Real responds to Arrogant Apple's iPod 'hacker' attack. This has all the makings for a fun brawl. Apple is attempting to repeat history by defending a closed system. Real, meanwhile is playing the role of worm boring into the core of Apple's flawed strategy.
Is convergence across devices emerging such that cell phones are a black hole sucking energy from the rest of the consumer electronics industry? Consider: "The handset is rapidly consuming every other aspect of mobile consumer electronics: PDAs, cameras, GPS receivers, MP3 players, DVD players and game consoles. In the process, the SoC companies and intellectual-property (IP) providers that had planned to make a living in each of those areas will be drawn in for the most part, to their doom." I think this may affect some sectors, but not all. Single purpose devices will persisit. In some form.
The New York Times reports "two Columbia University scientists have come up with a computer-based way to extract detailed information from the fleeting images of the world mirrored on the curved surface of the eye." This technology could have interesting applications for understanding consumer experience in situ.
Jonathan Schwartz offers this interesting perspective on commodization: "what's really commoditizing? Bandwidth. Not software, not hardware, bandwidth. It's coming out of the wall in your house and office, just like a three prong outlet provides another commodity, electricity (and broadband, soon enough)." Agreed, bandwidth is a commodity. Rather, I think it is best construed as a utility. But software? Are we confounding standards and commodization, and the relation between them? Or have I missed Jonathan's point?
Watching athletic footwear ads gives the impression that strapping on a pair of Brand X shoes makes miracles happen. Afterall, the sizzzle factor keeps life flowing into this multi billion industry of hope and dreams. This thief's dreams of new-shoe superability met a realistic end. The power of advertising in action?
Hmm ... lemme see: Positive Organizational Scholarship appears to be the latest wave in management theory. I suppose it makes sense. Afterall, gobs of research suggest that pride is a more powerful motivator than shame. Yet, to suggest that a key goal of an organization is to further prideful feelings is rather interesting.
Cult Brands, a concept popularized by Akins, has precipatated stuff like this: Brand Autopsy: Cult Brands Make for More Valuable Brands. Hmm ...
Manmade structures, often decried as obstacles to wildlife, appear to have some unexpected benefits. It appears that highways help some pidgeons find their way home. Hmm ... highway pidgeons? Which makes me wonder, where did barn owls -- which are now threatened due to the reduced number of barns dotting the landscape -- live before the advent of the barn?
Yep, Armstrong has won his 6th Tour De France. This puts him in uncharted territory. It also is a powerful demonstration of tech in action. Speaking of which, during coverage of the final stage, OLN was displaying Robbie McEwen's heart rate in real time.
Smart Mobs: has an interesting post about undergraduate students that will cover the national presidential conventions and file reports via pictures, audio, and video captured with their wireless phones.
Further evidence of iPod's stunning SOV: this MSNBC article characterizes the iPod as a "life-changing cultural icon." Really? Perhaps replace iPod with "personal music device" and "life-changing" might apply. Seriously, how can one brand of personal digital music player be more life-altering than another? Not. Further evidence of Steve Job's keen ability to differentiate a commodity. Apparently, Steve's forgtten about the Walkman.
Here's a nice piece on the social significance and impact of the Sony Walkman. Is the Walkman really such a "remarkably alienating device"? I can think of lots of activities that enable similar "alienation." A book, for example.
Yep, they tested tech that mapped the Tour de France Riders from Space. Perhaps next year's tour will feature live web distributed real-time data on rider position. More details available here. Imagine the added dimension such location data could provide for other activities.
Finally, a useful application for the iPod: pPod an audio guide to public loos in London. How quaint!
PowerPoint is a boon and a curse. Too many PowerPoint presentations misuse the tool. Edward Tufte's essay on the abuses of Powerpoint (summarized here) is a rare exception to the dearth of suggestions on how to maximize Powerpoint's value as a communication tool. Here's a nice collection of PowerPoint Resources that should improve your Powerpoint communication skills.
Talk about the unintended consequences of technology, it appears that inmate are using camera phones to aid planning prison escapes.
Verizon's announcement that it is launching Internet Phone Service suggests that the voice data market has turned an important (technological) corner. We are witnessing the beginning of the end of circuit-switched newtorks. It will be very interesting to see where this ends up. And how quickly it gets there. And who survives the transition.
This study suggests parents clueless about kids online. Should we be clued in? Is online content use all that different than browsing a (conventional) library?
What does it say about a culture that spawns Knife-resistant jackets for schoolkids? Interesting.
Yep, that's right, this study suggests that good 'ole lack of communication within an organization dooms some great innovations to become dust collectors. Fast Company has posted a nice executive summary.
Web usability too often focusses on look and feel issues. Perhaps more critical to web usability is how well way information is presented meshs with the way those using the web site think. Jakob Nielsen offers some useful advice re. how to optimize info architecture to enhance web usability.
Arun Sundararajan's syllabus for B20.3345 Doctoral Research Seminar includes numerous links to useful pieces on network effects.
Why is a New iPod important news? Beats me. But the editors of Newsweek seem to think it deserves front cover emphasis. Go figure.
This interesting paper reports an ethnographic study about digital piracy in the US and Japan.
Maintaining growth is a challenge for Intel. Is their strategy a good one? Check out: From Intel Inside to Intel Everywhere | CNET News.com
Ok, quiz time: How many of the points in this 6 point plan point Apple down the road to commodization?
Yahoo! News - Bush Signs Identity Theft Sentencing Law. This is good news for those of us in the states that are unfortunate enough to have our identiy stolen by another on the state-side.
A nice piece in the NYT about Genevieve Bell's work exploring consumer opportunities in other cultures. (Link requires NYT registration)