Archive for November, 2006
The prototype was built and presented in early 06. Now your laptop or your mobile device can project onto any surface thanks to Jamieson Christmas, Cambridge U, inventor and patent holder. Cambridge has granted exclusive license to Alps Electric (H.O. in Japan but also here is USA). Professor Crossland known as father of LCOS (liquid crystal over silicon) is also on the inventor team, namely CAPE. I won’t get technical but it has to do with lights that bounce around within the devices; hence, a noisy over-heated clunky projector is no longer required. Web 2.0 kills another industry. Now will you all stop murmuring about the bubble; it’s as poppable as a titanium balloon. I blogged earlier on about Microsoft’s holographic computing (see September Tom Cruise apps…) called Touchlight but I believe Alps is taking it one step further removing a traditional appliance and bringing into mobile devices. Imagine what you can now also do with one small device. You can project those YouTube videos on the bathroom cubicle when you are skipping class. Or you can show the whole family photos of the Christmas (no pun) window displays at Macy’s at dessert tonight. Or project your PowerPoint on the office wall. That’s what I call convergence. Public release not known yet but I’ll keep on top of it. It boggles! Now let’s see how much is Alps trading at?
BitTorrent increased its play in the entertainment industry today. BT has struck a deal with an impressive array of production companies and networks to deliver entertainment digitally to the masses. Among them MTV, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures. BitTorrent is known within silicon valley for its leading peer-assisted digital delivery plaftorm. Scary for theatres is that BT can deliver content before theatrical dates. Cineplex/FamousPlayers plans to be “the Google of entertainment”. Note the word “plans”. At present, seems only BitTorrent is capable of delivering these massive files over the internet. It is reported that BT accounts for 40% of the traffic on the internet. And once broadband services and their appliances are up to snuff this should spell the end of theatres as we know them, placing the experience first and not the content. That means theatres will have to start cleaning their bathrooms, changing their light bulbs when they burn out, provide snacks that you won’t make you ill, shorten the line-ups and acknowledge you when you walk-in. Or else the seat price will never bear the brunt of this diverted access to entertainment. Not to mention, they are losing their key teenage audience. I muse on how this will change the face of TV programming very shortly. In the last few days, our major networks appeared hat-in-hand at the CRTC to obtain the right to levy a fee to their satellite and cable licensees and in turn begin charging consumers for programming–because in fact revenue has dropped at the hands of digital delivery to PC and mobile appliances. Try to explain that to viewers of the Lawrence Welk show! (Isn’t the cost of living high enough?) The CRTC said “no”. Wouldn’t a fee shrink the audiences further? Could these fees offset the increased loss of ad revenue as audiences shrink? This is short-sighted. Bean-counters must be involved, pandering to shareholder nerves. Like the dailies, TV networks simply don’t have a Plan B. Or is that Plan BTorrent.
I have not been posting much for the last while. My mother was diagnosed with the most horrible invasive cancer six weeks ago. She passed away two days ago. She was my hero. My best friend. A great scholarly intellect. A prolific artist. Despite losing her husband suddenly (my father whom I also adored) in late August she planned to “spread her wings”, painting more beautiful landscapes. Yet her wings were clipped. It may seem odd to post this on a professionally geared blog. But blogging is about honesty–we all long for the genuine. After all it is my blog and my whole countenance is offered here. I am reminded that while many post and comment with vitriol to each other (fortunately I have been spared) about their different iniatives or characters that it all does not amount to a hill of beans. The Web 2.0 community much collaborate and support each other. Negativity is tabloid fodder. Constructive criticism or recognition is virtuous. Life is too short.
I will keep posting soon because work heals (this post is healing too). I will re-apply myself with a vengeance to this task and building up the most extraordinary Web 2.0 event yet very soon.
Orb Networks are launching their new software this week (is that today?). It enables users to view, search and create videos and direct it onto their cell phones from video services like YouTube. Mind you a fancy phone like Motorola Q or Nokia N80 is required–not your garden variety cell. This small company of 35 employees founded by Joe Costello is now effectively a leader in mobile entertainment. Orb is not new to the game; it already had 400,000 users of its previous digital media software. This is a company to watch.
The idea that we can be ubiquitously empowered, untethered, is tantalizing. The hairs in the back of my neck barely ever have a chance to recoil! Everyone is getting into the game. Even Robert Redford is producing original shorts just for your PDAs and cellphones (granted there is a cost obstacle for users but they will come). There are phones that read bar codes. Image search tools where you point at an object (like a stranger’s hat), click and get info about that hat. Tools that tell you where your friends are within inches. You can shoot photos and videos and publish them on the heels of their recording. Wireless wikis keep your office team at peak productivity almost rendering emails useless. It’s all about Web 2.0–with that everything is possible. The Mobiplex (where mobile and wireless are concentrated in the Demoplex) at the Plexus 2007, (perhaps the world’s largest web 2.0 event) will hog much real estate. Mark my words, “your hair will raise”.
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have agreed to support the SiteMaps protocol today, upgrading the quality of search results under the stratosphere. Finalement! This spells a death challenge to crawl algorithms which until now controlled searches. Now SiteMaps enabled search engines look for content on web sites–it’s that semantic thing that’s blossoming on the web. It’s about the way humans function and not scripts. I love it. Kudos to our behemoths. This standard offers site owners one simple way to share information with all search engines simply by publishing a site map (I am belting out instructions to our programmmers as I post!). It’s free and that should make its adoption viral by developers everywhere.
LoudLaunch and ReviewMe launch on the heels of the world’s first consumer paid blog network, PayPerPost (see my earlier post on PPP). Neither of these two newbies seem to have any blogs within them but Review Me is quick to criticize PayPerPost for not demanding that its bloggers publish that they are participants in a paid network. Point taken but readers aren’t stupid. Read further about social psychology. There are a lot of consumers out there and a lot of vertical and universal topics to cover. So again there’s plenty of room in the sandbox. I can see a payment war for bloggers in the near future–because getting good content is a challenge. Indeed, the bottom line is the quality of the blogs and their posts. The number of views will be important to attract those ad dollars–that does not include web crawlers, aggregators and internal views. I mean real unadulterated views. Those analytics will be important. When you turn consumers into columnists the authenticity is powerful but TV viewers are already showing signs of reality fatigue. Perhaps blogs are truly the birth of real reality. Networks moderators will have to tread carefully–because subtle, commercially controlled content, are cues that can be sensed by viewers. You won’t always read the audience from comments. In social psychology, consumers are driven to “those more like themselves”. So these networks must know the audience for each of their networks well and populate them in kind. Therein is the value for advertisers. It gets closer to one-to-one marketing, until now an almost impossible dream. In this dream, PayPerPost is ahead of the game and will iron out any kinks.
Nowadays if you call 611, help, customer support, the wait is long and the answer is even more disappointing. Bell, Sympatico, Vonage and the throngs have been lured to call centres in places where cultures and language pose a failure to communicate. An insider tells me, “[customers are up in arms and now ask respondents as the dialogue opens]“, “where are you located?” Invariably it is India. But it can also be the Philipines or some other place. These people are endowed with grace and tolerance but for the caller who is anxious and has big problems like no connectivity for instance, the response is far from meeting our North American cultural lexicon, communications and emotional needs. The communications corporations claim, “it’s to save costs”. Here is the primordial question, is it worth the customers’ frustration and perhaps their migration to a competitor? The waits are longer too because corporations are clamoring to engage these call centres (who in all likelihood underpay their employees and benefit from untoward labor practices abroad). There are so many issues here; but the immediate issue is the side-show that takes place when you need help. Personally, I have spoken to India at least 6 times in the last week. I love a good curry. I love that India is thriving. I love the genius that is coming from India on technology. But when I am destabilized and have urgent needs, I do not wish to be handled by someone who I can’t understand and who in turn asks me repeatedly to repeat myself armed with a limited capacity to even state the question. Aaaaaaaargh. Let’s get real. Those of you who indulge are giving out cues to customers, “we really don’t care about you”, “we are so minimizing our care that we are relegating you to Babel”. Those of you contemplating the savings, contemplate the experience. And the consequences. Find somewhere else to cut costs, like excessive executive packages.
I have not posted for a week (simply could not get to it) and yet my stats (views) have increased. Go figure! With all the chatter, “post within four days” or else, anything longer is a no-no…well, I beg to differ. The quality and popularity of the posts are top-of-the-list. I recommend you maintain as much frequency as you can; but, my assessment is that aggregators aren’t running the whole show. I do so enjoy this process of sharing. Now let’s see… What will I post about next? Looking for the blue Smartie in the box. Keep posted (no pun).