue for iTunes to stand out from rivals...

The Research and Market group has a new report, “Broadband Digital Movies: European Market Assessment and Forecasts,” that predicts that European movie downloading will accelerate from Euro 10 million in 2005 to Euro 690 million by the end of 2010. If their forecast is on target, there’s no reason to think this 69 fold growth won’t also occur in the U.S. and other countries.
Macsimum News - Indie films and the iTunes Store might make a good match

Monday, September 25, 2006

Why iTunes Works

Good article discussing why the iTunes model works while some other's don't.
"The only real profits to be made on the web are related to offering products people want to buy. Successful Internet companies such as Amazon, Ebay and Google all link potential buyers to real sales. Each has created an audience of consumers by offering services the public finds useful next to things they can directly buy.

By similarly offering free services and making desirable content available for sale on the side, Apple is able sell to people interested in the convenience of digital downloads without demanding the regular rent payments that turn off casual buyers."
Why iTunes Works

Digging for Video

In 2004, [Adelson and Rose] started Digg... Now, [they] are preparing to announce that they have turned the Revision3 Corporation, an Internet video production firm they have been running on the side, into a full-fledged company.

Revision3 has close to $1 million in financing from a group of investors that includes Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape, and Greylock Partners...

It is trying to capitalize on the rapid growth of Internet video, and its founders hope that their programming formula, a hybrid of the polished shows created for the networks and the amateur videos that populate sites like YouTube, will be the path to commercial success in this medium.
Young Internet Producers, Bankrolled, Are Seeking Act II - New York Times

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pros take advantage of blogs

"One of the major points of a corporate blog is to put a more human face on the organization," said Sally Falkow of ExpansionPlus, an Internet marketing and public-relations firm in Pasadena, Calif. "You have to develop an authentic voice."
Pros take advantage of blogs |

Useful tools:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

You don't need an iPod to enjoy podcasts

Podcasts are typically MP3 files. Technically, they are like music files, which you also can listen to on the computer. They can be transferred to and played on virtually any music player. Or, they can be burned to a CD.
Personal Tech News and more from Gannett News Service

Friday, September 22, 2006

Apple's iTV strategy is iChat on steroids

Very interesting article, forecasting Apple's strategy for social networking via iTV. I sure like what Cringely thinks Apple is doing. Keeping my fingers crossed that this will happen for real.
"Where Microsoft is trying to follow its user out into the street, Apple is trying to lure its user back into the home for what is essentially a social activity conducted in a formerly antisocial setting. This is computing you'll never do by yourself."
PBS | I, Cringely . September 22, 2006 - Beam Me Up

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Still Not Ready for Prime Time

"I really hope Apple succeeds where Microsoft and others have failed. The amount of quality video available for download to computers is growing daily, but the challenge of putting that video where people want to watch it has so far been insurmountable. And the reluctance of the studios to buy into the digital vision has kept much of the best content out of reach. Apple revolutionized music with the iPod and iTunes. Maybe it can work its magic again with video."
Still Not Ready for Prime Time

Hot Recorders for Cool Podcasts

Thanks to Mike for bringing this to my attention.
Until a few years ago that would probably have been a portable analog cassette tape recorder. More recently, it might have been a MiniDisc recorder or digital audio tape recorder. But today, the hottest recorders do not use tape or discs but record to the same type of nonvolatile flash memory used in digital cameras.
Some Hot Recorders for Those Cool Podcasts - New York Times

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A way to "monetize" those videos

Thanks to my friend Pat for finding this article. Now there is a way content creators can make an income off their creations. A couple of new websites Metacafe and Revver are offering a pay-per-view and a 50-50 ad-revenue sharing program. You create, they host, you both make some money. The "Lonely Girl" has already moved over to Revver; this is definitely a trend worth watching.
Lonelygirl15 (now known to be Jessica Rose) doesn’t seem to be out of the headlines for one day: this week, the news is that they’ve moved the operation to video-sharing startup Revver, where the creators can earn 50% of the show’s ad revenue.
Lonelygirl15 Moves from YouTube to Revver? - Mashable!

Cingular sponsorship gives YouTube cash

Is there money in them free videos?
Cingular Wireless LLC has agreed to sponsor an online battle of the bands on YouTube Inc., providing the Internet's most watched video site with a cash infusion as the rapidly growing startup tries to prove it will be able to parlay its popularity into profits...

YouTube has been subsisting on credit card debt and $11.5 million in venture capital since Hurley and Chen, a pair of 20-something buddies, launched the company in a Silicon Valley garage 19 months ago.
Cingular sponsorship gives YouTube cash - Yahoo! News

Yahoo, Current TV unveil new video service

More video on the web. When will the madness end?
Yahoo... and Current TV, a television channel founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, on Wednesday said they had teamed up on a Web video service aimed at young adults...

The Yahoo Current Network will launch four Internet channels tracking buzz-generating trends, sports news, hot cars and exotic vacations. It plans to offer a total of eight channels by the end of 2007.
Yahoo, Current TV unveil new video service - Yahoo! News

USB Cell

Now this is cool!
This NiMH AA cell can be used in normal battery applications and can be recharged simply by plugging into a USB port.
Our Products -

Are Apple and Google YouTube-ing For Dollars?

The second half of the article is more interesting than the first-half. Read on.
[I]nteresting ideas start flowing when you move beyond the obvious and consider the enormous technological and culture-shaping resources that could be pooled if Apple and Google got together. Google's been busy buying all sorts of dark fiber and storage facilities suitable for repurposing as data centers, not to mention rolling out initiatives to blanket metropolitan areas with free and ad-subsidized WiFi. And they've got that whole search engine-cum-targeted advertising thing happening.

Apple, meanwhile, has been hard at work changing the way we buy, store, transport, and listen to music - and, to a lesser extent, TV and movies - and building a computer here and there on the side. So, geez, what might happen if Steve and Sergey and Larry decided to go in together on a side project aimed at taking out broadcast and cable TV? Don't laugh -- just ask the recording industry giants what they think of iTunes.
I Want My i(P)TV: Are Apple and Google YouTube-ing For Dollars?

Users want video downloads on the TV

Users want more control over the content they watch on their television sets according to an Accenture report released this morning. Over 10,000 Internet users were surveyed in China, South Korea, Italy, Canada, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Germany, United States and Japan—with 1,609 being from the United States—to get a feeling for what consumers want in their future 'digital homes. The results found that nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed in the US want to be able to download movies, TV shows, and other video content to their television sets, with even more of those surveyed globally (54 percent) wishing for such technology.

Consumers are even willing to pay extra for such services, with the majority of respondents indicating that they'd cough up some cash for help in product installation, technology support, service to back up data, service to monitor PCs, and the ability to call tech support.

Pricing is also a factor for most consumers—in fact, it is the number one concern among those surveyed, outweighing all other factors. Puri said that there is currently such a high degree of commoditization in the market that hard for providers to differentiate themselves, but that they could easily do so by providing better services at a decent price.
Users want video downloads on the TV

Is more open better?

Facebook, the popular social networking Web site that has mainly focused on college students, is preparing to open its membership to everyone.

The move is meant to help the site expand, but it risks undercutting one of its attractions: it has been more exclusive and somewhat more protected than MySpace, its larger and more freewheeling rival.
Site Previously for Students Will Be Opened to Others - New York Times

iTunes Nets $1M in Movie Sales for Disney in a Week

The future of video downloads from Disney's point-of-view.
In only one week, Apple Computer’s iTunes store generated US$1 million in movie sales for Walt Disney...

By the end of this year, Disney expects to reap $50 million in movie sales through the iTunes store "at no marketing expense to us at all," said Robert Iger... CEO of Disney...

The initial success of the venture, with more than 125,000 Disney titles sold in a week, should help boost confidence in the Internet as a lucrative place for entertainment companies to deliver content to users...

"We are very, very bullish on consumption over electronically delivered media, and we’re taking a very optimistic view of technology as a friend, or a great enabler, and not a great predator," Iger said.
iTunes Nets $1M in Movie Sales for Disney in a Week - CIO

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Best Web 2.0 Sites

So what makes a site or service 'Web 2.0'? While a specific set of criteria doesn't exist, most of these next-generation sites and services offer new technological tricks, an emphasis on community and user-generated content, or a combination of both. Plus, many of the services are free, and only a few try to sell you premium-service upgrades.
The Best Web 2.0 Sites - Computer Shopper

Fifteen World-Widening Years - What's Next?

Good article on how it all started, key milestones, and where it may be headed beyond Web 2.0
In 1991, the Web was just a gleam in a few people's eyes. Today it's driving communications, research, business, and life everywhere. How'd we get here, and what's next?
Fifteen World-Widening Years - News by InformationWeek

Pure Digital's Point & Shoot Video Camera

This could be a useful (inexpensive) tool for aspiring vloggers.
"The camera is very light. The controls are minimal (power, play, record, delete, and a four-way pad that doubles as a zoom control). It takes two AA batteries and has a clever flip-out USB connector to let you attach the camcorder to your computer. Realistically, you'll need a USB extension cable to attach it to most hubs, though. There's also an included cable that lets you attach the camcorder to a TV."
Personal Tech Review: Pure Digital's Point & Shoot - News by InformationWeek

Microsoft to launch video service to rival YouTube

The video-service business is getting pretty crowded with the number of players entering this field. I wonder who'll still be standing when the dust settles down.
Microsoft Corp. will start testing on Tuesday an Internet video-sharing service called Soapbox, the software company's answer to Web sensation YouTube...

Since March, the number of YouTube monthly visitors has nearly tripled while MSN Video remained mostly unchanged at less than 12 million users.

MySpace video quadrupled to 17.9 million visitors a month and monthly Google Video users rose 70 percent to 13.5 million over the last six months, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
Microsoft to launch video service to rival YouTube - Yahoo! News

Monday, September 18, 2006

Can YouTube Grow Up And Stay Cool?

Can an innovative start-up survive if it plays by corporate rules? Read the article to find-out more.
Finally, an old-media dinosaur gets it! By agreeing to license its artists' songs and videos to the video-sharing Web site, Warner embraces the digital revolution. Meanwhile YouTube shows other crusty media conglomerates how to get with the program.
Can YouTube Grow Up And Stay Cool? -

The Lessons of "Lonelygirl"

Good summary of the Lonely Girl 15 phenomenon on YouTube.
"The case of lonelygirl15 tells us a few things.

Chiefly, people hunger for stories. Unlike Emmalina, a summer YouTube phenom who had tons of fans but no point, Bree's vlogs have a story. What will happen to Bree? Will she get to the party?

Also, the power to create popular content is shifting from the entertainment industry to anybody with a digital camera, high-speed Internet and a story idea."
Frank Ahrens - The Lessons of 'Lonelygirl': We Can Be Fooled, And We Probably Don't Care -

Warner distribute videos through YouTube

Warner Music Group Corp. has agreed to distribute and license its copyrighted songs and other material through online video trendsetter YouTube Inc., marking another significant step in the entertainment industry's migration to the Internet.
Warner distribute videos through YouTube - Yahoo! News

Not in the Real World Anymore

Blurring the lines between the Real World and the Virtual World. Second Life anyone?
This week, MTV will introduce Virtual Laguna Beach, an online service in which fans of the program can immerse themselves — or at least can immerse digitized, three-dimensional characters, called avatars, that they control — in virtual versions of the show’s familiar seaside hangouts.

“You can not only watch TV, but now you can actually live it,” Van Toffler, the president of the MTV Networks Music, Film and Logo Group, said in an interview.
Not in the Real World Anymore - New York Times

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Make Room on the Couch for iTV

"It's inevitable that one day the boundaries between television and the computer will dissolve, but there are endless technicalities to hurdle. Could a simple $299 box really break the logjam? It seems like a stretch—but that's what people said when Apple set out to change digital music."
Make Room on the Couch for Steve - Steven Levy

Video Business Models

Good article in NYTimes discussing the merits of online video.
"Still, a few things are clear from the recent news flow. First of all: yes, the world has gone batty over video. Thirty-second clips, three-minute spoofs, half-hour sitcoms, TV dramas that haven’t been shown in decades, rap videos, Hollywood blockbusters and feeds from TV news outlets big and small are flooding online. The term video itself is already starting to sound old — the equivalent of songs before the advent of MP3’s and downloads.

The research firm eMarketer estimates that video-related advertising will top $2.3 billion within four years. And let’s not forget that Google is on track to exceed $7 billion in revenue this year — and that is predominantly from old-fashioned, Yellow Pages-style text ads. Heck, they don’t even have pictures, let alone moving images.

The good news — and my second point — is that there’s gold in them there hills. Video delivered over the Internet is clearly shaping up to be an actual business that advertisers are interested in. The broadcasting (netcasting?) of television programs and clips on the Web moves the debate away from Internet-versus-TV because if TV executives put their best material online and get paid for it, the proposition becomes Internet-cum-TV."
A Video Business Model Ready to Move Beyond Beta - New York Times

MySpace members get sneak preview of "Borat"

Another example of using social networking for marketing.
"The presentation marks the international launch of the social networking site's Black Carpet screening series, which debuted Wednesday in the United States with previews of Paramount Pictures' September 22 release 'Jackass: Number Two' in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia."
MySpace members get sneak preview of "Borat" - Yahoo! News

Friday, September 15, 2006

Crossing over from YouTube to the Boobtube

Jessica Rose, the 19-year-old New Zealand actress who played the mystery girl named Bree, known to millions of people on the internet as LonelyGirl15 showed-up on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno yesterday (Sept 14, 2006) and acknowledged that the entire thing faked.

The New York Times reported many of the LonelyGirl15 videos were shot in the bedroom of Ramesh Flinders, a screenwriter and film-maker from Marin County, California, with the help of Miles Beckett, a doctor-turned-filmaker, and Grant Steinfield, a software engineer in San Francisco.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Apple's iTV: Bridging the Big Divide

The iPod maker is betting it can do a better job than predecessors in getting digital content from the computer to the TV.
Apple's iTV: Bridging the Big Divide

What is Apple up to, and are we on the verge of a new digital revolution?

Interesting article from The Independent (UK). Worth a read.
Existing patterns of consumer behaviour simply do not lend themselves to movie watching on the go. However, this may not be as important as some fear. Video internet sites such as YouTube, which has enjoyed 2,291 per cent growth in the past 12 months, as well as new services from Google and Yahoo!, specialise in short clips - many of them homemade. Some believe consumers may not be looking for the highest production values when they fire up their iPods. Steve Jobs may be relying on it.
Independent Online Edition > Science & Technology

Intel, Siemens to cooperate in Internet telephony

Intel and Siemens said they wanted to expand the scope of Internet telephony, popularized by Skype, to build communications systems for corporate customers such as providers of telecoms and financial services and digital healthcare.
Intel, Siemens to cooperate in Internet telephony - Yahoo! News

CBS wants to buy the next YouTube, not YouTube

The big-boys are obviously worried and keeping a close watch on the web video phenomenon.
"It is obviously phenomenally successful,' Moonves said of YouTube. 'I doubt we would buy it at this point. Maybe we would look for the next YouTube, the next great idea that's not spread across the world."
CBS wants to buy the next YouTube, not YouTube - Yahoo! News

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lonelygirl Really Wasn’t

Aah.. but it was fun while it lasted.
A nearly four-month-old Internet drama in which the cryptic video musings of a fresh-faced teenager became the obsession of millions of devotees — themselves divided over the very authenticity of the videos, or who was behind them or why — appears to be in its final act.

The woman who plays Lonelygirl15 on the video-sharing site has been identified as Jessica Rose, a 20-ish resident of New Zealand and Los Angeles and a graduate of the New York Film Academy. And the whole project appears to be the early serialized version of what eventually will become a movie.
Well, It Turns Out That Lonelygirl Really Wasn’t - New York Times

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Are You Ready for Googlevision?

Comments from a Google exec on video on the web. To read more, click the link below.
"Does professionalism matter?"

"I dunno, but if you watch a video on the Web and you don't get it within a few seconds, you go to something else because it's so easy. The Chinese kids doing the Backstreet Boys parodies - that's a good example of something made for the medium. You're entertained very, very quickly. I wish those two would do more projects. You guys should find them."
Wired 14.05: Are You Ready for Googlevision?:

The New (Video) Networks

Good list of online video aggregators. Site's you want to bookmark if you are serious about online video.
"Say good-bye to the CBS eye. Aggregator sites like iFilm and YouTube let you watch anything - and everything - you want."
Wired 14.05: The New Networks:

Guide to the Online Video Explosion

Things are getting really interesting in the online video arena, what's going to stick is anybody's guess at this point.
"Online video has arrived, unleashed from the networks, cable companies, and media giants. Thanks to growing bandwidth, easy access to the means of production, and cheap storage, it's exploding all around us and becoming a very real, very different way to experience news and entertainment."
Sites mentioned:
Rocketboom, blinkx, YouTube,, House of Cosbys, Kevin Sites's hot zone at Yahoo!

Wired 14.05: A Guide to the Online Video Explosion

A Business Plan for your Second Life

Just what we need, busniness consultants from the RL (real life) following us into the SL (Second Life) ;-)

But seriously, this article shows how important Virtual Worlds and other online environments are becoming. The days of simply starting a business in your virtual life may be coming to an end. Things are getting serious as big players are getting into this space. You may need a real business plan, hence a real/virtual business consultant.
"Arlene Ciroula, the chief operating officer of the 100-person Baltimore accounting firm KAWG&F, said she wants to help the people who are breaking new ground with their 'Second Life' enterprises, many of whom have never run businesses before."
Business consulting comes to 'Second Life' | CNET

Self-Promotion on MySpace

"If so-called 'MySpace phenomena' such as the Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen continue to emerge through self-promotion and are given unprecedented direct selling access to their MySpace-addicted audience, where do the big guys fit in exactly?"
MySpace punts 'MyTunes', targets Apple | The Register

NBC launches venture for online video

Based loosely on the model of the hugely popular YouTube site, members of the venture will be able to add video to the system and also select which clips to play on their own site.

NBC officials say the network will focus on short clips that will retain high quality standards. At the same time, NBC clearly wants tap into the thriving video-sharing activities that have made sites like YouTube so popular. One early partner in the venture is, which features user-generated video clips.
NBC launches venture for online video - Yahoo! News

Apple to sell movies via download

After much anticipation, today Apple unveiled its own movie download service on iTunes along with an entire revamp of the iPod line-up. It also said users will soon be able to watch the downloaded movies on TV with the upcoming release of a new product dubbed the iTV player.

Apple to sell Disney movies via download - Sep. 12, 2006

Pete has now left the building!

This guy writes with passion. It's definitely worth a read.
"So, today I resigned my job, and completely ended my Microsoft career. I have taken a role as Director with a company at the leading edge of the “Web 2.0” curve. My team and I will write Ruby on Rails code, use Macintosh computers to do so, shun Microsoft technology completely, go to work in shorts and sandals and blast each other with nerf guns. My team is devoted to being the best it can be, to learning, to improving, to pushing boundaries. And it's not Microsoft.

I'm writing this on my Mac using NeoOffice Writer while the PC under my desk is, for the last time ever, removing Windows and all the trappings that go with it to install Ubuntu Linux. My Microsoft career is now officially over.

Microsoft don't innovate, in my opinion. Vista looks like a pile of crap compared to Mac OS X and Ubuntu with GLX. Their software is buggy, overpriced, and stress inducing. Their development tools are staid, designed and developed by committees to solve every problem you could ever conceive of, while being ideally suited to solving none."
Strange new worlds, and programming languages...: Good bye Microsoft; Pete has now left the building!:

Monday, September 11, 2006

Simplicity: The New Trend In Gadgets

Interesting observation. I am definitely all for this new trend in product design. Keep it simple!
"I’m noticing a new trend in consumer electronics lately - simplicity. Let’s be honest here. How many of us want gadgets that are loaded with thousands of buttons, look bulky and cost significantly more than what we can afford? Thankfully, companies are now starting to embrace the more economic model, thereby making consumer electronics more mainstream than they were a few years ago." - Simplicity: The New Trend In Gadgets

New entrant in the downloadable movie arena

Looks like a whole bunch of players are entering the downloadable movie business ahead of Apple's expected announcment of a similar service on iTunes.
EZTakes is a new commercial movie download service that lets you buy DVDs, download, watch and burn them on your computer... EZTakes offers a full DVD disc image, often measuring 4GB in size. You pay for and download an encrypted file — once it gets to your Mac, the download management software — which runs on Mac OS X v10.4 or later on both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs — checks to make sure you’ve paid for it, then decrypts it...

Rather that protecting the content using DRM encryption, EZTakes “personalizes” it, according to EZTakes CEO Jim Flynn. The downloaded DVD is personalized with your name, and information about your account is embedded into the disc image. “You could make unlimited numbers of unauthorized copies, but you’d incriminate yourself in the process,” Flynn told Macworld. “We’ve developed this system to make copies traceable.”
Playlist: EZTakes offers burnable movie downloads

Emerging Media: Content for Mobile Devices

NYTimes has a great example of a company who is creating content for mobile device users.
[Amp’d Mobile] is aiming its services at 18- to 24-year-olds, a group many advertisers and television networks are eager to reach, and it has persuaded a number of investors that it can do so. In May it closed its third round of financing by raising $150 million, making it the largest venture capital deal of 2006 to date...

“We’re estimating now that by 2010 about 24 million United States consumers will be subscribing to either video” or some mobile service other than voice in some capacity, he said. “That’s about 9.2 percent of total cellphone subscribers.”

Are You Breaking Up? A Cellphone Original Comedy Is Calling

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Is Open Source the platform of the future?

"Shuttleworth... is taking on U.S. technology behemoth Microsoft by pioneering free computer software that he hopes will revolutionize the way computers are used, and make the Internet accessible to millions in Africa and other emerging markets.

'Ultimately open source is the platform of the future,' Shuttleworth told Reuters. 'It's one of those enormous waves that is taking over everything -- like the Internet.'

Shuttleworth's 'Ubuntu' family of software programs is based on the Linux open source operating system, which works on the principle that software is free and can be modified at no cost by anyone to suit local and specific needs -- unlike rival Microsoft's proprietary software."
Millionaire cosmonaut takes on Microsoft - Yahoo! News:

YouTube Growing ... Like Cancer?

There are may issues regarding the view-for-free model on video hosting sites; how can their growth be sustained and how it can be supported. Slashdot has some interesting points covering this issue with regards to YouTube.
YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are moving slowly to ramp up advertising. They have been wary of asking viewers to sit through a 30-second ad before a two- to three-minute clip. Instead, YouTube is developing new formats, like ones rolled out in August that let marketers build their own video channels or pay to place a video on YouTube's popular front page.
Slashdot | YouTube Growing ... Like Cancer?

Friday, September 08, 2006 launches TV, movie service -

This news comes just day's ahead of an expected announcement by Apple of a similar service. One major limitation of Amazon's service is that it only works on Windows PCs and devices that play the Windows Media format. Now the ball's on Apple's court. Inc. launched a digital video downloading service Thursday, ending months of speculation that the Internet retailer would be getting into the online TV and movie business.

The service, dubbed Amazon Unbox, will offer thousands of television shows, movies and other videos from more than 30 studios and networks, the company said.

TV shows will cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies will go for $7.99 to $14.99; movies can also be rented for $3.99. launches TV, movie service -

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Out of the Blue

Today I received an email out-of-the-blue from Erik Schark who's trying to create a buzz for a web series called "Something To Be Desired", its being filemed in Pittsburgh and they just kicked of their 4th season.

The episodes are short and look amateur in production value, none-the-less it's good to see these experiments going on to see what takes emerges. They also have a behind-the-scenes blogsite. Check it out.

It's also good to know someone besides me is reading this blog ;-)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Google taps into Old News

Google Inc. is expanding its online news index to include stories published years ago, continuing the Internet search leader's recent efforts to create new sales channels for long-established media while it strives to make its own Web site even more useful.

The news archive to be unveiled Wednesday includes old articles provided by a long list of media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine and The Washington Post.
Google expands online news index - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Podcasting for Free

If you're looking to try your hand at podcasting, WildVoice's intriguing combination of next-gen Web presence and entertaining software provides a delightful way to start.
Technology News: Software: Free Podcasting Program Hectic but Fun

Sci Fi Uses a Web Series to Entice Viewers...

Another example of the intersection of Old Media and Emerging Media.
Beginning tonight the television series “Battlestar Galactica” will travel from outer space into cyberspace. The Sci Fi Channel, which broadcasts the series, has created online mini-episodes, the first of which is scheduled to be posted at midnight.

The 10 Web segments, each just a few minutes long and viewable on devices ranging from iPods to laptops to desktops to full-size television sets, feature characters from the television show. And they have the same dark feel of broadcast episodes of “Galactica,” a post-apocalyptic survival tale of humans on the run after their home planets have been destroyed.

The mini-episodes will go online, one at a time, on Tuesday and Thursday nights until “Galactica’s” season premiere on Oct. 6.
Sci Fi Uses a Web Series to Entice Viewers to ‘Battlestar Galactica’ - New York Times

Monday, September 04, 2006

Google seeks surfers' help to label images

Google is asking surfers with time on their hands to help it categorize and label the images indexed by its search engine, building a database of knowledge about the contents of the images.
Macworld: News: Google seeks surfers' help to label images

Microsoft Photosynth Poised to Revolutionize Photo Imaging

If M$ can deliver what it promises, this looks like a very interesting tool/technology to help all photographers.
Photosynth can take a collection of photos, analyze them, and model them into a 3D virtual scene, placing each photo in their perspective-correct position -- users can see where one photo was taken in relation to another photo!
DailyTech - Microsoft Photosynth Poised to Revolutionize Photo Imaging

Hybrid Mini Cooper: A Dream Come True

This entry has nothing to do with Emerging Media, well maybe in a 6-degrees of separation kind of way--if we link Emerging Energy Alternatives to Emerging Technologies to Emerging Media. But, someone has definitely put two and two together to come-up with 5 ,and made my dreams come true.

Those who know me well, know that I love the Mini Cooper and also that I am a huge proponent of energy conservation and green living (recycling etc.). Now here comes an announcement by a British firm that has managed to successfully test a hybrid engine in a BMW Mini Cooper.

I think this idea definitely one of those, where the whole is worth much more than the sum of its parts. Now I am eagerly waiting to see if/when this makes it into production.
A British engineering firm has put together a high-performance hybrid version of BMW's Mini Cooper. The PML Mini QED has a top speed of 150 mph, a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds. The car uses a small gasoline engine with four 160 horsepower electric motors — one on each wheel. The car has been designed to run for four hours of combined urban/extra urban driving, powered only by a battery and bank of ultra capacitors. The QED supports an all-electric range of 200-250 miles and has a total range of about 932 miles (1,500 km). For longer journeys at higher speeds, a small conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) is used to re-charge the battery. In this hybrid mode, fuel economies of up to 80mpg can be achieved.
Treehugger: Electric Mini: 0-60 in 4 Seconds: It Has Motors In Its Wheels

New Web Sites Seeking Profit in Wiki Model

Every day, millions of people find answers on Wikipedia to questions both trivial and serious. Jack Herrick found his business model there... in January 2005 he started wikiHow, a how-to guide built on the same open-source software as Wikipedia, which lets anyone write and edit entries in a collaborative system. To his surprise he found that many of the entries generated by Internet users — free — were more informative than those written by freelancers.
New Web Sites Seeking Profit in Wiki Model - New York Times

Check-out some of the sites mentioned in this article:
wikiHow, Wiki, Wikia, ShopWiki, Wikitravel, Wetpaint, PBWiki.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

MySpace moves into digital music business

"The goal is to be one of the biggest digital music stores out there," MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe told Reuters. "Everyone we've spoken to definitely wants an alternative to iTunes and the iPod. MySpace could be that alternative."
MySpace moves into digital music business - Yahoo! News

Friday, September 01, 2006

CrossOver to the Mac

Now you don't need "Windows" to run Windows applications. CrossOver from CodeWeavers will allow you to run those applications in an Intel Mac without the need to install M$ Windows. Now that's cool!
CrossOver Mac will be the very best way to run your Windows applications on your Intel based Mac. It will let you install and run Windows programs as though they were native, all without having to buy or run a copy of Windows itself.
CodeWeavers - Beta Center - CrossOver Mac

Philips launches PC-free Skype phone

Dutch Philips Electronics said on Thursday it would introduce the world's first cordless DECT phone that can make Skype Internet calls without being connected to a personal computer.

The product will be available before the end of the year, Philips chief of consumer electronics activities, Rudy Provoost, told journalists at the IFA electronics fair here.
Philips launches PC-free Skype phone - Yahoo! News

Where Broadcast Meets Broadband

Podcasts, insider audio magazines, mobile phone promotions, exclusive downloads, original complimentary content, branded retail and other innovations now entering the mainstream have been part of the daytime drama industry for several years.
As the interactive world turns - Yahoo! News